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Sympathy for Gus
October 10, 2011 12:33 PM   Subscribe

Sympathy for Gus: Giancarlo Esposito talks 'Breaking Bad' (Here be spoilers).

Vince Gilligan (series creator) also has a few things to say about season four and the final season of Breaking Bad.

Also, won't you be my neighbor?
posted by Horselover Phattie (149 comments total) 23 users marked this as a favorite

 
The AV Club had an interview w/Esposito recently too.
posted by box at 12:35 PM on October 10, 2011


Great, great actor. So glad he finally got a role like that.
posted by mrgrimm at 12:37 PM on October 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


What a way to go. *adjusts tie*
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:38 PM on October 10, 2011 [7 favorites]


Always liked him. I was always kinda fascinated with his character in Mo' Better Blues. Wanted a bit of a backstory on him, the incredibly dapper piano player.
posted by Ad hominem at 12:39 PM on October 10, 2011


For a split second I thought Gus was The Terminator and they were about to take the show in an entirely different direction.

That scene will be up there with the greatest things ever shown on television.
posted by bondcliff at 12:40 PM on October 10, 2011 [12 favorites]


I loved his scenery chewing in The Usual Suspects.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:40 PM on October 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


Finale reviews: AV Club, Bastard Machine, What's Alan Watching
posted by box at 12:41 PM on October 10, 2011


AV Club also has a four-part interview with Vince Gilligan. Part one is here; other parts are coming over the next few days.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:43 PM on October 10, 2011


I don't know how to ask this without it being spoilerific, but I'll try. The last shot. The potted palnt on the patio. Whose patio was that? Walt's?
posted by BitterOldPunk at 12:44 PM on October 10, 2011


@BitterOldPunk: Yep, that was Walt's backyard.
posted by SteveFlamingo at 12:46 PM on October 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Definitely won't be reading any of this until I watch last night's episode...
posted by naju at 12:46 PM on October 10, 2011


Recall Walt playing spin the gun while pondering the likelihood the he was about to die. The last spin of the gun pointed to the plant.
posted by Babblesort at 12:48 PM on October 10, 2011 [11 favorites]


I love how they made him wander around without his head like a decapitated chicken.
posted by milarepa at 12:48 PM on October 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


> AV Club also has a four-part interview with Vince Gilligan. Part one is here; other parts are coming over the next few days.

Ooh, thanks. That's a good link. For some reason, The AV Club slipped my mind when looking around for new dirt on the show.
posted by Horselover Phattie at 12:52 PM on October 10, 2011


Bryan Cranston was just on the WTF podcast
posted by MiltonRandKalman at 12:52 PM on October 10, 2011


> Definitely won't be reading any of this until I watch last night's episode...

Yeah, I think the (Here be spoilers) thing means we can talk about things? Not my call, of course, but based on discussions before about spoilers, if there's a thread about a particular show then it's pretty much a foregone conclusion that there will be some spoilage.
posted by Horselover Phattie at 12:54 PM on October 10, 2011


I really enjoyed that finale.
posted by graventy at 12:58 PM on October 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Last night's was such a great episode. Really great.
posted by mudpuppie at 12:59 PM on October 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


oh my god gus fring is buggin' out.

mind is blown.
posted by entropone at 1:00 PM on October 10, 2011 [3 favorites]


And how the hell does this happen?

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posted by mudpuppie at 1:00 PM on October 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


I think the final scene was a little too obvious.

What will they do next? Will Jesse find out? Will he find out about Jane?
posted by k8t at 1:02 PM on October 10, 2011


I think it was the "Bad" tag.
posted by Horselover Phattie at 1:02 PM on October 10, 2011


Face Off must be the height of the double meanings for episode titles.
posted by Babblesort at 1:02 PM on October 10, 2011 [4 favorites]


They went a long way just for an advertisement for The Walking Dead.
posted by notmydesk at 1:02 PM on October 10, 2011


> What will they do next?

Your guess is about as good as the writers at this point.
posted by Horselover Phattie at 1:02 PM on October 10, 2011


What will they do next? Will Jesse find out? Will he find out about Jane?

Mike comes back and they all go on a road trip to Tijuana. WOO NO MORE GUS
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:08 PM on October 10, 2011 [3 favorites]


Yeah, where was Mike?
posted by mothershock at 1:09 PM on October 10, 2011


Mike was in the hospital in Mexico.
posted by k8t at 1:11 PM on October 10, 2011 [3 favorites]


Where was Skinny Pete?
posted by box at 1:11 PM on October 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


What will they do next?

Well, the next season is the last, broken into two parts. I imagine Gus had to go in order for them to focus on the three things that could very likely be the death of Walter White.
posted by eyeballkid at 1:17 PM on October 10, 2011


Also, and I've said this in different places all morning, the Gus Fring exit was obvious product placement for next week's Walking Dead premiere.
posted by eyeballkid at 1:19 PM on October 10, 2011


Horselover Phattie: "> What will they do next?

Your guess is about as good as the writers at this point.
"

The subject matter of Breaking Bad is a bit too familiar* for us to ever get around to watching it in our house, but because (a) I compulsively must be in the know for the hip pop culture and (b) I just enjoy reading about the making of TV in general, I'm aware of the show, and I found this bit from an interview with Vince Gilligan really interesting:
[Q:]The show's future at AMC, if I'm remembering the timeline right, was still in open question during the production of this season. So were you working towards something that could have worked as a series finale in a worst case scenario, and did you also have to work with the idea in mind that there could have been multiple seasons after this one?

[VG:] Yes, exactly. Right on all accounts. I tend to -- I'm pretty neurotic and somewhat negative as a personality type and I -- while most of the time I don't think it helps me in my day-to-day life, I think that's one area where I benefit from being that is when I think in terms of how much longer will the television show go on and to that end should I give, just in case season four is the last season we ever do, should I give the audience as much of a proper ending as possible. And the answer is always yes. At the end of every season the answer to that question is always yes. Let's try to have as satisfying a season-ender as possible because you never know. In television, it may serve as the series-ender. Season four was no exception to that. Conversely, though, I knew that everyone involved, the studio and the network, wanted to find a way to make it all work out for an additional season or seasons. And to that end I didn't want to do too much with a season-ender and therefore hobble myself and preclude later possibilities.
The idea of creating a show that is both open ended enough to bring people back if you get to do it but also tries to wrap it up every year fascinates me, and if it works at all, Gilligan and company should be applauded (and I won't say what I think it means you should say to folks who try to argue that TV isn't art.)


* Fortunately, what with us still being alive, it was never quite that intense, but we didn't know it was going to be that way when it first started, though I guess I shouldn't have expected it to be a "wacky, light hearted look at making crystal meth" even if it did star the dad from Malcolm in the Middle.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 1:19 PM on October 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Cancer? DEA? Competition? Jesse? Skyler?

