So That ‘Breaking Bad’ Finale

September 30th, 2013 // 43 Comments
Walt White and Jesse Pinkman in a promotional photo for Breaking Bad


SPOILERS, BITCH.

Before I jump into Kim Kardashian‘s tits – Coming up next on The Superficial. Stick around! – I thought I’d drop a thread here for everyone to laud/bitch about/meticulously dissect instead of doing work because fuck that last night’s final episode of Breaking Bad. As for my own analysis, there are people doing a much better job of that out there, so I’ll just fart out some quick thoughts:

1. Walt hiding in the snow-covered car. This is one of those clever little moments that the show has been full of, so no wonder it takes them 12 goddamn days to come up with each episode.

2. Gretchen and Elliot. My theory was Walt would poison himself than take the machine gun to gun down Gray Matter completely forgoing the Nazis and die on his own terms. What actually happened worked better because I write penis jokes underneath Britney Spears for a living.

3. The ricin. I like how they got the mystery of this out of the way early because the Internet had speculated the fuck out of it, and last week’s episode had dropped a rather large hint. Now it was a matter of who the gun’s for which became immediately clear and freed the viewer from guessing and just letting the story reach its natural conclusion.

4. “I did it for me.” BOOM. Perfect exchange.

5. The final moment with Holly. This tips my hand a little bit, but dusty, so dusty in here…

6. The showdown with the Nazis. I wasn’t entirely on-board with how Walt managed to talk his way into not getting shot in the head by a guy who likes shooting people in the head, but this A.V Club rundown summed up Walter White’s ability to see the predictable patterns of people.

7. Everything with Jesse was played very low-key and natural. The nod was perfect, everything was good, and then the entire show turned into a prequel for Need For Speed. GODDAMN YOU, GILLIGAN!

8. I’m sure a lot of people expected Walt to go out like a badass (Or choking Skylar, you sick fucks.), but seeing him slump over dead in a meth lab with a smile on his face was the ending I don’t think anyone saw coming and would have a hard time arguing wasn’t the right one.

I actually enjoyed the shit out of the penultimate episode, “Granite State”, because Robert Forster is the goddamn tits, so the finale already had the task of.. “topping” Max Cherry. – *pours ricin in own coffee* – and it delivered. Granted, the show had dropped clues that things would end very badly ala Scarface, and that was even the pitch, “From Mr. Chips to Scarface,” but it brilliantly eschewed all that for a smooth, methodical ending where everything just clicked into place. Also, Vince Gilligan owes the writers of Dexter‘s final season money because, Jesus Christ, did they tee it up for him. All Walter White had to do was not drive a boat into a hurricane and return as the Brawny man and people wouldn’t have smashed their TVs in a violent rage. Minus me though because I, like a lot of the Internet, was really heartset on Walt going into witness protection and fathering Frankie Muniz. Or revealing his name really is Walt Whitman, and his father’s name was Dick. Then again, that would’ve necessitated Walt using his hereditarily large penis to kill Uncle Jack and blah blah blah censors. Thank God for fan-fiction. Which I will now write.

Photo: AMC

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  1. wtf

    i am satisfied. nice package, nice bow, the end.

  2. Really?

    Actually the final shot was a call back to the final shot of the episode where Walt is going to get their money and run from Gus only to find out that Skylar had given it all to Ted to pay his IRS bill. Walt laughs hysterically in the hole of the crawl space but suddenly just stops and lays there in a perfect imitation of what this final shot ended up being.

  3. renotastic

    97%. Would be 100, but that wasn’t the stock watch strap on his Heuer Monaco.

  4. I am not going to lye. I shed some man tears last night. And Walt was able to come back looking like a bad ass yet again and go out with some thunder.

  5. Masterful. Plain and simple. A Tony Montana-like ending would’ve cheapened the whole show.

    • Inner Retard

      Just noticed what you wrote. I only have one thing to say: Get out of my head Dekker! Get out of my head!!!

  6. Fucking fantastic finale! I loved it

  7. brick

    So? Best series ever? Better than The Wire?

    I can’t decide….and don’t care to. : )

    • CtF

      Between this and Game of Thrones (plus many others I can’t think of or haven’t seen), we truly are in a golden age of television. Shows like this seem to offer the indication that movies are no longer the ultimate source of incredible stories and characters. They simply can’t compete with the time allotted to the TV shows while trying to cram everything into, at most, three hours. Even trilogies struggle to achieve the depth that television is achieving today. It’s a very interesting time to be into mass-media!

  8. Inner Retard

    Loved the quiet subltety of this episode. So glad they didn’t go for the full ‘Say hello to my little friend!’ shootout ending. Already nothing could top the phone call scene two episodes ago. The only way they could follow up that was exactly the way they went out. A quiet but powerful resolution.

    • Inner Retard

      One more thought. I would have liked to see Walt live (for however long) and give himself up to take responsibility for his action. He was already realizing that his actions were wrong no matter how he tried to explain it. So, why not let him complete this realization to the fullest.

