I started watching Breaking Bad in June, months ago. Along with my fiancée, we burned through the first four seasons in just 18 days. Needless to say, the show had us hooked. So much so that you could compare watching this television program to doing meth. I am just going to assume that I am the first person to ever make that comparison and move on.
After watching so much Breaking Bad in such a condensed time frame, sitting through an episode a week was painful. The idea that I now have to wait 10 months or so for my final fix is heartbreaking. The important thing though, is that I will be able to watch the final eight episodes of one of television’s truly great shows as it airs.
A couple weeks ago GQ had a former meth addict rip apart Breaking Bad as overrated and full of holes. Whatever. The show isn’t “perfect.” No show is “perfect.” Breaking Bad is awesome and that’s all that matters. What makes it so good is the performances. Bryan Cranston has been fairly honored for his portrayal of Walter White with three Emmys. Aaron Paul was so good in the first season that they kept him around until he finally won an Emmy. Everybody else from Hank on down to Skinny Pete has been wonderful. That’s why when they rob a train or Walter blows up a nursing home, its OK to just enjoy it.
Walt started as a bumbling high school chemistry teacher. The further he got cooking meth and the higher he went as a cook, the more he tried to become the badass gangster. Even through last season, we saw more of the guy who didn’t actually know what he was doing while he successfully carried out the assassination of Gus. The entire time he’s done a better job of hiding that chemistry teacher from the people around him. Culminating in lines like “I am the one who knocks,” “Say my name,” “Nothing stops this train,” and “Because I said so.” In the first 8 episodes of season 5, we only see Heisenberg. (Except for Mike’s execution. Walt pulls the trigger.) The execution montage of Mike’s guys was Walter White’s Michael Corleone moment.
I assume we’re all a little sad that Mike Ehrmantraut won’t be around for the final batch of episodes.
This show has built tension so high for the last 4+ seasons that the final 15 minutes of Sunday’s episode had me on the edge of my seat wondering what horrible thing might happen to who. Was Walt going to kill Jesse? What was in the bag? A head? A bomb? Was Holly or Walt Jr going to fall in the pool? And then… Chekov’s copy of Leaves of Grass.
So now Hank has put together the pieces. Over the next 8 episodes we will find out how Hank handles this information. Whatever happens, things end on Walt’s 52nd birthday with a full head of hair and a full metal jacket. The way that Vince Gilligan has shaped this series, Walt not firing that monster gun in the series finale would be an upset on par with the Miracle on Ice.
So how does it end? The one person I don’t want to see die is Jesse. I know this is Walter’s story, but Jesse turning his life around (Yeah bitch!) and getting out while Walter has gone deeper and deeper into Heisenberg has been great. I want Jesse to be the hero, if Breaking Bad can have one besides Hank. I think that Hank’s main problem will be convincing people that he is innocent in all this. After all, their families are close. He’s taken in Walt’s children and the Whites paid for his treatment. Or maybe it won’t be a problem. Anything is in play for the final 8 episodes. It just sucks that we have to wait so long for them.