Warning: These are NOT spoilers because the events that I am going to talk about are either from the past 4 ½ seasons of the show, or are merely projections of what is to come. They are in no way confirmed or guaranteed. Without further ado: ten things that need to happen in order for Breaking Bad to go out a legend.
10. Saul Goodman Must Live.
The creator of the show Vince Gilligan himself has admitted that the only character that is guaranteed to make it out alive is the slippery lawyer Saul Goodman. Gilligan is quoted saying, “I like to think of Saul as a cockroach in the best possible way. This is a guy who’s going to survive while the rest of us have been nuked into annihilation.” If nothing else this is a financial move (see my article about capitalism) and in case the success of Breaking Bad is no indication, it would bring even more revenue to AMC. A “Better Call Saul” spinoff series is heavily rumored among fans and creators alike, and is another future endeavor that I would venture to say is highly likely.
9. The White family experiences an all out family crisis and Jr. rises to the occasion.
Ever since I met Walt Jr. in the first episode, I was both off put and greatly intrigued by his presence on the show. His confidence and solid sense of independence, along with his crippling disease always made him a great character, and I feel as though he has reached a point of maximum potential energy. He has had a Dodge Challenger waved in his face then “returned” (blown up), he has not been allowed to see his friends, and his dad is barely even a part of his life anymore. I want to see more of his anger, more of his passion. I do not know weather he will rise to the occasion as the new man of the house and save/protect his family from the imminent danger of the rest of the final season, or in a fascinating turn of events, he will join his dad in the exciting life of crime, but either way, this character should be involved in the conclusion in a big way.
8. Family is everything. Hank and Marie need to have big roles in the finale.
The first half of Season 5 ended in arguably one of television’s biggest cliffhangers… ever. After being thrown off his trail for almost the entire show, it would seem that Hank has finally caught on to his brother-in-law’s big secret, and is ready to take action. The big questions now are: “What will those actions be?” and “How can the writers prolong Hank and Walt killing each other for an entire half season?” Regardless of how it happens, I know for a fact that fans and critics alike will complain for years if Hank isn’t at least a factor in Walt’s demise (or not), and Marie will either back him up or could even make things interesting and disagree with her husband taking action against her sister’s man.
7. Gray matter needs to come back.
Some of the most fascinating parts of Walt’s internal struggles are his jealousy, anger and greed. One of the initial causes of these emotional poisons was his history or lack thereof, with a company called “Gray Matter Technologies”. Walt tells a story to Jessie about how he started a company with a man named Elliot Schwartz (means black in German), so they called it Gray Matter as a combination of the two names. Walt ended up selling his half of the company for $5000, and it is now a $2 billion company. This has and will continue to haunt Walt until the day he dies, and since the story should come full circle later this year, I think the roots of Walt’s emotional instability should also return for a final hurrah.
6. More explosions. More Plot twists. More Epic.
Breaking Bad is honestly some of the best TV I have ever seen. The perfect blend of heart stopping dialogue, edge-of-your-seat action, wonderfully flawed characters, great fights/assassinations, and some truly jaw dropping plot twists have made Breaking Bad THE force to be reckoned with. I always loved how at the end of an episode I would either be left thinking about the thorough nature and complexity of the story, or how unbelievably violent and disturbing the last forty minutes were. If they intend to leave their viewers with a lasting impression of how amazingly cool the show is, instead of how much of a disappointment the last eight episodes were, rest assured there will be loads of epic in store for us this fall.
5. And of course more Meth.
Right out of the gate, we see a meth lab busted in the first episode, and since cooking methamphetamine is how Walter becomes the person he currently is in the show, I just hope that the writers don’t forget what got the characters to where they are in the first place. I think with a two hour film, you can get away with a one way journey, but with big shows like this one, I think it would be really moving if it came around full circle. I’m not saying Walt and Jessie will be back in the RV, but maybe a flashback that we hadn’t seen before or some symbolic Jessie/Walt action before they are completely unable to coexist. It’s up to the writers and they have yet to let us down thus far, but I really would like to see some classic Breaking Bad in the mix.
