Last week’s penultimate episode left us with a lot of questions and theories about the Brock cliffhanger. I’m writing this preamble before the finale airs, and right now it seems unlikely that either Gus OR Walt was the one who poisoned Brock. Although the poisoning was what brought Walt and Jesse back together, which is what Walt wanted, the idea that Walt would poison a child (with either the ricin or something else) seems like too much of a stretch for the character. And although the idea of Gus poisoning a child is easy to believe, the sloppiness of the plan was out of character, and Gus having knowledge of the ricin seemed like a stretch. So WHO KNOWS? In any case, this is a very sad day. No more Breaking Bad for just about a million years after this. Nothing gold can stay, I guess, and what could possibly be more golden than feeling depressed and anxious and having nightmares about a TV show every week. HONESTLY NOTHING! I am very sad! And I won’t get to talk about it at you guys anymore! Sad day. Ugh. Breaking Bad is the best. Let’s get to it.

The episode opens where the last left off — at the hospital garage with Walt taking the bomb off of Gus’s abandoned car. So he takes it off, puts it back into his gross purse, walks into the hospital, and begins to aggressively teethface ask Jesse what he said that made Gus wise to them. “Can I just ask my own question at this point?” asks Jesse. “DID YOU JUST BRING A BOMB INTO A HOSPITAL?” Hahaha. Very good question. I’d also like to add: Why do you have such a GROSS purse to carry it in? Couldn’t you have gotten a nicer purse? You have a billion meth bucks, get a better bomb purse.

While they’re chatting and looking like the two shadiest people to ever enter a hospital, two Albuquerque police officers approach Jesse and tell him they need to talk to him about “a statement he made to Brock’s mother.” Uh-oh. “We heard that you told her that ricin ‘sounds like rice.’ Did you think you really needed to clarify that the word you just said that very clearly sounded like rice sounds like rice? You’re going to need to come to the station.” In reality they said they needed to talk to him because doyoyoyoy he told Brock’s mom to check and see if he was poisoned by a very specific poison. RED FLAG ALERT ALARM. Weeoooweeooooweeoooooo. This recap is officially off the rails.

At the police station, the police ask Jesse how he knew to tell the doctors to check for such a specific, rare poison. He says, “I must have seen it on House or something. House or the Discovery Channel.” Aww, Jesse knows about House! WE KNOW ABOUT THAT SHOW TOO! We’re meant for each other. But the police aren’t buying that, obviously, so Jesse tells them to call his lawyer: Saul Goodman.

Speaking of Saul, Walt is trying to get into his office to get a phone number! His secretary doesn’t answer the door or the phone, so Walt breaks the glass door to get in. Then he gives the secretary $1700 to fix it, which is all the cash he has in his wallet, which is a LOT of cash to have in a wallet. The secretary sees her opportunity to be a major B and says she thinks it’ll cost $20,000. Walt for some reason doesn’t know that she’s extorting him right away (??), but then he gets it and she says, “Now I’m thinking $25.” Ugh, lady. I hate you! I didn’t hate you for the whole season and now you’re a person I hate, GREAT JOB.

So Walt drives to his house to get this dumb B all the money, but rather than walk in on “A TRAP” – Star Wars, he calls his neighbor who has a key and asks her to go in and check if Walt Jr. left a burner on. So she goes in and two white guys who I don’t think we’ve ever seen before come out of the back of the house. When Becky calls him to tell him the burner’s not on, Walt rushes in to get the money. But he doesn’t get out in time and the guys come back! But then he crawls out through an air vent thing.

Back at the station, Jesse asks the police how Brock is doing. They say nothing. Who are they, TYRUS? Then Saul bursts in, yaaaaaaaaay!

Jesse tells Saul that he’s thought of a place without cameras, where Walt can kill Gus. Then we see Saul telling Walt about how Gus took Jesse to see Salamanca at his nursing home. LOTS of names in that sentence. “Pinkman said it was like he was torturing the old guy,” says Saul, which makes Walt realize that Salamanca is Gus’s enemy — not friend — and he has a lightbulb moment and goes to see Salamanca.

“I know you despise me. I know you want to see me dead. But I’m willing to bet that I know a man whom you hate even more. I am offering you an opportunity for revenge.”

CUTE FACE, SALAMANCA! Cute little scrunchy face. In the next scene, Salamanca calls his nurse in (“Need to go poopie? Did you go poopie already?”). She gets her incredibly frustrating letter board and Salamanca spells out “NEED DEA.” To which she replies, “Honey, ‘dia’ inn’t a word. Help me out here.” Hey uh you know what else inn’t a word, nurse? INN’T!

The next scene takes us to Maria’s purple wonderland, where Walt Jr. is on the phone with Walt, once again trying to make him stay with them under the protection of the DEA. Marie steals the phone from Jr. and says, “I hope you have a banner day over there. I hope you sell a lot of air fresheners.” BITCH! I know she’s just trying to protect him, but uh maybe don’t insult his new weird job that he has for no visible reason? Then Hank’s DEA friend comes in and Hank says some stuff to him about how the laundromat uses twice the electricity of a normal laundromat which I have two problems with. First of all it never comes back or matters at all, except as a lead in for the Salamanca thing, so why waste our time? Second, I feel like — since Hank is such an expert DEA agent — that the amount of electricity the laundromat was using, compared with normal laundromats of that size, is something that they would have checked into already? That seems like a normal, obvious thing to check. I guess it IS only Hank that’s investigating it, and he can’t do EVERYTHING. But I felt like they could’ve left this out. Then again I also could have left it out of my recap so c’est la vie.

So yeah anyway, the DEA partner tells Hank about how Salamanca says he has information, but will only give it to Hank. Marie doesn’t want Hank to go, obviously, and says “There’s no way you’re going to do it — end of story.” And then everyone who has ever seen a TV show ever knew that the next scene would be Hank at the DEA, and then it was.

The nurse is there doing the letters thing, which is weird to me. It’s not a hard thing to do? I don’t think they needed to let the nurse in on this DEA investigation meeting JUST to point at letters. She could have easily explained that to a DEA person. “You point at the letters.” Done. But, whatever, she’s there and the first thing Salamanca spells is “Suck my…” and then next is “Fuc…” And then they give up, wheel him out, and load him into a van while TYSPYRUS LOOKS ON! Oooohhhhhhhhhhhhhh, we get it now.

