by: Michael Shields
The heated conclusion, the final 8 episodes of Breaking Bad’s (“hypothetical”) Season 5……
Episode 9 – Behold
Hank walks into Gomez’s office, a stern look on his face. “Alright Stevie, I’m interested. What you got?” Gomez looks pleased. “Have a seat Hank. The blue meth, it’s still out there. It’s everywhere. Heisenberg is still doing what he does….and I got some ideas where.” Late night production at the lab continues. Mike tells Walt that he thinks he has a meeting set up with the cartel. “They sounded a little too eager. I am not so sure.” Walt pushes for it, suggesting that they need us more than we need them. At the Schrader residence Hank’s voice echoes through the house. “Marie, Marie…get in here!” Marie, who was in the kitchen putting more purple ceramic figurines on a shelf, quickly hurries in the room to see Hank taking steps with the walker two feet away. “Look Ma….no hands!” They are baby steps, but steps indeed. Marie, overjoyed, throws herself at him, almost knocking him over. “Easy Marie, I know walking like a toddler soaks you in the shorts, but slow the roll.” Both are smiling. Kuby is following someone in his vehicle into a cemetery. We soon realize it is Skyler as she exits her car with flowers and walks to a grave. Kuby flips open his phone, makes a call…”yeah, she’s here again. yeah….I don’t like it either. Ok. I’ll stay with her.” Hank, who has taken to tracking Walt – particularly in the evening- is sitting out in front of the lab and sees Jesse pull up and get out of the car. “Lookie…here, what’s this little junkie squirt doing here?” Before Jesse gets to the door Walt walks out and they are having a friendly conversation, even laughing. “You have to be fucking shitting me?”
Episode 10 – Dress rehearsal
Jesse saunters into a jewelry store. He starts to flirtatiously talk to a young cute girl at the counter about rings. “Which one would you want, if you could have any ring in the place?” She smiles, and points to one, blushing. “I’ll take it.” He pays in cash and walks out. Hank continues to follow Walt and stakeout the lab. Walt is being sloppy at the new lab. He is seen physically loading containers outside in his lab overalls; Hank snaps away. Elliot calls Walt, who appears ailing, into his office. “You wanted to see me Elliot?” Elliot tells Walt to have a seat an proceeds to suggest that Walt may be to ill to continue working at the lab. Walt refutes that, scoffs it off. Elliot continues that maybe it’s best if he stop working in the lab for other reasons. “Walt, I know the lab is being used at night.” He slides a laptop around that has a screen shot of a surveillance video showing a truck pulled up the lab, loading up. “The truth is I don’t want to know too much about it….but it ends now.” Walt stands to dismiss himself and before he leaves he assures Elliot “I am not sure what you think but I promise you…..”. “Walt, I don’t care. I just need it to go away.” Kuby is still following Skyler as her behavior is erratic, spending lavishly, visiting Ted’s grave, and he suspects she might want revenge for Ted’s death. He meets with Saul to discuss. He wants to get rid of the problem. “You can’t Kuby, I am sorry. I told you…he won’t stand for it and I will take care of it.” “You keep saying that and I believe you….but when?” Kuby goes on….”if not soon I will take care of it myself.” “Take it easy Dirty Harry, Saul’s on it. Keep it in your pants.” Kuby walks out dissatisfied. Mike and Walt meet at a diner and discuss what happened with Elliot. Mike lectures Walt on being sloppy. “Your not thinking straight cause of your condition. You got to tighten up or it’s over for good this time.” Walt assures him that he will. “I will figure out where to cook” Walt decidedly assures Mike “and I believe you can take care of the other thing.” Mike gets up, throws a twenty on the table, and says “We all have our specialties I guess”. He looks Walt square in the eye and says two words with deadly conviction…”tighten up!”
Jesse and Andrea are getting dolled up to go out. A sitter, a friend of Andrea’s, is with Brock. Andrea is complaining that she doesn’t know what to wear. Jesse, looking dapper, suggests “Yo, why don’t you wear this tonight?” Andrea turns around and Jesse is holding a ring box open. She is shocked, delighted of course. “Yo, I don’t really know how to do all this but…..but I ain’t ever been this happy and I want to be with you, and with my man Brock, for the rest of time right.” She is speechless, tears flowing. “So…..please….says something yo…yes?” They embrace. She whispers in his ear…”of course!”
