The finale episode was funny to watch, but it fell short of the ethical vision the Vince Gilligan promised. (Ursula Coyote / AMC)
As far as i’m concerned, Breaking bad ended in the wilds the To’hajilee, with Hank slipping the cuffs ~ above Walt and Walt realizing that he had been to win in abattle the wits with males he concerned as his inferiors. Walt’s humiliation is just matched by his fear as Hank is murdered by aforce Walt collection in motion yet failed to control. The collection should have ended there, v Walt suffering the full results of hisactions.

You are watching: Breaking bad season 5 episode 16 recap

The finale episode was great TV: brilliantly acted, fine shot, and also fun to watch, however it fell brief of the ethical vision the Vince Gilligan promised us. The finishing felt choose asop to the Team Walt fanboys who tuned in every week to clock Heisenberg be abadass, principles bedamned.

Sure, that felt good to clock Walt’s homemade maker gun turret mow down unsuspecting Nazis in Uncle Jack’s life room. Yet the final episode did not provide us the moral clarity the Vince Gilligan had been promising. The last 2 episodes, ​“Ozymandias” and ​“Felina,” felt like rush jobs to rehabilitate Walt just sufficient so we might root for him together an avenging angel ofjustice.

Walter White got so much far better than he deserved, including the death he’d want from the moment he was diagnosed v lung cancer. Walt wanted civilization to remember that as crucial and powerful, not sick and also diminished. He obtained his wish. Once he establish he was fatally wounded, Walt saw die in the bikers’ lab, with aserene expression on his face and his trademark respirator by his side. His last act to be to reach out and caress one of the gleaming tanks, literally leaving his fingerprints on the procedure that the designed, as if come say, ​“Look on my works, ye Mighty, and also despair!” Walt never ever cooked in the bikers’ lab, however his last gesture guarantee that he would certainly be remembered together Heisenberg, the male behind the bluemeth

Walt’s gunshot wound shortened his life just slightly, contrasted to the lung cancer that would certainly otherwise have actually killed him. Before he died, he gained to to vanquish his opponents with science and also technology. He not only cut down the Nazis in Uncle Jack’s own residence with his makeshift machine gun turret, he got to clock Jack beg because that his life the means Hank refused to carry out in the desert and also shoot Jack anyway. That didn’t simply poison Lydia, he acquired to speak to her and also taunt her around slipping the ricin into herStevia.

Iwas expecting that Walt would certainly be forced to watch the deaths of the youngsters he offered to justification his criminal adventure. Yet Walt even regulated to administer for his family. He did it by terrorizing his old friends native Gray Matter and forcing them to launder his critical barrel that money to offer to Walt, Jr. Top top his 18th birthday. The fact that Walt probably managed set his family up with practically $10 million partially vindicates his decision to chef in the an initial place. The reality that Walt’s departure from Gray issue is never totally explained offers the viewer the alternative of interpreting Walt’s extortion gambit together yet another score justlysettled.

All Walt needs to do is market up amodicum of reality to negative Skyler. Prior to he goes off to exterminate the Nazis, Walt admits the he cooked for himself: ​“I did it for me. Iliked it. Iwas an excellent at it. And also Iwas, really… Iwas alive.”

The last five seasons of Breaking poor were about how Walt to be deluded in his feeling of entitlement. The cosmos didn’t fan him prestige just for gift amaladjusted genius. His brilliance didn’t do him ajust arbiter that life and also death. The post of the final episode is that Walt was entitled to every little thing he wanted after all. The arc the Vince Gilligan’s deeply moral universe bends towards providing the upset nerd everything hewants.

The central question of Breaking negative is why Walt cooked. To be he trying to carry out for his family, or was it all just aparticularly deadly species of midlife crisis? Walt answers that concern definitively: the did it for himself. Yet, the authors undercut their very own moral discussion by letting Walt go out together abig shotprovider.

I’m not saying that arts should constantly promote honest behavior. If Breaking poor had simply collection out come tell aripping an excellent meth-cooking adventure, Iwould have been okay through that. But the present fell short of its own loftier ambitions as aparable about great and angry by giving Walt amere slap ~ above thewrist.

No doubt, the simple, cathartic gangster ending will aid Breaking poor merch sales. Be warned, if Isee friend in aHeisenberg hoodie, i’m walking the other way. Clearly, we have actually nothing come talkabout.

See more: Bing Crosby Age In White Christmas, White Christmas (1954)

Lindsay Beyerstein is an award-winning investigative journalist and In this Times staff writer who writes the blog Duly Noted. Her story have showed up in Newsweek, Salon, Slate, The Nation, Ms. Magazine, and other publications. Her photographs have been released in the wall Street Journal and the new York Times’ City Room. She also blogs at The Hillman Blog (http://​www​.hill​man​foun​da​tion​.org/​h​i​l​l​m​a​nblog), apublication of the Sidney Hillman Foundation, anon-profit that honors journalism in the publicinterest.