Now that the last season of BREAKING BAD is half over with the remaining eight episodes to come next year, it is interesting to review what I wrote prior to the start of the season
My thoughts on the remaining 8 as well as last episode of this year….
1.) I’ve read some criticism of the way in which Hank discovers, in the last few seconds of the last episode, that Walt is the one he’s been chasing all along. A lot of people feel Walt would never be so careless as to leave Gail’s book in the bathroom where it could be discovered. I would answer that by saying that the whole point of the series is the transformation of Walter White and part of that is his negative side (his arrogance, his pride, his bitterness) taking over. It is exactly because Walt is now in charge that he would make a small error like this feeling powerful and immune from any consequences. It’s also worth pointing out that Hank used the bedroom bathroom rather than the hall bathroom due to convenience. Some degree of privacy would be expected in that case. In any event, I always felt it would be a small thing that would trip up Walter rather than big thing.
2.) Most of the last eight episodes were fairly anti-climatic except for Mike’s death and the last episode with its big reveal. One of the greatest things about Breaking Bad is how they explore the full ramifications of an event like the death of Gus Fring at the end of the fourth season or the plane crash at the end of the second. Rather than show the event and then move on as if it never happened only mentioning it on occasion, Breaking Bad shows its full effect on its motley cast of characters taking its time to accomplish this. This season was about the effects of Gus’s death and the explosion of Walt’s ego through setting up his own business and getting into “the empire business”.
3.) I am still hoping for some explanation of Walt’s early life and what happened with Elliott and Gretchen. We know Walt like we know our fingertips but we know based on action not on his personal history. That would nicely tie up some of our loose ends in Walt knowledge.
4.) I thought Skyler was doomed but they went in a different direction and had Walt quit the meth business in the season ender. Whether a reoccurrence of cancer (we see Walt have an exam and stare meaningfully at the dispenser he punched in when he was told he was in remission) caused this or he’d accomplished all he’d wanted – the rise to the top is more of a thrill than being at the top., it will be interesting to see how his new partners take this news.
5.) The Ricin hidden behind an outlet will figure prominently in the last eight episodes. Perhaps Holly will eat some (lot of foreshadowing on that already) or he will poison Hank and in doing so perhaps poison Marie by mistake
6.) The flash forward at the beginning of this season – who’s the machine gun for? Walt is with hair, an assumed identity, and an unhealthy cough looking very unhappy just nine months from when these episodes end. It’s clear he’s going to have to battle someone. My money is on his sinister new partner Todd and the other criminals he is doing business with.
7. Hank’s supervisor was fired quickly due to his friendship with Gus Fring. What do you think the DEA would do to Hank if they found out about Walt? Look for Hank to move slowly and cautiously and perhaps try to find another way to deal with his brother in law.
8. Jesse is out of the business and seems to be a paranoid shut-in relapsing into drug abuse. Something will bring Walt and Jesse back together again I imagine and perhaps split them up with Jesse finally finding out all the bad things Walt has done (His girlfriend’s death, the poisoning of the child, Mike’s murder).
9. Walt never just does something. There is always a plan or some meaning to it. We still have much to learn about Walt and specifically to what depths he can lower himself. We’ve already seen much darkness but I fear much more is to come including the deaths of many of the main characters.
10. I’ve mused in prior postings about a possible fate for Walt. One I’ve read as a possibility in a few forums recently based on Walt’s overwhelming desire to be recognized and his ego is for Walt to die totally anonymous without the general public knowing he was Heisenberg. I’ll take it a step further – What if he lived on in prison, or just back to the humdrum life had before his cancer diagnosis? How ignominious would that be?! Although I do think his death at the end of the series is a foregone conclusion.
Such a long wait until next summer….