In the next scene, Walt is waiting in Salamanca’s bathroom when he’s wheeled in. “Any second thoughts?” he asks. Salamanca doesn’t ring the bell so he says, “Then let’s get to work.” Yes! Let’s! Tyrus shows up at the retirement home and walks into Salamanca’s room with some kind of sensor thing, waving it all over the place. Walt is hiding outside the window and an old lady says hi to him. Then Walt drives away and Tyrus is left thinking the room is “all clear.”

At the police station, Jesse is told that Brock’s tox screen came back clear for ricin poisoning, so Jesse is free to go. As he walks out, he’s tased and put into a van. AH!

I’d talk more about this, but the extent to which it proved to be nothing kind of annoyed me. So. Moving on.

In the next scene we see Tyrus talking to Gus — he tells him that he thinks he should be the one to kill Salamanca, but Gus wants to do it himself. Then he takes off his CLIP ON TIE and gets changed for the retirement home. It’s important to me that it’s a clip on, but I couldn’t get a clear picture of it. But: CLIP ON.

At the retirement home, Gus stares at the entrence while he waits for Tyrus’s call saying that it’s all clear. This was VERY intense and great.

He tells his driver “wait here” and walks in, and it’s the same kind of shot like when he walked out to see the all of the poisoned cartel members.

Gus joins Tyrus in Salamanca’s room. “What kind of man talks to the DEA? No man. No man at all,” he says, then he pulls THE LOUDEST chair ever over to sit in front of him. He’s preparing to inject him with whatever and kill him and tells him that it’s the last chance he has to look at him. Hector doesn’t look at him until just before Gus injects him, and when he does it seems at first like he is very sad, which then kind of makes it seem like Gus is kind of sad:


But then Hector looks crazy and then Gus KNOWS.


The he sees the bomb underneath Hector’s wheelchair and goes “HHHAUUUUUUUUUUUU!” Famous last words! And then explosion. And then, I know this is probably going to be a controversial statement, I thought the part when he walked out and had a two face was PRETTY STUPID. We all saw this last night and it’s important so I’m not going to cover it with a Mr. Yuck, but here it is.

Ok, so I thought this part was stupid for a few reasons. First of all, it was very comic-booky and cartoony, which is absolutely not the style of Breaking Bad. This certainly wasn’t a bad reveal, but it was in no way a realistic reveal, and what I feel like most people like about Breaking Bad is its ability to shock while remaining believable and realistic. This was not that. This was cheap comic book shock that seemed very out of place. Second, these ladies:

NOPE. They would’ve been horrified. And their lack of expression added even more cheapness to the reveal, making it pretty close to just being a lie.

Third, YOU DON’T ADJUST CLIP ON TIES.

WHAT ARE YOU EVEN DOING?

So those are my feelings on this scene. I rest my case.

In the next scene we see Jesse cooking at the lab, which is where he was taken after being tased. He and the white guy looking after him hear the doorbell, and the guy makes Jesse handcuff himself to a thing while he answers it. At this point I was VERY worried that Jesse would be in some situation where he’d have to try to get his hand out of the handcuffs and I was bracing myself for the worst. But nope It’s just good old scary Walt, here to tell Jesse that Gus is dead and it’s time to destroy the lab.

So they do that, set the fire alarm so the other workers leave, and walk out like a bunch of badasses.

In the next scene, Walt waits on the roof of the hospital and Jesse joins him to tell him that Brock is going to pull through. He’s in tears! It’s adorable.

Although Jesse does say ”Kind of touch and go there for a while but he’s gonna make it,” which is just about the cheesiest hospital line ever, I thought this scene really made this episode. Jesse and Walt discuss how Brock wasn’t actually poisoned by Gus, rather, by the berries of a common plant called Lilly of the Valley (what is sure to be a classic punch line forever and ever and ever). Jesse tentatively looks for reassurance in Walt that killing Gus was the right thing to do, even though it was motivated by incorrect information. Walt assures him that it was. A regular George W. Bush and Dick Cheney these two, AM I RIGHT? After Jesse leaves, Walt stands on the roof looking incredibly and oddly relieved. Plus, HIS FACE HAS NO TEETH! WHAT COULD IT MEAN?

He receives a call from Skyler, while she and the family are gathered around the TV news, hearing about what happened to Gus. “Was this you? What happened?” she asks. “I won,” Walt replies. And then he hangs up. And then Skyler’s probably like, “Uhh what? Hello? WALT? Hellooooo?” and then she probably calls back being like, “Did your phone drop the call or something because you were talking and then it hung up?” because NOBODY EVER SAYS GOODBYE ON THIS SHOW AND THAT MUST BE CONFUSING TO BE ON THE OTHER END OF THAT CONVERSATION.

In the final scene, in what should have been probably a very good reveal, the camera slowly pans in on Walt’s Lilly of the Valley plant — the same plant that the spin the bottle gun landed on in the last episode.

Unfortunately, when I was looking for Breaking Bad GIFs on tumblr last week, I accidentally came across a post that explained this theory in detail. Ugh. It was absolutely terrible and I felt terrible when I accidentally read it because I though, ugh. This is definitely it. And then IT WAS IT. So unfortunately I have no idea how it would have felt to have received this information for the first time during this scene. But I do have some questions, still. I guess I’m almost willing to accept that Walk would have almost poisoned Brock in order to save his own family’s life. I GUESS. Just because Walt has been breaking badder more and more each season. So, fine. I guess now he’s the type of person who would RISK A KID’S LIFE to get what he wanted. But how did he do it? How did he get the cigarette from Jesse? Are we supposed to believe Huell, the bumbling bodyguard, snatched it off of Jesse and then replaced the pack without him ever noticing? And if not that, then how else? And how did he, the creepiest stranger OF ALL TIME, make Brock eat weird berries? And also WHERE’S MIKE? Are we supposed to think that Mike is dead? Why hasn’t anyone mentioned Mike recently?

