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'Breaking Bad' Finale Was An Enormously Satisfying Conclusion

Dani Langlie
October 2nd, 2013 10:45am EDT

Breaking Bad Series Finale

And. Then.

Walt pushes the gun over to Jesse. Jesse holds it on him. He's shaking. Crying. Walt tells him to do it. Jesse... can't. As Walt gets a phone call from Lydia and informs her of her impending death, Jesse walks away. The two of them share a last look. Jesse looks at Walt with gratitude, then gets into Jack's car, driving away with maniacal glee.

This exit for Jesse's character was perfect. He got one last moment to express his connection to Walt, and he escaped from his torment. We don't know where he's going, or if he'll manage to find a way to be alright. But we know that he is free. Of all the characters on this show, he is perhaps the only one who has a chance of starting over fresh. For such a dark journey, Jesse's last moment pointed to an oddly hopeful future.

Then there's of course what all of this means for Walt's character. He took down the entire operation. He killed Jack, and Todd, and Lydia... he made sure no traces of his business were left. And yet? He let Jesse live. I believe he was planning to kill Jesse along with everyone else. But once he saw that Jesse was a victim? He changed his mind. Literally nobody else is spared, but Jesse gets to go free. From a practical standpoint, it doesn't make much sense. But from an emotional one... Walt's connection with Jesse was strong enough to cut through at the very end.

The episode ends as Walt, succumbing to his blood loss, collapses to the ground. The camera circles above him as he dies in a pool of his own blood, among the equipment he used to build his now dead empire. The police show up, and Breaking Bad ends.

And what an ending. It's enormously fitting for Walt's character. He finishes what he needs to do and then... he's done. He dies. I honestly couldn't have imagined a better way to wrap things up for him. It's the only way that our protagonist can have some sense of completion, or maybe even peace. No matter how evil Walter became, I think it was important for the audience to see him finish what he started.

This finale, barring the one small flaw I mentioned above, was absolutely stunning. I was extremely satisfied with this conclusion. I'll miss this show, but it was probably smart to end it while everything was still so strong. Breaking Bad never slipped up, it never faltered, and it gave us a truly artistic experience for five amazing seasons.

9/10

Breaking Bad as a completed project is honestly unparalleled in its plot consistency and creativity, the extraordinary development of the characters, the superb acting, and more. As a whole, I can give this show no less than a perfect score.

10/10

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