Shea Reviews – Breaking Bad S05E15 – Granite State

1-Old-Walt

Wow, you guys. We only have one episode left, and I have no freaking clue how all of this will play out. One thing I think we can all agree on is that Walt isn’t making it out of the finale alive, but what will be the means of his end? What’s going to happen to Jesse? Will he be given his second chance (or more realistically, his 34th chance)? Will Skylar go to jail? Will Walt Jr ever enjoy breakfast again? All this and more next week on Breaking Bad…

There’s one cool little thing I wanted to point out before we get to the review proper. The title of the final episode is “Felina,” which is an obvious anagram for “finale,” but the symbolism goes a little deeper. Felina: Fe Li Na. On the periodic table, those elements are iron, lithium, sodium. Iron is one of the main chemicals in blood, Lithium is a metal commonly used in methamphetamine production, and sodium -salt- makes up a large part of our tears. Iron, Lithium, Sodium. Blood, Meth, Tears. Just something to think about…

I’m going to be completely honest, I have legitimate concerns that not every storyline will be wrapped up by the end of next episode. There just seems to be too much up in the air. That’s not to say that there wasn’t enough progress this episode, because I think there was, but the first couple of episodes in this second half of season five moved a little slowly to my taste, and I think we’re paying for it now. ¬†Too much time was spent with Walt and Hank posturing, and then too much time was spent with Walt trying to get Jesse to meet up with him. In this episode, I’d say that too much time was spent with Walt alone in his cabin, but those scenes were so damn powerful that I’m willing to give them a pass.

And we got another gut-wrenching phone conversation in this one, but with Walt and Walt Jr instead of Skylar. Considering we’re almost at the end here, that may have been the last contact that Walt will have with little Flynn, and that makes it all the more heartbreaking. After all of the terrible thing Walt has done, and with so damn many things to choose from, Walt Jr calls his father a monster for committing the one crime in all of this that he isn’t guilty of. It would be kind of darkly ironic and funny if it weren’t so damn tragic.

And that leads us to what I think is going to be one of the major themes of the show when people have had a chance to digest everything we’ve seen. Walt’s hard earned money, the thing he sacrificed so much for, will end up being worthless. Now I could be wrong, we still have another episode for Walt to find a way to use it for the good of his family, but that phone call to Walt Jr felt like a last ditch effort. Think about it. Walt had 80 million dollars. Eighty. Million. Then most of that was stolen by Jack (who I feel confident will be meeting his maker in the finale), leaving Walt with ten million. That’s still a lot of money, more than enough to give Skylar a fresh start with the kids. But it ends up sitting in a barrel in the woods of New Hampshire for a couple months. So then Walt has one final idea. It may not be much, but if he could just get that one hundred thousand dollars to his family, everything would have still been worthwhile. But Jr denies him that wish, possibly his real, final wish. It was all for nothing. All of the cooking, the planning, the murder, the sacrifice. All of it was for nothing. Walt is now just a broken man with nothing left but a thirst for revenge. As Gretchen said, that sweet man that we felt for in the first season is gone. We saw little bits of him come out in the last couple of episodes, but his anger has finally buried the real Walt. All that’s left is Heisenberg. All that’s left is the Monster.

Positives:
-Todd has turned into a very creepy and interesting character
-Walt’s dialysis scene with Ed
-keeps the intensity from last episode leading into the finale

Negatives:
-disappointing exit for Saul
-no pity for Skylar
-I’m afraid the finale will feel rushed

Score:
9.5/10

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