The House Is Rockin’

A final tune for ‘Breaking Bad’

The House Is Rockin’

After a five-season run on cable TV, Vince Gilligan’s serial Emmy-winner, Breaking Bad, winds to a close Sunday. For all of the meth-slinging, backstabbing, and general destruction of humanity, one of the most anticipated points of the show for any music dweeb is the song that signs out the beloved series.

End tunes have left their signature in iconic ways. The Sopranos finished off its underwhelming finale with the equally underwhelming choice of Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing.” Tina Fey’s 30 Rock tied up loose ends with Jenna’s tearful “Rural Juror” reprise. These are the songs that leave a final impression after years of emotional investment.

As noted by Time, the name of the final Breaking Bad episode, “Felina,” comes from Marty Robbins’ Texan tune “El Paso,” which has sent the Internet into a tailspin of theories on the meaning and the song’s inclusion in the episode. Many speculate the duties will fall to the show’s longtime composer Dave Porter, but we won’t be sure until the 75-minute episode is up.

As Gilligan toys with the fates of the White family, Jesse, and, of course, “Heisenberg,” I’ve taken the liberty of drawing up a theme-appropriate list of songs that could fade us to black.

Cooking meth:

“Cooking Up Something Good,” Mac Demarco

Much like Walt’s downward spiral, Demarco’s song starts innocently enough (as far as drug production goes), but as it moves through the verses it becomes increasingly sinister: “Daddy’s in the basement/cookin’ up something fine.”

Knocking on doors:

“The House Is Rockin’,” Stevie Ray Vaughan

“I am not in danger, Skyler. I am the danger. A guy opens the door and gets shot and you think of me? No. I am the one who knocks.” In season four, episode six, Walt makes it clear who is calling the shots when he spouts the infamous line, “I am the one who knocks.” Well, you know what they say about rockin’ houses.

Walt & Jesse:

“I Hate You, Bitch,” Z-Ro

Jesse has mastered the art of the bitch exclamation. (“MAGNETS, BITCH!”) Though Walt and Jesse’s student-teacher relationship has all but disintegrated throughout the course of the show, one last vitriolic “bitch” could well be reserved for none other than Walt.


“Pink,” Aerosmith

Gilligan relies heavily on colors throughout the seasons. The White family. Walt’s color-changing pork pie hat. One of the most prevalent themes even after the disappearance of the teddy bear is pink. Steven Tyler croons to a lover in Aerosmith’s 1997 hit, but in our application, Walt is singing to Death, which the color has come to symbolize in Breaking Bad. Battling his wits and will to live and the unapologetic wreckage he leaves behind him, “Pink” is definitely Walt’s favorite color.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

More Breaking Bad
25 Questions You May or May Not Be Wondering Before the 'Breaking Bad' Finale
25 Questions You May or May Not Be Wondering Before the 'Breaking Bad' Finale
And if you weren't before, you are now

Monica Riese, Sept. 26, 2013

More by Abby Johnston
Our Music Critics Pick Their Top 10 Austin Albums of 2018
Our Music Critics Pick Their Top 10 Austin Albums of 2018
80 local picks from Molly Burch to Brownout

Dec. 28, 2018

Best Live Music Performances of 2018
Best Live Music Performances of 2018
The bands and venues that kept our critics on their feet

Dec. 28, 2018


Breaking Bad, Vince Gilligan, The Sopranos, 30 Rock, Heisenberg, Tiny Fey, Marty Robbins, El Paso, Journey, Mac Demarco, Z-Ro, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Aerosmith, Steven Tyler

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Updates for SXSW 2019

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle