Breaking Bad S04E13: Season Finale

Last week’s penultimate episode left us with a lot of questions and theories about the Brock cliffhanger. I’m writing this preamble before the finale airs, and right now it seems unlikely that either Gus OR Walt was the one who poisoned Brock. Although the poisoning was what brought Walt and Jesse back together, which is what Walt wanted, the idea that Walt would poison a child (with either the ricin or something else) seems like too much of a stretch for the character. And although the idea of Gus poisoning a child is easy to believe, the sloppiness of the plan was out of character, and Gus having knowledge of the ricin seemed like a stretch. So WHO KNOWS? In any case, this is a very sad day. No more Breaking Bad for just about a million years after this. Nothing gold can stay, I guess, and what could possibly be more golden than feeling depressed and anxious and having nightmares about a TV show every week. HONESTLY NOTHING! I am very sad! And I won’t get to talk about it at you guys anymore! Sad day. Ugh. Breaking Bad is the best. Let’s get to it.

The episode opens where the last left off — at the hospital garage with Walt taking the bomb off of Gus’s abandoned car. So he takes it off, puts it back into his gross purse, walks into the hospital, and begins to aggressively teethface ask Jesse what he said that made Gus wise to them. “Can I just ask my own question at this point?” asks Jesse. “DID YOU JUST BRING A BOMB INTO A HOSPITAL?” Hahaha. Very good question. I’d also like to add: Why do you have such a GROSS purse to carry it in? Couldn’t you have gotten a nicer purse? You have a billion meth bucks, get a better bomb purse.

While they’re chatting and looking like the two shadiest people to ever enter a hospital, two Albuquerque police officers approach Jesse and tell him they need to talk to him about “a statement he made to Brock’s mother.” Uh-oh. “We heard that you told her that ricin ‘sounds like rice.’ Did you think you really needed to clarify that the word you just said that very clearly sounded like rice sounds like rice? You’re going to need to come to the station.” In reality they said they needed to talk to him because doyoyoyoy he told Brock’s mom to check and see if he was poisoned by a very specific poison. RED FLAG ALERT ALARM. Weeoooweeooooweeoooooo. This recap is officially off the rails.

At the police station, the police ask Jesse how he knew to tell the doctors to check for such a specific, rare poison. He says, “I must have seen it on House or something. House or the Discovery Channel.” Aww, Jesse knows about House! WE KNOW ABOUT THAT SHOW TOO! We’re meant for each other. But the police aren’t buying that, obviously, so Jesse tells them to call his lawyer: Saul Goodman.

Speaking of Saul, Walt is trying to get into his office to get a phone number! His secretary doesn’t answer the door or the phone, so Walt breaks the glass door to get in. Then he gives the secretary $1700 to fix it, which is all the cash he has in his wallet, which is a LOT of cash to have in a wallet. The secretary sees her opportunity to be a major B and says she thinks it’ll cost $20,000. Walt for some reason doesn’t know that she’s extorting him right away (??), but then he gets it and she says, “Now I’m thinking $25.” Ugh, lady. I hate you! I didn’t hate you for the whole season and now you’re a person I hate, GREAT JOB.

So Walt drives to his house to get this dumb B all the money, but rather than walk in on “A TRAP” – Star Wars, he calls his neighbor who has a key and asks her to go in and check if Walt Jr. left a burner on. So she goes in and two white guys who I don’t think we’ve ever seen before come out of the back of the house. When Becky calls him to tell him the burner’s not on, Walt rushes in to get the money. But he doesn’t get out in time and the guys come back! But then he crawls out through an air vent thing.

Back at the station, Jesse asks the police how Brock is doing. They say nothing. Who are they, TYRUS? Then Saul bursts in, yaaaaaaaaay!

Jesse tells Saul that he’s thought of a place without cameras, where Walt can kill Gus. Then we see Saul telling Walt about how Gus took Jesse to see Salamanca at his nursing home. LOTS of names in that sentence. “Pinkman said it was like he was torturing the old guy,” says Saul, which makes Walt realize that Salamanca is Gus’s enemy — not friend — and he has a lightbulb moment and goes to see Salamanca.

“I know you despise me. I know you want to see me dead. But I’m willing to bet that I know a man whom you hate even more. I am offering you an opportunity for revenge.”

