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Breaking Bad S05E16: "Felina"

Before we begin, here's the song that closed the episode, "Baby Blue" by Badfinger. Click the link to open it in a new tab and let it play while you read. 

In 2008, in Breaking Bad's most clear and direct message of its intentions, high school chemistry teacher Walter White stood before his class in the show's pilot and told the dunces of the Albuquerque public school system that chemistry was all about change. To demonstrate this concept, he did some special voodoo magic on the flame of a Bunsen burner and put on a mini fireworks show, to prove to his students just how cool change can be. What he didn't show them was that gas won't last forever, and eventually the flame will die out. Breaking Bad's first 61 episodes were all about Walter White's transformation into Heisenberg the Big Bad Drug Dealer via neat, explosive moments where his inner flame burned bright; the show's 62nd and final episode, "Felina," was all about the flame burning out, no longer able to sustain itself. And so we said #goodbyeBreakingBad with Walter dying on the floor of a meth lab, his enemies vanquished and his family somewhat less stained for the decisions he made, surrounded by the scientific instruments that made him who he would become. And dammit, he had the inkling of a smile on his face, didn't he?

"Felina" was an entirely satisfying finale of Breaking Bad that answered many of the questions viewers had going in and put a period at the end of the series rather than an ellipsis. Unlike some other shows, there was no vagueness about Walter's ending; he died! He died right there in the meth lab that Jack's crew built, even if we never saw anyone take his pulse or heard him draw one last breath. It was perfect in the sense that it concluded all the main threads we were concerned about, and now we can all move forward with the feeling that Breaking Bad is over, for better or worse.

But "Felina" wasn't the mind-melter that so many other episodes of Breaking Bad have been. It was actually rather straightforward for one of the most-anticipated episodes in television history, nearly as business-like in its plotting as the way Walter approached his laundry list of tasks to complete before he flamed out. This is largely in contrast to what we know Breaking Bad to be: daring, unexpected, visionary. There were no big tricks, no attempt to do something more than it should. It was almost non-Breaking Bad.

A quick look at the ol' internet and we can see what Johnny Twitter, Jimmy Facebook, and Bob Bloggerson thought about it, and the opinions obviously vary from over-hyped to perfect. As for me, looking at the final product and considering the alternative, I really, really liked it. But I didn't L-O-V-E it. I was totally satisfied with how "Felina" capped off the series, and entirely pleased with what transpired, but mostly, I'm glad it didn't fall on its face. 

Walter mopped things up as we expected him to. In fact, at times it felt like he was checking off items on a to-do list, making stops to say goodbye to Skyler, to get one last look at Walter Jr., to take care of Lydia, and to kill Jack and his crew. Nothing was spectacular or surprising about any of these visits: The ricin for Lydia was purposefully telegraphed via Lydia's obsessive tinkering with her sugar substitute, Walter's testing of the modified garage door opener in the desert made it pretty obvious what he was going to use it for, and Walter's talk with Skyler was subdued and kind of uneventful. Of course, that doesn't mean these scenes weren't great; they still felt like the right things to do given the amount of time Breaking Bad had left to finish its story. 

The only startling occurrence was in the way that Walter managed to fit Elliott and Gretchen Schwartz, those snotty and boring smack-talking billionaires, into his final act. Yeah, we thought he might go American Psycho on them when we first saw him sneaking into their mansion, but as I wrote last week, I wouldn't have been too happy if he did. Walter had mostly made peace with his decision to leave Gray Matter Technologies so many years ago. Sure, he was pissed that he'd left and sold his share for a thousand bucks, but he'd accepted the fact that he'd made that decision and didn't hold it against Elliott. He didn't like what the couple said on Charlie Rose, but what else would they do? They never owed it to Walter to stick behind him, particularly once he went criminal. So Walter found a better way to use them; they would launder his money into a charitable donation, to be delivered to Walter Jr. when he turned 18. And to make sure they did what he ordered them to, he made up some phantom assassins to keep them unnerved no matter what corner of the world they vacationed in. That was cool, even if the Schwartzes probably muttered, "Yeah, right" as soon as Walter left the room, calling him on his bogus sharpshooters. I like to think that they sent the money to Walter Jr. anyway, because it would make them look good and because whatever, it wasn't their money and they have enough smarts to see that a father's poor decisions shouldn't ruin his kid's life. Plus, that money buys a lot of bacon. Bacon party at Jr's on his 18th! 

Though Walter's goodbye to Skyler was mostly quiet, I appreciated how he finally owned up to doing all this for selfish reasons. "I did it for me. I liked it, I was good at it. And I was really alive," he said, the most honest he's been since he admitted to liking Boz Scaggs. Most of Walter's greatest celebrations didn't come from hauling in a ton of cash, they came from being a macho man. Like when he told the original A1 Car Wash owner Bogdan to suck his nuts and quit, or when he blew up Tuco's office with mercury fulminate and roared in his car while slamming on the steering wheel, or when he blew up the sweet new car he'd just bought and made people say his name and robbed a train full of methalymine. Walter had a blast while reinventing himself as Heisenberg; the money to pay for his kids' college tuition was just icing, and an excuse to keep going. Hearing Walter admit that everything he did was essentially an extreme mid-life crisis and reaction to terminal illness was the most important takeaway from the finale for me. Walter was no longer lying himself about his motivations, he was no longer using family and money as an excuse. He built an empire and he loved being the king, it was as simple as that.

