Expect the Unexpected

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Breaking Bad: The end is near

Walt gets cabin fever in the penultimate episode of Breaking Bad.

Walt gets cabin fever in the penultimate episode of Breaking Bad.

Congratulations to Breaking Bad, Emmy winner for Best Drama Series and Anna Gunn as Best Supporting Actress.  As the end of this amazing show nears, it’s good to see it finally get the recognition it deserves as best dramatic series.

A real treat too to see Anna Gunn get some appreciation. She is often criticized for her portrayal of Skyler as a b*tch. But truly, she has proved she has quite a range — naive, cold, suicidal, shrewd money launderer, loving wife. Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul have their Emmys, so it was good to see Anna Gunn get her moment too. I still think Giancarlo Esposito deserved an Emmy for his portrayal of Gus, but it is what it is.

Warning, spoilers ahead.

In last night’s aptly-titled episode Granite State, Walt has hit rock bottom. Hiding in a unabomber-style cabin in New Hampshire, it’s just as bad as being in prison. Even worse, because he’s so lonely for company he pays Vacuum Cleaner Guy  (played by Robert Forster, BRILLIANT!) $10,000 to hang out and talk with him for an extra hour.

This isn’t life or quality living, and Walt looks like he’s ready to hang it up, when he strolls into a bar (eight miles away, on foot) to make a call to Junior, one last ditch effort to connect. He catches a Charlie Rose TV interview featuring his old comrades from Gray Matter. An obvious effort to mitigate their damages for being associated with “Heisenberg,” they are donating millions to a drug prevention program. What really hurts Walt is how they minimized his creation of the company, saying he merely created the name, and at the time, was just “a nice guy.”

Well, that’s all it took to light a fire under “The One Who Knocks, I Am The Danger.” Ego is ego, and Heisenberg ain’t letting that slight go. As we know from the very first scene this season, he goes back to Arizona, armed and with ricin in tow.

Walt isn’t the only one to hit rock bottom. How much more agony can Jesse take? Forced to cook meth and tethered like the gimp in Pulp Fiction. And like in Silence of the Lambs, Todd lowers food (in this case ice cream) to him in his cell/hole. Jesse’s foiled escape attempt ends with Andrea being shot by Todd, who softly tells her “it isn’t personal.”

I gotta think in the final episode Jesse is going to be put out of his misery in some way and some form. He is such an abused, tortured soul “Scarred for life” would be an understatement.

And how about that Todd guy? Sparing Skyler’s life and serving ice cream to Jesse (even asking what flavor he would like), then popping Andrea without hesitation.

Todd’s a pretty scary character. Moreso than Uncle Jack. One thing I have always liked about Breaking Bad is how multi-dimensional the characters are. Gus Fring was a druglord who would cut a dude with a box cutter. But he also treated his employees like family and was fair and generous to them (ask Mike) — even sparing Jesse’s life, having dinner with him, and developing Jesse’s “potential” in a fatherly way. At times, I found myself rooting for Gus! Then there’s Hank, a male chauvinist, racist loudmouth, (They’re minerals Marie!) but also a damn good cop and as it turns out brave, heroic and honest. Great character development.

What is Jack? A one-note neo-Nazi punk who’ll kill anything in his path. We’re ready for the final showdown with Walt, but to make this interesting we really need Jesse, a full blown-character, in the mix.

Kudos to the writers for making this last season count for fans. Tying up loose ends (Saul’s in Nebraska, ha!) and going out with, what we expect will be a bang!

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