i Need Media
Predicting the Breaking Bad finale
By Matthew Singer 08/08/2013
This week, Breaking Bad begins its bullet-train charge to the finish line, and thank goodness: I don’t think my blood pressure could take much more of this. Once it concludes two months from now, the discussion of its placement among the greatest TV dramas of all time can begin. For now, though, all we can do is take blind stabs at how it’ll end. Of course, this show is famously unpredictable, but one thing seems obvious: Walter White ain’t getting out alive.
How, exactly, will that play out? Let’s look at the probable scenarios. (Here is where we offer the requisite “spoiler alert.”)
Ultimately, this is what the show must come down to, one way or another. Whether that means it’s Jesse offing his old chemistry teacher — perhaps after learning that Walt poisoned his girlfriend’s son to get at Gus in Season 4, or even worse, that he allowed Jane, the love of his life, to die of a heroin overdose in Season 2 — remains to be seen, but Breaking Bad began with these two, and needs to end with them. Odds: 2-1
Considering how the first half of Season 5 ended — Hank, on the toilet, reading a seemingly harmless inscription in a book of Walt Whitman poetry, a wave of realization washing over his face — this seems to be where the conflict is headed, in the short-term, anyway. But Walt getting done-in by the long arm of his brother-in-law? Seems a tad too … typical. Odds: 5-1
Given the (somewhat sexist) feelings toward Skyler by hardcore Breaking Bad acolytes, this is probably the only ending that could infuriate the fan base more than, say, cutting to black as Walt nervously eats breakfast in a Denny’s. Could definitely happen, though. Odds: 12-1
So Walt enters into a deal with another Gus-type kingpin, then decides he can just up and leave the business with no repercussions? I feel as though that giant gun he bought at the start of Season 5 has something to do with breaking their agreement. Still, I find it hard to believe some newly introduced dirtbag will be the guy to get the jump on Heisenberg. Odds: 75-1
It’d be quite a swerve, that’s for sure, though with last season’s foreshadowing, it seems more likely that ol’ Flynn goes to the big breakfast table in the sky himself before the series is finished. Odds: 500-1
If you ask me, this is the ending Walt deserves: to go out as the anti-Scarface, not in a blaze of bullets but alone, having lost his family and everything else, killed by the disease that caused him to start selling meth in the first place. Odds: 10-1
I suppose if Vince Gilligan really wanted to troll the viewership, he’d have Walt pull a D.B. Cooper and leap out of a plane with a sack full of money, then disappear to Tahiti or something, or force him into witness protection like Henry Hill to live the rest of his life “like a schnook.” In some ways, it’d actually make for a poetic conclusion. In another, more probable way . . . nah. Odds: Eight zillion-1
I Need Media is a biweekly media column by Matthew Singer. Follow him on Twitter@mpsinger.