All The Feels: ‘Breaking Bad’ Finale [SPOILERS]
It’s finally over, guys. It’s okay, we’re here for you. Let’s talk about it. Together.
Five years of perhaps the greatest television writing of our lifetime has all culminated to this. The final episode of Vince Gillian‘s Shakespearean masterpiece, Breaking Bad, wrapped up last night and it was everything a fan of the show could want and more. Every line of dialogue was expertly crafted by the writers and delivered pitch perfect by the actors. Every shot was perfectly framed with purpose and intent. It was glorious. It was beautiful. It was some of the greatest character-driven storytelling that any of us will ever experience unless someone, somehow, finds a way to top this masterpiece.
But enough gushing. Here’s some random observations and musings I had from throughout the episode. Feel free to share your own in the comments below.
Fe Li Na.That was the title of the finale. Fe = Iron. Li = Meth. Na = Sodium. Blood, meth, tears. Also an anagram for finale. Kind of poetic how that all worked out.
“Just get me home and I’ll take care of the rest.” Walt’s plea to God, or the universe, or himself, or whoever, as he hides in the car he’s about to steal while cops close in on the bar that he just fled. I translated that into “Get me home and I’ll make everything right again. I’ll pay for my sins. Just give me one last chance to make everything right.”
Donna Bowman of The AV Club said: ”We’ve all been asking ourselves what we want from this show. I’ve tried not to commit myself in writing to wanting anything, beyond Jesse’s getting out alive, because more than anything I wanted to let Vince Gilligan take us where he wanted us to go. But now I can say what I wanted. I wanted the special thrill that comes when the forces of luck and the forces of human will coincide to make miracles happen. And on this show, that has happened to Walt again and again in the service of his own ego. The end has been dreadful, but the means have been intoxicating. When Walt pounded the window of that stolen car with his fist, causing the snow to fall away, it was like the Fonz thumping the jukebox: a moment of supreme efficacy, endorsed by the universe. That’s what I wanted, one last time. And there it is. I’m grateful.”
That pounding-the-window moment was magical. The confidence, you could just see his ego swell and his spirits rise. Such a small scene on paper, but Bryan Cranston killed it.
This version’s pretty good too.
Oh, Huell. What happened to that guy?
When Marie calls Skylar to warn her about Walt. The split second she evokes Hank’s name and gets all choked up: SO GOOD! But then we cut back to Skylar in her sad little kitchen and the camera pans to reveal Walt hidden behind a beam. This entire scene was beautiful. You could tell that even after everything, she still loved for him. And Walt finally admitting that everything he did, he did for himself!!! Fucking redemption. Lots of silent acting. I always love when actors can speak volumes with just their faces. I just kept hoping he would steal a kiss, or that Skylar would offer one, or he’d tell her he loved her or something, but I’m a big fat sappy jerk.
It’s almost like he let his own confession just pour over him like a baptism. His conscience is finally cleansed.
Walt Junior’s rebellious new fashion sense. Dark hoodie. Camo pants. Boots. Super angsty. Poor kid. It really sucks he’ll never know the full story of everything that his father went through for his sake (well, until his stupid dumb ego got in the way and ruined everything). Pretty much everyone in this show gets some sort of closure, but poor Flynn has to go on believing that his father murdered his Uncle Hank. And the kicker is, his mom knows that he really didn’t, but it’s a secret that she’ll have to live with for the rest of her life. Heavy stuff.
Badger and Skinny Pete, yo! God DAMN it was good to see those guys one last time. Having their farewell scene be one last job for Walt was just icing on the cake. The fact that the job was shining laser pointers into Gretchen and Elliott Schwartz’s mansion so that they’d think hired hitmen were pointing sniper rifles at them, well, that was the sweet creamy center.
And speaking of the Gretchen and Elliott scene…
The Gretchen and Elliott scene. Walt lurking in the shadows, calming walking through their front door like he owned the place, just admiring everything, more of that silent acting stuff and Crantson brought the goods.
There’s a particular shot where Gretchen and Elliott are in the kitchen and Walt is right around the corner just looking at their framed photos lining a shelf. I’m not sure this was intentional (I’d like to think it was), but the scene almost felt like Walt was in museum looking at a display of what the perfect life would be like — what he could have had if things went differently.
What do you think Todd was about to say? “Jesus. Mr. White -” and before he can say another word, Jesse is strangling the living shit out of Todd’s creepy ass. But what the hell could he have possibly said!? “Mr. White, I think something’s wrong with your car.” “Mr. White, is that a robot?” Dude, your uncle and all of your friends are dead as shit! And I love how he still has the manners to call him “Mr. White.” Just another weird quirk of the character, but you’d think he’d have the sense of mind to, like, get a gun and make a last stand or something.
His ringtone for Lydia was pretty dope though.
“Then do it yourself.” So glad to see Jesse refuse to be manipulated one last time. I feel like when he took off the chains that Todd had him in, it was symbolic of him removing the chains that Walt’s had on him all this time.
And holy SHIT this dude totally had this coming!
That’s right. Don’t even let him finish his sentence. I wonder how they pulled off the blood splatter gag. Think it was done in the scene or somehow edited in during post?
The rest of it. While the majority of the episode was a slow building swell of perfection, pretty much everything that happened during and after the trunk-gun incident was just a rapid fire succession of greatness. Walt telling Lydia about the ricin, Jesse and Walt’s subtle nod before they part ways. Walt basking in his self-perceived excellence as he admires the meth lab.
And my God the mirror imagery!
Everyone in this episode truly was a shadow of their former selves.
All in all, it was a brilliantly executed send-off to one of televisions few true masterpieces. Walter White was a man who let his creation destroy his life, so he used the time he had left to redeem himself. In the end, it was his creation of redemption (the trunk-gun) that did him in.
Everything was perfect and everything and I wanted. Even the final scene and the song that accompanied it.
It also reminded me of Lost, which is never a bad thing.
Vince Gilligan and everyone involved with the show really should be proud of themselves. They’ve managed to create something that set the bar for mainstream entertainment and I can’t wait to see what comes along to top it.
And just because, here’s my favorite Breaking Bad .GIF ever.