BREAKING BAD Series Finale: WHAT'S GOING TO HAPPEN?

***SPOILER ALERT! The following piece assumes the reader has watched Breaking Bad up until the second to last episode.***

Heisenberg Scowl? Check. Barrel of Money? Check. The Author Is All Set For The Series Finale.

Like so many others, I’ve been glued to my TV set, perched on the edge of my couch, heart pounding as I watch the final episodes of Breaking Bad. Man, what a show! Walter White has had the craziest character arc in Television History. He broke bad, all right. In the early seasons, I was still holding out hope for some kind of redemption for Walter. Even when he killed the drug dealers who were menacing Jesse, I thought, damn, that was cold, but there were extenuating circumstances. And then Walter stood by and watched Jane die. And with almost every episode after that, he got worse and worse. The final shot of Season 4, with the camera panning across Walt’s back yard to land on the poisonous plant (that Walt had used, it was now clear, to poison a child in order to manipulate Jesse) really made it clear that there will be no redemption for Mr. White.
Or will there? Walter White is a despicable character driven by ego and greed, but he is still, in his own twisted way, trying to help his family. That doesn’t excuse the dozens of bodies he’s left in his wake, but it does make him something other than an inhuman monster. At this point I don’t believe Walt can be redeemed (especially not with his final transformation into Heisenberg) but this show keeps throwing curveballs, leaving me and all the other views to wonder:

WHAT WILL HAPPEN NEXT?

Walter-- will he die? If so, will he die of cancer? Will it be suicide, possibly with the ricin? Will he go out in a blaze of glory battling the Nazis? It seems like Walter has to try to retrieve his money and rescue Jesse in the meantime. If Walt dies saving Jesse, that would provide a bit of redemption for Mr. White. But this seems unsatisfying, a bit too ‘Hollywood.’

Will Walter be arrested? I can picture a great last shot of Walt in Prison Orange, pressing his palm against the glass of a prison visiting booth while Skylar and Walt Junior turn their backs on him and walk away.

Will Walter be killed? I don’t think so. Would Jesse kill him? In episodes past, I could see this happening, as it seemed like the only way Jesse would ever be free from Walt’s manipulation. But now Walt is careening toward his end without any help from Jesse.

Uncle Jack & The Nazis-- One way or another, they’re all going down. I can’t see any of them living past the series finale.

Todd-- will Jesse kill him? He almost has to. Some karmic payback for Drew Sharp and Andrea and so many others. Or will Lydia kill him, out of some paranoid ‘nervous squirrel’ reflex?

Jesse-- I believe he has to live. If there’s a character left with a chance for redemption, it’s Jesse. What if he ends up with all of Walt’s money and ends up donating it to Gretchen & Elliot Schwartz’s new drug rehab clinics? That would be fitting for Jesse’s character and also a great way for Jesse to stick it to Walt one last time.

Or will the money burn up? The Nazis’ meth lab explodes, the entire compound burns, plus the money. Walt, bloodied and bruised from his machine gun Nazi battle, falls to his knees and yells, “NOOOOO!” (Now THAT’S Hollywood!)

Lydia-- will she die in Todd’s arms, the two of them locked together in an unholy embrace in Death just as they were in Life? Seems fitting… or will Todd turn on her after she rejects his advances? I can’t see Lydia walking away from all this, either. Or will she live to represent ongoing “faceless” Corporate Crime?

Skylar-- will she go to jail? She’s currently working as a Taxi Dispatcher, but surely the feds could chuck her into the pokey at a moment’s notice. Or do they have any evidence implicating her? If Skylar goes to jail, that would leave Marie to take care of Walt Junior. In the last few episodes, Walt Junior has proven to be the most moral of all the characters on the show. His reaction to all the crazy bullshit going on around him is simple, moral and clear cut: “Get me the police!”

Gretchen & Elliot Schwartz of Grey Matter: will Walt confront them? Is he going to grab that machine gun from the truck of his car and burst into Grey Matter headquarters? I can’t see it. But I can see some kind of confrontation there, of the more Quiet & Menacing variety.

Here’s what we know for sure: Walt’s got a machine gun in his truck and a vial of ricin in his pocket. He’s back in New Mexico. And some folks are going to die.

No matter how the show ends, it’s going to be dark, and I will be watching.

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