Unlike some of Walter's past plans, the way he took out Jack's gang was entirely expected. But wow, was it awesome! My favorite part was when Kenny (OMG they killed Kenny! You bastards!) took a bullet through the brain that continued into his racist friend behind him:


Luck also gave us some special deaths for Jack and Todd, who somehow avoided the automated machine-gun fire. Jesse choked Todd out, which was so damn appropriate, and Walter put one in Jack from close range even as Jack tried the old "If you kill me you'll never find your money—" plea. Well guess what, Jack, Walter didn't care about the money anymore. So, *BANG*:

But I don't know, I did wonder a bit about the way Jesse's story wrapped up. Would Jack really have gone through all the trouble to have Todd haul Jesse in and prove that Jesse wasn't a partner when his plan was still to take Walter out back and shoot him? Was Jack that much of an egomaniac that he had to bring Jesse out to prove he wasn't lying, and was it really the best way to get Jesse in front of Walter? It saved Jesse's life and allowed Walter to grab his detonator keys, but ehh, Jack doesn't seem like that stupid of a person.

I was also kind of looking forward to more of a confrontation between Jesse and Walter. Not because I wanted it (nothing but hearts for Jesse over here), but because Walter had been written to despise Jesse so much in recent episodes. Instead, Walter dove on Jesse to save him, offered Jesse the chance to kill him, and then let him drive away. Maybe Walter'd had enough of a change of heart when he realized that Jesse had been held prisoner, but that didn't change the fact that Jesse ratted on him and teamed up with Hank. I guess I wanted all the tension that had built up between them to blow up instead of fade away.

I did love how Walter's life ended, though. He admired the meth lab while he bled out because it was the meth lab that allowed him to reach his potential, to be better at something than anyone else on the planet. Walter White was a good chemistry teacher and, before he broke bad, he was probably a good husband and great father, if Walter Jr.'s (former) affection for his dad were any indication. But Walter's biggest desire in life was to earn the recognition and respect for his talents and abilities that he thought he deserved, a chance he missed with Gray Matter. Walter was an AMAZING meth-maker, and making meth won him that recognition and respect. He walked among the vats and gauges in his last moments because that's where he was king. 

"Felina" never had to redeem Walter White, and it didn't. Breaking Bad never defended Walter's actions, and even Walter admitted the truth: He did everything for himself. But Walter did make efforts to clean up as much of his mess as he could and take care of his family, further exploring the idea that within every good person, there's bad, and within every bad person, there's good. However, in the end, even when he was dying, he chose to be where he most felt alive, and that was among the instruments that made him his greatest.



NOTES

– This was a really good finale.

– Skyler: "So you'll be going to the police?" Walter: "They'll be coming to me." HELL YEAH THEY WILL!

– Does anyone know of a time that someone in real life kept the keys to their car behind the sun visor? 

– Here's the origin of Todd's ringtone:


– It was nice to see Skinny Pete and Badger get one last scene, even if they weren't talking about obscure science-fiction series.


Well? What'd YOU think?



Previously Aired Episode

AIRED ON 9/29/2013

Season 5 : Episode 16

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Great finale just finished last back to back seasons avoided spoilers now I see why the show is so good , Walt was always judged by his actions. Walter visiting his former partner ties up nicely the what he should of had when he started Grey Matters . I hope they don't go for a spin off series with the lawyer doesn't feel right a bit like what happened with Battlestar Galactic with the underwhelming Spin offs. Miss the show now back to Boardwalk Empire although I feel BB is better as the writing is more cohesive and keeping the characters involved all the way throughout.
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Though it wasn't a mindblowing finale, it was more than satisfactory. A great final season to one of the best shows ever. Dare I say, a masterpiece.
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one of the best shows i ever seen , brilliant story , directing and acting .
this show characters build well and handled perfectly ....finale was amazing but still season 4 finale was the best for me .
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i really liked it though i thought it would be more spectacular...
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I burst into tears at the very end. Enough said.
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Lots of interesting comments and critiques of Felina. And I can see why. Some of them are thoughtful and valid and I won't dare to dismiss them. All I will say is this......just remember how trail blazingly GREAT this show was throughout its 62 episodes and how many times it flat out BLEW YOU AWAY. Thats what, in the end, we're talking about. About ABQ, about Crawl Space, about Face Off, about To'hajiilee, about Ozymandias. A show that BLEW YER SHIT AWAY more than every other show on tv COMBINED. we got spoiled. Pure and simple. Lightning in a bottle was captured in New Mexico.
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Does anyone know of a time that someone in real life kept the keys to their car behind the sun visor? --- yea, except sometimes if you think no one would ever steal your crappy car. But honestly, Breaking Bad was getting close to being over-hyped. GREAT show (one of the greatest) but it did have some suspend disbelief moments and such, as TV and movies do and need to have. The finale was good - wish we could of still follow Jesse farther. It would be interesting to watch it all over again - especially to remember the lighter, geeky, science moments it had at the start to the emphasis on high-stakes and tension by the end.

