It’s only after you finish wiping the tears from your face from “Granite State” that you realize that there is only one episode left in what could be the most cerebral television show of the past decade. It’s normal to have these feelings of anxiety. White people had it when Friends ended, black people felt it when The Wire came to a close, and the Hispanic population all held vigil when the George Lopez Show was canceled. Too soon, I know. Heartbreak aside, there are plenty of ways to commemorate the finale of Breaking Bad. We’ve thought of seven you may want to hear about:
1.) Read Hush Comics’ “Breaking Bad Week” articles:
Every day this week, we will be posting a list relating our favorite moments, episodes and Easter eggs from the rest of the series. We will have interactive polls seeing what your opinion on the matter is, as well as original fan art byJohn Sowetosprinkled throughout the week in our ultimate love letter to Vince Gilligan and Co. Check out Instagram for updates as the week goes on, too. The entire Hush family is invested in the show and are as excited to bring you news as you are to read it. It’ll be a sad, sad moment when the series comes to an end, and we want to hear what you all think about it, too.
2.) Buy the Complete Series Blu-Ray Set:
Collectors rejoice! On November 26th, just two months away, the Breaking Bad Complete Series is set to make its way to a retailer near you. With a whopping $225 price tag, the Breaking Bad set has all the feel-good (or Bad, ha!) extras you’ll need to curl up and cry for a week straight. Among the notable bonus feature are: a two-hour long documentary capturing the filming of the final eight episodes, a nostalgic look at each character’s development, as well as numerous amusing anecdotes pertaining to filming and storyline. All told, the extras, which are listed as over 55 hours long, rival the full length of the entire series.
Extras are cool and all, but let’s get real – you buy a complete series for THE STUFF! Stuff-collectors will not be disappointed, as the box set comes inside of a “BrBa” branded barrel of methylamene that you can carry home (or you can roll it, cuz it’s… ya know, a barrel). Inside the tub, which we’re estimating is about two feet tall, are such collector’s items as: a personal 16 page letter from the creator, Vince Gilligan, a Los Pollos Hermanos kitchen apron and a commemorative challenge coin, which I will no doubt scratch one side and flip it around like Two-Face while wearing a pork-pie hat and the signature beard. If you pre-order directly from theBreaking Bad Store, you will receive a free t-shirt. It’s a steep price for any television series set, but collectors and die-hard fans will jump at the chance to own this piece of TV history.
3.) Breaking Bad: Alchemy app/book:
If you’re looking for exclusive interviews, factoids and high-quality photos to give you the inside scoop on Breaking Bad, the Apple iBook app, Breaking Bad: Alchemy, is the place to go. The iPad only app is downloadable for $10; making this an iPad app only definitely leaves the market unsaturated, but after using it, I’m convinced that making it available for smartphones wouldn’t do it justice. I downloaded Alchemy before I set out on a road trip from Denver, Colorado to Lincoln, Nebraska (“What’s in Nebraska?” – Saul Goodman). In the seven-hour drive, I was amazed at the level of depth I came across. I mean, there’s only so much you can learn from a Wiki page before it feels like a chore to read. Not with Alchemy – there was interactive trivia, there was hide-and-seek style clues to click on, and there was death! A really cool detail in this app was the interactive death timeline of all our favorite homies and villains. If I had a 40 with me, I would have poured it all out along I-80. Another great read is the episode guide, in which the titles of episodes are explained. Some focus on a tribute to a past movie or catchphrase, and some mean nothing at all until they are grouped together. In a generation of television that is all about instant gratification, it’s very satisfying to see that kind of forethought put into something as simple as the episode names. The app also focus a lot on different aspects that make up the show, such as cinematography, sound and special effects. Alchemy is all substance (pun!), unlike most books of the same nature. It does a great job of utilizing the medium, by doing what a book cannot by showing the reader instead of telling the reader. It’s any fan’s compendium for the series, giving value to casual and dedicated viewers the same.
4.) Road trip to the ABQ:
Who wouldn’t want to take a trip to the ABQ and relive their favorite scenes? We have no idea; they definitely aren’t reading this blog. Taking trips to Albuquerque, New Mexico solely for the purpose of paying tribute to Breaking Bad is totally normal. And unlike The Wire, is totally encouraged by the city that it was filmed in. Albuquerque takes great pride in Breaking Bad, with many of the local businesses feeding off the recent tourism that the heralded show now brings in. We will actually be embarking on our our Breaking Bad tour in a couple weeks, the weekend after the finale which also happens to coincide with the annualInternational Balloon Fiesta. If we’re lucky, we might even see a gigantic Heisenberg face floating in the distance. Keep up with us as we document all our findings through our trip through Heisenberg’s Hometown. By the time we are done, we will hopefully have compiled a comprehensive list of places to go, people to see, and meth dealers to meet. Kidding, we’re keeping that information to ourselves.