So, I don’t know. I do think that this was a great ending to a great season, but it wasn’t without its problems. The Mike thing isn’t a problem necessarily. Just the other things. But. Yes. A fantastic season of television’s most fantastic show. I can’t believe we have to wait a year for a few more episodes and then it’ll be out of our lives forever. I love you, Breaking Bad! I miss you already!

Comments (218)
  1. I couldn’t believe it.

    I just couldn’t.

    Gus Fring wearing a clip on tie? NOBODY SAW THAT COMING.

    • That was Gus’s “manager of a shitty fast food restaurant” disguise! The tie he died in was CLEARLY a real tie.

      • I do accept the strong possibility that it wasn’t a clip on. BUT STILL, THE OTHER THINGS!

        • I totally agree about the ending kelly, for the same reasons you pointed out. It was just…dumb. Also, I kind have a hard time believing that Tyrus wouldn’t have found the bomb? IT WAS RIGHT THERE! Not to mention, and I am no expert on devices used to detect electronic signals, but, seeing as the bomb was obviously wireless, wouldn’t the little hand-held gadget Tyrus had detect a signal coming from it? Maybe not. And finally, where did Walt detonate the bomb from? The car? Because I assumed that Hector ringing the bell before the explosion was his way of saying “Walt, NOW!”, in which case how did Walt hear the bell? He must have been close. Or was there a phone attached to the bomb that Walt was listening to? GAAAAHHH SO MANY QUESTIONS!

          • The bell was the trigger. There was no signal emanating from it. PLUS: Tyrus was checking for bugs, not bombs. Why would a DEA informant be rigged with a bomb? Gus ended up being paranoid about the wrong thing.

          • The bomb was detonated by the bell. I thought this was fairly obvious and a nice touch (tip of the hat to you, Mr. Gilligan).

            I also found it hard to believe that they didn’t see the bomb on the wheel of the chair because it was a decent size bomb that had a red blinking light on it. But all in all, that is the only part that I found to be unbelievable.

            Tyrus never left the nursing home after his sweep and probably assumed he would spot Walt coming in after his sweep. Also, Gus left his car at the hospital, probably assuming that the bomb was still on the car.

            Honestly, I think there are enough clues there to explain most things. I don’t know why people need everything spelled out in minute detail and are being super nitpicky.

            Sorry, I just love BB and thought the episode was just brilliant on so many levels.

          • Or Jeb’s explanation works too.

          • I can’t respond to you guys directly for some reason, so i will do it here. I too thought the trigger was the bell, but then after seeing how many time he needed to ring it–6-10 times or whatever–I thought maybe it was something else. There was such a long delay between him repeatedly ringing the bell and the bomb going off. And I know the tyrus was checking for bombs, but working under the assumption that the bomb was wireless, i figured that same device could detect a signal coming from the bomb as well.

          • RE: How many times Tio had to hit the bell to set off the bomb, remember when Walt was putting it together and had to hit the trigger a bunch of times too? Callback!

          • The multi-ringing bell was because of Walt’s shitty bomb-making. Remember when he tested it and it didn’t really work?

          • Btw, Walt didn’t put the bomb on Tio’s chair until AFTER Tyrus scanned the room then returned to his car to wait for Gus. That’s why he was hiding outside the window (at least, that’s how I remember it, correct me if I’m wrong).

            No half-measures. Just half-faces.

          • I thought the multiple ringing was because eventually that kind of prolonged metal ringing can create a spark… like old fashioned dial telephones causing fires if the gas is left on (like in Fight Club, but also real life).

          • OOOOH! that’s right! I had forgotten about that, about how many times walt needed to pull the trigger. Question answered. Thanks guys!

      • Yes, I think you’re correct. Dos Hermanos Gus wears a clip-on, ruthless killer Gus wears (wore) a real tie.

    • I think he wears a clip on tie so he can’t get strangled with it. Just anohter Gus-type precaution.

      • I’m late to the party, but thought I’d mention that clip-on and breakaway(velcro) ties are manufactured and marketed to people in law enforcement specifically to avoid strangulation/holds in the event of a scuffle. Although Gus did strike me as the kind of guy who would prioritize appearance over functionality, it would actually make a lot of sense for a gangster or thug to wear a clip-on tie.

  2. Just to clarify, Walt wasn’t carrying the pipe bomb in an ugly purse. It’s an ugly diaper bag.

  3. i’m totally on board with gus getting harvey dent’d. the man need to go out big, he deserved it.

    • Yeah, just having the explosion would have been too quick, they needed to give him a memorable sendoff.

    • And it’s reasonable to believe that a person in shock would, for a moment, behave as if they were fine even in the face (ha!) of severe trauma.

      • Agreed. And Kelly, if you rewatch the scene, the ladies can’t really see Gus’s half face yet because of all the smoke from the explosion. They see it at the same time we as the viewers see it.

        Did anyone else think Gus may have survived for a second? Because I totally did and the PSYCHE! FACE OFF!

      • with half a face? that seems a bit much.

        • That sort of horror occurs in combat situations quite a bit; people will, for example, lose an arm and keep walking around as if everything is normal. Shock is the act of the mind separating from the body.


          • SHUT THE FUCK UP, JEB!

            Kidding. I see your point, and we’ll just have to agree to disagree. I know what shock is, and what its effects can be, but for me this scene was still a no go. I would of much rather had us find Gus propped up against a wall, having been flung there by the blast. He is in the same condition, face mangled, and perhaps he tries to defiantly stand up; grabbing for nearby furniture to prop himself up. His struggle ultimately fails, he collapses, and dies.

          • Or in this case: shock is the act of half the head separating from the other half.

            I loved that bit where he walks out, seemingly fine and I’m all “WTF?! How did he survive!” and then the camera pans and he is all “destroyed face” and I am all “sheep face”.

            I also feel that what makes a show believable is the reasons and motives behind characters’ actions, driving the story forward (not so much whether or not someone who has been blown up a bit can walk 10 metres). Breaking Bad wins at the motives thing so who cares if Gus became Freddy Kruger for a minute there.

            Does anyone else feel that Season 5 is going to open with Mike? He’s kind of like a contractor, yeah? I wonder if he’s unemployed now? Maybe he’ll get a job at the carwash.

