It’s been a five season, 62 episode long journey with Walter White. A man who, upon his death, has cemented himself as a Drug Legend. I’ve had a difficult time writing this because I’m unsure of my thoughts on the ending. I wanted to analyze all the themes and symbols of the show, but I’m not so good at that. We can talk about Jesse’s fantasy as a carpenter. Jesse & Jesus sound a bit alike and we can say that Jesse has figuratively sacrificed himself for Walter. Along with the relationship between Jesse & Walt as Father & Son. We can look at the significance of Walter White killing a group of White Supremacy Neo Nazis in his final blaze of glory. Even the irony behind Walt being diagnosed with lung cancer as Skylar sucks down cigarettes is worth analyzing. But thats not central at the end.
People may have wanted better resolutions with certain characters. Maybe Walt talking to Jr one more time, or apologizing to Marie, or even finding out where Saul ended up. These all would’ve been interesting takes on the finale, but ultimately flawed. Because this show has always been about Walt. Everything that happens revolves around him and his interaction with the characters in his world. The story moves along with his narcissistic motivations and desires.
Through this journey Walt transforms from Mr. White The Science Teacher, to Heisnburg, The Meth Dealer, who’d blow up a nursing home to get what he wanted. It’s sad and entertaining to see him become a truly terrible person. Bryan Cranston has to be given credit from making a horrible character as likeable as possible.
The last three episodes were all series finale worthy. I personally would’ve loved the irony of Walt dying from cancer in his cabin alone with his drug money now useless to his family. This ending would’ve been much to dark and I do appreciate him going back to New Mexico to tie up loose ends. The loose ends were tied up a bit to perfectly though. The ricin finding its way into Lydia’s sweetener packet, the gun going off perfectly out the trunk and Walt’s Ninja abilities to get past the police. Everything had a meaning in the end and it shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone. Maybe that was the problem… Usually Walt’s plans are executed, but at a cost. Like the scene stealing the Methylamine that was perfect until Todd shot that young boy. Or, to maintain his usefulness to Gus, he had Jesse kill Gale despite his innocence relatively speaking. Walter destroyed his family trying to secure their future financially. The loss of Hank might’ve been the worst collateral damage as a result of Walt’s ego. So with all this perfectly crafted chaos I was a little underwhelmed that everything worked so well in the last episode. I didn’t forget that Walt actually died at the end, but we all assumed that was coming right? If it wasn’t violence it would’ve been the cancer.
I think they handled Jesse’s send off perfectly. He has been damaged the most by Walter and he deserves the chance to start over or at least attempt to. You know he’ll never be happy because, as we’ve seen throughout the series, he has a hard time moving past traumatic events like Walt, but its nice to know he’ll be able to try.
Easily the best part of the finale was Walter’s conversation with Skylar. It was interesting to finally hear him admit that this entire drug empire he created was not for his family, but was for himself. “I liked it” he admits to Skylar. Seeing her broken and dealing with the repercussions of her husband’s actions hurt. Although she hates Walter we know she allowed herself to be morally corrupted by him. Allowing him to see Holly one last time proves she still cares for him in some capacity.
But who was morally right throughout the show? Walt lost his early on. Marie had her demons, and even Hank, who was seen as the symbol of justice was willing to compromise himself to catch Walt and destroy his family. Having almost the entire cast in the grey area of the moral paradigm was fascinating.
Many people better than me are calling this one of the greatest shows of all time and I won’t argue. Having never watched The Sopranos of The Wire I don’t think I’m allowed to enter the conversation. Breaking Bad will be something we look at years from now as a true moment in pop culture during a “Gold Age” of Television. I loved the show and it’s ending. The death of Walter White in the meth lab was a great send off, as the Heisenberg character was born there. Lastly, the final eight episodes, and “Ozymandias” especially need to be blueprints for all final seasons from here on out.