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Wonderful execution of what they've been setting up. I'm just a little sad Jesse and even more so Marie were pushed into the background that much. I had hoped for Marie to pull some stuff or at least matter once she found out about Hank's death. 10/10 for the episode, 9/10 for the finale.
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On the finale of the alterna universish series "Bad Breaking Bad", Walt is a former drug kingpin turned music instructor that mentors a young, talented Jesse Pinkman into a prize winning tap dancer and musician. Because it has started to become associated with gangsta culture, tap has started to infiltrate the youth culture and rack up millions in merchandising, which Jesse and Walt have capitalized on. In this finale, Jesse wants revenge on Walt for rejecting him for Todd, a gifted banjo player. In the episode's climactic fight, Jesse reveals his face to be a mask. Once he removes his mask, he reveals himself to be none other than Frankie Muniz and before beating Walt to death with a baseball bat he screams "Who's in the middle now, bitch?" and "a former child actor was going to have to pay the bills somehow, bitch". He then winks at Todd who reveals himself to be Justin Berfield and the two escape with Walt's money. Marie is ultimately outed to police for her "purple meth" empire after being arrested for shoplifting ehrlenmeyer flasks. Cyborg Gus attempts to attack ABQ Godzilla style but ultimately fails. His second attempt is to slowly destroy the people of ABQ by hardening their arteries by shoving as much food as possible down their throats at Pollos Hermanos. He is defeated by the CEO of Denny's, who files a lawsuit for theft of company motto and business strategies and warns Gus to "not cross me and unveil our true plans." At the end, much of the cast gets together to stage an impromptu ho down and stage several musical numbers. Badger, under the influence of purple meth, shoots his crossbow in the air and accidentally kills Hank. It ends with everyone in a rendition of Aquarius/Let the Sun Shine in as Walt ascends unto heaven. Jesse/Frankie Muniz sees this, doesn't understand what he sees, and misunderstands how this is happening by asking "Magnets, Bitch?"
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Best way to end a series yet. After the way Dexter ended, I found this ending way more satisfying.
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All I have to say is greatest TV show ever, period, and greatest ending to a great TV show ever, period.
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God how bad I am missing Breaking bad...there's no way you can compare the show to Lost. Lost was good only in season 1 but this was great in all 5 seasons
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THANK YOU! I've been saying that for years...(about Lost)...(...and about Breaking Bad, for that matter.)
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A satisfactory conclusion to a classic show, its great the wrters didnt go for explosive action rather tied up all the loose ends of the show in a fitting way. Walt is off his game in 5b but seeing him one step ahead of Lydia, Uncle Jack & the Schwartzes was a fun way to reclaim his power at the end.


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If you lost it, here's a funny infographic on Breaking Bad!
7 reasons to keep your son away from Breaking Bad
http://www.themaplekind.com/7-reasons-to-keep-your-son-away-from-breaking-bad/

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What I really admire about Breaking Bad as a series is that I can never recall having seen a series that was so thoroughly devoted to the transformation of its lead character throughout its entire run. Breaking Bad truly was the story of simple chemistry teacher Walter White and his development into Heisenberg the feared drug lord. His slow yet deliberate change of character throughout the series, for me, seems to be pretty the best character development you'll see in any series ever, and is why Walter White will probably remain my favourite character from a television series forever.

As Tim said, 'Breaking Bad's first 61 episodes were all about Walter White's transformation into Heisenberg the Big Bad Drug Dealer via neat, explosive moments where his inner flame burned bright; the show's 62nd and final episode, "Felina," was all about the flame burning out, no longer able to sustain itself'. And while it did provide closure to Walt's character, which is what we primarily needed from the finale, I was a little disappointed overall. A stray bullet was not the way I wanted Walt to go. While is was technically at his own hands, something I was very keen to happen, I was looking for more of a moment where Walter, thinking he's invincible, realises he's made a fatal mistake that has lead to his downfall.

While Walt was extremely smart and resourceful throughout the series, there were an equal number of times in which he was just careless and extremely lucky. I wanted Walter's luck to finally run out, but ultimately his death was something far more subdued, and he died at peace. As Tim said, 'It was actually rather straightforward for one of the most-anticipated episodes in television history... This is largely in contrast to what we know Breaking Bad to be: daring, unexpected, visionary. There were no big tricks, no attempt to do something more than it should. It was almost non-Breaking Bad.' And while I was hoping for something like this, I can't blame Vince Gilligan and the other writers for wanting to end it quietly.

That being said, I've always found that despite its spectacular treatment of its lead that Breaking Bad has always had difficulty developing and maintaining interesting storylines for its secondary characters, and the finale did nothing to change this. While I wasn't expecting Gilligan and the writers to tell me every little thing that would happen to every character for the rest of their lives, Marie, Skyler, Walt Jr., and Jesse's respective endings were far too open ended for my taste. Jesse's was particularly difficult for me. Yes, the young man who audiences have watched suffer one unfortunate incident after another was finally free as he manically drove off into the desert. It's a nice idea, but it was not definitive end to his character's story, and it was very unsatisfactory for me. I could care less about Marie and Walt Jr, but I was hoping for something more for Skyler as well. I wanted a moment of a woman who's come out of everything that's happened to her okay, but we were given a hollow, dispirited character who just wanted for everything to end.

Will it go down as one of the best series finals ever? I'm sure fans would like to think so, but overall it was rather forgettable. But as a series? Well, I think we all know the answer to that.
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Walt's days of thinking he was invincible were long behind him. Chemo will do that for you.
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Watching this show was always so easy. Its well written, well paced, attractive cinematography, and before you know its all over. Like now. :(

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I found it to be a suitable finale, unlike the travesty we saw in Dexter. (Ugh) It was well plotted, well ACTED, well directed. It fit very nicely, not just an average episode of Breaking Bad, but certainly nothing out of the ordinary.

My one gripe, well, it's not a big deal, but I was really really REALLY hoping that Walter would blow up the meth lab in the end, with a shot of the cops pulling up just as it explodes in the night. I thought that wouldve consummated his story, and it would've been the perfect death, giving the cops nothing. And the last shot would be him lying on the ground, dying amongst the ruins of the meth lab...oh well.
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I also think it was the perfect alibi for Jesse. People still thought Walter was making the blue stuff...now it really looks like he was.
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He couldn't have destroyed it; it was the love of his life.
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Biggest flaws in the episode:

1. Grey Matter: Still no word on what actually caused the split. And this is the exact reason why Walt did what he did. The audience deserves an answer. Ridiculous! And they had plenty of time to address it and chose not, I don't know why Vince chooses to keep it in the dark. The entire scene with Walt getting revenge on them was fantastic! But it would have been more powerful if we would have been a solid reason to root for Walt in the scene. The entire time I watched that I wanted to root for Walt, but I couldn't because even though it felt as though Walt was being portrayed as being justifyingly doing this as a result of something bad that was done to him, it could have went the other way.

