Breaking Bad Ends With a Face Off

There are spoilers in here, obviously.

We have increased levels of Heisenbergification! Tonight, Breaking Bad slammed the door shut on its fantastic fourth season with "Face Off," a gorgeous finale written and directed by series creator Vince Gilligan—or as I like to call him, the savior of television. Everything went according to Walt's plan, and the episode delivered something I never expected from a Breaking Bad season finale: a sense of peace!

Walter White defeated Gus Fring. He won. The game is over. The chemistry teacher who landed in a life of crime slapped a car bomb onto Hector's wheelchair and let the old cartel member get his revenge by blowing Gus and Tyrus to smithereens. (He was probably getting bored with Bingo anyway.) A hearty round of applause goes to Giancarlo Esposito, who acted the crap out of Gus and deserves every accolade he receives for his performance. Season 4 would not have been as awesome as it was without Gus Fring. In fact, Gus tops my list, along with The Wire's Stringer Bell, of favorite bad guys I didn't mind rooting for.

Season 4 was arguably the season of Gus, but Season 5 has to be about Walter White and his continued transformation into Heisenberg... which means Gus had to go. I'm sure there are people who wanted to see Gus make it to next season, but not me. I loved the character, but I'm glad Walt blew his right side off. And I'm especially glad that Tyrus is out of the picture. That guy was useless. The shot of Gus walking out of Hector's room, still prim and proper, was a stunner. It was almost cartoonish.

But seeing Gus' half-blown-off face (oh, "Face Off," now I get it) wasn't the episode's final or most revealing scene. That honor goes to the concluding close-up of Walt's potted Lily of the Valley plant, the source of the poison responsible for Brock's situation and the same plant Walt's gun pointed toward when he was asking for a sign in "End Times." The lingering shot of the plant did more than reveal that Walter concocted the plan, it showed us the lengths to which Walter is willing to go now. Putting innocent kids in danger? He's one step closer to being the Man in the Hat and Sunglasses, and that opens things up nicely for Breaking Bad's final season.

When "Face Off" ended, there was no existential discussion to be had, like there was at the end of Season 2 when a plane crashed over Walt's head. There was no cliffhanger, like there was at the end of Season 3 when Jesse pulled the trigger on Gale. For the most part, "Face Off" was surprisingly blunt and what-you-see-is-what-you-get. And you know what? It was kind of nice. Jesse and Walt torched the old lab, Gus is no longer a threat—heck, even the kid made it out alive, with presumably nothing more than the same disgusting feeling you get after putting down a burrito and a half. All in all, it was a rare good day for our guys. And I think they deserve it after what they went through in Season 4.

Still, several questions remain. What happened to the Ricin cigarette? How did Walter poison Brock with the not-as-bad-as-Ricin Lily of the Valley poison? How did Gus know not to get in his car? I don't know, I don't know, and I guess Jesse's demeanor spooked him just enough? I'm not sure it matters, as Breaking Bad has always been open to speculation, and that's a large part of the fun that comes from watching. If you've got a theory and it works, go with it.

One of the things that stood out about "Face Off" was its atmosphere. It was like In-n-Out Burger (or ABQ's Whataburger) for the senses. And when everything came together, it created moments that had my heart jumping out my chest. The slow, deliberate pacing and sound, whether it was the sizzling score or silence, produced a blueprint for others to copy for generations to come. Breaking Bad will have an influence on television and film long after it goes dark next year.

Now we're left to ponder Walt and Jesse's future. I loved the simplicity of their final scene together, and how little needed to be said. But what did that final conversation and handshake mean? Was it "goodbye?" Was it "let's take a break until we figure out where we're going to cook next?" I mean, with Gus and the cartel out of the way, I'd tap into Saul's Rolodex and take over the meth market in the Southwest. Are we going to get a new bad guy next season, or will Walt take that role? And why do I get the sense that Season 5 will be about Jesse versus Walter with Hank sniffing around for realsies this time? What's going to happen when Jesse finds out Walter mildly poisoned Brock? And let his girlfriend Jane die? An awesome final Season of Breaking Bad, that's what.

Lab Notes:
– How will Mike respond to Walter killing Gus? Will he return from his Mexican vacation with guns blazing, or will he be asking Walter for a job?

– This episode had it all: some great dark comedy, intense suspense, and fantastic direction. But the one thing that stands out to me is Dave Porter's incredible score and soundtrack.

