by Billie Doux
I wasn't sure what I wanted to see in a finale for a show as exceptional as Breaking Bad: something unexpected? one final, awesome twist? Or for Walt to succeed in going out on his own terms like the anti-hero he is?
Fortunately, it wasn't up to me. And it was pretty much perfect. Vince Gilligan decided to let Walt go out on his own terms. It was like Walt had rehearsed everything he had to do before he died in his head while he was marooned in that cabin, and he went through each task calmly and methodically, ticking off the boxes as he completed them.
1. Money for the kids. Walt "taking down" Elliot and Gretchen was just awesome. I'm glad he just scared them but didn't kill them. They'll be awfully nervous for awhile, but after they get the money to Flynn on his 18th birthday, they'll probably relax. And probably move again. And thank you so much for one final scene with Badger and Skinny Pete.
2. Saying goodbye to his family. Walt got to see his kids one last time, and he gave Skyler ammo for the feds as well as closure with that lottery ticket. Walt finally told Skyler the truth, too, that it was always for himself, not for his family. Poor Skyler. She looked thin, and she was smoking the way I did when my sister was dying. Maybe she'll be able to move on now.
(Walt will never be able to make things right with Flynn, though. That had to hurt.)
3. Lydia and the ricin. The thing with the tea and the Stevia had been set up for an entire season, and it was pretty much perfect. I knew it was coming, knew exactly what Walt was doing, and I still savored every moment of it. That woman was freaking nuts.
4. And Jesse.
I had hoped for it, and it was pretty much perfect that Walt's last action in life was destroying the Aryans and freeing Jesse. I'm certain Walt didn't intend to save Jesse; Walt may even have planned to remain standing and go out in that hail of bullets. But when Walt saw Jesse in such dire straits, he couldn't not save him. The look that passed between them moved me to tears. Even at the end, after all that had been done to him, Jesse retained his humanity. Yes, he killed the horrendous Todd, but he couldn't bring himself to kill Walt.
When we first saw Jesse in this episode, we got a flashback to him making that wonderful wooden box that he crafted so lovingly and eventually sold for dope (as mentioned in Kafkaesque). I hope that suggested that Jesse would indeed make something of his life. When he drove away from the compound, he was yelling with exhilaration. Maybe he wants to live again. I certainly hope so.
-- The series began on Walt's 50th birthday and ended on his 52nd. We also got a flashback to the pilot, with Hank saying, "It's easy money. 'Til we catch you." Coincidentally, that was the first quote I used, too.
-- Walt killed Jack exactly the same way that Jack killed Hank, although instead of Walt desperately offering money, Jack was doing it.
-- As noted before, the New Hampshire license plate says "Live Free or Die".
-- In this week's 'dirty water' imagery, the opening scene was Walt scraping snow off a car; and we got Lydia and her poisoned chamomile with soy milk (bleah).
-- We also got a lot of red (blood), white (as in Walter) and blue (meth); the laser pointers, the police lights on the white car in the snow. Walt showed up at the compound in a red car with a red remote. And of course, red, white and blue might stand for something else, too.
-- The Schwartzes looked oddly like siblings. I wonder if that was deliberate?
-- In their new apartment, Skyler hung the caricatures of herself and Flynn, but not the one of Walt.
-- Walt's last moments were set to the tune, "Baby Blue."
-- Walt touched the objects in the Schwartz's house, as if acknowledging one more time that it was the home Walt should have had.
-- Todd's ring tone for Lydia was the ridiculous Marx Brothers song "Lydia the Tattooed Lady". My mother knew every word of that song.
-- Walt left Flynn $9,720,000. A good bit more than $737,000.
-- During the New Hampshire scene, Walt actually prayed. It seemed like his prayer was answered.
-- The meaning of the episode title "Felina" has been debated. My favorite theory is that it stands for the chemical symbols for iron, lithium and sodium, suggesting blood, meth and tears. "Felina" is also an anagram for the word "Finale".
Walt: "Elliot, if we're going to go that way, you'll need a bigger knife."
Marie: "She said he looked exactly like the Unabomber."
He did, too.
This series had a distinct beginning and a distinct ending, and everything in between was exceptional. Some of the episodes in this series were among the best television I've ever seen.
Four out of four totally awesome remote control machine guns,
Billie Doux is the founder of Doux Reviews and has been reviewing her favorite shows for quite some time. More Billie Doux.