Breaking Bad is typically regarded as one of the greatest television shows of all time. From the acting, the direction, and the writing. It’s essentially perfect. I finally took it upon myself to watch the show. I watched the entire show in the span of about three weeks to catch up to the final episode. I could go on and on about everything about this show, from the twists and turns it takes, to the psychology of the characters, etc. Everyone has already done that and everybody is already about to write about what I’m going to talk about. The ending. Going into the episode, I didn’t really have much of an idea of how it was going to end. Would Walt die? I wasn’t entirely sure and going into it, I actually didn’t want him to but it was truthfully the only way. The episode actually began to worry me as it closed in on the last 15 minutes. I was really scared it wouldn’t satisfy me. It wouldn’t close everything that needed to be closed. I was wrong.
To start from the beginning, Walt is at a gas station, on a pay phone, posing as a New York Times journalist. He uses this to get the address of Elliott and Gretchen Schwartz. Now, I didn’t know where they were going with this. I was sure he wasn’t going to kill them. That would be silly and pointless. He arrives there and gives them the rest of his money, he then explains that he wants them to give it to Walt Jr. as a “donation” on his 18th birthday. To make his point for sure, he has “two assassins” point their “guns” from a distance. They ended up being the most amazing thing I didn’t expect. Fucking Badger and Skinny Pete. This is why this show is awesome. It decides to bring back two characters, who no way in hell had to be there. It was hilarious and just awesome.
We also see Jesse. And this is another amazing part. They make a fantastic call back to a story Jesse tells in his group sessions about making a wooden box, we see him make the box. It is sending chills down my spine at this point, it was such a beautiful, pure moment. And then it cuts to him still being a slave to the Neo-Nazi group, it was so tastefully done.
Walt knows that Jesse is still alive and cooking for the Neo-Nazi group. He crashes one of Todd and Lydia’s meetings in a coffee shop, it leads nowhere but was just a way for Walt to somehow slip ricin into her drink. Afterwards, he visits Skyler and gives her the lotto ticket with the location of Hank and Gomez’s bodies. But, the most important, key moment of this scene is Walt’s final realization, he says it aloud, “It was for me, I liked it.” He finally realizes that he enjoyed cooking meth, it became his love, and the thing he cared most about as well as to what led him to his downward spiral. This self-realization was just incredible and instantly reminded me of This Side of Paradise by F. Scott Fitzgerald and the ending of that novel. Completely different story but I felt the aspect of self-realization was similar.
Walt arrives at the Neo-Nazi’s group compound and has a set-up in his car with a gun to activate by clicking a button on his car keys. He tackles Jesse to the ground to keep him safe, keep him from getting hurt, he didn’t have to. If anything, he could have had Jesse died all the same. It shows that after all this time, Walt still cares for Jesse. Jesse kills Todd by choking him with the chains he has been on for some time now, a beautiful, but brutal death for a character who definitely deserved it. Walt is significantly injured and is going to die. But, he gives Jesse an opportunity to kill him. Jesse eventually refuses and tells Walt, “To do it yourself.” I liked this moment a lot, it shows that Jesse is done. He doesn’t want to kill anyone anymore, he just wants to get the fuck out of here. Move on. Lydia calls Todd’s phone. Walt answers it and tells him she is dying from the ricin. Jesse speeds away in a car, happier than ever. A deserving ending, a happy one. Walt explores the meth lab set up, he looks around as “Baby Blue” by Badfinger plays with incredible fitting lyrics:
Guess I got what I deserved
Kept you waiting there too long, my love
All that time without a word
Didn’t know you’d think that I’d forget or I’d regret
The special love I had for you, my baby blue
The police are rushing in. Walt gives a look at his last love, all he has left at this point, the love of cooking meth. Still, after everything he has done, the horrible things, the good things, I still care for him. His death is sad. He falls to the ground and the shot is a near exact copy of the incredible moment in the season 4 episode, “Crawl Space” where he is laughing psychotically when he finds out the money is gone. One of the best parallels I’ve seen. And then, it was over. An amazing ending for an amazing show. One with such incredible depth, acting, and everything beyond. You could write for days about Walter White and the psychology of his character. This show is special. And its amazing to me that it took me this long to watch it. A masterpiece. A golden piece of television, we may never get something as good for a very long time, if ever.