A grand farewell to the best show ever
A year ago the addiction began.
A year ago boredom set upon me, and I decided to do what every other person does when they are bored. Watch Netflix.
The first thing that was recommended for me: Breaking Bad. I decided to give it a shot. Five hours later I finally fell asleep.
The very first scene of the very first episode is what hooked me. Fifty-yearold Walter White standing in the middle of a vacant dirt road in his underwear holding a gun, getting ready to kill whatever authorities are on the way after he crashed his meth-filled RV after an attempted kill is the perfect way to start a series.
As Walter says in the pilot, “Chemistry is the study of transformation.” It applies not only to his science class but also to his life over the next five seasons. Creator Vince Gilligan calls the transformation of Walter like going from “Mr. Chips to Scarface” and he couldn’t be more right.
In five seasons we see this quiet, calm chemistry teacher who is dying of lung cancer turn into a criminal mastermind who doesn’t hesitate to kill to make sure there are no half-measures.
He turns into a man who misses the birth of his own daughter because of a deal. A man who has his own lawyer poison young children to manipulate his partner Jesse Pinkman to keep him by his side.
This show was just fantastic. Every single episode was great. Each season it got better and better.
The thing that kept this show so successful was how there were no loose ends. Nothing, and I mean nothing, was left unanswered. Also, everything had a connection. The episode titles had meaning; the small details in early episodes have meaning. Even the music meant something.
The best thing I could think of was in season two. The first episode was called “Seven Thirty Seven”, the fourth “Down,” the 10th “Over” and the season finale “ABQ.”
Those episodes describe what happens during the season. Jesse was dating this girl named Jane Margolis. They both did drugs and lived together. One day Jane overdosed, and Walter had a chance to save her life and he didn’t.
He watched her die because if he saved her, he and Jesse would be caught. You’re probably thinking, “How does this relate to Seven Thirty Seven Down Over ABQ”. Well Jane’s dad was an air traffic controller and, when he found out about his daughters death, he got depressed and caused two planes to crash (one being a Boeing 737) over the city of Albuquerque.
It’s things like this that made this show the best to ever air. It’s things like this that made watching the series finale so hard to watch. To know that this would be the last show ever was hard to grasp, but when it all came to an end I was happy.
The ending lived up to the hype. Gilligan tied up everything. We knew from the flash forwards at the beginning of the fifth season that Walter, with a new identity, was coming back with guns in the back of his car. But we didn’t know why. We knew that he was coming back to get the ricin that he hid inside his house. But who for?
Over 10 million people watched the end of the greatest show ever. And I haven’t met one who was disappointed in the ending.
After five seasons (two years on the show) Walter finally called it quits. He did everything he needed to do. He completed it all. He made the money he needed to keep his family stable after his death, which was the reason he got into this whole business in the first place. He made amends with his wife, he left over nine million for his son who hates him and he freed the most important thing in his life: Jesse.
The way the last episode ended was just perfect. Everyone got what they wanted. Skylar got the closure that she needed that her husband wasn’t going to live another night. Walt Jr. will be set for the rest of his life. Todd and his neo-Nazi family are all dead because Walter did the most Heisenberg-esq thing ever. He built a contraption that fired a 50-calibur automatic weapon out of the trunk of his car.
How badass is that? And he set Jesse free. Not just from the neo-Nazis but from Walter. He let him drive off without asking for anything else. Without telling Jesse he got shot. Without telling Jesse that the man he called Mr. White was about to die.
Just like that it was over. There was no preview for next week or next season. It’s just done. And I was happy. America was happy. The world was happy. A show like Breaking Bad will never be duplicated. The way the writers transformed characters and the way Breaking Bad sucked you in and made you watch multiple episodes at a time will be hard to come by.
So I want to thank you Vince Gilligan for creating a show that gives hope that good TV shows aren’t dead, that a story that seems so farfetched can be so believable and relatable.
The legend you created of Heisenberg will never die but will live on forever.