After five seasons, however many episodes, lots of deaths, a good amount of meth, more than enough teethface, and hundreds of love letters to Jesse c/o Breaking Bad returned to sender, we’ve made it here together: the end. While I think the reactions to the finale have been largely positive, there have also been more than a few who think that the way the series ended — so neatly and on Walt’s own terms — left them wanting. While I see where these viewers and reviewers are coming from, I am not of that mind. Walt got off easily, yes, but in a way that gave a fitting and satisfying end to the story we were being told. Breaking Bad has never been one to incorporate ambiguity that doesn’t ultimately lead the audience to a specific end. (Except for how Huell is still in that motel.) (Bye, Huell!) If any of the decisions in the finale had been made differently (say, if Jesse or Marie had killed Walt, or if Skyler had been murdered, or if Walt had killed Gretchen and Elliot) I don’t believe the surprise would have been worth the eyebrow-raise. Things ended satisfyingly, and the way they should have. (In my opinion.) (The CORRECT opinion, jk.) I love this TV show. It was truly great. Let’s read a 40,000,000-word recap of it, one last time.

Winter White climbs into his car and, with shaking hands, fumbles around with a screwdriver before police lights illuminate the snow-covered windows. “Just get me home,” he says, “Just get me home and I’ll do the rest,” as if Vince Gilligan knew how much we hated when blog television reviewers talked about how Heisenberg and Walt are two different entities in one man, and just wanted to mess with us one last time. (Or was he talking to God?) (Just kidding, let’s please not talk about it, we have other things to talk about!!) God does allow him a pass, ’cause even God wants to see how this all ends LOL, and the cops move on, leaving Walt alone with his Marty Robbins song about an outlaw dying the death he deserves. Few people give Zach Braff the credit he deserves for his music supervisor job on Breaking Bad! (I’M KIDDING THE MUSIC IS ALWAYS GOOD, I’M LOVIN’ IT.) (Very on-the-nose, though, you have to admit.)

He gets the keys from the thingy and gets outta there. Phew. On his way out of there, he stops at a gas station, takes some medicine, and pretends to be a writer from the New York Times in order to get Gretchen and Elliott’s address. Like, just totally asking for a friend, a hypothetical friend, but do you think the New York Times would ever do a story about Aaron Paul and do reporters normally ask for subjects’ beautiful wives not to be around when they come by to interview somebody? Would that be normal, or…? Just curious. Anyway Walt gets the address and leaves his watch on the pump, which I thought must mean something, but then on Talking Bad Vince Gilligan said they just had to do that for continuity, because they forgot to put a watch on him in the flashback scene. Hahah. Vince! Stop being honest! IT MEANS SOMETHING JESSE SOMETHING SOMETHING TIME SOMETHING!

Walt sulks around Gretchen and Elliott’s rich people house like a goddamn ghost while we’re reminded that we should be happy that he’s scaring Gretchen and Elliott, because they are the type of people who argue over Thomas Keller restaurants and have classical music start playing from the moment they enter their stupid beautiful rich people house. Jerks. It takes Gretchen a long time before she notices Specter White sneaking around behind her. As I mentioned last week, a bunch of people were under the impression — after the Charlie Rose interview — that the ricin had to be for these two, but that didn’t make much sense. Screw them, for sure, I hope Per Se loses their reservation, but their deaths would have been fairly meaningless within the current storyline. What is not meaningless within the current storyline is that Walt still believes that he knows what’s best for his family (better than his family does), and believes that they should have his drug money even if they don’t want it. He gets Gretchen and Elliott to agree to put it in a trust and give it to Walt Jr. on his 18th birthday, as if it is from them alone, and shows them what will happen if they don’t:

THEY’LL LOOK LIKE NERDS ON TV! Hahaha. Dorks! No, I kid — they’ll be murdered. Haha. No, I lie — it was just Badger and Skinny Pete holding little red lights on them. The boys start to say they don’t know how good they felt about lying and manipulating people, but then Walt hands them money and they’re like, oh, okay. The show should’ve just been that scene? One and done, save us all a little time JUST KIDDING I LOVED THIS SERIES SO MUCH I WISH IT WOULD NEVER HAVE ENDED JUST KIDDING THE ENDING WAS APPROPRIATE AND APPROPRIATELY TIMED BUT I WILL MISS IT!

The next scene, finally, shows our sweet baby Jesse with a perfectly restored face.

