Did last month's denouement to Breaking Bad leave you cold and unsatisfied? You may be more taken with the newly released "alternate ending."
If you recall, in the original Breaking Bad finale, the central character of schoolteacher-turned-meth-kingpin Walter White, played by Emmy-winner Bryan Cranston, makes peace with his wife Skyler (Anna Gunn), exacts revenge upon his enemies and then dies from a gunshot wound.
None of those storylines factor into the new alternate ending, which is included on the season five Breaking Bad box set being released next week. In this humourous version, Cranston returns to his previous Malcolm in the Middle role, and channels in the famous Newhart ending in the process.
In this fantasy world, Cranston's White is shown imploring a typical Breaking Bad lowlife to say his name (Heisenberg, that is), but suddenly the sunbaked earthtones of New Mexico fade away and Cranston wakes up in bed.
In the blink of an eye, Cranston has returned to his former TV persona of Hal, the goofy father from Malcolm in the Middle. And his wife, Lois, reprised by Malcolm regular Jane Kaczmarek, is right beside him to remind him that it's all been one dreadful dream.
Hal's response to exiting his dark netherworld world of drug dealers and violence: "The only thing that made sense in the whole dream was I still walked around in my underwear."
As a sly side note, Heisenberg's trademark black hat sits ominously on a chair in Lois and Hal's bedroom.
For those too young to remember, the popular CBS sitcom Newhart (1982-1990) ended its run with series star Bob Newhart waking up in bed and being told it was all a bad dream by his wife.
Except in this instance the wife was portrayed by Suzanne Pleshette, Newhart's co-star from his earlier series The Bob Newhart Show.