‘Breaking Bad’ Recap: In ‘Granite State,’ Walt Readies Last Stand, Todd Kills Andrea
Breaking Bad won the Emmy for Outstanding Drama Series roughly an hour after it aired its penultimate episode – "Granite State" – which did nothing but validate the show's taking home the awards night’s top honors.
Walter White (Bryan Cranston), having opted to go on the lam after Hank’s (Dean Norris) death and Skyler (Anna Gunn) and Flynn’s (RJ Mitte) subsequent reaction to the revelation forced him into fight or flight, is holed up with Saul (Bob Odinkirk) at the vacuum cleaner’s (Robert Forster) shop. Saul is ultimately sent to Nebraska with the hopes of managing a Cinnabon, while Walt gets a ride up to New Hampshire in an empty propane tank. Jessie (Aaron Paul), meanwhile, is still living in servitude cooking meth for the Neo-Nazis.
In a remote cabin in the snowy woods, Walt has too much time to think in between deliveries of food and bootleg chemotherapy that doesn't appear to be working particularly well. He heads to a local bar one night and places a call into his son. He offers to get $100,000 to Flynn if he can get a friend deliver the money. Flynn loses it on his father, telling him he wishes that the cancer would kill him already. Defeated, Walt decides it's time to turn himself in, as he no longer has a family who needs or wants his protection or help. He calls the DEA, reveals himself as the Walter White and leaves the line open so that he can be traced.
Jesse continues to produce meth against his will for Lydia and her crew of Aryan criminals. In an attempt to escape, Walt’s former protégé manages to break free of his shackles and make a run for it. He gets as far as the fence before he’s recaptured. Since the purity of the meth he’s making is up around Heisenberg’s levels, killing him still isn’t the crew's most viable option. Not wanting to risk another escape effort, Todd (Jesse Plemons) takes it upon himself to scare Jessie into complying. He drives his prisoner over the house of his ex-girlfriend Andrea and shoots her dead as Jessie watches on.
As Walt and Jessie remain out of police custody, Skyler and Flynn are stuck answering questions for crimes they know little and less about, respectively. The Feds interrogate Skyler, trying to pry knowledge of Walt’s whereabouts from her – knowledge she doesn’t have. Her house is up for auction and she’s working part-time as a taxi dispatcher. Marie (Betsy Brandt), meanwhile, has yet to get confirmation that her husband has been shot dead, as he remains classified as “missing” without a body.
Sitting at the bar after all but sealing his fate with his phone call, Walt sips a drink while casually watching the news. Gretchen and Elliott Schwartz, his erstwhile friends and business partners, are dishing on The Charlie Rose Show about the now infamous Walter White. Distancing themselves from the chemistry genius, they claim that all he contributed to Gray Matter was the name – not the ground-breaking science from which they’ve made their millions. When the authorities arrive at the bar, Walt is nowhere to be found. With his Heisenberg side awakened by the public slight, he’s newly determined to assert his perceived superiority – likely with the rifle and ricin he was shown loading into his trunk during the season's premiere.
– Chelsea Regan
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