5.) The internet is for pornBreaking Bad:
In this lovely age of information, there isn’t much that you can’t find out about your favorite things. In the case of Breaking Bad, there is plenty of buzz. From nerdy t-shirt sites (like Redbubble.com and OnceUponaTee.com) to poorly-drawn webcomics, there’s something for everyone. Before writing our reviews, we always check out other people’s opinions on IGN, the Breaking Bad wiki or Reddit. And we always check out the Heisenberg Chronicleson Tumblr, or deviantartfor screencaps and original fan art. Wikiquotes also offers some pretty great lines of dialogue in the series that you might have forgotten throughout the series. As Breaking Bad falls off the tongues of your friends, the internet is a great place to keep the legend of the Heisenberg alive. Oh, and here’s one on us, http://www.bettercallsaul.com is REAL.
Of all the characters that have blank pages of background story, Saul Goodman AKA Saul McGill AKA we don’t actually know if any of that is true is the most intriguing. He always seems to know a guy who knows a guy (spoiler alert: sometimes, that guy also knows a guy, too). So imagine my delight when it was announced on my birthday (gush!) that AMC has given the green light to a prequel story to Bob Odenkirk’s Saul Goodman titled Better Call Saul. It will be fulfilling to find out just how exactly Saul became a “criminal” lawyer. Certainly, it won’t be from positive experiences. He and Mike probably didn’t meet while talking about water on Mars at the bar. The most reassuring news is that it will be created by Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould, so we should see high caliber writing with both members of the Breaking Bad brain-trust having their hands on it.
Another spin-off that Breaking Bad is getting is far less spin-offy, and more cultural recreation. In what I consider a tribute to the original, Mexican television network Univision has picked up the series. From what it sounds like so far, it’s going to be a hilarious telenovela version of the show, boasting main characters Walter and Cielo Blanco (no seriously) as they pretty much do the same thing AMC’s Breaking Bad has done, but with rice and beans for awkward dinner instead of Albertson’s deli food and a significantly lower budget. While it’s undoubtedly going to be hilarious, it will be interesting to see how a Mexican network portrays the very cartel that infects its country. I won’t knock it until I’ve seen it, because, honestly, I can’t think of a better way to teach nerds Spanish.
Go to your local comic book convention. Each year, it becomes less about actual comics (although they are the backbone to such events) and more about thousands of nerdgasms happening simultaneously. Costumes, television shows, action figures, homemade trinkets and fan art capture so much more of the nerd spirit than before, and everybody has benefited. All you need to be at a Comic Con is the appreciation and respect of cult followings. And Breaking Bad definitely has that among all nerd walks of life, as we found out at the Denver Comic Con. Not only is it fully appropriate to wear a yellow haz-mat suit and shave your head to become the Heisenberg, but people loved it when we handed out blue rock candy meth and they crooned when Adrian (dressed quite well as Pinkman) called everybody nearby a “bitch.” Cosplay aside, there were tons of merch, from t-shirts to fan art and cool jewelry, Breaking Bad has already solidified itself as a great American treasure in pop culture with the possibility of being resurrected every time a middle-aged man in sweat-stained underwear and a green button-up shirt walk by.
We hope you liked our article! Join us tomorrow as we discussJesse’s Top 7 Bitch Moments… BITCH!
But it was personal… only read ahead if you are cool with spoilers…
This episode was considerably slower than last week’s “Ozymandias”. Many scenes were quiet, and that is one reason Breaking Bad has been so great. The premise is about drugs and guns, but the majority of scenes don’t involve either. “Granite State” was quiet, but hard-hitting. There were several scenes that were very hard to watch, or had you on edge of your seat. It was what the audience needed after such mayhem just a week ago.
At the beginning of the episode, the ominous red van pulls up to … an actual vacuum repair shop… with front of the building’s design resembling the pick up spot. Now you’ll never be able to go to the vacuum repair shop/U-Haul rental down the street without wondering what kind of criminal petri dish is hiding in the basement. The Exterminator (that’s what I’m calling him) gets out and Saul follows, which was very unexpected. It was unclear if this was how he came to ABQ or how he left, but we quickly find out it is how he left. For the first time since the end of the 2nd season, Saul is not wearing his blue ribbon, which symbolizes McGill (Goodman’s real name) finally shedding his scumbag lawyer facade and becomes “just another douchebag with a job and three pairs of Dockers.” Robert Forster (Jackie Brown) as The Exterminator takes Saul’s new ID picture in the shop, directing Saul to fix his hair. Saul flicks his hair back like a woman preening in the mirror.
