It is done.
I began watching Breaking Bad in the second or third season. I saw a commercial that they were doing a marathon for the summer, catching everything up until the next season. I had just signed up for DVR and it was the first series I recorded and watched all the way through with the service. I knew from that point on, I was hooked.
And God as my witness, it was one hell of a ride.
Felina wraps everything up with Breaking Bad, almost unnaturally so. All those loose threads came together perfectly. I almost look back at all the things Walt accomplished, giving the money to his family, visiting the Shwartzes, visiting Skylar, seeing Flynn, killing Jack, freeing Jesse, and think, well that’s just unnatural.
And I don’t give a damn.
Ozymandias was organic, it was natural chaos that was the peak of the series. It was possibly the best episode of television I’ve ever seen. These last two episodes were icing on the cake, true fan service. It was almost like a band’s encore, just standing up on stage taking requests. What do you want to see? Walt machine gun down a whole nest of neo-Nazis with an ridiculous, automated machine gun? Yes! Want to see Jesse snap Todd neck like a fucking toothpick? Yes! Want to see Lydia realize she’s about to die by Walt’s hand, want everyone to realize that no one, absolutely no one, underestimates Walter White and lives? Hell to the yes!
Ozymandias pressed your pain center, it made your sad and mournful. You watched all the consequences of Walt’s actions come to a head. Felina was pleasure, pure and simple, vengeance taken to the truest possible capacity.
And it was excellent.
My favorite Heisenberg moment was with the Shwartzes. I figured he wasn’t going there to gun them down, but I failed to guess that they were going to play into his plan for giving his money to his family. That was a surprise, but I guess it shouldn’t have been. Even though it was a bit of a stretch, when he signaled Badger and…the skinny guy?…to trigger their laser pointers, I got goosebumps. This was the Heisenberg we all know and fear, and finally, he figured out a way to make this all worth it for his family. Sorta.
The whole rest of the episode was more Walter White, the man we grew to love. He made his reparations and saw his loved one for the last time. In particular I was touched by him giving Skylar the coordinates to Hank’s body and his final admission that he had always done this for himself, because he was good at it and it made him feel alive. We all knew that, at least to a degree, but for him finally to admit it was to come full circle.
When he pulled up to Jack’s, I hadn’t actually realized we only had fifteen minutes left and I was on the edge of my seat. When he tackled Jesse and the gun went off, I leaped out of it. Everything from that point on was visceral and intense, and the fall of the two most hated villains in the show (for me, at least) was incredibly satisfying. He didn’t let him finish that cigarette or that sentence.
I didn’t know what was going to happen from that point on, but I’m glad it did. For only being in the episode for like two minutes, Aaron Paul owned it. Walt finally falling after inspecting the lab was sad, but I felt like it was the natural conclusion to things.
Breaking Bad, as a whole, is a show that should not have succeeded. It had the goofy dad from a ridiculous sitcom, was always a little weird, and all through its run went up and down, the writers constantly changing things as they went, much like a novelist who has outgrown his outline. Hell, Jesse was supposed to die in the first season. How in the hell would that have worked?
But it did, it went down different paths, leaving a trail of episodes that has taken us through an incredible journey. The transformation of Walter White, the symbolism strewn throughout the episodes, the writing, the characters, the dialogue and pacing; it is storytelling at its finest.
Everyone involved in this will go on to create and contribute to amazing things. Vince Gilligan already has a great track record and will continue to do so. Bryan Cranston, Aaron Paul, all the other actors involved, are really good at what they do and I can’t wait to see their next projects. But Breaking Bad will only happen once. It is a true masterpiece and those involved have the privilege of taking a step back and saying they have accomplished something that will never be seen again.
As viewers, we had that same privilege. It has been an honor to be a part of this, even if it is only as a viewer.