Filed under: Recaps & Reviews
In the middle of a snowy nowhere, Walter White finds himself attempting (and failing) to hot-wire an abandoned car. Just when all hope seems lost, a police cruiser comes upon the vehicle, blue and red lights bleeding through the ice encrusted windows. But soon enough, the cruiser moves on, uninterested.
He has come so far. How ironic that Mr. White almost gets himself arrested when he is only steps from the finish line?
Daylight: That same car pulls into a gas station. We see it's wearing New Hampshire plates, bearing the motto: Live Free Or Die. How apropos? Walt fuels up the vehicle and pulls his cancer meds from the trunk, ignoring the $9 million in cash also nestled in-tow. Later, at a pay phone, we get our first glimpse of Walt's plan. He impersonates a New York Times reporter in order to get the home address of Gretchen and Elliot Schwartz, his former cohorts at Grey Matter Technologies. To what end, we do not know.
Gretchen and Elliot return home, casually walking into their palatial mansion, playfully bickering as Walt emerges from the shadows, following them inside. They're in the kitchen, making drinks before the realize that they are not alone.
"Hello Gretchen, Elliot. I really like your new house." Walt deadpans, examining one of their family portraits. "I'm here to give you something." Elliot steps in front of his wife, protectively and raises a small cheese knife, as a warning to their intruder. But Walt shakes his head: "Elliot, if we're gonna go that route, you're gonna need a bigger knife."
Later, the three of them stack Walt's nine million upon the Schwartz family coffee table. Walt's plan continues to unfold. Gretchen and Elliot are tasked to give this money to Walter Junior on his 18th birthday in the form of a irrevocable trust, intended to be used for his college education and the betterment of his family. Indeed, Grey Matter is profitable and charitable enough that this plan could actually work. They agree but Walt senses reluctance. Which is why he waves his hand, cuing two unseen assassins. Red lasers hit their chests. Gretchen and Elliot have sniper scopes aimed at their hearts. They quiver with fear, accepting Walt's proposal whether they like it or not.
Too bad for Gretchen and Elliot: The snipers are none other than Badger and Skinny Pete, brandishing cheap laser pointers. In the car, Walt is alarmed to hear from his phony hit-men that the Heisenberg classic blue meth is still on the streets. Badger and Pete double take. They assumed that Heisenberg was still cooking. Walt now believes that Jesse is working with the Nazis, as an equal partner.
We find Jesse working in a beautiful wood shop, carefully crafting a box. Completed, Jesse hugs it to his chest. But as he turns to walk away, his apron gets caught on the table... YANKING him back into reality. He is actually in the Nazi meth lab, still on his leash, working on yet another batch. Will he never be free?
Next, we recap the 52 made of bacon, the machine gun and the ricin. Any Breaking Bad fan worth their salt knows exactly what I mean by that last sentence. No further explanation necessary.
Back at the coffee shop, Lydia's meeting with Todd is crashed by Walt, who begs them for a chance to make some money. He coughs, his condition not improving. They agree, asking Walt to leave, which he does. When he is gone, Lydia reveals her true intentions. "We're not doing business with him. Did you look at 'em? We'd be doing him a favor." Lydia proceeds to pour a packet of Stevia sweetener into her coffee.
Out in the desert, Walt constructs some kind of perpetual motion machine, which he tests while singing to himself. As he works, his wedding band slips out of his shirt, hung on a piece of twine around his neck. He carefully places it back inside his collar and presses the button on his car remote. The car beeps. The machine stops.
Skyler chain smokes in her tiny new kitchen, the shades drawn. The phone rings, bouncing to the answering machine. It's Marie: She wants to call a truce, having new information about Walt's whereabouts. By the time the call ends, the camera drifts forward, revealing that Walt has been standing in the kitchen the whole time.
"Why are you here?" she asks. "It's over. And I needed a proper goodbye. Not our last phone call." He takes out his wallet but, she shakes her head. She doesn't want his money. But that's fine because Walt no longer has any money to give. Instead, he takes out a lottery ticket. She examines the ticket, the numbers. "Those numbers are GPS coordinates." That is where they will find the bodies of Hank Schrader and Steve Gomez. Skyler bursts into tears. "You trade that ticket for a deal with the prosecutor." He pauses, taking a breath.
"Skyler, all the things that I did, you need to understand..."
But she doesn't want to listen. "If I have to hear one more time that you did this for the family..."
That's when Walt interrupts: "I did it for me... I liked it. I was good at it and I was really... I was alive."
She sighs, gazing down at the ticket, tears quietly clinging to her eyes.
The police watch Junior as the school bus arrives at home. He gets off, making his way up the sidewalk. Walt watches from afar. Junior steps inside the house, shutting the door behind him. Walter turns away, knowing that he will never see his family again.
Walt arrives at the redneck compound, where a Nazi jumps into the passenger seat, directing our antihero where to park. But Walt chooses his own parking space, adjacent to the building, which annoys the Nazi. "Fine, here, whatever..." Outside of the car, Walt gets patted down. They lift his wallet and car keys, which dismays him. "My wallet and keys?"
"Don't worry, you'll get 'em back."
They bring him inside. Uncle Jack compliments Walt's new hair. He brushes this off: "Can we talk business?"
"Nah, we're not really in the market." A cacophony of hillbillies loom over Walt, arms crossed. He loses his patience: "Todd, could you just explain to your Uncle..."
To which Todd replies: "You really shouldn't have come back, Mr. White."