– Was anyone else secretly hoping Walt's neighbor would get shot when she went into the house to check it out at Walt's request? How awesome would that have been?

– Despite Gus getting half his body blown off and the episode being awesome overall, I think there were several episodes this season that outshone "Face Off." I'd be very interested to hear from people who didn't like the finale, if there are any of you out there.

– It's been a lot of fun covering the show this season and reading all your comments. It's really late/really early, so I'm incapable of any emotional outpouring, but I just wanted to say thanks and I hope you'll be back next season. I'll be here!


Follow TV.com writer Tim Surette on Twitter: @TimAtTVDotCom

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it seemed. although Walt had no need to move it. Just stick the bomb on with the magnet. maybe he noticed the led flashing
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Gus noticed the car wasnt parked squarely.
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I'm really surprised that not a single person I've seen has put forth the plausible theory that Saul alone is behind Brock's poisoning.



Saul is a greedy sleazebag dirtball of an attorney. He has extorted a much higher fee from Walt in the past already, and is no dummy himself.



My .02 cents- We're going to discover in season 5 that Saul is covertly trying to manipulate the relationship between Walt and Jesse for his own greedy purposes, as he thinks they are both losers, and it's only a matter of time before they each die anyway. Saul is not their friend- we think they are using Saul, but I have a feeling it's the other way around.



Let's not forget that Saul knows Mike too- even before Saul ever met Jesse or Walt. Mike is privy to the surveillance that his boss Gus had on the two- it's his job to know everything for Gus, and report back to him. Mike could easily be plotting with Saul against Jesse and Walt, and sitting back waiting for Walt to take out Gus.



Mike and Saul- think about it.
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The one aspect of the show I don't like is that even after 4 seasons the writers have kept Jesse and Walt stuck in the same condescending/fight for respect/adversarial relationship they had at the start. They've never grown close (except for insisting that the other lives.) When Jesse stood up to Gus and told him "no kids" and Gus backed down, Walt should have been proud of Jesse's stand and adherence to values. Yet all he did was scream at him. Every episode is simply a replay of their constant screaming at each other. It doesn't seem realistic to me that the bonds that force them to be so loyal to each other don't come out more between the two men themselves. But, this is my only complaint. I realize I'm separating the fly s&*t from the pepper at this point.
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What about the poisoned tequila in Mexico? Gus clearly knows about poisons. Jesse never retells this story to Walt. At this point, in Jesse's mind, he should be thinking that Gus may have used the Lilly of the Valley. Or whatever may have been used in the tequila. The poisoning of Brock and the implication that Gus did it, is WAY more plausible to Jesse than Walt even knows. Makes me wonder if Walt really did it? And, if Gus did it, it explains the spidey-senses of not getting in the car. Whether he did it or not, Gus clearly had reason to think that Jesse might suspect him and, thus, respond violently.
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I was thinking more about this. Jesse says the poison is from the berry of the Lily of the Valley. Walt's plant--seen in episodes 12 and 13--doesn't have berries on it: none. Also, Brock's poisoning happens right after Jesse tells Gus that Walt called the DEA and Gus says that there will be an appropriate response and hangs up on Jesse. It makes much more sense that Gus then did exactly as Walt postulates--poisons Brock in order to get Jesse to kill Walt.
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Surprisingly, I'm kind of glad that The Final Season is being broken into two. It's annoying, yes, but on the other hand it's like 2 seasons so we wont actually see the Series Finale until 2013.



I just finished watching Face Off....and I loved it. I loved the end twist. I loved Gus coming out of the room..I was actually screaming at my TV..."IS HE STILL ALIVE?...OHH..OUCH"



Season 5.1 should be really great. I love the story telling this show does. No filler=]
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Did I miss something or won't someone be asking questions about the whole Ted Beneke thing?
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Can we really definitively say that Gus is dead? I mean he had at least a second in Salamnca's room to protect himself. He (most of him) walked out of the room (so primly comical too). Apart from the side of his face he looked ok. He has a crack team of doctors and surgeons who work specificly for him. He has the means/people to cover up the whole scene and influence media. Mentally, this probably wouldn't affect him.



I agree Gus' character is probably exhausted, and it was a fitting and poetic end for him. But there are things we don't know about him, including his time in Chile. So character could be extended. Obviously, if he is alive still, then he'd have to die 'again' and it would never be as good.



