‘Breaking Bad’ Finale: Just Perfect (Video)

Spoiler alert: That was astonishing

(No, seriously, spoiler alert: Don't dare read this if you haven't seen the finale of “Breaking Bad.”)

The “Breaking Bad” finale was the best I've ever seen.

I'm biased. It's my favorite show. But the ending felt perfect. The tone felt different from every other “Breaking Bad” episode, yet it paid off an astonishing number of setups: Lydia and that Stevia crap. The box Jesse talked about in group therapy. The Schwartzes. Badger and Skinny Pete. Hank inviting Walt on a ride-along, two very long years ago.

See video: Julie Bowen's Wild ‘Breaking Bad’ Predictions

Somehow, Walter White's family is even going to be OK.

It was only possible because he finally owned everything he had done. As he told Skyler in their final scene together: “I did it for me. I liked it. I was good at it. And … I was alive.”

At one point, it looked like Walt's old Grey Matter partners were doomed. But Vince Gilligan and his six brilliant writers closed their circle perfectly. And it was shockingly funny.

Also read: ‘Breaking Bad’ Star Aaron Paul Stumps for Obamacare on ‘SNL’ (Video)

That was just one great conclusion. Todd got his comeuppance in a masterful way. His decision to keep Jesse alive, chained up like a dog, proved to be a very bad move.

The machine gun in the trunk will go down as the stuff of TV legend. Walt has been a “Scarface” fan forever, and he found a completely different way to introduce the Nazis to his little friend.

The finale required us to accept a few things, but not too much suspension of disbelief. We had to accept that Walt could skate around Albuquerque unfettered, but Marie's call explained how he did it. We also had to believe the Nazis were dumb enough to search Walt, but not his car. But it's not like the show didn't set up their stupidity.

Also read: ‘Breaking Bad’ Finale: 5 Things to Know If You've Never Seen the Show

There was a panic moment about 45 minutes in, when it seemed impossible the show could tie up all its threads. AMC did its best to ruin the show with an endless slew of $400,000 ads. But they deserve to reap big rewards for keeping the show going after it average a mere million or so viewers in its first season. The network's patience paid off in 62 episodes of thrilling TV.

We knew from the beginning the episode would be brilliant when it allowed itself a very long teaser, unrelated to the plot. What confidence. And what an unexpectedly funny payoff. Pure “Breaking Bad.”

See video: ‘Breaking Bad's’ Aaron Paul Mashup: The Ultimate Jesse Pinkman ‘Bitch’ Reel

I'm really surprised by how I feel about the finale. I expected to be sad. But I'm giddy — thrilled that the best drama in television history didn't blow it at the end.

Wow.

  • Sean Murdock

    I'm still processing it. I was worried at the end of “Granite State” that they were going to set up Walt for a false, un-earned “triumphant” — even heroic — ending. But somehow, even though Walt did everything he wanted to, even though he ended it on his own terms, he wasn't vindicated. His “victories” were small ones — he finally told Skyler the TRUTH, and he saved Jesse from the Nazis’ fate and then gave him the opportunity for vengeance if he wanted it. Walt finally admitted what we knew all along — that he LIKED being Heisenberg, that it made him feel alive — so it was completely fitting that he would die in his lab, in the place that made him feel powerful and important.

    • tim.molloy

      Great thoughts. Can we do this on… I don't know… Boardwalk? I thought the contraption was little too cool at first, too, but then, he did outfit that wheelchair, and “magnets, bitch!” I loved the tacking Jesse. Just gorgeous.

      I think he went out on top, in a way, and am still thinking about what that means. Right or wrong, there's no getting around that WW hundreds of people, and the fact that he “won” doesn't change that. I think the show showed how much he hurt them, so didn't skimp on that or let him off. But still thinking.