2. Jesse supposedly getting a happy ending and catching a break: A happy ending for this character isn't plausible at all. Not at all. Whatsoever. I know we all love this character because he makes us feel for him (because Aaron Paul is such an awesome actor), but he is an emotionally unstable former addict, criminal, murderer with no education whatsoever to fall back on (how's the interview going to go: So you were Heisenberg's partner? Yeah, we'll be in touch). He's in this line of work because he can't function in society; he'll have to resort back to making meth again or some other criminal activity and as a result will never be free. And earlier this season proved that even after all he's been through he hasn't matured. Attempted arson because Walt poisoned Brock (which was a result of Jesse's actions, his decision to kill Combo's killers led to Walt having to save him again and pitted Walt against Gus). Not to mention all the money he threw away earlier this season and basically unintentionally (as usual) causing suffering for everyone around him. Vince should of at least given the character jail or probably killed him off. There wasn't anywhere else to go with him and like I said before he was a willing criminal and a murderer, so I think it would be best if he got some Kharma for an ending.

3. Skyler: Skysenberg was a willing criminal in the enterprise and should have at least went to jail for that. She even helped convince Walt to kill Jesse. It probably would have been best if she was punished a little more.

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I think the reason that the last we saw of Jesse was his driving away in a car was precisely for the things you mentioned. It's very likely that Jesse fell back into using and dealing. He's a drug addict; that's kind of what they do.
I actually wanted Jesse to die for that very reason. He's always been a prisoner in one way or the other. But having him drive away, at least gave me hope that somehow, someway he turned it around.
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Agree with you and I thought the same things.
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In world of reality check i'd agree with you 100%. Well said dude, but in world of imagination and likness of characters i am happy how it ended. Anyway good written :)
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Badger and Skinny Pete's appearance reminds me that I would have liked to seen Huell and Kuby one last time when Saul was still there. I don't think we'll see them on the spinoff. It would probably mess with continuity too much. So Huell's fate remains unknown.
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We know exactly where Huell is; he's waiting for Hank to come tell him it's safe to come out. Kuby, though, do we know what happened to him?
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Yeah, but joking aside I wonder if either one of them were prosecuted in any way.
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I think everyone they harmed is dead or disappeared.
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They're working the night shift at Cinnabun with Saul.
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Gotta address the key visor issue...anytime I've needed a tow, repair, or someone else to pick up my car, i put the key in the visor or under the mat. I'm not the only one.
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One of the problems with this episode...everybody gets a happy ending. That was not what we were sold. We were sold Mr. Chips becomes Scarface. And the flashforwards had basically teased a Scarface type ending. It just wasn't dark enough. Someone else at least should have died. I'm ok with the idea of Walt seeking redemption, didn't expect it but it works. But I just think they should have risen the stakes from which Walt seeks the redemption a little more beforehand.

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I don't think this was a happy ending at all. I think it was a logical ending without the "holy sh*t what just happened" moments. You got that 2 episodes ago. This was the wrap up and I think that on some level that can be disappointing for some people. But a happy ending? I don't think so at all.
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Nothing was logical about it. Jesse escapes with nowhere to go and no defense against his crimes. Not to mention the one guy who could have deflected from his involvement in the drug empire died at the end. Law enforcement will come after him harshly and after Skyler as well. Walt didn't do anything to get them removed from potential jail time. Skyler and Jesse's character arcs appear incomplete as a result. Vince should have just let Jesse die or at least wind up in prison; Skyler too. The conclusion that was given was unbelievable and unresolved. Even if Jesse could somehow finally start over properly his unstable nature would cause him to die/be arrested. He unintentionally caused most of what happened this season (Hank's death, Saul in Omaha, the Neo Nazis taking Walt's money and forcing Walt to order the hit on him by attempting arson). Not to mention he caused the split between Gus and Walt and forced Walt to poison Brock. Dude does not have a good head on his shoulder and his story was not by any stretch of the imagination complete. The implication throughout the episode is in fact that Walt redeemed himself and removed prosecution from these characters. Walt removed a clear threat from his family's lives and got revenge. That they're free to go on with their lives. That's why it was a clear happy ending. You have to look at what could have happened.
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Good dialogue and thanks for responding to me! You bring up a lot of good points. I don't think the law goes after jesse. Afterall, what crime can they pin on him? The only thing the police could charge him with is when he was found stoned at the beginning of Season 5 giving away all his money...and they could question him over the death of his girlfriend but they have no proof he killed them. Plus, Uncle Jackie got rid of the tape he made with Hank, so there's no evidence he was cooperating...just Marie's word and she probably thinks he's dead too. Hank never called in a single thing regarding Jesse. So, why would the law come after him? As for Skyler, they have to prove she had anything to do with it and you get the feeling from where she is that there's no more evidence (circumstantial) to prove she wasn't under duress when trying to cope with Walt. So, eventually, she beats this. In my mind, the arcs all got resolved.
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Lotta folks died.
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Except anybody from the core main cast that has been there since season one. Vince dropped the ball. Could have been great but instead it was just good.
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Happy ending? Except for all the dead people, walt's family and friends hating him, and ofcourse his own death. Jesse may have survived but he's changed after his kidnapping and torture.
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The entire episode was spun as a happy ending. As the director noted, he wanted the audience to start rooting for Walt again and this was solidified by his admittance of why he really cooked and actions were for redemption in the episode. You say it wasn't a happy ending because of all the dead people but let me ask you who died that wasn't an antagonist? Walt defeating the neo nazis and Lydia were all good things. If Walt's family and friends hating him is the worst thing that happened in the episode, then that should be considered a victory for the characters. They got off especially easy; it's a small price to pay considering what could have happened to the characters.