Aw, my love. My sweet little woodworking love. He daydreams in golden light about building a tiny box, and, like always, you just want to reach out and give him a hug and tell him to be careful around all of those dangerous tools. But it doesn’t last for long — his dream is broken when his chain gets caught, and we’re brought back to methworking reality. Poor baby.

We’re then reminded of the scenes that started the season and the season’s speculation off — Walt gathering his gun and his ricin. Elsewhere, Lyida and Todd are having a sweet date business meeting awkward cringefest while Mr. Cool Disguise sneaks up behind them:

Hahah. I get that he has basically disappeared as a person, and that’s what’s happening here, and I like that very much, but also it looks very funny. Sneaky Dirt-Walt! He pitches them some bologna plan, but only to slip Lydia the ricin in her Stevia packet. It was honestly kind of surprising that that was the use for the ricin, only because that is what absolutely everyone assumed the use for the ricin would be. Then again, Hank did die after placing a death call to Marie, so maybe we’re expecting more fake-outs than we should be. But I really did think that would be a fake-out! All the close-ups on the Stevia? All the close-ups on the tea? All the repeating the word Stevia over and over? Anyway. In the desert, Walt constructs what is sure to be a winning Robot Wars entry:

And that’s a wrap on The Desert. [applauding] [crying] Back at Marie’s house, she calls Skyler to warn her that Walt has been seen around town and a few different people have been calling the police, claiming to be him. He even said hi to Carol! The disparity between Marie’s scene and Skyler’s scene is pretty striking. Marie stands up straight in a nice, brightly-lit home with cute little clothes, while Skyler slumps over in her dimly-lit home, smoking, drowning in tan. (On Talking Bad [it was a pretty good episode of Talking Bad, I have to say!] Anna Gunn said they purposely put her in larger clothes, so it would seem like she was fading away — just like they did with Walt.) (This is a good show!) (I MEAN WAS, OH MY GOD.) After she hangs up, the camera is pushed in to reveal Walt:

God, this scene. She asks why he’s there, and he says he needed a proper goodbye — not their last phone call. Although she’s cold to him, and although he doesn’t deserve it, you can tell that a bit of Skyler still loves Walt. “You look terrible,” she says. “I know. But I feel good.” After telling her that she won’t have a problem with the nazis after tonight, and after giving her the coordinates of Hank and Gomie’s bodies to use as leverage with the police, and explaining that it wasn’t he who killed them, he tells her what she and the rest of us have been waiting to hear. “You have to understand, everything that I did..” YESSSS, YESSSS?? “I did it for me. I liked it. I was good at it, and I was really — I was alive.” God, it is so fucking good. This show. I’m going to miss this show so much!

Before leaving, Walt asks to say goodbye to Holly. He does, as both he and Skyler, and also the rest of us, have tears in their and our eyes. Boy oh boy. He watches Walt Jr. come home from school, but doesn’t interact with him. Ahhh. Ahhhhhhh. Goodbye, family. Enjoy the drug millions you’re getting even though you don’t want it. I will miss you very much. I’m glad you’re all alive. Holly, you’re so cute. Ahhh. It’s hard to say goodbyeeeeeeeeee.

Unless we’re saying goodbye to the nazis! In that case, the goodbye is easy! Walt enters the nazi den, his robot gun key placed within sneak-reach distance on the pool table behind him, to pitch them the same bologna meth plan that he pitched Lydia. The nazis say no thanks and, just as they are taking him away to kill him, he stops them in their tracks by accusing Jack of partnering up with Jesse. If I were in the business of criticizing a television show that I love and whose ending I thought was generally very good, I would say that it might be too much of a stretch to believe that Jack would feel the need to bring Jesse up in order to show Walt, whom he was about to murder anyway, that he wasn’t partnered with a rat. Who cares, Jack? Just kill him! But he does care, and he brings Jesse up.

Jesse drags his broken body through the parking lot and is brought inside, where he and Walt stare at each other for a bit. Jesse looks nice with his long hair. You don’t know up until this point whether or not Walt’s intention was to murder Jesse along with the nazis — I am of the mind that it was, as he had no reason other than to be under the impression that Jesse was cooking with them freely. (Unless he had time understand that Jesse had no other choice but to do what he did, and when he heard that blue meth was still circulating he assumed that Jesse was being forced.) (Who knows!) (WE’LL NEVER KNOW.) But after seeing that Jesse has been tortured and forced to cook against his will, he tackles him and DING DING DING DING DINGs the trigger.

