TV Review: ‘Breaking Bad’ Finale Gets the Chemistry Just Right

Faced with a tidal wave of hype, Vince Gilligan and crew go out on a high

In today’s hyper-caffeinated age, precious little lives up to its hype. But the “Breaking Bad” finale — perhaps appropriately — got the chemistry just right.

From the first frame to the last on a series that absolutely belongs in the conversation of the best ever, Vince Gilligan knew what he was doing. The plan wasn’t always evident — indeed, “Breaking Bad” consistently wrote itself into corners with no apparent exit, before devising an ingenious one — but as Sunday’s finale made eminently clear, this was a show whose narrative fearlessness was only matched by its boundless creativity and unpredictability.

The only real error Gilligan made was in his “Mr. Chips becomes Scarface” analogy. Actually (and if you haven’t watched yet, go away; SPOILERS are ahead), Michael Corleone is a much better point of reference. Because like the end of “The Godfather,” all accounts were squared, all debts settled.

So Tony Soprano wasn’t Michael’s TV heir. Walter White, it turns out, was.

“We needed resolution,” Gilligan said on “Talking Bad,” immediately after the show ended. Yes, we did. And for once, we got it.

SEE ALSO: TV’s Most Memorable Series Finales (PHOTOS)

The 75-minute finale written and directed by Gilligan perfectly capped a final arc that was all forward momentum, with barely an ounce of fat on it, and almost nary a false note. Beautifully played by Bryan Cranston, the episode saw Walt devise a brilliant way to launder his money, and — much like the Gus Fring chapters that remain the show’s highlight — used his wits to overcome a seemingly impregnable foe.

Even the Marty Robbins song used to open the show — one that sings of a fatal last stand — felt spot on, characteristic of a series so meticulous in its plotting and construction as to give those inclined to comb through tiny details plenty to keep them busy. Just seeing the deftly placed teases dropped earlier in the run come to fruition offered its own small tingle.

Not that it needed it, but “Bad” looks especially good compared to “Dexter’s” sloppy sendoff of a week ago, which will doubtless be used in several dozen graduate thesis compare-and-contrast papers.

As previously stated, the expectations for the finale were inflated by the ardor of its audience and the bangwagon mentality of the media, which saw the show’s rising ratings and the buzz being generated within industry circles and eagerly hopped on board.

Then again, it’s hard to blame them. Many shows have been able to boast about possessing a core audience that was both passionate and inordinately literate (that’s why they call them “cult followings,” after all), but few have successfully translated that into mass appeal. And if the reach was overstated, the show’s resonance within the TV industry — much like “The Wire” — almost couldn’t be.

SEE ALSO: 7 Lessons Showbiz Can Learn From ‘Breaking Bad’

AMC does deserve one demerit for its companion program, “Talking Bad.” While the tag-along talk hour introduced with “The Walking Dead” certainly represents a shrewd and inexpensive way to maximize profits off a single license fee (it must cost less to produce than the average school play), the network settled for a giddy fan tone that’s frankly well beneath the show it’s meant to celebrate, as well as the astonishingly detailed and exhaustive recap analysis “Bad” has inspired.

Unlike “Lost” — which hinged heavily on an over-arching mystery — this was much more about the journey than the payoff. As such, the emphasis on whether the finale would deliver has felt exaggerated — a side effect, perhaps, of past disappointments. The only real pitfall to avoid going in was being too coy, a charge leveled (with ample justification) against “The Sopranos.”

Still, it’s hard to escape a sense this was the little program that could — a series that survived a writers strike-shortened first season and living in “Mad Men’s” sizable awards shadow to earn well-deserved acclaim and stand on its own.

SEE ALSO: ‘Breaking Bad’ Creator Vince Gilligan Books Detective Drama at CBS

Media accomplices should perhaps resign themselves to reenacting this sort of frenzy in today’s click-driven age, along with every possible “Bad” pun in headlines and Chyrons, including the inevitable “All Bad Things Must Come to an End.”

In that respect, the one real lesson to take away from the phenomenon that “Breaking Bad” has become during this last flight of episodes is fundamental to the premise of the show itself — namely, when you have the right ingredients and know exactly what you’re doing, it’s possible to filter out the white noise and distractions, and create an intoxicating product.

“This is where you get to make it right,” Walter tells his former business partners early in the episode. And that, too, was a harbinger of things to come, on a show that managed to get it right not just in this run up to the finish line, but time and time again.

Filed Under:

Want to read more articles like this one? SUBSCRIBE TO VARIETY TODAY.
Post A Comment 124

Leave a Reply

124 Comments

Comments are moderated. They may be edited for clarity and reprinting in whole or in part in Variety publications.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

  1. That finale really sucked.

  2. Hayley Cameron says:

    Didn’t he say to Skyler when he told her to pack a bag and leave with him, when he got back from the desert, that he had a million dollars in the car? That’s why the nine million he had at the Shwartz house confused me a bit, too. However, the amount of barrels and money divided between them makes sense.

  3. Diana says:

    I loved the ending. I felt Walt needed to prove his love for Jessie, bc he used him so many times. But at the end, everything was forgiven (with the nod). I know the show was called breaking bad to describe Walt’s journey, but I feel that everyone in the end was some how emotionally broken (Skylar lonely and jaded, Walt Jr. Hateful, Jessie completely dead inside, Marie cold). I loved how the writers made me love/hate/love Walt throuhout the series. Now, I feel like a great friend died.

