Breaking Bad: The Final Season
He’s become “king of all wild things” but now he’s feeling lonely and homesick for his own bedroom and a hot homemade supper made with love instead of nuked into existence in the same amount of time it takes for him to commit mass murder.(1)
The show has to keep making Walter worse and worse, until every last one of us wants him dead while continuing to (presumably) keep him alive for another nine episodes in a way that feels solid and true to the plot and not in any way artificial. Because the minute we sense that they’re sparing his life for just the sake of the timeline, this delicate puzzle we’ve been assembling will collapse.(3)
In season 1, Walt meets up with his ex for a nice lunch that ends not all that differently from the dinner with Skyler in this episode. He’s full of spite even though she reminds him that he was the one who left her. I’ve always held that scene up as one of the most disturbing in the whole show, since it showed us that Walt was a monster, or at least had monstrous tendencies, way before the cancer struck.(5)
Part of the game of "Breaking Bad" is remembering that we are playing too. Last week, I watched Lydia fumble with the fuse box, as though she were being confronted with it for the first time; and yet I still found myself halfheartedly filling in my own explanation instead of accepting that the show was telling me something. We the viewers were shown a moment in time that the other characters weren’t, and that never happens by accident.(1)
Once again, into the pool drops wreckage caused by Walt’s deeds. This time it’s Skyler who is falling. Now she is the one doing the scheming. But even though it’s all part of her plan to get the children out of the house, didn’t her face look serene when she was floating under the water?(5)
To figure out how much of the puzzle is left to complete, we need to first understand the goal. Just what is it that will make everyone whole?
Each Monday, Starlee Kine writes about the previous night's episode of "Breaking Bad." This is the first installment.