CUTE FACE, SALAMANCA! Cute little scrunchy face. In the next scene, Salamanca calls his nurse in (“Need to go poopie? Did you go poopie already?”). She gets her incredibly frustrating letter board and Salamanca spells out “NEED DEA.” To which she replies, “Honey, ‘dia’ inn’t a word. Help me out here.” Hey uh you know what else inn’t a word, nurse? INN’T!

The next scene takes us to Maria’s purple wonderland, where Walt Jr. is on the phone with Walt, once again trying to make him stay with them under the protection of the DEA. Marie steals the phone from Jr. and says, “I hope you have a banner day over there. I hope you sell a lot of air fresheners.” BITCH! I know she’s just trying to protect him, but uh maybe don’t insult his new weird job that he has for no visible reason? Then Hank’s DEA friend comes in and Hank says some stuff to him about how the laundromat uses twice the electricity of a normal laundromat which I have two problems with. First of all it never comes back or matters at all, except as a lead in for the Salamanca thing, so why waste our time? Second, I feel like — since Hank is such an expert DEA agent — that the amount of electricity the laundromat was using, compared with normal laundromats of that size, is something that they would have checked into already? That seems like a normal, obvious thing to check. I guess it IS only Hank that’s investigating it, and he can’t do EVERYTHING. But I felt like they could’ve left this out. Then again I also could have left it out of my recap so c’est la vie.

So yeah anyway, the DEA partner tells Hank about how Salamanca says he has information, but will only give it to Hank. Marie doesn’t want Hank to go, obviously, and says “There’s no way you’re going to do it — end of story.” And then everyone who has ever seen a TV show ever knew that the next scene would be Hank at the DEA, and then it was.

The nurse is there doing the letters thing, which is weird to me. It’s not a hard thing to do? I don’t think they needed to let the nurse in on this DEA investigation meeting JUST to point at letters. She could have easily explained that to a DEA person. “You point at the letters.” Done. But, whatever, she’s there and the first thing Salamanca spells is “Suck my…” and then next is “Fuc…” And then they give up, wheel him out, and load him into a van while TYSPYRUS LOOKS ON! Oooohhhhhhhhhhhhhh, we get it now.

In the next scene, Walt is waiting in Salamanca’s bathroom when he’s wheeled in. “Any second thoughts?” he asks. Salamanca doesn’t ring the bell so he says, “Then let’s get to work.” Yes! Let’s! Tyrus shows up at the retirement home and walks into Salamanca’s room with some kind of sensor thing, waving it all over the place. Walt is hiding outside the window and an old lady says hi to him. Then Walt drives away and Tyrus is left thinking the room is “all clear.”

At the police station, Jesse is told that Brock’s tox screen came back clear for ricin poisoning, so Jesse is free to go. As he walks out, he’s tased and put into a van. AH!

I’d talk more about this, but the extent to which it proved to be nothing kind of annoyed me. So. Moving on.

In the next scene we see Tyrus talking to Gus — he tells him that he thinks he should be the one to kill Salamanca, but Gus wants to do it himself. Then he takes off his CLIP ON TIE and gets changed for the retirement home. It’s important to me that it’s a clip on, but I couldn’t get a clear picture of it. But: CLIP ON.

At the retirement home, Gus stares at the entrence while he waits for Tyrus’s call saying that it’s all clear. This was VERY intense and great.

He tells his driver “wait here” and walks in, and it’s the same kind of shot like when he walked out to see the all of the poisoned cartel members.

Gus joins Tyrus in Salamanca’s room. “What kind of man talks to the DEA? No man. No man at all,” he says, then he pulls THE LOUDEST chair ever over to sit in front of him. He’s preparing to inject him with whatever and kill him and tells him that it’s the last chance he has to look at him. Hector doesn’t look at him until just before Gus injects him, and when he does it seems at first like he is very sad, which then kind of makes it seem like Gus is kind of sad:

But then Hector looks crazy and then Gus KNOWS.

The he sees the bomb underneath Hector’s wheelchair and goes “HHHAUUUUUUUUUUUU!” Famous last words! And then explosion. And then, I know this is probably going to be a controversial statement, I thought the part when he walked out and had a two face was PRETTY STUPID. We all saw this last night and it’s important so I’m not going to cover it with a Mr. Yuck, but here it is.

