This preview is guaranteed SPOILER FREE. Not even a tease as to what happens. As a Breaking Bad fan I would be gutted to have anything revealed that ruined the shock/horror/awe/amazement of the tumultuous end story of Walter White and Jesse Pinkman.
Bryan Cranston’s reading of Shelley’s Ozymandius over the above promo for the final eight episodes of Breaking Bad is, in itself, a triumph reflecting a series that changed how we view protagonists. Before Walter White it was Tony Soprano who teased us as we rooted for the bad guy; Cranston’s White has tempted and taunted us as he has undergone an epic personality change from mild-mannered cancer-ridden high school chemistry teacher in Albuquerque, New Mexico, to methamphetamine cook/boss/demigod Heisenberg… the former a personable yet weak man who has transformed into the latter, an ego-maniacal monster of Shakespearean proportions.
Part one of Season 5 ended with the revelation that Hank Schrader (Dean Norris), Walter’s brother in law and local DEA boss obsessed with finding and capturing the elusive Heisenberg for nearly a year, has innocently discovered that Walt is indeed the man he seeks. It represents the biggest pay off yet for fans of the ground-breaking series as this struggle has been bubbling away for four and a half seasons and the expectation was Hank would always find out – it was always going to be a question of how. Discovering a book by Walt Whitman in the bathroom of Walt & Skyler (Anna Gunn) and the inscription from Gale Boetticher linking Walt to the now dead meth cook/scientist was the final piece of the puzzle. But what will Hank do? Will Walt find out Hank knows? What of Walt Junior (RJ Mitte) & Holly ()? And what about former student/part-time addict/assistant cook Jesse (Aaron Paul) who decided to get out of the business? AND WHAT ABOUT SAUL GOODMAN (Bob Odenkirk)?!
Part two picks up right where the last season ended (after a brief flash forward) and… honestly, to let you know anything more than that would be a disservice. It’s very clearly Walt’s end game. The journey is as important as the resolution to the series itself. Just DO. NOT. MISS. A MINUTE. this final series.
The first ep, directed by Cranston himself, positions the final eight episodes perfectly and sets the tone. There has to be a showdown with Walt, but will it be with Hank, Jesse or Skyler (or all three?!). We’ve already had revealed in the first part of the series that a year from now Walt is on the run and alone but at what cost? Where Walt looks like he would never hurt a fly Heisenberg has killed repeatedly when he was backed into a corner and all hope seemed lost – so what has he done to survive and how do we see that resolve?
There have been many sustaining moments across the series that have engaged audiences and horrified/amazed them at Walt’s descent into madness in his seemingly now permanent transformation into Heisenberg. Where once it was his alter ego now Walter White seems to be that for the man who once declared to his wife “I am the danger”. A man who has seen fit to kill and threaten the lives of those close to those he needs to ensure they do as he says (Walt has killed one of Jesse’s girlfriends – forcing her pilot father into such despair he crashed his passenger plane – and forced a near-deathly illness upon the son of another to force his offsider’s unknowing/unwilling compliance). He’s seen of seasoned gang bosses, a criminal mastermind, all the while able to separate life as Walt from that as Heisenberg.
So many questions present themselves over the final season of Breaking Bad. Thanks to creator Vince Gilligan and his amazing team of writers we can be sure finding out the answers will be as shockingly enjoyable as it has been in the past.
Breaking Bad S05 part 2 – from Mon 12/08 6.30pm (10.30pm primetime repeat), Showcase.