There's realistically no way for Jesse to change. He has no skills, won't be hired due to his affiliation with Walter White, and as a result will be forced to return to meth making/crime. Not to mention he'll have to spend his life on the run due to the fact that the guy who would have taken the most of the blame died and so the heat will be turned up on him. His story could have only been complete if he was killed or thrown in jail. Yet (especially if you saw Talking Bad) it was declared to be his character finally catching a break, in other words a happy ending.
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Jesse does have a skill. He can cook pure sky blue meth.
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Which will lead him back into the same situations he's been in all throughout the show. And Walt won't be there to drag him out of it this time.
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I really feel like Gilligan dropped the ball on this episode. Everyone on earth was able to predict what happened in this episode. Sure, it was a good episode but it wasn't up to BB standards. Especially after a season where every episode was unpredictable. The quality of writing wasn't as high (although still much better than most other shows). Lydia is given the ricin in her tea...pretty obvious. Walt comes back to kill Todd, Jack, Etc. and save Jesse. Vince is more clever than that. This is the first episode I've been disappointed in since before "Dead Freight".

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Favorite things about the episode:

Walt's confrontation with Elliot and Gretchen and the machine gun in the trunk taking out Creepy Todd and the white supremecists.

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That whole bit with Elliot and Gretchen was awesome. I loved how inconspicuous he was being as they entered their home and went into the kitchen. He wasn't exactly hiding, yet it took them a while to notice him, and when they finally did it was comic gold. Imagine living in a house so large that you don't even know when you've got uninvited company!
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My favorite part was when the laser pointers aligned on Elliot and Gretchen with Walt's arms around their shoulders. So enjoyable to watch them squirm so much.
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Agreed. I think that makes us both terrible people. Lol
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Question- On Talking Bad Vince Gilligan stated that one of the tragedies of the story is that Walt Jr. can never know the truth that his father did not kill Hank. Why can he never know...why can't Skylar tell him, perhaps not now but at some point in the future? Am I forgetting something?

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I think in this regard, Skylar has to keep the façade with Walt Jr that she was never "in" on it. That she was a pawn forced to do Walt's bidding. So, her true story may never be told to Jr. Complicated with the fact that Marie believes he did it and that's the story she needed for closure makes it difficult for Jr. to ever believe it even if he's told by Skylar. My two cents on it, Jr will always think Walt killed Hank.
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Not telling the authorities I can understand and I see why Skylar won't reveal her full role to Jr., but telling him doesn't implicate her in it, especially since Walt visited her at the end. Jr. still has plenty of reasons to believe his father is a controlling monster and might not even believe that he didn't do it, but I don't see why she wouldn't tell him, especially after some time has passed. The family would still know that Walt is responsible for Hank's death but Jr. believes that he straight up shot him in the head.
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I don't think it's very believable that authorities wouldn't still go after Skyler after Walt has died. In no way does Walt giving Skyler the lottery ticket help her escape poetential arrest. It only helps Marie find peace.
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Arrested sure, but what can they pin on her? She'll be able to prove duress and she'll have a good likelihood of walking away without any jail time. That would be a pretty cool episode though about her trial and such that I'd like to see. Ultimately though, Walt put her in a situation to look like none of it is her fault. She's got Marie as a material witness to help her through it. There's the fact though that she'll be unemployable and broke but that'll only be until Junior comes into some money.
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Yeah, that doesn't make much sense. I would have assumed that she would eventually tell both Jr. and Marie.
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I totally wanted one more bitch from Jesse before it was all over. Something along the lines of "Die Bitch!!!" while he was strangling Todd. That would have been a classic. It turned out well anyway.
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A small detail (the ones which BB does so well), but I just noticed while rewatching a scene that Walt was wearing very similar clothes when he died as when we first met him- green button-down shirt & khakis...paired with having hair again (despite the beard) it just added to the feeling of coming full circle.
I also loved how Uncle Jack's death was so similar to Hank's...shot point-blank before he even finished his sentence. Except he was bargaining for his life which Hank refused to do...nice. Visually that was a great shot as well, with the blood spatter blurring the camera.
Great finale BB. No not a craze-fest heart-stomper like Ozymandias, but enough surprises to satisfy and giving every character & storyline a fitting and touching end. I shall truly miss you.
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Emily Nussbaum "New Yorker" - "halfway through, at around the time that Walt was gazing at Walt, Jr., I became fixated on the idea that what we were watching must be a dying fantasy on the part of Walter White, not something that was actually happening—at least not in the “real world” of the previous seasons".
Emily Nussbaum is genius. After few hours of meditating on BB's finale and reading different reviews, I'm starting to think that perfect and satisfying in BB's sense finale would be if all these actions in Felina is dream of dying in the cabin Walt. That way Walt wouldn't have control over his end. original finale gave Walt total control over his end. And that's why it felt like dream or Walt's imagination in which he did all the right moves, said all the right words. If only Vince Gilligan would've added final shot of dying coughing Walt in the cabin and cops surrounding his shelter. To me it would be the best finale. It would be last twist of Breaking Bad that is known for its unexpected turns.
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A little too Dallas. This show should be of a higher quality than a sleazy soap.
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I like the thought of it. But turning "Felina" into a dream, would leave a lot of loose ends to the real stuff that had been happening and quite a stain on the almost-to-perfect writing job in Season 5B.

