We weren't blogging during Breaking Bad's final run, which is a complete and inexcusable failure on our parts. Leeard had been working for a year prior to The Long Hiatus and had only been able to edit and add stuff to pre-drafted posts. When Ern became a prosecutor, that was the last straw. People just kept committing crimes! Ern has 753 cases right now, but she's gotten better at handling them and doesn't have to be in the office as much. So the blog is back on (although there should be some dead periods. Trials, you know.)
We still managed to watch the last season of one of the best shows in history. Here's a rundown of our thoughts.
The standout episodes were the premiere, Ozymandius, and the finale. The premiere was great because of how it handled Hank knowing about Walt. Instead of dragging it out or jumping to the climax of that storyline immediately, the show gave us what we really wanted to see: an anger-fueled confrontation with Hank punching Walt in the face. Kick ass.
Ozymandius is the episode where EVERYTHING happened. Walt Jr. heard the truth and was cool FOR ONCE. He is the only person who finds out about Walt to immediately do the right thing and call the police. He actually took his mom's side for the first time and defended her. After five years of hating gloomy, mopey Walt Jr., we finally liked him.
And Hank! So sad. But he went out himself, not begging.
The finale was perfect…except for one thing. Our gripe is that there were no surprises. But maybe that's good. Shows have tried to do finale twists and just ruined everything. Breaking Bad gave the fans what they wanted.
We got closure, Jesse lived, Walt redeemed himself a little, Lydia died, Todd died, Jesse chose to spare Walt, Walt finally admitted that he didn't cook meth for his family, and Walt died. The series absolutely needed to end with Walt dying. There was an alternative idea floating around the writers room: to have everyone BUT Walt die, including his family, but that would have been to bleak.
It was a satisfying, feel-good ending that ultimately fit a feel-good show. It might have been a dark topic, but the show had enough humor and intensity that it almost always felt good to watch.
As far as the other episodes go, we liked the one where Hank and Marie watched Walt's hilarious, brilliant confession video. We liked that Walt told Jesse about Jane dying. We like that Skyler didn't die. It would have given all the sexist Skyler haters too much to cheer about. We both loved Skyler. Deal with it.
We also liked seeing how scared Jesse was of Walt. This entire series, Walt has been manipulating Jesse to the point of near abuse. When Jesse was working with Hank, he revealed that he thought of Walt as a near-magical figure. It explains plenty of Jesse's actions over the months.
Not that Jesse is innocent. In the end, he deserved everything that happened to him because of his poor, selfish choices early on. Sure, he could never have foreseen all the consequences, but we're not in the camp that thinks Jesse is a perfect angel just because he has a soft spot for kids.
We do love Jesse though. We are glad he lived. We like that he got away with no profit even more. He's back at square one. He doesn't have millions. He has to start over…and he probably should.
There were moments after the first episode and before Ozymandius where the show had an odd tone and dragged a little. But the writers pulled everything back together quickly. Everything from the beginning, all the themes and details, came back for the end and tied together perfectly. The final season fit what came before it.
Season grade: A