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Breaking Bad Season 5 Episode 16 "Felina" Part 2

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Two parts because there's too much to talk about. We're almost done folks!

We get a quick retread of the flash-forwards with an interesting contrast to the pilot with Walt surrounded by family and friends. Walt got the excitement that Hank proposed, but with the next cut of him alone in his dark abandoned house, you can tell he misinterpreted what Hank meant vastly. While the difference is abrupt, the path he took wasn't worth it. Now I don't know how Walt managed from here on out. I'm not even sure if the passage of time throughout this episode is solely contained to his 52nd birthday, but with slipping the ricin into the Stevia, the preparation in the desert with the M60, and showing up at Skyler's undetected, I'd have to imagine it wasn't completed under such a short time table and by showing the flash-forwards before these scenes, this at least allows room for possibility. I do believe it's possible for him to scope out the area before getting to Skyler, even if he had to hurt someone in order to get in, which he seems to imply he would have.

Marie's final scene between Skyler was very sweet and at least showed that they will be in contact in the future. I like how Marie paints Walt as evil and explains the confusion ABQ seems to be in about his plan and whereabouts, yet it shows that the universe IS closing in on him. Meanwhile we do get an honest human moment between Walt and Skyler. He isn't hiding the fact that he enjoyed the ride, but he's sorry for what he put her through. Her reaction upon hearing of Hank and Steve's deaths is exhaustingly sad. Anna Gunn plays this scene so hollow and raw, it's brilliant. As Walt has his final moment with Holly, she feels warm but is only left to hang her head as Walt's presence is quick to pass. Same goes for Walt's last glimpse of a lifeless Junior whose outfit seems so carelessly thrown together, it's depressing.

Finally, Walt pulls up "magnet heist" style along the club house. A trap orchestrated by Lydia, the guys have no interest in what Walt's selling (not that Walt cares) and Walt is now playing under last minute improv. He wants Jesse here too, no doubt with the intention to kill him, and calls Jack out for partnering with him. It's in this moment when Walt sees the truth of Jesse's situation and his intentions change (a more human reaction, although this does not excuse what he set out to do). Once again the result is different than what was expected. He tackles Jesse and presses the remote. The scene mirrors Gus saving Jesse from being the unwilling cook for Don Eladio while at the same time taking revenge for the death of his "brother". Walt and Gus both had to take a hit of their own medicine. It's even the same when Walt silently absorbs redemption before embracing the death of Jack. In the meantime, Jesse chokes out Todd similar to Mike choking out Gaff.

And yes the whole sequence was superbly directed. The quiet anticipation. The strange ambience of the massage recliner. The dark, filthy atmosphere of the room. Jack's taunts of Jesse being a 50/50 partner echoes nostalgia from "the good ol' days" when life for Walt and Jesse were a little more ideal. The M60 never leaving the trunk from when it was first introduced was something I did not see coming. Whether you applaud the violence or not, it certainly is a fitting and iconic way for the show to go out with. After the M60 ceases fire, we get a drippy aftermath.

You feel like you're trying to gather yourself, trying to make sense of it the best you can, just as much as the characters rolling on the ground are. I love the abrupt score when Jesse comes behind Todd, as well as the whole choking sequence. Nothing felt more right than Todd getting his neck snapped, and I can't help but wonder if that's even right to say. The score is best though when it resorts to going in and out like a pulse. Jack coughing up blood and taking one last puff of his cigarette was pretty badass, but nothing was more satisfying than Walt pulling the trigger on him mid-sentence, similar to Hank. At least Hank didn't go out begging.

Walt gives Jesse the chance to kill him but Jesse sees it as a manipulation to put him out of his misery. Jesse demands he admit that it's what Walt wants and not about what Jesse wants, in which Walt does. Jesse dropping the gun and telling him to do it himself, was perfect. This is growth. Jesse is finally free from revolving his actions around Walt. It's something he probably regrets after having the chance to walk away from it all in "Confessions", but he has learned so much since then. Walt and Jesse seem to be at an understanding that nothing comes from taking things out on one another.

The show ends with Jesse taking control of his life, driving off into the darkness with triumph, no longer the passenger he was in the season premiere. Do I think he got caught? I think it's very likely that he did at some point after crashing through the fence, but it's got to be a better life than where he was and I'm sure he'll hold peace of mind in order to cope. He's a broken soul, but there's room for long recovery. We can only hold peace of mind for his character and I'm glad it's open to interpretation for wherever he ends up. Walt has achieved peace of mind as well, but it's subjective to him. He poisoned Lydia and saved what was left of his family, but at what cost? He murdered and destroyed many lives just so he can show it up to a world he's always resented.

