Sep 24 2013
I chose to focus on Dexter first this week as it was the (horrible) season finale, but now it’s time to look at the penultimate episode of Breaking Bad before that show’s conclusion next week.
Unlike Dexter, Breaking Bad has done everything right this season, culminating in perhaps the most powerful episode of the series so far in last week’s Ozymandias. Here, we have to deal with the aftermath of everything that went down, and somehow transition into the future flash-forwards we’ve been treated to in the series so far that show a hairy Walt out for blood.
Walt has already been abandoned by his family when we see him this episode in Robert Forster’s secret vacuum shop hideaway. Then, he’s also abandoned by Saul, who finally has had enough of Walt’s scheming and wants to get as far away from him as a he possibly can. “No, I won’t hire you any hitmen Walt, it’s over, get away from me.” Walt’s subsequent threat interrupted by a hacking cough shows just how much power the once terrifying meth kingpin has lost.
Meanwhile, Jesse is in an even worse spot than Walt, being held prisoner by the neo-Nazis in a dungeon where he can only emerge to make blue meth. Todd answered the question I had last week about why the Nazis would even bother to make more meth when they had that much stolen money on their hands. “Even if you have millions, how can you say no to more?” he says, but his Nazi brethren see through this and understand that he just wants to bone Lydia. Still, it seems a little weird that the Nazis would sit on this much cash and allow it to potentially be seized by staying in the meth game because what, Todd has a crush? They’re not brilliant, but they should be smarter than that.
Walt is transported up to snowy New Hampshire where he’s put in a cabin and told to stay there for months until Robert Forster comes back. The most crushing scene of the evening is one where Walt has to offer Forster $10,000 just to stay and interact with him for another hour after his bootleg chemo treatment. It shows how truly alone Walt is, and how much he’s lost.
Back in New Mexico, Jesse engineers an escape that’s 50% clever in terms of how he gets out of his underground cage, but only halfway thought through as there’s no way out of the Nazi’s secure compound. His punishment? He’s forced to watch as Andrea takes a silenced pistol shot to the head courtesy of Todd, who awkwardly reminds her that it’s “not personal” right before he does it. Oh Todd, you always know what to say.
I’ve never liked Andrea as a character. The actress just seemed to be on a level far below everyone else on the show, and she always felt like an odd piece whenever she appeared. That said, seeing Jesse’s reaction to her brutal death was one of the most soul-crushing moments of the show. Just when you think he can’t get shit on anymore, this happens. Literally the only thing he has left is that fact that Brock is still alive, albeit now without a mother. I’m really wondering what role he’s going to have in the finale, and if Walt will keep him as an enemy or try to bring him back into the fold. I’m really hoping for the latter.
The episode ends with a fantastic montage of the Breaking Bad intro theme being powerfully built up during the above scene and one where Walt is furious after a TV interview with the co-founders of Grey Matter. He first calls the cops to turn himself in, but disappears before they get there, and we’re now approaching the flash-forward scenes where he’s grizzled, has new glasses and is about to exact some vengeance.
I have to assume the machine gun is for the Nazis, but the Ricin? I’m guessing it’s for either the Schwartzs or himself. It would seem a bit extreme to kill the Schwartzs just for trying to distance themselves from him on TV. I mean, can you blame them given the circumstances? That’s why I have to believe the Ricin is probably for him after this is all over. Which really, seems like the most fitting end for the show.
What do you think will happen in the finale?
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