  4. Craig says:

    I keep looking at the finale over and over on the replays and I definitely think they ended it well on the right tone. It may not have been as action packed as Ozymandias or the ep before that but the execution was grand from Walt showing back up and putting the fear of God in Grethen and Elliot to that epic machine gun ending..great way to end a fantastic series…and oh..I found out where Jesse ended up while browsing youttube…lol>>>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uuF6HchAR1Q&feature=youtu.be

  5. Danny says:

    Breaking Bad is the best drama of all-time, but the final two episodes paled in comparison to 60 that came before. Unfortunately, the finale left some loose ends, the series forgot what made it great, and the characters forgot who they were and where they came from. Was the episode good? Sure. Was it as up to Breaking Bad standards? No. Episodes 59 & 60 were much better. But still the best drama series ever.

  6. Patrick Brady says:

    As some one who has tinkered around with writing I have to congratulate Vince Gilligan and company for what I think was televisions all-time masterpiece. I happened to stumble across the first episode and was hooked from there on in. That is the only TV series I have ever watched faithfully and I’m 55 years old. Spectacular show. Spectacular ending.

  7. k. jordan says:

    Garbage writing 101: Jessie has a light bulb go off in head about the ricin ciggie poisoning Brock when Brock wasn’t poisoned with ricin, Walt turns dumb and does not remember to check for GPS on the van he is transporting 80 MILLION dollars in (ya, right), Huell turns on a dime after working for years for one of the sleaziest lawyers there is, Skylar turns over tapes lickety-split to Marie when they had Hank “dead to rights”, douche bag weak kneed murderer, drug dealer, cry-baby, addict, Jessie is the moral center of the show as per V. Gilligan. Crap i say, complete crap!

    • Tony Martin says:

      Not nice to call names guys. @ k. jordan – the ricin thing is a bit hard to explain in a few sentences here but you don’t quite understand the ricin situation. I’ll try to explain anyways. Walt intentionally took the ricin from Jesse’s cigarette pack with the help of Huell’s pick pocket abilities. Walt being the manipulater that he is, poisoned Brock with the plant for which he knew Brock would recover but Jesse would think it was ricin and Walt did it. Walt would then use this to show how it was all Gus’s doing to turn Jesse against him because why in the world would I poison Brock. When Jesse finally realizes this after being pick pocketed again, he knows Walt manipulated him and used Brock to do so. Try watching it again.

    • UNM says:

      u idiot…there was no GPS on the van he transported 80 millions in. Jesse fooled him by showing a pic of a barrel full of money. No one else knew where the money was hidden.
      huell got scared after watching the picture of jesse’s head blown….my god u dont even watch the show properly and keep complaining…this is the best show ever!

  8. Seoulcomp says:

    Not that it matters, but I was always hoping that we’d find out what Fringe’s background before he moved to Mexico–what kept him from being killed by the Mexican drug lords originally. I thought that could have been an important plot point later on (like someone from Fringe’s past coming for Walt.) Perhaps that would have been the “other stories” Vince referred to, if AMC had granted them a few more.

    I also was confused on two other issues until I thought about them a bit.
    First, why did Walt not give better certainty to others that he did not kill Hank–my guess is that he felt “he caused” Hank’s death nevertheless.
    Second, why was it necessary to kill Lydia? Did she really wrong him? My only guess is that she could have made legal trouble for his wife, so she needed be gone?? Still seems a little extreme.

    Regarding the money, I guess the extra money would eventually be found by the DEA at the site, so there’s probably nothing to consider about that. Nearly 10 mill. is certainly enough to leave to any family.

    Also, I guess there really won’t be the Lawyer spin-off the way it ended (unless it is a prequel.)

  9. Johanna says:

    This finale was unsatisfying.

    It was written like a fan wrote it.

    There were no dramatic emotional “how could they do this to us?” moments, like the feeling we got when Todd shot Andrea.

    Walt got EXACTLY what he wanted (minus Jesse didn’t kill him, but he stumbled up to die in a meth lab 10 mins + 1 “I killed you” convo w/Lydia later). He even got to kill Jack! And there’s something very empty about that. All of the control he lost over the past few episodes he gained back.

  10. Johanna says:

    Talking Bad was absolute crap.

  11. I disagree about Talking Bad. There was plenty of serious analysis about Breaking Bad out there; Talking Bad was more entertainment than analysis, and I think it was a good contrast to the darkness of Breaking Bad. It was a smart show that tapped into how regular people talked about BB. Last week, Chris Hardwick said that after Jesse was dealt yet another tragedy with Andrea, he had to pause because he was so upset. He echoed my feelings completely. Talking Bad fans really connected with the show; it was a place to breathe again, to calm down, to rise up from the dark bleakness and wonder what the hell is going to happen next?