        • Gus started to get up and go right before the bomb blew up. His face actually the only part of his body that was injured. So I can buy that he would still be able to walk and was in too much shock to realize he lost half his face

        • Well, the show IS about being a bit much.

    • Two things: first, because my brain is soooooo slow, I just realized this episode is called “Face Off.” Double entendre? Check.

      Second, I agree that Gus deserved some type of coda simply beyond blowing-up. How about if they did this instead: same shot as before with Gus walking out of the hospital room as if he survived the explosion, but this time he’s walking a little bit more like a man who just got bombed, maybe staggering a little bit. And then he stops, but that camera POV doesn’t change. It lingers on his non-exploded side and slowly tracks toward him. Then we see the nurses shriek as he adjusts his tie. Finally, Gus collapses on his side and we see his bloody carcass lying on the ground. No CGI required. A little less comic-booky. Everyone’s happy.

  4. Hey, Marie, we’ve got an air freshener for you.

  5. “I hate fun!” -Kelly

    • I don’t hate fun! I just don’t love when the things I REALLY LOVE A LOT do things that I feel like are less than the things that they should be doing!

      • Yeah, I understand. Considering the way I had to pick my jaw up off the floor when it happened, I think it was worth it, but I see the argument that it’s a bit much. My counter: remember Danny Trejo’s severed head on a turtle? That also exploded?

        • but see, Mexican cartels are fucked up enough to do that. Before moving to Korea, I lived in Mexico for 11 months, and the shit you read in the papers/see on the news, WHOA! one story in particular, of a rival gang cutting of a guy’s face just so they could stitch it on a soccer ball! WHO DOES THAT?! Cartels, that’s who, making the whole turtle thing seem not all that hard to believe.

      • I’ve never been under the impression that Breaking Bad was “realistic” in any more of a sense than anything else. Heads on turtles, colliding airplanes with falling bodies, Saul Goodman; the death of Gus falls in line perfectly with everything else the show has laid out. I am interested in the fact that Kelly finds Walt an appealing character in that she roots for him to succeed and is saddened and surprised by the fact that he poisoned a child. Uh yeah he did. Remember when he let Jesse’s girlfriend die? Remember his speech to the high school? Walt is an irredeemable monster.

  6. It must suck to have Peggy Olson’s mom for your nurse.

  7. Regarding Two-Face Gus: I thought it was a little unrealistic too, but my bet is that to avoid the perceived ambiguity of Gale’s death last season, Gillligan and company wanted to make it absolutely clear that gus was DEAD dead.

  8. Other captions include:

    “This shit is da bomb”

    “something something explosive diarrhea”

  9. I agree it would’ve been a stretch for Walt. But Walt died in the crawl space two episodes ago. This is full on Heisenberg now – Walt has finally become what he wanted to be back in Crazy Handful of Nothing.

  10. aeijkLaeiOaeijkL

  11. God, I hope there’s a Jesse-Mike teamup to take down Walt. How awesome would that be?

  12. Once Breaking Bad ends next year, AMC is coming out with a similar show, hoping to keep the audience. It’s called “Breaking Ball.” It will star Bryan Cranston as a GM of a baseball team. Aaron Paul will play an up and coming pitcher. In the first episode [SPOILER ALERT] Bryan Cranston’s character finds he has cancer. He, while fairly wealthy from his professional baseball career, thinks he needs MORE money to support his family after he passes. He and Aaron Paul begin cooking meth, and surprise, it’s like the best meth ever.

    • “He and Aaron Paul begin cooking meth, and surprise, it’s like the best meth ever.”

      They really hit a home run with their formula.

  13. Request: After next year’s final season, can Vince Gilligan start writing for Dexter?

  14. I too am conflicted over Gus “Harvey Dent” Fring’s death. At first I thought he had survived and I actually yelled at the TV “Are you fucking kidding me?” And then they panned over to show that stupid face and him adjusting his tie (?). It was actually a little bit deflating if I’m being honest. It totally DIDN’T fit the tone of the show and was way over the top. I would’ve probably been satisfied with just seeing him blow through the door and slump against the wall. I don’t even think it was the makeup that bothered me, but just the way he walked out of the room and adjusted his tie before falling down. Seemed very hammy.

    Overall, though, AMAZING SEASON FINALE! And I totally knew Walt poisoned the kid as soon as Jesse mentioned the flower. Sleuthin’.

    • yeah, I agree on the Gus’ face thing being a bit hammy.

    • I mostly agree with this. I was thinking “really?” the first time I watched the episode, but by the second time, I was okay with it. I feel it could have been more believable if Gus hadn’t been standing, walking, and adjusting his tie perfectly normally for about 3 seconds. I can’t believe that someone with only half a face (and maybe brain) left could do that.

      If he had stumbled out of the door, fell onto his side, and the camera panned from right to left, showing the ruined half of his face, as we see him weakly straighten his tie as his last movement? That, I could have been more behind. But this episode was still great, and the CG effects and makeup were quite good for a show that isn’t normally heavily dependent upon them, so I’m OK with it.

    • Gus has always, ALWAYS been about appearances. His last act of straightening his tie (while in shock and dying, of course) was part and parcel with his meticulous attention to detail in how he is perceived by the world. it makes sense that something he has spent so long concentrating on for his continued survival and prosperity would come through as he dies, as hokey as it may seem to some.

      I’m sure Gus would be embarrassed to know some of the viewing audience didn’t like his death. He did his best to die as he lived.

    • Yeah, well I knew it as soon as the detectives told Jesse it wasn’t ricin, so I am like way smarter and cooler where is my medal?

    • I disagree. I think this is the best episode. Not at all inconsistent.

  15. Oh hey nurse, just sticking to the door with my giant magnet. Nothing to see here. Doopy doopy doo.

  16. I was coming here to share some of my misgivings but Kelly basically nailed all the things I wanted to say, including that fact that it was still an incredible episode. The machinations of how on earth Walt would have gotten the poison to the kid AND gotten Saul to have the guard lift the cigarette…all too complicated and neat. It was one of those things that seems like genius when it worked but the probability of the plan working as well as it did beforehand were about 10,000 to one. Ugh. And Gus’ Large Marge face was too over the top for my tastes.