All the bad guys are murdered except Todd, whom Jesse is allowed to murder. Thank god. Obviously murder is bad and I would never want anyone to murder anyone, plz don’t take me 2 jail, except I WOULD want Jesse to murder Todd, because Todd is a monster and this is a television show. MURDER HIM! After he is murdered, as Jesse unlocks his chains, Jack tries to get Walt to allow him to plea for his life. He’s the only one who knows where the rest of Walt’s money is, he says. And if he were one of the main characters on this show, this kind of tactic might have worked! (Only lightly criticizing.) But he is not, and we all want to see him die, so Walt shoots him mid-plea. It is very satisfying.

Also satisfying: Walt attempts to get Jesse to shoot him by saying, “Do it. You want this.” Ah, still up to his old Walt tricks, even when he is bleeding from a gunshot wound in his stomach. Just like he did after Walt tried to convince him to flee, Jesse tells Walt that this isn’t what he wants — this is what Walt wants. Walt is asking him to do him a favor, and he won’t do it until he hears Walt admit it. Walt does, and for a moment it seems like Jesse would give him what he wanted.

But he doesn’t. “Then do it yourself,” he says, and drops the gun. One of the many talked-about possible outcomes of the show had Jesse murdering Walt, and it wouldn’t have been a particularly bad goodbye — but to have Jesse refuse to take part in anymore of Walt’s manipulative soul-crushing is a much better end to his story. He heads to his car a free man, and Walt gives him a nod. Then he speeds away, crying and laughing. Oh, Aaron. Please drive carefully! What if the police pull you over for speeding? You might not make it all the way to Brooklyn! BE CAREFUL!

Before Walt leaves the nazi den, Todd’s corpse gets a phone call from Lydia. Walt informs her that everyone is dead, and soon she will be, too. Goodbye, Lydia!

All that’s left is for Walt to walk quietly around the meth lab that he and Jesse brought to life together, as Badfinger’s upbeat “Baby Blue” swirls around him. (On Talking Bad, Vince said that this was Walt’s moment with his Precious. [Nerd.]) He collapses to the ground as the camera pulls up and police swarm his lifeless body.

Goodbye, my friend. You were one horrible guy.

Comments (164)
  1. Nothing gave me more joy than when I screamed at the TV last night, “JESSE’S GOING TO PRINCESS LEIA HIM!”

    And then he did. And it was glorious.

    Fuck you, Todd. Go Jesse. I hope you enjoy your life of severe emotional problems while managing your woodworking store in Old Town.


  3. Remember when some nerd last week was like, “I’m 99% certain we won’t see the Schwartz’s again, the ricin is OBVIOUSLY for Walt, etc etc you idiots”. Boy does that guy have to feel smart today!

    But, yeah, this show always had a real gift for unfolding about how you expect, just in a much more cleverly constructed way than you could have anticipated in the previous week’s recap comment thread.

  4. I had a little bit of trouble adjusting to the tone of the episode. Everything was very clean plot-wise, very inevitable-seeming, sort of resigned. Which felt unusual for Breaking Bad. From the moment that the keys fell into Walt’s lap, to all his it’ll-make-one-heck-of-a-story and I-think-the-police-will-find-ME-after-tomorrow comments, the message seemed to be, “Look, we all know what’s going to happen, there’s nothing you can do about it, so just sit back, relax, and watch.” Maybe that’s OK for a finale, but it wasn’t what I expected. It was more of a quiet epilogue than one last climax.

    Still, obviously A+++ episode and series. Would Cook Meth With Again.

    Jessie+Walt 4ever RIP.

    • Agreed. The whole thing was very quiet. Like, not just the lack of big action scenes, but there was minimal music and sound design throughout, and lots of loaded pauses. It’s like everything lead to the giant explosion of “Ozymandias,” and the last two episodes have been the moments after, when everyone gets up and walks around the wreckage, taking it all in.

  5. I looooooved that scene with Gretchen and Elliot. From “You’re going to need a bigger knife” to “I hired the two greatest assassins west of the Mississippi” I loved how Walt played up his image to scare these rich people. Like, those lines were straight from a cheesy movie, yet they worked on them because ivory tower.

  6. Is anyone else worried the cops will find Jesse’s confession tape at the Nazi compound?

  7. I just like the idea that Jesse’s robot idea from Season 1 didn’t seem like such a bad thought after all!

  8. We just started watching this show over the summer, and somehow managed to watch all 5 seasons in time for the finale.