Lots of things to possibly kill Walter...
posted by k8t at 1:19 PM on October 10, 2011


Oops forgot the link for the whole interview
posted by MCMikeNamara at 1:20 PM on October 10, 2011


I was thinking cancer, Hank, Jesse.
posted by eyeballkid at 1:22 PM on October 10, 2011


Walt was certainly coughing in that last episode...
posted by Horselover Phattie at 1:23 PM on October 10, 2011


Yeah, some of these links speculate that the cancer may come back.
posted by k8t at 1:24 PM on October 10, 2011


(and notmydesk beat me to the punch line.)
posted by eyeballkid at 1:25 PM on October 10, 2011


Yeah, what will become of Hank?

I've been waiting for him to join up with Walt.
posted by k8t at 1:25 PM on October 10, 2011


y'know, i almost wish the series had ended there. though, i am GLAD there is another season, but last night's episode was truly epic. it woulda gone down as one of the great series finales in history.

as it is? wow. just wow. so glad i stuck with this series (i didn't much like it during the first season.) this makes 2 season of great villians - i got Mags on Justified last year, and Gus in Breaking Bad, this one. let's hope Giancarlo Esposito gets an emmy, too.

oh and Horselove Phattie? awesome thread title!
posted by lapolla at 1:25 PM on October 10, 2011


A confrontation between Jesse and Walt over past transgressions (Jane and Brock) seems inevitable.

Mike could be the catalyst. Since he was cleaning up after Walt and Jesse, he could have known all this time that Walt let Jane die. And the Brock move is the kind of dirty work that Mike specializes in and would know how it happened.

Add to that a kind of father-son relationship developing between Mike and Jesse, and Mike's subtle cough suggesting an impending death, there could be some info exchanged that sets the two cooks at each other.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:26 PM on October 10, 2011


If you're not listening to the official Breaking Bad podcasts, you're missing out. Editor Kelly Dixon leads a group that includes show creator Vince Gilligan, the episode's writer and/or director, production staff and a rotating selection of cast members from main cast like Bryan Cranston & Aaron Paul, to extended cast like Bob Odenkirk (Saul) and Jonathan Banks (Mike), to guest stars like Steven Bauer (Don Eladio).

They're all clearly fans of the show and each other and it manages to be both in-depth and funny.
posted by unsupervised at 1:26 PM on October 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


Gus' big scene was like a really tricky guitar solo that probably shouldn't have worked.
posted by SharkParty at 1:37 PM on October 10, 2011


Wait, did I miss something that showed Walter poisoned Brock?
posted by inigo2 at 1:55 PM on October 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


The tell was at the end.
posted by Horselover Phattie at 1:56 PM on October 10, 2011


I said on Twitter that someone needs to tell me when I should stop rooting for Walt so I don't look like a sociopath. Vince Gilligan has stated that his intention is to bring Walter White from humble school teacher to Scarface and in the process bring him past the point of redemption AND the point of sympathy.

Death would be too easy an out for Walt. They can kill him and, if they do, I'm sure it will be a satisfying end to the series. But I want Walt to build an empire on the ashes of everything he's claimed to be protecting. At the end of the series, I want all the lies Walt's told to Jesse, to his wife, to his family and, most importantly, to himself, to be laid out before him in such a way that it's clear that it was never in service of the greater good but the greater evil. Then I want him to blame everyone but himself. Then I want him to win.

I want to be scared of the parts of myself that want what Walter White wants. I want to be scared of the parts of myself that could make me like Walter White.
posted by unsupervised at 1:59 PM on October 10, 2011 [20 favorites]


What amazed me about this season is the way the final episodes built on one another and just got better and better. I didn't know how they'd ever top the dramatic impact of the end of Crawl Space, but they did it.
posted by MegoSteve at 2:00 PM on October 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Wait, did I miss something that showed Walter poisoned Brock?

The end shot was the label of the potted Lily of the Valley plant sitting in Walter's backyard.
posted by MegoSteve at 2:03 PM on October 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


The end shot was the label of the potted Lily of the Valley plant sitting in Walter's backyard.

Ahhh... thank you. Stupid DVR.
posted by inigo2 at 2:05 PM on October 10, 2011


I didn't know how they'd ever top the dramatic impact of the end of Crawl Space, but they did it.
The series could have ended with that episode and I'd have been perfectly thrilled with the show as a whole right there.

Instead, we have one more season to enjoy. And the agony of one more year to wait for that season to be broadcast.
posted by PapaLobo at 2:14 PM on October 10, 2011


The scene where Jesse and Walter are walking away from the laundry after having set the timer was a great setup for the Cool Guys Don't Look At Explosions song. But "Vamoose!" was good too.
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 2:27 PM on October 10, 2011


i think there's one other option for Walt - exile. i do see Walt as a classic Tragic Hero. Walt's worst trait/demon is his hubris. if this plays by the rules, the series will end in death or exile for Walt, undone by his hubris.

so yeah, unsupervised - the end you describe is kinda what i'm hoping for, too. if the result is exile, rather than death, i could see Walt in prison -- his family ruined by his conviction.... but i like your idea better.
posted by lapolla at 2:29 PM on October 10, 2011


I love Breaking Bad so much.

When Gus walked out of the room, I thought, "Great job Walt, you screwed up another plan." I'm a little sorry to see him go, because he was such a fantastic villain, but it was probably the only way it could have ended, story wise.

While the spinning gun was a really nice bit of foreshadowing, I watched the scene where Huell frisks Jesse again, and there is clearly nothing in his hands to make the switch with. I'm not sure what to make of that.

Vince Gilligan has said multiple times that the (main?) theme of the show is that actions have consequences. If the series doesn't end with Jesse killing Walt, I will be shocked.
posted by Sibrax at 2:31 PM on October 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


I was spoiled last night waiting for the torrent to go up by something in my RSS. Just that it was the end of Gus. I was pissed for a little bit, but then realized that I already knew that Gus had to go for Walt's story to continue. And the manner of his death was obvious for about ten minutes before it happened, but the slow burn towards the inevitable was chilling.

If I had any doubts towards the depths Walt's morals have tumbled to, they were gone when he got the neighbor to check on his house. That was the tensest scene for me, knowing that Walt may well have sent a perfectly innocent woman to her death. I was just waiting for the house to blow up as soon as she stepped inside.
posted by yellowbinder at 2:41 PM on October 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


Oh wow, I'm late to the party - didn't realize there was a thread here on the front page. I've had a great time dissecting each episode this season with other MeFites over at the MetaCooler.