      • Sean Murdock

        LOL … I'll have to catch up on Boardwalk's first three episodes, because I'm too emotionally drained on Sunday nights to watch anything else after Breaking Bad … and that hangover feeling usually lasts until about Wednesday! (Speaking of Sunday nights, how crazy was Showtime to premiere Homeland TONIGHT? I would have moved it to next week. I can't even THINK about Carrie and Brodie right now, and I love that show…)

        I think Vince and Co. found a way for Walt to go out “on top” — in Walt's mind, anyway — without absolving him from all the things he's done. Peter Gould said last week that the person traveling from New Hampshire to New Mexico wasn't “Walt” or “Heisenberg,” but someone else entirely — and the transformation was made complete tonight. Walt accepted who he was, admitted he was selfish — “I didn't do this for the family. I did it because I liked it.” — but was still fairly unrepentant about it.

        It was a really thin line to balance on, and I think they pulled it off. The ending shot works for everyone, I think — people who hated Walt can pity him, dying in a neo-Nazi meth lab along with a dozen murdered enemies, but the people who rooted for him to the very end can feel good for him, that he died in the only place that made him feel happy.

        I need more time and another viewing to sort this out…

        • ottomarcos

          I just read all this after posting my comment above about 30 minutes ago. Some good points here. Still haven't had time to watch Talking Bad, because I hit the sack early in order to make it to work this morning before rush hour broke bad. I, too, found suspension of disbelief in how easy it was for Walt to get physically close to the Schwartzes & to Skyler. I have a couple of wealthy friends, and rich people tend to live in communities where it isn't that easy to approach them inside their homes. I also assumed both the Scwartzes and Skyler would be under heavy watch by the authorities, and that the TV appearance might have even been meant to intentionally flush out Walt & get him to show himself. That's why I suspected Walt might shoot the Schwartzes from afar in his ultimate act of revenge. I, too, will watch the final again later today. I have to admit I was literally teary-eyed watching Walt died. I think that was an emotional and visceral reaction to seeing the culmination of his downfall, and to witnessing the end of what I now consider to be the greatest series ever on television…

          • SargentRock

            I would say that the time that's gone by (at least a couple of months by the “growth” on Walt and Jesse, as well as from the visits in last episode, yes?) has probably caused people to be a bit more lax, and that's totally believable. As more and more time goes without seeing him the less they believe they're actually going to. Surely rumors that he was long gone have been going around this whole time…

        • ottomarcos

          Boardwalk's episodes so far this season are still on my DVR due to the fact I've been too busy to watch them yet. The same will no doubt prove true of Homeland. There's just too much good TV on Sunday nights, considering I'm a fan of the Fox animation shows as well as other programs. Sunday night seems to be the only time when I might have as many as 4 shows recording on Tivo while I'm watching a 5th. Breaking Bad has always taken precedence for me, though, because it's too hard to escape spoilers the following day in all media formats, including TV, print, and online.

    • BRinMilwaukee

      Yeah, excellent notes

  • Jim

    BABY BLUE by BADFINGER (an Apple Band) from the album STRAIGHT UP on The Beatles’ Apple Records.

    • Sean Murdock

      That would have been a perfect ending song just for the title alone, but the first line — “I guess I got what I deserved” — nails it. Perfect choice.

      • Jim

        Be on the look outfor an interview with bassman Joey Molland of Bandfinger — the only surviving original member of Badfinger (not The Iveys). The two principal composers, Pete Ham and Tom Evans (Ham composed “Baby Blue” produced by Todd Rundgren) are dead, each of their own suicide. Drummer Mike Gibbins died in his sleep in 2005.

    • cerealspiller

      It's almost as if Vince Gilligan started with Baby Blue 6 years ago, and said, “Let's make a TV show out of this.” And it isn't just the first line of the lyrics that is perfect. And in some ways, it might be viewed as an ode to Skyler as much as his precious blue meth, IMO.

  • http://cort.as/5m3N makesupto40dollarsperhour

    It was great. Enjoyed it!

