The end is here — see how Walter White’s tale in Breaking Bad came to a close in our recap of the finale…
By Curt Heinrichs — Staff Writer
I started watching Breaking Bad in it’s first season when a college roommate of mine got me started on it. I thought it was odd that AMC was straying from playing feature films by branching out into their own TV drama. After a few episodes, I was hooked. Several years and seasons later, we’ve been anticipating the series finale for a long time.
It’s finally here. Without further ado, let’s jump right into the recap.
The final episode starts moments after Walt has fled the bar after making a call to the DEA to turn himself in. Remember, Walt saw an interview with the Schwartz’s on TV where they bad-mouth him. Walt hotwires a car (which is a skill that I don’t currently have in my personal repertoire, but then again, I also lack the knowhow to make meth, so there’s that) and is homeward bound. Walt makes a phone call and poses as a reporter for the New York Times as a way to find the current whereabouts of the Schwartz’s. He sneaks into their home and confronts them. Waifish Elliot brandishes a knife at Walt, but Walt tells him he will need a bigger knife if things are going to go that way.
Walt brings over $9 million into the Schwartz home and tells them that they will give the money to Walter Jr under the guise of a charitable donation from Gray Matter Inc. (the company Elliot and Walt started in their younger days). Walt lays the ground rules for the transaction before shaking hands with Elliot and Gretchen. Gretchen seems more hesitant to aid Walt than her large-eared husband. As a way to give them a nudge in the right direction, Walt lets on that he’s given $200,000 to 2 of the best hitmen in the southwest to keep an eye on the Schwartz’s to make sure they keep their end of the bargain. Now Walt has found a way of getting the money to his family.
It turns out that Badger and Skinny Pete have ended their stoned Star Trek discussions and are now using Walt’s laser pointers to pose as the aforementioned best hitmen in the southwest. When asked about the blue meth still being distributed, Badger and Skinny Pete are surprised to know that Walt isn’t the one cooking it. “It’s so choice,” as Skinny Pete puts it, reminding my wife of Ferris Bueller’s recommendations. Walt deduces that Jesse is still alive and cooking.
Walt, while celebrating his 52nd birthday with Breaking Bad special celebration of bacon numerals, drops in during a meeting between Todd and Lydia. Walt states he found them because Lydia is routine oriented. The scene is inter-cut with a previous flashback of Walt returning home and retrieving the ricin from behind the electric socket at home (“Hello, Carol.”). It is implied that Walt slipped the ricin in Lydia’s Stevia packet ala Nurse Jackie filling her Sweet N Low packets with prescription drugs. Walt White is tying up loose ends. Walt mentions that if Todd and his crew are running out of methylamine, he now has a new way to manufacture meth without the use of methylamine.
Skyler receives a call from her sister, the widowed Marie, with a tip that Walt is on his way back to New Mexico and is likely already there. Marie is under surveillance as is the high school where Walter Jr. is and it is implied that Skyler is being watched just in case Walt decides to pay her a visit. With a shift of the camera, we see that Walt is already in the room with Skyler, where he promises that he didn’t need to hurt anyone in order to meet up with her. Walt tells his wife that he wants to say a proper goodbye and promises that she won’t be revisited by Todd and his men after tonight. He gives Skyler a lottery ticket with the coordinates to the burial site (of the money and Hank and Agt. Gomez) as the numbers on the ticket. Walt tells Skyler that she should trade the information for a deal with the prosecutor. At long last, Walt admits to not continuing the meth industry for the family as long was his line, but for himself; Walt says that he was good at it and he enjoyed feeling alive. Before he leaves, Walt asks to see Holly under Skyler’s watchful eye. Getting his wife off the hook is another loose end for Walt.
Walter Jr. is shown getting off of the school bus (because didn’t his dad crash his gift car in a parking lot, causing Flynn to have to resort to the cheese wagon?), but Walt doesn’t make contact with him. Walt is shown previously rigging some sort of gun on a rotating arm. He must have been a fan of the ol’ Erector Set as a kid before turning to chemistry.
Darkness has fallen, and Walt is shown driving into Uncle Jack’s compound. A thorough pat down takes place before Walt is allowed to see Jack. Walt is clean, but we are shown a red key fob a number of times. Walt insinuates that Jack has partnered with Jesse, betraying his trust and failing to comply with their earlier deal of killing Jesse. Walt grabs for the key fob while Jesse is brought back into the room for a final confrontation. A haggard Jesse is brought face to face with Walt, and Jesse has nothing but disgust in his eyes for Walt. Jesse tackles Walt and Walt uses his incredibly high-powered trunk-mounted machine gun to take out the Nazis save Todd, Jesse, and Walt, who are all on the floor. While Todd is looking for the shooter, Jesse uses his chains to strangle Todd. Meanwhile, Walt finds a gun and finishes off Jack while Jesse unlocks his cuffs. Walt slides the gun to Jesse and Jesse points the gun at Walt. Jesse refuses to pull the trigger until Walt says that is what he wants. Jesse notices a blood stain spreading on Walt’s abdomen and drops the gun.
Walt hears Todd’s phone ringing with a ringtone of something that sounds like “Lydia” being repeated. Kind of pretentious for Todd to have Lydia’s singsongy name as her ringtone. Lydia, expecting to hear Todd’s voice, is shocked to be speaking to Walt. When Walt asks how she’s feeling and tells her that her illness is not the flu but is from complications due to the Ricin he slipped in her drink, he hangs the phone up.
Jesse drives off in a frenzy after a brief look at Walt.
Walt finds Jack’s cooksite and Walt looks longingly at the equipment before the police come driving up the road. Walt falls and his jacket opens, revealing a large bloodstain. He dies as the police come into the cooksite and the credits roll.
Walt is dead.
Walt Jr. will be taken care of thanks to his dad’s precautions.
Jesse is free.
Walt’s planning has allowed for Skyler to be partially exonerated by cutting a deal with the prosecutors.
Todd, Jack, and the neo-Nazis are all dead in a location with a methamphetamine cooksite, pinning the drug business on them and Walt, thereby cutting Jesse out of the case.
Lydia is dead, cutting ties to yet another person that can tie Jesse to the business.
Thanks as always for reading my recap. I enjoyed recapping the action as it gave me a reason to think more critically about a show that I had previously watched and appreciated on a surface level. With several popular TV series’ coming to a conclusion around the same time, I’ll be interested to see what other viewers thought of the series conclusion. There’s no doubt that Nerdcore Movement’s own Heisenberg Damon Martin will be pumping out some more Breaking Bad content in the coming days, so we’ll get our final fix of the series.