Breaking Bad

I started watching Breaking Bad in December 2011, after my brother got the first three seasons on DVD for Christmas. I don’t think we finished watching the first three seasons before the fourth season had finished airing, so we didn’t watch the show live until the fifth season in 2012.

We had actually watched the first episode quite a while before that, but we never got around to watching any more episodes. I’m so glad we finally did.

Spoiler alert, bitch

Characters

My favourite characters were Gus and Mike.

Gus was a great villian. Smart, calm, didn’t really act like a villain, but when he did, he was pretty evil. I decided somewhere around “Abiquiú” that he was gay; apparently, lots of other people came to this conclusion as well, but I think it was “Hermanos” that gave most people that idea. I like the idea of having a character be gay and it not even being mentioned.

Mike was also awesome. Smart, efficient, and he’s a badass.

Lots of people didn’t seem to like Skyler. Probably because if Walt listened to her, there would be no show. I was very impressed by Skyler in “Bug”, when she played a dumb blonde for the IRS.

Episodes

2×09 – “4 Days Out” / 3×10 – “Fly”

These were probably my least favourite episodes. “4 Days Out” was physically exhausting, and “Fly” was frustrating. Some people might say, well, that’s how those episodes were supposed to make you feel! But this was excessive. There’s good exhausting/frustrating, and then there’s bad exhausting/frustrating. I’ll have to watch the whole series over now that it’s done and see how I feel about the episodes now, but bottle episodes in general just aren’t my thing.

4×13 – “Face Off”

Probably my favourite episode because of obvious reasons. When Gus walked out of that room, I was like:

  • Um… wat.
  • Yes! He’s alive!
  • This is bullshit. Total cop-out.

And then the pan over, and I was like:

  • Um… wat.
  • So he’s a… robot…?
  • Yes! Walt did it!
  • Aw, no more Gus. :(
  • Well, I guess it had to happen sometime.

5×07 – “Say My Name”

So I’m sitting there, watching Breaking Bad, and Todd and Walt start cooking, and this music starts, and I’m like:

  • That sounds famili…
  • This is making me feel happy, but I don’t understand wh…
  • It’s the Monkees?!
  • It’s like the best song ever by the Monkees?!?!

Then I went on Twitter and Tumblr and freaked out and forgot to watch most of the rest of the episode, which sucked, because it was an important one.

5×13 – “To’hajilee” and 5×14 – “Ozymandias”

I thought “To’hajilee” was really, really good. Walt was being a bit stupid, but Hank and Jesse finally had him. At first, I didn’t think Hank would die in the shootout; he hadn’t caught Walt yet! He can die in the finale, but not yet!

But then I thought about it and realized he did catch Walt. He didn’t have to officially turn him in in order to have “caught” him. Him knowing he had Walt, that he had won, was really all that mattered. Plus, that phone call to Marie basically sealed it. And if Walt was arrested and taken in, how could the show continue? Walt had to get away, and the only way that would happen was if Hank died.

I was surprised how sad I was about Hank’s death. Hank was always a bit of an obnoxious guy, and I didn’t much like him. But towards the end there, I was really rooting for him to catch Walt. I’m going to pretend that the Funny or Die sketch with Dean Norris is actually what happened, because I don’t want Hank to really be dead.

5×16 – “Felina”

Things I want to happen

  • ✓ Walt does something smart and science-y.
  • Jesse does something that he learned from Walt.
  • Jesse gets revenge on Walt.
  • Walt makes a sandwich and cuts the crust off.
  • ✓ We see little or none of Saul.
    • Although he’s a longtime character–and a good one–I don’t know what he could do in the finale. In the previous episode, he basically said he’s done with Walt, and he should be.
  • Lydia kills Skyler?
  • Walt Jr. tries to kill his father.
  • ✓ Minor characters we haven’t seen for a while show up for a short time.
  • Some sort of new flashback with dead characters.
  • ✓ Some kind of callback to the first episode.
  • ✓ It wasn’t all for nothing, and Walt somehow “wins”.
  • Skyler pulls the plug on Ted and dumps him at sea.

Things I think will actually happen

  • ✓ Walt kills Uncle Jack.
  • Walt dies of cancer.
  • ✓ Marie, Walt Jr., Holly, and Saul live.
  • We don’t see Elliot, Gretchen, Huell, Badger, Skinny Pete, Bogdan, or Ted.
  • Todd is supposed to kill Jesse, but he can’t/won’t, so Uncle Jack does it instead.
  • Todd kills Lydia, or Lydia kills Todd. Or Jesse kills Lydia in front of Todd.
  • I will be disappointed.