    I don’t know how any of you were able to wait weeks or months between episodes. What a great show even though it is so difficult to watch.

    I’m just chiming in because this is the first time I’ve gotten to join in the Breaking Bad conversation with everyone.

    • I know!! I started watching it like a month ago and just hardcore marathoned all the episodes (you guys, I have no life) and I was an emotional wreck last night. I can’t imagine what I would have been like if I had started watching five years ago like most people.

      • We were thinking that watching so much in a small amount of time probably heightened the anxiety, but yes, last night was some seriously stressful television.

        Also, since we watched most of it on Netflix or iTunes, it was really weird to watch the last few episodes with commercials.

        Dramatic Scene ends. “Brought to you by Chrysler.” – AMC announcer guy.

      • As did I and it was really hard to marathon this show! I had to sneak in some New Girls just so I would still want to live. When I was watching Talking Bad I thought about how Gus and Mike had died very recently for me but for everyone else it had been a while and they were probably ok with it, but I was still really pissed. I definitely wanted Walt to die and Jesse to live so I’m very happy with the outcome.

        And that is the first and last time I get to participate in the Videogum BB recap. *sob*

      • I think most people binge watched the series. Not me though. I’m cool because I’ve watched it from the beginning.

    • Kelly, your recaps are excellent. I especially love hovering over the photos to read the file names.

      Now that I don’t have to worry about spoilers, I will be digging through the Videogum archives to read all the Breaking Bad related posts.

  9. A+ Very good. Would finale again.

  10. The Schwartz residence is very nice and I would like to live there, please.

    • It’s a little too sniper-friendly for me

    • I went on the WB tour a few years ago (super neat tour, highly recommend — esp for Gilmore Girls fans) and they explained a lot about stage set up and design as shorthand for characterization. Very clean, very pristine houses basically implied people were sociopaths and otherwise evil. I thought of this in the shots of that insane and beautiful house. Also I think that was the cocktail bar/kitchen, not the full one. Assholes.

  11. I love you Landry Clarke but SO LONG, METH DAMON!!

    • There is some very good acting on this show, but I have to give it to Jesse Plemmons (Plemons? Plemonns?) in that department because Todd truly was sweet and terrifying and relaxed and everything at once.

  12. I’m so, so, so happy that we got one last scene with Badger and Skinny Pete.

    And it even got a little philosophical. I feel like they’ve been going to community college off screen.

  13. IT was like personally cathartic for me when Walt admitted he did everything for himself. And Jessee, sweet Jesse escaped! I was afraid he would not. It was a perfect ending.


  14. I remember, like, four years ago that someone mentioned this show to me. It was in the context of, “They used your high school to film in the pilot ISN’T THAT NEAT?!” (It was neat.) So I decided to give it a try. And that show had me at the bathtub scene.

    I loved this show. I loved that it showcased Albuquerque, even in the not best of ways. Bryan Cranston is a god. Oh yeah, and the one time I saw Aaron Paul at a bar he seemed pretty nice. (And so so tiny.)

    It was a good run. I’ll miss you BB. I’ll also miss the recaps just as much as I’ve missed the LOST ones over the years. At least this ending was fucking satisfying, though.

  15. The scene where Walt was just wandering around Gretchen and Elliot’s house without them noticing was probably one of the scariest scenes I have ever seen on television. It wasn’t even that I was that scared he was going to kill them, but just the idea of hanging out at home, completely oblivious to the fact that you are 1 foot away from someone who is perfectly willing and able to kill you? AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH NIGHTMARES FOREVER

  16. Thank God they tied up the loose end on what happened to Huell:

  17. so now that breaking bad is over, can we start applying that same dumb “these two shows share an actor, OMG WHAT IF ONE IS A PREQUEL TO THE OTHER LOL, EPIC #MINDBLOWN” theory to other shows? i’ll start.

  18. I laughed so much at the GreyMatter people being strong-armed into money laundering. I love it when a TV show is smarter than me.

    • I was also left with the impression that Walt did this with the intention that they get caught laundering his money, as that would be the most likely outcome in this show’s moral universe: the money birds coming home to their money roosts and all that.

      • I felt no ‘now choke on it’ sentiment from Walt, at least not in regards to Walt Jr.’s trust.
        The finale concentrated on one thing: Walt attempting (an succeeding) in cementing his legacy.
        His legacy is comprised of two things: his children, and his business/empire.
        He ensures his children are taken care of.
        He pulls the plug of his empire after he climbs to the top of it.