Or did I just miss the cast list for season 5 where Gus wasn't on it!
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Are you kidding? Who would survive that kinda blast? Plus, it was clearly shown that not much was left in his face ! :-| Ofcourse he IS dead !
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The ultimate moment of mistery in Season 4:

the haunting Mike-Walt-Voice-Over out in the desert...
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What I loved about this season was the true match of wits between Gus and Walt. A lot of people have drawn parallels between Gus's rise to the top and Walt's journey to becoming Heisenberg, but what really strikes me is the lengths these two will go to win. Walt poisoning Brock to get Jesse on his side, and Gus poisoning himself to wipe out the cartel to get revenge for is old partner's death and effectively wrest absolute control over the Meth trade. A position Walt now finds himself in a position to exploit.
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I have to give props to Mark Margolis for his final scene.. I was pretty sure what was going to happen but I was fooled by Tio's fake terror. Seeing Gus realize at the last second.. props to Giancarlo Esposito as well. It's those subtleties that really make an actor.
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A lot of the questions can be answered by the theory that Walt had Saul do the poisoning. It would explain why Saul had left 1000 messages on Jesses phone trying to get him to his office.



What happened to the Ricin cigarette?

--Remember when Huell unnecessarily and oddly patted down Jesse when he came to Saul's office? Huell can be seen putting something into his pocket immediately afterward, and he presumably planted another pack in his pocket.



How did Walter poison Brock with the not-as-bad-as-Ricin Lily of the Valley poison?

--Saul or one of his guys did it for him. Walt was in his house the whole time.



How did Gus know not to get in his car? I don't know, I don't know, and I guess Jesse's demeanor spooked him just enough?

--Gus knew not to get in his car precisely because he didn't poison the boy. Once he heard of the poisoning, he realized something was at play. In the garage, he noticed his being summoned to the hospital was an unexpected situation that resulted in his car being left unattended, raising a flag in his highly paranoid mind.
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I loved the fact that there were a couple questions left hanging but no cliffhanger (last year was painful), and that they're leaving next season a mystery (sort of, Walt is answering for what he's done to Jesse and Hank, at least). And the Gus plotline, perfect timing to finish it, it didn't drag but it had also run its course. Seeing him getting out of that room adjusting his tie was actually a bit funny. I have no complaints

By the way, Gus' face...recurring nightmare stuff. Loved it :)
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What I find so interesting is that we learn how Gus got to be who he was, and that one cannot ignore the obvious parallel to Walt, ie. good guy gone bad due to impossible circumstances. The question we ask and hopefully Walt will ask is whether Gus is the more evil of the two or are they truly equals. I could not help but be frustrated by Walt's naivete and stupid seeming mistakes throughout this season, only to see in the end he upped his game and prevailed. I find this evolution sad and beautifully perfect at the same time. And that's why the writing on this show is so amazing, it teaches us with it's subtleties as well as it's archetypes and moral questions. Kudos to the writers, actors, producers, and the amazing crew for a truly spectacular creative achievement in a medium that struggles to grow beyond the banal.
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One problem with Gus snugging his tie up is obviously in the real world he would not stand let alone snug his tie but I understand the writers wanted to get the element of surprise from that left side to shock us upon the camera pan. Also Gus' clothing should have been shredded off his shoulder with his skin exposed and charred rather than the suit jacket looking only toasted. The rest of the special effects/make up was great! I am so glad I did not see Gus' real eye behind that empty socket . The show is just immense and as someone said Gus standing was cartoonlike since we all realize he would not have had that dexterity and balance to do that despite his stubborn streak!
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Walt's transformation to Heisenberg is now complete! And now to wait almost a year for the 5th and final season of this AMAZING show.. It's gonna be tough!
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i am wondering if the surveillance tapes from the laundry will be discovered thus implicating walt and jesse and setting up a walt & jesse vs hank & dea storyline. the scene at the end makes me think jesse may be suspicious walts involvement in brocks poisoning, walt seemed too relieved for someone who had no stake in it. also the way jesse mentioned that gus had nothing to do with it, adding more as a question than anything else gus had to go right? as if he was asking walt if that was correct. jeese may already suspect walt but even if he does he may know that walt knows chemistry and knows what kills and what doesnt. i personally dont think jesse will ever find out for sure about walts involvement in that or in janes death. i think season 5 will be about the fallout of gus's death, his laptop which he simply closed and left on his desk when he left to see hector. i think the dea will find a lot of info on the laptop, gus did not expect to die when he left so its not like he put everything in order before he left. he intended to be back soon.
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In the beginning of this season, i'm talking several episodes in possibly even up to halfway through, I read ALOT of people's reviews trashing the show. There was alot of "The season is so slow nothing is happening." "Why isn't there more action? it's slow." But the most thing said that really pissed me off was "The show is not good or as good as it used to be, I am not watching anymore, it has jumped the shark and should be canceled" Yes people really effing wrote that crap" And now I would like to say to those people, you know who you are and you can't hide you're earlier reviews, that you are complete idiots and never understood how the show works or paid attention and therefore don't deserve to be able to watch it. I'm sorry it just really made me mad that so called fans of the show or any show for that matter would just decide to trash it all over the internet for no reason. I really really hate especially when people use the term "Jumped the shark" Anyway sorry again about that rant.