    But man, the episode was so filled with tension and drama and not one but two stunning, memorable scenes (Gus’ death + the flower thing).

    PS I had scoffed last week at the flower/gun scene, saying how silly and irrelevant it was, and it turns out it WAS related. I was just to skeptical to see it, so apologies to Vince et al.

    • So there’s two Dark Knight parallels, then. Two-Face and overly complicated plans that work out perfectly.

    • I THINK Walt lifted the cigarette in the “Bug” episode. He asked Jesse for a cigarette (which was weird) and then Jesse called him out for not inhaling. Walt threw the cigarette on the ground and stomped it out.

    • Huell (Big Guy) switched the boxes, in unbelievable TV land Huell realized Jesse wouldn’t notice if his pack was slightly different than he remembered (ex-smoker, I never really paid too much attention to how many cigs I had especially since I, and most smokers, let people bum) and he pocketed his actual pack (you can see this when you look for it on rewatch). Saul had him do it. Why? Walt asked Saul to do that and poison Brock, who he has close contact and trust with. Saul thinks Gus is after him because of his relationship with Walt so he hopes Walt wins, in case he doesn’t he asks Jesse to put in a good word for him at the office.

      It’s a sloppy plan that actually didn’t work out at first because Gus is too smart. Walt got lucky in that Jesse got detained for sounds like rice which then got Saul to come to his rescue which then let Jesse tell Saul about Salamanca which then lets Saul tell Walt about the enemies thing, which would not have happened if Walt wasn’t able to bribe office lady to give him a way to contact him. Aaaaand then the nurse would have had to contact the right DEA people to get to Hank who then would have had to go against the safety/anger of his family to go in and see Salamanca THAT SAME DAY. Aaaand Gus’s one man staff would have had to have eyes on Salamanca at just the right hour to catch him going to the DEA unless someone tipped him off about the DEA. And it all had to happen within a day or two.

      It’s ridiculous and I loved it. Walt owes the universe some personal suffering for being that lucky against someone like Gus. The epic comical Gus death was a consolation prize for such a ridiculous set up.

  17. Season 4 A-/A
    Season 1 A-
    Season 3 B+
    Season 2 B

    Thoughts?

  18. So when Walt said last week, “Think about it, it’s brilliant!” he was totally talking about himself. What a douche.

    • But you have to admit that Walt’s whole plan WAS brilliant. And it just kept getting MORE brilliant. Like that fake out DEA visit was genius.

    • Also that whole scene was the first and only time he’s complimented Jesse’s cooking abilities… and it was all part of his brilliant plan. Dickhead.

      • Oooh good point. Seriously, the writing on this show is so well thought out.

      • I never pass up a chance to showcase my superior memory: He also told Jesse that his meth was as good as his (Walt’s) when Jesse was convalescing in One Minute. Also a case of Walt trying to get Jesse to do something.

  19. Lily of the Valley is the new Rosebud

  20. Kelly, I’m going to miss your recaps so much. Can you recap Boardwalk Empire or Dexter until BB comes back on? As for Gus’ face reveal, I thought it was terrible. He would not have been able to get up and walk out with half of his head blown up, let alone walk without stumbling and screaming. It was ridiculous, and I agree that it was way too comic book for BB. You nailed it.

  21. Only VG Monsters in this post get the spoilerrifc version of my new avatar


    (call your bank to deposit this, obviously because $$$)

  22. Season 5 speculation!

    Who or what will lead to Walt’s eventual demise? I feel like the series has to end with Walt dying. I’ll try to set some odds.

    5/1 – A combination of multiple scenarios listed below.

    10/1 – JESSE. Tumultuous relationship to say the least, plus he could have killed Brock and essentially killed Jane.

    15/1 – HANK. Superlab was destroyed. DEA doesn’t know what to make of the nursing home explosion. The Heisenberg trail is cold. But methinks that when they go snooping around asking if anyone had seen anything suspicious, an old lady will recall seeing a bald man with a goatee and glasses and a bandage on his nose outside the window.

    20/1 – WALT. Considered killing himself before, may go over the edge when he wakes up and realizes what’s become of himself.

    30/1 – CANCER. He’s got cancer.

    40/1 – MIKE. Don’t know if he’d have the motivation to do so, but he certainly has the ability.

    40/1 – GOMEZ/OTHER COP OR DEA AGENT. In a shootout!

    40/1 – NEW CHARACTER. We’re meeting new important people all the time on this show.

    50/1 – SKYLER. Her husband is a monster. And she’s been “Breaking Bad” herself recently.

    50/1 – SAUL/HUELL/BILL BURR. Don’t know why but it’s a long season.

    75/1 – NOBODY. Maybe Walt doesn’t die and just everybody else does.

    100/1 – WALT JR. His dad is a monster.

    200/1 – MARIE. No idea.

    500/1 – BROCK. By poison, obviously. Revenge.

    1000/1 – BOGDAN. Wants his carwash back.

    2000/1 – BADGER/THAT OTHER GUY THAT JESSE IS FRIENDS WITH. I want Badger to come back.

    5000/1 – METH LAB/CAR WASH EXPLOSION. That would be the worst, wouldn’t it?

    Place your bets. Am I missing anyone or anything?

    • Skinny Pete is the other guy you’re thinking of, right?

    • ?/1 – Walt makes $$$ off his new Getting Things Done / ID Native Plants of the Great Southwest app for iOS and Android?

    • I too miss Badger.

    • What if Mike is secretly romantically involved with Gus!?

      Read my fanfic here: just kidding I’m not finished it yet OBVIOUSLY #laborOfLove #HashTag

    • 1/1 Cancer.

    • 10000/1 Hank hits a rough spot with his investigation and decides to employ the help of a psychic. The psychic holds a seance which brings the spirits of Tuco, Gale, and Gus, among others, back to the earthly realm. Breaking Bad series finale is basically a remake of Drag Me to Hell, but still manages to be more believable than Dexter Morgan’s sudden interest in religion as a parenting tool.

    • On second thought: If Vince Gilligan really follows through on the arbitrariness of life and death theme (the why me thing), I bet Walt dies just slipping in the shower.

