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‘Breaking Bad’ Review: ‘Granite Slate’

Walter White (Bryan Cranston) - Breaking Bad _ Season 5, Episode 15 - Photo Credit: Ursula Coyote/AMC

Here we are, finally at the penultimate episode of Breaking Bad, and I seriously don’t even know what to think. The series that has triumphed over many a television critic’s wildest dreams is finally coming to a close, but I will save the tearful good bye (and there will be tears!) for whatever next week has in store for us, because right now, we have to take a look at what went down on last night’s gut wrenching installment.

To say that “Granite State” was simply a building block episode would be a real underestimate of what actually occurred in the episode, but at its base, that’s what it really was.There really wasn’t a lot of story progression.

Things felt like as if they were in a bit of a holding pattern because they wanted to wrap the series up next week instead of this week. Thus things moved forward, but at a bit of a slower pace. But with that said; now all of the pieces for the epic finale have now finally been put into place, and I cannot wait to see the dominoes finally fall.

First, we were forced to watch helplessly as Jessie was completely and utterly broken down after his attempt to escape his imprisonment at the hands of Jack caused Andrea to lose her life, as Todd mercifully executes her on her front porch. I instantly found myself asking, ‘Why did this have to happen?? What did she ever do to Jack or Todd to deserve to die!?’ But what’s done is done; now Brock is an orphan, and it is all Walt’s fault, thus giving Jessie the motivation needed to fight like hell to take him down once and for all.

Todd then broke into the White household where he warned Skyler not to say anything about Lydia by threatening Holly’s life. Skyler agrees to his terms, and then holds her child for dear life. Seriously, is there anything that Todd will not do?? Please Breaking Bad, don’t test that question in the finale, I don’t know if I can handle that.

Walt meanwhile found himself out in the middle of nowhere (aka New Hampshire), where he attempts to live in solitude, spending the last of his dying days in a cabin alone. However, as time passes, he realizes that he has to get money to his family somehow, so he comes up with a plan to send it to Walt Jr.’s friend, but when he calls the high school to inform his son of his plans, Walt Jr. freaks out, screaming at his father that he doesn’t want anything from him and that he wishes he would just die already.

Devastated by his son’s rejection, Walt attempts to turn himself in to the police, only right then he sees a tv interview with Gretchen and Elliot, in which they basically say Walt’s only contribution to Grey Matter – a company built upon his hard work – was only in the actual naming of the company. Determined to serve up some justice Heisenberg style, Walt flees from the bar that he was at, and sets out on a mission to take back whatever is rightfully his.

Per normal, my heart was racing the entire episode. From Jessie’s desperate escape, to Todd’s creepy domineer as he carried out his various missions, to the ‘OMG WALT IS GONNA GET ‘EM!” cliffhanger, Breaking Bad continued to keep me on the edge of my seat like no other show has ever been capable of doing.

So with that said how is it all going to end? Will Walt and Skyler work past their differences to find their way back to happily ever after? Of course not. Breaking Bad isn’t a story that was meant to have a happy ending.

My current theory sees the series going out with a bit of an ambiguous finale that will have us questioning both the fate of Jessie and Walt, leaving us gasping for more. I say this because that is what the series has always done best, left the viewer begging for another ‘hit.’

With that in mind, why not end it on a similar note that allows the viewer to come up with their own interpretation of the ending while still begging for more? I hope that I am wrong and there will be a since of finality within the last episode, but as it stands, I think the one thing we hopefully know for sure is it wasn’t all a dream.

Johnathon K.
Johnathon K. is a staff writer for TV Source Magazine. With a love of soaps, the Super Sentai Series and gaming, John's passion comes through in his writing and as a featured host of the TV Source Podcast, where he also serves as producer. In 2019, John launched his own podcast series "Our Take Media" which gives his take on various things in TV from soaps to reality television.

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