  12. It sucks that it’s all over, but “all bad things must come to an end.” No worries, though. There’s still Life After Breaking Bad… http://bit.ly/1fVqXNa

  13. Jerry Warner says:

    I am guilty…I was one of the 78% of a current MSN poll that “had not watched any Breaking Bad” until just a few weeks ago. I was so impressed I went to the AMC site and (this took me a couple days or more) I read the recap of each weeks episode to get caught up (half way caught up) and then this past week AMC run the Breaking Bad Marathon (I was saved)! I watched every episode and the finale
    which I as still reeling from. To say the least, I am “in withdrawal mode” but I think Breaking Bad is one
    of the BEST television programs/series of all time and the finale was an excellent ending. TV will never be the same after this.

  14. ROBERT NEILSON says:

    am i the only one who noticed the discrepancy in the amount of money walt left for his family . the amount should have been around 900k not 9million remember the arayan gang only gave him one barrel . 1million dollars

    • Jared says:

      he had around 80 million is 7 barrels. That is about 11 million per barrel and he got to keep a barrel. He spent around 2 to disappear, etc. That leaves him with about 9 million. What have you been watching the last three weeks?

  15. The ending sucked. Blows my mind people thought it was good. Predictable and conventional.

  16. amz says:

    I’m a bit surprised Walt didn’t devise a way to find and get back the $80 million the white supremacists stole from him. He was furious about that and dead set on getting it back. I suppose he figured that even if he did get it back there was no way he’d be able to launder it and get it to his family so killing the white supremacists (thus depriving them of the $$) was enough.

    • Leo says:

      In addition to the money laundering problems and his imminent death, I think Walt walks away from the money knowing that he’s got a plan to give millions to Junior … its recovery is also something that could help Skyler when she goes to cut a deal and might make it a tad bit easier for Jesse to move on if the DEA thinks he’s dead or that he fled weeks earlier.

      Thanks to the GPS information, the deaths of the white supremacists and Walt’s own demise, Skyler might even be able to convince her sister and Junior over time that her husband wasn’t pure evil. The money — probably $700 million or more — will be recovered by the DEA, a major meth lab and world distributor is effectively put out of business, etc. The DEA might even look at the forensic evidence, the rig Walt put together as well as ballistics that will likely pinpoint guns used by the white supremacist meth group as the weapons that killed Hank and his partner.

      Walter White does come off as a criminal mastermind — far smarter than common criminals and most drug kingpins.

  17. Leo says:

    Wow, what a great finale … The goodbye scene between Walter and Skyler was perfection — I still don’t know how Walt became someone we could understand, like and even appreciate. Probably the best film noir TV series ever made.

  18. terrie says:

    BP thank you! I knew I missed something. Never doubted they’d miss something as big as that. I guess that’s why you don’t watch an entire series on netflix at once on meth lol

  19. terrie says:

    vince gilligan was right when he said it wouldn’t please everyone and that they tried to tie up as much loose ends as possible. Other things he left for us to make our own conclusions. I found the finale to be very satisfying, as well as methodically and meticulously planned out. I also realize writers change creative direction all the time. The only thing I am left wondering is this: after jane’s dad causes the airplane crash, there is a tidbit at the beginning of a couple episodes of the dea going to walt’s pool, grabbing a container of evidence, laying them all out in which multiple items are of walt’s. (glasses, wallet, etc) and the purple bear in the pool. This leaves me with a lot of questions… who are the two bodies? why are the glasses and wallet found in the pool? is this meant to illustrate something else? was this their original ending?

    This is a very minor plot hole I find and they have solved everything else beautifully. I am so greatful to have witnessd such great art with my own eyes.

    • BP says:

      Terri, that was the NTSB who was scooping evidence out of his pool. The bear was debris from the plane crash. the bodies in his driveway were passengers from the planes whos bodies landed on the white property.

      • terrie says:

        thank you bp! so that solves everything for the finale to me which is good. but didn’t you find the way they zoomed into the glasses was a bit ambiguous? it looked exactly like walt’s. didn’t it also show something else with his name on it?

  20. JJones says:

    Best of any TV show in quite some time. As a fan of the Twilight Zone… Vince Gilligan showed you little anthology stories… With the payoffs coming full frontal… So you can see the depths and pains of the details added which made BB … So good!

  21. aryedirect says:

    Spot on about ‘Talking Bad’. That was an embarrassment and well beneath the impeccability of ‘Breaking Bad’. Though I did find that the mechanics of the machine gun device, and the law showing up after final battle did stretch credibility. Still, only a minor flaw compared to the overall excellence of ‘Breaking Bad’.

  22. dj says:

    Amazing show and perfect ending..just one question…the meth compound was out in the middle of nowhere..how did the police know to come out there at the end,

    • Sam says:

      walter called the police before hand i believe.. he wanted to be found dead there so it can once again be all pinned on him rather than jessie

      • Bob says:

        Calling them in the time we didn’t see between when Jesse left and Walt walked out to the lab makes more sense; he wouldn’t have wanted them showing up too early if they just happened to have a car in the vicinity.

        On the other hand, Walt failing to fully anticipate events (such as, say, his keys being taken) and just barely getting out of the resulting jam due to some lucky break (they’re casually tossed on the pool table, within his reach) is a very strong theme in the series, so he MIGHT have tipped off the police just before rolling up to the gate, showing his usual lack of sufficient paranoia and — for a change — not having it come back to bite him in the butt.

