The penultimate episode of Breaking Bad aired on Sunday, while it was winning multiple Emmys, and Major Spoilers is here to give you the full recap and review. And, as always, SPOILERS!
Aaron Paul’s performance
Break down of Walt
It’s almost over
Previously on Breaking Bad: Hank is dead. Jesse is a meth-cooking captive of Jack and his merry band of Neo-Nazis. Walt has destroyed his family but is now leaving Albuquerque. A pure batch of sadness.
IF I SAID YES…
The last image of last week’s episode of Breaking Bad “Ozymandias” we saw Walter White being driven away by Saul’s mysterious vacuum man who will hit the restart on a person’s life so they can avoid jail. When we began “Granite State” on Sunday we see this same red van pull into a vacuum repair shop and who should step out but everyone’s favorite criminal lawyer, Saul Goodman. It would appear that the heat of the Heisenberg/Walter White situation has became too much and Saul is ready to pack up, move to Nebraska, and hopefully be the manager of a Cinnabon. Walter isn’t ready to throw in the towel quite yet (big surprise there, huh?) even as he is whisked away to the winter wonder land of New Hampshire.
Meanwhile back in the Neo-Nazi compound, Jesse is still being forced to cook meth with Todd so that we can try and impress Lydia. Todd actually stands up to Uncle Jack when Jack realizes Jesse recorded a testimony telling how Todd killed Drew Sharp after their methylamine heist. Todd knows that he is not capable enough to produce the high quality of meth that Lydia and her overseas buyers grew to expect from a Heisenberg cook, but Jesse is. Jesse’s cooks of a 92% purity are high enough to keep Lydia from calling the operation off due to the Walter White investigation; greed is the downfall of almost every person on this show.
Jesse is not one to be kept down though and is able to escape from his bunker cell, only to be caught trying to climb the fence on his way to freedom. As he turns to face his tormentors he screams for them to just kill him now because he is done cooking for them. Not so fast say Jack and his horrible pack of murderers. In a scene that was soul crushing to watch, Todd walks up to Andrea and little Brock’s house and asks Andrea to come outside to see Jesse. Jesse is tied in the back of a truck where he is forced to witness Todd shoot Andrea point blank in the back on the head and then Jesse is reminded that Brock is still alive, forcing him to continue cooking to save his life.
Now we jump ahead what I’m guessing is around three months from that point as we are back with Walt in his mountain cabin as his body wastes away. The cancer and pour diet are deteriorating his body as it is clear that he has lost weight. Walt is craving human interaction so much that he pays the man who delivers him supplies once a month $10,000 to stay an extra hour and play cards. It is clear through these scenes that Walt has been reflecting on what he has done and I feel has started to feel remorse. How could he not? He became so blinded by power and greed that he completely lost sight of his original goal in cooking meth: providing for his family when he is gone. Now he is essentially gone, but he isn’t able to provide for his family because the feds will surely seize any extra flow of cash that his family receives. Worse yet, he isn’t dead but can’t even be with his family.
WOULD YOU BELIEVE ME?
In a final ditch effort to help his family, Walt hikes the eight miles to the closest town to try and secretly send his family 100 thousand dollars. Walt was able to make discrete contact with Flynn (Walt Jr.), that was until Flynn decided to let his dad know exactly how he feels about him and his money by asking, “Why aren’t you dead yet?” Walt is ready to give up at this point; his neither wants him nor his money so why keep this up? He dials the DEA, says he is Walter White, lets the phone hand down, walks over to get a drink while waiting to be arrested. Walt is lower than we have ever seen him before because all that he has done means nothing. People have died and lives have been ruined over the last two years with no “positive” gain to show. But, the selfish, prideful Walter White doesn’t stay away long as an interview with Gretchen and Elliott Schwartz of Grey Matter is playing on TV in which they discredit all involvement Walt had with the company, besides the name of course. As the music that all viewers recognize from the show opening begins to play, police barge into the bar only to find Walt’s glass sitting on the counter. It truly was a remarkable scene that needed no more explanation than showing his owner-less glass because we all know where Walt is headed and what his first two moves will be.
The question every Breaking Bad viewer has to ask themselves is, “Should I root for a man who is planning on murdering other human beings?” The dichotomy of what is essentially the foundation of Breaking Bad has never been more evident than it has been in these final episodes; for how long will an audience root for the main character anti-hero? For me, I stopped rooting for Walt many episodes ago. I have to fight the feelings to start once again after every heartfelt plea for others to make sure his family is taken care of and I do that by reminding myself of all the selfish decisions he has made completely disregarding his family. Through a majority of this show it was clear that Walt was making choices that were not in the best interest of his family but for his own prideful wants. This is the reason he is going back to Albuquerque, not so that he can protect his family, but for his pride that was hurt by his former partner tearing down his reputation and his accomplishments and because Jack and his crew bested him and took his money.
BOTTOM LINE: THERE WILL BE BLOOD
At this point it’s not a question of who might die, it is a question of how many will die. With Todd clearly ready to kill anyone necessary to keep Jesse cooking so that he might impress the up-tight Lydia and Walt ready to kill all of Jack’s gang for killing Hank and taking his money, there is certain to be much blood shed in Breaking Bad’s final episode. How the show will fit all that in while wrapping up an entire television show will be a fantastic, fast paced viewing that I’m sure will leave viewers satisfied even though one of the greatest shows ever on television is ending.