The exterminator makes the Nebraska ID. Saul asks, “What’s in Nebraska?” a question which many people have thought of themselves. The Exterminator tells him it will be a few days before he can get Saul out of New Mexico, but it will have to be faster than normal since his ads are still plastered all over the city. Saul will have a roomie, and Saul looks at surveillance footage of Walt throwing a temper tantrum in his room.
Marie is in the DEA car. She is being told by other DEA agents that they will find Hank. Sadly, it is after the death of her husband that we find Marie the most attractive Marie has ever been. As they arrive at the Schrader house, it is clear it has been broken into. I guess we got this wrong last week. I never thought the Aryans would actually go get a tape they weren’t sure even really existed. As the agents realize the house has been compromised, two agents hop out and Marie is whisked away. I have no doubt that this will not be the last time we see the lady in purple.
In the background the viewer hears Jesse’s voice on the confession tape. We see Jesse on the TV and the Aryans watching the video while drinking beers. Todd looks at the video like he is proud while Jesse describes the “Opie dead-eyed piece of shit” murdering Drew Sharp. The Aryan’s go out to Jesse’s dog-pound and Jack is ready to kill Jesse because of the tape. Todd stands up for Jesse, saving him once more and then Jack realizes that Todd likes Lydia. That would be the only reason to keep cooking meth after they have so much money. Jack also likens the uptight Lydia’s lady parts to a wood chipper. Ouch. In the dog-pound, Jesse pulls out the picture of Andrea and Brock from Todd’s meth lab. He takes the paperclip from it and begins to pick the locks on his cuffs.
Back at the vacuum shop, Saul and Walt are having a jammy party in the basement, waiting for their new lives. Walt asks Saul for a list of five hit-men. Walt wants to kill the Aryans to avenge Hank and Walt’s money. Saul says he doesn’t know any hit-men. Walt tells him “you know a guy who knows a guy”, something that is classic about Saul. Saul then gives Walt is first tid-bit of free advice: if he leaves, he is leaving his family high and dry and in danger. He tells Walt that without him giving himself up, he is putting Skyler in jail because she would have no leverage for the lawyers to offer a plea. The money and house will be gone and everything will be tapped. Walt tells Saul he doesn’t want to leave and he will give all of his money to his children. He must kill Jack and his crew, get his money back and then he will be through. We’ve heard Walt say he will be through many times before. He is also jumping the shark by believing he alone can take out Jack’s crew. The Exterminator enters and tells Saul he’s ready to go. Walt tells him that Saul and he will being going together. “I’m not your lawyer anymore.” Walt backs Saul into the wall and tries to use his best Heisenberg voice on him before he has a nasty attack of cancer-cough. Saul tells Walt, “It’s over.” And for Saul, it really is.
At the lawyer’s office Skyler, wearing her, of late, signature white, is hearing the white-noise of lawyers going back on forth on her case. Her lawyer, certainly no Saul Goodman, looks over at her like a deer in headlights, which oddly enough is how he is referred to later in the episode. When Skyler comes to, she answers the lawyers pleas for giving up Walt and she admits she doesn’t know where he is. At the house, the police watch the White residence. Skyler looks out her window at the beat down cop car and takes a drag off her cigarette, her vice when she is stressed the whole series. Holly cries and she goes to check on the baby. Three of the Aryan’s dressed in black with masks are in the nursery. Todd talks calmly to Skyler. She pleads for them to not hurt Holly and Todd tells her that he respects her husband. He then tells her to not say anything about Lydia to the police. We see Todd’s love for Lydia here, because it seems odd that she would be who he is worried about in Skyler’s confession to the police. As he leaves, he touches her shoulder in such an odd, reassuring way. Todd is so icky!
At the coffee house where Lydia and Walt first make the Czech deal, Todd dressed for a date and sipping a cup of Lydia’s signature tea and waits for Lydia. Lydia refuses to sit with him, which visibly hurts Todd’s feelings, and lets him know she is going to back out of their deal, even saying they are going to take a break (ouch), because she is worried about being given up to the police. He tells her his batch of meth is at 92% (Heisenberg Level!) because of Jesse. Todd turns in his chair to look at Lydia. He talks of their partnership as being more than just the meth deal. He thinks they are in an actual relationship. If anyone in that coffee shop were to look at them, they would think he was just as creepy. He picks the lint off her blazer. Weird-o!
Walt is in the bottom of a propane truck. He gets out of the awkward holding cell, and enters the cold, snowy emptiness of New Hampshire. The Exterminator greets him as Mr. Lambert. In the long shot, similar to the ones we get of the New Mexican desert, we see the vast amount of snow and trees and a very tiny cabin that will be Walt’s new home. It will be a lonely life in the forest.