  23. Jim says:

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

  24. Isaac says:

    Walt did not get exactly what he wanted, his son hates him, wife will never be the same. He left the earth knowing only that his children would have money, it was the least he could do. As for killing Jack and Lydia, that was what BB was all about.. Sealing the deal, Walt taking on the role of Heisenberg, the villain. Who else to kill them off than him, leaving Jesse to be free, it was perfect, even when he offered Jesse the chance to kill him, why? Because in essence Walt killed Jesse a long time ago, killed him figuratively many times. The show was a work of art, plain and simple.

    • Totally agree Isaac. I thought the most tragic thing about it was that Walt Jr. was left hating his father that he loved so very much. The scene with him walking off the bus was the saddest part, in my opinion. You could see how broken and angry the kid was. I’m glad that Walt admitted that he did it all for himself because, 10 million or no, he didn’t do his family any favors. Also, Jesse, yes he was destroyed, over and over again.

  25. ann goodrich says:

    Good Grief. What is all this vile bad mouthing below. I’a a 75 year old retired psychologist and believe there’s never been a show to equal BB—including the astonishing ending. Walt’s death scene made me weep…a thing I’ve hardly done in years.

  26. Lily Pond says:

    This finale was unsatisfying.

    It was written like a fan wrote it.

    There were no dramatic emotional “how could they do this to us?” moments, like the feeling we got when Todd shot Andrea.

    Walt got EXACTLY what he wanted (minus Jesse didn’t kill him, but he stumbled up to die in a meth lab 10 mins + 1 “I killed you” convo w/Lydia later). He even got to kill Jack! And there’s something very empty about that. All of the control he lost over the past few episodes he gained back.

    • You are one of those people that would not have been satisfied no matter how the show ended. They tied the loose ends and finished the show the most satisfying way possible. People are happy. Try to enjoy life for once and stop nit-picking and bitching about the end of an amazing show.

  27. Mike says:

    To everyone involved with this show-THANK YOU for making a 66 year old guys life very enjoyable. Been watching tv since kukla Fran and Ollie and bb is the best thing to come across tv or a movie screen. Everyone has their own opinions which is great because it would be boring as hell it we all agreed, thanks to all the fans who kept this show running by getting other people addicted and we kept it going for all these years.

    • Tony says:

      Walt really did want Jesse to kill him for Jesse.. not for himself. He wanted to give Jesse something after he saw him there as a prisoner.

  28. Lee says:

    Can someone tell me why, on Talking Bad, Vince Gilligan said that Walt Jr would never know that Walt didn’t kill Hank? He made it sound very finite, like it wasn’t even an option. I can see Skylar keeping that from him so he wouldn’t feel any guilt or empathy towards Walt, but isn’t it worse thinking his dad killed his own uncle?

    • JB says:

      @Lee It’s because Walt gave Skyler the lottery ticket with the GPS coordinates of Hank and Gomies’ bodies as a way out for Skyler. If she uses that to get off the hook legally (i.e. telling the police that Walt killed Hank and she knows where the body is), nobody can know that Walt didn’t actually kill Hank.

      • Jeff Fenner says:

        To Adelina: The reason Skyler can’t tell the truth to the police is because she would be legally culpable for a lot of what Walt did the last couple of seasons (laundering his money, knowledge of the meth operation, concealing things from Hank, etc.). The cover story that Walt has constructed for her (which has also helped her reclaim some sympathy from her sister) was that Walt was abusive and domineering, and threatened to kill her if she turned him in to the authorities. If Skyler tries to soften Walt’s reputation with the authorities (at least in terms of killing Hank and Gomez), then she gets prosecuted herself (and her sister blames her forever for Hank’s fate, whether or not Walt actually killed him). I still think it’s possible that Skyler might eventually share the truth with Jr., but in the immediate future she wouldn’t want Jr. to blow Walt’s cover for them either.

      • Adelina Zottola says:

        I’m sorry, I still don’t get it. Why can’t Skylar give the police the coordinates and tell them exactly what happened? That the white supremacists killed Hank and his partner??

      • Lee says:

        Thanks JB, someone else told me it was just because Walt Jr would be better off hating Walt forever, as opposed to feeling any guilt for how he ended the phone call with him, but that seemed strange for me.

        I’m just wondering why Walt couldn’t try to place some blame on the Nazis for Hank’s death, but I guess there’s no proof so it wouldn’t have even been worth it? Furthermore, Skylar knows that he didn’t do it, so can’t she eventually tell Walt Jr? I think about this too much, clearly.

  29. Tam Shan says:

    7 paragraphs in and all you were doing was masturbatory musings not information for those of us that didn’t get to see the finale of BB. I’m out. I’m off to read an actual review of the finale.

    • uofmbatman says:

      why the hell are you reading reviews of a finale you haven’t seen? You want it to be spoiled? You are obviously not a real fan if you aren’t avoiding all talk of the episode before you get around to seeing it. So why do you even care?

  30. Addison Todd says:

    Check out my podcast of the last episode of Breaking Bad” http://bit.ly/1blmJyW

    Let me know what you think!

