The “Breaking Bad” finale was everything that I wanted it to be. It was emotionally satisfying and I loved it. I’ll get that out of the way right now. This isn’t a review where I do much complaining, because I’m pretty damn happy with what I just saw. I just want to talk about it.
“Breaking Bad” was strange because we always knew that some things were inevitable. We knew Walter White wouldn’t make it out of this alive. We knew his empire was going to crumble. It was just a matter of getting there. This episode got us there.
The first half of the finale felt like the calm before the storm. We saw goodbyes and preparations made for the end. It wasn’t as exciting as the last fifteen minutes, but a satisfying ending needs to wrap up every character’s story, and that’s what the first half of this finale did.
Things were tense when Walt showed up at Gretchen and Elliot’s house, but I don’t really care much about them. Even if they had gotten killed, I would have been fine. But I am so glad that Walt wasn’t showing up just to murder them. It would’ve felt pointless and forced. Instead, we see the true return of Walter White: a man who is always two steps ahead. Heisenberg is gone, and so is the confusion that always seemed to surround him. Here Walt is cool and collected. He has a plan, and he is going to carry it out no matter what.
The final scene with Skyler was actually one of my favorites of the entire show. Walter has finally, finally come to terms with why he did the things he did. It was refreshing to see him admit that yes, he did everything for himself, and he did it because he liked it. Skyler needed that closure. The viewers needed that closure. He got to say goodbye to Holly, and though he didn’t get to say an actual goodbye to Walt Jr, at least he found a way to get him the money he worked for. On a side note, LOL at Walt Jr’s camouflage pants. I know life is hard, buddy. But you can try a little harder than that.
Once Walt got to the neo-Nazis, the action returned. I will admit that it seems pretty lucky that every member of the group was either killed or mortally wounded by Walt’s gun-wielding invention, but Jesse did tell Hank that Walt was an incredibly lucky guy, so I’ll let it slide. Seeing Jesse kill Todd was satisfying. That’s harsh, I know, but I guess “Breaking Bad” makes monsters of us all. Todd was awful. And he deserved what he got.
I’m not sure I took a breath during the standoff between Jesse and Walt. I couldn’t decide what I wanted to happen. In the end, it’s nice to see Jesse take one final stand against Walt. It felt freeing. Walt asked one final thing of Jesse, and Jesse denied him. He’s not chained anymore, physically or emotionally. If there’s one thing I’m ridiculously happy about, it’s that Jesse got out of this alive. He’s always had such potential, and I’m glad that it’s (hopefully) not going to be wasted.
And how about that little nod Walt gave Jesse… If you’ll recall, that’s how they first regarded each other, too. Back in season one when Jesse fell out of the window with his pants half-down, Walt gave him a little nod. We’ve come full circle, folks.
Walter’s death was poetic, and surprisingly peaceful. In the end, he died in the lab. Walter White died in the one place where he created things instead of destroying them. Gorgeous.
Like I said, I’m happy with this finale. I’m already seeing critics complain on Twitter, and honestly, it’s kind of annoying the shit out of me. Yes, I know everyone has opinions and they’re all entitled to them and blah, blah, blah. But sometimes things are just really good. It’s ok to admit that. You’ll still be cool if you completely and fully enjoy something without rooting around for something to criticize. That being said, were there things to criticize about the viewing experience as a whole? Yes. The commercial placement, for sure. It felt odd and disjointed. But that didn’t damper the show itself for me. I can’t wait to buy this and watch it sans commercials. And the fact that Jimmy Kimmel was on the “Talking Bad” panel? Yes. What the hell was that? Why was he there? #ALLDISRESPECTTOJIMMYKIMMEL!!!
“Breaking Bad” has been a magnificent, awe-inspiring show. Has it been the best show ever? Maybe. I think the argument could definitely be made. But we have tons of time to debate that later. As for right now, I’ll settle for saying that it’s been quite a ride. And I feel blessed to have been on it.