Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Breaking Bad Finale “Felina”

If you haven’t seen the show, I don’t know what the fuck you are doing with your life. However, this is your spoiler alert.

Quick recap from Sunday, now that I’ve had 24 hours to process the information: Walt’s dead, Uncle Jack and the Nazi’s are gone, Lydia = deceased, and of course Jesse killed Todd, and lived. How we arrived at this point is the important part. God I’m going to miss this show.

The previous episode, Mr. Lambert (Walter White), is living in New Hampshire and crying in a bar after his son, Flynn tells him to “hurry up and die”. Flynn refused to take Walt’s money. Up to this point, Walt is living in a shack in New Hampshire. No visitors. No communication to the outside world. And the reason why he started this Meth caper, for his family, has finally crumbled to pieces. This was the nail in the coffin for Walt to see the damage he has caused. Instantly this changes from sadness to anger upon seeing Elliot and Gretchen Schwartz.

Walt believes he was cheated out of his fair share of the company, Grey Matter, even though he sold his portion of the company for $5,000. Walt needed the money as a young married man expecting a baby. The company went on to become a multi-billion dollar tech company. Walt became a chemistry teacher with cancer, making $43,000, and working part-time at a car wash. With a genius IQ, he underachieved. He knew he underachieved. What’s worse, he reminded himself everyday by checking on the company’s stock prices….this is what fuels Walt during his ascension from “drug dealer” to “kingpin in the empire business”. He was able to do something, albeit illegal but still something, exceptionally well and in his realm of expertise, chemistry.

His skills at making meth and his need for the money, proved to be a dangerous combination towards rebuilding his broken self-esteem. When he saw the Grey Matter couple on TV, he realized two things: he wanted “revenge” on the couple, and his family, especially his son, was going to take his money. Living in New Hampshire with $11M dollars and nothing to share it with or do with the money, wasn’t his idea of living. In true Heisenberg arrogance, he calls the police on himself, posing as an informant, and makes his way for New Mexico. Acting as a New York Times reporter, he receives the address for the Schwartz family, and decides to pay them a visit. Walt tells them they will deliver $9M to Walt Jr. in the form of a trust upon his 18th birthday (Walt is able to get revenge on his son in this manner by FORCING his son to take his money). Vince Gilligan threw the fans a bone by having Skinny Pete and Badger back in the finale, acting as hired snipers to insure fear in the Grey Matter couple.  For that, I am thankful.

Walt stops by to see Skylar (who was warned by Marie) and Holly and finally reveals to his wife that he did this for himself. He was good at it. The lie he eventually talked himself into believing, long after he had made his money, was a lie he could no longer tell. This revelation is when Skylar definitely knew her husband would soon die.

At this point, Walt begins to cover any loose ends that could potentially come back and harm his family. He poisons Lydia. Rigging a machine gun to the trunk of his car, he kills Uncle Jack and the Nazi’s by the only method fitting for the show, science.  Another Gilligan bone throw is Jesse choking the life out of Todd. His main nemesis the final season. Shoutout to @WilshireRoyalty

The most important relationship Walt has had the last two years has been with Jesse Pinkman. After blackmailing him into a meth partnership, Walt has been the father figure Jesse should’ve never had. The final scene between them shows Walt staring down Jesse. Jesse ready for death. Shackled like a 1670’s Black man. Only to be saved by the man who left him to die in the desert. In the end, Jesse remained true to his word and backed up his previous declaration to Walt over the phone stating “I’m not doing anything else for you. You want something done, do it yourself.” Jesse, seeing Walt literally take a bullet for him, leaves him to die after giving him a head nod and refusing to kill him. Walt dies in peace. Surrounded by beakers, a makeshift meth lab, and the one thing that made him feel alive and give him an identity for the last two years of his life.

So where does this leave us….For one, I can’t complain with how the show ended. Granted, while this is the happiest possible ending for all parties involved, it also makes the most sense, given Vince Gilligan’s nature for closure. For this, I thank him. We did not have to experience another Sopranos or Seinfeld ambiguous finale. Gilligan crossed all t’s, and dotted all i’s. The protagonist/antagonist of the show is a chemist. Exact closure is to be expected and mandatory. For this, the finale did not surprise. It simply informed the bottom line of what was going to occur.  Walt was going to die. This what evident to me the episode where he was watching Scarface with his children and says “everyone in this movie dies.” But to die peacefully in the meth lab, it felt a little too perfect. And this is the making of a great show, with everyone expecting one thing, Gilligan gave us another. Same score. He knew what would work, and this was consistent with the show leading up to this moment. In the season 4 finale, Walt was able to poison Brock, kill Gus, Hector Salamanca, and Tyrus, and save his life and Jesse’s. The story is: Walt will always win, even in death.  

Now, I can focus on basketball and football season. But, cheer up, beautiful people….this where you get to make it right © Walt……the show lives on via NetFlix.

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