That intense ending to Sunday's midseason premiere of AMC's 'Breaking Bad' might have left fans reeling so much that they didn't notice a small title card that appeared just after the cut to black: "Dedicated to our friend Kevin Cordasco," it said.
It's a slot typically used to eulogize members of the production team who died during the creation of the episode. But Cordasco wasn't a part of the 'Breaking Bad' staff: he was a sixteen-year-old boy who happened to love the series.
Cordasco was also a cancer patient, who died this spring after a six-year battle with neuroblastoma. 'Breaking Bad' was a series that inspired him greatly. "He and his friends watched it obsessively and ate pizza in his bedroom," his father told The Hollywood Reporter. "There was something about the Walter White character … the way he took control of his illness, and his life, that really resonated with Kevin."
So how did the 'Breaking Bad' team know Cordasco? As it turns out, Kevin's godmother had a connection to Sony TV, and she was able to get in touch with star Bryan Cranston, who came to meet Kevin in the hospital. "Bryan and his wife sat with Kevin for hours at the hospital. And then Vince came to our house, along with some of the cast [including Anna Gunn and Bob Odenkirk]. They even invited Kevin to the writers room. He was beyond thrilled." Gilligan attempted to invite Kevin to the Albequerque set of the show, but by then Kevin was too weak to travel.
He died in March, just as the show was wrapping up its final episodes.
It's a tragic story, but there's even more. Gilligan told the 'Breaking Bad Insiders' podcast that he offered to tell Kevin the ending of the series, so long as he promised to keep it a secret.
Kevin refused, adamant that he would find out with everybody else. That's a confidence in which Walter White would be proud.
'Breaking Bad' airs its next episode, "Buried," Sunday at 9/8c on AMC.