Last night’s final episode ever of “Breaking Bad” left few questions unanswered. Vince Gilligan, the drama’s creator, acted like a show running Michael Corleone and settled all White family business before the credits hit the screen. There’s no room left to speculate about how Walt somehow escaped to Tijuana or Skyler is now running Ted’s old company. Gilligan, who wrote and directed “Felina”, created satisfying last goodbyes with each of our favorite pieces in Walt’s life.
The show kicked off with Walt finding an unlocked Volvo in the middle of a New Hampshire blizzard. Walt goes to work trying to hot wire the car when flashing police lights turn on behind him. At that moment he asks for one more chance. He knows what he has to do, and if he gets out of this jam then he’ll make it all right. His prayers are answered as the police drive by the car en route to a call and the car keys end up being poorly hidden in the sun visor.
Before Walt arrives home he makes a late night stop at the Schwartz’s place in the canyon. Walt uses his Heisenberg abilities in getting the address of the home from the Schwartz’s assistant who falls for him pretending to be a reporter from the New York Times. Walt walks into the house with unclear intentions. We know how angry he gets about people taking credit for his work.
There are some tense moments in the house, especially when Walt faces down the business end of a paring knife, but he has no plans to hurt them. He needs them to set up an irrevocable trust for Walter Junior, and leaves the bulk of the money on their coffee table. In order to insure the trust is set up Walt hires two hit men who paint the Schwartz’s with the laser sights from their guns.
If Walt’s orders aren’t followed to the letter than the hit men will finish the contract and kill them when they least expect it. Only after Walt leaves do we get to see the hit men, played by Skinny Pete and Badger. They used laser lights to simulate the hit men. Both men feel kind of slimy about being apart of the deal until Walt pays them off. In the end it was a proper goodbye for Pete and Badger.
One scene of signature “Breaking Bad” intensity occurred in Skyler White’s new kitchen. Skyler takes a call from a frantic Marie, who she obviously is still having issues with. Walt was seen back in town, and now the DEA is watching all of them again until he turns up. Marie is adamant in thinking Walt will contact one of them.
In a great bit of directing the thoughts of Marie are given real credence as the camera reveals Walt’s already in the kitchen. In a great piece of perspective, Walt was hidden behind a kitchen pylon.
I won’t cheapen it trying to recap it, but it was a tragic moment. In many ways Walt just needed to see Holly one more time before starting a mission he knew was a one-way trip. He doesn’t try to have a last moment with Walter Junior, now going by Flynn again, who already rebuffed him on the phone. Instead he just watches him from afar come off the bus and walk home. Walt watched him through a window, and it almost took on the feel of a looking glass. As if Walt was watching the scene from miles away. He had gone so far from a man who could just admire his son returning home from school. He’s the great Heisenberg, and he’s got things left to do.
The set up of his plan starts with an ambush of Lydia and Todd at their regular coffee meet up. He tells them he has a plan to make meth without all the chemicals normally called for. There is obviously tension from the talk, but Lydia agrees to let Walt teach his new method to Uncle Jack before filling her cup with the lone packet of Stevia. We find out later the packet she uses is actually the ricin Walt grabbed from his house. We first met Lydia and her Stevia obsession when she threatened Mike at a diner. There wasn’t a more just way for a hated character like her to go out then death by natural sweetener.
Walt now has an invite to Uncle Jack’s place but before he gets there we see him working in the desert with a garage door opener and his menacing machine gun. Jessie meanwhile is still being forced to make meth for the gang, and has turned to daydreaming to escape his horrible predicament. Lydia makes it clear to Todd at the coffee shop that they are inviting Walt up just to kill him. He isn’t someone they want to do business with. We know Walt wants the same thing, so the whole scene is a giant standoff.
Right before Jack executes Walt there is a discussion of Jessie. Walt says Jack lied to him by not fulfilling his contract and killing Jessie. And to make matters worse, Jack is now partnering up with Jessie. Jack is offended, as most white supremacists are thin skinned, and insists Jessie is brought into the room to back him up. As bring up a chained and bearded Jessie, Walt slowly makes his way to get a hand on his keys. Attached to the chain is the garage door opener we saw him fiddling with earlier.
Jessie arrives and there is a quick bit of anger between the men, and then Walt tackles Jessie is a fit of rage. Just as they hit the ground Walt pushes the garage button and the gun, now placed in his trunk, roars to life. The entire room is strafed with machine gun fire that kills everyone in the room except Walt, Jessie, and Todd. Walt’s super intelligence works again. Todd survives for a moment to see the gun smoking outside before Jessie meads out justice, and in a call back to season one strangles Todd with his chained hands. Good riddance to Todd and his family.
This leaves Jessie and Walt alone in the room. Walt slides his gun towards Jessie, and the intention is clear. Walt has ended the demon he created, and now he wants Jessie to shoot him. In the end Jessie doesn’t want to kill him, and notices that Walt already has a mortal looking wound in his side. Jessie leaves the compound in a fast car, and Walt takes one more walk through a meth lab.
Earlier Walt told Skyler the real admission of the series. He didn’t do everything for the family as he said before, but for himself. Being Heisenberg was about the actualization of his life, and nothing else. When he cooked meth he felt alive for the first time ever. In many ways the meth lab was his temple or church. It was where he felt the closest to what he always wanted to be.
As Walt admired the room, and drank in the familiar seat of power his attention turned to a giant cooking drum. As he placed a hand on steel casing the flash of police lights hit behind him. Before they arrive though Walt has already fallen dead in the middle of the lab. The camera slowly pulls up into the sky, and we get a clear picture of the life Walter White lived. There wasn’t going to be a scene of Walt drinking Pina Coladas in South America. This is how everyone who dealt with meth ends up. There is no escaping it.
Meth can make you rich, feel alive, and change your life, but in the end it will kill you. Walt died a family man who in the end will provide for his family. That’s all he ever really wanted. We got a complete ending to an amazing story. That’s all we ever really wanted.