  31. Sean Ryan says:

    It’s all over now, baby blue.
    What an ending.
    Check out my full analysis recap for “Felina” at:
    http://mydogsaretiredofhearingthis.blogspot.com/2013/09/an-elegy-for-baby-blue-breaking-bad.html

  32. I agree, Talking Bad has been a HUGE disappointment. The conversations are always incredibly childish, managing to avoid any discussion of the fascinating, complex issues that the show revolves around. Chris Hardwick seems like a bad choice – he comes off as someone who was just thrown on a show and told to talk about loving Breaking Bad, rather than being an actually bonafide fan.

    After the episode that Hank died, they spent the majority of the episode talking about bowl movements instead of reflecting on the fact that one of the main characters had just been murdered. I love the idea, but the execution was terrible.

    The finale though, as you said, was just perfect. It was everything we asked for and more.

    • Chris Hardwick came with the show. It’s the same format as the Hardwick-led Talking Dead, which also is much less serious than the show it follows (Walking Dead). And I think he’s a bonafide fan of both shows. That said, I think they tried to cram too much stuff in a half-hour show. They could have done more with an hour.

  33. BB was/is a great show. Walt did die of Cancer. Heisenberg was his Cancer personified — the drug life grew and just never stopped, and in the end consumed him just like a Cancer.

    When I was watching the show, during the kitchen scene where Skyler confronts Walt about , “doing this for the family…” When Walt was answering and hesitated I actually answered “ALIVE!” just before Walt said “alive.” I was like “WHOA!”

    I took the Robert McKee seminar this past Spring. McKee talked about Breaking Bad almost as much as he talked about Casablanca. BB is high art.

  34. Pure Fluff says:

    Reblogged this on Pure Fluff.

    • lori umbarger says:

      I agree about the cancer part it does grow. Face it that was about taking control of his life back .I loved all of the story it was moving in so much of the parts. There was alittle of us in all of those in the bb

  35. Zach Coty says:

    Talking Bad is great. It’s for the fanboys, you had to change the channel and come back an hour later to watch it. Also, HAH at the dude that liked the end of Dexter and Lost but not Breaking Bad, that guy clearly has good opinions about things.

  36. i realize i go against the grain here but dexter finale was much more rewarding storywise and character development wise than this sad excuse of breaking bad finale. What Walt has became can’t be simply redeemed by relatively peaceful death full of fine memories of old days all with a catchy tune.
    Where those shows essentially disagree and why i choose dexter is redemption. While Dexter was able to cure all his wrongdoing through ultimate sacrifice, Walter went down unrepentant.. And for me that was key expectation to happen.
    PS Lost finale was a thing of beauty too

    • ed says:

      really? did you just say that dexter’s ending was good in any sense of the word. I think it’s an insult to compare dexter’s last 3 seasons (including the finale) to anything breaking bad has done. Yes, dexter was an awesome show from season 1 through 4, but after that, the writers just didn’t know what else to write. Instead of ending the show, they continue to ride the amount of viewership the first 4 seasons received. I was one of those hardcore dexter fans during the first 4 seasons, and couldn’t wait from week to week to watch the show; however, the last 3 seasons were boring and stupid storylines. No character development at all.

      Are you telling me that Masuka’s daughter’s character was well developed? It took nearly half the season and there was nothing behind it. Even Batista’s character, which was better developed in the first 4 seasons, declined in the next 3. And dexter’s character? — oh boy…his character just hit the wall in the last 3 seasons, made absolutely no sense in this season, and the finale was a pure sell-out of the writers who had no talent whatsoever.

      The entire show revolved around the unique, violent nature of Dexter, and in the last season, in one swoop, it was discovered that dexter is no longer violent…he no longer wants to kill because he’s in love with Hanna. Really? Writers built this show for 7 years to quell dexter on the account of being in love? As far as I remember, he seemed very much in love with Rita, with whom he married and had a child, whom he also loves. Soooooooo, that love didn’t quell his violence, and this love with Hanna does?

      It’s just a character flaw of the show. Every character on the show was flawed coming down from season 5 to season 7. And the finale….leaving his kid back and running away to become a lumberjack……really? Where is the art in this? You said he sacrificed himself for everyone? What…no. Because of him Rita, Debra, and even his foster father died. He had no one else but his kid. What kind of a strong character leaves his kid behind. That’s just such a messy ending to the show.

      Dude…..you need to understand good writing when you encounter one, and breaking bad was good writing. I don’t say that because i loved the show (i much loved dexter, too, before it fell off the cliff. And even then i watched each episode to the very end), but i say that because breaking bad is a methodically written, superbly directed, and artistically managed.

      • Patrick Roy says:

        Dexter’s writing was absolute crap in the final season. It was the laziest drivel I’ve ever seen. The water on the bay was like glass with a hurricane coming in. Really? Because I’ve lived in Florida and two days before the hurricane comes in the waves are enormous. The hospital was that close to the water? Since when? No hospital on earth is that close to the water. And no one – NO ONE – noticed a man leaving with a body? I was literally LAUGHING because it was so bad.

    • Aaron Gibson says:

      No… no! no no no no. You sire have rose tinted glasses on.
      Dexter has been my favourite show for years and the ending just lacked so much its too long for the internet to read so No, this was a perfect end and there was no need to for walk to repent in any way – its the opposite, he did it for him and enjoyed doing it, its the final admission his wife had been (and us) waiting for.. move along sir.

