Sunday, September 2, 2012

'Breaking Bad' Finale Review - 5.08 Gliding Over All

        On the season 5A finale of AMC's Breaking Bad, Walt attends to some loose ends and in the process makes a dangerous decision that will affect his entire family and business.

        The finale truly was the beginning of the end. During the episode, Walt learned the nine names of the the people in jail from Lydia, he ceremoniously had them all murdered within two minutes, he expanded his business, Skyler showed him a storage locker filled with money, Jesse was given his share of the money, and Walt decided to leave the business at the exact same time that Hank learned the truth about him.
        This show at its core has been about the change and transition of Walt, the chemistry teacher, to Heisenberg, the drug kingpin. For the majority of the finale, Walt's progression has finished as he has become the leader of an international drug business. This episode utilized two montages to portray Walt's growth very effectively. The first was the deaths of all nine inmates in tragic fashion as Walk simply stared at his watch. The second showcased all the details of Walt's new international business venture.
        This was probably the quietest finale this show has ever produced - which was a tad disappointing, but my anticipation is still so very high for the final episodes. Cranston's performance was the center for almost everything in this episode - which didn't equate to much screentime for Jesse, Skyler, Saul, Hank or Marie. However, they each made the best with their limited presences with such memorable and griping acting.
        The episode also featured many callbacks to many previous episodes. The fly at the top of the hour, the hand dryer at the hospital, Walt and Jesse talking about the old RV, and the book of Walt Whitman poems. Since we are now halfway through the finale season it was nice to see the show be so conscious to its many past iconic moments.
        At the start of this season, we saw a glimpse of the future. Although the finale did not catch up to that timeline, it did give us many more things to ponder as the stage has thoroughly been set for the final eight episodes. How will Hank react to this new information? Is Walt truly out of the drug business (and will his distributors actually let him?) Does Jesse truly not trust Walt anymore? Has Walt's cancer return and is that the real reason he's exiting the business? Answers await in 2013!

So what did everyone think of the finale? Are you bummed that we have to wait until next year to see the final 8 episodes? Share your thoughts in the comments.