Face Off was a brilliant finale to an absolutely brilliant season of Breaking Bad. It was without a doubt suspensfull right to the end. The fact that Face Off turned out to be literal was absolutely insane and I don't think I will be able to get the image of Gus two face out of my head for a while. Did anyone else get a feeling that in that last scene with Walt and Jesse somebody was watching? Maybe it was because the camera was suddenly from far away I don't know. I am happy it didn't end with a cliffhanger, in fact pretty much all of the previous two season arcs got wrapped up, leaving us with no idea with how season 5 will go. However there are really only a few ways the show could end. my ending would be for next season Walt takes his final step to fully becoming Heisenberg and takes over Gus's place as the Number 1 drug Kingpin with Jesse as his second in command. They wouldn't even have to cook themselves anymore as they would have people to do that for them. But because he is Walt he would run things his way as a legitamate business man which would be as non violent as possible as he could make it. Of course there has to be one final villain, but being as there aren't any left i can't imagine who. That's I am sure is what most people want however It is entirely possible that Walt may die at the end of the series. His cancer could come back and Jesse takes over. Or Jesse could find out about Jane and Brock and kill him, then again that could happen and Walt kills Jesse, hopefully neither one. Or he doesn't die but finally get's caught by the DEA and goes to prison, but I could imagine that scene going with him first walking into prison and somebody messes with him and then he is identified as Heisenberg and people back the F off. I don't think that Vince Giligan has a The Shield like ending in mind and I really hope that some suit at AMC suddenly decides that a show about cooking meth cannot have a happy ending and make him write it that way. It could happen I mean it was supposed to me more than five seasons but they decided to give more money to the utter crap that is Mad Men and look what they did to Frank Darabont on The Walking Dead so let's hope for the best/
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Wow! I finally saw it. Man I luv this show, it's def. my fav. I'm so choked it's over. Everything thing else seems boring compared to "The Cookers" AKA:BB. I think someone was watching them on the rooftop because of that shot looking through the parkade. Mike maybe.



How does this show not win every award possible, it has to be politics or something. That was so awesome when Gus walked out, it was like "No way", then it was "Ah Ha Ha, No way!! Then the the Lily plant, again "No way!



The last time I enjoyed an action packed drama like this was "24" This season break is going to suck real bad!
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Nah. Walt/Heisenburg is nowhere near the capability of Gus yet. I don't believe there has been any great metamorphosis anyway.

Heisenberg has always been there, hidden beneath a patina of bourgois amerikan sensibility.

Whenever Walt drinks, feels his ego is threatened or is intoxicated with sucess, he allows the mask to slip in dangerous ways. Ways that Gus Pring would never allow himself.



Last night's big Walt mistake, was when Walt told Skyler "I won".



She will never forgive him for that.

She was nearly recovered from the ugly revelation which Walt laid out about episode 4 of this season, when her assumption Walt's bruises came from copping a hiding caused Walt to play the heavy gangster dealer.

As for Saul, he is far too imbued with catholic guilt to be considered a psychopath. If he did plant the poison on Brock it would only have been if Walt guaranteed the poison wasn't sufficiently powerful to kill Brock. Hence Walt eschewing ricin. Walt has been perfectly prepared to use ricin on other umans and everything about his character shows a man more than happy to use children to get what he wants.



