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Breaking Bad "Gliding Over All" Mid-season Finale Review: System of a Frown

Breaking Bad S05E08: "Gliding Over All"

[While Tim's off enjoying his first few days of wedded bliss, I'm stepping into his size-1,000 gold-plated flip-flops to recap this episode of Breaking Bad. I will never be as smart as he is, but I'm at least as enthusiastic!]


A few episodes back, the special teams division of Vamanos Pest were cookin' the blues while a television played an episode of How It's Made. We know now that in every nook and cranny of Breaking Bad are hidden details intentionally placed, and this was a huge one. Despite its violence and mystery and pervasive, dramatic anxiety, Breaking Bad's life blood has always been its processes. In 4.5 seasons, Breaking Bad has lovingly detailed the following: The various ways to make meth (duh) as well as distributing it, profiting from it, and (DEA-wise) infiltrating it; long-distance computer erasure; clandestine train robberies; money laundering; and Cartel coups. But this A+ of a midseason finale also showed us how, among other things, one murders ten men in prison and also expands his drug kingdom overseas. Even more processes! It would all be so nerdy if it weren't so badass! Unfortunately, as Walter White discovered in "Gliding Over All," sometimes mastering a process means you're done with it. Some systems just can't last forever.

"Gliding Over All" served two main purposes: (1) Walt tied up as many loose ends as he could before expanding his business even further, and then (2) he quit. From the beginning of the episode we got the sense that he'd been thinking a lot about the past year, a sense of nostalgia hinted at through the call-back imagery of houseflies, Walt showering, that busted paper towel dispenser, Walt visiting the cancer center, and the presence of Leaves of Grass on his stack of bathroom readers. (That last item would prove to be more than just metaphorical foreshadowing, obviously.) But it certainly seemed that the murder and mayhem of late may have weakened Heisenberg's resolve and brought the old, decent, family man, back to the fore (at least temporarily). Fortunately for lovers of carnage and badassery, Heisenberg would not be abdicating the throne without one last, spectacular, bloody, showing: The systematic prison murders of ALL TEN of Mike's "guys" (including his lawyer!). In a word: Dang.

Aside: For my money, Lydia Rodarte-Quayle (that name!) is the best new addition to Season 5. I don't know what it is about this lady—her pretension, her ambition, her awkwardness—but I can't take my eyes off her. We first met her as a shaky, paranoid, businesswoman who may or may not have willingly gotten involved in Gus Fring's meth empire. But at this point she seems to have accepted that any day now she could be assassinated or incarcerated, so rather than pull back from Walter's empire, she's broken bad almost as dramatically as he has. When Heisenberg arrived to meet with her at a local cafe (in an entrance so subtly terrifying it's no wonder a waiter never approached the table), what transpired was one of the best scenes of the season. After a general exchange of threats and untrustworthy promises, Lydia divulged the names of all ten of Mike's "guys" from memory. But on one condition: Walter would have to allow Lydia to help him expand his business into the Czech Republic where there was apparently a thirst for meth that would put the Southwest to shame. We could sense that Walter had no interest in further dealings with Lydia, but her promises of an international insta-empire proved too tantalizing to pass up. But the kicker was, after they shook on it and she fled the table, we saw that Walter had brought his vial of ricin! Now she may never know just how much her cold-blooded ambition saved her life that day.

And how about that montage? You know which one I mean. When Walter implied last week that he'd be murdering every last one of Gus' former associates, I had no idea he'd actually pull it off with such aplomb! We knew that one or more of them was about to spill—Hank was hard at work trying to get the most information from the lowest bidder—so it was clear Walter's plan wasn't rooted in the delusions of a power-hungry paranoiac. But after he arranged with Todd's shady uncle to have all the murders carried out within minutes of each other (at several different prisons!) it seemed that Heisenberg had officially entered the Pablo Escobar phase of his reign. That's a lot of murder spread over a lot of geography and all so that no one would be the final living witness who'd break. In all its terrible elegance, this was a shocker of a high point for this show, and I for one hope to never see another arterial shiv again.

Intense murder montages aside, the episode also had some intense character-relationship moments. After Walter literally shut Jesse out of the operation at the beginning of the episode ("There is no 'WE'!") it was clear that the most crucial relationship on the show had seen better days. But as much as Walter often tries to pretend he doesn't need (or, you know, love) Jesse, it's right there in his reluctance to embrace Todd as a new partner. Unlike Jesse, Todd is seemingly remorseless, was born into a family of thugs, and can easily pass for wholesome, yet there's just something missing there. That's why Walter's surprise visit to Jesse's futon den was so powerful. He'd realized that he shouldn't have cheated Jesse out of his severance, nor, probably, have destroyed most of Jesse's personal relationships over the past year, so hopefully a few duffel bags full of cash might somehow right those wrongs. But of course the scene wasn't as heartwarming as it sounds: The whole time Jesse stared at Walter with the wild-eyed tension of a man who'd come face to face with the grim reaper. Jesse knew Mike was probably dead, and worse, that he himself as much a "loose end" as the ten inmates were. But in a reveal that nicely mirrored Walter's scene with Lydia, as soon as Walter left we realized Jesse had been fingering a hidden gun the entire scene. Once again a character walked a razor-thin edge between life and death but fortunately made it out alive.

The most satisfying pay-off in this episode revolved around Skyler. All season she'd been inhabiting her own personal horror film, but in this episode we saw her spontaneously smile and laugh with baby Holly as though her terrors had begun to ebb. Marie noticed this as well and suggested that, um, maybe it was time for Skyler to take her kids home? Almost three months had passed since Hank and Marie took the kids, which meant that the preceding montage of Walter's growing empire was the largest leap forward in the timeline we'd seen yet. So when Skyler arrived home to find Walter staring blankly into the swimming pool (who knew swimming pools could be so existential!) she spoke to him for the first time in probably a while: "I want to show you something." This "something" was a personal storage unit containing an enormous stack of cash. Over the past three months Heisenberg had made so much money that Skyler couldn't even count it, let alone launder it through their rinky dink carwash. Her hushed rhetorical seemed to hit Walter hard: When was it time to stop? The answer, he came to realize, was now.

By episode's end Walter had made up with Jesse (sort of), gotten his children back, made several hundred million dollars, gotten away with mass murder, and even shared a poolside smile with Skyler. A satisfying conclusion, right? Unfortunately this was only the MID-season finale, so we know there are still eight episodes of unbearable anxiety left and that they may involve an ENORMOUS MACHINE GUN. And I'm guessing the main impetus of those bad times began in this episode's final scene: Hank, excusing himself from a poolside hangout, decided to use the master bathroom where he came across Walter's copy of Leaves of Grass, inscribed to a "W.W." from a "G.B." Just like that the ghost of Gale Boetticher struck again: Immediately recalling his experiences pawing through Gale's journal, Hank now knew that Walter was the shadowy legend he'd been pursuing all along.

Yeah, I'll say it again: This was an A+ episode for me. If we're being real, even an unsuccessful episode of Breaking Bad is still a tremendous hour of television. But when it's firing on all cylinders it can be almost transcendently great. Like, I-forgot-I'm-in-my-living-room-merely-watching-TV great. I understand there have been some murmurs of disappointment with the first half of Season 5 so far, but I am not one of those murmurers. Those who have had misgivings about certain events in "Gliding Over All"—you're not wrong either. But that disappointment is merely a testament to just how high our expectations for this show have become. This episode definitely wasn't as horrifying as Hank's parking lot shootout, or disturbing as Walt's crawlspace meltdown, or cathartic as Gus' jack-o-lantern farewell, but it did contain almost everything we adore about this show all wrapped up in a package signed "Love, Vince Gilligan."