I loved his confession to Skyler that he did all of this for himself. For me, this was the ultimate twist of this episode and one of the strongest quotes in the entire series. We all knew it, and here we get it. Perfect. I am so thankful that this was not a dream. :)
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I didn't like that Walt had total control over his own end. And I dont mind if not all loose ends are tied up. Gilligan has followed viewers' tastes in trying to tie all loose ends. I don't care about ricin thing so I don't mind if it would be a red herring. Ironically, if BB wouldn't have followed predictable road of tying all loose ends that were set in premiere of 5th season, it'd be last twist a la Breaking Bad. Gilligan has felt a victim of his own s05e01 premise.
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I don't see where he tied up all of the loose ends. I know it's been implied to be that way. But Jesse's escape leaves him with nowhere to go. They didn't completely tell his story. He'll eventually wind up in jail due to his involvement in the drug empire or be forced to get back into criminal activities. There's no way for him to have a happy ending and in order to completely tie up his loose ends they would have had to have him land in jail or die. Same for Skyler and her white collar crimes. She'll end up taking more blame since Walt won't be alive to take it.
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But all Walt's loose ends were tied up. Breaking Bad was all about Walt and this finale proved it. Finale was all about Walt so we didn't see secondary characters' stories. I guess Gilligan was always thinking about BB as Walt's journey. Jesse's incompleted storyline is major dissapointment, I agree. Because Jesse became essential important part of Walt and BB. On other hand, writers tried to make out of Skyler more than just nagging moral side of Walt and they made an attempt in 5 season but then in the last 3-4 episodes they just didn't have space for her story. Same goes for everybody else, who's not Walt. And to know what's gonna happen to Skyler or Jesse after is irrelevant in my opinion. Who cares? Important thing is that these two characters were already abandoned in 5th season. Finale was Walt's to-do list and it went very smooth like Walt ordered it. Major misstep was when Skyler called cops after knife fight with Walt. Why did she do this if she was in cahoots with Walt? She was distraught but she could have not called cops right away. She could have called Saul to fix problem. After her call it was over for everybody. It was implausible for Walt to stay in New Mexico after that. Total end came too early.
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Not to mention the failure to reveal why Walt left Grey Matter. A huge loose end not cleared up.
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An unexpected happy ending (by Breaking bad standards, of course), I thought it was PERFECT.
A season ago, I thought Walter would come to his end turned into a heartless drug king and I am happy we got the chance to see Walter White, not only Heisenberg, in action. It was poetic that to be Walter again and mend his broken relationships, he needed to be Heisenberg, kill Jack and company (protecting in this way his family and Jesse, avenging Hank's death...) and making sure his drug money would get to Junior when he died. He even died in his own terms. Walter told Skyler she would like him again, I think that promise was directed at us too.

His confession about the real motive of his actions (I felt alive) was priceless. During the series, I specially enjoyed Walt and Jesse complicated relationship. I knew it would come the day where they would be enemies and not partners (or even father/son) but I was rooting for some kind of renconciliation before the end, and I got it. I would've been content to see them both die, only if they were in the same team by then. I am VERY happy that Jesse survived!

I am quite surprised that you considered their hatred for each other in the last episodes THAT big. Even when Walter decided that the only way to protect his family was to kill Jesse, he defended Jesse when Jack called him a rat. Then, Walter found out that Jesse rated him out only minutes before Hank was killed. I think in that moment, Walter thought EVERYTHING was Jesse's fault and gave the sign to kill him in the heat of the moment. After his time alone in the cabin, I can imagine him feeling regret for that decision and then, relief to know that Jesse was still alive. I am not surprised that Walter saved Jesse, I was scared waiting for it to happen because I wanted that scene so much. It was a good touch that he actually died protecting Jesse (He got the bullet because he was over Jesse, protecting him from the bullets with his own body). I know they didn't part in good terms, but with Walter and Jesse... not killing each other is good terms enough.

Loved to see Badger and Skinny Pete back, yo! :) I am really gonna miss this series and his characters!

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Totally agree that it was a happy ending.
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I cried like a baby during this finale, because it's the closest thing to perfect I have ever seen. I try to think about it, analyze it, but all I can say is "wow, I'm gonna miss this show so freaking much". There is not much to say right now, everything unfolded just like it should and it felt real. This show kept the connection between the viewers and the characters strong during a time in which many of them changed in many ways. It was a bittersweet goodbye that changed something in all of us, because that's what art does: it changes you, and BB is definitely art. I'm using the word "change" a lot, apparently, and maybe that's how this show influenced me, along with raising my standards. I learned so much about quality television watching this show ... I learned so much about me and how we should embrace the way we're transforming and whatever we're transforming into. PS: Aaron Paul is one of the greatest actors of all time and the wooden box scene made my heart sing and melt at the same f***ing time. I'm amazed. I respect the whole crew and, of course, you guys, for appreciating this piece of art and for talking about it here, bringing to light so many details that deserve to be remembered. Good night, good luck and may we find something as great as this one day!
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Was Jack that much of an egomaniac ... doesn't seem like that stupid of a person.

Jack and his lot are (sorry, were) white supremacists. Their whole identity revolved around stupid concepts of race and who's superior/inferior. I was not surprised at all of Jack's need to "show Walter up" by trotting Jesse out (in chains, which I thought to be very symbolic of his bigoted mentality).
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I didn't read the last scene as Walt being proud of himself, but of Jesse. That was my take on it. Walt was obsessed with legacy, having Jesse do all that by himself, my take on it was that Walt found his lab up to his own standards, so he at least had been a good teacher to Jesse.