Let us not forget how Walt has consistently abused the power of his teacher student relationship with Jesse, who was essentially still a child until Walt persuaded him to commit murder.



Back in Season 2 Walt went into one of his manic raves about 'charity' and Saul commented something about not wanting to know the sort of childhood that would entrench those attitudes in an intelligent human, we saw the two characters in stark contrast. Saul is by no means a good bloke and he does things he knows he shouldn't but he can empathise with other humans and understand their condition. Walt cannot he just cannot feel other's pain, although he can pretend to if he has sufficient clues that a person is in pain and the situation requires him to be empathetic in order to further his own ends.



I thought that a 4th season would be over -egging the pudding it wasn't but 5 can do little more than wrap up the series and deliver the usual Hollywood morality meaning Jesse will find redemption and Walt will die.

amerika's privatised censorship police will allow no other ending. Remember the fuss when the Sopranos ending seemed ambivalent.
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Guys guys stop trying to predict what happens next. First, you can't predict how this show will end. Second, look at what happened to Lost and Matrix when people started trying to predict too much; the writers had a melt down and wrote in some of the worst "twists" in storytelling history. Third, what ever you can imagine, it will surpass it, and proceed to blow your mind. You already know it.
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You have the same reasoning that people saying "Guys, don't try to understand what's the trick of the magician you just saw".

Newsflash : people have different ways to enjoy everything. Some want to know the trick, when others don't (or prefer to stay dumbed and naive). Some like to predict a show because they enjoy it when others prefer to just wait (because thinking is tiring maybe).

And you know what ? Everybody's right.
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Wow. People online can't take it when somebody has a different opinion to them. It's like 2 year olds resorting to insults, for absolutely no reason. "Yer dumb and naive! Wahhh!"



Thank you for the newsflash, God of the Internets. I shall never again favour waiting to see what happens next over endlessly guessing every possible scenario on various message boards across the web. I'd hate to have the ending unspoiled for myself, obviously. How dare I suggest such a thing.
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You misunderstood me. I said "everybody's right" because I mean that you were perfectly right not to want to predict how things will evolved. What's wrong was telling people that doing the opposite was wrong.

Maybe my tone was a bit harsh, I never meant to insult you.
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@Swinglabacase

That part was about the magic stuff. It was between brackets because I intended to be ironic and a bit teasing (not that much). Obviously, I failed. I guess web commentating is not like a live conversation where tone can be a way to counter-balance words. My bad.
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ahum... "dumbed and naive" is not much of a compliment, ;)
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Well, I'm here after the battle obviously (sorry, wasn't home this w-e). Lots of things have been said here so I'll be quick. Great finale, endless scenes with great tension building end minor disappointments.

I loved those endless scenes like the one with the vision through Walt's binoculars : i was waiting for anything (the house to explode !) and the longest they were, the greater was the tension. Another great thing is that moment on Gus when he is in the car. I could almost watch him think, try to analyze everything and understand if he was walking right into a trap. That's one of the beautiful thing in BB : putting us in the characters' shoes.

But of course, as most of us, I'm disappointed about that cigarette thing. We all overthinked the thing about that lift and the potential role of Saul in all that and I think that the only real clue of the whole maneuver was the plant thing (which I acknowledged even though my theory was not the one that panned out). So maybe we'll never know how he did it (or maybe we'll now at the end of the next and last season when we'll get Jesse vs Heisenberg) and so what ? I prefer to never know than getting a not very convincing answer. The point being: this dude is scary.



I'll stop there... I still have a lot to watch... and comment ;)
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Yes, the actor who played Gus was great, but how come the actor who played Salamanca never gets any love??? That guy was AMAZING. Think about everything he communicated without the use of words or gestures. I especially loved his expression right before he started slamming that bell. That was a whole lotta "F**K YOU!" in that last look! LOL! That guy should get an Emmy or something.
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The scene when he found out his whole family had been finally killed off was great. Hector's has been greatly overlooked as an amazing supporting actor in this season.
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What about the Emmy for the best drooling scene ^^
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I loved it. My only beef with the season is that Hank isn't any wiser about Walt's double life. I think it would have made a great season closer for Hank to begin to have legitimate suspicion of his brother in law.



