Scott Ellis 9:46 p.m., April 22
How the Breaking Bad finale lied to you (and why you were so easily fooled)
Spoiler(s) Alert! Braining Bad and deconstucting the hoax
Okay Breaking Bad fans, I’m going on record with the belief that Walter White froze to death in that car and the rest of the finale was his dying fantasy. My evidence begins with the keys magically falling from the visor. Then tapping the window to knock the snow off and drive away – I grew up in snowstorms, and it takes awhile to de-ice a snowbound car window. Plus, how did he drive to the cabin to get his money with cop lights already all around him before the car even starts?
Never mind that the road to the cabin was covered in knee-deep snow when Walt walked TO town, without even tire tracks to help get a car back to, and away from, the cabin...
Then, despite his infamy and face all over TV, he manages to drive cross country and pop up all over his town without getting seen – he even gets into his wife’s place with cops out front (where he gets to have magically convenient and perfect “closure” with Skylar), and he sits down for a chat in a busy public restaurant full of people who should know and recognize him (but don’t).
In the restaurant, how and when exactly did he get the poison into Lydia’s SEALED tea-sweetener packet?
And the poison vial is still behind the power outlet cover in his old home, even tho the house is covered in graffiti and occupied by kids and vandals – in reality, no abandoned house would still HAVE outlet covers, as the place would be stripped of all copper wire. Now to the Gray Matter home – no security, no hidden alarm? How’d Walt find Skinny Pete and Badger -- turning them into temporary superheroes! - without Jesse around?
Then to the nazi compound – as far as we know, Walt’s never been there. But he knows where it is and rigs up his car with the gun to fire it in a specific direction, not even knowing if there’s a parking spot close to where he’ll find the Nazis. AND he manages to park in the exact spot, at the exact angle, to go thru with his plan. And why would the Nazis even let him in, when they already knew they weren’t interested in his “offer”?
The nazis certainly knew all about Walt's scientific genius - remember how awestruck they were by Todd's account of the Great Train Robbery? And yet they let Walter in, let him park a few feet from their clubhouse, and don't even search the car?! AND all they take from Walt is his keychain and wallet, even tho this is a guy who McGyvered the nursing home bomb that eventually made the nazis kings of the local drug trade? AND they didn't tie Walt up, AND they let him stand around a few feet from the rigged keychain that controlled the car gun (which Walt managed to magically grab off the table without anyone noticing).
AND why would the head nazi drag Jesse in, just to “prove” Jesse was a captive rather than a partner (and how would Walt know the latter isn’t actually the case)??
Finally, Walt manages to save Jesse and kill everyone but Todd, who Jesse gets to kill (using the same choke-em with the restraint chain method WALT used to kill that gangster chained in the basement in season 1! Walt’s trick, not Jesse’s). And what about Todd’s final words being “Gee Mr. White,” looking out at at the car gun in awe, as if about to tell Walt what a genius he is instead of screaming “You killed my uncle!”
And ALL the Nazis were in the room with Walt and Jesse?! Not a single guard out front, despite the way their tight security nailed Jesse trying to escape seconds after the escape began in the previous episode? Not a single nazi guard to shoot at Jesse as he drives off laughing (in what car? With whose keys that he instantly found? With no cops to stop him from fleeing a crime scene where machine guns have been going off?! Sounds more like Walt’s fantasy to me, “saving” Jesse…)
And that final camera angle rising up overhead and looking down at Walt spread out and dying a “hero” who saved Jesse and the world from an evil even worse than his own…the shot is framed by overhead architecture that sure as hell looks like the outline of a car, with Walt reclined in the seat.
The car Walt died in during the first five minutes of the final episode…which is a lot more “real” than anything that happened after that.
We all really wanted Walt to find redemption, and that all the "real" bad guys would pay the ultimate price. But that never really happens in the "real" world that every previous BB episode took place in. Not so neatly and perfectly, with all the loose threads conveniently tied up in 62 minutes, in such a way as to provide a kind of redemption that NOBODY ON THE SHOW BESIDES WALT THOUGHT HE DESERVED!
Let's also look at the closing song, "Baby Blue" by Badfinger (initial BB, heh heh) - just check out the lyrics: "Guess I got what I deserved, kept you waiting for too long, my love..."
Walt's dying thoughts about Skylar. In his fantasy, everybody EXCEPT him got what they deserved. And Skylar wasn't kept waiting...not in his fantasy, anyway...
Last but not at all least, did you watch Talking Bad after the show wrapped? Catch the part where creator (and final episode scripter) Gilligan mentioned his love of Rod Serling's Twilight Zone and how that show inspired him?
NOW go read the plot synopsis of the Zone episode "Occurance at Owl Creek Bridge," based on an Ambrose Bierce story about a guy who - by some miracle - drops out of a hangman's noose and escapes his captors in a wild wilderness run that leads to reunions with loved ones and ultimate self-redemption. But then viewers find out in the final seconds of the episode that he's still hanging from the neck and the whole "escape" was his dying fantasy.
More like this:
- Ripples from Walden Pond — April 17, 2012
- Grate Cinema: Hitler, Dead or Alive! (1942) — Feb. 1, 2012
- Outside on the Night Shift — Aug. 3, 2011
- Jesse LaMonaca's Excellent Australian Adventure: Video Diary — May 26, 2011
- Where Illness Could Not Touch — March 8, 2007