Saying Goodbye to Breaking Bad

Well last night was the finale to one of my all-time favorite dramas, Breaking Bad. It’s the only show I can remember that actually got better with age. Each season raised the stakes and built our expectations. Last night’s payoff was well worth the commitment (which is far more than I can say for Dexter). 

Series finales are usually a tough maneuver to execute. When a story becomes so captivating and person, each viewer has their own version of the right way it should all end. Lucky for us, Vince Gilligan is no ordinary show runner. I heard some complaints about last night’s finale being a bit too predictable. That may be true to a degree, but I think the ending was far more satisfying than a cliffhanger or a “draw your own conclusion.”

Here are my favorite things about “Felina” :

  • “I did it for me.” It took five seasons, but Walt finally admits that he did it all for himself. Its a powerful moment of clarity that really brings the whole series full circle.
  • Uncle Jack gets a bullet to the face as he pleads for his life. Polar opposite of Hank, who died with honor. The blood spatter on the camera helped reinforce the power of that moment in a Django-kind-of-way.
  • Glad that Walt gave up the coordinates so that Hank and Gomie can get a proper burial. I liked Gomez, and he didn’t deserve to die.
  • Lydia gets the ricin in her tea cup. Drink up.
  • Jesse got to kill Todd, which was rather cathartic to watch. Remind anyone of Walt and the bike lock from season one? The crunch at the end was a tasty little detail.
  • I’d say the biggest surprise of the night was the scene involving Gretchen and Elliot. Vince really knows how to play with our expectations. Instead of murdering his ex-business partners,  Walt blackmails them into laundering the money for his family. The icing on the cake is a fake sniper lasers. I was also really happy to see Skinny Pete and Badger one more time.
  • Walt and Jesse share a final moment. It always felt that their father/son dynamic was always more important than Walt and Flynn.
  • Jesse has a touching day dream about life as a carpenter. Despite all that he’s been through, Jesse still has something to live for. In a series full of darkness, Jesse has always been a small ray of hope.
  • Love the camera angle as Walt dies. You can feel his soul leaving his body. Definitely feels like a callback to “Crawl Space.”

I could go on and on, but those are my highlights. I find it admirable that Breaking Bad is so elaborate, yet so concise. In only five seasons, Vince took us on ride of complete transformation. Although we’ve arrived at our destination, the journey will stay with us forever.

 

Also, Breaking Bad has helped me realize how much Dexter sucks. I’m sorry, but its true.

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