Episode 11 – All or Almost
Kuby is tracking Skyler aggressively. She is walking through a mall leisurely, going store to store. He is breathing heavy, sweating some but composed. His phone rings and he picks it up. It’s Saul who asks immediately “WHAT do you think you’re doing?”. Kuby responds “what you haven’t had the guts to do” and hangs up the phone. He continues following, trying to act leisurely, looking at items, reading descriptions on side of boxes and such. His phone rings again. It’s Mike. “If you lay a hand on her you can’t imagine what I will do to you. You, of all people, know what I am capable of. Look I know you are concerned – trust me, we got this. She won’t talk. You have to pull it together. You have always been a professional and I need you to be that now.” Kuby hangs up the phone without saying a word. Skyler is finished shopping and heads into the parking garage. Kuby increases his pace and begins to make his move. She gets to her car and begins looking for her keys. Kuby begins to reach for something in his waistline just a couple cars away and out of nowhere a giant black paw comes down upon his head with thunderous power. Kuby drops to the ground, lifeless. Huell picks him up and drags him between two cars. He takes his wallet and gun and walks away as Skyler pulls out and drives away. Elliot walks into his office and takes a seat, dismayed. He begins to a finger a business card, contemplating using it. The name on the card is Steve Gomez, DEA. Elliot picks up the phone and begins to dial. Before he can complete the call someone throws a belt around his neck and begins to choke him. It’s Mike, who has been in the room since Elliot entered, clandestinely. He chokes him to completion and then throws a plastic bag over his head. He leaves the belt around his neck and unzips his pants exposing his privates. He then grabs the DEA card from the desk and walks out smoothly. Hank is sitting in his car going over the pictures and notes he has on the case. An enormous wave of realization comes over him, all denial and questions fully fade away. He loses it; thrashing around beating the steering wheel in the most violent and aggressive way possible. He knows. Walt is Heisenburg.
Episode 12 – How
Hank walks up to Gomez’s desk and asks him to join him for a drink. “Hank, it’s only 10 am.” “Hasn’t stopped us before. C’mon, it’s important.” At the bar Hank tells Gomez he has been looking further into the case and that Gomez is right, Heisenburg is still out there. Then Hank gets real serious, “I assume we are both onto who that may be.” Gomez, realizing that Hank knows he knows, takes a huge gulp of his drink and assures Hank he was going to speak to him before he did anything and he just had to be sure first. They discuss the implausibility of the situation yet both agree that it has to be Walt. They end up with Gomez leaving it in Hank’s hands….”I know you will do the right thing Hank. You always do.” Walt is frail, looking worse than ever. He is popping pills and looking in the mirror at the shell of himself. He is dying. These scenes of Walt’s demise are cross-cut with Jesse’s happiness at home. We see Jesse playing ball with Brock and being affectionate with Andrea in direct parallel with Walt coughing up blood and struggling around his home.
Walt is taking out the trash. Hank pulls up in his car and demands Walt join him…”Get in.” “What is it Hank?” “Just get in the car…now.” Hank drives around the corner , parks the car aggressively, and an interchange long in the making occurs. Hank is confused, but has damning evidence (photos of him with Mike, the truck, large containers of blue gold, etc.). “It’s you….isn’t it?”, Hank says trembling. “Now wait a minute Hank.” Walt says but is interrupted. “I cannot believe it, under my nose, in my home the ENTIRE time”. Walt accepts the gig is up and tries to reason with him, explains why, almost begs. They go back and forth as the reasons are obviously not good enough to turn to drug dealing. Hanks sighs and can come to only one conclusion…”I have to take you in.” This sparks something in Walt. He will no longer beg. “Now you listen to me Hank. We are family. No matter who I am or WHAT it is I may do we have been through too much. You need to take the time to think about this and you need to speak to Skyler and your wife before you doing anything that damages US ALL. Now I am going to get out of the car and go into that house right there, where I will remain. I am not going to run. I will not hide. I will be right there. I am dying Hank, I won’t be here for very long and you need to think about that too. Just…THINK Hank”. Hank is visibly shaken, doesn’t know what to do. Walt exits the car slowly and leans in through the window to say one final thing: “Who do you think paid for your treatments, your therapy…..AND HOW?”
