The penultimate episode of Breaking Bad, S05E15’s “Granite State”, continued the emotional horror show that has marked the final season. Let’s talk about the theories and possible spoilers that came from last night’s doozy of an episode.
Critics and fans alike referred to last week’s episode as one of the most emotionally stomach churning shows to ever air on television. And while it seemed like this week’s “Granite State” might be an episode designed just to move the chess pieces into place, it turned out to be just as draining in a variety of other ways.
All of the players we’ve gotten to know and — sometimes — love throughout the course of the series are trapped in some way. Walt is literally trapped, first in the vacuum cleaner’s store and then in his new home in New Hampshire. Skyler is trapped in a case that will leave her to take the fall if Walt doesn’t turn up. Saul is bound to be trapped in a mundane life in Nebraska. And Jesse is actually caged like a rat; even when he escapes from Todd’s prison cell, it turns out to be only a temporary moment before he’s corralled again, forced to watch his female friend/innocent Andrea gunned down as the price for his hubris.
There appears to be no hope of a beautiful ending for anyone involved except the Neo Nazi crew. Which seems oddly fitting given the show’s laissez faire approach towards the gravity of the real meth game in the earlier seasons.
-Uncle Jack’s callous “Does this pussy cry throughout the entire thing?” referring to Jesse Pinkman’s taped confession probably wasn’t supposed to be a moment of levity. But it did get a laugh out of me. I’m not sure what that says about me.
-Despite Uncle Jack’s hypothesis, I sincerely doubt that Lydia’s vagina actually has the functionality of a woodchipper. An ice fortress that Superman could camp out in, sure, but not a woodchipper.
-They may be a bunch of psychopathic murderers but there is sort of a charming family vibe that comes from Uncle Jack’s Neo Nazi Brigade. The way he tenderly throws his arm around Todd after agreeing to continue making meth to help Todd get into Lydia’s pants suit would be adorable if they all weren’t such horrible people.
-I’m still shocked at how competent they are, though. How did they get past the patrol car and into Holly’s room to intimidate Skyler out of telling the cops about Lydia so effortlessly? There must be some military training that comes along with a staunch allegiance to white superiority.
-A helpful callback via Reddit’s Breaking Bad subreddit during Skyler’s none-too-friendly police interrogation:
-So I guess Walt’s altruistic call last week designed to get the police heat off Skyler didn’t work, huh? Still serves as a nice little bow on Walt’s narcissism, though, so it has that going for it.
-Oh preppy Todd on a pseudo-date with Lydia. You’d be adorable if you weren’t such an absolute psychopath this episode.
-Lydia apparently has learned none of the lessons about greed that Walt’s downfall should instill upon all of us. You were ready to get out of the meth game; the lure of 92 percent purity in Todd’s latest batch will almost certainly be her undoing.
-Riding from New Mexico to New Hampshire for 30 hours in a cramped propane tanker truck does not seem like a good time by any stretch of the imagination.
-Jesse was not only able to pick the locks on his shackles once, but twice? I get we’ve kind of retconned Jesse from the lovable idiot from season one into someone vaguely resourceful now but that was the first logical leap in the show that I didn’t totally buy.
-Big stunts from Aaron Paul in this week’s episode.
Fuck Red Bull, ice cream gave Jesse Pinkman wings.
-Todd definitely offed Andrea because he felt betrayed by Jesse after their bonding over the good cook. Todd definitely felt like he was doing Jesse a big time solid just letting him look at the stars. You don’t take a man’s ice cream and then attempt to make a great escape from him. It’s just poor manners.
Straight evil from Todd this week, though. “Just so you know, this isn’t personal”? Jesus, Todd. And Uncle Jack reminding Jesse that they can still take out Brock if he keeps acting up? Straight straight evil.
Gus Fring slashing a dude’s neck in front of him seems like such a simpler time in comparison.
-Walt paying the Vacuum Cleaner man $10,000 just to spend an hour with him is one of the saddest things in the show’s history.
-Walt trying to send the family money just for Flynn to explode on him and wish death on his father…that wasn’t much more uplifting. Killing Uncle Hank indirectly wasn’t Walt’s finest moment, but that’s your dad, dude.
-One popular fan theory was that Walt’s machine gun purchase might be headed towards the fine folks behind Gray Matter. And that theory might actually be correct after Gretchen and Elliott Schwartz went public to shit all over Walt to try to keep their stock prices up. At the very least, a ricin cigarette seems well-deserved for those two’s shitty shitty lies about what Walt did and didn’t do.
-There’s also a chance that Walt’s hasty departure from the bar is because he realizes from the interview that his meth recipe is out on the streets again. Nothing gets Walt angrier than someone taking something he helped build, whether it’s money or the drugs themselves.
-The slowly rising Breaking Bad theme as Walt decides he doesn’t want the police to catch him just yet? My God. Chills.
-So what’s left for next week? Given the painful way this show drags us through our paces, it seems like we should expect the unexpected. But the path laid out so far seems to show that we’re going to have one more chance for Walt to redeem himself and/or destroy himself in the process. Given all the gutwrenching agony of every episode so far this season, I’m emotionally prepared for everything to be turned on its head.
-AMC’s running a Breaking Bad marathon starting Wednesday at 8PM through the finale. So if you want to catch up and have nowhere to go and no desire for sleep for three consecutive days, it’s a good time to get on board.
-The preview for next week’s final episode of Breaking Bad, “Felina”, is suitably epic.
I want more like this!
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