As you probably know, the final season of Breaking Bad has just started airing and I’ve recently noticed some strange parallels between the series and the film, Little Miss Sunshine, which suggests they might exist within the same universe. For starters, both stories take place in Albuquerque, New Mexico and involve families who are struggling financially. In Breaking Bad, Walter White (Bryan Cranston) is a high school chemistry teacher who is diagnosed with cancer and has to resort to cooking and dealing methamphetamine in order to pay his medical bills. In Little Miss Sunshine, Richard Hoover (Greg Kinnear) is having trouble supporting his family because his fledgling career as a motivational speaker is going nowhere. Richard’s hopes of solving his family’s financial problems rest heavily on a self-help book he has just written, and he is relying on a literary agent named Stan Grossman to move and sell his “product”. And who plays Stan Grossman in the film? Why, none other than Bryan Cranston, of course!
Okay, let’s just assume that the events in Little Miss Sunshine take place after Breaking Bad has ended. After being outed as the notorious meth kingpin “Heisenberg”, Walter White has grown back his hair to disguise himself and assumed the new identity of literary agent “Stan Grossman” in order to continue his operation. So the “self-help book” that Stan is supposed to be peddling for Richard is actually a codeword for “crystal meth”. I mean, Richard’s father (Alan Arkin) actually dies of a heroin overdose in the film, so it’s obvious the Hoover family is no stranger to hard drugs. Later on, Richard is driving with his father’s corpse in the back of his van (and presumably plans to dissolve it with hydrofluoric acid), when he is pulled over by a suspicious motorcycle cop… who happens to look an awful lot like Walter White’s brother-in-law, Hank Schrader.
That’s right, the cop is played by Dean Norris, a.k.a. DEA agent Hank Schrader on Breaking Bad. It’s obvious that after discovering that Hank’s brother-in-law was a meth kingpin, the DEA considered Hank a laughingstock for allowing it to happen right under his nose. Since the DEA canned his ass, Hank is now forced to make his living as a lowly traffic cop, completely unaware that he has just pulled over the man who can lead him back to Walter White. Of course, at the time of this writing, Breaking Bad has only aired the first episode of its final season, so the actual ending to the series will probably throw this fan theory of mine right out the window. But as of right now, I can only assume that Breaking Bad is going to end with Greg Kinnear becoming the new Heisenberg! Whatever happens, you’ll never watch Little Miss Sunshine the same way again.