Okay, so before we start...
...you have been warned!
62 episodes and it's all over... 5 outstanding seasons down the line, it is with an embittered heart that I bring you the last on a series of re-caps for the final 8 episodes. It was an emotional experience and one which brought closure on a great number of doors but still left the audience with an inkling question on the future livelihoods of the characters- at least for me, it did anyways.
It began with Walt leaving the bar which the police would soon raid. Taking his influences from a bit of GTA, he takes a car and heads off, ready to set his affairs in order. He visits the Scwartzes first and has them promise to relay $9 million to Walt Jr. on his 18th birthday. To make sure, he can trust them, he has noneother than Badger and Skinny Pete point lasers at them with malcontent. His family's financial future assured, he then gets ready to have a last look at his family. Before this however, he discovers that Jesse is still alive when his dumbfounded friends reveal that Crystal Blue's still on the market.
Jesse is still shackled up and the worse for wear with longer hair and a grizzly beard, not too disimilar from Walt's meanwhile. There is not much for him to do until the end except for daydreaming about his once possible career in woodwork. We of course see Walt going to the diner and acquiring the gun before delving home for the ricin, as seen in earlier episodes. In his home, he remembers when Hank once suggested Walt should go along on a meth-raid for a bit of excitement with a new level of pathos for what is to come. The ricin is, as many guessed, for Lydia and Walt carefully places it in her tea during a meeting with her and Todd. He says he has a new way of cooking meth which Todd is not too intrigued about but Walt is adamant on visiting them later. He is next seen following instructions on how to assemble the gun he acquired in the desert.
Marie calls Skyler to tell her that Walt is supposedly in the area, with police having discovered a stolen vehicle from New Hampshire. This is all we get from her as the camera pans out and in the most meaninful scene of the episode, Walt confesses that all he did, was for "himself" rather than his family. He wanted a bit of excitement. He even "liked" what he did. He leaves the co-ordinates for finding Hank's body with Skyler, telling her that this could be used as a plea deal to free her from continued investigation and looks upon baby Holly for a final time before leaving, at which point he watches his son return home.
The episode concludes with the showdown we've all been waiting for since Episode One of this long season. Walt positions his car outside the room in which he meets Uncle Jack and co. They are not interested in his idea for cooking meth and are ready to kill him when an outraged Walt calls Jack a "liar" for not having killed Jesse. His former-co-cook is brought up as Jack seeks to show what kind of a man he is before Walt unveils his final, brilliant plan. Pressing down on the button of his car keys, he tackles Jesse to the ground and lies low as a flurry of bullets emerge from the gun placed in the booth of his car. Everyone is killed save Walt (who is hit by a ricochet), Jesse and Todd. Jesse uses his chains to strangle Todd however as Walt heads over to Uncle Jack and places a bullet in the man's head, ignoring the pleas of the man who will reveal where Walt's stolen money is.
Jesse has hated Todd since that fateful moment back in Season 5A.
Walt and Jesse now face each other but Jesse will not kill Walt. He is a free man. They exchange a look of understanding as Jesse departs, full of glee for the possibilities which now lie ahead. Walt reveals to Lydia that she has been poisoned and retreats to the lab in which Jesse was cooking, admiring the apparatus for a final time before succumbing to his fatal wound and falling to the ground, in a pool of his own blood, surrounded by the police. And that is the end...
It was a fitting end in many way. Walt had truly come full circle and while his redemption may spark heated debates, he certainly left this world much closer to the man we first met all those years ago. Jesse was given another chance and was glad to have it. The Nazis died and Todd was murdered in an extremely fruitful fashion. Lydia bit the dust. Walt even had a chance to say a proper goodbye to his family. At the risk of ridicule, I do contend however that it could have been better...
Marie, one of the principal characters, was only allowed a brief scene. Had we been given an epilogue, it would have been nice to see her at Hank and Gomez' funeral, proud at least by the fact that they had been given a special memorial in the DEA. We can presume something of the sort happens but it would still have been nice to see.
It would also have been nice to see what happens to minor characters like Brock. Does Jesse go to watch over him? Is Jesse a fugitive because of his relation to the Heisenberg case? How does Walt Jr. feel when he gets the money from his father? In a sense, I will admit that it is nice to come up with our own theories but even a brief scene at the end would have been a nice touch, showing perhaps the tape Marie once made for Holly (see below), introducing her to her family (all the way back in Season One). This would have highlighted how much things had changed and the tragedy of it all but as Vince Gilligan said many-a-time before, this was the story of Mr. Chips becoming Scarface. That final shot of Walt lying down in the ruins of his old empire suggests that he stayed very much true to this vision.
What did you all think? Were you satisfied? Did you think there could have been something more? Surprised? Let us know below...