I want to go watch it again right now.

NOTES:

... How had "Crystal Blue Persuasion" NOT been used in this show before? And wasn't that particular montage so lovely? Not only did we see almost all of the essential characters in the context of their chain of command, the shots were so artfully matched and edited. That aerial shot alone of tented houses was just straight-up stunning.

... If this episode represented a false happy ending for the series, what do you think the REAL ending will be? I'm getting the sense that Walter's in for a pretty brutal comeuppance. But would be WHO would be responsible for it?

... Hank's speech about how much he longed for his old, terrible job of marking trees for deforestation was a real heartbreaker. The man is obviously not a genius, but he has been an extremely competent and driven agent who deserves better than he's gotten. Can't wait to find out how this new revelation will energize him.

... Not to worry, Tim Surette will be back later this week to give his thoughts on the finale. I'm just as excited about this as you are; his coverage has been one of the highlights of this season.


QUESTIONS:

... Ballpark guesses: How much money was that??

... What's been your favorite new character or element of Season 5?

... What processes featured on this show have been the most fascinating?

... Do you think Walter will die by season's end? If so, how?

Comments (234)
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Let me just point out some things I noticed that could well indeed be cases of foreshadowing.

Remember when Walt first met Gus and their conversation at Los pollos hermanos. And Gus asked Walt why he works with Jesse, Walt said "because I can trust him" and Gus said "you can never trust a drug addict." I'm guessing Jesse will somehow betray Walt and cause the downfall for Heisenberg. Walt has so much trust and love for Jesse that it will end up biting him in the ads.

Secondly remember when Walt was pulled over by the cop for having a broken windshield and he got arrested. So they must have Walt's fingerprints in the database so hank can definitely get Walt's prints off something connecting him to the manufacturing of the blue meth.

Last but not least when Skylar said I'm waiting for the cancer to come back I think she might actually get that wish and Walt's cancer will come back and my prediction is that if the cancer does indeed come back Walt will remember that conversation and use the ricsin to kill Skylar because she wanted him dead all along.

I can't let these little details slip by since Vince Gilligan is very detailed and loves using foreshadowing and if that is the case my predictions will be spot on!
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very good!
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doesn't the first scene give you a heads up to season 6 lol that Walter will be on the run from his brother in law.
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Why do you believe he can only be on the run from Hank and not someone else?
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I don't think it's that cut and dried...there are many other possibilities:

- He could be on the run from the DEA (but not his brother in law who he has considerable leverage over in terms of blackmailing)



He could be on the run from any number of criminal entities that want him to continue to cook:

- He could be on the run from Declan

- He could be on the run from the Czech republic gangsters

- He could be on the run from the Mexican Cartel (ok, this one is pretty unlikely)



- He could be on the run from Lydia if she decided to put a hit out on him because he knows too much.

- Similarly he could be on the run from Todd/Todd's Uncle if Todd has taken over the cooking and they see him as a "loose end" or "competition".



- Finally he could be on the run from Jesse if Jesse ever finds out that Walt poisoned Brock and/or killed Mike.



Point is there are MANY reasons he could be on the run...and I know the title of the episode is "Live Free or Die" which leads people to believe he's on the run from the law, but remember the Cartel wanted to basically hold him prisoner in Mexico and force him to cook meth but Gus repeatedly said "No"...such a scenario would also fit that title - in fact you could argue it fits it better.
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The show will end with Walter dead... and the guys on storage wars opening the storage locker and trying to guess exactly how much is there :D
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Don't forget, this isn't just between Hank and Walter. Marie is Skyler's sister. Hank will no doubt implicate Skyler the moment he realizes the counting cards story is bullshit. Doing this will also mean serious consequences for Walter Jr./Flynn and Holly. Is Hank prepared to rip this family apart? Is there an overall reason why the kids have been staying with Hank and Marie this whole season?



The more I think about it, the more obvious it is just how crappy a situation Hank inadvertently found himself in, and how much more I like the way the Heisenberg reveal came about. Yes, police work would have been a good idea. But think about it from Hank's perspective: all you wanted to do was have fun with your family. You may even brew a new batch of Schrader Brau. Life is good again. You go to take a crap, and now...the choices he has to make will ruin everything. For some reason, I don't think Hank is the one who's going to take Walt down.
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doesn't the first scene give you a heads up to season 6 lol that Walter will be on the run from his brother in law.
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I just notice the little link provided by tnetennba a few comments down. It basically says it all. Ugh! Can't wait...
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So...something just occurred to me, not sure if anyone covered this and I missed it...



Hank doesn't know that Walt paid for his rehab...much less realize it was paid for with drug money...I wonder what he'll think when/if he finds out (not to mention that Walt was basically responsible for him ending up in the hospital in the first place)...



In fact I wonder if Walt will try use that against Hank to try keep him quiet, because I'm guessing there's no way the DEA would believe Hank wasn't complicit in Walt's drug dealings because claiming "I didn't know" certainly isn't going to fly...I can picture's Gomie's response right now...
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hence another good reason for Hank to switch side... :)
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doesn't the first scene give you a heads up to season 6 lol that Walter will be on the run from his brother in law.
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I saw you post this up above, I'll copy my response here:



I don't think it's that cut and dried...there are many other possibilities:

- He could be on the run from the DEA (but not his brother in law who he has considerable leverage over in terms of blackmailing)



He could be on the run from any number of criminal entities that want him to continue to cook:

- He could be on the run from Declan

- He could be on the run from the Czech republic gangsters

- He could be on the run from the Mexican Cartel (ok, this one is pretty unlikely)



- He could be on the run from Lydia if she decided to put a hit out on him because he knows too much.

- Similarly he could be on the run from Todd/Todd's Uncle if Todd has taken over the cooking and they see him as a "loose end" or "competition".



- Finally he could be on the run from Jesse if Jesse ever finds out that Walt poisoned Brock and/or killed Mike.



Point is there are MANY reasons he could be on the run...and I know the title of the episode is "Live Free or Die" which leads people to believe he's on the run from the law, but remember the Cartel wanted to basically hold him prisoner in Mexico and force him to cook meth but Gus repeatedly said "No"...such a scenario would also fit that title - in fact you could argue it fits it better.
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I don't really see:

- hank voluntarily going along with walter

and

- hank being extorted into helping



being the same thing at all.
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well he's compromised with the DEA, has no way to prove anything, talking nostalgically about his old job... looks fedup an depressed...

and if Walter is really out... why not have a piece of the cake and relax?

Unprobable maybe, but possible.
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That's probably exactly what he'll use. It worked against Skyler.
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That's a good point. Someone posted this link in a forum that I'm a member of:



http://i.imgur.com/WSTvu.jpg
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The only thing that would be stupid is to hide all that money in the same place.
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My take:

Hank may propose to Walter to join his business or, ask for a "cut" to shut his mouth then retire.



The big gun scene at the beginning still feel very much like revenge. Something terrible may happened to Walter's family. From old Gus' associates? From the Chilean Cartel? From the Arizona guys? From the Czechs? I can't tell but I go for the later. They won't let Walter cut them off like this.

