Monday, September 30, 2013

R.I.P. - Breaking Bad

Now THAT's the way to end a TV series!


One of the most consistently brilliant, shocking, appalling, stunning series in television history came to an end last night.  There were no loose ends, no unanswered questions (unless you really nitpick to find one), nothing left unresolved.  The journey of Walter White came to a logical end that was satisfying and realistic, fitting and natural, and felt right and justified.

For Walt to have gotten revenge against the people - Jack and Lydia included - who'd screwed up everything he had planned for after he was gone was very satisfying.

And for Jesse to be set free, get his own vengeance against psycho Todd and get closure with former partner and recent nemesis Walt was a moment to cheer for.  Jesse's the only one who actually gets a happy ending - of course not without tremendous scars, trauma and loss that he will carry with him the rest of his life - and  you can't help but hope he at last can have a life.

Vince Gilligan, BB creator and executive producer who wrote and directed the finale, said that it was the absolute right choice for Walt to die next to his "precious" (re: Lord of the Rings): a meth lab whose layout he original designed and product he'd perfected.  The final shot of him lying on the floor, bleeding out, seemingly dead, was a moment that finally allowed us to breathe after weeks of high tension and unpredictable choices and let Walt go.  Whether in the end you loved him or hated him, cursed him or tentatively rooted for him, I think the quiet schoolteacher-turned-meth kingpin had to die, and the writers sent him off perfectly.

One of the greatest moments of the finale (there were SO many) was when Walt finally admitted to Skylar - and to himself and to us - the real reason he lived and thrived as Heisenberg.  Through the whole course of the series, he justified his horrific actions by saying he was doing it all for his family, to provide them with financial security for life after he was gone.  But at last he confessed what his real motivation had become ...

"I did it for me.  I liked it.  I was good at it.  And I was really ... I was alive."

BREAKTHROUGH!  And you could tell Skylar was thankful for the revelation.  I think it added to her release from the hell she'd been trapped in for so long.  You have to wonder what she and Walt, Jr. - a.k.a. Flynn (don't think he'll be using his given name any time soon, if ever again) will do when the $9 million+ money arrives in 10 months on Flynn's 18th birthday thanks to Elliott and Gretchen (love that Walt finally figured out a way to get his money to the kids without tying it to himself).  Sky and Flynn will no doubt figure out the true source of the windfall ... but will they take it and use it?  Intriguing dilemma.

I am also thankful that Hank and Steve will be found and properly put to rest.  I hated that they were possibly going to be left in that hole in the desert, lost forever.  But for Walt to give Skylar the lotto ticket and leave it for them to be retrieved was great.

So, in closing, allow me to give a standing ovation and honored salute to all the people behind bringing this groundbreaking, momentous series to us for five captivating seasons, particularly Gilligan, Bryan Cranston (Walt), Aaron Paul (Jesse), Anna Gunn (Skylar), RJ Mitte (Walt, Jr.), Dean Norris (Hank) and Betsy Brandt (Marie).  This show has some of the best acting, writing, cinematography, directing, characters and storytelling you'll see on TV and it more than deserved the Emmy win this year and next.

If you haven't seen Breaking Bad, ask anyone and they'll tell you DO.  It is not to be missed.  It's available on DVD, it's streaming on Netflix and the entire series is coming in a fantastic collector's case next month (Christmas, anyone?).

Bravo and adieu, Breaking Bad and rest in peace, Mr. White.

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