Walt looks down at his car keys resting on the pool table, just out of his reach. Then, out come the guns, aimed directly at Walter
He snaps: "No! Jack, you owe me! You owe me for Jesse Pinkman! You promised me you'd kill him but, you didn't! Instead, you partnered with him!"
Insulted, Uncle Jack demands that Todd bring Jesse in, so that he can be killed once and for all. "I'll show ya how wrong you are," Jack sneers in Walt's face, "And then, I'll put the bullet in your head myself."
Jesse Pinkman is produced, clad in dirty clothes, fresh scars and shackles. Leaned against the table, Walt attempts to snatch his car keys, unbeknown to Jack, who paces around. Walt gets his hands on the keys just as Jesse is shoved into the room.
"This look like a partner to you?"
Walt sees Jesse. Jesse sees Walt. They cannot believe the sight of each other, how the passing months have changed them. We darkly recall that chemistry is the study of transformation, as a fresh faced high school teacher once said. A tear forms in Jesse's eye. Uncle Jack speaks contemplatively about his cook. "Yeah, fifty fifty partners..."
But then, Walt roars, jumping on Jesse, pinning him to the floor. Perhaps Walt will murder Jesse himself. The scumbag Nazi rednecks burst out laughing, enjoying the show.
Todd leans down, trying to pull them apart when Walt's finger finds the button on the car remote, marked Trunk. He presses the button.
Outside, the trunk pops open and that giant machine gun appears, attached to the perpetual motion device. It begins raining the surrounding compound with bullets. Shells rip through the faces and torsos of rednecks, spraying blood and dropping bodies. Todd ducks down. Walt covers Jesse, shielding him from the fire.
Back and forth, back and forth, the gun turns, hitting the same spots over and over again until every single Nazi thug lies dead in their SS tattoos.
Todd creeps up, peering out the window at the car's open trunk. As he realizes what Walt has done, Jesse forces the chain of his handcuffs around the redhead's throat and violently yanks him back, choking Todd to death.
Mr. White looks on, emotionless, until he notices Uncle Jack rolling around on the floor in a pool of his own blood, still alive. Walt picks up a pistol, turning to see Jack coughing up red. Walt aims to fire but, Jack throws up his hand: "Wait!"
He grabs a cigarette: "You want your money, right? You wanna know where it is? You pull that trigger, you'll never..."
BANG! Before Uncle Jack can even finish the sentence, a bullet rips through his head, dousing the camera lens with gore. Walt does not hesitate. No half measures.
Now free from his chains, Jesse stands and locks eyes with Walt, who slides the weapon across the floor to the kid who once sat in his chemistry class.
Jesse levels the gun at his former teacher.
"Do it," Walt whispers, "You want this."
"Say the words! SAY YOU WANT THIS! NOTHING HAPPENS UNTIL I HEAR YOU SAY IT!" Jesse shouts.
"I want this."
But Jesse won't, noticing a wound in Walt's torso, caused by the machine gun fire. Walt has already been hit. Jesse tosses the gun to the floor.
"Then do it yourself."
Jesse walks away as Todd's cell phone blares a customized ring-tone for Lydia. ("...Lydia, Lydia, have you met Lydia? Lydia the tattooed lady...")
Walt answers. "Is it done? Is he gone?" Lydia asks, lying on her bed in a robe, recovering from a bout of the flu perhaps.
"Yes, it's done. He's gone. They're all gone."
She bolts upright. "Who is this?'
"It's Walt. How are you feeling? Kind of under the weather? Like you've got the flu? That would be the ricin I gave you. I slipped it into the Stevia crap that you're always putting in your tea. Well... goodbye, Lydia."
He chucks away the phone, looking over at Jesse.
They share a moment. The moment where two people realize that they have gone through something utterly life changing together and that whatever it was-- it is now about to end.
Jesse leaps into one of the Nazi-mobiles and floors it, heading straight for the chain-link gate. He crashes through it, laughing and crying and screaming. He is free at last.
Walt looks down at his wound, still gushing blood. He coughs.
His fingers tap at a pressure gauge in the meth lab. He quietly grins as he limps past the equipment, as if seeing old familiar faces. Police sirens ring out in the distance.
Badfinger's Baby Blue hits on the soundtrack as Walt lovingly picks up a gas mask, perhaps recalling the salad days of his time working with Jesse. Or his early days of the chemistry labs in college. If only we knew...
He places his bloodied hand on the containment tank, as police cruisers pull into the compound, red and blue lights cutting through the dark. He peers down at his own reflection in the silver tank, slowly falling backwards, leaving behind a streak of blood.
The camera looks down at Walter White lying on the floor of the lab, a single tear on his right cheek, a curious look upon his face. A look of contentment, of satisfaction. He did it. He has checked everything off his list. Walter White is finished.
Police storm the compound to find the great and mysterious Heisenberg dead. But we know: There never was a Heisenberg. That was just some silly, arrogant nickname.
All of the good and all of the bad... All was the work of Walter White.
"Guess I got what I deserved
Kept you waiting there too long, my love
All that time without a word
Didn't know you'd think that I'd forget
That I'd regret
The special love I have for you
My baby blue."
Tags: Breaking Bad, Bryan Cranston, Aaron Paul, Anna Gunn, Betsy Brandt, Felina, AMC
Tony Hinds is a Canadian writer who studied film at the University of Winnipeg. In addition to ShowbizMonkeys.com, Tony has reviewed films for Step On Magazine and The Uniter. You can find Tony on Twitter.
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