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“It’s Over:” Breaking Bad Comes To A Close

Submitted by on September 30, 2013 – 10:15 amNo Comment
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******SPOILERS AHEAD***********

Five seasons and almost three hundred deaths later, one of the greatest series ever on television has come to a close with one of the most satisfying finales in recent memory. Drifting off to the strains of Bad Finger’s “Baby Blue,” Walter White died at peace, on the floor of a meth lab. He had done all he could to assure his goals were met.

Appearing immediately after on the talk show Talking Bad, series creator Vince Gilligan (who also wrote and directed the finale) said Walter was with “his precious.”

I think this was a fantastic episode for tying up loose ends. Walter finds a way to get his money to his family and eliminate any remaining threats to their safety; he offers his most damning and definitive confession yet; and Jesse gets away. The positive comparisons to disappointing finales like those of The Sopranos and Lost have been all over (though Gilligan said he liked the Sopranos finale for that show, but that Breaking Bad was more “finite”).

If there is a small price to pay for this incredibly satisfying resolution, it’s possibly that the last two episodes were more constrained than some of the show’s wildest explorations of free will and consequences.

In a way, “Ozymandias” was the climax of the whole series, one of the most gut-wrenching hours of fictional drama ever to appear on TV. It was the best expression of everything Walter had done and lost. After that, everything felt a bit downhill, moving towards certain inevitable conclusions.

But even so, “Felina” had some amazing moments of thematic, not just plot, development. Walter’s kitchen confession to Skyler is a key that will help unlock the series for generations of viewers:

“I did it for me. I liked it. I was good at it. And I was really, I was alive.”

Yes, maybe he got the money to his family, and assured their safety. But he also destroyed their lives. I think it’s safe to say they would have been better off with a mass of medical bills and debt, but no federal criminal prosecution or history of a massive drug syndicate in their family. People who commit crimes in the names of their family often make things worse, and Heisenberg finally admitted the truth- while simultaneously doing his first selfless acts in years.

Of course, one mystery remains: is Huell still in that room?

What did you think of the end of Breaking Bad?

 

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