      • AWOL

        Had he not taken a bullet, that was the last step of the plan.

      • BlinkyTheFish

        Really? I saw it as Walt just ‘cleaning’ up so that his family wouldn’t have to suffer (anymore) for what he did and working it so that his family would have money without knowing it was from him, but I’m glad VG actually had Walt admit he liked what he did, was good at it, and that it made him feel alive – yeah, maybe it sucked that a nobody actually found the thing he was good at was illegal as anything, but at the same time I can’t deny the character the right to feel pretty good about being good at it, no matter how morally repugnant it might be in reality. I figured the only ‘right’ way for him to go was die, but I didn’t really want him repenting because I didn’t think he was repentant – and I never saw BB as a morality tale anyway. And I’m glad there was no Scarface style ending for him, like the other poster said. He oddly enough got a quiet death in the end (as in he had his moment with the cooking gear and died on his own). It fit, just the way Mackey’s ending in The Shield fit – all that lying and not admitting, even to himself, that he liked the power, and just ending in the purgatory of paper-pushing cop for life because he was in the end too cowardly to die (although him looking at his gun in the desk at the end made me sort of think there was a suggestion of him killing himself).

  9. malaka

    there was a little bit of a stretch / stroke of luck / coincidences maybe even plot holes etc.
    involving the whole scene with the nazis.
    how they pretty much played right into walt’s hands and somehow allowed him to recover the car keys.
    how the auto-remote m60 concoction worked almost perfectly.
    how that todd bitch just stood up and just looked out the window right after his entire crew just got massacred.
    how heisenberger is such a bawss that he can just walk it off after taking a light machine gun round to his abdomen right up until the final scene. (its not over until he decides its over).

    all things considered, i thought this was one of the best series finales i’ve ever seen.
    he completely played the billionaires. he spanked that lydia bitch.
    he saved jesse. and he vanquished the shit out of the worst antagonists in the story.
    all in all, he could’ve died several years ago and many of these fictional characters would (in theory) still be alive. but what fun would that have been?

    Emeth. you know its the bomb because its blue, bitch!

    • guy smith

      These aren’t plotholes, These are just things you didn’t like.

    • DaveG

      He’s always had a massive amount of luck and coincidence on his side, it’s the nature of fiction of course but it’s never been too reliant on it.

      He even talks to his luck or maybe even his ‘writers’ in the snow covered car as the police are around. ‘Just get me back and I’ll do the rest’. Like he needs those little bits of help from fate and then once he’s there he creates his own.

      Awesomeness agogo.

      • Consider that for 50 years of his life his “luck” hadn’t been running too well. He took a patent buyout for $5000 and then saw his colleagues get beyond filthy rich. Although he’d contributed to Nobel Prize-winning research, he was reduced to teaching brain-dead high school students and cleaning their car wheels to make ends meet. His only child had cerebral palsy and his health insurance wasn’t going to cover shit when it came to his cancer treatments. So outside of his having a family that he loved, and that who loved him (which is no mean thing), not so much going on in that luck department.

        Also, take into consideration that unlike most of the stumbling idiots who were shown cooking meth, he didn’t use it. That “massive amount of luck” he had in getting away with it is due in a good part to rationality and his intelligence being unimpaired – as well as utter ruthlessness in dealing with anyone who could endanger him and using whatever circumstance presented itself to his advantage. Based on that, Walt really made his own luck, so I don’t think the writers were overly reliant on unrealistic saves.

  10. Heisenberg, not Heisenberger. Bitch.

  11. JC

    Loved it, but I’m left with one nagging thing: Why did Walt bother to kill Lydia? The reason to kill the Nazis was clear, but unless I’m forgetting a major plot point, I don’t remember Lydia ever really betraying Walt in a serious way. (Basically telling Todd to kill him doesn’t really count, since she’d already been Ricin’d before that.) Was it just because she was a pain in the ass?

    Granted, I’m not really bothered by it because (a) the actress is hot and I liked seeing her again, and (b) I don’t value human life, but I’m still a little confused.

    • Lydia was the distributor of the Heisenberg quality, blue meth that Todd and Jesse cooked up. Also, she was aware of Skyler and could be a threat to her if Skyler decided to spill.

      • TheCynic

        Wouldn’t it have been better for Walt to have not killed Lydia, and given her name to Skyler as another bargaining chip with the DEA? This would’ve also implicated Madrigal and made the investigation much bigger, which would’ve given Skyler a lot stronger hand to play. Lydia had no one to protect her once Walt took out Todd. Great ending though.

      • BlinkyTheFish

        I don’t think Walt wanted Skyler to go through any more crap than he had put her through. Getting rid of everyone just meant his family might actually have a chance of moving on. He already gave Skyler her guaranteed bargaining chip with the lottery/gps chit. Lydia alive would have meant complications – she might have been hysterical but she already proved she was happy to have people killed to make more money or save her ass.

