MAJOR spoilers follow...
One of the greatest aspects of the already missed Breaking Bad was on full display in tonight's final episode. Despite the fact that there were many loose ends to tie up and only 75 minutes (minus commercials) to do it, Vince Gilligan and crew still took their time getting to the end. I'm sure most people expected a pure bloodbath from beginning to end, but even this last hurrah was filled with a lot of very small, quieter moments. For a week, we've all wondered whether or not they'd be able to deliver. There was a 0% chance that they were going to please everyone, but once you see it, it's hard to imagine it ending any other way.
In avoidance of simply listing the events of tonight's episode (you've already seen it, and if you haven't, you shouldn't be reading this), I'll simply say this: probably unexpected by most, Walt's remaining family all survived. Junior and Holly will be set for life money wise. And, Hank should finally get the proper burial that he deserves.
In fact, surprisingly, no characters met an untimely end in tonight's episode that didn't fall exactly in line with Walt's plan. Instead, what we got instead was pure closure - none of the open endedness that seems to be popular with series finales recently (not that you can blame them when you consider the terrifying task of having to please everyone). Gretchen and Elliot will be key in providing for Walt's kids, Skyler and Marie seem to be getting along better, Walt had a final moment with his family, Lydia's tea proved to be her downfall, Jack and his men are dead, Jesse was given the much deserved chance to kill Todd before becoming a free man, and Walt died at peace.
Creator Vince Gilligan has always stated that the story arc of Breaking Bad would be "Mr. Chips becomes Scarface," but I think the ending we got was much more in line with Michael Corleone. While he did go out shooting (indirectly), he made sure that everything was wrapped up in his life before he did so. As per usual with Walt (and his writers), everything was meticulously plotted out and nothing was left to chance.
I want to stop here and just say that for five seasons, Breaking Bad was television at its best and we got a finale that I would consider to be absolutely perfect for what it needed to do. Wisely, the creators resisted the urge to shock (but, were still able to surprise) and, instead, made sure that they delivered an ending that answered all of our questions and felt like an actual ending to the story. Perhaps, that's the biggest shock they could have delivered.
Breaking Bad will be missed and I can't wait to sit down and watch it again from the beginning and I envy those who are still yet to watch it all for the first time.
Series Finale -- Grade: A+
Cast:- Bryan Cranston, Anna Gunn, Aaron Paul, Dean Norris, Betsy Brandt, RJ Mitte, Bob Odenkirk, Laura Fraser, Jesse Plemons, Steven Michael Quezada, Matt Jones, Charles Baker
TV Review by Jason Howard, , Lead Entertainment Writer
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