There’s probably some overlap in those lists and things that should really be on the opposite list.

What actually happened

If I had really sat down and realistically thought about what should happen in the final episode, about who should be in the episode and what they should do, I would have come up with exactly what actually happened.

Was it perfect? No. It was darn near it though. And thankfully, I was not at all disappointed.

The only thing I didn’t like was the scene with Lydia, Todd, and Walt in the cafe. They must have done five or six close-up shots of the Stevia and Lydia’s cup. It could have been much more subtle, and people would have still understood.

Most of my predictions were a bit far out and unnecessary. We didn’t need some Lydia/Todd killing each other showdown; there was nothing indicating that was going to happen. We didn’t need characters killing other characters for no reason.

On the other hand, Walt killing Uncle Jack and the Nazis–we knew it would happen, and it needed to happen. Jesse killing Todd–the same. It was predictable, but it felt good. It was what we wanted to happen.

I’m a little more on the fence about Lydia’s death. I need to do a rewatch of the whole series, since I can’t remember what she’s done that would piss Walt off. But the ricin needed to be used on somebody, and with her “and I’ll need some more Stevia” being mentioned in several episodes, they were clearly building up to her being the victim, and I would have seen it coming if I was a bit more clever.

I was pleasantly surprised to see Elliott and Gretchen, especially since there were numerous reports about the actors not having much time to even shoot the scene from last week. I actually jumped when those lasers showed up, though after the initial shock, I called it being Skinny Pete and Badger (though, to be fair, I did recognize the actors’ names during the opening credits, so I knew they’d show up sooner or later). It was a good scene, funny, and not too long. It started to feel like the Seinfeld finale for a minute there, and I was totally expecting Ted and Bogdan to show up next.

If I recall correctly, Marie and Walt Jr. had just one scene each: Marie’s phone call, and Walt walking home. They’re major characters, so they needed to be in the finale, but there wasn’t really anything they needed to do. Walt Jr. had his last big scene in the previous episode. There was really nothing left for Marie to do.

Skyler too had only one scene, which was just right. The show’s not about Skyler, so we didn’t need multiple Skyler scenes, but her and Walt’s relationship is important, so the scene was necessary.

The whole episode was very neat and tidy. While you were watching it, you knew this was going to be the last time we were going to see Skyler and Walt together. And then Jesse gets his own scene, his own time to shine. The writers making sure everyone was taken care of.

So, sure, the episode was predictable, but only because it was logical. But who says a finale needs to be anything else? Look at The Sopranos, Lost, Dexter: they went for shock, confusion, ambiguity, and a lot of people hated those finales.

A lot of people like to wonder what happens to characters after a show’s finale. I tend to like to wonder about that too, but with Breaking Bad, I just kind of feel like maybe it’s not necessary to wonder. I can’t quite explain it; it’s not that I don’t care what happens to the characters, but I just kind of feel like why should it matter? It’s a positive feeling, not a negative one. Like the ending was just so satisfying that I don’t really need to wonder about anything else?

I got quite a few of the things I wanted up there. Some of them I knew were not going to happen (like the sandwich bit), and I’m glad they didn’t, because there just isn’t time for funny little things.

I don’t know if you can say Jesse got revenge on Walt. When Walt gave him the gun, I knew Jesse wouldn’t shoot him. Jesse never wanted to kill Gale, never wanted to kill anybody. Jesse is not a killer. Jesse didn’t really need to get “revenge”; things still worked out okay for him in the end (about as well as they possibly could given everything that had happened).

And given everything that had happened, Walt “won” just about as much as he possibly could too. I’m torn about that. He was the protagonist, so we want to see him win, but he was also a horrible person, and it’s not right that someone who cooks meth and kills people gets to win.

I don’t know how they could have possibly made Walt dying of cancer exciting, so the way it actually happened was good. I’m glad I wasn’t familiar with the song “Baby Blue” previously, because now, it will always make me think of this great show. Even while I was watching the finale for the first time, that song made me feel that nostalgic sad feeling I get with some songs.

I didn’t cry like I thought I would, but I did feel like crying at the end. Not because Walt was dead, but because the show was over. I think that’s how I felt at the end of Lost, too, now that I think about it.