That's probably the intended poetry of it. At the end of the whole thing, the one thing he did properly was be a good chemistry teacher for Jesse. Clever, huh?
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An interesting take on it.
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I could buy into that. I also think his choice to die in the lab provided a nice alibi for Jesse since a lot of people thought he was still making the blue stuff.
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"Listen Elliot if we're going to go that way, you're going to need a bigger knife."
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Loved that line. It was a tiny knife.
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When I saw Walt at the lab I thought he would cook one last batch, take the meth and die by overdose.
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It was the cherry on top of the best shows ever. It was like all the other scenes, dialouges and little things on the show so far were only there to steer us right to this perfect and epic showdown. I mean wtf even the little things like the live free or die saying on the numbers plates on his car blowed my mind and showed me the subtle perfection right down to the last detail.
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It was a very satisfying ending to the best show on TV ever. Only thing I would change is the way Walter died. Having him shot seemed a bit off. I would have preferred if he would have died of cancer. That would seem like full circle to me. Goodbye Breaking Bad, Hello Saul Goodman!
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I wanted more Jesse
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Tim.....as per your comment that Felina was almost "non Breaking Bad," I certainly know what you mean. And I agree. Mostly. But then again, what could be MORE breaking bad than those final shots of Walter White saying a tender farewell to his one true love.......THE METH LAB! I mean, that in itself is ultimate BB........
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Jesse Pinkman:
I took this vo-tech class in high school, woodworking. I took a lot of vo-tech classes, because it was just big jerk-off, but this one time I had this teacher by the name of... Mr... Mr. Pike. I guess he was like a Marine or something before he got old. He was hard hearing. My project for his class was to make this wooden box. You know, like a small, just like a... like a box, you know, to put stuff in. So I wanted to get the thing done as fast as possible. I figured I could cut classes for the rest of the semester and he couldn't flunk me as long as I, you know, made the thing. So I finished it in a couple days. And it looked pretty lame, but it worked. You know, for putting in or whatnot. So when I showed it to Mr. Pike for my grade, he looked at it and said: "Is that the best you can do?" At first I thought to myself "Hell yeah, bitch. Now give me a D and shut up so I can go blaze one with my boys." I don't know. Maybe it was the way he said it, but... it was like he wasn't exactly saying it sucked. He was just asking me honestly, "Is that all you got?" And for some reason, I thought to myself: "Yeah, man, I can do better." So I started from scratch. I made another, then another. And by the end of the semester, by like box number five, I had built this thing. You should have seen it. It was insane. I mean, I built it out of Peruvian walnut with inlaid zebrawood. It was fitted with pegas, no screws. I sanded it for days, until it was smooth as glass. Then I rubbed all the wood with tung oil so it was rich and dark. It even smelled good. You know, you put nose in it and breathed in, it was... it was perfect.
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i knew he talked about the box before, which episode is this transcript from, or is this even from an episode?
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Certainly is. Season 3, episode 9. Kafkaesque.
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Thanks for that, I was wondering about the significance of the scene. The problem with a show like Breaking Bad being so nuanced is that my poor brain has difficulty remembering all the stuff it throws back to/ previously refers to in the series.
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Seriously you guys, when will the melancholy wear off?
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Like any period of mourning... only time will heal wounds. Especially around the holidays, things might get tough. ;)
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Plain and simple. Just a pefect ending to a remarkable show. Sad to see it go so soon. But the best way to go is out on top.
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A series that touched the hearts and minds of so many people, I can't imagine there being anything like it ever again!
From the moment Hank died the show became so heartwrenchingly dark that I feared I would not be able to even watch reruns of old episodes.

But the scenes of Walt in the cabin, combined with the finale, changed all that. Walt finally told the truth, he saved Jesse, and while it was horrible for Heisenburg to terrorize Gretchen and Elliot, we had one more moment where Walt pulls out a 'win' of sorts. At least it will ease the financial suffering he created for his family.

Resolution with Jesse, perfect! The end of Todd et al couldn't have been better, although once again, luck falls in Walt's favor ("He's the devil")

Great end to a remarkable series. Thank you Vince Gilligan and all involved.
Special mention for the musical score and use of various songs throughout. That TWANG in the series opening, the entire show would have been different without it.
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A day after the final episode and I haven't felt this depressed about a tv show ending since Buffy.

I watch the entire buffy series most years and it always leaves me wanting more and even now I long for one more season.

I get the feeling Breaking Bad will be exactly the same.

One thing from the finale that I don't think anyone has picked up on is that if you look closely right at the end when Walt is looking at his reflection there is a moment when he looks bald in the reflection and it's as if Heisenberg is looking back at him.

Have a look for yourself and tell me I'm not imagining it.



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I don't see it, but this series has loads of scenes that can be interpreted in several ways. Yours is one of them, which doesn't mean it's wrong.
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Overall it was a great finale to an epic show. The whole scene "ricin in the stevia" was a little far-fetched for me (probability-wise) and indeed I would have wanted more of Jesse-Walt confrontation but that's TV. Indeed, one of the best shows ever made in the TV history!!
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True about the ricin, I wondered how Walt delivered the ricin (made his own packet of Stevia and replaced what was there, leaving only one?) and how he could be sure Lydia and only Lydia would use it. Did she always use the same table, only one table in the entire place with Stevia packets?

Also there were plenty of things that could have gone wrong at Jack's.

But as you say, great finale.
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My son, the brain, said that Walt had taken the stevia, used some chemical on it to open it and a sealant to close it back. Walt was a chemist; he probably knew how to do that.
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Exactly all the above..
But small details that don't affect BB's greatness
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There were only sugar packets in the packet-holder, except for the ricin-laced one. Walt added the one Stevia pack, which is why Lydia had to ask for more to the waiter later, so Walt knew she would use that one because she always has the same sweetener (three of them, I believe), as we learned from her meeting with Mike.

This show is really well thought out, if nothing else :)
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yes, she did always sit at the same table and they always met on Tuesday at 10. Lydia was predictable if nothing else. There was only one pack of Stevia, how Walter resealed the pack, who knows but he certainly could have picked up a pack elsewhere and tampered with it. That stuff happens for real all the time.
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This was satisfying finale for the great show. Why should I demand more unexpected twists and mind-blowing things from finale like a greedy f*** if this show gave me so many twists and mind-blowing things during its 5 season run? Most of TV shows can only dream of it.
Also it's almost impossible to meet expectations after such tense and culminating "Ozymandias".

