Previously on Breaking Bad: the entire Internet wondered what Walter White‘s endgame would be and came up with some really fascinating conclusions.
We rejoin Walt coughing like Bob Fleming from The Fast Show nicking a Volvo in New Hampshire. Marty Robbins’ El Paso comes on the cassette player. “Maybe tomorrow a bullet may find me”. Country and Western – a song for every occasion, as long as it’s bad. First on his to-do list is to pay a visit to Eliot and Gretchen, something he’s able to do thanks to a dopey publicist who gives up their address quicker than Jesse gave up the location of the Hank and Gomez tapes once White Power got to work with the pliers.
As the Schwartzs nause around their kitchen batting dreary long turd relationshit badinage between them Walt looks around the home that should have been his. It’s a nice fucking crib. When they discover him it comes as a shock. Elliott pulls a blade – the one he uses to chop asparagus. “Elliott if we’re going to go that way you’ll need a bigger knife” Walt tells him and Elliott, like a sad Alfred E Neuman, meekly agrees and drops it.
The purpose of his visit is not to bury, praise or murder his old friends but to dump the $9.7 million on them so they can put it in a trust fund for Junior. With the help of 2 red laser dots appearing on their chests he concocts a bullshit hitman story to ensure their compliance. “Cheer up beautiful people” he tells them “This is where you get to make it right”.
Back in the car are Badger and Skinny Pete – masters of the red dots play. He finds out from them that Jesse is still alive and still cooking blue meth. The nerve! And then we’re back to Mister Lambert arranging his bacon into a 52, the skater punks and the ricin capsule. The endgame begins now.
But listen, the crystal meth business doesn’t run itself, as we find out when committed Nazi cartel workers Lydia and Todd keep up their regular tea date at The Grove. Walt has invited himself along to tell them of a great new method for even better crystal meth with no methylamine. It’s the Holy Grail of drug fantasists and it’s there for the frankly giving-it-away price of $1m. He’ll be up at House Heil tonight to discuss it with Uncle Jack. Lydia sprinkles the natural sweetener Stevia in her camomile tea with soya milk. She’s a health-conscious lady – I see her living for a long time.
Walt I’m less sure about. He visits Skyler to give her the lottery ticket with the GPS coordinates for the resting sites of Hank and Gomez. Trade it for a deal with the prosecutor, he tells her. Then he breaks into song “You know it’s true. Everything I do. I do it fooooooor… me.” Whoa. He confesses the drug game was never really por familia. “I liked it. I was good at it.” and then “I was alive”. It’s probably not the parting he dreamt of but he’ll take it.
Uncle Jack is impressed with Walt’s head of hair but less impressed with his methylene free crystal meth concept and like Jock McSlasher on Dragons’ Den he’s out
Night time. Nazi compound. The goons take Walt’s wallet and keys which they dump on the table in the clubhouse. Uncle Jack is impressed with Walt’s head of hair but less impressed with his methylene free crystal meth concept and like Jock McSlasher on Dragons’ Den he’s out and will be executing Walt in 5-4-3-2- WAIT! Yes Walt? You’d like to say a few final words? He would. What about Jesse eh, Uncle Jack? Said you’d kill him and now you’re partners with him! Why, if I didn’t know better I’d say you were some kind of Nazi scumbag.
Oh he’s gone too far this time. You can question a man’s politics – that’s fine. This is America after all. But you do NOT call into question his honour. Partnering with a rat? Silence is the code that glues their fragile Nazi society together. Suitably offended Jack gets Todd to bring the slave from the lab and show him to this beardy prick right before he kills him personally himself personally. As Todd gets Jesse Walt pockets his keys though what good that will do I don’t know – it’s not as if he’ll ever make it to the car, right?
When presented with Jesse an emotional Walt throws him to the ground as if in rage. The Nazis laugh at the futility of the gesture – the Far Right are known for their love of pathos. They are also known for their love of for the constitutional right to bear arms which makes what happens next particularly ironic. Walt presses his key which opens the trunk which sets off the booby trap which kicks off the machine gun spraying bullets like hellfire into the compound. All of a sudden it’s Nazi julienne with the arterial spray of White Nationalists painting the walls. Holy shit it’s a scene.
All of a sudden it’s Nazi julienne with the arterial spray of White Nationalists painting the walls. Holy shit it’s a scene.
Pretty much everyone’s dead but Todd seems to have come through without a scratch. A lot of fucking good it does him as Jesse strangles that Opie dead-eyed piece of shit with the literal chains of oppression. Damn that felt good. A wounded Uncle Jack bargains for his life using the knowledge of the whereabouts of the remaining money but Walt puts one in his dome before he can finish his sentence.
And it’s over to Jesse. Walt slides the pistol over to him and tells him “Do it.” Jesse tells him to do it himself. He’s done doing Walt’s chores.
As they walk out from the clubhouse a ringtone is heard. “Have you met Lydia?” it goes. Say isn’t that Lydia the Tattooed Lady? It certainly is. “Is it done?” Lydia asks as Walt answers. It is, he tells her, and so is she. That’ll be the ricin. “I slipped it into that Stevia crap that you’re always putting in your tea”. Oh you tinker Walt. You really do think of everything.
There’s the briefest of nods between them before Jesse drives off, bursting through the compound gates like Bo Duke cry-laughing like a meth head.
Walt notices that he caught a bullet during the mayhem – it looks fatal. One last time he goes over to the meth lab to check everything is ticketyboo. He taught Jesse well. His life’s work, his genius, his Sistine Chapel ceiling laid in front of him. Badfinger’s “Baby Blue” plays over his final moments. “I guess I got what I deserved” indeed. He slumps to the floor leaving a bloody hand print on the apparatus as the police cars arrive in the middle distance. It’s a dying man’s statement. Show’s over, folks.
The finale is perfect. Everybody gets theirs. A show that started well under the inclement conditions of the writers’ strike propelled itself into space, hit warp and touched the face of God. It’ll take time to absorb its impact, reflect and decide exactly how great it was but it’s a lock for the all-time top 10. Vince Gilligan is a snorting beast without peer, Bryan Cranston is an ungovernable demon and Aaron Paul produced a sustained performance that blitzes 99.9% of everything ever broadcast.
TV KO1 movies. And this is the knockout blow.
The verdict: The purest.
Marks out of 10: 10