So, it turns out all the meth whipped up on Breaking Bad isn’t real. In fact, the prop they use is just tasty, tasty rock candy—a perfect treat for your end-of-series party! Until then, between online-ordering your Los Pollos Hermanos t-shirt and rereading Bryan Cranston’s excellent AMA on Reddit, refresh your big bald head here with some predictions for the top four a-bombs about to blow when the final episodes begin August 11.
4. Jesse’s Girl: Pinkman’s Final Decision
We last left Jesse (Aaron Paul) on the floor of his apartment with two duffel bags full of money—his official buyout. But every time Jesse leaves meth—both selling and using it—he is pulled back in like a bad Godfather III reference. Is he out for good?
There’s great reason to believe so. For one, Jesse has become a regular Patron Saint of Suffering Children these past three seasons. He was fiercely protective of the sons of his on-again, off-again girlfriend Andrea (Emily Rios). Now, he venomously opposes fresh-faced Todd (Jesse Plemons) and the murder of a young boy after the train heist. Andrea will likely provide his reason for quitting The Crystal Ship (free band name!) for good: family.
What’s in store for our blonde boyo then? Walter (Bryan Cranston) believes Jesse will “make the right call” and not let Andrea get in the way of business. But all trust between these two has vanished. All they share is the concealed gun Jesse tosses on the floor after getting his buyout. He may be Walter’s surrogate son, but that’s all the more reason for him to be added to the Dead Kiddo Society, directly or indirectly by his father’s hand.
3. W.W. — Wascally Wabbit: Hank’s Smoking Gun
While we were crossing our fingers for the Hank Schrader karaoke album, he was busy playing armchair detective/mineralogist. Season five has Hank (Dean Norris) finally tasting the fruit of his labors. Breaking Bad‘s biggest suspension of disbelief has always been Walter eluding his cunning but crude DEA brother-in-law. But the shocker of the last finale—Hank finding Leaves of Grass with the inscription written by Gale (David Costabile)—will not be riddled away.
The ultimate catharsis for any fan of the show would be for Hank to finally connect the dots. He has already begun with his creepy recall of the W.W. conversation. He will complete his case. He has to.
Will Hank press charges against Walter? As many have pointed out, Walter’s money paid for Hank’s medical bills. His hands are dirty right along with his wife Marie’s (Betsy Brandt). The lengths Hank will go to lay down the law on Walter are debatable. But he has spent enough time playing Nutty Professor cooped up with his case that I reckon we’ll see season one Hank—the Hank who thinks everyone blows but Hank—roaring back with a vengeance. Vengeance, I say!
2. Skyler in Wackyland: The Fate of the Whites
When Walter’s wife Skyler (Anna Gunn) takes her chilling walk into the family pool, she brings back the image of blood mixing in water that Gus (Giancarlo Esposito) witnessed when his partner Max (James Martinez) died by the cartel’s hand. This time, the only blood to be shed is Skyler’s own. She hits the white wine hard in season five, groping around in the same fog of depression Walter was in for much of season three. He managed to emerge as a coldhearted killing professional. For now, Skyler is only floundering.
Walter tells Skyler in the last episode that they do what they do for good reason. “And there’s no better reason than family,” he says. But is family the reason for Walter’s evil deeds, or now is it just an excuse? In the episode’s final grill-out scene, Skyler is visibly happy only because Walter said he was out of the business. Given Walter’s words are at their most manipulative—and that Skyler is far too entrenched to ever leave him—either she will be forced to become the jaded mob wife (unlikely) or she’ll receive the Ophelia ending we are prepared for.
1. To Meth or Not to Meth, That is the Question: Walter and the Business
The most recent episode opens with Walter staring at a fly, harking back to the fly’s first appearance in season three. The insect is Walter’s objective correlative for helplessness, a symbol for everything that is just out of his reach. It is him never achieving a happy family. It is that elusive empire he cannot stop pursuing.
But when we see the fly now, we see Walter at his most powerful. His every action in season five is overshadowed by the closing shot of season four—the Lily of the Valley plant he used to poison Andrea’s son, Brock. No method is off limits anymore. So when Walter tells Skyler he is finally out of the business, he is most certainly not. His empire has yet to be won, his fly yet to be caught.
But what will be the final fate of our (anti)hero? Creator Vince Gilligan has explained the thrust of Breaking Bad again and again—a character shift of Walter White from Goody Two-Shoes to Ultimate Evil. Gilligan has suggested in countless interviews that the series’ conclusion will not be the cheeriest (afterall, would a happy ending satisfy?). What I predict: Jesse will fall. Skyler will fall. And how about this for poetic justice: After all the mayhem, Walter finds his cancer largely in remission and his lifeline seriously extended. All of Walter’s evil—and ostensibly all of our own—was lurking just below the surface, waiting for the opportunity to burst out.
What do you think Vince Gilligan has up his sleeve this time around? Leave your own predictions below!
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