Road to redemption can only be straight forward without any unnecessary twists. I wanted Walt to be punished - to die or in custody. His family suffered, one relative is dead. Walt felt consequences of his actions. And it was satisfying. In the end he became bittersweet ruined man, shadow of himself. And Im glad that he realized how he screwed everyone and everything up, how he acknowledged his poisonous pride (in scene with Skyler). It wasn't like in Shield's finale which was vague and implausible (I'll never believe that FBI would let corrupted cop go unpunished for all his ugly crimes he confessed to, like FBI never twists justice system for its purposes?). It was only one right way for Walt. To face himself. And to die in the end. Prison is not that perfect end, because we must know that Walt's story is completed, that it's ended. With his death story of BB is concluded. In the end I thought that Walt was gonna cook meth for the last time. But he just fell down and died. It was excellent and bitersweet goodbye to anti-hero's decade on TV. But I wished they wouldn't have done that cliche closing shot - God's eyeview, LOST-like. It's not in Breaking Bad's spirit to do such obvious things.

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I think the Scarface ending was a great choice even though the Walt/Jack discussion felt like chess piece moving to get Jesse in the room.

However, this being a show about consequences, I would've wanted to see Walt suffer. He shouldn't have been able to get the money to his family, which was his goal in the first place. This part working out for him negates the "consequences" part and says that CRIME DOES PAY. Yes, Walt left his family broken, but it somehow feels that he got off easy. Elliot and Gretchen should've done something to turn stop him from doing what he wanted.

It may have not ended the way I like, but it's still the G.O.A.T. for me.
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Almost a full day after watching the finale and I still feel a little bit empty inside. is that normal?
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The first and last episode of EVERY great TV show are almost always "just ok." Pilots and Finales don't make shows great - everything that happens in-between does! However, I still think that a satisfying finale is crucial to the legacy of a TV show and I think that Breaking Bad left an extraordinary legacy.
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Officially now the highest rated anything on IMD-B... 95%
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9.5 is the highest rating? or is that just for a tv shows?
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It was equal highest with The Wire at 9.4 but after the finale it went up to 9.5. Highest rated movie is Shawshank with 9.3.
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I guess imdb does have some really rough customers. I've liked stuff they only rated in the sixes. I guess that says a lot about breaking bad,
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Yeah, they are pretty harsh over there. A 7 I tend to class as a really good film. Crazily enough nearly 8,000 people have given it 1/10... I guess there's no pleasing some people.
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The Wire was at 9.7 for a while (a long time after it had finished), and then it started losing points. BB might do that too, but it's hard to predict if it will.
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I think BB has 3 times as many votes as The Wire, so it should take longer to lose points, if any. Time will tell I guess. :)
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It was good enough. Still I had the feeling that it was just wrapping up. All the characters were slipping in the end. Hank going after Walt alone, Walt burying all his money in one place and Jesse having a convenient meltdown.
In this last episode it was the ideal grouping of Jack's buddies. Why were they all in one room? I thought they were so proactive regarding security of their meth lab? Jack doesn't want to kill Walt because he can't stand being called a liar?

It was all too easy.

I did enjoy the Schwartz scene. I would have wanted to see lydia suffer more. Todd's death was as expected, but still gratifying.

Still there are loose ends:

- Jesse is probably getting arrested anyway and since he has absolutely no money, he will be locked up for good.
- Skyler has little to no leverage now Heisenberg is dead. Someone needs to go down. She doesn't even know who the people were in her house, so she's probably still affraid.
- So nobody gets off easy.

A well, it was a nice ride.

:-)


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Glad to see someone properly recognize and assess the loose ends.
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The police got nothing on Jesse since Hank and Gomez were the only agents that knew about him being involved in anything. The nazi's are gone, Lydia is gone, Walter is gone. I think he is just a free man right now.
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Lydia is not gone yet and you don't know what the police will find when they examine jack's place (or lydia's). I think Jack kept the dvd. And then there are all these fingerprints, dna, etc.

Nope, Jesse woun't get away with this. He has to pay.

(it was his fault anyway, he lured Walter to the dark side)


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Exactly, he will pay or at least spend the rest of his life on the run. But the episode (and cast and crew on Talking Bad) implied that isn't the case and that Jesse has for once "caught a break" and is now a free man with the ability to start over in life, which I have a problem with because that makes no sense.
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Assuming his confession tape was destroyed by Jack and Co. There is also a link between a ballistic match from Todd's gun and Jesse's girl (couldn't help it). I think he would be a person of interest at least.
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I think they mentioned in Ozymandias or Granite state that the police and/or DEA were looking for him, and I'm sure they want to talk to him. But I wonder if they really have anything on him, other than that Marie knows that Jesse told Hank and Gomez something.

There are almost certainly surveillance tapes at the site, and they will probably show that he did the cooking, but they will also prove that he didn't have a choice.
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Oh_666,

Exactly, you're right on target about Jesse. Glad to see someone else point those things out.
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The police will certainly be looking for him and what happens to his fragile state of mind when they find him? Will he be convinced that they've got nothing on him? Blaming dead people won't work.


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A fitting and very satisfactory ending. Everything was wrapped up, no loose stories, we even got to say goodbye to Badger and Skinny Pete. For me, I was glad that Walter finally admitted that he did it all because he enjoyed it. It was like once he realised this and said it to Skylar, that he could move on, that he stopped blaming everyone else for his situation, including Jesse. Finding Walter in the meth lab will only confirm to the cops that he was still distributing crystal blue, so I guess his legacy is intact too.
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