  19. Beautiful ending to an amazing series.

    -Walt dying in the one place he felt alive.
    -Jesse screaming and crying with excitement finally being free.
    -Jesse’s wide eyed baby face making that box he so cherished cut back to his chained imprisonment KILLED ME!

    This season has been filled with so many hand-over-mouth HOLY CRAP moments that it makes sense that the finale wouldn’t pack too many punches that we didn’t already know might come (killing the Aryans, the Ricin for Lydia). It tied up loose ends and concluded one of the greatest television shows of all time in spectacular fashion.

    Thanks Vince, cast and crew.

  20. This was such a good finale! I don’t agree at all with people who said it was too neat, because honestly after everything that happened in the last few episodes if it had gotten any darker or more grim it would have just been too much. And there were things that I really didn’t see coming, like the stuff with Gretchen and Elliot! And it’s not like anybody got a super happy ending because let’s face it, all of the surviving characters are going to have a rough time going forward! But at least some of the people who were less awful than the other people survived, and hopefully they’ll be ok! Exclamation points!

    My only real complaint is that I was a little annoyed that Walt got to die on his own terms because my hate for Walt runs very deep, but at least he owned up to some stuff before he bit it. And at least he saved poor Jesse.

    Also, I watched the episode with my mom and at the end, literally the second the screen went black before the credits even went up she shouted “I LOVED IT!” so instead of crying at the end I got to LOL.

    • I agree that the tidy, fan-pleasing, dare I say fun way everything tied up was deserved after the previous couple hours. It was important and satisfying on a story level that it went to those dark places: there had to be cost to Walt’s actions, and the show was always set in a world where consequences came without mercy.

      But Breaking Bad also, most the time, was a lot of fun. Kind of a twisted “dissolving bodies falling through ceilings, nursing homes getting bombed” type of fun, but still that was an essential part of what the show was. It was a thrill ride that made you smile when bad guys got got in really ingenious ways. So I was glad they sent us out on that note again. It was earned.

  21. Very happy for Jesse. One last revenge kill and now hopefully he can still run away to Alaska or whatever. A+.

    I do think it makes sense that Lydia got the ricin in the end. The ricin was sort of always meant for Walt to take over the empire, as in every time it showed up was in a plot to shore up stability in some way. First with, I think Tuco? Then that plot fell apart so it moved to Gus who Walt decided to off under the guise of safety but really to be in charge, and then when Jesse didn’t poison him he used it to keep Jesse on his side so he could have his partner to further the empire. Now that Walt admitted he didn’t do it for his family, handled leaving his money, and basically murdered the whole operation, the only thing he could have left was truly recognition and glory. The only way to ensure that was killing Lydia, the only other possible DEA lead besides Jesse, who I think he intended on killing until he saw him chained up, in a way that wouldn’t arouse much suspicion or name her as some kind of ringleader like she became. So, in that way it makes sense it went to her.

  22. ALSO… I called Jesse living. I CALLED IT. WHERE IS MY PRIZE, KELLY?!

    • Well, what they didn’t show was Jesse getting stopped by the cops on the way out and held for questioning. They find his confession video and he goes to jail for murder. While in prison he gets killed by other inmates with ties to the cartel. Sorry.

      • It also means Huell, Kuby, Badger, and Skinny Pete are all going down too. Hopefully Kuby had enough sense to run. I think the real message Vince Gilligan was trying to share with us is “Don’t Snitch”

    • Your prize is seeing Jesse alive! We all win!

  23. Shhhhh (inside joke for Stu and the peeps at Fatcat)

    I had a bunch of thoughts but after reading Kelly’s recap I have nothing else to recap. A+

  24. The only problem is its almost like the ending thought, “Oh, Jesse’s suffered enough unspeakable horror, let’s give him a break.” Whereas I figured that this show was always about making horrible things happen to Jesse so he could be miserable and unhappy.

    Maybe i need to rethink the plot of the show?

    • I was also hoping they’d have a scene at with that one kid at Walt’s school who was always trying to weasel his way out of bad grades and he’d be in Carmen’s office, “you know, I feel that since I was in a chemistry class taught by that horrible Heisenberg person, I should get an A for the year.”

  25. Shhhhh (inside joke for Stu and the peeps at Fatcat)

    I had a bunch of thoughts but after reading Kelly’s recap I have nothing else to recap.

