AMC’s Breaking Bad
Directed & Written
by Vince Gilligan
* For a recap & review of 5×15, click here.
* For Better Call Saul recaps & reviews, click here.
Walt gets into a snow-covered car lugging his box of money. He searches the glove compartment finding only a Marty Robbins cassette tape and a screwdriver. He tries to use the screwdriver to start the car but hurts his numbing fingers. Then he notices the flash of a cop car’s lights. He whispers to himself: “Just get me home.” Soon, the cop car’s gone. And when Walt checks more inside he finds the car’s keys in the visor.
At a gas station, Walt stops to fill up and take his pills with help from a water hose. He’s got nothing except a trunk filled with cash. He makes a call on a nearby payphone, pretending to be a journalist and looking for info on when Gretchen and Elliott will be back home. He’s able to get the Schwartz’s address, too. Oh, man. Not good. Before Walt leaves he puts his wristwatch on top of the phone booth.
At home, Elliott and Gretchen arrive with their bags while, unbeknown to them, Walt waits in their garden. They head indoors while Walt sneaks in, too. Walt casually walks around having a look over the house. They’re soon quite shocked by the presence of their old friend in their bourgeois home. Walt says he saw them on TV. He isn’t there to hurt them, but he brought something for them.
The three of them take the money from Walt’s trunk and stack it inside on a table. The money is over $9-million. Walt wants Gretchen and Elliott to give the money to Walt Jr. on the boy’s eighteenth birthday through a trust. The couple doesn’t want to do it, though they pretend they’ll go along. Two laser pointers suddenly appear hovering over Gretchen and Elliott’s chests. Walt urges that if the couple don’t give the money to Walt Jr., or if they spend any of it, he’ll have a couple of the best hitmen take care of them; he says his associates are always watching. He puts fear into the couple. And then Walt’s gone into the night.
Those hitmen associates? It was actually Badger and Skinny Pete hiding in the trees, watching for Walt’s cue. They feel shady “morality wise” about everything. Although they gladly take the stacks of cash Walt offers them. Then Walt asks about the blue meth out there being sold and who’s selling it. Badger and Skinny Pete thought it was the great Heisenberg still cooking. Walt realises that Jesse’s out there somewhere making meth.
Speaking of which, poor Jesse’s dreaming of woodworking, building a box like he did in high school, one of the last times he was proud of the work he’d done. He smells the box when it’s finished. But he’s far from that place, remembering he’s chained to the ceiling of a garage and cooking meth for neo-Nazis. Jesse did a lot of terrible stuff over the course of the series, but he doesn’t deserve such a horrible fate, especially after losing so many people he loved.
We’re back to the previous moments we’ve seen, of Walt returning to his house, now a rundown haunt. He remembers moments from the first episode, when Hank offered to take him along to see a meth house; the beginning of the end. Nothing left but bad memories. Well, bad memories and the ricin. At the coffee shop, Lydia meets Todd over a cuppa when Walt pulls up a chair surprising them. Walt urges them to sit and listen. He claims to have a “new method” that doesn’t require methylamine and he wants to help them out, knowing they’re running low. He says he needs the money, claiming he’s spent almost everything he made. He says he’ll take a million in exchange to teach the new process, and offers to go up to the hideout to speak with Uncle Jack. When Walt leaves, Lydia tells the clueless Todd that they won’t be helping Heisenberg out; instead they’re going to put Walt out of his misery.
In the desert, Walt’s at work with his machine gun setting up a contraption using a remote car starter. At home, Skyler gets a call from Marie with news. Marie says that Walt’s in town; the car he stoled was spotted and the old neighbour saw him at the house. People are claiming all sorts of things about Walt, such as that he has a manifesto he wants to read on the news, or that he’s going to blow up city hall, and all kinds of nonsense. The cops and the DEA are watching everywhere possible to catch Walt. Marie’s sure that nothing bad will happen. But Skyler knows how smart and devious her husband really is, and she’s not so sure what might happen next.
Then we see Walt’s been in the kitchen with Skyler the whole time. She gives him five minutes to talk. Walt says he wanted to “give a proper goodbye” before everything’s all over. Skyler wonders if it’s really all over, mentioning the men in masks who broke into the house. Yet Walt assures nobody will be coming back to see Skyler after tonight. He hands over the lottery ticket with the coordinates in the desert indicating where Hank and Steve are buried. And he also admits everything he did wasn’t just for the family, finally admitting that he “liked it.” He enjoyed the infamy. It made him feel alive in the midst of looming death. Walt asks to see baby Holly one last time before he goes, and Skyler allows it.
After Walt gets one last look at Jr., he prepares to head to the neo-Nazi hideout. He drives out there and gets patted down, checked thoroughly before he’s allowed to go inside and speak with Jack; they even take his keys with the remote start. When Walt talks with Jack he doesn’t make it very far. Jack wants to stick with Lydia’s way of doing things. Walt tries to sell the benefits of his newest method, but quickly understands the neo-Nazis are going to murder him. He starts to yell about Jesse being kept alive and their deal not being finished. He knows Jesse’s alive and cooking. Jack takes offence to being called partners with Pinkman. He asks Todd to bring Pinkman inside.
While they wait, Walt gets his hands on his keys again. Then he witnesses firsthand the state Jesse’s in, chained and cuffed like a dog. He’s obviously distressed, regardless of how things were left between him and Jesse. Walt tries to attack Jesse. But it’s really a way to get them to the floor. Then Walt hits the remote start and the machine gun in his trunk fires bullet after bullet after bullet. A bunch of the neo-Nazis are hit, though so is Walt, and Todd manages to duck and cover from the gunfire.
Jesse takes his chance and strangles Todd to death with his chains on the floor while Walt watches on from above. Uncle Jack isn’t dead yet, either. He begs and pleads with Walt for his life, offering the stolen money to keep himself above ground, but Walt pulls the trigger on him, just like Jack did to Hank, and puts a bullet in his head.
Then it’s Walt and Jesse alone like old times. Walt slides a gun over to Jesse, giving Pinkman a chance to kill him. He urges Jesse: “Do it.” Jesse sees that Walt’s bleeding. He leaves the gun and says: “Then do it yourself.” A noble way for Jesse’s journey in Breaking Bad to end. Then Todd’s phone starts to ring: it’s a very ill Lydia checking in. Walt explains that everyone’s dead, then tells Lydia he gave her ricin, before saying goodbye.
Jesse gets in a car and drives like hell out of there after saying a silent goodbye to Mr. White. Walt goes out into the garage meth lab for a look around the place while the bullet wound in his stomach continues to bleed profusely. He looks almost proud as he walks around looking at the equipment. Great use of “Baby Blue” by Badfinger here for the final moments of the series while Walt bleeds out, falling to the floor, and cop cars swarm the place.