Last night’s “Breaking Bad” finale was a perfect example of why predictability is not inarguably a bad thing. So much stock has been put into how much a television series — especially in its final episode — can throw in a twist that NOBODY saw coming, but how satisfying of an ending have the big shockers been?
Instead, Vince Gilligan and his writers finished the stories they started telling. We saw so many different, satisfying conclusions in “Felina” that any unpredictable twists would have meant taking away an earned character moment.
With so much getting tied up in the “Breaking Bad” finale, let’s take a look back at the most satisfying moments from last night.
A Proper Badger and Skinny Pete Send-Off
There could not have been a more appropriate goodbye for the two best hitmen this side of the Mississippi. We would have preferred if they threw in a theory about the finale episode of “Battlestar Galactica,” but Walter had places to go and Nazis to mow down. Badger and Skinny Pete have been with us a long time, and even if a lot of that time was spent high as hell, they deserved even a little nod at the end.
Walter’s Goodbye With Skyler
The most redemptive scene for Walter came much earlier in the episode then we might have expected. For the fans that wanted the “good Walter” to return before it all ended, the one who did it all for his family, this may have come as a bit of a surprise. Walter may have started to cook to fund a nest egg for his family, but he continued only for himself. For him to admit that in front of Skyler, that was the ultimate act of contrition. Like the “Team Walter” members, he could no longer hide behind his good intentions, because they had turned into something ugly along the way. How would you like to hear that Walter poisoned a child, let an overdosing girl die, and blew up a nursing home all for you? It wasn’t the sentiment that it once was, and Walter was finally ready to admit it.
Lydia and the Ricin
Of the lingering mysteries that the finale had left to answer, the purpose of the ricin was the one that continued to confuse people right until the last few episodes. Why would Walter need a small vile of poison when he said something as powerful as the machine gun in his trunk? Once Lydia came back into the picture more last episode — with a well-placed call back to her Stevia, we might add — Walter’s intentions became clearer, but the execution of the plan was no less satisfying to watch unfold.
Uncle Goes Out Like Hank
Jesse suggested building a robot for years, and Walter finally did so at just the right moment. The M60 became a sentry gun thanks to a simple motorized stand in the trunk of his car, but it left the two worst of the crew alive for ends that were a little more poetic. Uncle Jack had enough left in him to grab his ubiquitous cigarette and offer Walter the location of his money, but greed wasn’t enough to dissuade Walter from giving him the same unceremonious end that Hank met in the desert. Good riddance!
Todd Finally, Finally Gets It
The first stop on the Jesse Pinkman Happy Ending Express was a meeting between Todd and Jesse’s shackles. The sociopath didn’t get the luxury of a quick death like the ones he gave Andrea and Drew. Jesse certainly made him feel it, but if he could talk he probably would have complimented the robot that Walter had put in the trunk. On a show full of deranged villains, the overly polite killer from “Friday Night Lights” probably takes the Creepy Cup. In the end though, the death of Todd doesn’t come close to having the same impact as seeing Jesse drive off, freer than we’ve ever seen him.
R.I.P., Walter Hartwell White
We may have (mostly incorrectly) predicted before the finale that Walter’s plan for the M60 wouldn’t go off as planned, but it is absolutely worth noting that the bullet that killed Heisenberg came from his own gun.
Walter may have been on a tour of redemption, but the laws of Heisenberg still apply. No plan will ever go off without a hitch, even if they’re mostly successful in killing a whole lot of neo-Nazis. The end that Gilligan and the writers gave Walter didn’t have him throwing away his Heisenberg persona or claiming that it was a separate identity, as it’s often written about. Instead, he faced his end as both Walter White and Heisenberg, one person who had a lot of wrongs to right before saying goodbye.