  26. My cable went out three times during the finale because I was in a typhoon.

  27. I screamed that those are probably just laser pointers and not sniper rifles and everyone I was watching with told me to shut the hell up! It was a small victory to be right, but now I can’t watch tv with people anymore.

    • I guessed the purpose of the garage door opener well before my boyfriend did, which was vindicating since he usually picks up on that stuff first.

  28. I’m one of the people who thinks it ended too neatly, but then I wonder how I would be feeling if it hadn’t. I feel like not everything should have gone Walt’s way in the end, because what a fucking asshole, but then things going his way meant things would be better for everyone else, so…I don’t know. I think part of me wishes there would have been more loss for Walt only because it would show that no, you can’t do/be this and have everything fall into place (as much as that’s possible in this case) in the end.

    • But he did lose everything; how much more loss could there have been? (Not trying to be antagonistic, seriously, just interested in this point of view!) Would you have rather him turned himself into the police?

      • I hear you. I cried when he said goodbye to Holly (even though I had very mixed feelings about it) and especially when he watched Flynn from afar. It was gut-wrenching. I just believe there is no way that Walt’s actions wouldn’t have caused the death of one of his immediate family members, and if that had happened, or if, at the very least, Jesse had died, I feel like it would have sent a greater message (to the audience) that there were grave repercussions for his decisions. Hank’s death hurt him, but not like it would have had it been Skyler, Flynn, or Holly. And did he lose, really? Because the whole point was for him to get money to his family so they would be taken care of after he died, and he achieved that. He also admits that he enjoyed the wrath he caused along the way. Considering the pain and deaths of so many other innocent people (ABQ, the boy in the desert, etc.) he was responsible for, he got off too easy.

        • I admit that, at the moment, I am thinking more about the social ramifications of the show than I am thinking about it solely as entertainment.

        • Well, fair enough. You’re certainly entitled to your opinion, and I never really thought about it that way. I do think though that to lose his family and see their hatred of him manifested may actually have been worse, in a way, than their actual deaths. And I do think that Hank’s death hurt him to the core. At the end of his life, everyone hated Walt. I think that him getting money to his family was not just the ultimate goal. To me that seems like a simplification of what he wanted. He wanted his family to have money so they would be taken care of, yes, but he also wanted the peace of mind of knowing that they loved him and were grateful to him, and that his family was whole and happy. He definitely did not have that at the end.

  29. OH wait, I do have something to say. It was the Mister Magorium ending!

  30. I liked the part where everyone got what was coming to them.

    But seriously. A very satisfying if imperfect end to a brilliant show.

    My one major gripe (and it is kind of major) was the final confrontation/resolution between Walt and Jesse. I understand that Jesse was exhausted and maybe didn’t have anything left in him, but this dude HAD A VERY LARGE PART IN THE DEATHS OF TWO WOMEN YOU CARED ABOUT VERY MUCH, in addition to poisoning a young boy. He was also probably the closest thing Jesse ever had to a true father figure in his life. To just walk (drive) away into the night was a little too much for me to shallow.

    • If blame for Andrea’s death extends to anyone past Todd and the Nazis, it seems like it has to hit Jesse before it does Walt. The consequences of trying to escape or refusing to cook were made very clear to him.

      • Walt constantly used Jesse’s relationships with others (Jane, Andrea, Brock, Badger and Skinny Pete) to further manipulate him. “They don’t understand you. I’m the only one you can truly trust.” The Nazis may have killed Andrea regardless, but it doesn’t absolve Walt of using her in his twisted scheme to further his own ends.

        • Killing Walt wouldn’t have brought Jane or Andrea back, Jesse realized Walt had a mortal stomach wound, and didn’t want to let Walt use him one last time. So in not killing him, he realized his liberation from Walt’s machinations. I think that was pretty much how it had to end.

          • I didn’t want Jesse to kill Walt. Just maybe give him more of a tongue lashing or shame him for all the awful things he did to Jesse (essentially ruining his life). I know ultimately it wouldn’t have mattered, but I thought he should have felt a bit more remorse for all the terrible shit he’d done.

        • That’s true. But Jesse has to live with being more directly responsible for her death, I would think. When they killed her in front of him, I thought that probably had to destroy everything left of Jesse, and I was surprised at how alive he seemed driving away in the finale.