Walt wheels in his barrel of money into his new shack. The Exterminator gives him the grand tour and gives him the all the downsides to the place (no internet, no TV, no phone). Walt finds the two copies of Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium (Mr. Magorium dies of cancer just like Walt, although his Emporium is way cooler than Walt’s). The Exterminator tells him that he will make a supply-run for him in a month. Walt is paying him a substantial amount of money to come back and check on him every month. For news, Walt will get the Albuquerque newspaper. Walt is insistent that he still has business to conduct, presumably killing Jack and the clan. The Exterminator lets Walt know that he is wanted nationally by the DEA and that his face is all over the news. He will surely be caught if he leaves. The Exterminator says his goodbye. Walt opens his bin of money and takes some cash out. In classic Heisenberg fashion, Walt puts on the pork-pie hat, smoothing the rim.
He walks in a determined pace to the gate and sees the long roadway with nothing in else in sight. Walt has a coughing fit, closes the gate and promises himself he will go to the town “tomorrow.” The Heisenberg is still determined, but Walt still has cancer.
Back in the dog-pound, Jesse has uncuffed himself. and he is struggling to reach the grate at the top of the cage. He hears the voices clan and Todd walks to the cage. Jesse is laying on his mat, cuffed again. Todd lowers a bucket to Jesse with two different flavors of Ben and Jerry’s. It is a “prize” for cooking 96% percent (closer to Heisenberg level) in the last batch. Todd lights up a cigarette and watches Jesse eat his ice cream. Jesse asks Todd to keep the tarp off the cage because he wants to “see the stars”, appealing to Todd’s softer side. In a mad dash, Jesse takes the cuffs off again, piles this blankets and bucket to balance on and in the coolest Mission Impossible stunt, Jesse Tom Cruise’s his way to the top of the cage, hanging by one arm off the grate.
He finally is able to get both arms on the grate, unlock it and run. He sees the long fence surrounding the property, but does not see the cameras. As he climbs the clan surround him. He turns around and asks them to kill him. Aaron Paul’s intensity is mind-blowing here. The way he screams at them, especially the use of the F-bomb is so real.
Todd walks up to what we know is Andrea’s house. It was hard to deny what was coming next. This time, it is Todd who knocks. Todd kindly approaches Andrea and as per usual, is very polite to her. He lures her out by telling her that Jesse is out in the truck outside. Considering this girl grew up in the hood, its amazing she falls for this. But she does and Todd being so fucking polite tells her “Just so you know, this isn’t personal” and shoots her in the head.
I really can’t wait until that fucker dies. Jesse looks on crying and screaming uncontrollably. Todd gets back in the car and Jack warns Jesse that he needs to settle down and that “the kid” is still to be killed. This was one of the hardest scenes to watch in all of BrBa history. I didn’t have much of an attachment to Andrea, but rather what she represented for Jesse and any kind of normalcy he knew in the series. Poor street smarts or not, Andrea was the last presence of innocence left in all of Albuquerque. Forcing him to watch her die really could be the factor that causes him to go psycho on the psychos.
Back in New Hampshire, Walt is a little snow bunny. He walks to his gate to let The Exterminator in for his monthly drop. Walt did not choose to go out “tomorrow.” He now has hair and a full beard. The Exterminator brings Walt new glasses, as his aren’t working anymore (now we know how he got that look). He updates Walt on his families well-being. She and the kids don’t live in the house anymore, she works as a taxi dispatcher and she is using her maiden name (also Lambert). The house is fenced in because it has become a tourist attraction. The Exterminator pulls out the chemotherapy IV. He assures Walt he can administer the needle because he watched YouTube videos (yikes!). The IV hangs from the deer antlers on the wall where the pork pie hung earlier in the episode. After the needle goes in, The Exterminator gets ready to leave. Walt offers him 10,000 dollars to keep him company. It is a new kind of sad and lonely for Walt to have to pay a stranger to sit with him in his condition. As The Exterminator deals cards, it is hard not to notice the wall Walt has created of all the news paper clippings of his pictures and claims against Skyler from the newspapers. Walt asks The Exterminator to give his money to his family after his death. It becomes clear, this would not be the case, because who would rightfully give a free 11 million to who it belongs to? Later, a very thin and sickly Walt wakes up form a nap. His wedding ring has fallen off his finger due to his weight loss. He ties the ring around his neck, still trying to keep his family a part of his being. He looks at the boxes of Ensure The Exterminator brought him to gain weight and gets an idea. He was warned to not wire the money, but not to mail it. He puts the money in the ensure boxes and finally makes his trek to the one horse town. Walt is clearly weaker. He walks slowly and is coughing more. Also, a note on AMC’s choice of commercials: whose idea was it to go from the shot from behind Walt walking into the stark snow to a back shot of Rick from The Walking Dead waking up to a zombie apocalypse. Talk about a shitty transition.
