Breaking Bad S05E16: Series finale recap and review (Ultimate spoiler alert)

All bad things come to an end: This is the 'Breaking Bad' series finale.

Breaking Bad S05E16: 'Felina'

Welcome back, meth heads, for the "Breaking Bad" series finale. Here you'll find the recap and review for "Breaking Bad" S0516, titled "Felina". My digital cable listing says, "The acclaimed crime drama comes to a close in the series finale." That's what happens in series finales, no? Also, this acknowledges that "Breaking Bad" is now a crime drama, and no longer a comedy-drama.

Walter White is on a cross-country ass-kick road-trip. Skyler is trying to keep her family together. Walt Jr. freakin' hates his dad. Jesse Pinkman is still Todd's meth-lab cook-monkey, though he's surely seething for revenge. Lydia is... well, I dunno where she is, but she's probably nervous.

Come on, you know I'm right.

Okay, let's not wax sentimental just yet. Instead... let's cook.

Weapons-grade spoilers ahead.

From Sweden with love

Walter White, clad in his Han Solo Hoth jacket and clutching the box of cash, finds an unlocked Volvo covered in snow, and climbs inside. He checks the glovebox, finding a only a screwdriver and a Marty Robbins cassette case (Yes! "El Paso" title theory confirmed!). As he tries —and fails— to hotwire the Volvo, we hear the smoke monster from "Lost" the cops approach. Blue-and-red lights, bright white flashlights through the snowed-over windows as the cops search for Heisenberg. Walt is hiding in plain sight. He pleads with the soon-to-be-stolen Volvo, "Just get me home. I'll do the rest." Walt flips down the sun visor, and the car keys drop into his hand. Like something out of a movie.

Walt starts the car, and we hear the strains of "El Paso."

This is a call

Walt pulls up at a New Mexico gas station, where he necks some cancer pills and fills up the Stole-vo. He feeds a payphone and calls Gretchen's and Elliott's publicist, who blithely gives up their schedule and home address to some random guy claiming to be from the New York Times. Turns out G&E will be home tonight. "This should make one hell of a story", Walt assures the publicist.

Walt leaves the watch Jesse gave him atop the payphone and hits the road. Why does he leave the watch, do you think?

Real players move in silence or violence

Gretchen and Elliott return to their palatial home, having one of those annoyingly cute married-couple mock arguments that make me pray for their agonizing deaths. Throughout the scene, we see Walter lurk closer and closer. Walt silently ninjas into the house as G&E playfully squabble. If this weren't a series finale, I could happily watch an entire episode of this.

Gretchen spots Walt, and she's like, O_o. Then Elliott is all, O_O. Walt wants to show them something. Elliott summons his inner badass, which turns out to be rather small. Walt says, "Elliott, if we're gonna go that way, you'll need a bigger knife."

Walt has G&E help him bring his remaining $9,720,000 in barrel money into their living room. He orders them to deliver it to Walt Jr. on his 18th birthday in the form of an irrevocable trust. Under no circumstances must Walt Jr. ever find out that the money came from Walt.

G&E are like, "Uh... okay." They shake on it, and then Walt drops some Keyser Soze: "Whatever happens to me tomorrow, spoiler alert, by the way, I hired some 'Splinter Cell' mofos to keep tabs on you. If you screw me over on this whole trust-fund thing, they'll pop his'n'hers caps in your respective asses. #NoSurvivors."

Sure enough, red laser dots are now decorating Gretchen's and Elliott's chests.

Walt then paints a spooky-ass picture of what will happen to them should they deviate from his criminally altruistic plan in any way.

Mission: accomplished. Walt strolls out like a boss as G&E go to change their shorts.

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Comments

Lies

Well done recap.  One issue--Walt did not lie to Skylar about being broke--he had, indeed, given all his money away.  Not to mess with your cascade of lies theme, tho.

Lies cont.

*bitch

Walt's robotics?

Its not really robotics. It's just an ordinary wiper motor attached to a car's central door lock mechanism. 

no actaully it was a garage

no actaully it was a garage door motor and it was the remote for the motor

Bots

Emman wrote:

Its not really robotics. It's just an ordinary wiper motor attached to a car's central door lock mechanism. 

I'd argue that the swivelbot counts as a simple robot, even if it's made with household goods: it is acting as Walt's mechanical agent. Also, it does take the place of a human in a dangerous environment... well, to be fair, it creates the dangerous environment.
Not as complex as those remote-controlled bomb-squad bots, but same principle.

Kafkaesque

Wonderful recap of an amazing finale.

Nobody seems to have picked up that Jesse’s ‘daydream’ was in fact a flashback to the box he described making in high school, way back in season 3 episode 9. It was one of Jesse’s most powerful scenes and the best monologue I’ve seen on television in a long time. 

Vince stuck it

Kudos to Vince and his team of outstanding writers and the entire cast in a character-driven masterpiece of a series.  And Thank you, Jordan, for your excellent analysis and commentary on the episodes.  I will miss the program and Jordan's keen insights and humor.  It has been a great read.