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'Breaking Bad' ends with more of Walter White's bad behavior

By Fraizer Moore

AP Television Writer

POSTED:
LAST UPDATED: 06:43 a.m. HST, Sep 30, 2013


NEW YORK >> Any "Breaking Bad " fan could be forgiven for concluding that Sunday's finale held no major surprises.

That's because this AMC drama series has delivered surprises, shock and OMG moments dependably since its premiere five seasons ago.

Just like it did on its final episode.

For those who don't want to be reading how yet, stop reading! And let's take a few moments for you who aren't ready to find out what happened to tear your eyes away from this article.

OK. Ready?

The finale closed the loop on a scene that began Season 5, and found Walt (series star Bryan Cranston) with a beard and a full head of hair at an Albuquerque, N.M., Denny's restaurant. There he made a swap for a different car than the Volvo he had stolen and driven cross-country from New Hampshire, where, until the final moments of last week's episode, he was holed up, a most-wanted fugitive from the law. More to the point, Walt in that deal at the Denny's men's room became the owner of a very serious rifle.

The scene, flashing forward several months ahead to Walt's 52nd birthday, was no less tantalizing than bewildering to viewers when it aired. On the finale, it revealed itself as a key piece of the series' finished puzzle.

As the finale began, Walt -- cancer-stricken and a hunted man -- was headed back home to Albuquerque for a last showdown.

In a byzantine and sinister arrangement with the couple who had become tycoons from a pharmaceutical company Walt co-founded but received no benefit from, Walt made sure his children would get the $10 million drug money he left behind with the couple -- or else.

Walt then dropped in on his estranged wife, Skyler (Anna Gunn), who had made it plain she hated him.

"Why are you here?" she asked him coldly.

"It's over," he said, "and I needed a proper goodbye."

After all this time, he justified out loud his descent from life as a meek, ill-paid chemistry teacher to a life as a legendary drug lord. Before, he had always insisted he did it for his family, to leave them provided for after his death from his terminal cancer.

"I did it for me," he declared to Skyler. "I liked it. I was good at it. And I was alive."

Walt's former meth-cooking sidekick, Jesse Pinkman (Aaron Paul), was still enslaved to a group of bad guys forcing him to cook crystal-meth for them using the laboratory-pristine process Walt had pioneered and prospered with. Walt rescued Jesse: His assault rifle mowed down the bad guys by remote control from the trunk of his car.

Freed, Jesse was last seen speeding off, screaming in hysteria, rage and gratitude. Against all odds, he had lived to face another day.

For Walt, the outcome was much different. As the cops descended at the scene of the mass slaughter to seize him, he was lying on the floor, dead, apparently from a stray bullet from his own rifle. An inadvertent suicide, he had successfully escaped from the law, his foes and the cancer that was stalking him.

And, yes, Walt used the ricin he had held in reserve for ages. He poisoned Lydia Rodarte-Quayle, who had shown the bad judgment to collude with Walt's enemies on more than one occasion. He substituted it for the sweetener she thought she was putting in her tea.

The episode, and series, ended with Badfinger's "Baby Blue" ("Guess I got what I deserve").

So did viewers, with a finale that was surprising in its relative lack of carnage, that tied up loose ends and seemed organically fitting, however outlandish at times ("Breaking Bad" never insisted on stark realism).

Written and directed by Vince Gilligan, the series' creator, this series went out as it came in, and stayed: wicked, twisted and wildly creative. Certified with its conclusion as perhaps the best TV drama series of all time, "Breaking Bad" remained as pure a product as the crystal meth Walt White cooked, to his peril and demise.







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awahana wrote:
Show is overrated. I watched the pilot the other day and just watched the final episode.
Fans are probably youth who never knew of Falling Down and American Beauty.
Just like how Hunger Games is a rip-off of Battle Royale.
What next? Remake of horror movies like Carrie and The Shining?
on September 29,2013 | 11:18PM
syhud wrote:
This comment has been deleted.
on September 30,2013 | 04:32AM
awahana wrote:
According to CNN, I saw 1/2 of what I needed to see, out of 5 seasons, in just two eps, to make my conclusion.
youtube.com/watch?v=CdDfhe-0JS0
If you enjoyed it, great. No thanks.
This was actually the first time I watched AMC since it was the American Movie Channel. What? 10 years or so ago? I didn't recognize it at all. Much like MTV and TLC. When I saw the type of commercials on the network, like Microsoft Surface 2, and GTA 5, I immediately knew their audience demo that the show and network panders to...
I had more interesting things going on the past 5 years. I'm a cordcutter. I watched this online. You probably pay $120/mo or more to watch this stuff. I pay $40 broadband and that's it. $120 x 12mo x 5yr= $7200! ! ! OUCH.
I hope you get your 5 years and money's worth. Who's the lolo now? LOL. :D
on September 30,2013 | 11:45AM
IAmSane wrote:
I don't own a TV and haven't had cable in years (I watch online) but Isn't AMC on basic cable?

Also, congratulations on being the only person who's had interesting things going on in the past five years. You're such a unique individual.
on September 30,2013 | 04:26PM
IAmSane wrote:
I watched the first five minutes of The Godfather and the last five minutes of The Godfather Part II and thought that it was overrated.
Fans are probably youth who never knew of Falling Down and American Beauty.
Just like how Hunger Games is a rip-off of Battle Royale.
What next? Remake of horror movies like Carrie and The Shining?
on September 30,2013 | 06:54AM
StifelHNL wrote:
awahana, you are missing out on some great stuff by bookending. Watch episode "Box Cutter", or see the character Tuco and the demise of Spooge or Don Elado, then make your judgement.
on September 30,2013 | 09:40AM
IAmSane wrote:
The ending was great. One of the best shows I've ever watched on television.
on September 30,2013 | 06:49AM
Poipounder808 wrote:
Everything about this show is fantastic, the writing, the casting, the acting and the directing. Sons of Anarchy is pretty good also but Breaking Bad is by far the best show on TV in my opinion.
on September 30,2013 | 08:25AM
false wrote:
The only unrealistic part of the finale was Walt's remote automatic gun swiveling in the trunk to mow down the bad guys. I would have preferred that he and Jesse collaborated to poison them and let them die a slow agonizing death as will Lydia and her ricin. Great show. What's next on AMC, the return of the Walking Dead?
on September 30,2013 | 09:26AM
awahana wrote:
According to CNN, I saw 1/2 of what I needed to see, out of 5 seasons, in just two eps, to make my conclusion.
youtube.com/watch?v=CdDfhe-0JS0
If you enjoyed it, great. No thanks.
This was actually the first time I watched AMC since it was the American Movie Channel. What? 10 years or so ago? I didn't recognize it at all. Much like MTV and TLC. When I saw the type of commercials on the network, like Microsoft Surface 2, and GTA 5, I immediately knew their audience demo that the show and network panders to...
I had more interesting things going on the past 5 years. I'm a cordcutter. I watched this online. You probably pay $120/mo or more to watch this stuff. I pay $40 broadband and that's it. $120 x 12mo x 5yr= $7200! ! ! OUCH.
I hope you get your 5 years and money's worth. Who's the dummy now? LOL. :D
on September 30,2013 | 11:45AM
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