Alan Smithee

Breaking Bad “Felina” Episode Review and Series Wrap Up!

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breaking badWalter White, arguably one of the finest characters that I’ve ever had the pleasure of watching on television in my entire life, finally tied everything together.

This will be a group discussion including some back and forth between the three of us on staff who actually watched the series finale on AMC. We will be talking spoilers and everything else that some of you more ‘late’ watchers might not want to see. This is your only warning.

Xopher —

Wow, just wow. Words somewhat fail me when recalling details of this show’s ending. I never would have thought that Mr. White would have followed through on many of the things he did this episode. While I also have questions about a few of his motives, I truly believe that the last three episodes of this show, played one after another, constitute the finest 2 hours of television I’ve ever seen.

I’m making a big assumption here that we’ve all seen the finale, so I’ll spare you the recap, but I have to commend Vince Gilligan for doing something I feel like many shows have been unable to do in a very long time and that is to actually END.

There is no ambiguity in what happened. Walt is dead/dying/headed to jail but his fate is sealed anyway with his cancer still looming. It really doesn’t matter what happens to him… he’s out of the picture. The white supremacists got their comeuppance at the hands of a garage door opener aided belt-fed M60, Jesse Pinkman is now Jesse Freeman, and Skyler, Walt Jr. and Holly are living their lives.

Breaking badI don’t know about all of you, but I thought for sure that he was going to the Schwartz’s to exact revenge on them for not taking him seriously as Heisenberg and for downplaying his role as a founder of their company. I never would have thought that Walt would funnel his earnings through Grey Matter to get it to his family. The fact that they used Badger and Skinny Pete one last time to help hammer home the image of Heisenberg was excellent. I especially applaud their morality being eased with the aid of $10,000.

Just let that sink in for a sec. It’s an exact metaphor for this show. Doing something bad is made easier when enough money is involved. Now, Walt would have “broke bad” even without the meth business because he’s the type of genius that isn’t meant to do works of good. He’s just morally ambiguous enough to do evil things.

This brings me to my final point which summed up the whole series. Walt finally admitted he liked what he was doing and he was doing it all for himself, not for his family, which goes completely against the lie he sold himself each week we’ve seen him. Only when he admits that he’s good at his bad guy stuff does he become a whole person and not a split personality. Walt + Heisenberg was capable of doing much more than a separated person was… most importantly, dying.

Evan Burkey —

breaking_bad_seires_finale_4I could go on and on about moments that amazed me, or the insane camera work and framing in key scenes.  What really blew me away however, was how Gilligan managed to show us a character who’s completely morally bankrupt that you can’t help but root for anyway. Walt is, in every respect, a horrible person. The laser trick he pulls on the Schwartz’s was a fantastic lick of cunning, but even more so it shows how he will do anything, no matter what, to ensure his plan succeeds. And yet, when those lasers went up, I almost let out a cheer. In that moment I realized I was rooting for the bad guy, and I loved it.

The other moment that really got to me was when Walt revealed he had been shot by his own M60. To me, that really signified his characters biggest strength and flaw: Walt has to do everything Walt’s way. He wasn’t going to let some Nazi punk kill him, or Jesse, or the cops. If he was going out, he was going out on his own terms.

Jasen Mortensen —

I think the main point of the Walter White character is that everyone wants to be special; nay, the best at something. Even if that something is morally wrong, people will make excuses to feed the sense of purpose they get. Breaking Bad was, without a doubt, the best show on TV. Better than Lost, better than The Sopranos, and sure as hell better than Seinfeld. This show will remain relevant for a long time coming. Breaking Bad hit so hard with me because, despite of any slight flaws it had (ridiculous product placements) it remained realistic, earnest, and to the point. Who hasn’t thought (emphasis on thought) of doing something morally ambiguous (or just straight up wrong) to make things better for themselves and the ones they love? Luckily, most of us are able to carefully weigh risk vs. reward, but what if living vicariously is why we watch TV in the first place?

So what did I think of the last episode? It was about what I expected. We saw everything wrap up. He used the tools we saw him collect in earlier episodes to do so, and most importantly, he died. My only qualm with how it ended was the fact he didn’t blow his brains out. For a show that’s known for never holding back, I feel they really pussed out in the end. Walt lived his way. He should have also died his way. With no escape, the final episode should have faded to black with the flash from his gun. The only other way that would have made me happy would be if they used the ending to The Outsiders.

Whether you loved to watch because you were rooting for Walter White and his exploits or were waiting to see if he was ever brought down and the vindication that the characters would feel when he was gone, you have to admit that this was one of the best shows on television ever. I for one am sad that the show had to come to an end, but I am absolutely glad that I got to see it while it was live. It was an event and one that I for sure will recall fondly for years to come.

Now that this show is done, so is our coverage of it. There are always our reviews of Sons of Anarchy, Adventure Time, and a few others in the works. At least soon we’ll have more Saul Goodman in our future.

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