Within a few hours, the front page of every North American website will be dedicated to the finale of AMC’s “Breaking Bad.” It will make no attempt to alert viewers of spoilers, no effort to mask details of the ending and no overture towards the curbing of enthusiasm.
Of course we have to join the rest of the media in recapping Sunday’s epic finale, but rather than being part of the problem, we’re happy to mask the key plot details in the bottom portion of this post. Those uninterested in learning who lived and who died, as well as how everything turned out, are advised not to continue reading.
But those who caught the final episode should feel free to proceed and join in the celebration of a perfect finale to a near-perfect television series:
*Walt’s renewed interest in Elliott and Gretchen, co-heads of Gray Matter, was not a violent one. Rather than killing them, White instead chooses to use his former colleagues as a vehicle for moving his money. Per Walt’s instructions, the two are to deliver Walt’s remaining money–more than $9 million–to Walt, Jr., in the form of an irrevocable trust, on his eighteenth birthday.
In order to assure compliance, the lead “Breaking Bad” character, with help from Badger and Skinny Pete, led the duo to believe he had contracted hit men to execute them in the event the plan went awry.
*In a final goodbye to Skyler, Walt admits he remained in the meth game not for his family but for himself. He liked it, he was good at it and it made him feel alive. He also provided Skyler with the GPS coordinates for the burial site so that she could lead authorities to the bodies of Hank and Gomez (in exchange for her own immunity). Before he heads off, Walt is granted a request to say goodbye to his daughter. He also looks on, from a distance, as he son returns home from school.
*Taking advantage of the regimented Lydia, Walt crashes her weekly business meeting with Todd. Noting the likelihood that Jack’s crew is running low on methylamine, Walt puts up a cover story about wanting to trade a new meth recipe in exchange for a million dollars. Not interested in Walt’s offer, Lydia nonetheless agrees that he should meet at the lab – but only so Jack and his crew can eliminate Walt from the equation. Unbeknownst to Lydia, Walt had no intention of offering the recipe anyway and had dumped the ricin into her Stevia packet prior to her arrival. She is later revealed to be suffering from the poison (and presumably going to die).
*Walt had purchased the machine gun as a strategy for attacking Jack’s crew. He rigged the trigger so that when he popped the trunk with his keys, it would automatically swivel and begin furiously firing rounds.
*Walt, as planned, meets with Jack at the compound. Jack, as planned, instructs his crew to assassinate the former Heisenberg. But as the men take Walt out for the Old Yeller situation, Walt, aware that Jesse was alive based on the continued existence of Blue Sky, complained that Jack never kept his promise to kill Jesse. Desiring to prove Walt wrong, Jack brought Jesse above ground to reveal that he was being held prisoner and certainly not any sort of business partner.
*Sympathetic to Jesse’s plight, Walt tackles his former protege (bringing him below firing range) and remotely pops the trunk to trigger the weapon. The sea of bullets easily kills everyone but Todd, Jesse, Walt and Jack, though the latter two were hit. Jesse uses the chain of his handcuffs to strangle Todd. Walt shoots Jack despite Jack’s offer to reveal the location of the remaining Blue money in exchange for his life.
*Walt, who is bleeding from his side, then hands the gun to Jesse, with the request that Jesse kill him. Jesse, finally free from this terrible world of drugs, refuses, noting that Walt should “do it [himself].” He drives off.
*Still bleeding, and clearly en route to his death, Walt wanders into Jack’s lab. He reflects upon and admires his creation–and legacy–before falling to his death. The cops eventually arrive on scene to discover a deceased Heisenberg. The iconic series ends to the tune of Badfinger’s “Baby Blue.”