Breaking Bad: “Felina” Series Finale Review

Photo Credit: http://metro.co.uk/2013/09/25/first-look-at-breaking-bad-felina-walt-drives-back-to-new-mexico-4110000/

It’s over. Five seasons later and the story of Walter White is over.

Breaking Bad‘s finale was horrifyingly beautiful as one of TV’s best shows ever rides off into the sunset.

Felina was all about Walt. It managed to simultaneously give Jesse and Skyler the ending they deserve, but this was always Walt’s journey.

We started with Walt paying a visit to Gretchen and Elliot. A loose end from seasons ago was ready to be paid off. Walt now has more money than them. He found success through terrible means. But now he has a chance to make things right, and his old chemistry buddies have a part in that. It was also great how he scared the sh*t out of them with Badger and Skinny Pete and two laser pointers.

But this was the only scene that really felt like a standard series finale, with guest stars from the show’s past showing up left and right. Other than that, this finale was about servicing the characters we’ve loved and watched grow since the pilot, not the fans (which ultimately ends up being the best fan service).

There are so many contenders for best scene in this hour, but I think the scene between Walt and Skyler was one of the best scene sin the entire series.

“I did it for me.”

With that line Walt finally stopped lying. He admits his mistake and plans to fix it. At this moment I realized that Heisenberg was dead. Walt learned a lot from him, hence how he pulled off the stunning climax, but Walt is acting on his conscious, not his greed.

One of Walt’s major flaws throughout the series was his inability to claim responsibility for any of his choices. It was one of the biggest payoffs I can remember in a television series.

The last look at Walt Jr. from afar justly continued Walt’s punishment.

Meanwhile, Jesse finds himself daydreaming of wood carving while stuck in his own personal hell. This heavenly lit sequence could almost have been a peek into Jesse’s future after the events of the finale. Maybe that’s just how I want to see it. He really deserves it.

It was clever that Walt assumed Uncle Jack had partnered with Jesse, rather than holding him as prisoner. What a sad moment as Walt looked at his protege, hell, his family, in chains.

So we head to the climax.

Walt kills the Neo-Nazis with a swiveling gun powered by a car battery. All but Walt, Jesse, and Todd come out relatively okay. A bleeding Uncle Jack pleads with Walt, telling him where his money is. But that doesn’t matter anymore. And then there’s Todd. Jesse got to do what every fan has wanted to do since Todd shot the kid after the train heist. Jesse slowly chokes him and we eventually hear his neck snap. How satisfying.

Then came the other serious contender for best scene in the finale: Jesse only willing to kill Walt if he wants it. Of course he can’t. Jesse notices that Walt was hit, leaving him to die on his own. But they get one more moment, as Walt hangs up the phone on Lydia, who has ricin coursing through her veins. Walt looks at Jesse and nods. Jesse just stares back. Vince Gilligan beautifully avoids the temptation of a “thank you” and lets it all be silently understood.

Where does that leave us? Walt grabs a gas mask and heads into the lab. As the cops show up he collapses and dies. He both got what he deserved and redeemed himself.

This is a beautiful show that really knows how to bring its characters to a fitting end (with the possible exception of Marie…). This was a wonderful, exciting finale. Alright. I’m going to go sit for a while and contemplate where my life is going next. Grade: A

By Matt Dougherty

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