The finale is fitting and true to how the show has always been, even if it is safe and appeals to the fist-pumping portion of the audience. I don't think it betrayed those of us that weren't though. It certainly muddled things by making you wonder if the universe was indifferent or not. He didn't get taken down the way he should have, but he did get taken down. He achieved what he set out to do, but it's questionable if it really means anything in hindsight. Overall you are supposed to feel conflicted and if you didn't like final story being told then that's fine, but it doesn't veer too off-point from any confliction you're supposed to feel and for that, I'm satisfied.

Part 1 of this review incase you missed it:

Once again, thoughts of your own? Please keep in mind that my thoughts are flexible and not concrete. For the most part I enjoy the show, so I apologize if the review comes off as defensive and apologetic. It's just my way of trying to understand the final product for what it is rather than what it should have been. Anyway, thanks for putting up with this series of reviews everyone! It's been a lot of fun.


  1. Swoony's Avatar
    You posted this on the one year anniversary of the finale. I'm assuming that was intentional?
  2. Elliot76's Avatar
    Loved this finale Great in every way except I have never been a fan of the machine gun car thing, seemed too much of a TV show action moment that Br Ba tried to usually stay away from.
  3. lionelhutz123's Avatar
    @Swoony Yep! Although I had to finish a huge chunk of it today in order to do so.
  4. lionelhutz123's Avatar
    @Elliot74 I agree, its definitely far-fetched, but it does feel similar to other moments of suspension of disbelief like the explosion at Tuco's HQ, Gus walking out and fixing his tie after the explosion, the whole magnet heist, etc.

    it's definitely up for criticism, but the show has been known to be surreal every now and again.
  5. Swoony's Avatar
    Yesh the gus tie thing was another very implausible occurrence, though the truth can be stretched a little for entertainment, even in the breaking bad universe. It was very fitting for the show. I'd like to think the machine gun scene would fit in that category aswell.
  6. lionelhutz123's Avatar
    yeah I just chalk the Gus thing as one of those crazy horror stories you hear about in war or something. also did you guys know that the tie scene took 17 takes to do? there's a video on the exclusive bonus disc on the season 4 dvd of vince getting worried behind the camera after each take because he thought the scene was coming off too corny.

    I think the take they finally used is the perfect balance of surreal and believable (for the show's universe).
  7. Elliot76's Avatar
    Yeah I do agree, but the machine gun thing was a bit TOO much. The other things were more of a fourth wall nod (like Gus' tie fix) but the machine gun was grounded in reality completely but was the very first moment when I kind of did a mental double-take at how insane it was.
  8. lionelhutz123's Avatar
    It was completely unexpected since throughout the season I was imagining something more similar to scarface, but I guess the science of it fits Walt's character better and at least it was original. It definitely was the farthest into crazy that the show has ever done though.

    I'm just imagining what the cops' reaction must be when they discover the machine gun still stirring back and forth with a bunch of dead neo-nazis inside. that would be the most bizarre thing to come across in a forensics report.
  9. Sam's Avatar
  10. lionelhutz123's Avatar
    @Handzomb E. Dunderful I did that this month because I never bothered with tags. too pretentious?

    to be fair, I think the tag cloud itself is obnoxious. I didn't even consider it when I'd put the tags on the posts...
    Updated 09-30-2014 at 01:12 PM by lionelhutz123
  11. lionelhutz123's Avatar
    and I mean I don't NEED tags either but anyone who pretends their blog isn't for somebody out there is kidding themselves. just like how you advertise your blog on chatbox directly which there's nothing wrong with.
  12. Sam's Avatar
    they're fine but i question the need for four tags that mean exactly the same thing and are posted on every entry
  13. lionelhutz123's Avatar
    I guess search engine optimization or SEO as they call it. I was curious if it would make a difference since those seem like the most general things someone would put in google because I've been dabbling with the idea of making a wordpress page and I know the blog system on nhc is similar. But yeah, I haven't been all that familiar with how the tag system works, so I guess I should use different ones for each?
    Updated 09-30-2014 at 02:07 PM by lionelhutz123
  14. Walid's Avatar
    like you, I flip-flop on the finale a lot. The night I watched it, I hated it. well, not 'hate', but I felt very underwhelmed. rewatched it the next day and liked it a bit more. it felt very fanservice-y in my eyes; things such as Todd being killed by Jesse and not the M60 for example. but I did like it and I was quite surprised by the ending. when Walt passed the gun to Jesse I looked at my friend and was like "Here we go!" because I had honestly speculated maybe Jesse would kill Walt.

    I remember reading somewhere where someone thought of the idea that Walt died before he activated the M60 and Jesse would use it on the Neo-Nazis and free himself, and I liked that, though I'm not sure how that could've been executed. Overall though I thought it was a nice finale. Took a little time getting used to it though