I'm genuinely sad to realize that I only have one more season to go with Breaking Bad, although the interview with Vince implies that it'll be a longer season at least - 16 episodes in two parts. BB was the show that single-handedly got me back into television after a 10yr hiatus, and is the only show I've ever followed completely in real time. Sure, since then I've experienced The Wire in all its glory, which is probably an overall better body of work (though not in all aspects - BB still wins for cinematography and acting) and was probably briefly more addicted to Lost than I ever will another show. But watching BB come of age has been a great experience, especially the story arc of Jesse, who I identify with in a lot of ways.

Back to last night's finale - I think my favorite aspect is that they avoided giving in to ending with an obvious cliffhanger. Sure that last shot threw a twist at the viewers, but overall they resolved a lot of the season's conflict leaving things wide open for the final season. My guess is it'll be a chess match between Hank and Walt, with Jesse as the wild card once he starts to figure out Walt's role in the Brock poisoning. And sooner or later Jesse will finally go back and realize what really happened when his gf died at the end of season 2.
posted by mannequito at 2:49 PM on October 10, 2011


i keep wondering if fire destroys fingerprints? Walt dropped the gun in the lab, and he wasn't wearing gloves. that could lead Hank to him...
posted by lapolla at 2:55 PM on October 10, 2011


I was spoiled last night waiting for the torrent to go up by something in my RSS. Just that it was the end of Gus. I was pissed for a little bit, but then realized that I already knew that Gus had to go for Walt's story to continue.

Even worse for me, and a good example of why it can be hard to be a big fan of something in the age of Internet-knowledge: back near the beginning of the season, I remember reading that Giancarlo Esposito was already listed as a main character on another new show next season. So all season pretty much I've known that he would be the big kill-off to end the season. Still enjoyed it though, even if I also figured out the bell gimmick ten minutes in advance.
posted by mannequito at 3:00 PM on October 10, 2011


If I had any doubts towards the depths Walt's morals have tumbled to, they were gone when he got the neighbor to check on his house.

That lady was actually Vince Gilligan's mother!
posted by Horselover Phattie at 3:06 PM on October 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


I'll post my Metacoo comment here too since many of you don't go there:

GIFerrific Gus. Notice the chunk of . . . someone . . . falling off the ceiling and the condition of the wheelchair.

My fave circulating comment: "Well, they blew up the chicken man in Albuquerque last night; now they blew up his henchman too."
posted by FelliniBlank at 3:08 PM on October 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


i keep wondering if fire destroys fingerprints? Walt dropped the gun in the lab, and he wasn't wearing gloves. that could lead Hank to him...

Almost always, especially with a non-porous surface, like that of most stock handguns.
posted by Thoughtcrime at 3:10 PM on October 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


It was clear by the end of last season that Gus had to die, so knowing that he's on a new show didn't spoil anything.

I was convinced that the nice neighbour (actually Vince Gilligan's mother) was going to die horribly. And, as I said on metacooler, I am not sure I would have believed that Walt poisoned Brock had we not seen him send Becky into his house to be maybe killed.

I absolutely thought for half a second that Gus survived.

It's weird that Vince Gilligan thinks we'll wonder what next season is about, because it has seemed clear for a while that it has to get to Walt vs Hank, and Jesse finding out about Jane (also Brock, now, which he'll be much angrier about). And about cancer, I guess, because we have the hints when Walt is coughing.

This is such an excellent show. Face Off would have been a good series finale, but I am so looking forward to the next 16 hours.
posted by jeather at 3:53 PM on October 10, 2011


I'm still concerned about who is eventually gonna eat that ricin capsule. Where is it, anyway? Jesse doesn't have it.

jeather is right - once Gus decided to knock on Gale's door, and ask if he was AWARE of Walt's health situation, and, how many more cooks do you need with Walt before you can do it alone, it was evident that Gus was going to kill Walt, as soon as he could do so without interrupting production. That means, Walt is going to have to kill him first.
posted by thelonius at 4:14 PM on October 10, 2011


> Notice the chunk of . . . someone . . . falling off the ceiling and the condition of the wheelchair.

I just uploaded a screen cap! Probably a torso? Yuck.
posted by Horselover Phattie at 4:16 PM on October 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


> once Gus decided to knock on Gale's door, and ask if he was AWARE of Walt's health situation, and, how many more cooks do you need with Walt before you can do it alone, it was evident that Gus was going to kill Walt

Just to clarify, that scene was done as a flashback in season four, after Gale was already dead.
posted by Horselover Phattie at 4:17 PM on October 10, 2011


No that scene was season 3. The only flashback with Gale in season 4 was the boxcutter scene and his karaoke video.
posted by milarepa at 4:41 PM on October 10, 2011


Ah, you're right. That was when Gus put Gale back in the lab to replace Jesse.
posted by Horselover Phattie at 4:57 PM on October 10, 2011


A fun exercise is, what was the first Breaking Bad episode where Walter told the truth about anything, to anyone? The man is a sociopath. Getting cancer is the best thing that ever happened to him, because it gives him the freedom to finally stop pretending to himself that he cares about anyone else at all.
posted by thelonius at 5:23 PM on October 10, 2011 [5 favorites]


The show is a brilliant experiment in testing/compromising the sympathies and moral frameworks of the viewer. The title Breaking Bad is about the characters, but it's also about you watching the characters. We start with a premise (already kinda shaky, but as a viewer I was happy to go along with it) that Walt is basically a good guy in a compromising situation, feeling helpless, and he may be doing questionable things but his heart and interests are in the right place and he'll stop as soon as he makes enough money to afford his operation. He's not out to get rich, he's not out to hurt anyone, his lies are for the good of his family, etc. Then at some point - maybe it's the very first episode, maybe it's all the way in season 3 or 4 - the viewer starts thinking "I don't think I can root for this guy anymore, THIS is the turning point and there's no going back", or maybe there never was a definitive moment - just the cumulative effect of the man's actions have taken a truly sour turn and he's become thoroughly morally reprehensible. Maybe you defended his actions in season 1 by telling yourself that he's just killing worthless, mean drug dealers, but then things got questionable when he let Jesse's girlfriend die. Or maybe you're still rooting for him? What are your personal thoughts on the great timeline of what Walt has done throughout the show? At what point have you realized that you were intellectually okay with someone doing something truly awful? You think of yourself as a great person, and yet you were okay with Walt doing what?

