It’s over, our love affair with Breaking bad has come to an end and what an end. I held off writing this untill I had soaked up as much of the ending as possible, even still I am unable to express everything I have felt for the finale. Going back to when someone first pitched Breaking bad to me it came off as more of a black comedy. If I could go back all those years and tell myself it was going to end with Walt gunning down a gang of Neo Nazi’s I wouldn’t have believed myself.
Let’s start with my one and only complaint. In most TV series the beginning is clear and the end is all too often ambiguous but this is the opposite.
Vince has given us a wonderful and full ending but never gave us the beginning, why Did Walter leave Grey Matter?
We know Gretchen felt his leave was personal, maybe he left her more than the company and we know that he was a founding member of this group who felt cheated out of his legacy. We can analyse and access all the data we have on this but maybe we should just let Walter take this to the grave with him.
We may not know his past but what we do know is that he was a man with a brilliant mind who loved his family but lost all love for himself. Even before his cancer he was dead inside, he lacked passion and energy. He was a founding member of one of America’s biggest companies and now he is washing cars just to get by. Many men have gone out into the desert to find themselves and I feel this is what Walter White has done, maybe not intentionally. What he found there was strength, determination and with that came power, power which he became drunk on, power he became addicted to. He rebuilt himself and the new Walter hid behind the shell of the man he used to be only popping up some times to frighten those around him.
As much as he frightened those around him he never the less loved them. It wasn’t until his son’s anger exploded at him in what was one of the series’ most powerful moments, that Walter realized what sort of Monster he had become – “Just leave us alone. You asshole! Why are you still alive? Why won’t you just, just die already?” (Walt Jr. to Walt)
He started this endeavour to provide for his family and now even that has been taken from him. Kinda stealing the quote from Fight club but, “it is only when you have lost everything that you are free to do anything.” At that moment when Walt saw the other founding members of Grey Matter on Television he became galvanised in what needed to be done, so many of us thought that it was going to be revenge but in the end it was redemption. Walter found a way in using his former friends, to complete his original goal and help his family. Another note was Walter getting to show the people who wrote him off what a badass he was, no longer will he be seen as mild mannered Walter White but will be forever remember as the Mastermind Heisenberg.
“Elliott, if you’re going to go that way, you’re going to need a bigger knife.”
That line says it all; the old Walter would have never behaved like that. But this new Walter isn’t either the old meek push over or Heisenberg, what he has is old sensibilities combined with Heisenberg’s drive; this is the true Walter White a self-respecting man who will do anything for his family. He gave Skyler her get out of jail ticket (In the form of a lottery ticket), said his goodbye to Holly and watched on as his son walked home. He even used his last day to make sure that Marie would have some solace with Hank’s body recovered and Hank’s killers dead, even if she wouldn’t know that Walt tried to not only save Hank but also the one who avenged his death.
Speaking of family we cannot forget Jesse. The man who started out as Walters’s assistant and then became almost like a son to him. In his own twisted way he loved Jesse, sure he was furious at him and hurt him, but only love can bring on hate like that. In their final moments together Walter performs two acts that show this love
1 – He saves Jesse’s life, by covering his body and even taking a bullet for him
2 – He for fills Jesse’s wish, Jesse wanted Walter to never control him again, so Walter in that final moment gave him the choice, Kill me or walk away, in the end I’d like to think that Walter was proud of him, sadly he just could never show it.
Jesse truly got what he deserved freedom from Walt, escape from the life. Yes we would have all liked to have had more Jesse time but what little we had meant so much, even his opening scene threw us all the way back to season three and his story about the box.
In the end probably the greatest single moment, greater than the vigilante justice, greater than Jesse’s escape was Walt’s admittance not only to his wife but to himself and the viewers of his intentions.
“I did it for me. I liked it,” said Walt, “I was good at it. I was really… I was alive.”
This was his greatest change, realising that the legacy he wanted to leave behind wasn’t the drug money but a good clean slate for his family, as he had originally started back when he has more than just his good intentions.
Vince promised us a realistic and satisfying ending. Throughout the series we have seen Walt and Jesse going up against the odds and beating them, through the use of Walters’s knowledge and that’s how it ended.
Yes Walter died but he went out in a blaze of glory, not only that but he redeemed himself in the process. In the end isn’t this is what we all wanted, Walter to be at peace and Jesse to be free. Walter’s final moments echoed by the perfect choice of music – Baby Blue by British rock band Badfinger, this song sums up so much of how we all felt and ended the series in the most poignant and satisfying way.