Breaking Bad – Granite State Review
This is it. This is the end. Here we go.
Never discount Walt’s intelligence. Just when you thought that he finally melted down on the phone with Skyler, you realize that everything he said, everything he did was to help not only her, but his family as well. You see, he knew he was being recorded when he ripped Skyler to pieces last episode. He knew that what he was saying would paint her as the “helpless victim” in all of this. Bravo, bravo. He tricked me; Vince Gilligan tricked me. The brilliance of the writing of this show shines through yet again.
After we see Walt taking advantage of Saul’s contact, we finally see where the mysterious cleanup man takes his customers this episode. And that is the vacuum repair shop where both Walt and Saul are holed up at the beginning of today’s offering. Having to work together, Walt convinces Saul to give up some men in an effort to off Uncle Jack for not only killing Hank, but for taking his meth life’s work. Turns out that the one last thing that Walt has to do is to take care of the Todd/Jack situation, which turns out to be a menacing antagonist.
Again, Todd proves that he is more than the dimwitted hood that he looks like. Rather, he is cold as ice and as scary, even more scary than the worst we have seen due to his nonchalant demeanor when terrorizing Skyler in her own home.
Speaking of Todd, we already know that he has a thing for Lydia, even if that has bigger implications than they both realize. The scene where he confronts Lydia in the coffee shop is both awkward and intense. Is Lydia going to fall victim to a rycin teabag or will Todd’s so called “love” for her prevail? What happens is a scene where Todd shows who he is; a smart, but somewhat dimwitted man that has no moral right or wrong. Todd is smart enough to make millions, but dumb enough to let his criminal thumb guide him. Despite how shallow his character seems on the top, he is as deep as any character we have grown to know. And this is part of the beauty of the writing we are seeing in these last episodes. Todd and his uncle are new to this season, but turn out to be the ultimate antagonists in the series. I feel like they have been around from the beginning, and they haven’t. That, folks, is great writing.
Jesse, determined to leave his hell, breaks out this episode only to be caught and tortured even more. Again, Todd proves that he is not only cold, but is a monster. He kills Jesse’s girlfriend point blank on her front porch while Jesse watches, bound and gagged.
Meanwhile, we find Walt in the American Northeast hiding out from all the demons chasing him. We see his hair grow out in a cabin which makes me think of the full-haired Walt at the beginning of this season. Which brings us around full circle. This IS the Walt we saw at the beginning of the second half of this season. We even hear references of his old home being broken into by curious teens that vandalize the place. And so, with Walt’s wedding ring falling off of his finger, we realize that he seems to have finally thrown in the towel and has run from everything that he has worked for in his criminal life. Too skinny to keep a ring on his finger, he realizes that all of the pain and suffering he has brought to not only himself, but his family was for naught.
Reduced to sending his son packages full of cash, Walt has reached a rock bottom that is even lower than we would have thought. Especially when he calls Flynn at school who tells his father to die. To make matters worse, Walt calls his son from a shady bar where he is the lone patron.
This episode was enough to show what ultimately happens with Walt. If it were to end here, I would have been content. It tied enough loose ends to satisfy me. The fact that we have one more episode left is all the more intriguing. What is to happen with Todd and his Uncle? What is to happen with Lydia and Skyler? These are the questions left hanging, but quite frankly, I don’t think it really matters. I’ve seen Walt at his lowest, leaving his family behind to save his own life.
Still, with one more episode left, I have confidence that what we are going to see will be nothing short of brilliant.