It's worth exploring how we feel about Jesse too. His story arc is supposed to be the great redemptive one to balance out the worsening of Walt's character. He starts out as a meth-addicted loser dealer, and things get worse, but we constantly are teased with him having such potential for being the character who truly "breaks good." Yet that constantly is subverted throughout the show. Do we keep rooting for him? Why? What makes him different than Walt?
posted by naju at 5:39 PM on October 10, 2011 [4 favorites]


I'm still rooting for Walt, in the same totally vicarious way one "roots for" Electra or Richard III or Francis Urquhart in House of Cards. You don't hope for them to win, necessarily, but you don't want them to be defeated because they're so interesting to watch; maybe you wish they were nicer, but enjoying their awfulness is the whole point.

I don't know about Walt's actions being defensible, and he's certainly the one responsible for putting his family in horrible danger. But I do think many, many, many regular people would harm someone else's family or even an innocent to protect their own. That has never been Walt's only or even primary motive, but it is still one of them, even more so since Gus explicitly threatened Walt's kids. All these guys (Walt, Gus, Jesse, Mike, Tio Hector, the twins, Tuco) are trying to preserve/avenge their families or loved ones on some level, and they're all pretty uncompromising in their methods.

The moment when Hank or Marie or Skyler or Jesse becomes "dispensible" or an acceptable bit of collateral damage for Walt will be an interesting one, though.
posted by FelliniBlank at 6:08 PM on October 10, 2011 [3 favorites]


I think the final scene was a little too obvious.

I think after people read ambiguity into last season's final shot when Gillian didn't mean for it to be there, he probably didn't want to be ambiguous and have people argue over something he wants to be clear. Gillian wanted us to leave this season understanding that Walt would poison a child in order to win. Mystery in this case is less satisfying than that cold truth.
posted by Bookhouse at 6:34 PM on October 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


What was the ambiguity last season?

I kind of agree that the close-up on the plant wasn't necessary. Half the discussion I saw after the penultimate episode was whether Walt could have poisoned the kid. Heck I even saw discussion about the importance of that plant.

I'm really not a fan of the "zombie-ness" of Gus. It was a bit too cartoony. However, HOWEVER, it was still one of the best scenes in the episode, for how quickly it took me from "Holy shit Walter fucked up again" to "Holy shit Walter got him". Brilliant.
posted by graventy at 6:48 PM on October 10, 2011


I so want to read this -- I love Giancarlo Esposito in anything -- but I haven't watched past the middle of season 2 yet. Well, I'll save this for later.
posted by jiawen at 6:50 PM on October 10, 2011


If you haven't watched past season two run away from the thread!
posted by Horselover Phattie at 7:08 PM on October 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Probably a torso? Yuck.

that be Tyrus Torso
posted by mannequito at 7:16 PM on October 10, 2011


> that be Tyrus Torso

One can only hope Tyrus Torso (along with Zombie Gus and others) gets made into a Todd McFarlane collectible.
posted by Horselover Phattie at 7:26 PM on October 10, 2011


I was thinking of Happy Meal toys. I might consider eating at McD's again if they tried that.

Terminator Fring, Walt White, Tyrus Torso, Sketched Out Jesse and Saul Chasing An Ambulance .... collect all 5! Bonus collectible - Tortuga Head!!
posted by mannequito at 7:54 PM on October 10, 2011 [4 favorites]


In some weird roundabout way, Walt poisoning Brock (whose name is, I choose to believe, a Venture Bros reference. I can't be the only person who sees a live action VB starring Bryan Cranston as Rusty Venture, Dean Norris as Sgt. Hatred, and Krysten Ritter as Trianna Orpheus) has made Walt sympathetic to me all over again, which he hasn't actually been since the end of season two. I can't really explain it, but I think it's just that Walt is now so evil that it's really fucking impressive and you kind of have to admire the creature for its purity.

That said, poisoning Brock strikes me as a plan quite unlikely to lead to the results it did. If I were Jesse, I think I'd have noticed the missing ricin cigarette and presumed that...Brock, being a curious little kid, had gotten into my cigarettes and somehow poisoned himself. I'm pretty sure this is the same thought process that almost anyone would have experienced. Poisoning him could have led to the results it did, but it seems like a hell of a thing to leave to chance...even leaving aside the obvious moral issues of placing a child's life in jeopardy, Walt really needs this plan to work, and I would think he'd want a better one.

Of course, what's really chilling about all of this is that we've kind of been told to presume all this time that Gus had Andrea's brother killed to set off Jesse...but we never had any proof of that. Most of what we've seen Gus do, murder-wise, is strictly business, all of it against quite guilty adults (except Victor). The only person we know would put a child's life at risk to achieve his ends is Walt. And Gus is the one who's dead. I'm not gonna say this is a good guy vs. bad guy situation, but it may well be a bad guy vs. worse guy situation. With the worse guy now the winner.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 8:05 PM on October 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


> Most of what we've seen Gus do, murder-wise, is strictly business, all of it against quite guilty adults (except Victor).

Not to ignore the rest of your post, but I think that Gus sliced open Victor because he was seen at the scene of Gale's murder and could've lead police back to him.
posted by Horselover Phattie at 8:10 PM on October 10, 2011


What was the ambiguity last season?

Some folks weren't 100% sure Jesse did it.
posted by box at 8:11 PM on October 10, 2011


Not to ignore the rest of your post, but I think that Gus sliced open Victor because he was seen at the scene of Gale's murder and could've lead police back to him.

Oh, agreed, but there were certainly more humane ways of killing him.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 8:14 PM on October 10, 2011


there was also speculation that Victor's ambition - "we ain't short no cook" - had annoyed Gus.
posted by thelonius at 8:34 PM on October 10, 2011


Heh.
posted by Horselover Phattie at 8:47 PM on October 10, 2011 [9 favorites]


Absolutely awesome season finale! Iconic imagery regarding Gus's last moments.

A thought: After Walter blows Gus up there's a scene with him shaking hands with Jesse in a parking lot. But we are watching that scene from a camera angle that is pulled back 50 feet and from the parking floor below and shot through a grating. The camera is showing us that someone is spying on Walter and Jesse in that lot. Who is that? Who is watching Walter?? My guess is that will be the basis for next seasons conflict.
posted by Poet_Lariat at 9:27 PM on October 10, 2011


Yeah, there are some people on the AMC boards who swear they hear breathing in that scene. I don't hear it, just some doors slamming and tires squeaking on the garage pavement.

There was another scene earlier in the episode where Walt and Saul meet at an abandoned house outside of town and there is that same style of shot. I don't think anyone was watching them...it was more a mechanism to portray that scenarios were changing.
posted by Horselover Phattie at 9:30 PM on October 10, 2011


Here's that scene with Walt and Saul. I think it's more a kind of motif.
posted by Horselover Phattie at 9:33 PM on October 10, 2011


Or maybe it was a kind of deconstruction of the "fourth wall". I know jack about cinematography so just spitballin'.
posted by Horselover Phattie at 9:37 PM on October 10, 2011


Did we ever find out how Gus knew about the rigged car in the hospital parking lot?
posted by naju at 10:14 PM on October 10, 2011


From the HitFix link below the fold:
What exactly causes Gus's incident of Spidey-sense in the parking garage that keeps him from going to the car?

