Breaking bad is over
After tonight’s masterfully executed series finale of “Breaking Bad,” Felina, every answer that’s been looming over us has been answered. Not to mention, five out of the six things I wanted to happen in my ideal ending happened. Now that it’s over, we can breathe again, but what we just witnessed, not to mention the five heart-pounding seasons, will stay with us forever.
In the final episode, everyone gets what’s been comin’ to them. After Walt leaves his whiskey at the bar, he sets out to right every wrong he’s made over the last five seasons in one fell swoop. And his plan is brilliant. His first stop is Gretchen and Elliott, who come home from a delightful Thai fusion meal, revealing the contrast of their banal life to Walt’s unthinkable situation. After they discover Walt in their mansion, Elliott takes out a pocket knife. Walt says, “Elliott, if you want to go down that road, you’ll need a bigger knife.”
Seriously, he does NOT know who he’s dealing with. His half-assed bravado is laughable. But Walt’s not there to kill them; he’s there for a favor. He asks them to start a irrevocable trust fund that Junior can access on his 18th birthday. Walt asks if he can trust them to do this and Elliott says, “Yes, absolutely.” Then Walt makes absolutely sure. He gestures to the window and two red laser dots are aimed at Gretchen and Elliott. Walt tells them that he had an extra $200K laying around, and he decided to use it to hire the two best hit men in the Southwest. So if for any reason the money doesn’t get to his family, they’ll be dead. He leaves them with, “Cheer up, beautiful people. This is where you make it right.” Amazing.
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When Walt returns to his car, he flashes his tail lights three times and the two “hit men” get in his car. Guess who? Skinny Pete and Badger! Badger says he doesn’t know how to feel about all this and Skinny Pete says, “Yeah man, morality-wise?” Pete, it’s about five seasons too late to start asking about morals. Then the two goons reveal that blue meth is still being made. Walt realizes it must be Jesse.
Speaking of Jesse, he’s in a wood shop, bathed in sunlight and making a wooden box to ambient music. He looks happy and proud of the object he’s made. Just kidding. He’s just daydreaming and still a slave in the Nazis’ meth lab.
Then the show catches up to the flash forward of the bacon spelling out 52, the assault rifle in the trunk, the ricin in the electric outlet, etc. As Walt’s looking around his empty, vandalized living room, he has a flashback of his 50th birthday and Hank telling Walt to get a little excitement in his life. Walt says, “Someday.” Chilling when you think of all that’s happened since that moment.
The next scene ties up the next loose end. Lydia and Todd meet yet again, but they’re not alone. Walt is at the cafe and he casually pulls up a chair. He proposes a plan that allows him to help them cook again, knowing that they’re running out of methylamine. But he’s not really interested in cooking for them again, he’s there to add a little something extra to Lydia’s chamomile tea with soy milk. Does that Stevia taste a little like ricin, Lyds?
Next we see Walt rigging some car batteries to his assault rifle, and now we know something big is going to go down. But not before he ties up yet another loose end. Skyler is chain-smoking in her new much smaller house. Marie calls her to inform her that Walt’s been seen in town, but that she shouldn’t worry. The DEA is on it, and he won’t touch her. After she hangs up, the camera pulls back to reveal Walt in the kitchen with her. He wants to have a proper goodbye. She wants reassurance that the men in ski masks won’t come back. He tells her they won’t, not after tonight. Oh shit! Then he gives her the lottery ticket with the GPS coordinates of where Hank and Gomez are buried, which he suggests she trade in for complete exoneration. He starts to say, “I did all this . . .” And she cuts in, saying, “If I have to hear you say that you did this for the family one more time — ” “I did it for me,” he admits. “I liked it. I was good at it, and . . . I was really . . . I was alive.” That’s when she seems to finally accept it all. Walt says goodbye to Holly, then he waits outside until Junior comes home, so he can get one last look at him. That will be the last time he sees his family ever again.
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I wish Walt had one more scene with Junior, and I wish that Junior could know the truth, that his dad didn’t kill Hank. But he’ll have to go on hating his father for the rest of his life. At least Skyler looks like she’s forgiven him in a way, looking on with tears as Walt tenderly says goodbye to Holly.
But enough with the sentimental stuff. It’s on to the most badass plan Walt, or should I say Heisenberg, has ever masterminded. Walt drives up to the Nazi compound, parking strategically by the main clubhouse, under the pretense that he’s there to discuss the plan he had proposed to Lydia and Todd. When Jack says he’s not interested, the mustached Nazi pulls out a gun on Walt. They were planning on executing him all along. Walt gets them to stall by saying that they owe him, that instead of killing Jesse they’ve made him a partner in their meth business. Jack is clearly offended by this, saying he’d never partner with a rat. To prove his point, because his pride seems just as big as Walt’s, he asks his henchmen to bring Jesse out, who looks swollen and haggard, and is still in handcuffs. Jesse and Walt have their long-awaited stare-down and Walt attacks Jesse, bringing him to the floor. That’s when he presses the button on his car keys and all hell breaks loose. The automatic assault rifle contraption shoots round after round into the clubhouse, killing every Nazi except for Jack and Todd, who ducked.
It’s the definition of bloody vengeance. One of my favorite moments is when Todd comes to and takes a look around at the carnage, stupefied. His last words on earth are, “Jesus. Mr. White . . .” And then Jesse has his sweet revenge by killing him with the very chains that Todd put him in. Then Walt picks up a gun and finishes off Jack. Now it’s down to Walt and Jesse. Walt raises the gun for a second, as if he’s about to shoot Jesse, but he puts it down and kicks it over to his old partner. Jesse points it at Walt, but he hesitates. Is this how it ends for him??? Walt says, “You want this.” Jesse screams, “No! YOU want this. Nothing happens until you say it.” Walt says it. But Jesse sees that Walt’s already been shot from the shower of bullets, and Jesse ends the final scene with his true character and moral compass intact. He spares Walt. “Then do it yourself,” he says, dropping the gun.
Todd’s cellphone rings, which plays the song “Lydia, the Tattooed Lady,” and Walt picks up. She asks if it’s done, if he’s gone. Walt says it’s done, and they’re all gone. Lydia realizes it’s not Todd. Walt asks her, “How are you feeling? Kind of under the weather? Like you have the flu? That would be the ricin i gave you.” Snap! Knowing how uptight and neurotic Lydia is, awaiting her inevitable, imminent death can’t be good for her blood pressure.
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Walt and Jesse have their last stare-down, and Jesse drives off, elated and in shock that he’s free. It’s a relief that can only be matched by the viewers’. Walt goes inside the Nazis’ meth lab and looks around as Badfinger’s “Baby Blue” comes on. He smiles as he picks up a gas mask, no doubt reminiscing about all his past cooks. And then he collapses, blood seeping out, and he dies. The cops swarm in, but Heisenberg’s already gone. Not only does Walter White tie up all of his loose ends, evade the cops for good, but he also spends the last few moments of his life finally at peace with everything that’s happened. Yes, he ruined his life, along with the lives of his family and many cohorts, but like he has said several times, “It can’t have all been for nothing.” I can assure you, Mr. White, it absolutely wasn’t.