Back in Albuquerque, “Flynn White” is called to the principal’s office, but not for anything his fault. Carmen, the administrator Walt used to have a crush on tells him that his Aunt Marie is on the phone. A fat biker lady is on the other line in a bar. Walt takes a hold of the pay phone and tells his son why he did what he did. He then tells him that he sent him a box of money for the family to Jr.’s friend, Louis. Walt is degrading himself for not doing more. Flynn has the opposite reaction Walt expects and freaks out about Hank and the money. Walt says, “It can’t all be for nothing” while Flynn screams at him to “Just die already.” Again, Walt is defeated. It really could all be for nothing and his son hates him, an opposite reflection of when Flynn gets so mad that Walt won’t get chemo in the first season, telling him to die. When the line is cut off, Walt makes another call, to the Albuquerque DEA. It’s pretty amazing he knows their number by heart. Anyway, he asks for the agent in charge of the investigation and tells them it is Walter White. At this point, with nothing left that matters, he is ready to just give it up. He leaves the phone hanging and is knowingly and willingly about to go down as the kingpin of Albuquerque. He grabs a drink at the bar, “dimple pinch neat”, and watches the TV. He asks the bartender to stop on a channel where he sees his old pals Elliott and Gretchen Schwartz being interviewed about their contribution to drug rehab facilities in the Southwest United States. They are asked if this contribution was to cut the ties of Walter White “the methanphetamine kingpin” being the co-founder of Grey Matter. They say that Walt had nothing to do with the company and where it went other than the name. There is also a mention of the blue still being sold in the Southwest and Europe, even though the Walt is not the cook any longer. When asked if Walt is still out there, Gretchen is sure that he is not. Now that Walt has lost his family and his money, he now looks at the TV and realizes that his pride and legacy are gone, too.
Walt’s life has come full circle. He lost all credit for everything he did for Grey Matter, and now he has lost control of his precious blue meth. Pride gets the best of him, as it should, or the story wouldn’t be consistent. The theme song plays as the New Hampshire police swarm the bar. As the enter we get a shot of Walt’s drink, the tip and an empty seat. One of the best uses of music this series.
Hush Comics gives “Granite State” an A. It’s hard to knock the writing, because it is Breaking Bad and the second to last episode. It is hard to tell how much of this episode will effect what happens next week. After the lack of movement in this episode, and how little we saw of Skyler or Jesse in the several month period, it is hard to see how the entire series will culminate in only an hour and fifteen minutes. But as always, amazing acting and amazing character development. It was a bit disappointing to not end this episode where the season premiere started. There were about four months of time skipped to convey Walt’s physical depreciation, desperation and loneliness instead of focusing on other major characters and their lives during this pandemonium.
But before we get to that… let’s start off with the teaser. Enter the RV. And may I say, I’m so glad we get a glimpse of the RV one more time. It has been such a symbol to represent the show and I for one have truly missed it. We are at the first cook, as made clear by Walt’s lack of clothing and tighty whities. Jesse asks Walt questions about the cook and Walt says “The reaction has begun.” A great use of dialogue to sum up what that first cook really was. The reaction began for everything and everyone else in the series. Walt and Jesse step out of the RV and we get a close up of Walt calling Skyler with the background of the desert, the RV and Jesse practicing his karate moves. Walter tells the lie that starts all the lies that Bogdan has a “bug up his butt” and is making Walt stay late. The use of the “bug” in this episode is a nice little twist on the symbol. Meanwhile, Skyler is packing up ceramic crying clown that is dressed in blue and white, just like how Walt is dressed in the shootout from last week. The clown is also creepily crying red tears. The tears of the clown is usually an expression for someone realizing truths of their own life and it becomes too hard to handle for them. Once we come back to the shootout scene, it becomes clear the situation is too much for Walt. The fading of the first cook scene to present day is so well done. First Jesse and Walt fade, then the RV fades and then we just have the desert. From then until now has been quite a journey.
