NOTE: This post will contain spoilers to the series finale. Honestly, it will be pretty much nothing but spoilers.
I’ve enjoyed every season of “Breaking Bad.” I remember my initial reaction to the show.
“So, ‘Malcolm in the Middle’s’ dad cooks meth,” was the first thing that popped into my head when I first began watching “Breaking Bad” on Netflix a few years ago.
At the end of the series finale, I thought “Tim Whatley, Jerry Seinfeld’s dentist on ‘Seinfeld’ has finally met his grizzly end.”
The final eight episodes of “Breaking Bad” became a Sunday tradition for Gina and I. As she worked the bar at the Eagles Club here in Bemidji, we would watch the final episodes on their big TV. It was fun to have a tradition like that, especially with such a gripping hour of television each week.
After Sunday’s finale, she and I were pretty shell shocked. This season has had so many twists and turns, it at times felt like a marathon just to get to the end.
I really did not entertain any illusion that Walter White, cancer sufferer, meth kingpin, homicidal monster and family man would survive.
But I wasn’t so sure about the rest. Who would live, who would die, all of that was up in the air.
And mostly everyone in Walter’s way this season met their end. Be it bullets, ricin or being blackmailed to do his will, Walter went out on his own terms. His own, brilliantly insane terms.
It was a finale we rarely get in shows like this. Who can forget the end of “The Sopranos” with the sudden cut to black after perceiving the world from Tony Soprano’s eyes. Decent, but not the most satisfying.
Walt blackmails his former business partners to give his son $9 million dollars of his drug money in the form of a trust. The blackmail isn’t inside information he has on the company, it’s the threat of having them shot by “hit men” he hired (Badger and Skinny Pete using laser pointers in the woods, creating the illusion of snipers).
He takes out the white supremacist group that took over his empire, kidnapped Jesse and killed his brother-in-law. He takes them out the a machine gun that pops out of the trunk of his car remotely. It was pretty cool, not going to lie.
He is not a hero by any means. But when he finds out in his quest to hunt down Jesse and make him pay for turning on him, he finds Jesse shackled, beaten and forced to cook the product that cause all these problems in the first place. His last action is saving his protege.
I was a bit surprised Jesse survives. But I was secretly hoping for that. Of all the people damaged by the hubris of Walter White, Jesse Pinkman is one of those who was damaged a lot. As he tells Walter in an episode, everything in his life has gone sour since they teamed up.
Walt knows from the start of the episode he is going to die. He makes no allusions to the opposite. He tells his wife this in so many words.
In a sense, from the pilot episode, we’ve all know Walt is living on borrowed time. There is a sort of sympathy for his situation at first, but that dwindles quickly as he transforms into his alter-ego, Heisenberg.
But if Walter was to go out, he was going to on his own terms. Him lying bloody, in a meth lab, dying before the police can get to him was how the man, the myth, the monster was suppose to go.