With the now-customary warning that if you haven’t yet watched Sunday’s series finale of “Breaking Bad,” then you have no business reading this recap — here’s what happened as TV’s most critically acclaimed series came to an end on AMC.
First, our take: Though you will read a wide variety of opinions on the many aspects of the series’ concluding episode — and some carping and quibbling about some of the details — we happen to think it covered all the bases and left us feeling very satisfied.
In the end, Walter White (Bryan Cranston) was killed. He caught a bullet from a very powerful, remote-control machine gun that he himself had rigged to strafe the house in the center of the compound where the gang of neo-Nazis was gathered inside.
They were almost all killed, except for the youngest of them — Todd (Jesse Plemons) — who was killed a few minutes later by Jesse Pinkman (Aaron Paul), who strangled Todd with a chain in revenge for Todd murdering the woman Jesse loved. The evil Uncle Jack (Michael Bowen) also survived, though he was badly wounded. Walt shot him in the head.
Jesse came out of the strafing unscathed because Walt shielded him. In the end, Jesse was seen driving away from the scene, ecstatic to be free after being held captive by the Nazis who were now all dead.
Separately, Walt also planned for the slow death of the drug kingpin known as Lydia, poisoning her tea with a ricin capsule he retrieved from a hiding place within the wreckage of his former home — the mission he was on at the outset of the season eight weeks ago.
At the Nazi compound, the mortally wounded Walt went off to die, fittingly, in the underground meth lab located on the same premises. And that’s where police found his body as the episode ended. One question some might ask today: Why didn’t the police pick up Pinkman on their way toward the compound? No doubt they passed him speeding away on the only two-lane road in and out of that place. Oh, never mind.
As for the other characters:
Walt got one last look at his son, Flynn (R.J. Mitte), but Walt did not approach him or talk to him. He also arranged for Flynn to receive $9 million when he turns 18.
He did have an opportunity to visit with wife Skyler (Anna Gunn). The best part of their final scene together was Walt’s admission, at long last, that he became a meth manufacturer for selfish reasons, rather than the selfless reasons he had declared all along. “I did it for me,” he told her. “I loved it. I was good at it, and I was really … I was alive.”
It was a succinct summation of this man’s story, and as fine a summing-up as you could have hoped-for in a series finale.