Walter's cancer has come back, he lost his whole family, he has nothing to loose and nothing to gain: he's going to end everything in a bloody mess.



That's my Scarface ending...
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doesn't the first scene give you a heads up to season 6 lol that Walter will be on the run from his brother in law.
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Since the beginning, Hank and Walt are two opposide sides of a coin. Hank is a man of principle and morale. He learned to lose pride due to his injuries and came out stronger dealing with it - unlike Walter. Walter really lost all his principles in the process and even though they've been different from the start and both characters developed, they both still represent completely different ways of dealing with obstacles in life.

I would never buy nor like Hank turning himself 180 and changing everything he believes in just because of money.
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doesn't the first scene give you a heads up to season 6 lol that Walter will be on the run from his brother in law.
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You're forgetting how much Hank hates Heisenberg. I don't think he would ever take a bribe to let a mass murderer get away, but it's even less likely that he would take a bribe from Heisenberg. There's no way that he would suggest it himself.
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People change and tons of money changes people... but I don't stick to that scenario that much really: I wrote "maybe".

I wrote before that the last season will probably be Hank/DEA vs Walter. There is still Jesse and Lydia whom Hank can hassle. And... Skyler!
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I have stayed away from this thread...I was hoping to - after a break immediately following watching the episode I could go back watch it a second time and like the episode...Nope.



I've been one of this shows biggest fanboys, but I can't say this episode was any good at all....In fact I really really disliked the episode. It felt rushed, out of character and down right insulting to Hank's character in the way he just stupidly stumbles upon the key evidence. It's "The Killing" quality police work that this show use to be better than.



Now I get to read the rest of the comments expecting gushing love for it (like the review had)...I hope I'm wrong.
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I can't agree, really...the police and even the dea only "find" a small amount of drugs supplied every year...And even that seems often to be just by sheer luck. Not that they don't do their job but it just isn't an easy one. Sure, Walter often enough was exceptionally lucky as well and was clever enough not to leave many tracks in between...
Also, like others said. That book is a hint, no evidence. Possibly there are fingerprints of Gale in it but that doesn't make a case. Hank would still have to find real evidence what might be difficult if Hank can really stay out of it without being disturbed by his ex-companions still alive.

In any case, Hank will have much to do for the next 8 episodes, either to find evidence or to protect his family.

I can't wait to find out! Also now he has a choice...if he had found one piece after another he wouldn't be only one to know and therefore had no choice as to get Walt or(/and?) be arrested as well.

At least I like him to have the opportunity to think really hard what to do to protect himself and his family, even if he doesn't consider Walt as a part of it anymore and goes after him.
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I agree. Hank is at his best when he's slowly getting closer to the truth and I really wish he'd been doing exactly that the last 8 episodes! It would have built up tension like crazy, but instead all we got was that lame lucky discovery out of nowhere. That last scene should have been a season's worth of tension exploding all over the place and instead it was just meh
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Yeah...I guess I just see it for what it could have been, but the writers - this season - just didn't want to tell the Hank story I wanted to see.
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I figured I'd beat a dead horse just one more time before dropping it: the season isn't done yet. Yes, we have to wait a while, but that's nothing new. Having said that, Hank's badass story is only beginning. I'll eat my words if I'm wrong, but I don't think I am. The writers are better than we are. They've proven this time and time again :-) Perhaps what they have in store is better than what you wanted to see. It's been the case for me, that's for sure. Either way, fun discussion. I don't want the episode to end :-(
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without question it will be a grind waiting all the way until next summer...
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@Aye - I think we can both agree, we can't wait to find out.
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That's true, and Hank definitely does have work to do actually proving it's Walt...I'm just real skeptical right now that it will be better this way than it could have been if Hank had suspected Walt sooner.
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I don't think it was a bad episode, but I agree about the two points you made. It felt rushed (like they needed to get to this point by the end of this episode just to have a "season finale"), and it was disappointing that Hank discovered it by dumb luck (and ridiculous stupidity on Walt's part) instead of by solid police work. Hank isn't an intellectual, but he's smart in the sense that he understands how to follow the evidence. This is how he tracked down Jesse in season 3. I was hoping for something more like that.
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Yeah, I just felt like the jump in this episode from "Empire Business" to "Completely Out" felt a lot like the Episode 3 jump from "The Emperor is bad news, mkay!" to "I AM KILLING YOUNGLINGS" in terms of how much it felt unearned...and that's on top of the fact that I find it hard to buy that Declan, Todd and his uncle and Lydia would just let him leave seemingly so easily.



Sure, people are claiming that Walt maybe really isn't actually out, but if there is ONE THING we know about skyler is that she won't put up with big blocks of time where she doesn't have any idea what Walt is doing...I feel like it's only in her character to accept that he's totally out if she knows completely what he's up to for a while as he SLOWLY earns back trust...and that sort of "silent partner" where he doesn't even cook seems like it wouldn't fly in most criminal organizations.



Then Hank...you say he's not an intellectual, but he's amazing cop that does GREAT police work, besides tracking down Jesse in Season 3 he spent almost ALL of Season 4 being a complete bad ass working Gale's murder. Everything he did to track things back for Gus, I definitely felt like this show was building toward Hank figuring out Walt via awesome police work and not dumb luck...I was REALLY hoping we'd have a scene where it was clear Hank suspected Walter but wasn't sure until the final piece fell into place...In stead Hank luckily tripped over that piece through the dumbest of luck. Completely anti climactic.
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It was always going to be the family connection that caused Hank to find Walter out. If it was down to good police work the characters wouldn't need to be family in the first place. I can't believe you're surprised by this. It was always going to be because Walt was stupid enough to be a meth kingpin right under the nose of his DEA brother-in-law. From episode one. This wasn't Hank's battle to win, it was Walt's to lose. It absolutely had to be this way all along. I find the particular slip up to be particularly moronic, but this never ended with Hank outsmarting Walter, it always ended with Hank stumbling onto some evidence due to general proximity.
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agree, but if you remember...he wasn't that stupid about doing it under Hanks nose as he did get saved on occasion by getting info from hank about the state of his investigation...that will probably stop now but hank also doesn't know Walt quit the game (if he really was able to like that episode made us believe)
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@Aye: in that case, yes. Absolutely. That would have been another way of finding out. However, they already drew the line in the sand when Hank was rapping at the door in season 4 with those questions about Gale's quote. It was a more poetic and artistic approach to unveiling the revelation by having Hank remember that he already correctly guessed who Heisenberg was, whether he knew it or not. The whole episode was based on earlier season call-backs, and that one, while Hank was going through Gale's notes, was the most important.



And again, sense of humor people! :-) (We WILL get that scene! Vince knows it's too good an opportunity to pass up.)
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imo you got it wrong, the family connection is what blinds hank from finding out about walt, there would be so much more evidence on walt then there ever was on gus for example



it started when the chemical equipement was missing from his school, if that had been anyone, he surely would have looked into it a bit more, than the w.w. stuff, the naked wandering in the desert, the times he wasnt at home, the gambling, the car wash, the ridiculiously expensive new cars



the only thing that prevents hank from making that connection, is the image of the whiny coward walt was in the past, and for me that was the beauty of that show
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@ tnetennba - +1 to you, you speak truth.



@ Din - I know and I REALLY WANT TO SEE THAT SCENE, that immediate follow up after Hank finds out. Now if I get to it won't be for a full year...I really hope we do get to see it but I kind of don't think we will...



