'Breaking Bad' Series Recap/Review: Catch Up On The Groundbreaking Series Before The Big Finale
Okay folks, rundown. For those not in the know, Breaking Bad, created by Vince Gilligan, follows the protagonist turned antagonist Walter White (Bryan Cranston), a high school chemistry teacher making methamphetamine to pay for his lung cancer treatment. Walt enlists Jesse Pinkman (Aaron Paul) as his partner in crime. Hank (Dean Norris), Walt’s DEA brother-in-law is on the hunt for the infamous blue meth; unbeknownst to him, Walt, going under the name Heisenburg, is the cook of this nearly pure product.
In the course of their misadventures, Walt and Jesse manage to kill rival drug lords, their short-term kingpin boss, Gus (Giancario Esposito), and cohorts like Mike (Jonathan Banks). Walt watches Jesse’s lover Jane (Krysten Ritter) die of heroin overdose and does nothing, Jesse in turn blames himself for this loss. When Jesse finds a new girlfriend, Walt poisons her son Brock and convinces Jesse it was Gus. Jesse retaliates by going after Gus’ men, is almost killed, and Walt intervenes by running the men down with his car. Walt soon enlists a new partner, Gale (David Costabile), and loses Jesse for a time. Gus threatens to kill Walt for killing his men, and Walt suspects that once Gale learns the cook by heart he will kill him so Walt has Jesse kill Gale.
Hank finds Gale’s notebook, wherein he has written W.W. is his star teacher. Walt and Jesse burn down the high-tech lab they have been working in under Gus and begin cooking in fumigated homes. Walt’s wife Skyler (Anna Gun) finds out about Walt’s secret life and begins laundering his money with her mad bookkeeping skills.
Later, whilst using Walt and Skyler’s bathroom, Hank comes across a book in which is inscribed… you guessed it, a note from Gale to W.W., his star teacher. Suddenly it all clicks and Hank is onto the notorious Heisenburg.
Okay—phew! The rest is all downhill from there. Hank pursues Walt, but has no proof. Jesse is about to leave town when he realizes Walt is responsible for poisoning Brock, and attempts to burn down Walt’s house. Hank intercepts him and Jesse tells Hank everything, on tape, and stays at his house for protection. In an effort to find Walt’s seven barrels of money—80 million in cold hard cash—buried in the desert, Jesse sends Walt a fake photo of money in Hank’s yard, claiming to be burning the only evidence left of Heisenburg’s crimes. Walt admits over the phone call that he killed many men and leads Hank and his partner Gomez (Steven Michael Quezada) straight to the money. When he realizes he has been duped, Walt calls Jack, a hit man, to kill Jesse. Walt calls off the hit once he learns Hank is involved, but it is too late. Jack and his men show up, kill Hank and Gomez, take Jesse as captive and grab six of the seven barrels of money.
With two DEA agents missing and Hank’s wife Marie (Betsy Brandt) talking to the cops, Walt becomes a wanted man and flees the state of New Mexico. In his cabin in the woods up north, Walt tries to send Flynn, his son, 100,000 dollars to which Flynn refuses. Walt decides to turn himself in, but before the cops show up he sees a news clip of a former business partner from college, now a billionaire who runs the company Gray Matter Technologies, denouncing Walt and he flees the scene.
This Sunday at 9/8c the finale of Breaking Bad will air, and there are only so many possible outcomes. Or so we think. Will Walt get the money to his family? Will he be captured by the law? Many predict Walter White will die in this final hour. A martyr?
In a brief glimpse into the final episode, shown in another season five opening scene, Walt visits his former rundown home, covered in graffiti, and Skyler and the kids are nowhere to be found. Are they imprisoned? Alive?
One of the subtle arts of Bad is the ability to always leave us on a cliffhanger. The most recent episode did just the opposite, barely holding us captive as we wait for the next episode, the finale. Over the course of the show we have also seen Walt go from always one step ahead to being one step behind. His once calculated moves are now simply reactions to a more powerful force: society and the law. What do we do with people like Walter White? In BB we see the human side of him that is complex and vicious, as well as loving and endearing; and yet we put people like him away all the time. Perhaps this speaks to human nature and greed; are we, in fact, so different from Walt? Think about it. You’re a middle class chemistry teacher watching students barely skating by everyday, when you could have been a billionaire with Gray Matter. Damn. And now you’ve got lung cancer when you can barely pay the bills. What would you do?
Breaking Bad aris Sunday at 9 p.m. on AMC.
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