Breaking Bad: Felina (5×16)
Synopsis: Walter White maintains control of his fate to the bitter end, Jesse finally catches a break, and we’re all given a very satisfying ending thanks to Vince Gilligan – it was a wild ride and I don’t know if another show will ever leave my stomach in knots the way an episode of Breaking Bad could.
Do you feel that? That gaping hole where your heart used to be? That’s the end of Breaking Bad taking your heart and ripping it out so that you’ll never feel whole again. Walt escapes from the bar because he’s a lucky son of a bitch – though I think that may have been one of the few missteps by the police on a show that doesn’t usually dumb down its cops. Did no one see the footsteps to that snow covered car? On a pit stop for gas somewhere there is definitely no snow, he uses a fake name, David Linn from the New York Times, to get Gretchen and Elliott’s new address and visits them.
Once there, he intimidates them into taking $9,720,000 to give to Flynn on his 18th birthday. For extra incentive, he tells them that he’s spent $200,000 on two hitmen to ensure that the money gets to Flynn. If it doesn’t, they’ll kill Gretchen and Elliott – and with that tidbit, he leaves. Before he drives too far away, he pulls over and Badger and Skinny Pete hop into the back of the car. They give Walt his laser pointers back and he pays them off, realizing with their help that Jesse is cooking up Blue Sky still.
In his mind, Jesse is making that box he was so proud of back in woodshop – lovingly assembling it until his apron gets caught and brings him back to the present, to the meth lab he’s chained to. Meanwhile, we’re being brought up to speed to the premiere of the fifth season. Walt is eating his 52nd birthday breakfast, he’s in the trunk of his car, and he’s getting the ricin from his old house. Before he leaves the house, Walt remembers back to his 50th birthday, when Hank offered to take him on a ride along and show him a meth bust.
Lydia is in the same café where she always meets Todd to discuss business when Walt shows up to discuss a new partnership with the two of them – he knows that Todd and his Uncle must be running out of Methylamine and he has a solution to that. However, Lydia dismisses him quickly and easily, condescendingly telling Todd that she shouldn’t have to spell this out for him, of course they’re not going back into business with Walt. She puts her smug Stevia right into her smug tea.
Out in the desert, Walt is building a contraption to trigger when he activates the key fob on his car. His wedding ring on a string falls out of his shirt and he tucks it back in. Meanwhile, Marie is calling Skyler to warn her that Walt must be back in town – they’ve found his car and many people are reporting sightings of him, citing his greeting to Carol. Marie, in white, begs her to keep an eye out for him and to stay safe, to which Skyler says thank you and hangs up. It’s too late; as the camera pulls back, we’re shown that Walt is already in the house, waiting to speak to Skyler. Her first instinct is to make sure he didn’t harm anyone getting into their house and then to give him five minutes to speak with her.
Walt tells her he wanted a proper goodbye, not the conversation they had on the phone. She’s worried about Todd and his men coming back if Walt goes into custody, but Walt assure her they will not after tonight. He leaves her the lotto ticket with the GPS coordinates to Hank and Gomez’s bodies, telling her to trade that information to the prosecutor. He finally admits that, “I did it for me. I liked it. I was good at it. And… I was… really… I was alive.” Skyler gets that breath of truth with Walt’s final confession and allows him to say his goodbyes to a sleeping Holly. He’s forced to watch Flynn from afar, their phone conversation from the last episode being the last interaction he has with his son.
Heading into Jack’s compound, he ignores a man’s directions to park his vehicle in a certain spot and is frisked – they take his keys and his wallet from him before he must prove he’s not wearing a wire. Setting his belongings on the pool table behind Jack, Walt tries to talk him into a deal while Jack staunchly refuses – Lydia will spare the barrels of Methylamine when they need it. One of Jack’s associates holds a gun to Walt’s head to kill him, but he insults Jack by implying he’s partnered with Jesse, rather than killed him like Walt asked. Enraged, Jack has Todd bring Jesse to them, to prove just what kind of “partner” Jesse is.
Once he’s displayed before Walt, it’s almost instinct for Walt to tackle Jesse and set off the key fob he’d managed to grab in the tense moments waiting for him to be presented. A gun pops out of the back of the car and begins shooting automatically, wounding or killing all of Jack’s crew. Todd, uninjured by the gun, survives the attack, only to have Jesse come behind him and strangle him to death – snapping his neck. Walt picks up a gun while this is occurring and finds an injured Jack, who attempts to bargain for his life with the location of Walt’s money, but Walt is unmoved and shoots Jack in the head before he can finish his sentence.
Jesse and Walt are the only two left, while Walt slides the gun to Jesse and tells him that he wants Jesse to kill him, revealing that he’s already been injured and will likely die soon. Jesse tells him to do it himself and leaves. The phone in Todd’s pocket is going off and Walt picks it up, telling her that they’re all dead and asking if she feels like she has the flu. He reveals to her that he had put the ricin in her Stevia before hanging up on her. In the parking lot, he sees Jesse one last time before Jesse pulls out of the parking lot and is seen driving away, laughing, crying and screaming in euphoria all at once.
Checking his injury, Walt stumbles into the meth lab as sirens are heard and, “Baby Blue” by Badfinger beings playing. He admires a gasmask while police are seen driving up to the scene in the background. Hand on a tank, he takes one last look around the lab and is found lying on the ground, dead, as cops close in. The camera zooms up in the same way it had in “Crawl Space,” from his face up through the ceiling and that’s a wrap folks.
How do you feel about the ending? Do you feel as if you go the closure you were looking for? Watching Talking Bad, Aaron Paul revealed that Jesse is just driving as far away as he can without any real goals in mind beyond getting away. RJ Mitte thinks that Flynn might take the money from Elliott and Gretchen on his 18th birthday, because he knows his family needs the money, but that he has a lot of issues to work out with himself first. The watch was left on the phone booth because Bryan Cranston hadn’t been wearing a watch when they shot the teaser in the season premiere and (the artsy fartsy reason, according to Vince Gilligan) because it had been a gift from Jesse on his 51st birthday that he no longer needed.
Hopefully the Saul Goodman spin-off will alert us to the fate of Huell, left in that “safe house” by Hank, may he R.I.P… Too early to start talking about that one?