Breaking Bad went out with a bang once again, as the fourth season wrapped up in a very explosive way this week. The finale is very tidy, which makes sense, since creator/writer Vince Gilligan was preparing for the possibility of using the episode as a series finale as well.
I don't want to spoil anything for those of you who haven't checked it out yet, but let's talk about the biggest moments of the episode (right up to that very last frame) when you
- Walt uses his neighbor as bait. After his car bomb fail, Walt heads home to try to grab some cash from below the floorboards — but you didn't expect him to just stroll on in, did you? Instead, he asks his neighbor to go inside to check the stove. Thankfully, his neighbor is unharmed and Walt manages to escape from the two thugs that were watching the house.
- Hector agrees to team up with Walt. Back in Season 2, when Hector watched Walt and Jesse try to poison his nephew Tuoco, I never would have believed that Hector would eventually become the key to saving Walt's life. When Walt realizes that Hector is Gus's sworn enemy, his plan of attack falls into place, and the old man agrees to sacrifice himself if Gus is brought down in the process.
- Gus's death gives us The Dark Knight flashbacks. I knew there was no way Gus would come out of this episode alive, but his execution is nothing short of brilliant. Walt uses Hector to lure Gus right into Hector's room at the nursing home, where Gus plans to take Hector down once and for all. The joke's on him, though: my eyes have never been so wide as when the camera honed in on the bomb strapped to Hector's chair (the event is made only more poetic by the trigger placed inside Hector's bell.) For a split second, it seems like Gus may have made a miraculous recovery — until we see that half of his skull is completely empty. Not only is it a badass move on Walt's part, but the final image of Gus is a perfect microcosm of the two-faced man we've come to know over the past few seasons.
- Walt and Jesse blow up the lab. The little explosion at the nursing home is nothing compared to what Walt has in store next. He heads to the meth lab where he quickly wastes Jesse's kidnappers, then enlists the help of his partner to destroy their place of work. I'm kind of sad for Hank that he never got to justify his spot-on intuition about the laundry factory, but there's always next season, right?
- Walt's true colors are revealed. In the second-to-last episode, Walt tells Jesse that Gus has always been 10 steps ahead of him. But in the final moments of the episode, we learn that it's really Walt that's been ahead of Gus in the events leading up to his death. It turns out that Walt is no better than Gus, as he's the one that poisoned Brock and got Jesse all up in arms. It was a risky move (it's not like Jesse's never shot anyone before), and I'm still not entirely sure when Walt had the time to steal Jesse's poisoned cigarette or convince Brock to eat poisoned berries. With that said, the final image of the Lily of the Valley in Walt's backyard leaves us with plenty to chew on now that so many other story lines have been tied up.
Are you still thinking about the finale like I am? I can't believe we have to wait until next Summer to see where Walt and Jesse are headed now that the lab is gone. Will you miss Gus on the show?
Photo courtesy of AMC