Breaking Bad Season 5 Episode 16 Recap: Felina
The show that has kept all of us on the edge of our seats has come to an end. I am really pleased with how this series ended. I felt like this episode really brought the story full circle and though the characters are left broken, that is not a permanent state. I really recommend that you watch the episode first, but if you missed it I am happy to let you know what you have missed.
Hit the jump for a complete recap including songs:
**Spoilers Walt did not become a damn lumberjack! (Still super mad about Dexter). **
We pick up where we left off last episode. We see Walt evade the police in New Hampshire by hoping in a car that is covered in a couple inches of snow. I think the universe was looking out for Walt because the first car he tries is unlocked AND has the keys in the visor. He manages to drive from New Hampshire to Arizona with all his earthly possessions, which basically is $10 million dollars in cold hard cash.
I was a bit disappointed, I was hoping for a signature breaking bad montage of Walt buying junk food and singing along to the radio on his long road trip, but unfortunately he was too focused on the goal. The Schwartz’s Charlie Rose interview fueled his rage and while en route back to Arizona Walt calls pretending to be from The New York Times and obtains the Schwartz’s address and travel itinerary. It is sometimes scary how much information is available with the right questions. On a side note Walt removes the watch that Jesse gave him on his 51st birthday and leaves it on top of the payphone. Vince Gilligan said this was to signal that this was the end, but mainly for continuity. The shots of Walt in the diner for his 52nd birthday showed him with bare wrists.
Walt arrives early and while the couple is settling in, they do not realize that Walt has entered their home and is browsing through photos and admiring their home. Gretchen finally finds Walt just outside their beautiful kitchen and her husband Elliot comes to see what caused her distress. Walt begins to babble about their lovely home and somehow coerces them to walk to his car. They retrieve $9 million + in bundles of cash and Walt explains what he expects them to do with it.
- Start an irrevocable trust in Jr’s name and have it given to him on his 18th birthday. (Roughly 10 months from then)
- Take any taxes or fees from the pile. He doesn’t want ANY of their money.
- Shake on the terms.
They shake hands and when Walt should have left he instead turns to face the window and signals some accomplices. Two laser sights point at the Schwartz couple and freezes them in place (Their fear… not the actual laser). Walt explains that the pile of money had been $200,000 more, but he decided that he might need insurance. If his terms were not met then two of the best assassins in the western hemisphere would take each of them out. He even went so far as to warn them that they would never see it coming, they would believe that his threat was empty and the second they let their guard down… Boom!
Walt drives away, but stops just down the road and his accomplices get into the backseat. They remove their ski masks and we get a final goodbye to Badger and Skinny Pete ( Jesse’s lackeys). They feel terrible about what they have just done, but they hand over a couple laser pointers and in exchange Walt hands each of them $100k. Needless to say, it eases their guilt. They are so relaxed in fact, that when Walt asks about blue meth still being in the market they reveal that Jesse is alive and has taken over the empire as a cook. This is all hearsay and speculation, but it clicks in Walt’s head and you feel a new plan set in motion.
Let’s talk Jesse.
Jesse is completely healed, working at a bench, and building a beautiful wooden box. There is soft music and he looks calm, cool, and generally content. He is about to varnish the wooden box, but his apron gets caught in a drawer and he is promptly yanked out of this fantasy.
He is hooked up to his track and is carrying a bucket of metal shavings to one of the stills. His face is scarred and he looks like he belongs in one of those SPCA commercials. So sad.
We understand that this is sometime in the future because eventually we get to the diner and Walt is arranging his bacon into a 52. Cut to the trunk and we see the assault rifle and we watch Walt grab the ricin from his home. He pauses in his living room and remembers the day that Hank offered to take him on a ride along. You may remember it as the moment he decided to cook meth and start this amazing decent from respected educator and family man to fallen meth kingpin.
In the next scene we join Lydia in her weekly meeting with Todd and it must be a good week because she is rolling in a suitcase, presumably filled with cash for product. She and Todd sit down, but then Walt sits with them and begs for two minutes of their time. He explains that he has blown through all of his money and would like to cook again. He even has a new method that would eliminate the need for methylamine. He is really selling his desperation and asks Todd to set up a meeting with Uncle Jack. Walt leaves the table and Lydia tells Todd that they cannot be in business with Walt anymore. She cites his appearance and desperation. She actually sneers as she puts the packet of Stevia into her tea…Well, I am sure that the packet had some Stevia mixed in with the ricin that Walt put in the packet. (=^.^=)
Cut to the desert where Hank and Agent Gomez met their end. Walt has tools and parts strewn all over the place and we quickly understand that the gun he purchased is being modified to fire remotely. If all goes as planned Walt will have backup without involving anyone else. Well, let’s be honest, he really has no one left.
