Goodbye, bitch. Breaking Bad, one of television's greatest shows (first? second? top five? top 10?), returns this weekend and ends forever in about two months and 10 million tears. There are only eight episodes left to wrap up one of the best character stories ever to grace the small screen, and we have the utmost confidence in Breaking Bad creator Vince Gilligan to pull off one of the best series finales ever.
What about what we want? After re-watching most of the series to mentally prepare for the final run, I started to form ideas about how I want the series to end and what I want from Walter White. Here's a wishlist; post yours in the comments!
1. Kill Walter White
This isn't debatable, sorry! Walter must die. He's a bad person. But he really needs to kick it because Breaking Bad isn't one of those full-circle things where characters can be absolved and everything ends with a group hug. Breaking Bad is working on a straight line, a negative trajectory from Walter White the chemistry teacher to Heisenberg the ricin-dishing, meth-dealing, kid-poisoning badass. Put simply, it's the story of one man's transition from good guy to bad guy, or as Gilligan likes to pitch, "Mr. Chips to Scarface." Well, guess what happened to Scarface? [SPOILER] He ate lots and lots of lead. For all the talk about morality, decisions, and the punishment that comes from those decisions, Breaking Bad has to teach its viewers the ultimate lesson in karma and kill Walter. [Side note: However, we don't need to see Walter shoveling his face full of meth.]
2. Redeem Skyler
It's become quite the popular opinion to hope that someone will put Skyler in a sack with a bunch of
rocks minerals and toss the bag into a river, because most people see Skyler as the whiny, stickler blonde lady who won't let Walter be Walter Heisenberg. Well that's hogwash, people. Since we perceive Walter as our (anti)hero, it's natural to hate anything that gets in his way, and Skyler's always been there to give him a bitchy-wife-quality stinkeye. But her actions were reactions to Walter's less-than-legal dalliances, which, just off the top of my head, have included manufacturing the world's most disgusting narcotic, breaking and entering, robbery, and murder. Don't forget that Breaking Bad is told mostly from Walter's perspective. Take a step back and you'll realize that all Skyler was trying to do was exactly what Walter was trying to do: Protect her family. Skyler just went the more traditional, non-life-threatening route; is that so wrong? I'm not saying she has to survive, but at some point I'd like to see her side of things come out on top and for the internet to show a little well-deserved sympathy.
3. Leave Jesse with something to be happy about
Throughout all five-ish seasons, it's been the hoodrat—not the chemistry teacher—who's been Breaking Bad's moral compass. Jesse's been manipulated by Walt to do all sorts of heinous things, and a lot of the crap that's happened to him was Walt's fault, but Jesse doesn't even know about it. As one of the show's most sympathetic characters, powered by a mesmerizing performance from Aaron Paul, we can't help but root for the little bitch (term of endearment). I'd like to see some ray of sunshine in Jesse's life after everything he's been through. And that involves getting the hell away from Walt.
4. Make Walter feel some collateral damage
Killing Walter is a good start, but don't we want him to feel some real pain? His actions have caused distress for so many others, yet for all the damage left in his wake, he's had it pretty easy by comparison. None of his loved ones were on that plane that crashed, he never lost a child to a gang shooting, Holly never choked to death on her own vomit after H-ing up. Walter once said that without his family he has nothing, so maybe we should take some of that family away so he knows how it feels. Then kill him when he's really sad.
5. Make the last eight episodes feel like a final season
There's no need to spend time getting us reacquainted; we've all been re-watching the series in anticipation. Season 5A felt like the series' least-focused season, with Walter mostly cleaning up the mess that Season 4 left behind. Season 5B needs to come out screaming and swinging like a maniac; there's no need to be gentle. Skip the foreplay. We are ready.
1. Return to the mixed musical palate of earlier seasons
For some reason, Season 5A's soundtrack was dominated by Motown oldies and ethereal doo-wop, probably to accentuate the easy-going business side of the season. And fine, those montages were great, but they were also a bit repetitive. Remember the diversity of the soundtrack in Seasons 1 through 4, all full of gritty and beaty gems? Like Honey Claws when Jesse was losing his mind? Or Fujiya & Miyagi during a meth cook? Or Fever Ray when Jesse was losing his mind again? Let's mix up this mix tape.
2. Give us the answer to television's greatest mystery
Why does Marie like purple so damn much!?!?
3. Kill Todd. Just kill him.
Seriously, kill him.
4. Don't leave the meth business to Declan
Can we please make sure this lame-o doesn't get a square foot of Walt's turf? He showed up late to the series, and he doesn't deserve anything except a ricin sandwich.
Screw it, make the final episodes the darkest ones ever!
I'm willing to throw all those other requests into a plastic container and fill it with acid if Breaking Bad decides to go pitch black with its ending and keep people off meth forever. Jesse dies. Skyler dies. Walter Jr. becomes a junkie. Holly ends up in the care of social services. Walt kills Hank in a shootout and Marie takes a stray bullet. And Walter is left alone, surrounded by cash with no one to spend it on or take care of. Broken and defeated, Walter has no choice but to take the ricin himself and wait. Darkest timeline ever.
Alright, your turn. Let's hear what you want to see in the final episodes of Breaking Bad.
AIRED ON 9/29/2013
Season 5 : Episode 16