I think with that, he finds out in the previous scene in the chapel, he knows his lynchpin remaining meth cook is acting up, and hears this child's in the hospital, figures he has to go talk to the kid, get him right with Jesus, get him cooking, despite what's going on in his personal life. I think his Spidey-sense is all about the way Jesse looks at him in the chapel when he says the little boy's not sick, he was poisoned. That in and of itself sounds strange and sounds too coincidental not to be somehow involved with Walter White. I think his Spidey-sense keys off of Jesse's strange behavior in this hospital chapel.
posted by Horselover Phattie at 10:23 PM on October 10, 2011


(So, it seems they just kind had that idea and followed it without pinning down exactly how Gus knew there was trouble.)
posted by Horselover Phattie at 10:24 PM on October 10, 2011


I saw the show last night about five or so minutes in so I had no idea of the subplot with Walt carrying the bomb. Not knowing actually made the nursing home scenes stronger; I didn't know how Walt was going to attempt to kill Gus. I thought the close up on the plant was too obvious as well. The time watching the show flew by - my husband woke me around two am from my thanksgiving dinner coma to come watch it with him because he just couldn't wait one more day to see it.
posted by saucysault at 10:43 PM on October 10, 2011


And... now I can read this.

Wow. I also was thinking of Mike when it comes to continued plot, and I was hoping against hope that season 4 wouldn't end with his opening his eyes, because that would be some extreme cheese. I'm also hoping that this isn't yet another series that I have to pretend never had a last season. What can I say -- VG appears to have the right attitude, so gods help me, I'm hoping for a killer fifth.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 10:51 PM on October 10, 2011


> I saw the show last night about five or so minutes in so I had no idea of the subplot with Walt carrying the bomb.

Ah, I hope you watch it again so you can see the bit of comic relief when Walt gets off the elevator.

Apologies for all the comments; I usually don't give a fig about any TV shows but this one has me good.
posted by Horselover Phattie at 10:55 PM on October 10, 2011


Thanks HP, I was wondering about a mention of Walt crawling back through Saul's door in the AV club's review when I realised I must have missed something and went back to watch it front the start.
posted by saucysault at 11:16 PM on October 10, 2011


That parting shot of the poison plant in Walter's back yard was Chekov's Gun all right and I expect that it's discovery by Jesse will be a big part of the opening shows next season. Also, I think it was Mike watching Jesse and Walter in the garage scene.
posted by Poet_Lariat at 11:22 PM on October 10, 2011


It is possible that Mike was already back. When he was injured they said he would need a few days recovery, and I thought we would have seen him by now. We know that he's just as cautious as Gus and even older/wiser in these matters, so it would make sense that he came back but decided to lay low and observe what happens before making his presence known.

More than anything, I just want to believe that his character will play a relevant role in the final season. He's simply one of my favorites on the show.
posted by mannequito at 11:29 PM on October 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Nah, Mike is in a Mexican makeshift clinic.
posted by Horselover Phattie at 11:30 PM on October 10, 2011


Also, I remember Mike spending a lot of time lurking around the White residence, not to mention all his surveillance equipment. It's actually a no-brainer, writing-wise, to have him inform Jesse of the plant by the pool.
posted by mannequito at 11:31 PM on October 10, 2011


I like this show, but I wish they had wrapped it up this season. Walt is going to suffer -- because of that karma business that Gilligan has often spoken about -- each season just rachets the size of the explosion. How bad can it get? Well, if family is everything, then Walt's son(/daughter) is(/are) the next innocent victims, innocent like those plane collision corpses that landed in Walt's yard. Jesse, while in rehab, indicated that he understood who he was, that he was a bad guy. Walt has gotten past that now; he has become a monster. We will have a season-and-a-half's-worth of episodes to ponder his demise. There were lots of places to end this narrative in an interesting way before next year. I hope the writing holds up.
posted by CCBC at 4:30 AM on October 11, 2011


I think Walt is rather like the Jeff Goldblum character in The Fly. The dose of inhumanity initially paid off - he was stronger, happier, more effective, looked after his dependants. But now it has grown and consumed him. I think the old Walt has died now. Amazingly, I think he still loves Jesse, and I think he always will. I suppose psychopaths can love, at least in the Breaking Bad universe. I guess the question of the final season will be, does he kill Jesse to survive, or does he die to save Jesse. I hope the latter.
posted by communicator at 4:53 AM on October 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


I don't think that was a POV shot in the parking garage. Mike was an exceptional employee, but I don't think he has any enduring loyalty to Gus's operation now that it's folded.
posted by shakespeherian at 6:53 AM on October 11, 2011


I was also entirely willing to go along with "Walt is a good guy, forced into drug dealing by a lack of health care" idea. It's preposterous in reality, but tv is filled with preposterous things. And then you realise, slowly, that none of this is true, none of it was ever true.

I don't know if I can root for Walt, but I cannot -- quite -- hope he fails, because I can root for Walt Jr, and Hank, and Marie, and even Skyler sometimes. And of course Jesse, because he had a raw deal, I think, and he has all this potential that he doesn't even realise he has, and though he sometimes seems (seemed) to want to get out, he can't figure out how to, and no one in his life is willing to help him.

Many people would be willing to harm an innocent to save their family, but I don't think they'd be willing to do it in cold blood in the way that Walt is.

Walt has become a monster, but I don't think he believes that he is a monster. I'm not sure he ever could believe that.
posted by jeather at 7:16 AM on October 11, 2011


Hank, Marie, Jesse, Skyler, sure (there is something about a lot of the internet anti-Skyler sentiment that I find pretty repellent).

But I can't root for Walt Jr.--have you seen the kid's html?
posted by box at 7:35 AM on October 11, 2011 [4 favorites]


I was pro-Skyler until this season, and now I am more undecided. She's become pretty complicit in the whole scheme -- sending goons to threaten Ted (and then accidentally kill him). She seems to be following the viewers, starting out by thinking that Walt's this affable guy who got stuck in a bad situation, and slowly realising how much he is choosing the situation, and exactly how bad the things Walt does are, and deciding when she can no longer root for him (or protect him, whichever).
posted by jeather at 7:45 AM on October 11, 2011


> there is something about a lot of the internet anti-Skyler sentiment that I find pretty repellent

From what I've seen, most of it is from stupid kids who don't find her attractive enough.
posted by Horselover Phattie at 8:07 AM on October 11, 2011


I loved the season finale, but damn, I'm going to miss Giancarlo Esposito and Mark Margolis next season.
posted by brand-gnu at 8:22 AM on October 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


Gus will definitely be back for flashbacks/backstory scenes. Maybe Hector? Probably a little.
posted by Horselover Phattie at 8:26 AM on October 11, 2011


I love Anna Gunn, but I have said some "anti-Skyler" things at times because I think her character is portrayed as a fairly unsympathetic set of stereotypes, although that seems to be improving as we see more of her dimensions.

