Breaking Bad Finale: Is This Czech Mate for Walt?
[WARNING: The following story contains major spoilers from Sunday's Breaking Bad finale. Read at your own risk.]
Breaking Bad fans will have to wait almost an entire year for the show's final eight episodes to unspool, but Sunday's finale gave viewers plenty to think about in the meantime.
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Fresh off of murdering his former partner Mike (Jonathan Banks) in the previous episode, Walt (Bryan Cranston) had to both dispose of Mike's body (with the usual acid-in-a-barrel funeral that has become a Walter White signature) and exterminate the nine 10 guys Mike was paying to keep quiet about Gus Fring (Giancarlo Esposito) and his meth operation. Walt got an assist from Todd (Jesse Plemons), who called on his prison-connected uncle to orchestrate a series of prison shankings and one fiery death, wiping out all of the DEA's potential witnesses in two minutes flat.
Walt was only able to do so by getting the list of names from Lydia (Laura Fraser), who in an effort to keep herself alive, proposed Walt take his blue meth global. Lydia offered her years of expertise in creating distribution systems to create a way to move Walt's product to the Czech Republic, which would instantly double his profits.
In one of the episode's several montages, Walt and Todd cooked up batch after batch of meth to the tune of "Crystal Blue Persuasion" (nice touch) and shipped it overseas with the help of Lydia, Saul (Bob Odenkirk) and others. By the time the song finished, a couple months had passed and Walt's wife Skyler (Anna Gunn) had more money than she could launder at the car wash.
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Skyler had so much money, in fact, that, after a chat with Marie (Betsy Brandt) about bringing the kids back home, Skyler decided to reason with Walt. She took him to a storage unit she had begun renting and showed him a huge stack of cash that she didn't know what to do with. "How much is enough?" Skyler asked Walt. "How big does this pile have to be?"
Since Walt's journey toward meth kingpin began because of his cancer diagnosis, it was fitting that the episode again saw Walt getting a full body scan check-up. However, just like last season, the audience isn't privy to whether the cancer has returned or not. (Though we did get a shot of the paper towel holder Walt bashed in Season 2 after being told his cancer was in remission.)
But the result of that doctor's visit perhaps dictated Walt's next moves. Shortly thereafter, Walt visited Jesse (Aaron Paul), who appeared to have begun using since he and Walt parted ways in the last episode. The two reminisced about the old days of cooking meth in the RV before Walt finally headed out, noting that he'd left something behind for Jesse. The (goodbye?) gift: a duffel bag full of cash, presumably the $5 million Jesse was owed for the methylamine.
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(It's worth noting here that after Walt left, Jesse pulled a gun out of his waistband. The implication is that Jesse had armed himself in case Walt tried any funny business. Although we're not sure Jesse knows Walt killed Mike, he does know Walt killed the guys in prison. Also, it's a bit of callback to Walt's earlier meeting with Lydia. When she left the table, Walt revealed that he had brought the ricin poison with him. We guess Lydia would have been a goner if not for international ambition.)
Perhaps continuing his tour of making amends, Walt headed home to tell Skyler, "I'm out." Soon enough, the kids are back at home and Walt and Skyler are hosting Hank (Dean Norris) and Marie. Hank, who earlier in the episode was distraught at losing all his witnesses, excuses himself to use the bathroom. While perusing the White family's toilet reading material, he finds Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman, a collection which features, among other poems, "Gliding Over All" — the episode's title — and "When I Heard the Learn'd Astronomer," the latter of which Walt once marveled over with his former lab assistant Gale Boetticher (David Costabile)
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Sure enough, Gale had inscribed this copy, as a gift to Walt (or as he puts it, "my beloved W.W."), which instantly cues a flashback to Hank going through Gale's files, which also mentioned a W.W. That's right — Hank now knows Walt is Heisenberg! How will Hank proceed? We'll have to wait until next summer...
Do you think Walt will be able to lie his way out of this one? Or is this finally "Czech" mate? Do you think his cancer is back? Do you think Walt and Jesse have truly gone their separate ways? Weigh in on the finale and share your predictions below!