Skyler and Walt Jr. are already seated for breakfast. Walt walks in the dining room, looking feeble. Before he sits he pours himself a glass of orange juice and morning pleasantries are exchanged. He chugs the full glass of orange juice quickly and after that begins to cough. The coughing intensifies to a violent level. He turns red, falls to the floor, and passes out.
Episode 13 – Precipice
Walt awakes in his hospital bed, an excessive amount of IV’s pumping him full of nutrients and drugs of all kinds. Jesse is there. “Mr. White!, thought you would never wake up. How you feeling man?” Walt, hardly conscious, is pleased to see Jesse. “Jesse,Jesse….thank you for coming, it is good to see you.” Walt is fading in and out but trying to communicate. “Jesse, I could have done so many things differently…should have.” He fades some but continues. “You, and me, we were a team. We went through so much, always together. And I could have been better. I could have been better, to you. With Jane, I could have….” Walt fades out. Jesse, ignited by the words begins to shake Walt, first lightly then aggressively. “Mr. White! What do you mean? What about Jane? Mr. WHITE!” He is getting louder with each word. Walt comes to again and begins speaking…”so many things differently. And Brock didn’t deserve any of it, no one deserved any of this”. He fades again and Jesse is wildly shaking Walt, screaming in his face “MR. WHITE!!!! What do you mean Jane? WHAT about Brock??? Tell me!!!!” Nurses enter the room followed by security that drag Jesse out of the room still screaming…”Mr. White…TELL ME!!!”
Gomez approaches Hank at work and aggressively asks him what he is going to do. Hank lets him know he is thinking about it and has some doubts. Gomez looks at Hank with disdain…”I know you don’t really believe that. Hank, it’s him…we both know that, and the sooner we do what we have to do the sooner we, your family, can pick up the pieces.” “Yeah, your right Gomey, just give me a minute. It’s complicated.” Walt is being rolled out of the hospital by Skyler and Walt Jr.. Skyler has tears in her eyes after a conversation with the doctor. Walt Jr. as well. Walt looks defeated, holding an oxygen tank on his lap with tubes up his nose. They unload him at home and sit him in the chair in the living room in front of the TV. Few words are exchanged and Skyler kisses Walt good-night. She walks to the bedroom, closes the door, and weeps.
Episode 14 – Venganza
Mike and Walt are in Mike’s car heading to the meeting Mike set up with the cartel. Walt is wearing his Heisenburg hat and both are focused. He does not have his oxygen tank with him and it is taking every ounce of energy he has to go through with this. “Be ready for anything, they cannot be happy, but they did take the meeting so they must want something. You sure you’re okay to do this?” “I’m fine” says Walt. “Well, you don’t look fine.” They park the car in a desolate red desert. Another car is already there with two men standing in front of it with their arms in front of them, palms out – a symbol of peace. “Here goes nothing” Mike says as they exit the car simultaneously, Walt takes double the amount of time as Mike. As Walt’s door finally shuts…..Mike’s head is torn completely apart by a bullet – presumably from a sniper. His body, nearly headless falls limp, it drops to his knees then the ground. Walt is stunned and scared, looking at Mike’s body with the fear in-sighted solely from the feeling that that could be you, and next. The two cartel members walk stoically towards Walt. They speak, in perfect English, calmly “That was for many deaths in our family. We have no problem with you and are familiar with your product. We would like to work with you. Bring us Pinkman and we will talk.” They walk away, leaving Walt with Mike.
Hank is at the White’s front door and rings the doorbell. Walt Jr. answers and is, as always, pleased to see Uncle Hank. “Mom and Dad aren’t home Uncle Hank, but you want to come in?” “No it’s all good big guy. Actually I am here to see you. Got time to take a little ride?” They drive for a bit exchanging small talk and then Hank pulls over the car. “I want you to know something, and I want you to listen carefully. I want you to know that no matter what happens…no matter how hard things get…I will always be here for you. You hear me? ALWAYS!” They exchange more touching words and tears are shed by both. They embrace. Jesse, sitting on the edge of his bed, is fuming. He is boiling over with rage and Andrea is trying to calm him. “He has been manipulating MY ENTIRE life!. He mentioned Jane…and Brock …and….Ugggghhhhh!!!!!” Jesse’s scream is piercing and full of the hurt of many lifetimes. “I am going to kill him, I have to kill him.” Andrea is taking every effort to simmer his boil. She tells them they will run away, from all the madness. She tells him they will leave the past behind, and they will take Brock and move and be happy. She tells him…that she is pregnant.
