Warning: Major spoilers follow.
If you weren’t watching the Emmy’s Sunday night, chances were you were tuning into the penultimate episode of “Breaking Bad.”
As expected, it didn’t let fans down.
The episode answers a lot of our questions from the flash forward at the beginning of the season. We find out exactly how Walt gets to New Hampshire, the Granite State (the title of the episode), how he receives the glasses he’s now wearing, and see his hair grow back.
These are the moments everyone will be talking about from Sunday’s episode.
Walt’s nearly epic scene with Saul
Walt tells Saul his plan to kill Jack and his crew. When Saul tells him that’s a poor idea and that it’s all over, the scene begins to play out like an earlier one from season five in which Walt says “It’s not over … until I say it’s over.” This time, Walt gets halfway through the phrase before he has a coughing fit, making viewers think it’s over when Walt’s cancer says it’s over.
Skyler gets interrogated by the cops.
Skyler’s opening scene is a near mirror of Walt’s from season 1 when he learns he’s diagnosed with cancer. She’s shell shocked and unsure of how to proceed now that everything is crumbling around both her and Walt.
Her monologue here shows why she won the Emmy for Best Supporting Actress Sunday night:
“I understand I’m in terrible trouble. I understand that you will use everything in your power against me and my children unless … unless I give you Walt. But the truth is, I can’t give you what you want. I don’t know where he is.”
Todd and his uncles break into Walt’s house and threaten Skyler
Though they don’t harm Skyler or her daughter Holly, every moment they’re in the home is incredibly uncomfortable as they threaten Walt’s wife to not testify against Lydia. Of course, we find out this is Lydia’s doing and that she wants Skyler dead and gone.
Jesse escapes from the makeshift meth lab!
He uses a paperclip to uncuff himself and cleverly makes it to the top of his cage, dangling, before escaping …
… but then gets caught.
Jesse’s punishment — Watching the other love of his life die.
Lesson learned: Don’t cross Todd and his Nazi uncles.
Walt nearly gives up and turns himself in …
After his son disowns him in a last effort phone call, Walt’s defeated. He gives the DEA a call to surrender offering his name, and then sits at a bar taking in one last drink ready to surrender.
As Vince Gilligan says in a behind-the-scenes video, “That was Walt’s last shot” at making amends with his family.
… but then sees a report on television from old friends Elliott and Gretchen that changes his mind.
Walt sees his former friends discuss their company Grey Matter Technologies and dismiss him from any involvement with the company.
“I have to believe that the investing public understands that we’re talking about a person who was there early on, but who had virtually nothing to do with the creation of the company and still less to do with growing it into what it is today.”
Instead, Elliot suggests Walt’s biggest contribution to Grey Matter was helping to create its name.
Gretchen adds, “Whatever he became … the kind, sweet brilliant man we once knew … is gone.”
Immediately, Walt is back in action. He’s not going down without a fight. When the police finally enter the bar, no one’s there.
What to take away from the episode’s shocking end:
White is going full Heisenberg. There is no more Walter White.
At the end of this episode, the series really comes full circle. For about four seasons we forgot what this show was about. It’s not really about Walt making money for his family (though that was a valid reason Walt used to come up with for making meth at the time). From early in season one, we learn this is about Walt’s ego and his pride. Selling his shares in Grey Matter for $US5,000, the now billion dollar company he helped co-found, was his biggest life regret. Walt’s empire as Heisenberg, the reason he didn’t stop making money once he reached $US737,000 was to fill the void that Grey Matter left. He wanted to create something of importance, something as memorable as Grey Matter which would make people “remember his name.”
Walt was ready to give up and surrender to the cops. But it seems there will be no redemption for Walter White.
Cranston explains the reasoning behind Walt’s decision in a behind-the-scenes look at the episode.
“That gets up my ire … the tail feathers,” says Cranston. “And it’s like … nope. Maybe the best thing is to not give up quietly. Maybe the best thing is to go out loudly.
Gilligan adds, “His tank is empty. He’s running on fumes. That little bit of righteous indignation, that anger he feels hearing this propels him out that barroom door.”
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