    • I think it signified Jesse breaking off from Walt’s mind games. He realized Walt was dying anyways and he did break him out of Nazi desert prison. If he killed Walt the guilt would have gotten to him the same as when he killed Gale. Jesse and Walt were never really into being physical with their murders. They mostly outsmarted people. They even had qualms about killing Crazy 8 who tried to kill them. I think the way Jesse killed Todd was a callback to that. By letting Walt die by himself, he let Walt go, Just like Molly let Mr Magorium go.

    • I read something somewhere about Walt’s 3 sons: Flynn, his actual son and the representation of his good, family-man life; Jesse, his adopted meth son, with a potential for goodness that’s been torn apart by Walt’s evil side; and Todd, the meth son he always wanted, worshipful of Heisenberg and willing to do whatever it takes regardless of morals.

      I think it was interesting that, in this ending, Walt didn’t get to even say goodbye to his “good” son. He just watched him from a distance, unable to ever see him again, but his “conflicted” son murdered his “evil” son, and, when given the chance to kill Walt, chose not to. So, maybe Jesse saw some goodness left in Walt? Maybe?

      • I think Jesse didn’t want Walt’s death to be on him. No matter how much he hated Walt now, Jesse just isn’t a murderer. That’s not who he is. From the earliest deaths to Gale and on down the line, it never set right with him; he was never able to shrug murder off like Walt (seemingly) could. And, he didn’t want to do Walt what told him to do!

  31. I thought the Stevia thing was too obvious to be what they were going for but I am very satisfied with the ending. I’m pretty sure humans first invented film so that we would have a way to effectively capture images of Nazis getting shot the fuck up. I was especially delighted with the use of Badger and Skinny Pete. No surprises in this finale but given all the jaw-dropping moments this series has given us I’m very glad it didn’t end with Walt holding a bullet-riddled Holly in his arms with his dead family and blood-covered money on the floor around him. Loved the Marty Robbins too.

  32. Thank you for these recaps, Kelly!! I will miss them almost as much as I will miss the show. My brain and heart can’t hold all of the things about this episode! THE NOD between Walt and Jesse at the end…gah!!! The entire kitchen scene. Just, everything, really!

    I will say that I’ve been sneaking around at work trying to read recaps all morning. I just don’t get the people who are really upset that it ended “too cleanly” or that Walt got off “too easy.” He lost everything he had worked (murdered/lied/manipulated/stolen) for! And while yes, his “revenge” at the end was super satisfying for me to see as a viewer, I don’ t think those were the terms Walt would have chosen 5 seasons ago. It was too late for Walt’s redemption; he had just gone too far. He was a schemer and a manipulator to the end, as this review so astutely points out, still believing that he knows what’s best for his family, etc. etc…but his honesty with Skyler about his motivations, for me, was the best kind of “redemption” I could have hoped for for Walt.

  33. HOLLY RANT: Something else I realized after watching some of the marathon was that besides building a meth empire was that Walt and Skylar were pretty horrible parents to Holly all the way along. Smoking in her room and then picking her up? Blankets in her crib? Skylar singing a song half-assed to her in the car because she doesn’t really give a shit? Letting her ride around on a little toy car next to the pool? WTF?!!
    That stuff bugged me more than a lot of the more obvious faults they both had, because BE BETTER TO YOUR BABY! And then Skylar lets Walt see her? After he KIDNAPPED her? Ah, the endless wonders of codependency. Maybe the lack of care for Holly throughout was a subtle way of VG telling us, “Don’t forget – these people are selfish dicks who only care about themselves.”

    • The little toy car around the pool kills me. Honestly, in that scene, when everything is happy and fine for a minute, I totally thought Holly was going to fall in and drown.

  34. Breaking Conaboy: The Kelly & Aaron Paul Story

  35. Shoot: SkylEr

  36. One loose end was left untied…

    Whither thou, dearest Kuby?

  37. Huzzah! Go, Pink Man, go!

  38. I am satisfied by the ending. I love that Lydia got the ricin because she was annoyingly particular in her choice of (artificial) sweeteners.

  39. Ummm, so this just occurred to me, but Bob Dylan’s “It’s All Over Now Baby Blue,” would’ve been a way better song to end on than Badfinger’s “Baby Blue.”

    How do I email Vince so he can change it?

  40. I’m partly in the “It ended too neatly” camp. I thought it went way too hard to bring resolution to all the arcs. And not just narrative but emotional. In that regard, I thought it was a little too pandering given other more dramatic choices made throughout the series.

