Breaking Bad Season 5, Episode 15: "Granite State" is the penultimate episode of the series. It's also one of the best, and the most heartrending. Each week I feel like I'm going to jinx this amazing final run by saying this, but it looks like Breaking Bad has pulled off the near impossible: ending it's fantastic five seasons on top.
So, what's coming up for our characters as the show rushes to a close? After a short recap of the episode, I'll take stock of where the characters are at the moment, and where they might be headed when the show takes its final bow next week. Sound good? Then read on for Wetpaint Entertainment's recap of "Granite State."
We open with Saul, who's headed to Nebraska... But not before a final run-in with Walt. Because no, Walt is not gone quite yet. Of course.
Before we find out more there, we check in the with investigation into Hank's disappearance, and find out that the good guys are too late: Jack and his crew have already ransacked Hank's place. This is very bad news for Jesse, because they've found his confession, where he fingers Todd for killing Drew Sharp in the desert. We're also reminded that Todd is totally crushing on Lydia, which comes up again later.
Back to Walter, who is still in planning mode. He wants to kill Jack and the gang and give Skyler and the kids all his millions. Saul snaps him back to reality, reminding him that despite his tricky phone call last week, Skyler is still totally effed; the feds need someone to go after. Walt's response is to try to intimidate Saul into coming with him to his new life, to help him fix things, but his "it's not over until its over" speech is way less intimidating when he breaks into a coughing fit in the middle of it.
Proving Saul totally right, we check in on a tearful Skyler trying to convince the feds that she really doesn't know anything about where Walter is. The feds are nothing next to Todd and his psycho friends. He drops by to make sure Skyler won't rat out his crush, because he is one twisted schoolboy in love.
Speaking of that crush, in the world's awkwardest non-date, Todd, all dressed up in a button-up shirt and totally bashful, meets with Lydia, who is not impressed with his message sending skills. He then tries to hit on her on the basis of his 92 percent pure meth, and it is adorably horrifying. Where is this plot going?
Walt, meanwhile, is dropped off in the middle of snowy New Hampshire, where his new home is an old school cabin, sans phones, TV, internet.... anything. He's the target of a nationwide manhunt, and Saul's guy isn't gonna have him caught on his watch. But Walt? Walt has business to attend to, so he heads out into the snow, in a big jacket and his Heisenberg hat. However, the prospect of walking eight miles in the snow turns out to be too much for him. "Tomorrow," he decides. Yeah, sure.
Todd pays his number one meth cook (Jesse, duh) a visit, and drops him some Ben and Jerry's, 'cause he's nice like that. Jesse asks for the cover of his prison to be left off, claiming that he wants to see the stars. Really, he's uncuffed himself thanks to a paperclip left on that photo of Andrea and Brock from last week (good thinking, Jesse!). He makes a triumphant attempt to escape, and manages to get himself out of his cage and all the way to the fence before he's caught. He yells that he's never going to cook for his captors again.
The consequence? Andrea is murdered in front of him. Yes, it is devastating. "Remember, there's still the kid," he's reminded. This scene is so painful it's hard to think about. Let's move on.
We check back in on Walter. Some serious time has passed, and he's still alone in his cabin. Saul's guy stops by to tell him Skyler is in a bad way, and provide some medical care. Walt offers his only companion ten grand to stay and play cards with him, which is amazingly pathetic. "One of these days when you come up here, I'll be dead," he ponders. What happens to his money then? Would his one remaining buddy bring it to his family? Of course not.
Ok. Walter's decided. It is time. No more "tomorrow." He packs up some money and heads into town, where he tearfully calls Walter Jr., and tries to explain that he did it all for family. Yeah, sure dude. He's mailing Walter Jr.'s friend $100,000, which is meant for Skyler and the kids. Um. 'K. That's a plan. I really bad plan, but sure.
Walter Jr.'s response to hearing from his father again is a thing of heartrending beauty. He completely freaks out, shouting that Walter killed Hank and he wants nothing to do with his father, not ever again. "Just leave us alone!" He declares. "Why don't you just die already? Just die." God. Damn.
Walter, defeated, alone, devastated, calls the feds. He's ready to turn himself in and help his family the only way he can anymore... until he catches his old Grey Matter partners on TV. Remember? The people who run the amazing technology company he helped found and then dropped out of? The entire basis of his inferiority complex? Yeah, them. And they completely deny that he contributed anything of value to the company, claiming the only thing they got from him was the name.
And with that, he's off. He still has something to prove, and we can't wait to see the consequence.
What did you think of this episode? Sound off in the comments below!
Where Our Characters Are
Walter White: "Tomorrow"
Present: Well, for everyone who was hoping Breaking Bad would end with Walter White dying of cancer alone, abandoned, and aware that everyone he loves hates him, this episode was for you. He's so pathetic in that cabin it's almost sad, but Walter Jr.'s tirade, while painful, is a reminder that it doesn't matter what Walter's intentions were: his actions earned him this fate. As the woman who broke his heart told the world on TV, Walter White, the kind man we met at the beginning of the show, is gone, no matter how much he clings to that idea of himself.
Future: Just as we were given Hank catching Walt only to have it taken away, I'm guessing we're also not going to get "sad and lonely" as the final ending, since we got it here. Sure, Walt could end up in jail, but we basically saw that kind of fate this week. My guess is he goes out in a blaze next week.
Jesse Pinkman: "Just Kill Me Now and Get it Over With"
Present: Well, damn. We saw Jesse's last dash for life, but is there any way he's not completely broken now? Also, someone get Aaron Paul another Emmy, already.
Future: I continue to have no idea, but I think it's clear that whatever happens, there's no happy ending in sight for Jesse. Dead, alive... it all sucks.
Skyler White: "I Won't Say Anything"
Present: Despite Walter's attempts to help her, Skyler's life is falling apart around her. That's what you get for making a deal with the devil, Skyler. I want to feel bad for her, but it's hard not to see this as karma for her choices earlier in the season.
Future: Well, now that her entire life has been ruined, I kind of think maybe she'll live? Time will tell.
Other Thoughts and Notable Scenes
- We got confirmation that Walt's phone call last week was an act meant to clear Skyler's name.
- The two ice cream flavors Todd gave Jesse: Americone Dream and Jerry Garcia. Seems appropriate.
- Quote of the week: "The sweet, kind, brilliant man we once knew is gone." If that doesn't sum up the thesis of this show, I don't know what does.
- Now we know why the White house was in ruins: The government took it, and then it became an attraction for local kids.
- Walt is so sick and thin his wedding ring fell off. Nice touch.
- Oh man, the use of the theme music at the end there. Fantastic.
- I have mixed feelings about the Grey Matter moment. Bringing back the source of the giant chip on Walt's shoulder was brilliant, but it did feel awfully convenient.
What did you think of this episode? Sound off in the comments below!