We have gathered here today to say goodbye. On this day, Breaking Bad is no more. No longer will we wait a week to hate Todd or patiently predict how the Breaking Bad universe will screw Jesse Pinkman next season. The waiting game is finished and the time to let closure resonate is here. Mr. White is dead and has taken all his enemies with him. While yes, we shall all mourn, let us not forget to celebrate the show’s life.
We all discovered Breaking Bad at different times. Some have been there from the beginning, while some, including myself, became acquainted to Heisenberg’s blue recipe through Netflix. No matter when Breaking Bad came into our lives, once it was there, every breath we took became that much sweeter.
We all have our favorite moments. There are so many to choose from. The episode where Walter and Jesse chased the fly wasn’t as action packed as other episodes but it showed the power of Vince Gilligan’s story telling. (The man who never took a chemistry class essentially wrote a bible on the art form of cooking meth.) It was Reservoir Dogs-esque in that the episode barely left the confined space it started in.
While forced to cook under the restrain of Gustavo’s iron clad Methamphetamine Empire, Walt and Jesse’s Emmy winning dialogue painted a better picture of life and death better than two real life people going back and forth on the subject. There was no yelling, no passive aggressive tones, and absolutely no cheesy dialogue -a televisionic art form this show mastered. Countless CSI episodes made us numb to terrible television and our savior, Vince Gilligan, showed us there is a light. For so long we were the proverb of the man in the woods who only had sex with fat chicks and then all of a sudden a skinny girl came along. Breaking Bad was our skinny girl. Our light.
My personal favorite moment happened during the closing minutes of the series finale. I came a little after Jesse took out Todd. Todd was such an insufferable prick during his time in the Breaking Bad universe, the moment Jesse pulled back on the chains and snapped his neck with the same metal constraints Todd placed on Jesse himself, may have been the happiest moment on television. Women everywhere screamed for joy harder than when they saw Elvis shake his hips on the Ed Sullivan Show.
The final episode of Breaking Bad will be one to remember. Walter showed as much compassion as the made up image of Mother Theresa, and was more gangster than Henry Hell, Tony Montana, Cam’ron in Killah Season, and Jack Nicholson’s Joker.
We finally saw true compassion, not the made up emotions Walt showed Jesse to get his way, the final time he laid his eyes on his wife. The scene may have been first time he told Skylar the truth in a kitchen. A weight was lifted from her shoulder when Walt finally stopped saying the Heisenberg Empire was for his family. (Rikishi running down Stone Cold Steve Austin and saying “I did it for the Rock,” held more merit.) She knew that and so did we well into the second season. Knowing the end was near Walter finally spoke honestly and admitted he liked to cook meth. He admitted the empire business made him alive. More importantly, he finally admitted to himself and to his wife that he did it all for himself. (Rikishi didn’t get so far admitting those things.)
The gangster I spoke of earlier came at the end when Walt gunned down Todd’s Neo-Nazi-Backwood-Wyatt-Family in their club house. He did it with wit, genius, and that undeniable will he developed to get under anyone’s skin. In the end, Todd’s uncle, the original Son of Anarachy, fell victim to his own ego that Walt grabbed from the pit of his cigarette-ashed soul by calling him a liar. Had the Nazified Bray Wyatt uncle just killed Walt when he first entered the clubhouse, they would have still been in business.
Let us also not forget the slow death of Lydia, too. May Ricin and Stevia forever go hand-in-hand in our hearts.
All of us shall never forget where we were when Breaking Bad came to end. Just like with 9/11 or old people when they talk about the Giants winning the pennant despite being in a haze of Alzheimer’s.
That cool September night I turned down sex to see how the show would end. I couldn’t wait for some illegal internet feed of the show to pop up at 3 a.m. Instead, I comfortably sat in my living room when Walter White touched that solid metal Methyl-amine converter-contraption-thingy for the last time. I didn’t need some dopey broad in my ear saying things like,
“Why did the camera pan in when she poured the sugar?
“Why won’t you kiss me in the middle of key plot points that have been building up for the last five years?
“Who orders a soy latte mocha latte and not butter?
“Fucking, that guy looks like Richie Cunningham.
“Why did he unscrew that?
“I didn’t get the last five minutes?
“How did she get sick from putting rice in her soy latte mocha latte? Explain it.
“That Jimmy character is cute but I don’t like when he says bitch. That’s degrading to women.
“Why doesn’t he shave?
“Turn down the volume. The gun is too loud.
If I was going to mourn I needed to do it on my own.
We can now all quit TV because it will never get any better than the Breaking Bad series. Bryan Cranston played the greatest character ever. I don’t have a problem saying Henry Hill, Serpico, and Michael Corleone fall to a distant 2, 3, and, 4 to Mr. White. You knew what you were getting with those guys. Walter White’s character transformed into such a monster so quickly, it didn’t take until the final day of his life for him to realize it. It’s almost crazy to think the show started with him as a chemistry teacher. By Christian standards he’s probably in hell. Hopefully Satan shows pity on him and will bring the flames down to a cool 285 to 290 degrees so Heisenberg can forever have the joy of cooking. Anybody who can do the devil’s work so well deserves a prize.
Despite his hellish destiny, may we remember Walter White as a great man and forget he was kinda bad, the way Fox announcers forgot Alex Smith was ineffective for a while but now give him credit as a guy who has been a football guru his whole career.
Breaking Bad may you Rest in Peace. You shall forever be in our memories through Netflix, illegal streaming sites, the Pirate Bay, and that awesome barrel box set you can find on Amazon or the AMC website.
The All-Time Breaking Bad Quote:
“You see, technically, chemistry is the study of matter, but I prefer to see it as the study of change. Electrons change their energy levels. Molecules change their bonds. Elements combine and change into compounds. But that’s all of life, right? It’s the constant, it’s the cycle. It’s solution, dissolution. Just over and over and over. It is growth, then decay, then transformation. It’s fascinating really. It’s a shame so many of us never take time to consider its implications.” – Walter White
If there was ever a quote to describe the transformation of Walter White in this series, it’s his quote from the pilot episode.
The All-Time Breaking Bad, Bad Review:
Rolling Stone’s review of the final episode:
“Like Walter White’s meth, last night’s Breaking Bad finale’s formula was flawless — but is that a good thing?”
Rolling Stone logic: Making terrorist look sexy on the cover of magazine = GOOD. “Flawless” ending to Breaking Bad = ehhh, I don’t know.
Go fuck yourself, Rolling Stone.