As for having nothing on Walt, that's not entirely true. Hank knows to look into the finances behind the cars the car wash maybe even the watch (that he doesn't yet know is a gift from a kid he beat the shit out of). While Skyler is good but maybe she missed something...



Anyway, regardless, I'm totally with tnetennba - if they'd instead gone with something like Hank seeing Walt in a surveillance photo with Lydia or Jesse (that he knows is connected to the blue meth) or even Saul (since Hank was following lawyers already) would have been a MUCH stronger way to go to get Hank thinking "maybe it is Walt". Only to be confirmed by something he finds in their house would have been a lot stronger. I think the audience deserves the smart Hank they saw in season 3 and 4, not a lucky Hank.
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There are lots of other ways the family connection could have been used. For example, suppose that the DEA puts Lydia under surveillance, and at some point they see Walt go into the same building as her. If this is a public place, they wouldn't make anything of it. But if Hank (the family connection) sees the photos of the people going in, it could be one coincidence too many. It makes him suspicious, but he still doesn't know. So he uses his position in the family to gain access to Walt's house and look for evidence without a warrant. Now he finds something...not something so obvious as a hand-written note in Gale's hand writing that says "Walter White is Heisenberg", but something like the key to the storage unit.



This is just ONE idea. I'm sure there are plenty of other ways that this could have gone down that doesn't require Walt to be *that* stupid.
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I like to think of it this way...Imagine the tension in Hank. He was a different man going into that bathroom than he will be coming out. He knows he has his man. He's right there, sitting at the very same table with the rest of his family. All he has to do is subdue Walt, and make the call. But he can't. He has no proof. He has nothing. If anything, it may be smarter to play it cool, calm, silent. Sure, the cat's out of the bag as far as Hank is concerned...but this just became a battle of wits. Hank has to find something solid. Some empirical evidence linking Walt to Heisenberg. He has to catch Heisenberg in the act. No easy task, especially if Walt has his guard up. Personally, I think this is going to make for some of the most brilliant episodes of Breaking Bad ever.



Back to A...true, it's the mid-season finale. But come on! It's Hank on a toilet! After all the work he's put in; the gun shots he took and the car crashes he endured, all he needed was a bowel movement. It's perfect! And at least to this viewer, that doesn't detract from the hurricane of potential the last 8 episodes have.
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@Din - Thank you.

A) Because it's the mid season finale...no more episodes for almost a year...

B) Right...he hasn't found anything, but he should have suspected and whatever he finds in the finale should have just solidified it for him.



Yeah, I've heard the "Walt planted it" theory...perhaps if they played it straight...but the use of the season 4 footage makes me think that's not very likely...



That scene in season 4 you reference is a perfect example...that's the point in which Hank - who gets a professional opinion that Gale wasn't Heisenberg that he really turned on to Gus and really kicked ass thinking through that angle...I just feel it's a really weak way to turn Hank on to Walt.
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Aye, I respect your opinion, but this is simply an premature opinion. A) this show has always had a sense of humor. Why NOT have Hank find out while on the toilet? B) Hank hasn't found out anything. All he's done is discover Walt's identity. While that may seem like a big deal (and it is to a degree) it means nothing in the eyes of the law. It's purely circumstantial evidence that points the finger to nobody. Hank's intelligent work is forthcoming, don't you worry.



Safibwana is right, it's the family connection. And this revelation was built on that framework. But again, this is a premature argument you're throwing out considering it's half of a season. Sure, we have to treat it differently considering the wait for the next one, but in the context of the story, we still have a lot to learn.



And who knows? Few have said Walt planted it there, and while I certainly don't subscribe to that notion, it does make a peculiar amount of sense considering Walt may just be bored playing it straight. His pride unquenchable. I recall the dinner scene in season 4 when Hank thought Gale was Heisenberg and a drunk Walt gave him every reason to abandon that thought process.
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I guess I prefer the smart Hank in seasons 3 and 4 to the lucky one here. There's no way you'll convince me that the ONLY way this thing could go down was to have Mike find evidence in the home...



Walt had a brother-in-law in the DEA simply to facilitate Walt going on a DEA ride-along on a meth bust in the pilot...that particular plot point then had the benefit of raising the stakes as people found out their connection over the next several seasons. It didn't speak at all to how he would be busted (early on).



Simply put, they were building Hank up as someone who could figure out it was Walt on his own. Using the fact that he's so close to Walt could have easily been why he didn't want to believe what his gut was telling him at first (like he totally believed his gut all along investigating Gus).



It also could have been (had they pained Hank slightly differently) that knowing it's Walt could have made a hard decision for Hank, because he wants to bust Walt, but he has to consider the lives of family he loves - particularly the kids - that are mostly innocent bystanders.



Yet another way the character COULD have gone is after his near death experience in season 3 the writers deciding to maneuver Hank in a way that he becomes Walt's "Mike".



You claiming that the "only way" the story could have gone is this way is simply short sighted folly. It COULD have gone many other ways, and would have been a lot more satisfying had they done so.
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Honestly... I wasn't a fan of this episode. I know, blasphemy! It just felt like it belonged to a different show. The huge time jump, breaking up the show's core relationship (Walt and Jesse, duh!) and not much happened.



I was left wondering, what was the point of the last 8 episodes? All the awesome story lines they set up, like Walt going off the rails, have been reset to zero.



Except of course for that last scene, which just felt tacked on. I wish the last 8 episodes had been Hank slowly growing suspicious- then that last scene would have felt like a bombshell. Instead it all felt too happenstance.



Of course, a less good episode of Breaking Bad is still a great episode of television. It's just that this one gave me a case of the sads :(
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Like you said, a less good episode of Breaking Bad is still a great episode of television. I forced a friend that's never seen Breaking Bad to sit through this episode with me and he really liked it.
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Answers:

... No idea how much money. How much does an empire cost these days?

... Definitely Lydia. I was already in love with Laura Fraser before, now even more. But Todd is a nice and welcome surprise too.

... I think any process as long as the soundtrack is Crystal Blue Persuasion.

... Well, I'd go for death by cancer. And the cycle closes.
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Wow, what a fantastic review, Price. I wasn't sure you could do it and would get Breaking Bad, but I'm glad I was wrong. You're welcome to review any show I like any time soon.
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Doesnt everyone remember at the beginning of the season when there was a flash to the future and Walter was sitting in a diner with a full head of hair and writing a happy birthday note to himself in bacon the way Skylar used to do? That suggests to me that he will end up on the run after the shit hits the fan so to speak.
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That just occurred to you now? It's occurred to everyone else a thousand times during the course of the season. So needless to say, yes we remember.
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Yes, we all remember that.
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Walt is surely screwed. He could of ended it when Mike and Jesse said to stop cooking that they had made enough money for several lifetimes. He might of tied up old lose ends but he has created far more.



1. Lydia - She is very obsessed about money and business and now that she wants to expand the business to another country she is not going to like that he is now quitting.



2. Todd - Now that he thinks Walt likes him and now hes cooking he will want a bigger take and lets face it hes a idiot. He shot that kid, there where a hundred ways they could of fixed that problem without killing that kid. Something tells me he wont take kindly to Walt leaving now.



3. Declan - Yeah, he strong armed him and his guys made him look weak and they made a new deal and now Walt is going to break that deal. That won't end well.