  37. Ally Quinn says:

    I just watched the finale and I have to say, there were a few plot holes, but whatever. In my mind, the finale was the episode where Hank and Walt had their showdown. The episodes that followed were kind of just “meh”, and honestly couldn’t match that episode. I think the writers knew this, and didn’t try to outdo it – they just tied up loose ends, and while I usually wish that for a show, this time – it was honestly boring to watch. While I’m not terribly disappointed – I’m not overly joyed by the episode, either. Too slow in some parts, unnecessary scenes, things left out – things left unsaid between Jesse and Walt (Jesse will always thing Walt was trying to kill him prior to his enslavement, they left no inkling in Jesse’s mind that it was just a misunderstanding). I didn’t like that very much. I don’t know why Walt would want to go out without telling Jesse the truth – did he think that Jesse wouldn’t believe him? Or did he want him to think he was indeed a cold-blooded killer who had no feelings…I don’t know, and the answers died with this episode. I suppose at least we got a full series that didn’t end with a black-out or a cliffhanger (as so many tv shows do these days, cancelled before their time). I wonder what new series will fill the void.

    • Adelina Zottola says:

      How was Walt’s wanting to kill Jesse a misunderstanding? After Hank was killed, Walt DID want to kill Jesse because he was the one who set the whole thing in motion. Walt just changed his mind about killing Jesse once he saw that he was enslaved and not really partnering with the white supremacists. I loved that Walt ended up saving Jesse.

  38. ashley says:

    you mad?

  39. Lost-Hater says:

    Eddie, you know, it’s way too late for you to be up, class is at 8 am. And by the way, Lost was a horrible show and the Dexter finale was atrociously bad. That’s just the facts, I’m sorry, you have bad taste.

  40. Jake Carter says:

    I loved the finale!!! The only question I was left with is, is Huell still in the safe house? lol

  41. opinion12 says:

    Thanks Breaking Bad for giving us a very satisfying and great finale. And thank you for letting Jessie live! I have loved this show for 5 years and I am going to miss it. But also, it was time to end and I love Vince Gillian for such great storytelling, and timing.
    And oh yes, Dexter was a show I loved and that finale was one of the worst , right there with Weeds. Such a disappointment.

  42. Dreg says:

    Good overall, but a few little details bothered me… like firstly how the hell did he manage to find badger and.. the other guy. Last time I checked he couldn’t even remember his name, he called him ”beaver” and without Saul around he’d have had to find them on his own. Secondly, how on earth did he get the Ricin into lydias stevia, if he had previously taken the packet and tampered with it, he’s damn lucky she sat there and someone else didn’t take her usual spot.. let alone her even being there in the first place. Thirdly… it must be really easy to get past police survelience to get to Skyler… it’s happened twice now, first with Todd and his gang then with Walt. Fourthly.. you’d think the Nazis would be at least a little suspicious about why Walt doesn’t want to move his car to the spot they told him to and lastly you’d think they’d SEARCH THE CAR after searching him? I also found jack bringing Jesse out after Walter questioning his integrity.. a little forced… but overlooking all that.. Good episode. Was kind of hoping Jesse would somehow end up with the money, pick up Brock and drive off into the sunset but oh well.

    • uofmbatman says:

      You are pointing out some pretty minor plot holes. It’s called creative license…the writers can let the audience assume things to make the show enjoyable. Do we need to see Walt look through his list of contacts Saul provided him before he went to the the Vacuum Repair Guy and call badger or skinny pete’s cell phone? (See how i came up with a reasonable way as to how he could contact them). No? Plus that would have detracted from the cool, funny moment when they take off their mask and reveal themselves as the “hitmen.” It’s a T.V. show, accept the fact it isn’t real.

      Also, I like how you are getting your panties in a bunch about plot holes yet you want Jesse to pick up Brock and ride into the sunset. Pick up Brock from where? You think he is still chillin’ all by himself at Andrea’s house? Do you think child protective services will just let a guy with no relation to the child and who has a criminal record and who is suspected to be involved with drug dealing (and who was once accused of poisoning said child) to just swing buy and pick the kid up and ride off forever? Yeah, that doesn’t seem inexplicable at all!

    • Zeke Roberts says:

      The past five seasons have done more than enough to establish that Walter White is an incredibly intelligent man, with several personal flaws. Both he and the Nazi Gang have been shown to be quite adept at stealth operations.

      To answer the ricin question – when you have a chance, rewatch Walter’s coughing fit at the table with Lydia and Todd. He didn’t know which table she was going to sit at – that’s why he moved.

  43. Scott says:

    It was about as perfect a finale as could be done. The writing and acting were brilliant. I will miss this show.

    • Chris says:

      The Stevia is in her hand when he coughs.

      • kidimi says:

        Lydia always sat at the same table, on Tuesday at 10 AM. Walt had to have planted the Stevia at the table beforehand. If someone else happened to sit there before she arrived, he could’ve come over right away to ask for the Stevia, claiming he had none at his table.

  44. Tyson says:

    I have been a huge BB fan from the start, and now after seeing the finale I can say I’m satisfied with the series as a whole.
    But I do have a couple things that bug me about the finale…
    Walter layed dying after being hit in the ribs by a stray bullet. He didn’t know that was going to happen, so what was his plan to begin with? He couldn’t have counted on seeing Jesse; and even if he was certain he was going to see him he couldn’t have possibly bet on Jesse having the nerve to shoot him. And there’s no way he was planning on going quietly into police custody.

