It’s all over. The finale of Breaking Bad met all my expectations and more. This is going to be a very long blog post because in a sense, I want to savour the ending as much as I can. The ending was tremendously satisfying, tied up all the loose ends, and didn’t end ambiguously. It felt like us fans got the closure we needed. As I watched this episode, I kept checking the time, counting it all down. 30 minutes left. 15. Will they wrap it all up? What’s going to happen? Breaking Bad kept me guessing and gripped all the way down to the very last second. And when that final cut to black came, I let out an enormous breath that I hadn’t even noticed I’d been holding. Here is how to end a show.
What a much needed episode after last week’s bombshell! I’m not sure I could bring myself through the wringer again like last week, so I’m glad that for the most part, this episode was a build up towards terrifying events. It definitely felt to me more like the first half of a two part episode. So whilst this episode hasn’t ignited a fire under me as much as the last one, I think it was well paced and intriguing nonetheless.
I met a traveller from an antique land
Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed:
And on the pedestal these words appear:
“My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!”
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.
Back to form for Breaking Bad this week after a slightly lackluster episode last week. Whilst things started somewhat slow, the end result was reasonably clever though not entirely satisfactory. What I particularly liked about this episode was its ability to completely influence and change the way I feel about the various characters. There was also some absolutely amazing cinematography in this episode with the shots of the desert looking particularly gorgeous as well as the scene in the car which was just fantastic.
So this episode was noticeably slower than previous ones. But don’t get me wrong, it certainly wasn’t a filler episode. No, this episode was the slow burn of a fuse before the explosives go off. It was an episode full of tragedy, as this is the episode that solidified the beginning of the end of Jesse and Walt’s amicable relationship. Whilst it didn’t quite reach the highs of the previous few episodes, there was a lot of deeper, character exposition here that deserves a bit of analysis and may foreshadow things to come.
I think by now, my boyfriend (who is not caught up) has gotten used to me running in after an episode of Breaking Bad and saying, “Oh my god, shit went down.” In fairness, this episode wasn’t quite as unpredictable as the previous two, but it was just as volatile and just as gripping. What I especially noted in this episode though was the interplay between comedy and tragedy, the intersection between light and dark, and the intrusion of evil into normality.
With last week’s tension-filled ending, it was clear that we are in for one exciting half-season. This episode was even more high-tension than the last, with the Schraders pitted against the Whites and the drug empire that Heisenberg left behind suffering a coup. My highlights of the episode were: Marie’s return to kleptomania; Todd’s scarily cheerful and gentlemanly veneer; and Jesse’s return to a catatonic state.