Episode 15 – Head shots
Hank calls Gomez, tells him they need to talk. He has further information and they have to meet in person. He lets him know he can’t do it today as he has too much on his plate but the next day is perfect. He will let him know where. Saul is seen packing up his car. Huell is with him helping. Saul is getting ready to go, thanking Huell for his service. “Looks like this is it big guy. I release you from your obligation…try not to get all weepy and needy on me okay.” “You really leaving Mr. Goodman?” Huell asks. “Yeah, time to sail off into the sunset….wherever that may be.” Huell nods his head, then as swiftly as he can pulls a gun from his back waistline and points it at Saul’s head. Saul is shocked, almost finds it funny at first then realizes something is up, that this is serious. “He told me if you ever try to leave I have to do this.” Huell pulls the trigger.
Jesse parks his car across from the White residence and wastes no time reaching under the seat, grabbing his gun, and getting out of the car. He walks with determination toward the White residence1. Jesse knocks on the door, hand on his gun near his crotch, ready to pull. It takes a moment for a feeble Walt to answer the door, moving now with an oxygen tank in tow and the ensuing “damn tubes”. He opens the door and Jesse immediately pulls his gun directly onto Walt’s face. A shot goes off and Walt’s face is awash in blood. It takes a moment for us to fully take in what happens as time slows for a second. Walt’s face is completely covered in blood, his hands raised, but he has not been shot. Time catches up and we see the whole picture. Hank is standing behind Jesse and he just put a bullet into the back of Jesse’s head. His arm is still outstretched, but then he quickly ignites into action. “Walt, c’mon, help me out – let’s get him inside.” Hank, apparently un-phased, grabs the flailing body of Jesse as he falls and urges him in the doorway as best he can. Walt attempts to help but his shock is overwhelming. “C’mon Walt. Just need a hand getting him out back and I will take it from there. Lose the gas-mask and grab his legs!” They get Jesse outside and Hank begins to close the door. Walt begins…”Hank….”. “Walt, you can thank me later.” Hank shuts the door and Walt is left standing there with Jesse’s blood all over his face, body, and….hands.
Soon after, Walt falls again, a disgusting scene, coughing up more blood than we have witnessed. He vomits and passes out. A repulsive closing shot of Walt on the ground, fluids of all kinds enveloping him.
Episode 16 (Series Finale) – Worth
Walt is in the hospital. His family is all around him. It is obvious to all that this is it. Moments are shared between Walt and his family, privately, throughout the episode. Walt Jr. and his father exchange loving sentimental thoughts. “Your the man of the family now son, and I trust you completely. Take care of our girls, and yourself. I believe in you.” Walt holds his daughter in an unforgettably touching scene….saying good-bye to a love he will never see grow. Hank and Walt have a talk, one where you realize the levels Hank has gone and will go to keep Walt’s profession a secret. “Hank, please don’t let Walt Jr. know. Please.” Hank crouches down to Walt’s eye level….”Walt, I want you to know that Walt Jr. will never know a thing. In fact, I intend to make sure that NOBODY knows anything. Nobody will ever know…..you hear me? You can count on me buddy.” Walt is pleased with Hank, with how he has also come into the dark with strength. Walt and Skyler have a touching good-bye, one in which you genuinely see their affection. “I did this for our family. I did it for you.” Walt promises her. “I know Walt, I know.”
Walt is alone when he goes, with his thoughts – a montage of who he has become. In the end he passes away with a small smirk on his face. A satisfied smile. The camera pans to a hat sitting on the end table next to him, a very familiar hat.
Skyler is at home. Some time has passed, the home different, re-decorated. She looks different. She is in the kitchen and there is a knock on the door. She answers the door, opening it to a FedEx delivery. The return address of the envelope she is handed is a bank in the Caymen Islands. She is intrigued. She walks to the kitchen and opens the envelope. In it is a check, one that we quickly learn is for a large amount….in the millions. Her breath is taken away. Walt’s mission (his goal – the reason he walked the path he did)…accomplished.
- Jesse’s walk to Hank’s front door reminiscent of some of the most classic walks in Breaking Bad history – Walt’s walk to Tuco’s office, Jesse walking towards the dealers who killed Tomas, Walt walking towards Gus’s home, Gus walking into Casa Tranquila, etc. [↩]