4. Mike - As good as Mike was at planning and looking and reading people he could of left something that could incriminate Walt and screw him over. You can't tell me that Mike didn't think Walt wanted to kill him.



5. Ted & the IRS - Can't tell me that Ted has just gone away and even if he has what Skylar did by signing her name to his fixed books isn't good. That will lead to questions being asked on who paid off the IRS for him. The could still very well be one of the many nails in Walters coffin.



6. Jesse and Skylar - I think once Lydia and Declan wont let Walt quit I think that's going to piss Skylar off because he will had lied about quitting once again and that in turn is going to have her seek help from Jesse who is going to find out all the crap Walt has being hiding from him that he has done to Jesse.



So I think in the end it will either be Jesse kills Walt or some how Walt will go to prison and end up dying from cancer in prison. Or we could all just be assuming that AMC has not planned on making a movie or several to truly finish it all off.



Or maybe he will kill himself with that ricin.



Yeah it's already been said that it was 80-90 million and once he gave Jesse his cut he probably still has 50 million more or less.
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My predictions:

- Lydia (Rodarte-Quayle :-) ) is gonna hire Todd to continue her exporting business.

- They get busted.

- Todd sells out Walter.

- But Walter tied his loose ends (it's a bad idea for Lydia to talk, since she has a much longer history of distributing drugs)

- DEA follows and busts Skyler for tax fraud (the storage unit is probably in her name)

- Walter's kids are taken away to child care.

- He gets completely mad (lost money, wife, kids). Buys huge gun. Plans a Kill'em All ending to all (maybe even pulling a Shane Vendrell).
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Such a great (half) season, poetry on TV, finish at 5 though please, just because you love something doesn't mean it should go on and on. A standalone film although it won't happen would be acceptable, but series 6 or 7 is unnecessary in my book. I never get why people think a premise can sustain greatness indefinitely and the best arguments against it are The Office and probably The X Files back in the day, their later series tarnished the early genius.
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A comedy and a monster-of-the-week show that both lost their lead actors are your best examples? Breaking Bad is the story of a man who goes from being a science teacher with no criminal past, to being a drug kingpin, and then, presumably, to getting taken down somehow. This is a story that takes time to tell. At the start of this season, he was just trying to get the operation up and running again, without Gus. So there was still a lot of story to be told. It seems like they could easily have made three more seasons.



I'm not saying that the story absolutely needed to be longer. If the creators feel that it's time to wrap things up, then maybe it is. This season has however felt a bit rushed, like they're in a hurry to get to where they need to be by episode 8. That could mean that it would have been better to do two 13-episode seasons instead of two 8-episode half seasons.
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I found this episode for the most part rather underwhelming to be honest. It was still breaking bad so it was still great but aside from the prison murders and the very ending not much happened that really stood out as amazing television to me.
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Go fly a kite...

http://www.rollingstone.com/movies/news/breaking-bad-recap-of-monsters-and-montages-20120903



Read that review...it will enlighten you on what you missed...
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Ballpark guesses: How much money was that??



Vince Gilligan confirmed during a Breaking Bad podcast that it was roughly $80-90 million
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I find it hard to believe that Walter would be that sloppy. Leaving a book that directly links him to a known meth lab cook? C'mon.



Did he finish off the methlamine?



What Hank knows and what he can prove are distinctly different things. I believe that Walt has been very good with creating a paper trail for his initial influx of money. Should be interesting to see if it stands up to scrutiny. You would think that Hank would have been somewhat curious as to wtf Walter has been doing for the past year. As he hasn't had a "job" to go to.
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Wow - a lot of people got shived there! And Hank took the dump he was supposed to have decades ago ... but he still has NOTHING on Walt - he knows but that's all. Awesome mid-season finale of the fifth season!

I am still not able to articulate my impressions due to the crystal meth I made myself to cherish the mid-finale of this season. Due to low quality ingredients AND "lab" equipment I had to dye it blue also ... it was a terrible idea. Dang!
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I think Hank could easily bust Walt if he really wants to. There might be Gale's fingerprints on the book. DEA might search the car wash or look for money loundering. He could put his sister Skylar into pressure which might very well work. He can search the house for more clues or dig into Jesse's financial situation and observe him if observing Walter doesn't bring something up.



IF Hank is willing to bring the DEA into this, Walter is done.
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IF Walt is able to quit now and for real Hank has NOTHING. Also isn't Hank's wife Skyler's sister? I don't know if he can put pressure on his sister-in-law...

But of course you're right - with a simple tail they will find out about the 100 mill storage ... and there is Jesse Pinkman! I mean basically it's an epiphany for Hank - he's finally able to connect everything: his assasination and Fring talking to Walt, the intentional car crash on the way to the laundry, his multiple strange remarks, the card gambling crap etc...
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They got shanked not "shived". You get shanked with a shiv. I think that's the correct terminology anyways!
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Unlike Teen Wolf, I am going to ignore questions, except maybe the last one...I cannot help but think that while the initials might lead Hank to figure out that Walter might be the chemist, I worry that the other clues are going to lead Hank to Jesse (afterall, he did actually kill Gale).
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Wow, I have to say: Price Peterson, hats off to you good sir! Well done, it was almost like reading one of Tim's reviews/recaps.



I was waiting for something dramatic to happen at the end, maybe a bomb would go off or someone would get shot, nothing... We then see Hank taking a dump and wow, he's on to Walt.



It will be interesting to see how Walt tries to step out of the business and if that's when Hank will catch him.
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I don't believe Walt has quit for one minute.



Even with that huge amount of money, the business is all about his ego now, not family.



I believe he has temporarily quit because he wants to setup Hank to go crazy by letting him know that he's the 'monster' he's been looking for well over a year but with all evidence out of reach.



Hank was already at breaking point before the convenient revelation at the end of the episode, this will firmly push him over the edge, Hank has just as big of an ego as Walt does and it won't be able to handle the fact that the most successful drug lord to ever evade him is his own brother in law.



Hank won't be able to share this information with the DEA either as it will make him look weak and he will quickly become the a laughing stock especially since he's the boss now.



He will be forced to keep the information to himself and go on a solo mission just like he has done previously in the series, the final episode will probably be a stand off between Hank, Walt, some heavily armed gang and i'm sure Jessie will be in the mix some where too.



That big gun Walt had in the end of the first episode of this season is probably for a gang of some sort and will most likely be the last episode of next season, i highly doubt it's for the DEA though.



I believe at that point in the timeline, Walt's cancer has returned and he knows he has a guaranteed painful death sentence in front of him so he's probably planning to go out with a bang rather than a wimper.



What ever the cause turns out to be, next season is going to be the best last season of a show ever made period.



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The fact that Walter coughed in the bathroom on his 52nd birthday makes me believe his cancer has returned, especially since in this last episode he went for a check up.



I've always believed Walter would die of the cancer eventually, this whole series was built upon it.
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what walter hide in last episode on the begging
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The begging? Do you mean the beginning? The only thing I remember seeing him hide was the tube of ricin, and that wasn't in the beginning. That was the poison that he and Jesse were going to use use to kill Gus Fring. Jesse used to carry it around in a cigarette, waiting for an opportunity to poison Gus. Walt brought it to the meeting with Lydia because he was thinking about poisoning her with it.
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http://popgoesthearts.blogspot.ca/2012/09/so-long-breaking-baduntil-next-year.html



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to answer the last question, I think it comes down to if they will go with the plans to make a movie, If there wont be a movie, then Walt will die on the last episode
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There won't be a movie.



www.digitalspy.com/tv/s166/breaking-bad/news/a393932/breaking-bad-creator-vince-gilligan-a-movie-is-not-on-my-mind.html
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If you actually read that article that you posted you would notice that. He says.