We join our BrBa buddies with the big shoot-out behind us. The gun smoke has cleared the air and we see that Steve Gomez lies lifeless on the desert floor, with Hank having a rather painful bullet wound in his leg – this guy just can’t catch a break. As Hank army-crawls towards Gomey’s shotgun, Uncle Jack and his crew find out that Hank and his partner are indeed law enforcement. The apathetic reaction that Grand Dragon Jack has to this news suggests that it wouldn’t have changed the initiation of their encounter a bit. As Jack reaches for his pistol to finish off Hank, Walter pleads with Jack to spare his brother-in-law, and everybody can just go on their separate ways, pretending that none of this ever happened. Walt even tries to buy Hank’s life by offering up the 80 million. Fat chance, Heisenberg. Walt also insists upon Jack using Hank’s name when before he was referred to as “fed”. Respect is a big deal to Walt and using one’s name is the utmost sign of respect. In what might have been his most heroic act of the series, Hank recognizes his fate and looks death straight in the eye, telling the head of the Aryan brotherhood to go fuck himself and taking back his name by not just being called Hank, but dying with his life’s work, ASAC (Assistant Special Agent in Charge) Schrader. Hank is a proud man, too, and decided to take control of his title directly tying it to his life’s work. Walt expects that Hank will want to save himself and in what will become one of the most memorable lines of the series, Hank looks up at Walt and says, “You’re one of the smartest people I’ve ever met and you’re too stupid to see he made up his mind ten minutes ago.” And then Jack shoots Hank point-blank in the head. It was so hard to watch, and the scene cut away before we even see Hank really fall. It wasn’t nice, but it was the what had to happen for the rest of the story to continue. Hank spent the entire time we have known him trying to take down the Heisenberg, and seemingly, he actually did it, because his own death is what set in motion Walt fleeing town at the end of the episode.
After Hank is shot, Walt falls to his knees. He lays on his side and cries uncontrollably. Todd looks at him and wipes his nose. Again, Todd is a reflection of Walt and feels bad for Walt’s loss, as he says a few minutes later. The similarity between Walt and Gus crying over the death of a loved one must be noted. Through the broken glass of Hank’s suburban, we see a shovel being pulled out of a car. Jack tells Walt that his directions were so specific. He knows the money is buried at those coordinates because Walt was too specific on where to go. He goes to look for Jesse by Hank’s car, but says there is no sign of him. I find this odd because we find out that Jesse is under the car. Who wouldn’t look under the car for someone? One man is sent to look for Jesse and the others uncover Walt’s money. They pull out the barrels and move Gomez’ and Hank’s bodies into the grave that Walt dug. Amazing imagery of the place that once held Walt’s money now holds his family. Jack tells a catatonic Walt that he is leaving Walt a barrel of his own money. Jack then tells Walt that Todd would be unhappy if anything were to “go the other way.” In this scene, Jack leaves Walt little choice to accept his terms, and in the same way that Walt embraced Jesse when he asked him to “start over” in “Rabid Dog,” the handshake here is a symbol of submission. Walt better accept that the two parties are even, or the Neo-Nazis will murder him and his family with the same reckless abandon that they just dusted two highly-ranked lawmen. Walt then does something unexpected; amongst all the calamity of watching his family member die in front of him, he reminds Jack that the deal is not complete until they kill Pinkman.
Why the importance of ending Jesse’s life? It’s evident that Walt holds Jesse accountable for Hank’s death (although it was Walt that figuratively and literally dug Hank’s grave), but why is it so paramount that Jesse is the last loose end? Even as they brush off his request with a “sure, if you find him, we’ll do it,” Walt has already spotted him underneath the Chrysler 300 and orders they end his life. The drag Jesse who is kicking and screaming from underneath the car. After a season of spiraling out of control and being lost in the abyss all fifth season, it was gut-wrenching to see Jesse finally fight to live. As Jesse kneels on the ground before Walt, he looks up at two black birds flying free in the sky, almost poetically, to explore the unknown blue, wild and free. I was almost convinced they would end his life there, until Todd saves the day, suggesting that perhaps they should find out what Jesse has told the feds before “doing the job.” Todd says that Jesse and he have “history,” which should somehow help him get information more easily, I guess. Having a history with Todd hasn’t been too much help for anybody thus far in the series and it no doubt insinuates torture and death for Jesse, a fate that Walt agrees with. As they drag Jesse’s defeated body away, Walt has one last anecdote to share with his former partner. “I killed Jane. I was there and I watched her die. I could have saved her, but I didn’t.”
I am not sure he said this line just to spite Jesse. The look in his eyes and the tone of his voice say that he is saying it to make himself feel better. It is something Walt has held in for a long time and this is his moment to get it off his chest. Jesse is put in the Aryan’s sedan and they drive away leaving Walt in the desert. The scene pulls back and we get a long shot very similar to the end of the teaser, this time Walt alone in the desert.
By the time we come back, the episode is at his halfway mark, but we just now get the credits. It doesn’t mean much for the episode, but it is worth noting. Walt looks at his reflection in the rear view mirror and quickly turns the mirror to look behind him at the desert. Not only does Walt not want to look at his reflection (reflection is a common theme in this episode), but he is looking at the scene behind him where Hank now rests. As Walt drives away, his car makes strange sounds and he sees he is out of gas. He gets out of the car and looks under it to see a gas leak. The next shot is so great because it is exactly the cinematography that matters in Breaking Bad. Walt stands to look at the bullet hole in the side of his car. The sole intent of the scene was not to show that we know why the gas is leaking, but we see Walt’s reflection in the car several times over. The most obvious reflection is Walt’s face with the bullet hole in his forehead. And for me, this confirms that Walt dies at the end of the series.
