The picture above is a great visual summary for everything I love about Breaking Bad. Four men pose in a 21st century stand-off. The beautifully framed, desolate New Mexico landscape looks apocalyptic. Way in the distance, the frozen Sandia mountains stand sentry over miles of icy scrub. Not a bad metaphor for a show built around the the creation of those mesmerizing blue ice crystals otherwise known as Meth. Also, entirely appropriate that Meth rhymes with death. It's a cold business, and absolutely nothing warm and fuzzy is going to come out of this program. Ever. Producer Vince Gilligan has remained absolutely true to his vision through three seasons.
The season finale was really a two part arc, which has the enigmatic Walter White officially crossing the line from mild mannered high school chemistry teacher into bad. Very bad. But we don't care, because he only murdered a couple of street thugs and he did it to save Jesse, his hapless cohort in crime.
Walter's hit and run causes a sequence of very unfortunate events. He has crossed Gus, the soft spoken fried chicken franchise proprietor, who is likely the most evil drug kingpin in the entire series. Gus sends his henchman Mike (a fascinating ex-cop who kills without mercy, is kind to his adorable daughter and looks like a boiled potato) to fetch Walter and terminate him. Gus means to set up the former ultra-nerd meth lab assistant Gale to replace Walter AND Jesse and both of our main characters seem doomed. The end of the "Full Disclosure" has Walter's life hanging by a thread and Gale staring down the barrel of a gun held by a trembling Jesse. We hear a shot fired. And now have 6 months to ponder if Jesse has lost his soul. I'm guessing no way. He is the heart of the series, and while not the sharpest tool in the shed, is surely the most likable. If anyone is redeemed, let it be Jesse.
There is an awesome scene with the nerdy Gale in this final episode where he is singing a weird fast Spanish song in a high falsetto while watering his potted plants. Very surreal and David Lynch-like. I would like to feature the video here but unfortunately ALL videos for this episode of AMC's Breaking Bad have been removed from YouTube. Your loss AMC, we have at least 50 people a day reading The Flaming Nose!
Farewell to another extraordinary season of the most riveting drama on television. Thankfully, we have Mad Men (AMC) coming around to fill the gaping hole.