"If we've got enough story left over for a movie then, then who am I to say no?" he speculated. "But I can tell you it's not on my mind in the least little way at the moment."





Basiclly if AMC thinks they can make bank on a movie they will probably do it hes just saying as of now he has nothing planned or scripted. Trust me money talks.
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Chuckle, he'll be dead. The further adventures of Flynn? It's not happening. He can't come out and say that the main character will be dead, but we all know it, and that would make a movie super lame.
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hey, just for saying, have you noticed that the narrow location with the garages where skyler keeps the money is the same in Homeland Episode 8 at minute 39?



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Did anyone else see the bit in the montage where Skyler then Lydia pick a cup of coffee and think it means that Walter and Lydia are going to get involved later on?
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An affair? I don't think so...

I believe that they might have done the camera trick to show the anti-thesis of Skylar wanting him out and Lydia pulling him further in.
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I really hope not, an afair feels too soap opera-y especially with only 8 episodes left...but I guess you never know...
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If it's *love*, then it would suck. But if it's Heisenberg asserting his dominance, and Lydia playing along just to try to give him feelings that may save her life later, then it might be OK.
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yeah, I suppose there are ways it could be done well, but with so few episodes left I guess I just hope they don't...Lydia just buggs me.
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I saw that too. I sensed that there might be an affair between Lydia and Walt. Although it also could be pointing to the ricin.
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MichaelWeston1 u got something wrong:



Is not just 13 piles deep, because all the piles are in one direction, so would probably be 30-40 piles deep, so should be 3-4 times more, so 150-200million
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I don't understand the "one direction" comment. What MichaelWeston called the "depth" (the distance from the side facing the door to the side facing the rear wall) seems to be about 16 bundles. There's no shot where it's really easy to count them, but it's certainly in the range 13-19. The pile is exactly 12 bundles wide (there are only 11 of the shorter stacks, but 12 of the tall ones), and 60 or so high. I haven't been able to count the height exactly.
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I believe the shows setup for Hank to have a mental breakdown and go crazy.



Even if leaving that book there was an accident (which i doubt), there is not enough evidence to send Walt down.



Since Walt has pulled out of the game temporary, Hank has nothing, i believe the face we saw on Hank was the start of his mental breakdown.



I seriously doubt the big ass gun Walt had in the trunk of his car was for the DEA, the writers are playing mind games with us.
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Maybe he will propose to Walter that he wants in...

Or ask him for a "cut" to shut his mouth.
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That really seems like it would be out of character for Hank.
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yes but he looked so depressed, or fed up, in the last shots...

and, he has nothing (or nobody left) to pin him with." He may think: "Why not share the cake?"
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I think it was the "chasing Monsters" talk that Hank had with Walt in the living room of his house seals it for me. Right now I don't think there's any way he won't bust Heisenberg.



Rather than the realization humanizing Heisenberg for Hank in a way that allows him to take a payoff I think it will cause Hank to Demonize Walt and just make him want to take Walt down and get the innocent kids away from him...
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Q1) $50m-$80m

Q2) Lydia Rodarte-Quayle and the international connection (Gives hope to a 6th 7th & 8th season)

Q3) Walters growing ruthlessness and his ascendancy into an international crime kingpin.

Q4) Yes. Perhaps with a small hint that he isn't dead though, just to leave the door open a crack for more Breaking Bad.

And lets hope there will be more because finishing one of the very best drama series would leave a vacuum few others could fill and with so little quality out there one would think that the producers would want to continue it in some form or other.
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I noticed when skyler seemed to be happy, and was wondering why. My first thought was the money must be great now, that shes starting to ignore the other things.



Then she showed the pile.
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I know that the beginning part of the Jesse bit was supposed to be blatantly funny, but did anybody else find the killing scene more of Vince's dark humor than him trying to be disturbing? Or am I sick in the mind for thinking that that montage was really funny and only slightly disturbing?
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I have a question about Emmys. Season 5.1 would be eligible for the 2013 Emmy awards, correct? Or not because the season has not fully aired yet?
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I'm pretty sure the Emmy's won't care if AMC choose to call the final 8 episodes "season 6" or "second half of season 5". What matters is that several episodes have aired during the one-year period that the 2013 awards will be about. The last two years (at least...those are the only ones I checked), that period has been from June 1 to May 31. So it looks like 5a will make them eligible for awards in 2013 and 5b will make them eligible for awards in 2014.



Season 2 ended May 31, 2009. So season 2 was eligible for the 2009 Emmys.

Season 3 ended June 13, 2010. So all but the final two episodes were eligible for the 2010 Emmys.

Season 4 started July 17, 2011 (that's 13 months after the end of season 3). So BB had exactly two episodes in the eligibility period for 2011. I guess two episodes aren't enough, at least not when they obviously belong to a season that has already received its awards.
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...and the significance of the music heard in the background during the family pool party, 'Up The Junction'. Not sure if it's a US saying but it's the same as 'In the shit'
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$51,480,000.00

Best I can figure on the amount of money: Looks to be 66 stacks high X 12 stacks wide X 13 stacks deep. That totals 10,296 stacks. 100 bills per stack= 1,029,600 bills. Average stack is $5,000 (50s average) Would equal $51,480,000.

Would weigh 2270 pounds.

FYI $5,000,000 in $50s would weight 220 Lbs.

A Billion would weigh 22 Tons.

Our federal Dept in $50 would equal 352,000 tons or 704 million pounds of money.



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I counted 25 stacks high x 10 stacks wide x 12 stacks deep.

IF each stack is 100 bills and most of the bills are 50's,

then I get US$15M even...

But that doesn't seem like enough to get Walter out of the business.

And I'd like to think that my girl Skyler could count that high.

So maybe you're more right than me.
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Yes Walter will die.....of cancer. Towards the end of the episode we see Walt at the cancer center right before he tells Skyler he's out. If this season has shown us anything, it's that Walter has gone off the deep end when it comes to greed. If $5 million doesn't satisfy your needs, then why would 50 or 100 million? I think the reason he concluded his empire is the same reason he started it in the first place all those year(s) ago, except this time he wants to enjoy his family while he still has time left.



I could be wrong of course, but it's the only reason I can think of as to why Walt would do such a 180 with his business and his personal affairs.
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Am I the only person who thought that when Jesse opened up that bag of money, the vial of ricin would be hiding inside? I'm still not totally convinced that it isn't. I hate to think that Walt would kill Jesse, but this isn't the same Walt from the first season and nothing he does would shock me at this point.
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I can't believe Skyler does not have any idea how much money was in the storage locker. It isn't like the money was all in singles, the money was in wrappers that show what each bundle is worth. It was already counted in money counting machines, and it did not come in all at once. That much money begs to be counted.

On Walter being alive by the end of the season, I say yes. I say he will win, but he will not live happily ever after. I say this because, even though everyone thinks Walter has turned into a monster, I do not believe this. Walter did what was necesary, whatever was necessary. It's like this once you jump in the pool you either sink or swim, he chose to swim. Swimming is what is necessary to servive. So if he is not a monster in my view, then the memories of what he did will haunt him for ever.
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loved it.