What about Skylar?
We get to see the small apartment that Skylar, Jr., and Holly are living in now. Skylar is chain smoking in her tiny kitchen that has a beam in the middle of it. Marie calls her in a panic and delivers news that Walt is back in town and that the DEA and local authorities are being spread thin with rumors of what Walt is up to. They are covering Marie’s house, Skylar’s apartment, and Jr.’s high school as well as any place that is a rumored target for the wrath of Heisenberg. Skylar assures Marie that she will be careful and hangs up the phone. The camera pans out to reveal that Walt has been standing in the kitchen then whole time. Skylar is nervous, but not afraid of Walt. The authorities are still on her and the legal woes and the severe change in her lifestyle are weighing heavily on her. Walt gives Skylar the lottery ticket that holds the coordinates of Hank’s body. He explains what happened and urges her to negotiate her freedom with this information. She tells him about Todd’s visit and his threat against Holly because of Skylar’s knowledge of Lydia. Walt assures her that AFTER TONIGHT they will no longer be an issue. This scares Skylar, but I think deep down she trusts Walt and accepts that he is doing this for his family. Before he leaves he admits that he had done all of this for himself and that it made him feel alive. This admission really breaks down the wall between Walt and Skylar. He even is granted the opportunity to see his daughter one last time. He leaves, but sticks around the outside to watch his son come home. I felt the longing in that scene, it was so powerful and it adds to the ominous tone of the final episode.
Walt drives to meth headquarters for his meeting with Uncle Jack. He drives into the compound and parks his car right outside the main office. The goons allow him to do what he wants, because in their mind… he is a dead man walking. They frisk him and take his keys and wallet, but of course Walt is not armed. They step into the office and Walt begins his desperate sales pitch for the new and improved meth. Uncle Jack is not having it and tells the goons to go out back and kill Walt. Walt spits that Jack owes him because he didn’t kill Jesse. He says that he promised and was paid to kill Jesse not to become his partner! Jack stops his goons and instead demands that Jesse be brought to him.
Jesse is presented to Walt as proof that Jack is not a liar. Walt assesses Jesse’s haggard appearance and manacles. He grabs his key chain and tackles Jesse to the ground before pushing the button and setting off the machine gun concealed in his trunk. The bullets start flying a kill all of the goons, including one who was using a massage chair. His lifeless body undulated with motion of the rollers as the bullets stopped and the room went quiet. Todd, Jesse, and Walt get to their feet and Todd rushes to the window to see how many people are outside. Jesse takes this opportunity to use his chains to strangle Todd from behind. This was an amazing moment because Todd (despite glowing manners) was a monster. He deserved to die just as much as his swastika covered family did. While Jesse strangles the bastard Walt walks to a dying Uncle Jack and puts a bullet in his head.
Jesse and Walt are the only two left alive on the whole compound and they face each other in a tense moment tantamount to a western gun duel. Walt slowly slides the gun to Jesse and tells him to do what he needs to. Jesse has the gun pointed at Walt’s head, but tells Walt he needs to hear the words, he needs to hear Walt say that he wants to be shot by Jesse. Walt says them without hesitation, but Jesse realizes that Walt has been shot while protecting him. He instead tells Walt to do it himself and he leaves the gun on the floor and leaves. Jimmy Lunceford’s Lydia the Tattooed lady begins to play and Walt follows the music to Todd’s pocket. He draws his cell phone out and answers it. Lydia asks if it has been taken care of. Is he gone? Walt answers that it is taken care of and that, yes, he is gone. She realizes that it is not Todd on the other end and she gets silent. Walt then asks her how she is doing. The camera shows her in bed with her humidifier going full blast in the background. He asks if she is experiencing flu like symptoms and explains that it is from the ricin that he slipped into her Stevia. He hangs up and leaves her to accept her fate.
Walt walks outside and Jesse is getting into an El Camino. They stare at each other and exchange a knowing nod. This is their final goodbye and perhaps the closure that they each needed. It is simple and a beautiful moment. Jesse drives off and is tearing with happiness at his freedom. Walt watches the car disappear and walks to the lab. Baby Blue by Badfinger plays in the background as he picks up different tools and this expression of euphoric nostalgia is turning up the corners of his mouth. He is bleeding out, but it is something he has accepted and somehow took control of. His family will have money, he has made amends with the people he hurt, and Heisenberg’s sky blue will no longer be available on the streets. The story has come full circle and Walt has cleaned up his mess.
The police show up and discover Walt sprawled out on his back in the middle of the lab, dead, but somehow exuding contentment. This is not a sad ending because Mr. White has finally redeemed himself.
I hope you all enjoyed this as much as I did. Let me know what you think in the comments. I am already experiencing withdrawals. I need ideas for the next show we should watch together.