  • ottomarcos

    It was a fabulous finale! I had to hit the sack early, so I haven't yet seen what was discussed on Talking Bad. Will watch that tonight. I haven't had much time today to read most other comments online either, so maybe some of what I'm writing here has already been mentioned.To a certain extent, there was some suspension of disbelief in that it was maybe too easy for Walt to get so close to Gretchen & Elliot and to Skyler; all of whom I assumed would be physically unapproachable because the authorities would be closely watching any attempt by Walt to reach them. I was sure of 2 things: that the ricin was meant for Lydia's teacup and
    that no doubt Walt would die alone. I figured when he collapsed after
    Hank was killed it was a forewarning, and a clue, about his coming final
    collapse. It was fitting that he would be left with literally nobody “by
    his side” after his reign of terror. There were many people predicting
    Walt would ingest the ricin; which I discounted since dying from ricin
    is very painful and the body undergoes unbelievably stressful reactions.
    I also knew ricin poisoning can take hours to start showing symptoms,
    unlike sarin or other types of chemical poisoning. It would have been
    too ugly to actually watch Lydia die, so it's a good thing that wasn't
    shown! When he pulled out the lottery ticket, I wondered if my theory that the ticket had actually won the lottery was about to be proven, but what actually happened was a better outcome to help Skyler's legal predicament.

    • CAT322

      I thought Walt was going to cook up one last batch of Meth in the lab at the end just for old times sake!

      • ottomarcos

        LOL

      • ottomarcos

        “Baby Blue”, Indeed!

  • http://addisontodd.com/ Addison Todd

    Check out my Breaking Bad finale recap podcast: http://bit.ly/1blmJyW.

    Let me know what you think!

  • awocka

    Best finale since “Six Feet Under”. That's the way to do it writers!

    • Abby

      I'm glad someone brought up the “Six Feet Under” finale, because that too for me was one of my most favorite ways to end a series. Breaking Bad was right up there as well.

  • thermoplasticity

    I really liked how Walt and Cranston were channeling Mike with the line “If this is going to go that way, you're gonna need a bigger knife.” – excellent!

  • Jonas Grumby

    It was damn brilliant.

    And as for the commercials . . . AMC gave us this brilliant show. Let ‘em make some money as a grand thank you.

    Best show ever.

  • Guest

    Excellent! Simply perfect… @awoka Best finale since “Six Feet Under”. That's the way to do it writers! Agree!! •goo.gl/1pbP9J•

  • Sarah_M547

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  • Garymother Freekincoleman

    Walt made a robot BITCH !!!! Can't help but think this was something he thought back on when Both he and Jesse were stuck out in the desert when the better ran down due Jesse leaving the keys in the ignition Anothe rscene in that episode where Jesse is freaking out about being stuck out there, and says, ” Build a robot, you're smart just think of something!!? Fans remember Walt built a primitive battery made of sponges and zinc nuts and bolts to get the RV started again.,

  • Mc Kenna

    “I’m really surprised by how I feel about the finale. I expected to be
    sad. But I’m giddy — thrilled that the best drama in television history
    didn’t blow it at the end. Wow.”

    This sums up how I feel as well. I equated this (to friends who continued to refuse to hop on the band wagon and couldn't begin to fathom my excitement/ nervousness/dread/anticipation over this finale) as…”this is my ADULT Harry Potter. This is MY final movie/book.”

    I was jumpy as a cat as the time for the finale edged closer. Afterwards…I felt total peace. The loose ends were tied, those who needed to taught lessons – were, and those who deserved freedom/closure- found it (though not always in a happy way).

    Jesse – Farewell and God Speed
    Walt – at least (as Vince suggested) you died in the arms of your “Precious”.

    Perfect Writing. Perfect Acting. Perfect Directing.

    (Thank you. Now, every time My Baby Blue plays, I'll think back and smile.)

  • JAB

    (I always watched this show on DVR. I can wait an extra hour & 15 minutes.).
    Last night's finale honored the show.
    I recall NYPD Blue & Cheers also getting last shows they deserved.
    Last night's finale may have cemented BB's place as TV's greatest show ever.

  • Jay

    What was never disclosed–Where was the rest of the millions of dollars were stashed.??? We will never know.

  • ololuge

    And I am proud to say that I was one of those fans from day 1… Twas the flying pants that hooked me….

  • zoner

    Twas perfect.. just finally got around to wrapping it up. Very amazed at how they neatly tied everything up and with a light at the end of the tunnel too.. somehow WW was redeemed.