4. Show us a true empire.
Walt White is famously quoted for saying “Jessie, you asked me if I was in the meth business or the money business. Neither. I’m in the empire business.” I truly don’t think there is any other quote that better illustrates the saying “like a boss”, and I’m sure many fans would agree. In the beginning of the fifth season, Breaking Bad treads on some unfamiliar territory, which I happened to find very interesting. Walt and a character named Lydia discuss the option of going global with their business and selling meth to the Czech Republic. I think it would be fitting for the show and Walt’s personality alike, if they fully go through with the international expansion, giving Walt a truly global scale and the subsequent ego boost to go with it. Arrogance could very well be Walt’s downfall, and this would be a great way to give it to him.
In addition to all of the more complex aspects of making television great, Vince Gilligan and the writers mustn’t forget the fundamentals of what people expect from the end of a program. Viewers have devoted many hours of their busy lives to watching Breaking Bad over the years, and as such they should be rewarded with a satisfying ending that both ties up loose ends (something the show has a knack for), and provides the audience with a true sense of finality and closure. Vince Gilligan told the press that he actually broke down crying writing the ending, and went on to say that his biggest fear was waking up five years later thinking “now I know how it should have ended”. Subsequently, I think there should be plenty of well-deserved closure, if for no other reason than for Vince to have a clear conscious.
2. Jessie becomes the show’s hero.
Even Gilligan himself has admitted that by Season 5 you would not even be able to sympathize with Walt and he is a man of his word. A combination of rash decisions and relentless greed has pushed Walt away from everyone in his life, notably, his family and his business partner. It just makes sense that as Walt slowly becomes the villain of the show, a new hero must arise, and all fingers are pointed at the much more levelheaded, and street smart Jessie Pinkman. Jessie has always worked in Walt’s shadow and frankly he has never seemed to have a problem with it. This I think is a concept to observe throughout the show. Jessie was always in it to make money, but ever since he started “cooking” with Walt, he has always been the cautious one, grounded in reality, while Walt has turned into to a power hungry monster. It is a fascinating dynamic that Vince and the producers have made here with Breaking Bad. Although neither of the two partners are “good guys” in the eyes of the law, we have been provided with enough emotional appeal that we’re able to care about and even root for criminals, no doubt evident of fantastic writing. If this tale occurred in real life we would probably root for Hank (a DEA Agent), but given the perspective of the story, we seem to be inclined to root for Jessie Pinkman. It was a brilliant idea to get an audience behind two criminals as they fight their way to the top, but now that there is no one else to surpass, the dynamic duo has begun to implode, leaving Walt and Jessie at odds in a very obvious division of good and evil. Jessie has the moral character, and has become quite the badass lately; I say when the show comes to a close he is the guy we get behind.
1. Walt must die.
Last, but certainly not least, my boldest request of the finale… Walt has to die. If the show really hopes to bring along any realism to its peaceful grave, they should also put Mr. White in his. Surely, Walt’s recklessness has to catch up with him eventually. Although there are probably a thousand different ways the show could end right now, the overwhelming majority (all the ones that make any sense) include Walt being killed. Now how this will happen is a mystery, as there are just so many possibilities. Whether it’s a fly driving him to insanity, Jessie feeding him Ricin, Saul delivering a lethal paper cut, or Hank gunning him down, only time will tell, but I just can’t see the cancer stricken, reckless beast that is Walter White making it out alive. The fifth season begins in the future, and Walt has apparently fled his home. The brief flash forward fades out after Walt opens the trunk of his car to reveal an M60 machine gun sitting inside. Whether it is for a showdown or a more unexpected purpose is again to be determined, but it is apparent that he is going to be in danger as the show’s curtains begin to draw. It has been quite the journey for Walt going from a chemistry teacher with cancer to “the one who knocks”, but the teaser trailer said it best: All bad things must come to an end, and Walter White has become a very bad thing.
Well now you have read my list. If you are still awake, you have my utmost respect and gratitude, and remember, although I may have thought about this stuff for some time, I’m not a psychic. These are not spoilers because every single one of them could be incorrect (unlikely). These are just my predictions/expectations of how this unbelievable show should come to its undoubtedly epic conclusion.
The first episode of Season 5 part two airs on Sunday, August 11th at 9/8C. Have the popcorn ready because I would bet even the very first episode of the half-season turns out to be quite the spectacle.