    So what was his original plan? If not for being taken out randomly by a strayed one of his own bullets, what was he planning?

    Personally, I would have liked to see him walk into that lab, tap that gauge (just as he did), then while the cop cars approached in the background I would have liked to see the whole lab blow up, with Walt inside of it.

    For a series that always proved itself to have a set and planned course of action for both plot and characters, the death and demise of Walt and the wrap up to an overall awesome series seems to leave me wondering.

    • Sam says:

      Walt actually did know that he would see Jesse there..remember his conversation with Skinny Pete and Badger? They mentioned how the blue meth was still being sold. He knew Jesse was the only one that could make a product that could actually be mistaken for his own. I believe he originally went there to kill everyone, including Jesse. But when he saw how Jesse was being held captive and being treated like an animal, something in Walt wanted to save him. Just my theory! Not that that completely solves the “What he would have done if he didnt get shot” question, but I dont think that really mattered to him. He just wanted to kill the men who stole from him, killed Hank, and threatened his family. Whether he lived, died, or was arrested. It didn’t matter to Walt.

    • wuce brayne says:

      To answer you question about walts original plan: he was planning to kill jesse. It is why he requested for him as their “partner.” When he saw jesse, he knew he was no partner. He saved him because despite everything, he always wanted jesse free of this thing that they do. Walt never planned to live through it, and being shot was a part of it. It is why he told jesse to shoot him. He did want it. Jesse said do it yourself because after all jesse had been through, he was done with killing and vedettas. He left withoutsaying goodbye because walt was already dead to him. In the end, walt saw the lab, felt good about his work and was proud of jesses work too. He died happy having accomplished all he had set out to do.

      • Dal says:

        @James, no you’re wrong. He wanted to kill Jesse until he saw how miserable he was. The creator said this himself on talking bad.

      • James says:

        Wrong, wrong, wrong! He knew Jesse was a prisoner. He said the partner thing to get them to bring Jesse out.

      • Sam says:

        Sorry Wuce Brayne wasnt trying to copy what you said, didnt read your comment till after i typed mine! Guess we think alike!! haha

  45. joyce herbster says:

    If Bryan Cranston doesn’t win the Emmy next year, there’s no justice!

  46. Kim says:

    I thought this was a horrible finale. I am a hugggeeee fan of BB, but this just did not cut it, I have so many issues with how it went down. There is no good memory left of Hank, and I also thought there should have been more of a moment with Walt and Jessee at the end…

    • Vixen Daks says:

      the guy JUST died, what are you talking about?

      they did leave us with a good memory of hank – he was fighting like a man and said a great quote to walt. He showed walt respect.

      Walt and jesse had several moments…what the hell did you want.

      • Tgfxscorpion says:

        I agree some people just love to bitch and complain this was an awesome show with a great ending to do it justice unlike 90% of the other shows out there that f up the endings good by breaking bad it has been fun

  47. Paddy says:

    Was left feeling satisfied. At first was concerned about the slower pace of this episode compared to the pace of the previous seven. After it was over though I realized that it was perfect. Slow methodical and deliberate true Heisenberg. Two things I thought of after show ended were Skylark telling Walt she still loved him and a coda of sorts for Flynn or Walter junior. I was thinking of a scene after he gets home from school and finds a note book in his room where Walter explains to his son how he started out with the intentions of leaving his family money so they would never want for anything. How he stepped away from Grey Matter and it tortured him. How he was gonna die and instead of stock in GM, millions in trusts he’d be left with nothing. How power and greed corrupted him, how in the end he would reap what was sown. How he lost control of everything and most of all lost control of the situation with Hank. How Hank was murdered by Jack and even $80 million, every cent he shed blood, sweat, and tears to leave Walter Jr his birthright wouldn’t buy hanks life. I felt a narration of Walter reading this over the scene of him walking away would have added so much more to this already amazing episode.

  48. JP says:

    I love the show and parts of the first hour of the finale are great. Amazing acting and directing. Beautifully shot. I thought, however, that the last 15 minutes felt a bit bad action movieish. Also, how far they took the Jessie storyline felt like torture porn. Also, did we really need the conversation with Lydia? The close up on the tea and the white powder was pretty clear. The audience is smart. We don’t need to be spoon fed.

    Also, I feel like for most of Breaking Bad the characters seemed to drive the story. This last season it felt like the plot was driving the characters. For example, as a cancer survivor who underwent a treatment very similar to Walt and who was surrounded by folks who were near the end of life after battling the disease, some of the things he was able to do physically just wring untrue. Digging the hole for that many barrels? Most ppl can barely walk to the toilet when they are that far along with treatment and the disease. Walking 8 miles through the snow into town when he was not eating and lost 30 or more pounds? These are just examples of how see the plot driving the show and characters doing questionable things for the story. Give him a now mobile to get to the drive. A backhoe for digging. Or make him do things a terminal person who can’t eat could do. I wonder if they consulted with an oncologist as they were writing for Walt as his illness progressed. If they did then great.

