“Say My Name.” It’s a hit Destiny’s Child song, sure, but in the past year the phrase has become better known in the cultural realm as the title of a tense, memorable episode from the first half of Breaking Bad‘s final season. Second only to “I am the one who knocks” among Walter White catchphrases, “Say my name” is what our antihero orders his competitor, Declan, to do in the midst of their methylamine deal. And the name he means isn’t Walter White; it’s Heisenberg.
So, what does it mean that AMC has picked up on this moment in the poster for the show’s final eight episodes?“Remember My Name,” it reads, immediately evoking Walter’s transformation into Heisenberg. The first thing we’re supposed to think about, clearly, is that there’s no high-school science teacher left under that goatee. As Vince Gilligan has been telling us for years, and the first half of this cruelly disrupted season confirmed, Walter has completed his downward spiral.
The balled-up fists are also worth noting. Despite declaring “I’m out” in the midseason finale, Walt is seemingly gearing up for a fight — one that, judging from this image, will be his alone. Last year, we saw him bury Mike and part with Jesse. Hank’s toilet-side discovery that his brother-in-law is Heisenberg suggests he’s about to be alienated (to say the least) from his family, too.
And yet, there’s an even bigger bit of potential subtext to this poster. It’s obvious that “Remember My Name” is a callback to “Say My Name,” but why has “remember” replaced “say”? That new word, coupled with the bright, white light that forms an off-center halo around Walt’s head, could also imply what fans have been speculating since the beginning of the show: Breaking Bad is going to end with Walter White’s death, ostensibly sometime after his 52nd birthday at Denny’s.
Of course, it could also be a bit of clever misdirection. That is, after all, part of what’s so great about Breaking Bad: it keeps fans on our toes by exceeding our wildest and weirdest predictions.