Aaron Paul

Now they're cooking! The cast of AMC's Breaking Bad gathered at the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences on February 23 for a panel celebrating the show's legacy and previewing the upcoming fifth and final season.

"It's bittersweet," Aaron Paul (Jesse) tells TV Guide Magazine. "I'm very happy that we know an end date and we're going to be able to tell our story rather than have it cut short. We're not going to stretch the storylines out, so it's going to stay pure, honest and genuine to the story that we've been telling."

In last season's shocking finale, partners Jesse and Walt (Bryan Cranston) were seen parting ways after Walt successfully killed nemesis Gustavo Fring (Giancarlo Esposito), but that does not necessarily mean their business together is complete.

"One of the very central relationships of the show is the relationship between teacher and pupil, between Walt and Jesse," says series creator Vince Gilligan. "I personally missed them having all the interactions they had in previous seasons last season when they were kept quite a bit apart by Gustavo Fring. So maybe you'll see them a bit more together this season."

As for the rest of the cast, they are all in the dark about what to expect in the final 16 episodes. "I have no idea what's going to happen," says Anna Gunn (Skyler). "Getting a new script is like Christmas morning." However, Betsy Brandt (Marie) did confirm that the network is "breaking it up into two short seasons."

One actor who hopes to be back is Esposito, whose chilling portrayal of drug kingpin Gus Fring haunted the characters and viewers alike. Even with his death, Esposito says there's "a distinct possibility" he could return. "I would love to explore how Gustavo got to where he is in the end, but more particularly his influence on Walter White, how that could be lasting and how that could be indelible in his passing," says Esposito. "I think that would be fascinating."

With many more major questions to tackle in the final season (Will Jesse discover Walt poisoned Brock? Will Hank ever uncover Walt's secret?), Gilligan insists the commitment from the cast and crew is as strong as ever. "I hope we're going to end this thing in as satisfying a manner as possible and stay as true as we can to the extent of the show from day one," says Gilligan. "And we've just got some crazy s--t coming up!"

Subscribe to TV Guide Magazine now!