Breaking Bad – Season 5: Episode 15 – Granite State

MAJOR spoilers follow...

Well, it's finally happened. The glimpse of the future that we've been teased with a few times this season now seems to have come full circle. The end of this week's episode ended with what we can only assume to be Walt's return to ABQ under his new identity. What we didn't already know - perhaps his motivations may be a little different than expected.

We're first giving an amusing scene showing Walt becoming temporary bunkmates with Saul that pretty much determines we won't be seeing Saul again for next week's finale (no, he didn't die). Saul gives Walt what would probably amount to the best piece of advice that he's gotten since this whole thing began, but I think we all knew he wasn't going to take it.

Read Jason's review of the series finale here.

A great turn by Robert Forster as Saul's man who can make you disappear help anchor the meat of the story here. He brings Walt to a small cabin on a reservation and advises him that he cannot leave or he will surely be caught (I think we all knew he wasn't going to listen to THAT either). Forster will also occasionally bring supplies over time and even helps administer what appears to be a 'do-it-yourself' dose of chemo. It doesn't take long for Walt to develop cabin fever (perhaps, less about isolation and more about not being in control from his remote location). He even pays his companion an extra $10,000 for another hour of company, but this appears to be just as much about pumping him for information than anything else. Eventually, he can't take it anymore and ventures down to the local watering hole, but more on that momentarily.

Firstly, we need to check in with Jesse. After Todd seems to actually show him a little bit of compassion (despite their 'history'), Jesse makes an 'almost, but not quite' escape attempt, then announces he will no longer continue to help them. His punishment - Todd's cold blooded killing of Andrea right in front of Jesse's eyes, along with the reminder that they could still do something with Brock. As they do so well, they seemed to set it up as if they are going to kidnap her, but then catch us off guard. I certainly didn't see that coming and her death hit almost as hard as that of Hank's last week (she wasn't even in the thick of it). I believe now that Jesse is owed Todd's death at his own hands, but we'll just have to wait until next week.


Continuing their dominance, Todd and his crew popped up quite a bit elsewhere as well. In a pretty chilling scene, they even show up in the bedroom of Holly White. With his calm demeanor, Todd made a huge impact on Skyler and proved why he is such a vital part of the last chapter of Breaking Bad. The only real question would be, after all she's been through and all that she knows, why would Skyler EVER leave Holly alone. Also, Todd gets to show his more playful side as a cafe 'meeting' with Lydia re-sparks her interest in the meth game. In case you can't tell, I find "Meth Damon" to be one of the most interesting character additions to the BB world in a long time.

The episode ends with an amazing series of events in the local bar near Walt's reservation hideout. First, under the guise of a call from Marie, Walt gets to explain himself over the phone to his son. This does not go as well as he had hoped and it is obvious now how Junior really feels about his pop. Then, Walt places another call to the police and is seemingly waiting for them to arrive to meet his fate. But, a chance viewing of a Charlie Rose interview with his former partners at Gray Matters inspires a change of heart and we seem to be about to link up with this season's earlier flash forward. The police show up, but, of course, Walt is gone.

With only one episode left, it's actually kind of surprising that they re-introduced Gray Matters, a thread that seemed long over. But, in reality, what happened with Walt with that whole situation can really be said to have been the catalyst for his transformation into Heisenberg. It's going to be interesting to find out what happens in next week's finale with a bunch of things still out in the open (the ricin, that machine gun in Walt's trunk, the remaining six barrel's of money) and many major characters who have yet to meet their fate, but none of us will be surprised if they don't survive (Todd and crew, Lydia, Jesse, Skyler, Walt Jr., Walt himself, and, for you sickos out there, even Holly). Please forgive me if next week's review consists of just two words: Holy Crap (good or bad, it could be entirely appropriate). I truly believe, as hinted at in the Charlie Rose interview, that this week was Walter White's final episode of Breaking Bad. Next week, we'll get the chance to say goodbye to Heisenberg.

Episode 15 -- Grade: A+

Cast:- Bryan Cranston, Anna Gunn, Aaron Paul, Dean Norris, Betsy Brandt, RJ Mitte, Bob Odenkirk, Laura Fraser, Jesse Plemons, Steven Michael Quezada, Matt Jones, Charles Baker

TV Review by Jason Howard, , Lead Entertainment Writer

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