We then see Walt rolling his one barrel of money through the vast desert. Several things are of note here. 1. Walt has finally learned to roll the barrel, unlike his grand theft of the barrel of Methylamine with Jesse. 2. He passes by the pants he loses in the Pilot episode, the same episode “Ozymandias” flashes back to. 3. The song playing to the epic rolling. It is called “Time’s a Gettin’ Hard” by Eddy Arnold. In the lyrics played, we hear the chorus of the song, “Take my true love by her hand/Lead her through the town/ Say goodbye to everyone.” The rest of the song that we don’t hear is just as interesting, mentioning being happy a year ago, having a house, the money being scarce and having no place to go. My question is, who is his true love? It isn’t Skyler. Is it the money or the blue? This will most likely be answered once we find out why Walt comes back to Albuquerque.
Walt rolls the barrel to a man’s home on the To’hajiilee Reservation. The man looks out his window and sees Walt’s reflection coming up to his property. Walt offers to buy the man’s truck, and the man says its not for sale. But Walt is actually able to buy his way in this situation offering the man a stack of cash. Walt has the truck and loads up the barrel of money.
In the next scene, Marie enters the carwash to talk to Skyler. I love the production’s attention to detail. Marie is wearing black in this scene, a very rare occurrence when she normally wears her signature purple. The death of Hank touches everything. The two sisters sit in Skyler’s office. The shot of them sitting across from each other, Skyler wearing white, Marie wearing black and a purple orchid sitting between the two is striking. With a smug look on her face, Marie gloats that Hank had won, “dead to rights,” she believes was the way Hank put it. As much as it pained us to see Hank go, I was personally satisfied to see Skyler’s world turn to shit by it. Marie corners Skyler, telling her to give up the fake videotape she and Walt made and give up everything she knows to get herself off the hook, on the condition that Skyler tell Walt, Jr. everything. Of all the things I dislike Marie for, the prospect of making Jr. find out the truth from his family before a random officer was the closest endearing moment she’s had this season. Skyler goes from kingpin’s wife and accomplice to total victim in five seconds flat. In my opinion, she’s a total wuss and is willing to sell her husband down the river to save her own skin, using the children as a shield to hide behind.
The scene shifts to Jesse, who is chained like a dog in an empty cellar and has had the utter shit beaten out of him. Again. It seems as though the Aryans have already interrogated him for information, or fun, when the gate opens suddenly, sending Jesse whimpering and crawling into the corner. The right side of Jesse’s face is so beaten in that his eye is swollen shut, and it almost looks like it is missing. The symbol of “one eye” has recurred throughout the series and particularly in this season.
In total gentlemanly fashion, Todd lifts Jesse out of the grated pit and shows him their super secret meth hideout. Classic Bond villain mistake. Which brings the comparison of Jesse and James Bond in last week’s episode a little more to fruition. After chaining Jesse to a sliding ceiling pole, it becomes apparent that Todd’s plan all along was to have Jesse teach Todd to cook the blue. Now, while the words “Todd” and “plan” are seldom mentioned in the same sentence, it shows that Todd is not just a pawn in his uncle’s scheme, but is capable of his own actions outside of Jack’s posse. It can be assumed that he’s keeping Jesse a secret from the rest of the Aryans and we predict that, since thinking is not Todd’s strong suit, his journey will end in death during the next episode, in the way of some good old fashion Red Phosphorus to the face via Jesse, especially since Jesse sees a picture of Andrea and Brock hanging in Todd’s lab. This would give Jesse even more reason to kill the guy who either has a creepy obsession or is planning a future hit.
Back in the carwash office, Jr. is visibly upset and calls Skyler and Marie out on lying. But really, who is telling the customer’s to have an A1 day now that no one is manning the cash register? Anyway, Jr. calls them out and demands to talk to Walt. After realizing that Walt is supposed to be in jail, he wants to call Hank. Hank and Marie have always been better parents to Jr. than his own parents have been. Back at the house, Walt frantically packs his clothes and his family’s clothes. In the car, Jr. tells Skyler she is “as bad as he is.” It’s about damn time someone told her that. The shot of them in the car is also ominous. It’s usually not a good thing when the camera is following someone from behind, because they usually die soon after. We see the back of Skyler and Jr.’s head and Holly faces the camera. Is Holly the only one to make it out alive?
