Warning: The following article contains spoilers for Sunday night’s Breaking Bad, “Granite State.”
As much as we all loved Sunday night’s Breaking Bad, the series’ penultimate episode, we can wager that nobody got as big a thrill out of the 75-minute masterpiece as New York Times columnist Aaron Ross Sorkin did. The journalist and author of the 2009 book Too Big to Fail was referenced close to the end of the ep, mentioned by guest star Charlie Rose, who was spotted on the screen of a flickering TV set in a New Hampshire tavern interviewing Walter White’s old associates Elliott and Gretchen Schwartz. Rose name-dropped Sorkin as the mind behind an in-universe Times article about the Schwartzs’ company Gray Matter, a construct that any Breaking Bad fan knows to bear some pretty corrosive connotations to the haunted, toxically prideful Walt.
Rose cites a pseudo-Sorkin’s article as an unapologetic admonition of Gray Matter’s phony endeavors at launching an anti-drug charity. In the episode, Sorkin is said to highlight the hypocrasy in the Schwartz family’s so-called philanthropy, calling them out as cowards only hoping to cover up the fact that their company was co-founded by White — a man who has become one of the most infamous drug lords in the United States.
Yes, it is any ambitious journalist’s dream to be used as ammunition in a call to arms against a thriving wrong. But even more of a dream: when that thriving wrong is Walter White, arguably the greatest television character on the air today. As such, the real Sorkin not only took to Twitter to thank series creator Vince Gilligan, but extended his reality into our own by actually crafting the article that the episode devised, posting it on his Dealbook page. Check out the article, and gear up for next week’s final episode of the insuperable AMC drama.