Warning: If you have not seen the series finale, there are major spoilers ahead.
The "Breaking Bad" finale was probably the best ending to the series we could have asked for.
We were equally dreading and anticipating the series' finale Sunday evening.
While we were excited to know the fate of Walter White, his family, and Jesse, we were nervous that the series may not live up to the expectations of being called one of the "best TV shows" ever.
Previous big finales — "The Sopranos" and "Lost" — have left fans at odds, so we were half expecting a big controversial ending to come out of "Breaking Bad" as well.
But creator Vince Gilligan sent the AMC series off with a bang — or a few, literally — delivering an ending deserving of our favorite anti-hero.
It wasn't sappy. It wasn't over-the-top. It was just perfect.
From payback to the ultimate sacrifice, Walt went out firing on all cylinders.
Here's what made the "Breaking Bad" finale one of the most satisfying hours of television we've ever seen.
1. Walt terrorizes Elliott and Gretchen.
Walt didn't kill his former business partners. He did one better. Walt got the best of them by asking them to give the rest of his meth fortune away to Walt Jr. on his 18th birthday.
Scaring the pair into thinking he hired gun men to hunt them down if they didn't do his bidding was just an extra.
(We have to admit, the reveal below was one of the most unexpected moments of the series, and we loved it.)
However, Bryan Cranston revealed in an extra from the episode he believes his character wouldn't have been afraid to actually harm them.
"He knows he would kill them if they resisted or fought him in any way," says Cranston. "But I don't want to do that because the important agenda is to frighten them into doing my bidding -- to get this money to my family."
We still see Walt's pride get the best of him when he adds that Gretchen and Elliot must "... use my money. Never yours ... " when dealing with his family.
2. Getting to see Badger and Skinny Pete one last time.
Gilligan is all about details. So it was satisfying (and a slight relief?) to see Walt didn't actually hire hitmen to guard watch over his old friends, but instead enlisted the help of Jesse's friends — with lasers — to aid in his brilliant scheme.
3. Walt finally admits to Skyler that he didn't start cooking meth for the family. He did it for himself.
"I did it for me." said Walt. "I liked it. I was good at it. And, I was really … I was alive."
Telling himself that he was cooking to benefit his family was the ultimate lie — and even he believed it for a little while. Walt was all about making a name for himself and leaving behind a legacy.
So when he finally comes clean with his wife, tells her the truth about Hank's death, and leaves her with the burial site of Hank's body, he gives Skyler the closure she needs to move on while seeing his children one last time.
3. Walt uses the ricin — on Lydia!
We saw this coming! A meticulously planned out, untraceable death given to the person who believed she was the most dubious and calculating made the most sense. The best part? Walt getting to speak to Lydia on the phone so she knew he got the best of her in the end.
4. The M60 machine gun used and oh was the result wonderful.
This was a great throwback to the science of the show and also the former tactics Walt used against his former enemies (Tuco, Gus).
There was no way Walt — a man on his deathbed — could physically go head to head with Todd's uncles. A remote controlled machine gun blasting through the wall annihilating the entire crew was genius.
Gilligan admitted in an extra that when they first introduced the weapon, he had no idea how it would fit into the end.
"When we first planted the seed of this M60 machine gun 16 episodes ago, we didn't know exactly A. How it was going to be used or B. Who it was going to be used on. Uncle Jack didn't even really exist at that point."
5. Walt decides to save Jesse!
Admittedly, Walt was never planning on saving him.
It's not until Walt looks his former student in the eye and sees him beaten, broken, and in chains that he realizes this isn't what he wanted for him.
Even Gilligan himself admits that until that very moment, Walt was going to kill Jesse along with the rest of them.
6. Todd gets taken out Jabba the Hutt style
Todd has gotten creepier and creepier as the series progressed. From killing an innocent boy on a motorcycle to thinking he could make a life with a woman years beyond his age to enslaving a man into making meth for him.
It was fitting that Jesse got revenge on Todd.
7. Jesse gets his happy ending
This is as happy as "Breaking Bad" is getting.
Previously, we thought it didn't make sense for Jesse to live. After seeing the man become so broken it appeared he had nothing left to live for.
Even during his showdown with Walt, we were afraid Jesse may take his own life unable to live with all of the death and pain that has surrounded him.
Jesse's been used to taking orders from his former teacher, so when Walt finally gave Jesse the option to kill him and he refuses, the choice is his. Not Walt's. That's what allows him to walk out of there a free man.
In the end, it wasn't the cancer that killed Walt. He was killed trying to save Jesse.
Instead, we see Walt — our own Ozymandias, king of kings — live out his final moments, looking upon the legacy he built. Though a different man, he left the series as we met him wearing a similar outfit, in a makeshift lab, and with a full head of hair. There's even a nod to the gas mask from the opening episode.
Walt ended his life on his own terms. He went out doing what he loved, feeling alive, rather than as a school teacher and part-time car wash employee. He always ragged on Jesse in chemistry class for not reaching his full potential, but it took 50 years and a diagnosis of cancer for Walt to reach his. So be it that that ended up coming in the form of a meth drug lord.Best line of the episode:
Walt: "Elliott, if we're going to go that way, you're going to need a bigger knife."
What did you think of the finale? Did you think it was ending fitting of Walter White? Favorite moments? Sound off in the comments below.
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