    But I still would have been firmly in the “I really loved it!” camp, if it wasn’t for that dumb song choice at the very end. Dude in charge of music has largely killed it. And lyrically, “It’s All Over Now Baby Blue” more or less falls in line with the closing of the curtain. But the tone was way too much of a contrast. To give them the benefit of the doubt, it may have been meant to hearken back to the more light-hearted nature of earlier seasons. But even with that in mind, we’ve long since past that point. You can’t go home again.

    Something like “Blue Crystal Fire” might have been more appropriate if we HAD to have a closing song with vague thematic connotations.

  41. I just read this on EW – pretty amazing:

    For the grand series finale Sunday night, Breaking Bad hit 10.3 million viewers, with 6.7 million adults 18-49.
    Let me explain how crazy that is. Do you know what the fourth season finale of Breaking Bad delivered a mere two years ago? That was the gripping “Face Off” episode that capped Walter vs. Gus’ deadly season-long chess game. Go on, guess…
    The fourth season finale delivered only 1.9 million viewers. And at the time, that rating was actually considered good news. Because that was up 23 percent from season three. So two years and only 16 episodes later (since the fifth season was split into two runs of eight episodes each), Breaking Bad viewership has skyrocketed an astounding 442 percent.

    • BB became the show to watch in the last year. Gilligan & co. used the split season to drum up the hype and got people to catch up or watch the show for the first time. It’s always been a critical darling and had a hard-core audience which finally broke out of the niche this last half-season. The demand for BB was so big I did a piece on its relationship to the world of international politics for a big website (I teach political science) and was immediately contacted by a radio station to do a 5 minute interview right before the season started. I can’t imagine that happening even a year ago… I am glad that for once, a show that deserved the hype finally got it before it was off the air (ie The Wire or Arrested Development).

    • I hope this means more good TV and less Chuck Lorre TV is in our futures.

  42. Oh, Todd’s ringtone for Lydia! You never had a chance, Meth Damon.

  43. Well, time to check out that spinoff series, “Sleepy Holly.” I hear it’s pretty good, and how could it not be?

  44. I enjoyed this very much. I wasn’t around to participate in previous discussions. But I’ve loved the recaps and the comments. I mean, I enjoyed the show more, obviously. But you guys were like a better Talking Bad.

    Flynn’s camou-pants for the win!

  45. Who called the police to the Nazi compound? I also kinda wish there was a where are they now at the end. ALSO when Walt tackled jessie I wanted them to kiss a little.

  46. one of my best friends never watched it until A WEEK AND A HALF AGO and seriously burned through the entire series like a maniac so she could watch the finale with the rest of us crazies, then her wonderful family surprise visited her on Sunday and she couldn’t watch it, and to my knowledge hasn’t yet. Oh the irony!

  47. Did anyone else feel like Walt seemed to conjure Mike when he mocked Elliot and his knife? Possibly a nod to the adopting traits of victims theory.

  48. I keep checking back for new comments. I don’t want to say goodbye! I don’t want to say goodbye!

  49. Regarding Jack, Todd, and the gang:

    “When the muscle starts thinking it’s the brain, it’s time to amputate.” — Scarface, Batman:The Animated Series

  50. Quick question to any sharp-eyed viewers or people who already watched the episode multiple times:

    Did Walt switch out Stevia packets when he had his real and/or fake coughing fit, or was the ONE packet of Stevia at the table planted there before Lydia and Todd ever sat down?

    I’m inclined to say the latter is what happened, since Walt doesn’t have Huell’s light fingers and sleight of hand skills. I mean, there was only ONE packet left at the table. I’m inclined to believe Walt took the rest and put his special packet there before he sat down to wait for their arrival, rather than do a switcheroo right in front of their smug/disgusted faces…

    Can anyone confirm or deny this?

    • I think you’re right that he set up the one packet before. Someone pointed showed in these screenshots that Walt was staked out at a table across from them the whole time (nifty bit of misdirection via the cinematography). There was never a moment that implied slight of hand.

      • Ok, sure, but where did he get a fake stevia packet he could fill with ricin as well? This was gnawing at me… dude’s on the run and sure he’s got $10 million but do they just sell empty sweetener packets somewhere? Did he make a small incision in one and put the ricin in there?

  51. Maybe he took all of the packets from the table and just left one. or maybe who cares because the show is over and far more unrealistic things happened in that episode alone (the gun) , not to mention the series as a whole and it was GREAT

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