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Revealed: The tragic story of a teenage cancer patient and Breaking Bad fan whose feedback influenced the writers to change series finale which he never got to see before he died (series finale spoiler free)

  • Kevin Cordasco had impressed Breaking Bad creator Vince Gilligan with his devotion to the show
  • Gilligan asked him what he would like to see in the show before it ended
  • Cordasco said he wanted to know more about secondary characters Gretchen and Elliott and their role in shaping Walter White’s life
  • The teenager died in March and never knew what influence on had on the show’s ending

A crucial plot point in the finale of Breaking Bad was inspired by a 16-year-old fan of the show who died from a rare form of cancer before he ever got to see Sunday evening’s finale.

Kevin Cordasco died from neuroblastoma earlier this year after fighting the rare form of brain cancer for seven years.

A massive fan of the show, Cordasco got to meet Bryan Cranston, who plays Walter White, after a friend of his mom contacted the actor.

Cranston visited Cordasco in hospital last September and recalls how impressed he was by the teenager’s devotion to the show.

‘Bright, personable, and knowledgeable, he wasn’t just a fan, he was into the structure of the story, the complexity,’ Cranston told Forbes.

The show’s creator Vince Gilligan also visited Cordasco last October - giving him Danny Trejo’s severed head as a keepsake - he too was impressed by Cordasco’s devotion to the show.

‘I think he was our number one fan ever for Breaking Bad,’ Gilligan said. ‘He was so smart and astute about the show.’

Sadly plans to fly Cordasco to Albuquerque to film a cameo never happened because of his declining health, although he did visit the writer’s room in Los Angeles and once again he left a lasting impression on the people who make the show.

‘I was so happy to meet him,’ said writer-producer Tom Schnauz. ‘He was such a smart, kid so full of life. We got to hang out in the writer’s room and joke and have a good time.’

When Gilligan met Cordasco he had asked him what he’d like to see on show.

‘I came back and reported [what he said] to the writer’s room, and it colored our perception of the show. We added something to these final eight episodes that we wouldn’t have otherwise if Kevin hadn’t mentioned that,’ he recently recalled on the show’s Insider Podcast.

Cordasco told Gilligan that he wanted to know more about two secondary characters - Gretchen and Elliott - who had appeared near the start of the show.

In the first season of Breaking Bad, we had learned that Walter White together with Gretchen and Elliott had founded a company called Gray Matter when they were in graduate school.

We also learned that Gretchen had been Walt’s girlfriend and that after they split up he left the company and sold his share for just $5,000.

Then years later Grey Matter had grown into a $2 billion dollar tech company, while White was a struggling school teacher who had just learned he had cancer.

When Gretchen and Elliott offered to pay for Walt’s cancer treatment, he and instead decided to cook meth to pay for his treatment.

Despite being just 16-years-old, Cordasco was intrigued by the impact that White’s relationship with Gretchen and Elliott had had on the rest of his life.

The teenager’s interest in the secondary characters prompted Gilligan to speak with the writers about how they could be re-introduced at the story at the end.

Gilligan also offered to tell Cordasco how the series ended, but the teenager said he would prefer to watch.Sadly that wasn’t to be as he died on March 11.

As a tribute to him, the first episode of the final eight had been dedicated to ‘Our Friend Kevin Cordasco.’

Kevin’s mother, Melodie said that her son would have been overjoyed at the acknowledgement.

She said: ‘It was just heartwarming; I know my son was sitting there, watching it (saying) ”Mom, Look, I made it.” It was overwhelming - the feeling, the love and support.’

Kevin’s father, Kevin Senior, said his son identified with main character Walter who also has cancer.

His father said: ‘Bryan Cranston is diagnosed with what could have been a terminal illness, a cancer in the first episode. He then began to live his life.

'I think that Kevin connected with that character, moving forward and never looking back, never asking why…(Kevin) didn’t let his cancer stop him from doing anything.'

His mother said that Bryan - a father himself - made her son feel very special.

'He was just a great guy to Kevin. Every time Kevin would email him, Bryan Cranston within half an hour would respond back to Kevin.'

adoptpets: It’s so, sad this young boy had to die so young. I first read about him after I saw the dedication to him in “Blood Money.” It’s so nice the way the Breaking Bad crew reached out to him in such a big way.
I guess Vince offered to send him a script of the final episode so Kevin could read about how the series ended, if Kevin promised not to tell anyone. But Kevin preferred to watch it instead & said he didn’t think he could not tell anyone. RIP Kevin, now you can watch it in heaven, but I’m sure you’re having way too much fun in heaven to care. But your legacy will live on forever. And I think it is so awesome that Kevin wanted to know more about Gretchen & Elliot & Grey Matter because I too wanted to see that come up again in the last season. I haven’t watched the last episode yet, but I can’t wait to watch it!

In real life, no show has a happier ending than Breaking Bad.
6 Fan Ideas So Good They Were Adopted by the Creators

#6. A 16-Year-Old Fan Inspires the Breaking Bad Finale
The writers weren’t even planning to bring [Gretchen and Elliott Schwartz] back — until they heard from Kevin Cordasco. That’s the name of the 16-year-old with neuroblastoma whom showrunner Vince Gilligan called “our wonderful, number one fan.” When Gilligan visited Cordasco during his final months, he asked him if there was anything he felt the show needed. The fan replied, “I want to know more about Gretchen and Elliott. I want to know more about Walt’s backstory with them. I want to know what happened.”
Gilligan hadn’t thought about incorporating the characters into the plot, but Cordasco’s comment gave him pause. He’d been stumped trying to figure out how to get Walt out of hiding, but as he mulled over Cordasco’s suggestion, he discovered that the answer indeed lay with the Schwartzes.

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