It is also puzzling that Walt was able to poison Brock. How the hell did he pull that off? The missing Ricin does makes sense, however. Walt needed to steal the ricin in order for Jesse to suspect that Brock had been poisoned. Otherwise, he would have just assumed the kid was sick from somethinge else.



I doubt we'll hear much from Mike next season. I don't think he had any personal connection with Gus, so he won't be gunning for Walt.



Amazing season overall. I can't wait for next year.
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" How will Mike respond to Walter killing Gus? Will he return from his Mexican vacation with guns blazing, or will he be asking Walter for a job? "



Mike will return with questions, if he doesn't already have the answers. And this season's kinship with Jesse resembles a "father/son" relationship, which Jesse thought he had with Walt - until he realizes Walt caused certain things to happen within Jesse's inner circle.

Mike will align with Jesse.
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this episode was perfect, fitting in every possible way.

a 10.
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Final scene Walt looks at the car with the pollo hermano sticker hanging. It was as if he was looking at someone.... Anyway this is art!
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That was Gus's still unattended Volvo in the hospital garage, btw.
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Fantastic ending of a sublime season. Gus Fring had to die. There was no more room for the character to go in the series, not with Walter still alive. Next season will either end with Walter becoming Heisenberg or Walter White, there simply is no room for co-existence. So will Walter be fully in or fully out? And will he end up dead regardless of which way he goes? My guess is that if he ends up as Heisenberg he will survive (and possibly disincentivising (killing) Hank), if he ends up as Walter White my theory is that he will end up dead (possibly at the hands of Jesse). In other words; I see no happy ending for Walter. Can't wait for next season.
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To continue, I suspect that Skylar will kill Walt at the end of next season, as Walt is trying to kill Hank. Or maybe will kill Hank, and save Walt's life. At any rate, Skyler is going to kill *somebody*. Her own progression as an accomplice to an outlaw will grow markedly in season 5.
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Jesse is destined to kill Walt. The student must always surpass the master, or pop him when he goes darkside. That's the most satisfying end for this show.
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My prediction for season 5: Mike isn't going anywhere. He's going to be very much involved. He's got the goods on Walt and knows how to use them. Mike is going to want to be Walt's partner, not merely a hired gun. Otherwise Mike can go straight to Hank and blow the lid of Walt's charade. Mike will leave the show when Walt kills him. Period. The season will lead to an (obvious) showdown between Walt and Hank. The mystery here is who will die? I'm root for Hank to come out on top of it all, being the Good Guy and all. But either way it should be good.
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First of all, like everyone said, HOLY CRAP (Was crazy busy with work, just watched it now)!!



-I think Mike will be careful with Walt. Now that Walt's full on out there, Mike might just move on to another city and live out his life. At least, that's what I'd do if I were him.

-Great comedic moments against a hard background, but you nailed it. Dave Porter: FANTASTIC JOB. I'm a musician by trade, and he could not have done a better job. My absolute favourite section was the Elegy he wrote for Gus as he walked into the nursing home where we all knew what was going to happen. Absolutely brilliant.

-I sat there thinking there was something wrong with me because I almost wanted her to get her face blown off. And there's more Heisenberg action. Didn't even hesitate to risk her life walking into the house.

-My favourite episodes this season were "Problem Dog" and "Crawl Space". The finale was fantastic, and the climax to any story is going to be awesome. But what really makes a story is the fantastic rising action and groundwork for the story. "Problem Dog" gave us the start of it and "Crawl Space" just tipped us right on top for this fantastic moment so they deserve the credit in my book.

-I will DEFINITELY be back next season. Last season I said that season 3 might have been the best season of TV I'd ever seen. I might have to amend that statement.
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We didn't find out about Gus past in Chile =( I guess Mike will take care of answer that early in the next season, I know it's not important to the series, but It would be nice to know.



