I was alive; A review of the Breaking Bad Series finale

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There’s always gonna be people who say, “Oh X is the best show on television,” and when they say it it’s not entirely true. They’re just on this high from the thrill of the most recent episode. However when you say, “Breaking Bad is the best show on television,” you could very well be telling the truth.

Last night marked the end of an era. It marked the end of Breaking Bad, it marked the end of Heisenberg and the impact he has had on people in and out of this show, it marked the end of what will go down as one of the greatest shows in the history of television.

I thought last night was perfect. It could not have ended in a more fitting way. In order to breakdown this final episode titled, “Felina,” (If you break it down you get Fe, Li, and Na which is iron, lithium, and sodium, which could be translated into blood, meth, and tears… Or it could be an anagram for “Finale,” but who knows) I’m going to take it practically scene by scene.

THIS A WARNING RIGHT HERE AND NOW THAT THE FOLLOWING WILL CONTAIN ***SPOILERS*** FOR THE FINALE AND THIS SEASON IN GENERAL. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.

I loved the cold opening (literally, the guy is in the middle of the winter in New Hampshire) in the car. If you’ve seen Terminator 2: Judgement Day (1991), then you may have had a chuckle at the key scene. I’m not sure if Walt was talking to the Heisenberg in him to, “Get him home, and he’ll do the rest,” or the other way around. Or perhaps he was talking to a higher being; but then again Walt’s never been a man of religion so who knows. It’s up to the viewer to decide.

The shot of Walt sitting on the bench as Elliot and Gretchen Schwartz walk by him is nothing short of terrifying. What was even more scary was the fact that the two of them were having this casual conversation as a man is in their home just looking at their pictures. One thing that was interesting to see in this scene was sort of a glimpse of the life Walt could have had if he did not sell his share of Grey Matter and stayed in the company. He could have had wealth and a happy family (which probably means a happier life). There was a lot of speculation as to whether or not Walt was going to kill Elliot and Gretchen, and I can honestly say I’m glad he did not. Instead he used them to satisfy one of the only needs he has had which is to get the 9ish million dollars to his family some way, despite Saul’s doubts. And nothing made me happier than to see Badger and Skinny Pete again. Something about knowing that they’re still out there screwing around makes me smile. However they lead Walt to figuring out Jesse is the cause of the blue meth still on the streets.

The flashback of Jesse almost had me in tears. Seeing him clean shaven and happy, making that box that he talked about in his group therapy session seasons ago. The sudden cut to him back in chains in the present day, disheveled and honestly looking like death was heart wrenching. Jesse was the one person in this show that I, 150%, yearned for to have a happy ending. I’ll touch on that in a bit don’t worry.

When Walt is back in his house getting the ricin pill and we have the flashback to his whole family in the living room and Hank tells him to come with him on a drug bust, it was nostalgic. To see the old Walt who was nothing but a friendly teacher and father, and compare that to what he has become. This also correlates with the scene he has with Skylar. First off, the shot of Skylar in the kitchen and then the camera moves forward to reveal Walt is with her is just amazing camera work. Anyway, after this conversation, I felt that Walt was truly ready to die. He finally admitted to Skylar and himself that he did everything for himself. Yes, he gave the money to his family. Yes He accomplished that goal. But he also filled this void in his life that he always felt missing. The feeling of being alive. After 5 seasons, Walter finally said it, and I feel that that was his full character arch for the entire series.

THANK GOD Lydia ricin pill. I really don’t have much else to say about that. She just needed to die. Probably my least favorite character on the show. Even Holly had a better story arch than her.

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The final scene at Uncle Jack’s camp ground was definitely the scene everyone had been waiting for. Walt tries to convince Uncle Jack that he can help out again with the meth empire and accuses Jack of partnering up with Jesse and betraying him. Now if you know Walter White, you know that he is a genius when it comes to getting into people’s heads. He knew Jack would bring Jesse face to face with him, and it was then that Walt tackled Jesse to protect him AS A FREAKING M60 POPS OUT FROM WALT’S TRUNK AND UNLOADS ON UNCLE JACK’S CREW.

After that, the only people left are a wounded Uncle Jack, Todd, Jesse, and an also wounded Walter. Todd is confuses as to what the hell just happened and while he tries to figure that out, Jesse comes out of nowhere and chokes the little weasel to death. THAT is the death everyone has been waiting for. Yes, Todd has been following orders and has had no vendetta against Jesse. He’s really just been looking for acceptance from both his uncle and Walter. However Jesse deserved the glory of killing him, after all the pain he’s sent his (Jesse’s) way. Meanwhile, Walt approaches Uncle Jack with a pistol pointed at him. Jack tries to tell Walt that he won’t find his stolen money if he shoots him. However Walt cuts him off mid-sentence with a bullet to the head… Just like Uncle Jack did to Hank 2 episodes ago. Now THAT is poetic Justice.

Finally it’s just down to Jesse and Walt. Walt gives Jesse the gun and tells him to pull the trigger because it’s what Jesse wants. However Jesse has had it with Walt’s lies just like anyone else. Walt then admits that he wants Jesse to pull the trigger, and Jesse finally tells Mr White, “No.” He’s done taking orders from him. Jesse is his own person now and is free to do what he wants. NOTHING made me happier than that. To see Jesse smile and cry from happiness as he drove away from Walter.

The final scene shows Walt walking around the meth lab at the camp, he’s continually bleeding out from his bullet wound. And yes, finally Walt dies. However he dies next to the things he loved most in this world. He died next to his chemistry sets and the product he made with it. Also very poetic that he had a smile on his face when he lay dead on the floor. Thus ending what will indeed go down as one of, if not the, greatest television shows of all time.

What the people at Breaking Bad did right was let the show end on their own terms. You know they could have stretched this story out 7 or 8 seasons, but that would run the risk of people saying, “That show is still on?” No, instead, people will talk about Breaking Bad now, saying, “I miss that show.”

In my humble opinion, it was the perfect ending to a perfect show.

-Reed

IMAGE: http://i.huffpost.com/gen/1210505/thumbs/o-BREAKING-BAD-FINAL-EPISODES-570.jpg?6

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One response to “I was alive; A review of the Breaking Bad Series finale

  1. I liked your analysis of the show’s title. You’re right – it’s one of the best series I’ve ever watched. Every episode was extremely well crafted and interesting.

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