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Welp! It has finally come and gone. Like the millions who were glued to AMC earlier this evening, many of us are wondering what we’re going to do now that Breaking Bad is over. I mean, what am I going to occupy my Sundays with now? Football? Yeah, exciting.
I’ve never felt this type of roller coaster anxiety for a TV show and seeing it all come to an end...well.
If I had to compare the level of anxiety, I would say it was like every scene that Javier Bardem appeared in when he played the psycho-hitman in No Country for Old Men.
Nevertheless, I’m sure I’ll be able to continue my Breaking Bad addiction when the boxed set is released through Amazon.com. There will be plenty of goodies inside that will wean me off the show over the course of the next few months.
So, to be honest, I don’t know what I’m going to do. I mean, the end of the series really isn’t going to depress me all that much. Sure, it’s going to suck to not have the show continue, but we can definitely look forward to the spinoff, Better Call Saul.
Allow me to give you my first impressions of tonight’s final episode:
They Car Keys in the Visor Gimmick
As we start the episode, we find Walt attempting to steal a Volvo. Of course, as viewers, we all know the car-keys-in-the-visor trick that always allows the thief to get away with the car (something that no one actually uses in real life). Just when you think Walt is going to pull the visor down, he takes his gloves off and searches the glove compartment for some semblance of hope that will allow him to get back home to New Mexico. Just as he pulls his hand from the opening, you think he’s going to pull out keys. Rather, he uncovers a flathead screwdriver and starts to disassemble the car crank.
As he stops and catches his breath, the inside of the car is lit up from the outside with flashing cop lights as we can only assume authorities are raiding the bar where Walt was sitting in “Granite State”.
Walt prays that no one checks the Volvo and mumbles to himself that he just wants to get out of the situation so he can make it home and “do the rest”.
Once the cops leave the scene, the camera shows Walt from at top-down view. A few seconds later, Walt uses the head of the screwdriver to pull the visor down and...BEHOLD! Car keys!
I seriously believe that Vince Gilligan and the rest of the writers put this piece of Hollywood into the scene to bring levity to the situation. I mean, c’mon. It’s the final episode! I found myself chuckling and saying “Oh yeah, of course they would be there.”
What did you think?
The Uncle Jack Morph
Just as we finish the last piece of epic brilliance by Walt (the M-60 blowout), Jesse finishes Todd off and we now see that the tables have clearly turned for Uncle Jack. If you remember back in the “Ozymandias” episode, Hank was on the ground anticipating his death all while Walt attempts to save his life through bribery.
In this instance, the situation seems to have come full-circle as Uncle Jack sits up from from the floor bleeding to death all while Walt has picked up Jack’s dropped pistol.
I don’t know if you guys found it funny, but it was amusing to me that Jack would put a cigarette in his mouth as if he was waiting to be executed by firing squad. You know, like a man.
I digress, in this instance we now see the parallels of Jack taking on the role of Walter and Hank equitably (like in the “Ozymandias” episode)--and Walt as Jack. As Walt points the pistol toward Jack, we hear a tough man attempting to make a bargain for his life with the location of Walt’s money.
Just as Jack is to beseech a final offer, the camera (from behind Jack’s ear) is pointed at Walt and before you know it, we see revenge in the form of a bloody lens filled with Jack’s brains.
As the Twitterverse said earlier, “Holy shit! That escalated quickly!”
We all knew it was going to happen, but somewhere inside my head, I expected a little more begging. I should have known better given the circumstances.
Returning to the Original Six
I’m going off memory here, but this episode made it a point to showcase the original six cast members that started the wild ride. In some strange way, I believe this was Gilligan’s way of saying goodbye to the series. Especially when Walt is standing in his own living room and reminiscing about the times he spent with his family. A flashback of the first episode shows Hank fancying the idea to Walt that they should go on a ride-along together so Walt can see what I real meth lab looked like. That’s how this ride started in the first place! Notice that Marie and Gomez were in that shot!
In this episode, Walt made it a point to visit these characters in some fashion--whether in person or through memory. But, each visit seemed inherently depressing as we got to see the closure of each chapter--a “thanks” of sorts.
Overall, I’m pleased this show ended on the note of “making it right”. Not only did it leave the fans relieved that it didn’t end with options of interpretation, but--at the end of the day--we see a man coming to terms with the hell he wrought. In turn, each character--whether dead or alive--came to terms with Walt in some fashion too.
In the final scene as we see Jesse and Walt say their tacit farewells, it would reminisce the final moment when Darth Vader would morph back to Anakin Skywalker. Even though Walt knows that he has destroyed every relationship he ever had, a single thread of humanity remains inside of his blackened soul. This humanity may be his only hope for the redemption of his family, but ultimately he’s done it selfishly for his abject soul.