So...question: Why the hell do Breaking Bad gets his budget cut and it's basically cancelled, with and end date (although I'm glad knowing how many episodes left), and Mad Men gets more budget, more seasons, while it's losing money, audience and it's not what it used to be? Breaking Bad only gets better and better.
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what a great season. good quality tv!
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Great episode. Gus face-off scene was one of the best scenes in the hole show. OMG I'm speechless.
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S? *pingpingping* U? *pingpingping* C? *pingpingping* K? *pingpingping* M? *pingpingping* Y? *pingpingping*..... okay that's enough..
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Great episode! Show & Season! My favorite parts were Salamanka at the DEA and the old lady calling Walt when he was outside her window... Too funny!!!
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AWESOME! Truly the BEST of the TV.
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Btw...can we give a round of applause for the cinematography? This show is directed and shot so well, it's like watching a movie! I love the way they focus on the humans, and give them these theatrical scenes with heart-pounding soundtracks. It's pure art, and its a thrill to know that the writers/producers/directors/actors take this show so seriously as well as creatively.
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Absolutely.
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Given the show's style, I'm gonna call it now and say that the wide shot at end of Walt and Jesse in the parking lot looking through the fence is foreshadowing of next season with Walt behind bars and Jesse walking away
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Or - Jesse walking away is foreshadowing of him dying. So I am predicting Walt in prison and Jesse dead based on this scene. Not saying the season is going to end with Walt in prison but there's no way Jesse's survives season 5
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Most likely the finest season of television I have ever seen. I think kudos are due to everybody on this show because everything is so far ahead of any other tv show. Not only the genius writing or the brilliant acting, but everything behind the screen as well. Every episode this season just looked amazing. Thanks also for all the articles the next day, which make for a good read and fun back and forth in the comments.



I do disagree however about 'several episodes this season that outshoune ''Face Off'''. I just look at it like a point A to B story I guess. Sure the meaty stuff was in the beginning/middle but this episode had all the pay-off. Everything that was set-up in the previous episodes played out brilliantly. So it's not like I see the finale as better or worse, I just see the whole season as one long story. A very satisfying, mind-blowing story.
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A really good finale...The only thing I think they missed was some closure on Ted; as his fate was a little ambiguous and Skyler has yet to be told about it as well. As for Walter poisoning Brock...I was fooled. I thought he wouldn't go that far, but yep, he did. As for how...Let's all remember that Saul was taking money to Andrea on Jesse's behalf, as such, it wouldn't be too hard for Saul to give Brock something to 'snack on' that Walter's cooked up. If that's the case, then Jesse is going to have a real hate-on for Saul and Walter come next season.



I'm sad to see Gus go...But, yeah, he had to. And I'm definitely in the 'bring back Mike from Mexico' camp; if only to see his reaction to what happened during his down-time.
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Yeah!!! I forgot that!!!! Saul is bringing money to Andrea! So his "I'm terrified, take your money, I'm leaving" to Jesse was just a show. I was surprised to see him so cool when he went to help Jesse at the police station. I always figured Saul as a psychopath anyway.



So that would be the kind of evil that Walter is: He wouldn't kill Jane but he can let her die, He wouldn't shoot the neighbor lady but can have her killed by Gus' goons. He would not harm a kid but would ask a psychopath like Saul to do it. When it comes to bad guys, then, he can do it himself.
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I didn't like the finale. The only things that weren't expected were the disappointments. To be fair, I might have expected less if I hadn't read the comments from more observant people on this site. I guess even guesses can spoil an episode.



Walt poisoned Brock: expected

Gus died: expected

Someone's face came off: expected

Bomb in the wheelchair: expected

Bomb triggered by the bell: expected

They trashed the lab: disappointing, Walt can't build an empire in one season

Marie didn't die: disappointing, only the big bad and some minor henchmen died

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Oh really expected? Well then you must be psychic because to say you expected indicates that before you watched the finale you knew that the poison wasn't ricin but that plant growing in the backyard of Walt's house. And that Face Off, a term that means versus or confrontation literally meant face blown off and that it would be Gus's. And most of all that that old man in the wheelchair would not only be in the episode but would go along with Walt's plan to put the bomb there and that he would use it that way. No these things were not expected, they were POSSIBLE. There was guarantee that any of these things would happen. And the only way that we knew they could happen is well into watching the episode, like Walt's look of relief after Jesse telling him Brock was ok, or Walt going to see the old man asking for help. But really did anybody really expect that after the blast Gus would seemingly fine walk out, straighten his tie with half his face blown off?

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lol yeah I know, you are right those things were predictable, but the goal for making a show is not making it as unpredictable as it can be. In the situation that Walk was in, it had to be either him or Gus and if Walk died, the show would end. So there ya go.
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maybe you oughta just write your own show since everything seems to be so predictable lol. Not the writer's fault. they came with their A-Game, and like walt said. "I won."
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you fail at life
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How will Mike respond to Walter killing Gus?

