All Hail the King, One Last Time

Posted on Sep 26 2013 - 1:35pm by Isaac Chipps
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Breaking-Bad-S05-1080p-WEB-DL-DD5-1-H-264-720p“Remember kid, there’s heroes and there’s legends. Heroes get remembered, but legends never die.” –The Babe (Sandlot).

A few weeks back, I wrote an article claiming that Jimmy McNulty is the most fascinating character in the history of television. I absolutely still hold this claim true, but today’s post is dedicated to the King, the visionary who created a masterpiece, and the final episode of an amazing show that has the entire world on the edge of its seats.

So here we go. The ride has only just begun.

Well my friends, this is it.

All we have left is 75 minutes. Can you believe it? Hell, I sure can’t.

Will Walt get his final revenge? Does Jesse live to see another day? Is Todd the next Heisenberg? Will Skylar see the inside of jail cell?

Here’s AMC’s trailer for the final episode:

I know everyone has spent the majority of this week thinking about what will go down on Sunday night. But before we look ahead to the great ending, I’d like to take some time to look back on what we have been blessed with over the last six seasons (sorry Breaking Bad, it’s been six seasons).

Looking back on my love affair with Breaking Bad, I can point to the exact moment when I realized this show was an all-time great.

It was Season Two, and Walt was looking for a new meth distributor. Everyone’s favorite lawyer, Saul Goodman, connected Walt with a guy who knew a guy. For some reason, Walt wound up sitting in a booth at the restaurant, Los Pollos Hermanos.

While sitting in the booth, Walt realizes that the owner of Los Pollos Hermanos, Gus Fring, is the man he’s been searching for to do business with. From there, everything changed. In the span of ten seconds, we discover that Gus is just as evil as Walt, and the dimensions of the meth business are far deeper than any of us had ever imagined.

From that point on, I understood the depth and magnitude of this show.

After that scene, I finally saw the mastermind painting the picture. I finally understood the show’s greatest attribute; its ability to tell a story within a story. Everything you see in the show has a purpose, starting from the opening scene in the pilot, to the last scene of the penultimate episode last Sunday, where Walt leaves his glass of scotch half full.

Great writers see the end before the story even begins. Vince Gilligan had a vision to bring to reality a character with the best and worst traits of humanity. Through the first 61 episodes of Breaking Bad, we’ve witnessed a character grow from a lifeless cancer victim, to a King with more power than anyone on the NASDAQ, to a shattered man who has lost his life’s work and all the power he had consumed.

walter-laugh

Walter White in Season One, teaching high school chemistry. We’ve sure come a long way from these days.

Walter White. What do we make of the great Heisenberg? Do we scorn him? Love him? Cherish him? Tell stories about him? Talk about him in the classroom?

One thing’s for sure, we certainly won’t forget him.

Bryan Cranston’s portrayal of a middle-aged chemistry teacher diagnosed with lung cancer turned infamous methamphetamine cook, has been nothing short of brilliant and phenomenal.

It began with the very first scene of the pilot episode, where Walt comes running out of the RV saying his final goodbyes to his family.

It continued with his journey inside the meth business, slowly developing his signature dish, “the blue stuff.”

It grew to new heights when Walt met Gus Fring, the owner of Los Pollos Hermanos and kingpin of the most profitable meth industry in the southwest.

Heisenberg at his finest.

Heisenberg at his finest.

It reached the ultimatum when Heisenberg declared, “I am the one who knocks.

And it all fell apart on the greatest episode in the history of television, “Ozymandias,” where Walter’s empire shred to pieces as he watched his DEA Agent brother-in-law, Hank Schrader, die at the hands of the Neo-Nazi’s attempting to take over Walt’s business.

Jesse Pinkman, played by Aaroun Paul.

Jesse Pinkman, played by Aaron Paul.

But where would we be without the loveable Jesse Pinkman? You can make the argument that he’s changed more than any other character over the last five seasons. At first, we all hated the druggie who couldn’t get his life together. Now, we’ll all be crying if he’s the one who doesn’t make it out alive at the end of Sunday’s finale.

Then there’s Hank. Originally, we thought he was an irrelevant DEA agent who lacked the mental capacity to even fathom the idea that the man closest to him was the person he’d been searching for this whole time. But like every character in Breaking Bad, Hank evolved. He changed from a cocky jock that brews his own beer, to a character with humility that had to face his own personal battles. When his fate was decided during “Ozymandias,” a few tears strolled down our faces as we watched Hank die with class and honor.

We tormented Walt Jr. and made fun of Flynn because he had absolutely no idea that his father was the most renowned meth cook in Albuquerque

Anna Gunn as Skyler White.

Anna Gunn as Skyler White.

And of course, we hated Skyler too. But even so, her importance to the show cannot be measured. She is the glue that held Walt together, and she’s the only character that’s been strong enough to stand up to him. Skyler’s greatest attribute has always been her ability to look inside the mind of Heisenberg, and see past all of the lies and deception. No matter how much we despise Skyler, the show wouldn’t be the same without her.

When Breaking Bad ends on Sunday, my life just won’t be the same. My roommate and I won’t be spending the majority of our days thinking of conspiracy theories to explain why Todd is a psycho (we’ve literally spent hours debating this), or why Skyler never gave up Walt to the DEA.

Like the rest of you, I’ll be spending the rest of my week reading all the Breaking Bad buzzfeeds, while trying to find a plausible ending to this brilliant show. The way I see it, I think Walt leaves his mark by saving Jesse, killing off Todd and his crew, and turning himself in to the DEA because he knows he has nothing left to fight for.

Whatever does happen on Sunday, Walter White will go down as one of the greatest characters in the history of television, and Heisenberg’s legacy will stick in the minds of millions of Americans for quite some time.

You wanted us to remember your name. We’ll do more than that Mr. White, we’ll hail the King, for one last time.

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