    Anyhow these types of questions aside (like would they really keep the lab out in the open next to the base? Especially since cops monitor white supremacist groups who control prison drug trades) Breaking Bad is an amazing show and I will miss it.

    • Vixen Daks says:

      you have some dumb questions/comments here

      • Dal says:

        I agree. You’re looking far to into it, trying to make it something it is not. Just because a majority of people with cancer probably couldn’t dig a hole, doesn’t mean Walt couldn’t. I’m sure there are a majority of people with back arthritis that couldn’t take someone down (wrestling), but I have extreme arthritis and I can. You’re thinking of Walt as a group, meaning he himself is ‘everyone’ with cancer. No. He is Walter White. Himself. That is all.

        As for the lab being outside, it wasn’t. (it was, but I’ll get to that). It was in a warehouse, and everything large is on wheels anyway. Maybe they wanted to air out the smoke, maybe they wanted to keep Jesse in a closer view, there are hundreds of reasons that could explain this.

      • JP says:

        @VixenDaks please elaborate. What is dumb about questioning the physical ability of a late stage 4 cancer patient to undertake certain physical activities that are central to the show when the disease is a key plot point and drives many of Walt’s actions? Do I really think they should have given him a snow mobile or backhoe. Of course not. I was only pointing out the types of things a man with Walt’s late stage disease would likely need. If Walt is not terminally I’ll does it all play out this way. If the treatment worked the first time and he was cured does he attempt a suicide mission on an armed neo-nazis compound? Does he make the same rash clouded decisions when Jessie texts him the picture of the money in the barrel?

        What is dumb about questioning the placement of the lab when most if the show has been about hiding where the cook is happening. Everybody else need mobile labs or multimillion dollar underground facilities but the neo-nazis just have a big stationary grain sylo?

        So to me these questions seem valid. If they are dumb please tell me why. I want to know the answers. I would like nothing more so that the finale could go from a tasty but slightly flat soufflé to a perfect desert.

    • most back-handed compliment of this mellenium

      • JP says:

        @nemesis4670 Hmmm…an apt food analogy to a gourmet restaurant makes me a slob. I gather then everybody that ever went to a Per Se or Nobu is a slob. As are all top chefs’ and any judge on the food network. Name calling is not a great response to an apt analogy.

        As to your actual comment. Parts if that are fair. However, we saw that Walt was getting an IV in the cabin so he was still on chemo. Ask any oncologist (or patient who went through aggressive cancer treatment) and they will tell you that after getting off chemo that aggressive it takes at least 6 months to really get your strength back and that is when you are lucky enough to be cancer free. The hair actually starts to come back first. It is the loss of muscle mass and other side effects like neuropathy and neutropenia (essentially the lack of an immune system) that get you. Not to mention the need for blood transfusions to allow sufficient oxygen flow throughout your body. So even after the first round he is not 100% and especially by the end.

        The “artistic license” that you speak of that the took for Walt would almost be the equivalent to them writing a scene where Jessie throws a car. Would you call that artistic license. No, you would think wtf? Why?

        Anybody who has gone through cancer treatments or has seen a friend or loved one face this disease know just how insidious it and it’s treatment are. That is my issue. Still LOVE the show but just pointing out the ridiculous.

      • nemesis4670 says:

        All of your analogies involve food… you slob. Ever heard of artistic license? Walt was also in remission and had an 80% reduction. So the cancer coming back was merely starting over. Digging the hole he was still somewhat functional. In the cabin was when it was really bad. (months had passed during that time)… he was weak but was done with chemo near the end hence his hair growing back… so he was somewhat functional. He had no clue where the cancer was at since he couldn’t even visit a doctor.

      • JP says:

        Not back-handed. Just because you like something you don’t have to ignore its flaws. It is like juding a meal as a whole and also by its individual courses. Maybe you LOVE the appetizer and the entree was the best thing you ever had. The deser, however, wasn’t as good. The soufflé was a bit flat or the cake a bit rich. As a whole it was still one of the best meals you ever had, but you wish the desert was just a bit better. And, because the desert was the last thing you had it sticks in your mind. So you tell your friends, AMAZING meal but maybe skip the cake.

        Is that a back handed compliment? I don’t think so.

  49. hans says:

    Why does it say 75 minutes finale everywhere ? It was 55 minutes, like the episode before that, it just had a crapload of advertising stuffed in.

    • Dave says:

      Yea you’re right, it was the same length as the episode before it.. because the last 2 episodes were both 75 minutes long with ads and 55 minutes long without them. Every other episode of this show that’s ever aired was 60 minutes long with ads and about 42 minutes long without ads included

    • megha says:

      because no one calls an hour show 42 minutes, or a half hour show 21 min. by convention.. 75 min show is 55 min.

  50. Jason says:

    The ending was great, but please, let’s be serious…Tony Soprano > Walter White
    The Sopranos > Breaking Bad

    • Dion Abbott says:

      Please Walter white and NBB are superior to sopranos, that show had some poor writing and meh episodes in the later seasons, and a bad ending. Walter White is the best TV character ever. More in depth and muti-layered then Tony ever was. The wire is amazing though.

    • JJ77 says:

      Hahahah hell no, Breaking Bad is literally leagues above The Sopranos, that show doesn’t hold a candle to this.

More TV News from Variety

Loading