Was it perfect? Yes and No. No, because the last 2 episodes have been fastforwarding events which is something Breaking Bad never really did and resulted in not enough screen time for important plot developments. Yes, because with the amount of episodes the writers have been given... I don't think it could have been done any better. This first half of this season (5.1) was from beginning to end a NECESSARY chapter. It was more out of necessity than excitement and exploration like previous seasons. But does it make it a bad thing? Absolutely not. Every story has this setup chapter, where you can really feel what needs to be done before the big climax. These 8 episodes did exactly that: Set up. And I loved how the story progressed and the screen time the characters shared in awesome dialogues and beautiful shots. Everything was done right and the only thing which made me sad is that we didn't have more episodes to slow events down in the usual BB manner. This "setting up" might be a major source for disappointment for some - to those I say: The set up is over. The pieces have fallen into place and we are about to enter the last chapter of this beautiful story which will have plenty of time and room left for surprises: Redemption, justice, nihilism, karma - whatever the ending tone will be in the end - I have no idea and I will sure as hell enjoy the last few miles of this ride.
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As much money as a third of Gray Matter is worth on market is to much? Maybe he'll endup buying back his part.
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Anyone know if Vince Gilligan hired new writers for this season? It just feels like this season wasn't up to par with the past seasons-- like the work of new writers. Granted, breaking up a show into eight episode seasons was stupid of AMC, but I feel like part of the reason this season wasn't up to par with seasons past was because of changes in the writers room. Don't get me wrong, I love this show to death, but without a central antagonist (like Gus or Tuco or Tuco's cousins) it just lacked a certain sense of urgency. I wish they would have just fast forwarded to Walt becoming a kingpin in the first episode this season, instead of spending so much time showing us how he cleaned up his own mess from season 4. This season sadly felt like it was spending too much time on trivial stuff, and then paying it off for about five minutes in the last episode. However, I think there's so much good stuff left hanging that the last season will have a greater sense of urgency to it. Also, Walt is totally going to pull a Vick Mackey in the final episode.
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I think the only difference between this season and previous ones is that they're fast-forwarding a lot. It means a lot more montages and a lot less characterization.
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Really, what I think is that the season has been excellent. It's only problem was that it had too much story to tell over too little episodes, making it very fast paced and too much plot development over character development. Still, I feel this half-season was amazing and I can't wait for the rest of it. Time to go out in a bang!
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Hey Price! Great questions, I'm going straight for answers!



1- Ballpark guess: According to my engineer's calculations, based on a volume estimation of around 6000 liters, paper density and ratio of 3:1 between 50$ and 100$ bills, something around 375 million dollars. Could be more, I don't know very well the density detail of american paper currency. Or less, since I didn't account for air wastage. So I'm sticking with 375 M$ :)



2- Todd's impressively detailed for such a simple character, but I'll have to stick to Lydia here as well. She has that feistiness that reminds us of Walt and how he keeps making it through walking on a wire time and time again. She also seems to be breaking bad as he did, out of need and by her talent. Maybe Walt sees it too.



3- Every one. The detail is so incredible. No other show ever has come close to what we see in [Br] [Ba]. Gilligan must have a think tank of guys to ask questions that come up from reading a script, a second one to answer them, and a third one of writers to embed them in a revised version of it. It's impressive. Often I'm asking the questions and thinking "Ah-ha, I spotted a flaw" only to have it answered moments later. Freaky!



4- I do. But not because I believe it's the only possible finale as many people say. Heisenberg can still come out alive from this. And I mention him by that name because ultimately it will be Heisenberg to dictate that course. It's both him that keeps Walter alive every time, as well as it is his hubris that may lead to disgrace. But now the evil persona is retracting, and Walter is coming out stronger... Will Walt be strong enough in a battle of wits with the DEA? I'm not sure. But my rant aside, the reason I believe Walt will die is because of a character (we can call it that) that has been around for quite some time and hasn't seen its purpose yet: The ricin. For years we've been teased with it and no one has yet fallen to its embrace. The only thing I'm sure is, someone will eventually. Right now, I only see 5 people on that shortlist: Walt, Jesse, Skylar, Walt Jr and Hank. My money is on either Walt or Hank, and I'd like Hank to live :P



Cheers guys! There's more next year *sniff*
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[update] 1- I understand I was a bit off, especially in the height of the stack. I cut it in half to about 2'6'' (75cm) and updated the distribution of currency to an estimate average of 48.75. Still using water density. Stack estimate: 146.25 Million dollars
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Oh, and something nobody mentioned so far... Hank's old job marking trees for deforestation seemed to me like a metaphor for what he did right now. He marked all those prisoners for Walt to take them down all at once. Those were good times because they were just trees, while now he deals with people. He talked to those guys one by one, made them offers, marked them, and then boom, comes Walt with his truck, pulls them off and builds a shopping mall on top.
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Loved your review! I agree, this episode was amazing and had the perfect ending. The prison killings was one of the best scenes I've ever seen on television. I also love Lydia. The chick is just so unpredictable. She is paranoid and bold and I just never know where she is coming from. I am still dying to know what that machine gun is going to be used for. I thought we may get a peek during this episode but Hank figuring out Walter was even better.

These last 8 episodes have been amazing and I have complete faith that Vince Gilligan will make the remaining 8 the best of the series. Can't wait till next summer!
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Also, what the hell ever happened to the guys Walt made a deal with to produce for them? The guys Jesse and Mike were gonna sell their chemicals too? Walt made a deal with them and then all of a sudden he's shipping to Europe. Did they just say, "oh, ok. it's cool you changed your mind?" WTF?
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Lydia's arrangement was for 25 pounds per month. That's 75 pounds in the three months which transpired, or about 1-2% of production. No reason to assume that Walt has told his local distribution anything yet, including that he is out. Presumably he is at least one shipment ahead in inventory and we have 8 more episodes to go, we don't even know he is out at all - all we know is he told Sklar he's out.
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In the second Montage, you can see Walt or Todd delivering Meth in the desert to another car in exchange for a car full of cash. His shipment of Meth to the Czech Republic were in marked barrels and traded cash with Lydia in the restaurant.
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Any reason to think he didn't do that too?
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Terrible ending. Ever since the very first episode when I saw Hank was a DEA agent, I knew he would find out. Was hoping they would surprise me. Nope. Just an episode ago Walt is talking about building Empires. The next week he retires? Yeah, ok. Skyler wished him death a few episodes ago, now she loves him and wants her family back again? Yeah, ok. He told Jesse he would get NOTHING multiple times, now he gives him his half? Yeah, ok. Walt has been EXTREMELY careful the entire series, yet he leaves a book from a guy who can implicate him in almost everything laying around his bathroom? Yeah, ok. Killing 10 guys in different prisons within minutes of each other? Yeah, ok. The actors did a good job with what they were given, but the writing for this season has been beyond terrible. The series should have ended at the end of season 4 with the death of Gus.
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The next week? It's three months worth of work, and he did build an empire. He's got the Czech Republic as his primary consumer, and New Mexico/Phoenix are just secondary and tertiary. Did you not see the beautiful montage they put together implying the growth of Walt's meth business?



Skyler is a mother and misses her kids. It's been three months since they were last home and she's emotionally drained without them. The main reason why she said those things was because Walt would not give the kids up, but he finally succumbed to her demands so he could keep cooking Meth.