    • The three “masked men” threatened Holly and Skyler on behalf of Lydia (the woman in the car wash) after Walter left. I assume he figured that even with the Nazis gone Lydia would just find someone else to threaten Walt’s family to protect herself.

    • BBad

      Dude, Lydia sent the Nazis to the White residence to threaten Skyler… That right there would drive a sane man crazy.

      • wtf

        wasn’t that todd that told them to threaten Sky? Lydia I don’t think had anything to do with that? Bitch.

      • Really?

        If I’m not mistaken Lydia wanted them to kill Skylar, Todd threatened her because of his respect for Walt. Lydia constantly was about killing anyone who could implicate her, so even if Walt had left her name as a bargaining chip, there’s no saying that Lydia wouldn’t have hired another hitman to go after Sky and his family when she heard what had happened, she tried to have Mike killed after all for not having his own men killed.

      • Dead Lydia

        Lydia wanted her dead not warned. She wasn’t entirely happy with Todd letting Skylar off with a warning. Wasn’t too hard for Walt to figure that out when Skylar told him of the visit to Holly’s room. Perfect ending for Lydia.

    • Lydia was always out to protect herself, and Walt knew that. She was ready to have Mike’s guys killed off because she felt threatened with them knowing who she was, and Walt reappearing made her nervous enough to want him killed off immediately. She was waiting for confirmation of the kill, and if Walt didn’t poison her first, she would have just found someone else to go after Walt and his family.

  12. KevCor21

    R.I.P Walter Hartwell White (Aged 52)
    Estranged Husband
    Despised Father
    Inventor Of The Exploding Grandpa
    Professional Pizza Thrower
    Fedora Enthusiast
    Breakfast Aficionado
    Mentor & Educator
    Meth Kingpin

    “you will always be the one who knocks, most likely in tighty whiteys!”

  13. TheCynic

    The one thing I guess that bothered me was the lack of a final scene with Walt Jr. and Walt. I know Walt tried to communicate with him and it didn’t go well, but it seemed Jr. could’ve seen him one last time even if they didn’t talk.

    • CtF

      From Walt’s perspective, it would’ve been nice, but it was one plot element that couldn’t be resolved. If Walt had interacted with Jr., Jr would have been hostile and angry. Walt didn’t want this for his son, so he settled for watching through the neighbor’s laundry room. You could see that it was tearing him apart not to go to him, but it was really his only choice. If Jr. had forgiven him or allowed him back into his life, even to say goodbye, it would’ve been “tying it up in a neat little bow” as the saying goes. I, for one, am glad things with his family ended the way they did for Walt.

  14. JPC

    Personally, I thought it was too much of a “happy” (and predictable) ending for a show that liked to just tear apart your soul and be unpredictable.

    -Walt’s family gets his money without knowing it’s from him, so they don’t have the guilt of taking blood money.
    - All the bad guys (and gal) die.
    - Jesse walks away
    -Walt dies on his own terms.

    Is this the same show that shot poor little Drew Sharp in the face? Remember that mind-fuck, right after pulling off the awesome train robbery? Is this the same show that made you legitimately think that at any time, someone might kill a fucking baby?

    I think Gilligan fell into the trap of trying to leave the fans “satisfied” with the ending, when that has never been the type of show this was. The finale should have left people destroyed and thinking “Holy shit, what the fuck just happened?,” not “Oh, I’m glad everything worked out!”

    • CtF

      All of the “holy shit, what the fuck just happened?!” stuff already happened, really. The finale and, to some extent, the penultimate episode simply followed all of the other amazing plot-twists and brilliantly fucked-up moments to their conclusions. I’m glad the writers didn’t try to throw in an extra plot twist at the end as that would have cheapened everything they worked so hard to build.

      • JPC

        It wouldn’t be a “plot twist” to not have everything work out the way Walt wanted, and have him be redeemed in the eyes of the viewers. If anything, the ending that happened is the real “twist” that takes away from what the show has been doing for five seasons. Gilligan had done everything possible of the course of this series to show the viewers that Walt was never the “good” man he claimed to be, and that he didn’t deserve to “win,” only to have him go out the hero in his perfectly executed plan.

    • Proud Yankee

      Yup, everything worked out so perfectly. Hank is dead, Jesse’s been mentally and physically tortured, and Walt goes to the grave with the last question his son asking him being “Why aren’t you dead?” This sort of romanticized storybook ending just pisses me off.

      I mean, for the show to end this way after 5 super-realistic seasons of Walt going from working at the car wash to the greatest drug lord in the southwest, dispatching every single person who got in his way, it’s just such a letdown.

      • JPC

        It’s as much of a “storybook ending” as you could possibly have given the events prior to the finale. Essentially, everything happened exactly the way Walt wanted it to happen. He accomplished everything that he wanted to do from the moment he left New Hampshire.

  15. Eejut

    Somebody needs to feed Huell.

  16. I look forward to seeing your fan-fiction turned into Fifty Shards of Meth.

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