    • Although honestly I’m sticking to my theory that he goes into witness protection in 515 and 516 is just episode 1 of Malcolm in the Middle.

    • Baby Holly. Obviously that baby is up to no good. Way too complacent.

    • my personal theory is that some guys from chile come after whoever killed gus. the cartel wouldn’t kill him because of “who he was” in chile, but walt didn’t know about that! and i really just want to know more about gus’s origins and that would be a neat way to explore it next season.

      • The Chileans are a definite possibility. I thought about that, since Vince Gilligan has said a few times that every action that the characters make needs to have consequences, and he’s also said that he would love to have Gus back next season in flashbacks, a la Gale. So we will probably learn more about his past next season. Hopefully, anyway.

        I hadn’t thought about the Germans, although that is very interesting. I guess the Chileans, the Germans, or even some other Mexicans, are all possibilities, and would fall under new characters.

    • How about the German business group we learned were funding gus’ laundry operation. Maybe they were more involved than we thought?

    • When Jesse and Walt have their showdown, I think Walt will be the one who kills Jesse. This show isn’t really about people getting their comeuppances, it’s about a basically normal guy who transforms into an evil guy. Walt will murder Jesse, and tell himself that he had no choice, he had to do it to protect his family.

  23. Kelly, can we talk about Jesse getting tazed and kidnapped? Because I was starting to prepare myself for a long night of sobbing and screaming out “JESSE NOOOOOO!” until I realized they just wanted to keep an eye on him / his movements.

  24. i got a lot of grief for my saying that it was walt in last weeks recap so….i told you so?

  25. Nailed it!

    Also, I find it hard to accept the argument that this show is not comic-bookey, because this show is SO COMIC-BOOKEY its unbelievable, so that two-face scene (and also, it was the left side of his face, not the right side, so “chill out” its not that two-facey) was very apt.

    • The show is definitively comic-bookey, specially some of the cartel back-story, but it’s so well made that you kind of let some things slide. There’s real development and sincerity in the characters are handled. Confessiongum: Sometimes when they do a flashback scene and they show a character that’s dead I’m sort of surprised for a millisecond that a dead person came back to life.)

      • I totally agree with all of that. It’s written in a narrative style that really is so much like a comic – it is a TV show, and I think the dialogue and development is just done so well that you do get lost in the humanity of the characters. But I can imagine the whole show in panels, and I think Gilligan does it on purpose – or at least he’s heavily influenced. I think the reference to Jesse drawing superheroes gives it away a little bit.

  26. This episode felt like a throwback to Season 1 with a lot of comedy. I liked it, I think it worked. I didn’t mind Gus with his two faces because for one he was always one step ahead of the game so it was one last thing you thought he might have escaped. And two Gus always had two sides of him and thats how he died. Yeah it was hammy but who cares, so is poisoning yourself and an entire cartel.

  27. AHAHAHAHA I was so wrong! IT WAS WALT. *laughing in my crawlspace*

    Also, I would argue that BB has always had a comic-booky edge to it–this is the show that introduced the cousins by having them crawl all the way through Mexico, put a dude’s head on a turtle (which was a bomb!), etc.

  28. Kelly has a really good point about the electricity at the laundry facility… Or that it was something that needed further examination.

    When I was in the news, something I picked up quickly was that depending on where you are, one of the first things the DEA looks at (even before you’re suspected of doing ANYTHING) is an abnormal amount of used electricity. Because I was in California, they were specifically looking for indoor grow rooms. Though my extent of knowledge of making meth is 100 percent based on facts picked up while watching this show, my guess is that there would be some spike to a meth lab (or not? they do make it in trailers, right?) that would be exactly proportional to other labs. That alone would be cause for search and seizure. But a decent DEA agent or local cop trying to be a DEA agent would know what the spike would be and could get a warrant based on that alone… and he definitely would NOT have to fight his coworkers on the logic of that.

    • Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see

      • I think the writers and producers and actors spend a significant amount of time on character development, which is why I think this show is so great. This lack of detail took me out of the scene.

      • Yeah let’s complain about realism when Walt explodes an entire building floor with chemicals, but is totally fine and so is Tuco and Jesse and the henchmen. Or a show that has two jetliners crash into each other on a clear day because one air traffic controller was really bummed out.

        REALISM!!!!!!

  29. Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see

    • I usually hate CGI in general but I liked the CGI in the Gus face in this instance

      I think all the hate for this episode is off base and out of line

    • I thought the CGI was actually very well done, and I’m with Mr. Winwood on my usual feelings towards CGI.

      Also, I saw this statement made in another review of this episode and completely agreed with it, so I will share it here: Breaking Bad is a typically realistic show, at least more realistic than most television. However, the death of Gus Fring was extremely fitting, though unrealistic. He’s such a mysterious and powerful character, how fitting was it when we saw him walk out of that room to think, “oh my god, surely he didn’t survive that?” It was such a huge moment in terms of moving the story of this show along, and I think if there was any single moment of this deserved an unrealistic, symbolic embellishment, this was it.

      • I agree… We’ve had build up of Gus seeming to be supernatural, or painted as such (walking into sniper fire, knowing Walt was outside his house, the car bomb, etc.) any “traditional” or “realistic” death would not have suited the build-up of the character.
        Plus the straightening of his tie and attempt to maintain composure was VERY much Gus. His need for control outweighed the fact he was fatally injured.

  30. Didn’t Walt swipe the ricin cigarette from Jesse when he bummed it from him outside the laundromat in last week’s episode?? He took like two small puffs from it then stomped it.

  31. I loved Walt’s first attempt to climb back out of Saul’s shattered storefront window. Classic little bit of physical comedy and I nice little break from all the tension in this episode.

    And that leads me to something no one has mentioned that i thought was SERIOUSLY FUCKED UP.
    Walt used his LITTLE OLD LADY NEIGHBOR as an assassin detector! That was SO fucked up.

    “There may be killers in my house ready to shoot first and ask questions later, so I’ll just ring up my next door neighbor, an old lady, did I mention she uses a cane?, and send her into my house as I watch what happens.”

    SERIOUSLY. When she walked in the front door she dipped out of view, and I seriously thought Walt just sent an old lady to her demise. The door opened and then kind of swayed back and forth. It was SO TENSE.