Ok, so I thought this part was stupid for a few reasons. First of all, it was very comic-booky and cartoony, which is absolutely not the style of Breaking Bad. This certainly wasn’t a bad reveal, but it was in no way a realistic reveal, and what I feel like most people like about Breaking Bad is its ability to shock while remaining believable and realistic. This was not that. This was cheap comic book shock that seemed very out of place. Second, these ladies:

NOPE. They would’ve been horrified. And their lack of expression added even more cheapness to the reveal, making it pretty close to just being a lie.



So those are my feelings on this scene. I rest my case.

In the next scene we see Jesse cooking at the lab, which is where he was taken after being tased. He and the white guy looking after him hear the doorbell, and the guy makes Jesse handcuff himself to a thing while he answers it. At this point I was VERY worried that Jesse would be in some situation where he’d have to try to get his hand out of the handcuffs and I was bracing myself for the worst. But nope It’s just good old scary Walt, here to tell Jesse that Gus is dead and it’s time to destroy the lab.

So they do that, set the fire alarm so the other workers leave, and walk out like a bunch of badasses.

In the next scene, Walt waits on the roof of the hospital and Jesse joins him to tell him that Brock is going to pull through. He’s in tears! It’s adorable.

Although Jesse does say “Kind of touch and go there for a while but he’s gonna make it,” which is just about the cheesiest hospital line ever, I thought this scene really made this episode. Jesse and Walt discuss how Brock wasn’t actually poisoned by Gus, rather, by the berries of a common plant called Lilly of the Valley (what is sure to be a classic punch line forever and ever and ever). Jesse tentatively looks for reassurance in Walt that killing Gus was the right thing to do, even though it was motivated by incorrect information. Walt assures him that it was. A regular George W. Bush and Dick Cheney these two, AM I RIGHT? After Jesse leaves, Walt stands on the roof looking incredibly and oddly relieved. Plus, HIS FACE HAS NO TEETH! WHAT COULD IT MEAN?

He receives a call from Skyler, while she and the family are gathered around the TV news, hearing about what happened to Gus. “Was this you? What happened?” she asks. “I won,” Walt replies. And then he hangs up. And then Skyler’s probably like, “Uhh what? Hello? WALT? Hellooooo?” and then she probably calls back being like, “Did your phone drop the call or something because you were talking and then it hung up?” because NOBODY EVER SAYS GOODBYE ON THIS SHOW AND THAT MUST BE CONFUSING TO BE ON THE OTHER END OF THAT CONVERSATION.

In the final scene, in what should have been probably a very good reveal, the camera slowly pans in on Walt’s Lilly of the Valley plant — the same plant that the spin the bottle gun landed on in the last episode.

Unfortunately, when I was looking for Breaking Bad GIFs on tumblr last week, I accidentally came across a post that explained this theory in detail. Ugh. It was absolutely terrible and I felt terrible when I accidentally read it because I though, ugh. This is definitely it. And then IT WAS IT. So unfortunately I have no idea how it would have felt to have received this information for the first time during this scene. But I do have some questions, still. I guess I’m almost willing to accept that Walk would have almost poisoned Brock in order to save his own family’s life. I GUESS. Just because Walt has been breaking badder more and more each season. So, fine. I guess now he’s the type of person who would RISK A KID’S LIFE to get what he wanted. But how did he do it? How did he get the cigarette from Jesse? Are we supposed to believe Huell, the bumbling bodyguard, snatched it off of Jesse and then replaced the pack without him ever noticing? And if not that, then how else? And how did he, the creepiest stranger OF ALL TIME, make Brock eat weird berries? And also WHERE’S MIKE? Are we supposed to think that Mike is dead? Why hasn’t anyone mentioned Mike recently?

So, I don’t know. I do think that this was a great ending to a great season, but it wasn’t without its problems. The Mike thing isn’t a problem necessarily. Just the other things. But. Yes. A fantastic season of television’s most fantastic show. I can’t believe we have to wait a year for a few more episodes and then it’ll be out of our lives forever. I love you, Breaking Bad! I miss you already!