It is all over. I am unbelievably sad to say that Breaking Bad has ended. But in my opinion it ended on a high note with this finale.
QUICK RECAP: At the end of the last episode Walt is taken to an unknown place to stay on the down low from all the police after him. We see him live there briefly before deciding to leave. Walt heads to a bar and makes a call to the police, turning himself in. He sits at the bar to wait for the police to show up when he sees some old business partners (Gretchen and Elliot) on TV. For people who don’t watch this show, these are the same people that made Walt fee belittled when he first got cancer. They offered him money and was offended. He wanted to make his own so that’s when he really started feeling motivated to cook meth (in my opinion). So similar to that, when Walt sees these old business partners on TV, essentially trashing him, he snaps back to it again and leaves the bar before the police show up. And the episode ends.
Now to the best part, the finale.
Walt sits in an old beat up car covered in snow. As he sits nervously with no exit plan, a set of flashing lights can be seen through the snow covering his back windshield. He sits nervously until his prayers are answered in two ways. One, the police lights go away. And two, the car keys drop from the overhead mirror onto his lap. His way home.
First thing Walt does after getting home… visits Gretchen and Elliot. He walks creepily around the outside of their home as they go about their day in the kitchen. He slowly walks inside and starts to look at all the family photos along the walls. All the successes they have had with the company he began. As he stares casually at the pictures Gretchen walks out and reacts with a screech. Seeing a wanted criminal in her home. After the first confrontation is smoothed out, Walt explains his purpose for being there. They are going to be the people who make sure his family gets the money he has worked so hard for. He tells them that they must give Walt Jr. payments every so often. His strategy being that they are already unbelievably wealthy, so it won’t look out of place to give large sums of money to a grieving family of a drug dealer. The solidify his message, he has two lasers pointed at them through the window, explaining to them that he has hired two hitmen to make sure the payments happen. After getting assurance that they will do this for him, he leaves.
A major scene in this episode is when he gets into the car with Skinny Pete and Badger (the two “hitmen”). We hear Skinny Pete describe the episode in one line “The whole thing felt kind of shady, like morality wise. Throughout the whole episode and in many time throughout the whole series, things did feel shady. Everything about this finale had a sense of unease. Walt lastly asks the two of them if his product is still on the streets, which it is. They tell him it’s Jesse who is cooking which makes Walt even more angry.
Second on Walt’s list is his family. He confronts Skyler for the first time since leaving. This is one of my favorite scenes of the season and maybe even series. Walt begins what sounds like his usual apology before Skyler stops him. “I don’t want to hear about how you did this for us” she says to him. “I did this for me. I liked it. I was good at it” replies Walt. This is so great to me because Walt FINALLY admits that in the end it wasn’t about his family. He kept his meth cooking business up and running because he wanted it. He liked doing it, and he was good (if not the best) at it. He finally had control and everyone was under his command, unlike before where he was taking orders from his boss at the car wash. And even though it seemed like his family was in mind at the start, I don’t think thats true either. He was tired of being pushed around and finally snapped. It was his time to have fun. His time for control. His time to be Heisenberg.
With a quick visit with his baby daughter, and far away stare at Walt Jr, Walt is gone. This is where we watch the same chunk of action that we saw at the beginning of this season. Walt celebrating his 52nd birthday alone in a diner, and then going out and opening his trunk to reveal a large machine gun. We then see him go into the desert where he builds what appears to be some type of contraption that has a fixed platform that sits on a base which spins in a cirular motion. Everytime he clicks the unlock button on a car key pad, the machine would start going. He does a few quick tests and it appears it’s ready to go.
Walt first goes to the coffee shop where him and Lydia used to always meet. He waits until Todd and Lydia arrive, to no suprise, at the exact same shop. He pulls a chair up to the table and proposes a deal, and sets up a meeting time. Despite knowing very well that they planned on doing no business with, but actually killing him. As Walt walks out of the coffee shop, we see Lydia pour her classic sweetener into her coffee**
Knowing his old associates are all working together to make his creation has made Walt slightly upset. He pulls up in his car to the gated off area where he is greeted by some familiar faces (Todd’s uncle’s workers) . One of them gets into the car with him and they both drive in. He points to the one story home sitting in the area and tells him to park in front of it. Walt takes an exaggerated loop around so that his car is facing a certain way in front of the house.
They go inside where Walt is patted down and his Wallet and Car key pad are taken. He nervously sees them get taken away as Todd’s uncle walks in. They start going back and forth as Walt tries to explain why they need him around. Todd’s uncle shuts it down immediately and tells his men to kill him. Right before they do Walt says something that doesn’t sit well with Todd’s uncle. He claims that him and Jesse Pinkman are partners (despite Jesse actually being a cooking slave). Insulted, he has one of his henchmen go and get Jesse. While they are getting him Walt shuffles slowly closer toward the set of car keys and snags them. They bring Jesse in with his chains on his feet and hands, looking completely mutilated. Walt and Jesse finally stand there, face-to-face. Old partners, now enemies. Walt yells and he tackles Jesse to the ground while simultaneously pressing the button on the car keys. His car trunk pops open as the contraption pops out with the machine gun sitting on top. It starts spinning circular while firing endless rounds at the house. The henchmen outside is killed immediately as we see the other bullets tear through the walls of the house and run their course. Everyone falls the ground dead. After a minute or two the gun FINALLY comes to a halt. In the silence we see Walt get up slowly with a bullet in his side. Todd’s uncle lays with multiple bullets wounds but still breathing. We see Todd get up and go to the window to see who the shooter was, while he does this Jesse gets up from the ground and with the handcuffs around his hands, he strangles Todd to death. This was so uplifting for me considering Todd killed the young boy (which is what made Jesse so depressed in the first place) not to mention Todd also killed Jesse’s girlfriend…. so he kind of had it coming. While this is going on, Walt gets up and grabs a gun. He points it directly at Todd’s uncle who tries to desperately convince Walt otherwise. Only able to get a few words in before Walt shoots him in the head.
At this point everyone is dead besides Walt and Jesse. Walt slides the gun over to Jesse and tells him that his is what “he wants”. Jesse grabs the gun and hesitantly points it at Walt. Finally he lowers the gun and says “no you want this”…. “say you want this”. Walt does exactly that and Jesse leaves with a sense of relief. Getting into Walts car and driving off into the distance. Walt stands there, without the benefit of being killed. He wanted Jesse to take him out of this horrible life he has wound up with. But lucky for him, he’s already dying. As the blood continues to pour from him he makes his way to the Meth Lab that they had been using. He walks through it and looks on with reminiscent eyes. He places his hand on one of the machines, no longer able to keep himself up, before finally tumbling over. We hear the song “With the special love I had for you, my baby blue.”
This in a way concludes it all. Jesse gets away while Walt dies. But he didn’t die in sadness like I know a lot of people had hoped. He died in happiness with his one true love, Meth.
- The “Bad” Path to Sobriety & Wisdom: BREAKING BAD, Season 5, Episode 15 – “Granite State” (sobrietybytamingyourego.wordpress.com)
- Did Walt Win? (redappletvandfilm.wordpress.com)