I mean, take her behavior in the "I am the one who knocks" scene, for instance. To some extent, yes, Walt is a congenital egomaniac. But he's also a very bright guy surrounded by loved ones who constantly dismiss and benevolently belittle him., Skyler most of all, with the best of intentions. I'm sure he had the overweening arrogance before they came on the scene, but Jesus, what a bitter pill to swallow day after day after day.

They treat him like he's fucking Fredo, for god's sake, and treating Michael like he's Fredo is really not a good idea.
posted by FelliniBlank at 9:20 AM on October 11, 2011 [3 favorites]


(and then accidentally kill him)

Was Ted actually killed? Did he just smash his head or snap his neck? I assumed that midway through Season 5, we'd be treated to a cold open of him coming out of a coma in a hospital somewhere.
posted by Seiten Taisei at 9:50 AM on October 11, 2011


> Was Ted actually killed? Did he just smash his head or snap his neck?

That's another loose end that I think the writers intentionally left loose so they could have some wiggle room later.
posted by Horselover Phattie at 9:53 AM on October 11, 2011


Was Ted actually killed? Did he just smash his head or snap his neck?

I'm in the "assume he's dead" camp. I mean, even if he just cracked his skull, do you think those guys were going to call an ambulance for him?
posted by inigo2 at 9:59 AM on October 11, 2011


But he's also a very bright guy surrounded by loved ones who constantly dismiss and benevolently belittle him., Skyler most of all, with the best of intentions.

She became a lot more sympathetic when she stopped micromanaging Walt's life.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:03 AM on October 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


I agree that they left it open and Ted could be just in a coma, but I'm perfectly happy with his story ending with him tripping and killing himself, so I will go in the dead Ted camp, in part because IRS shenanigans seem like they will be really boring.

I think it's pretty easy to read Skyler as nasty bitch, but it's never been particularly hard to read her as "long-suffering wife of an egomaniacal asshole who refuses to act like an adult", either. It just bothers me that there's a lot more sympathy for Walt, who makes a very addictive and dangerous drug and kills people, than for Skyler who for all her other negative characteristics, has yet to kill anyone. And she's really good at saving Walt's reputation in front of her son, which can't be easy on her, because he's always blaming Skyler for Walt's fuckups. I know Walt is the main character, but honestly, would you manage to be less obnoxious than Skyler if you were married to him?
posted by jeather at 10:08 AM on October 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


Oh, yeah. I hope Ted is dead because his character seems to have run its course. When he didn't sign on for Skylar's bribe he showed that he was a liability.

Besides, there's chatter that the oranges falling on his head are supposedly evocative of The Godfather's symbolism.
posted by Horselover Phattie at 10:10 AM on October 11, 2011


I hope Ted is dead because his character seems to have run its course. When he didn't sign on for Skylar's bribe he showed that he was a liability.

I'm also curious to see how Skylar takes the news that she is pretty much directly responsible for someone's death. Does she keep sliding down the road she's on (somewhat embracing the money laundering, in my opinion), or turn back to the path of good?
posted by inigo2 at 10:36 AM on October 11, 2011


I've watched the 'POV shoot' of Walt and Jesse's conversation a few times. There is a click, but it doesn't sound like a camera to me, just atmospheric sound. Plus, if you think about, there's absolutely zero reason for Mike of all people to be taking photographs of the two of them together (he's probably still in Mexico anyways).

The only people who would covertly take photos of Walt and Jesse are the police, and I don't see any reason why they would be staking the two of them out immediately after Fring gets killed. It isn't Hank; he's all but immobile, and we see him at home when Walt calls Skyler anyways.

Finally, the potted plant close-up was the show's way of avoiding pointless conjecture (a la did Jesse actually kill Gale, I didn't actually see a bullet hole appear in his head). If they're trying this hard - and that last shot was trying pretty hard - then why would they slip a discrete camera noise into a POV shot a few minutes prior to that? Makes no sense.
posted by stinkycheese at 10:38 AM on October 11, 2011


I'm also curious to see how Skylar takes the news that she is pretty much directly responsible for someone's death.

Why should she ever find this out? The only people who know how Ted died, and whether his death had anything to do with writing a cheque to the IRS, are Saul and his A-team.

We know that, as far as Huell was concerned, it was an, "act of God". I'm going to assume those three guys would be very happy for what they know of Ted's accident to go to their graves with them.
posted by stinkycheese at 10:44 AM on October 11, 2011


Why should she ever find this out? The only people who know how Ted died, and whether his death had anything to do with writing a cheque to the IRS, are Saul and his A-team.

Well at some point she'll find out he's dead. And she's the one that had Saul send people to make Ted write the check. While she wouldn't know what happened, and I wouldn't expect Saul and his guys to tell her, for her to not associate the two would be quite naive.
posted by inigo2 at 11:16 AM on October 11, 2011


it's never been particularly hard to read her as "long-suffering wife of an egomaniacal asshole who refuses to act like an adult", either.

What, for the run of the show? For long before that he appeared to be the dutiful father, teacher, doormat. BB follows in a long tradition of male (and female) adult characters breaking out of a virtual coma by acting irresponsibly -- for a change. The difference here is of course the criminal element.

That's another loose end that I think the writers intentionally left loose so they could have some wiggle room later.

Oh, I hope not. If we can think of season 4 having four main storylines: Walt's dangerous dance with his employer and cronies, Gus' feud with the Mexican cartel, Jesse's courtship by Mike in an attempt to win his loyalty over Walt, and Skyler's record of crooked accounting, that last is least intersting by a long, long shot.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 11:47 AM on October 11, 2011


Oh, but give me more of Saul Goodman. Anything with more Saul.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 11:48 AM on October 11, 2011 [6 favorites]


The only people who would covertly take photos of Walt and Jesse are the police, and I don't see any reason why they would be staking the two of them out immediately after Fring gets killed.

