Sunday saw one of the most critically acclaimed television series in recent years come to a close.
Sunday saw one of the most critically acclaimed television series in recent years come to a close. If you’ve been anywhere near the Internet in the past few days you’ll have likely noticed the buzz around the upcoming Breaking Bad finale. Viewers everywhere were creating their own theories to how the end would go down.
Would Walter survive? Would Jesse? Who was the ricin capsule for? And why did Walter have a giant machine gun in the boot of his car? It was all anyone wanted to know. Executive Producer Vince Gilligan had a big job to do. But boy did he manage it.
Endings can be hard to get right
TV series finales can be tricky. Huge shows have gotten them wrong before – Lost‘s 2010 ending left many viewers disgruntled with the amount of mysteries left unsolved and the amount of questions that went unanswered. Similarly, The Soprano‘s fade to black ending left a feeling of ambiguity hanging over the whole show. Breaking Bad addicts everywhere wanted the loose ends tied up and a satisfying conclusion to the show. But that’s easier said than done.
What’s funny is most of the things we see in the finale are alluded to in the pilot episode of the show. Walter, or Heisenberg should I say, after years of claiming that his family were the motivation for his actions, finally tells Skylar the real reason he did all the things he did:
“I did it for me. I liked it. I was good at it, and I was really…I was alive.”
But if you look back, in the very first episode of the show, Jesse asks him why he wants to start cooking meth:
“Man, some straight like you, giant stick up his ass all of a sudden at age what…60? He’s just going to break bad?”
To which Walter eventually replies: ” I am…awake.”
I could go on and on making comparisons between the pilot and the finale but if you’ve watched it, I don’t think I have to. That final scene with Walter standing in the meth lab was so perfect because it was the summation of the whole show. A man who was driven to despair by a terminal cancer diagnosis stumbled across something that he was truly passionate about. The downside being that it was highly illegal and attracted trouble wherever Walter went.
Happily ever after?
Walter got to die in a place where he was truly happy, and surprisingly, despite all his misgivings – let’s not forget that he killed 30 people, poisoned a child, and put both his family and Jesse through hell – that’s what viewers wanted to see. Perhaps the only way that final scene could have been better is if Walter had been wearing nothing but an apron and his tighty whiteys again…I’m kidding!
But that wasn’t all the finale gave us. Jesse finally got away from it all, probably thinking that his life would have been so much better if he had turned down Mr White in the opening episode, but hey, what can you do?
Walter, in a magnificent feat of engineering, got his revenge on the group of neo-Nazis that stole most of his money and brutally murdered Hank. We saw Jesse get his revenge on the awful Todd, and we saw Walter kill the systematic Lydia with the ricin capsule in her camomile tea.
In a weird way there were both so unpleasant that they were kind of perfect for one another. Flynn will receive a nice birthday surprise of over nine million dollars on his eighteenth birthday, with a forced hand from Elliot and Gretchen Schwartz.
Skinny Pete and Badger did their upmost to resemble hit men with their laser pointers – I didn’t realise how much I had missed the duo until they reappeared, I can’t be the only one?
Hats off to Breaking Bad
It gave us all the answers we needed and kept us on our toes right up until the final moments. Writers everywhere, take note.
Honestly, I’m disappointed that it’s over. But never have I been less disappointed with a series finale in my entire life. I’ll miss it, and everything that comes with it. The ‘Oh my God!!’ texts I send to my friends at the end of each episode, and the countless discussions about whether Walter White is truly evil or not.
I am in awe of Vince Gilligan and his team for keeping me guessing and constantly surprised. If I were wearing a hat, I would tip it to Gilligan in respect.
RIP Breaking Bad. May you win several more awards…bitch!