As the family comes together in the house, Walt yells to everyone to pack the things that are most important to them, Jr. wants to know if what Skyler and Marie told him was true, and Skyler is bent on why Walt is there and what happened to Hank. Walt tells her he negotiated and Skyler becomes increasingly angry demanding to know what happened. Walt says, “everything’s going to be fine,” the same thing Hank told Marie on the phone in their last conversation. Walt also tells Skyler that he “needs” her to trust him, just like he needed Jesse to trust him regarding Mike. No one trusts Walt anymore. Continuing the reflections of past conversations, Walt also tells Skyler that he has 11 million dollars and they can go and do whatever they want, very similarly to the conversation Jesse and Jane have when they want to take their money and go to New Zealand. Skyler then calls Walt out for murdering Hank. He yells that he didn’t but that he tried to save him. Walt will never blame himself for anything.
Skyler turns and in the same shot from the flashback, we are facing Skyler and into the hallway of the home. The phone and the block of knives are sitting on the kitchen island. Skyler grabs a knife, enters the hallway and puts her hand on Jr. to block him from her future attack. She tells Walt to leave and when he refuses she slices the palm of his hand. In a very dramatic scene, Skyler and Walt wrestle to the ground with the knife. It was terrifying to think that either one of them could be mortally stabbed in the fight. Due to Jr.’s abnormal forearm strength, he is able to put his dad in a headlock and save his mother. Jr. then calls 911 and lies that Walt attacked Skyler with a knife. Walt gets his bags, grabs Holly and goes to his new truck. Skyler realizes he has taken Holly and runs out of the house screaming. Walt backs out of the driveway, pushing Skyler’s car out of his way while she chases after the truck screaming. It’s a scene that the neighbors definitely overheard, as is the Amber Alert then put out on Walt for baby Holly.
Walt takes Holly to what we assume to be a restaurant bathroom (Koala Kare stations are usually only found in restaurants and airports) and changes her, taking an intimate moment out of his frantic life to be the father that, up to that point, he has not been. In large, Holly has been but a prop to Walt – a means to justify the monstrous acts committed throughout the series. Holly begins saying “mama” repeatedly, showing Walt that Holly is indeed not his, but Skyler’s. He has effectively missed the very precious moments that he hoped to cherish by making and selling meth in the first place. With his terminal cancer back and currently a fugitive on the run with no place to turn, Walter White commits the single most selfless act throughout the series. He calls Skyler and berates her for being a terrible person, mother and accomplice, implying that she could not follow instructions and that she should “toe the line, or end up just like Hank.” While viewers can follow that he is upset with her, he is uncharacteristically violent in his words towards her. It’s not until you see tears streaming down his face that the audience realizes that he knows he is being recorded and that he is going out of his way to clear her name of all charges, an act that Skyler would never do for her husband. He fights back the sorrow as he explains to Skyler that they will never see Hank again, sending Marie into hysterics and, in turn, accepting responsibility for his murder. Accepting that a lonely and shameful end is not one to be shared with his estranged infant daughter, Walt leaves Holly inside of the cab of a firetruck with what can be considered the least-attentive fire-fighters in the world.
As Walt takes his last barrel of money to meet the disappearer the following day, it brings up the question of where Walt was the previous night. It’s a pretty big blank page to fill; we know that he had to have called Saul to arrange for a new vacuum cleaner because he meets at the same spot Jesse met Saul’s “guy,” but we don’t get many answers as to what links this moment to the flashbacks in the beginning and mid-season premieres. It’s great symbolism that the viewers don’t even get a glimpse of who the guy doing the disappearing is. What we do get, however, is a closing season of the van driving away, likely to the Granite State of New Hampshire, and a dog running across the scene – noticeably without a leash. This has been a symbol for Jesse, the “Rabid Dog,” a “Problem Dog” and now a dog on a leash while Walt is the stray dog with no place to go. The news of Jane’s death being a play of Walt’s hand will not be taken without vengeance. We both firmly believe that Jesse will follow Hammurabi’s Code, taking a lover for a lover and, gulp, a son for a son.
Predictions for the rest of the series are wild in theory, but one thing is for certain – the secret is out. Marie, by way of Skyler and the confession tape Jesse made for Hank and Gomez, will out Walter White as the notorious meth kingpin of Albuquerque, and Carol will lose her oranges somewhere in the process. We believe in a future where Jesse or the Aryans murder the remainder of Walt’s family, save for little Holly, and spray “Heisenberg” sarcastically in yellow. We also predict a ricin-flavored cup of tea for Lydia, who is really the only loose end that needs to be dealt with subtlety. And we believe an epic showdown between the Whites and the whites are going to bring the series to a close.
Hush Comics gives Breaking Bad‘s “Ozymandias” an A+(++…+). A beautifully shot and written episode that tugs at the heart-strings and makes you cheer for others’ misfortunes. After watching the episode, the viewer feels like a true Heisenberg. There’s no going back now, as we are two weeks away from ending this tragic journey. Thanks to The Heisenberg Chronicles and AMC for the pictures in this week’s review.