Breaking Bad: Was Gus Fring’s Death realistic?

Breaking Bad: Was Gus Fring's Death realistic?

In one of the show’s most shocking & memorable moments, Gus Fring, the sharp-witted antagonist, was killed by a pipe bomb blast in Breaking Bad season 4. Gus did manage to walk away briefly before succumbing to his injuries, but how realistic is that? Here’s how we broke down Gus’ death scene.

Gustavo Fring (Giancarlo Esposito) was a thorn in the side of Walter White (Bryan Cranston) from the start. Gus was a drug lord who controlled distribution in the Southwest of the United States. He used his businesses, particularly Los Pollos Hermanos, to cover his illegal activities. Walt sided with Gus, producing meth for him at Saul Goodman’s suggestion. Gus was more concerned with Walt’s ability and quickly arranged for a replacement, which Walt became aware of. Walt had no choice but to assassinate Gus, so he devised a scheme involving his rival’s adversary, Hector Salamanca.

Gustavo Fring’s Death in Breaking Bad

Hector assassinated Gus with a pipe bomb attached to his wheelchair, but his death was not instantaneous. Gus walked out of the room seemingly unharmed after the bomb detonated Hector’s nursing home. It wasn’t until the camera panne to Gus’ right side that viewers realize half of his face had been blown off. His right eye socket was vacant, and the side of his face was bare skin. He was also covered in wounds on his right shoulder & hand. However, Gus managed to tie his tie before collapsing and dying.

How Breaking Bad Made Gus’ Iconic Death Possible

To create Gus Fring’s famous death in Breaking Bad, the show’s crew had to dip into an uncommon well: visual effects. While practical bionic make-up appliances connected to Giancarlo Esposito’s face were used to achieve the desired effect, there was no realistic way to achieve the right result without augmenting the practical work with CGI. CGI enhancement covered half of Gus’ face, similar to Two-gnarly Face’s appearance in The Dark Knight. Overall, the effect is very smooth.

Gus Fring’s Death Is a Real Possibility (But Not Realistic)

Since the “Face Off” episode aired, many medical professionals have provided insight into Gus’ death discussion. Gus was thought to have been hit by the blast due to the explosion rather than the bomb itself. Gus most likely turned his body and tried to get out of the way after hearing Hector’s bell and realizing the plan. The blast wave severely injured his right side but did not strike his vital organs, which could explain why Gus Fring’s death in Breaking Bad did not occur immediately. Gus’ head and face were severely injure, but his skull was still intact. In reality, people who have suffered severe injuries and trauma can often continue motor functions such as walking and talking.

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