What about a police or FBI detective following up on Jesse's ricin comment? It would be a funny plot turn if the FBI saw Jesse together with a chemist, and then they come to the conclusion Walt is a secret terrorist. If they only knew the truth!
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:52 AM on October 11, 2011


Walt left a high paying career as a chemist because of his ego in order to take a shitty job as a high school teacher, a job he never much liked, instead of a job as a research chemist. It seemed like he worked hard at convincing Skyler not to get another job so he could be the provider (Skyler of course agreed to this until she didn't and got herself a job again, so it's absolutely not all on Walt for this one). He bought a house they could barely afford while his wife was pregnant, then left his job with either a pregnant wife or a new baby with a disability, if I recall the timeline correctly. None of that counts as acting like an adult. He broke out of a virtual coma, but he was acting like an irresponsible jerk beforehand too.

I think the show is great. I think Walt's a fascinating character. I just think he gets a lot of handwaving past his shitty behaviour, and not just the meth making and murdering parts.

You forgot the "Hank continues to be obsessed with Heisenberg" plot, which is more a thread that will be picked up properly next season, but it covered at least as much time as Skyler and Ted (thankfully).
posted by jeather at 11:59 AM on October 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


Oh hell yeah, how could I forget. Hank vs. Heisenberg/Fring I quite like as a plot/subplot, especially since it means we get to hear less about geode collecting.

Have to think about your other observations. It's not clear to me why exactly Walt ended up in his teaching job after the revelations re: ending work with his old partner and belle. But yeah, he was very much sole-provider-oriented, no matter the job. I don't know how many would consider that non-adult behaviour, though it certainly might be impractical and authoritarian. It didn't seem like finances were an issue until the cancer (unsurprisingly).
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 12:08 PM on October 11, 2011


While she wouldn't know what happened, and I wouldn't expect Saul and his guys to tell her, for her to not associate the two would be quite naive.

She hears he died in an accident at home, no foul play suspected. Would she still wonder? Maybe. I think a recurring theme of the show though is the extent to which people can isolate themselves from the consequences of their actions (or the moral recognition thereof); he signed the cheque, the debt is paid, the matter is settled. She likely asked for no rough stuff, and in fairness, there was none.

Now, if by some chance we get a scene where Saul confronts Skyler and seeks to shake her up or implicate her, sure, Ted's death is a stake through her heart. But I doubt that conversation will take place, myself.
posted by stinkycheese at 12:14 PM on October 11, 2011


More of the FBI guys might be funny, yeah. Seems a lot like Dexter though.
posted by stinkycheese at 12:20 PM on October 11, 2011


Walt had to have a second job at a carwash even before the cancer, so yeah, finances were an issue from the outset. I assume he chose teaching because he thought it would give him more freedom than a lab job, which is time consuming and -- if he worked for another company -- wouldn't give him much freedom in what to research. At least in the school he has total control over the classroom, in a way. (Teaching high school isn't an irresponsible choice in and of itself, but going from lots of money to a middle class job while not changing your lifestyle and while having a disabled kid isn't exactly responsible.)

Being sole-provider-oriented isn't in itself non-adult. But that, combined with all his other choices, is very immature.

And I meant to say this earlier, but no way does Gus Frings wear a clip-on.
posted by jeather at 12:22 PM on October 11, 2011


> I assume he chose teaching because he thought it would give him more freedom than a lab job

He apparently had a falling out with his research partners (and there was a love triangle aspect to it as well). I suspect will see some of that explained, even if it doesn't move the plot forward any further.
posted by Horselover Phattie at 12:26 PM on October 11, 2011


> And I meant to say this earlier, but no way does Gus Frings wear a clip-on

That was his Los Pollos Hermanos work outfit. He put on his dapper clothes to commit murder, like a proper gentleman.
posted by Horselover Phattie at 12:27 PM on October 11, 2011 [5 favorites]


The car wash job, of course. You're right.

The early moments we see Walt teaching seem to attempt to illustrate that this is where his passion lies. I don't think that's necessarily the case with meth production; that's where he thinks of himself as a badass (though this almost certainly in part a reaction to the micromanagement of his life thus far, or at least it's played that way).

Fring as chicken-franchise owner, or Fring as meth overlord? On preview: yeah, HP has it.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 12:28 PM on October 11, 2011


Oh, and Jesse may find out about the origin of the poison, but we're still hanging on to the secret of Walt's lethal inaction toward Jesse's girlfriend. Though I suppose the writers realized at some point that there would be no going back to any kind of balanced love-hate relationship were this to be revealed.

(Can I also just say that sad John de Lancie makes the saddest man ever?)
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 12:35 PM on October 11, 2011


> but we're still hanging on to the secret of Walt's lethal inaction toward Jesse's girlfriend

Heck, you could even argue that Walt practically caused her death. Had he not been in there trying to rouse Jesse, she might not have rolled on her back thus choking on her vomit.
posted by Horselover Phattie at 12:41 PM on October 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


He had a falling out with his research partners, and I can sort of see why he left the company over it, but not why he quit research chemistry in general to be a high school teacher.

Oh, did Gus put on a normal tie to kill Hector? I have no problem if Chicken Man wore clip-ons, but can't see Gus wearing them when he was running a drug empire. I will have to rewatch to see what tie he put on.

FWIW, I read the early moments of Walt teaching that Walt's passion is chemistry, not teaching.

I think Jesse might have been able to forgive Walt for Jane's death -- she was on a bad spiral -- but not for risking Brock. I waver about wanting this to be revealed.
posted by jeather at 12:50 PM on October 11, 2011


I think Jesse might have been able to forgive Walt for Jane's death -- she was on a bad spiral

Noooo. Jane and Jesse were all on the turning-a-new-leaf plan of which Walt knew nothing. There'd be no coming back from "I watched her die and could have easily prevented it, but I thought she was a bad influence."

But then end of the series is a fine time for relationship-ending revelations.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 12:58 PM on October 11, 2011


FWIW, I read the early moments of Walt teaching that Walt's passion is chemistry, not teaching.

Yeah he didn't seem to be a particularly good teacher. I mean, whenever we saw him he was distracted by his diagnosis or his burgeoning career as a druglord, but he didn't seem to care about his students at all.
posted by shakespeherian at 1:03 PM on October 11, 2011


I'm always amazed when I catch a bit of a film I saw Esposito in a long time ago and had no idea it was the same guy. The other night I caught a bit of the film Fresh, which I saw years ago and which I recommend, and there he was again. He really is a great actor.
posted by homunculus at 1:04 PM on October 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


I thought the turning a new leaf plan -- with one last night of heroin first -- was a castle in the air. I thought I even remembered Jesse agreeing that they were probably going to just OD eventually anyhow. But seriously, "Let's quit hard drugs tomorrow" sounds like other drug users I know who (spoiler) did not quit the next day, and realistically never intended to, though maybe sometimes they wanted to intend to quit. This is probably open to either interpretation.