It was in the heat of the moment when Walt told Jesse he couldn't get his share. He felt betrayed. He's made a lot of money since then and realizing he has more money than he can ever spend served as a reality check for Walt. He is also emotionally attached to Jesse. I mean, the two went to hell and back. You don't just simply burn your bridge with the guy you started everything with. The main reason why Walt banged heads with Gus Fring in the first place was because he was trying to protect Jesse.



The killings were simultaneously done by different groups who all worked for and/or with Todd's uncle. It's also a reflection of Walt's ego to leave something like Whitman's book hanging around in his bathroom. He uses that to feed his own ego, a sort of reaffirming his greatness hat someone as talented of a chemist as Gale would hold him in such high regard. It was a sloppy mistake, though.



And Hank being a DEA Agent and finding out about Walt being Heisenberg was a carefully designed plot. Everything that happened from the beginning of the series until this mid season finale was a set up for this collision. There shouldn't be a surprise that Hank would catch Walt. I mean, they foreshadowed it a BUNCH of times. Primary example was when Hank first showed Walt this same book signed GB to a mysterious W.W. ( I don't feel like quoting the whole dialogue. If you're a true fan, you would know what I'm talking about.)



Overall, I thought the ending was great ---- You had to see Walt make bank off his hard work. You had to see those ten get killed. You had to see him reconcile with Jesse, (maybe Walt was concerned that Jesse would rat him out for killing Mike, or maybe he was sincerely missing him.) You had to see Walt achieve the goal he set from season 1 of leaving his family enough money before he died of cancer. And you had to see Hank get a shocking revelation that Walter White is his Sasquatch. Now everything that was built up is going to get deconstructed, and hopefully in classic Breaking Bad fashion.

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This series started with Hank and Walt and will end with Hank and Walt, and should end with Hank and Walt. Jesse wasn't even originally going to last season 1.



You could list 1000 good reasons why the show is totally unrealistic. As a broad concept, Breaking bad could and would never happen in real life, any more than Star Ward. It's genius is that a) you forget this while watching and b) you'd have to be a real party-crasher to want to bother to tear it apart afterwards. Join back in with the rest of us here and relax, or I can refer you to National Geographic which has some excellent real-life TV series for you to watch.
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Great ending. Hank figuring out that Walter was actually W.W was absolutely needed for this mid season finale. Yea I guess it was given away but I didn't foreshadow this until the last scene when they were having dinner. In other words it was a surprise that was expected to happen sooner or later.

Did you not notice the time jump from ep7-ep8? Imo Walter had to make a choice. He could not have both (Meth business or his family) without some degree of uncertainty. Now for Skyler she was simply ill minded and over reacting (like all mothers) about their situation. I wouldn't blame her. Her turn around is easily associated with all the work W.W has done in the last 3 months. Of course with this much money Skyler now had enough leverage to sensibly ask for 'her' life back. A mother cannot feel save with what W.W has been doing, the amount of stress was obvious, concluding her wish for his death.

Walter is a business man to much extent, cutting Jesse had to be done, as with Mike and his men. His new relations with his new partner was lacking enthusiasm and just seemed like simple clock work. Don't you remember season 4 (don't quote me) ? You could feel what they had (Jesse and Walter) just by watching them cook and work together. Walter simply displayed empathy for Jesse, realizing also that they were true friends, from the start. He couldn't just cut him out.

Now with Walters slip up... I actually kind of agree with you here but then again everyone slips up. It is they small things that really create the big. (Micro sized universe and boom! Ever explanding universe) Ok ok, a little over bored with that analogy, but haven't we seen Hank getting the shit end of everything (though he could have found out, but didn't make the deal in this episode) Walter can't win them all, and unknowingly slips up in the most bizarre ways. Simply genius imo.

The writing of this season was better than any other season that I have watched, and those prison murders. So fucking disturbing (excuses my language but I do not have a word for that scene). Honestly that was great, buddy is on the phone and oooo nope, click and stabbed to death. My favourite of course, the guy that was sooo close to spilling the beans on W.W, they killed him in the most terrifying of ways. I couldn't help but smile.

The show couldn't have just simply ended in season 4. Were we just to assume everything went smooth sailing for Walter?

Anyways peace.... a fucking year.... fuck saaakes. ahahahahaha
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Your wrong..! Thank you
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We don't know if Walt told her the truth. I hope he was lying, because I agree that it wasn't believable, and I also don't think he *can* quit, not without properly training someone to take his place.



She said that she wanted her life back, not that she wanted HIM back. (The family dinner made it look like she had taken him back, but we don't know).



Walt told Jesse that he'd get nothing when he was angry. Then he had a few months to think it through (and make another 50 million dollars or so). Jesse is the closest thing to a friend that he has. They've been through a lot together. Jesse even *killed* a guy to save Walt's life. (If he only wanted to save himself, he would have had the option to just leave the city or the country. He killed Gale because Walt was in *immediate* danger). Walt also feels very guilty about all the shit he's already done to Jesse. He doesn't want him as an enemy, and he doesn't want to kill him. The logical thing to do is to give him the money he already ows him.



I agree about the book. That was too stupid of Walt. I was hoping that Hank would figure it out through police work, like when he tracked down Jesse in season 3.
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I think its worth noting that the book was in WALTS bathroom, the one in his bedroom and not in the guests bathroom. Was it a little sloppy to leave it there? maybe but he also didnt have a reason to think Hank would use it
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Both the ricin and the book are extremely sloppy. Evidence of any type in his own home?
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I think that is an example of Walt getting too cocky. He's knocked off all of his competition and is now "King" in his mind. He has the Tony Montana ego and it's going to be his downfall. Montana and Walt are eerily similar. They both started at the bottom of the totem pole and had to answer to bosses but over time they developed their own business strategy and made it to the very top where they got rid of their competition and former bosses. Now they are both at the top and think they are invincible, their egos are so big that they think they can't be touched and that is when their downfall begins. In Tony's case he becomes more involved with using cocaine and became reckless and in Walt's case he has taken out everything that in his mind can trace back to him, but he had become so worried about being the best that he began to not be as meticulous as he used to be. He bought sports cars, watches, left ricin in his house and left a book with his old lab partner's initials in his bathroom. I loved the mid-season ending and I absolutely can't wait for the final 8 to air.
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well he also used to hide almost a million dollars in the crawl space. 9/10 times the cops cath a criminal is beacuse of something sloppy, something the criminal should have thought but didnt. Is Walt very smart and meticulous? yes has he made similar mistakes in the past? yes can this happen to almost every criminal in the world? hell yeah, the devil is in the details everyone makes at least on mistake once and when you are a criminal you just cant afford it. For me it wasnt out of character and it made sense with the themes of the show
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This is probably the only site I've seen where people are bitching about this season on a regular basis. Entitled, much? I think it's easily been the best so far, and will end up being the best season of the best show ever (so far). It's a masterclass.
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This is probably the only site I've seen where people seem actually hurt when someone doesn't like or takes legitimate issue with a bad episode or bad show.
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I'm totally fine with people complaining or criticizing but you're right. I also can't see how people can be THAT disappointed with the last episodes as we all knew how many episodes where left and it was clear with which pace and themes this series/season would end. It's just impossible to please everyone, especially with such big expectations.
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Quote for life.
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