I'm pretty sure we'll be seeing Mike & Gus' Chilean family VERY early on next season. I don't think Mike will be passing out resumes any time soon.
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If the show would run for a few more years maybe those avenues could be developed. Since the next season is definitely the last I believe that the show will mainly revolve around Walter (Saul included), Jesse, Hank (DEA included) and Skyler (car-wash -and maybe with the IRS- included). There is not really any time for any new villains.
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To answer your questions, Tim:

Saul's bodyguard lifted the cig off Jesse. He also used his "a-team" to poison Brock. I highly doubt that Walt even went near him. But I do think he dosed the poison. Hence the relief when he finds out the kid won't die...

And Gus immediately thought, I didn't poison Brock, so who would poison this little kid? what's to be gained? and he sensed the fishiness.... and suspected Walt was trying to frame him. and that his car was rigged. Someone used the phrase last week, "Jesse basically summoned Gus to hospital" so Gus walked out and smelled a trap.
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Goodbye Walter White. Hello Mr.Heisenberg.
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and left the recordings of him & Jesse in the offices to be found!!
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He poisoned Brock. Played Jesse like a fiddle. Risked his neighbor's life for his own. Orchestrated Gus' death--killing 3 people in the process. Oh, and killed 2 of Gus' henchmen before the mandatory lab destruction...



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-Walt used a sweet old lady neighbor as a guinea pig---and it was at that exact moment I realized, he really f'n poisoned Brock!!!

-When Gus walked out of the room. I'm just like, "come on...." and then I saw his face. Yikes! The episode was great. really great. but 'crawl space' may have been better.

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Totally the same reaction. The guy is already Heisenberg. Already taking advantage of people and calculating like Gus. Only better.
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I had the same reaction when Gus walked out of the room. "Come on" were my exact words. In retrospect, I never should have doubted Breaking Bad's unparalleled ability to surprise. Post-explosion Gus reminded me of Two-Face, with a little less brain matter.
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Yep. after I saw his face, I said "oh ok" (like that makes sense!) because it would have been crazy to survive an explosion from that proximity, despite how invincible Gus seems....



Two-Face or a certain knight from ASOIAF.

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Reminded me of Pacino in the last scene of Scarface where he just wouldn't die even with like a thousand bullets in his body.
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And Skyler lives another day! We'll get to her in Season 5 then.
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Lol yeah I really went out on a limb there... good for her!
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Don't feel too bad. Tim seemed pretty sure that Hank was going to bite the dust, when we all knew that was never going to happen. I actually thought there was a possibility of Skylar dying. If only to propel Walter's Heisenbergification. I'm just glad nothing happened to Marie. I don't know why, but I've got a soft spot for her.
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Yeah KleptoCompulsifactedLiars will live, someone start skylermustdie.com already though?? :)
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Heisenbergification: wonderful word!
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She stole your heart! (yep, no joke is too corny..)
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"How are you? Ah, good good. Uh, yes, cats... are..."

I thought that was quite hilarious. I think the writers put that in there, not for the humor, but to possibly help soften the cruel fact that Walt was using a neighbor as bait. After all, how much sympathy can you have for a cat lady (all of whom are crazy!).
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AWESOME! My life is going to feel empty after this show ends after next season!
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yep. but I don't see another season of actually "breaking bad" without the cooking and a real enemy. Unless Walt has to break bad against the law. I have no idea. It would be quite anti climactic if he ends up in jail in the end.



I don't see how they can end the show with a better ending than this Face Off episode!
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Surely there will be an investigation into the blast. Surely the DEA (and Hank) will get involved. And surely someone will discover that Walt had been there!
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It's also been fun reading your coverage this season. Since I'm in canada and get the show on iTunes (great quality, by the way), I've been repressing the urge to go on TV.com every single Monday since the season began, fearing spoilers. Anyway, thanks for the time you've put on rehashing the show every week. Between the articles and the comments at the bottom of them, it's made the whole experience so much more fun. Now I'm kinda freaking out that there won't be any new Breaking Bad until way too long. I'll survive, but it will be hard.
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"I've been repressing the urge to go on TV.com every single Monday since the season began, fearing spoilers."



THAT is the intelligent way to deal with the front page of TV.com... as most of us do. But brain05 doesn't seem to get it. Well, it's probably a good thing if he doesn't come back as he wrote.
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