But Jesse is clean now, I think. All he needed was to kill a few people first.
posted by jeather at 1:05 PM on October 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


I was going to say 'were we the viewers supposed to take the turning-a-new-leaf plan seriously?', but jeather said it much better than I did.
posted by box at 1:08 PM on October 11, 2011


Or, y'know, was going to. You know what I mean.
posted by box at 1:11 PM on October 11, 2011


Was thinking last night how interesting it'll be when Hank and Walt finally come face to face. Although the obsession has been there, the last time this was at the forefront of the plot was mid-way through Season 3, when they had the showdown in the junk yard. Walt won that time by faking the phonecall about Marie in the hospital, leading to the successful demolition of the original RV methlab. Since then Hank's story got caught up in the gun battle with the Mexicans and his subsequent paralysis/geode obsession.

I guess what I'm saying is Hank's character will prove to be the catalyst for beginning (leading Walt to Jesse) middle (junkyard scene) and end points (hopefully!) of the story arc. Which is really interesting given Gilligan's comments that originally the character was intended to be minor, but Dean Norris' acting surprised everyone.
posted by mannequito at 1:31 PM on October 11, 2011 [3 favorites]


It doesn't matter if the viewers take it seriously; it matters if Jesse took it seriously (in terms of his potential reception to some sort of "lost cause" argument by Walt). Jesse was a finger twitch from executing Walt over a completely nonsensical ricin poisoning accusation (no really -- the manipulation only works because Gus is the more likely culprit). I see him easily pulling a Titus Pullo if he finds out that Walt is responsible for the death of his Eirene (a relationship more perfectly remembered, perhaps, than actually existed in life).
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 1:51 PM on October 11, 2011


[Walt] apparently had a falling out with his research partners (and there was a love triangle aspect to it as well).

Wasn't it either directly stated or strongly implied that the Rich Science Couple had screwed Walt out of his share of the credit/proceeds of I-forget-what-it-was-they-developed? Obviously, Walt would remember it that way regardless, but there was some visible guilt on their side motivating them to try and pay for his treatment.

I need to go back and re-watch Season 2.

Anyhow, "who's the most terrible, unsympathetic character?" is sort of beside the point because the whole idea is that Walt and Skyler are, in terms of core character traits, neither all that horrible or all that unusual -- to begin with. I know roughly 6,000 similar middle-aged couples, and how much more evidence than the whole 20th century, the Milgram experiments, the military, etc., do we need to illustrate the idea that most regular, decent, nice people can be quite easily persuaded to do terrible, terrible things and still consider themselves "moral"?
posted by FelliniBlank at 2:19 PM on October 11, 2011


Wasn't it either directly stated or strongly implied that the Rich Science Couple had screwed Walt out of his share of the credit/proceeds of I-forget-what-it-was-they-developed? Obviously, Walt would remember it that way regardless, but there was some visible guilt on their side motivating them to try and pay for his treatment.

I thought it was more that Walt stopped working with the couple out of spite for something relationship-related -- he screwed himself (I know, how much more vague could I be, I need to rewatch that episode with their party), not them screwing him. I felt like they offered him money for treatments even though it was his own decisions that led him away from the company (and probable wealth).
posted by inigo2 at 2:38 PM on October 11, 2011


I recall that Jesse took turning over a new leaf seriously at the time, but in retrospect realised it was bullshit. It was in some conversation I remember him having with Walt. I don't think I made up this scene.

Anyhow, "who's the most terrible, unsympathetic character?" is sort of beside the point

I'm not trying to argue that Walt is that terrible -- he didn't start out unsympathetic, though he's pretty much there now -- but that he gets a pass on his (fairly normal) shitty behaviour in a way Skyler doesn't.

The only person persuading Walt to do terrible things is Walt himself, and this is true for all the characters on the show. (Not that Walt is persuading them, that they are doing it to themselves.)
posted by jeather at 3:00 PM on October 11, 2011


Oh, but give me more of Saul Goodman. Anything with more Saul.

I have this vision of some grand confrontation in the weeks leading up to the season finale where pretty much everyone involved, Walter, his wife, Jesse, Mike, Walter's brother in law - pretty much everyone - end up dead. There's a running theme throughout the series that anyone even peripherally involved, even unknowingly, in the drug trade pretty much end up dead.

So I envision a grand shoot out or something where most everyone dies - except Saul Goodman , who packs up the money in the safe and moves on to another city because he's seen this all before and he knows how it's all going to turn out and he was just waiting around to clean up with the cash . Anyway - that's how I might end it - with Saul walking off into the sunset with the cash.
posted by Poet_Lariat at 4:58 PM on October 11, 2011 [7 favorites]


oh pleasepleaseplease give me a spin-off show after BB ends - Saul Goodman & His 'A'-Team
posted by mannequito at 6:11 PM on October 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


What bothers me the most is I want the show to have a happy ending, and I know deep down it won't. None of them really deserve a happy ending. But after all the melted bodies and whatnot, I want it to resolve itself peacefully, especially between Jesse and Walt.
posted by milarepa at 6:12 PM on October 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


Only if he teams up with Mike.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 6:13 PM on October 11, 2011


The most satisfying hypothetical ending I've heard has Walt dying of cancer in a hospital bed. Not only would that give him more time to dwell on his deeds than a simple gangland execution, it would sort of bring the series full circle and perhaps reinforce the senselessness of what happened between the show's beginning and end.
posted by stinkycheese at 7:38 PM on October 11, 2011 [4 favorites]


I think one of the interesting "wiggle room" things the writers are doing involves Hank. Consider, if Hank has known for a long time, like since around the time he showed Walt Gale's lab folder, with the "W.W." dedication . . would his subsequent behavior have been any different? He knows that for one thing his family is involved in this, and he needs to do something to protect his wife, and her sister, and the kids, and he can't make any sudden moves. Also he suspects that just maybe his bosses at the DEA, and maybe some people in Albequerque, might just be in on this multi-million dollar drug empire.

My interpretation of the show is that Hank is a supercop who has known pretty much the gist of what Walt, Jesse, Fring and Gale have been up to for just about the whole season.

Had to share these too, shamelessly pirated from the AVClub thread on the finale. This is the first non-flashback shot of Season Four, a shelf in Gale's apartment:
http://img31.imageshack.us/img31/7461/bb4e.png

This is a comparison of Gus and the stuffed animal:
http://i.imgur.com/1ZsKJ.jpg

I LOVE THIS SHOW
posted by chaff at 10:18 PM on October 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


Heh. I dropped this show during Season One b/c I didn't think it would last. Too dark. Too depressing.

Good to know it's going strong and doing well. I just watched s1e3 (which I think I'd already partially watched). Season One also seemed pretty slow to me, but apparently it picks up, eh? ;)
posted by mrgrimm at 9:40 AM on October 12, 2011


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