How a Dying Fan Changed 'Breaking Bad'

If watching Breaking Bad's been getting you down recently, here's some news that'll lift your spirits. One of the most major plot points of last week's episode — Walt's former friends and Grey Matter co-owners, Gretchen and Elliot, talking to Charlie Rose — came at the suggestion of Kevin Cordasco, a 16-year-old fan who died of cancer this past spring. According to showrunner Vince Gilligan, Cordasco, a huge Breaking Bad fan, met with the show's cast and crew before his death, and discussed what he wanted to see happen in the series' final season.

Kevin, who was our wonderful, No. 1 fan… he told me that first day I spent with him, visiting him, he told me what he liked about the show and I said, "Is there something you feel is missing from the show?" He said, "You know what, 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."

Tragically, Cordasco died before he could see his idea become reality. Last Sunday's episode saw the Schwartzes' denial of Walt's involvement with Grey Matter cause Walt's anger to boil over, leading to him leaving New Hampshire, presumably to return home and settle matters once and for all. The couple's return to the show set many things in motion, and will undoubtedly have a major effect on the events of the series' final episode. “The very fact that Kevin mentioned Gretchen and Elliott led us — the writers and I — to reintroduce them, reincorporate them into the story," said Gilligan.

Cordasco, who passed away in March after a seven-year battle with neuroblastoma, touched the lives of many Breaking Bad cast and crew members, and the first episode of the season was dedicated to him. Last year, Gilligan, Bryan Cranston, Bob Odenkirk and Anna Gunn all visited Coradasco in the hospital, along with several of the show's writers. They invited the teen to visit filming in New Mexico, but he was too sick to travel, so they offered him a chance to read the finale script instead - but he declined, because he worried he would spoil it for others before it aired.

According to Coradasco's mother, Melodie, meeting the Breaking Bad cast and crew was on her son's bucket list.

It "meant the world to him," she said. "They have no idea how they impacted my son."

Image: Cordasco family