    Quite an integral scene for Walt, once it was revealed that he was willing to poison a child to continue living. If he had already done that, why WOULDN’T he use his next door neighbor as a lure?

    • I loved that

      the actors said in the av club interviews that the story arc is walt turning completely evil so he will be the main antagonist bad guy next season

      breakin’ rad

      • Exactly, which goes back to the character development of the characters. There was a reasonalbe progression where Walt went from being a man who did some evil stuff to take care of his family to someone who just does evil for personal gain, and spite.
        I love the way characters rationalize their involvement with something they know it’s wrong. From walt selling drugs, poisoning kids, killing rivals to Skyler leaving her cancer-striken husband because she thinks he’s having an affair, to Ted cheating on his taxes because his company employs innocent people, etc. Jesse, who is a reputed petty criminal is ironically the only person who knows he is doing wrong but admits it to himself.

  32. I would just like to add that the “Hello there!” lady in the nursing home window might be one of my favorite humorous moments in the history of Breaking Bad.

  33. Kelly, I will miss this! I will miss your recaps. I will miss having a TV show to obsess over for a while. Oh God, what are these shakes? I think I need Mike to feed me gross diner food, at least until Mad Men comes back. And then I’ll probably just want to hurl Don Draper’s new wife through a doggy door (because she’s super skinny get it?) Ugh, AMC. Why can’t you have some sort of superior show going year-round?

    Thanks for the fun times! See you in 2012, when we’ll hopefully be discussing the Gus karaoke cameo. Great recap, as per ushjjj. Check out mine here: http://attunedtv.blogspot.com/

  34. Kelly – Absolutely agree about the inappropriately cartoonish and Two-Facey death of Gus. BUT.

    1. The Nurses did react to his messed up face (with stunned horror), maybe a half second after your still frame – which was actually our first hint (apart from the explosion, and the fact that we’ve all seen movies before), that Gus wasn’t somehow miraculously ok. Yes, it’s a little weird that they had to get that close to him before they noticed that his face was missing, but the punctuated reaction helped telegraph the beat.

    2. Gus was seen taking off a clip-on tie earlier, not putting one on. The clip-on is what he wears to Pollos Hermanos – fits in with his modest, mild-mannered persona. Otherwise, dude wears a real tie and very expensive suits. I mean, come on.

  35. I know what you’re saying about the “Face Off” moment being comic-booky and cartoonish but I do think that’s something that the show does from time to time. For instance, the opening of the last season– or maybe two seasons ago, with all those people crawling on their stomachs in the desert towards that tree. What was that? The whole introduction/existence of those two cartoon-y brothers was pretty silly and then it came to a (silly) head when they killed those folks trying to cross the boarder by setting the truck on fire and walking away in slow motion. And if a truck did blow up like that, anyone standing around the truck would be like, “DID YOU SEE THAT TRUCK BLOW UP LIKE THAT?! THAT’S CRAZY BECAUSE TRUCKS DO NOT BLOW UP LIKE THAT.” But those guys just kept walking like, “What truck?” Anyway, I don’t think last night was the first time they broke that reality which sets a precedent for sometimes seeing things that don’t happen in real life.

    Remember when they melted that dude in a bathtub?

    • The crawling in the desert thing does happen, actually. People crawl to worship at the shrine of Santa Muerte. I’ve seen it described both as a cult and as an offshoot of Catholicism. I don’t know much about it except that it actually is a real thing.

      • The Santa Muerte is something that’s been around for ages. I don’t think it’s necessarily violent thing like the Jesus Malvelde thing and the producers probably put it in simply because of it’s eeriness. I’ve seen an altar to it in a Chicago bodega and the people who ran it were friendly but I’ll be honest, it took me by surprise.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Santa_Muerte

      • It’s not really related to cathollicism, but I guess there’s people who are both catholic and worshipers of it. It probably* has to do with trying to keep from being persecuted by the catholic church or the anti-religious governments of Mexico’s past.

        *Not sure if this is the case, but that’s what happened with Santeria, whose worshipers used catholic saints to mask their allegiance to west African gods.

        • Sure. The belly-crawling a religious-y thing. Fine. Those two brothers were straight-up comic book characters.

          • Agreed. In general I don’t think they cartel members are portrayed realistically. I don’t see how there’s a generational criminal enterprise who is dedicated solely to smuggle a drug that can be easily manufactured in the US. I’m not saying meth is not smuggled, but this is basically a cocaine cartel that doesn’t sell cocaine. Then Gus is a bulk seller but somehow micromanaging street-level dealers? Not that it matters to the story, the only reason I nitpick these tiny things is because the show is so good at telling a story. Great show, can’t wait until next year.

        • This Time article says it likely developed from a combination of Aztec spiritual rituals and Catholicism during Spanish colonial rule, but gained momentum in the late 20th century among Mexican Catholics who became disillusioned with their own saints. The Mexican Catholic church does call it a cult, too.

          http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,1671984,00.html

          Yay for learning!

  36. A guy getting his face blown off is too cartoony but two jet planes crashing into each other in the middle of a clear New Mexico day is totally fine?

    And Walt didn’t “risk Brock’s life.” He purposely poisoned him. Whether he lived or died made no difference as long as it got Jesse’s attention. If Brock died, that only made the plan better. Walt hoped the kid would die, just like his little old grandma neighbor.

    • Except, he used a poison that would not have plausibly killed Brock. Unless he gave him a LOT of berries, it would be bad, but not fatal. I’d say that, in Walt’s own mind, he wasn’t risking Brock’s life, he ‘knew’ that he’d be ok, but that he’d put enough of a scare into Jesse to get what he wanted.

      Walt is a mix of overconfidence and willful ignorance. He still sees the ends justifying the means, so it’s ok to poison Brock because Brock will still be alive when it’s all over, since it gets the job done. And since it’s “all about Walt” the goons won’t kill his neighbour lady. Walt is either under thinking, or overthnking (believing that the goons wouldn’t kill someone that would compromise their mission).

      • I like the cut of your jib. Good points, and stuff worth thinking about. In your way, Walt isn’t (knowingly) as evil as his actions reveal him to be.

        What I like so much about the Walt sending the neighbor lady (who has a NAME, although I can’t remember it!) is that even if Walt seriously considered that she could die if she opened the door of his home (or was even on his property, really), he still went ahead and gambled with her life, hedging his bets. It’s very hard to tell whether that’s an example of under-thinking a situation, or over-thinking it and realizing it’s his only viable option and is worth the risk of an innocent human’s life, because after all, it’s HIM they want. It’s HIM that EVERYONE WANTS, so everyone else is ‘safe’ in the end (except from Walt).

        God I love this show.

        • rebecca! also, vince gilligan’s mom.

        • I also don’t buy that Walt ever thought Brock was in serious danger of dying. He has always been meticulous with his doses (be it when he’s making crystals that blow up, meth, ricin etc.). If he poisons someone he knows whether that person is going to die or not and he knows when that is going to happen (if it is going to happen). He knew Brock would live if he got to a hospital. The only thing he needs to work on with regards to murderous science is his shitty bombmaking.

          • I don’t know, I think Walt’s relief when he found out Brock would live was genuine. Like, he didn’t give what he thought was a lethal dose but you can never be sure about these things so there was a real risk Brock might die. Walt just assessed it as an acceptable risk. Also, if Brock died that would make things difficult with Jesse even if he never blamed Walt for it. He’d be so distraught he’d likely shut down.

            While I’m here I’ll say also that I think Huel’sl hand job on Jesse was a red herring. There’s too many moving parts in that plan for it to work. Walt took off when he spun the bottle/gun at the plant, that’s when he went to poison Brock. Saul is too risk averse to take on a poisoning plan and Huell is NOT Ricky Jay. Walt’s poisoning plan only works if he’s a lone wolf.

  37. I just want to say I agree with everything Winwood has to say on this and I’m taking this poo pooing personaly, this was a great finale.

  38. Did anyone notice towards the end when Walt stares at the Pollos Hermanos air freshener with the two chickens hugging? I don’t know if you guys watch Arrested development but Hermanos means brothers. Also, a few episodes ago the cartel spared Gus’ life back in the day “because of who he is”. Gus.2 is just around the corner.

  39. About the Gus Two-Face thing:

    When I saw Gus walk out of the room (apparently) unharmed, right after that explosion, I thought “this is not real.” Gus is not walking calmly away from this explosion. It isn’t exactly his “ghost,” or someone’s fantasy, but the nurses not seeing him confirmed to me that this was not actually happening, but rather a case of a brilliant show breaking the rules of logic and realism for some reason. And when I saw that he had only half a face, I was convinced that this was merely an artistic choice, a conscious effort to show us something impossible to figure out for ourselves. Kind of like the end of “Being There,” where Peter Sellers’ character, well I won’t tell you the ending of a movie but it is quite obvious that it’s both physically impossible and true in the logic of the movie.

    I guess what I’m saying is that good stories can have some magical aspects that are completely inexplicable, but still feel true. But then I may be blinded by my love for the show, because before I read this recap and the comments, it hadn’t even occurred to me that it might have been intended as “real.”

  40. Reposting what I wrote in reply to someone, explaining how I think it went down and how Walt isn’t brilliant but ridiculous TV show lucky:

    Huell (Big Guy) switched the boxes, in unbelievable TV land Huell realized Jesse wouldn’t notice if his pack was slightly different than he remembered (ex-smoker, I never really paid too much attention to how many cigs I had especially since I, and most smokers, let people bum) and he pocketed his actual pack (you can see this when you look for it on rewatch). Saul had him do it. Why? Walt asked Saul to do that and poison Brock, who he has close contact and trust with. Saul thinks Gus is after him because of his relationship with Walt so he hopes Walt wins, in case he doesn’t he asks Jesse to put in a good word for him at the office.

    It’s a sloppy plan that actually didn’t work out at first because Gus is too smart. Walt got lucky in that Jesse got detained for sounds like rice which then got Saul to come to his rescue which then let Jesse tell Saul about Salamanca which then lets Saul tell Walt about the enemies thing, which would not have happened if Walt wasn’t able to bribe office lady to give him a way to contact him. Aaaaand then the nurse would have had to contact the right DEA people to get to Hank who then would have had to go against the safety/anger of his family to go in and see Salamanca THAT SAME DAY. Aaaand Gus’s one man staff would have had to have eyes on Salamanca at just the right hour to catch him going to the DEA unless someone tipped him off about the DEA. And it all had to happen within a day or two.

    It’s ridiculous and I loved it. Walt owes the universe some personal suffering for being that lucky against someone like Gus. The epic comical Gus death was a consolation prize for such a ridiculous set up.

    • Yes, it was crazy luck… but it was a last min hail mary plan. The thing that, more than likely will fail (or worse, backfire), but you are out of other options.

  41. from somewhere on the internet, a screencap of Gale’s apartment at the beginning of Season 4.

    dang.

  42. This should make you feel better, Kelly.

  43. I’m a bit late to post as usual but I came across this interview with Vince Gilligan that might be of interest. http://artsbeat.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/10/09/vince-gilligan-of-breaking-bad-talks-about-ending-the-season-and-the-series/?src=tp (oh yeah and the season finale was brilliant)

  44. “I won.”. Walt will eat those words in the season finale of next season. Maybe all season, but def at the end.
    Ted’s not dead. This show executes cognitive dissonance better than any show I’ve ever seen. Most shows do it in a ham-fisted, obvious way. Not these guys. Ted’ll blackmail the crap out of the Whites and be their main motivation to get back into cooking and taking over Gus’s empire. Walt will want to off Ted badly but be unable to for some brilliantly crafted circumstance revolving around Skylar’s affair with him.
    Hank v. Walt is on like Donkey Kong. Hank will prove to be by far the most formidable opponent Walt’s faced.
    Jesse will team up with Hank to beat Walt.
    Walt will kill a family member. Not indirectly or through manipulation. Straight up smoke em.
    Not sure what will happen with Mike, but it’s gonna be good…(duh)
    Keep it real.

  45. Alright guys. It took me 7 months, but I finally started (and finished) watching Breaking Bad. I am now ready to discuss.

    “I won” right? Good line.

    What do you guys think?

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