over the course of the last 8 weeks, we witnessed the death of walter white.
no, you didn’t just receive a giant spoiler. walter white didn’t physically die. he’s still alive and well. but walter white left us throughout the course of this 5th season. we were left only with heisenberg. there was only a sociopathic, murderous meth manufacturer and newly crowed drug kingpin.
heisenberg is driven by greed and power. he kills when deemed necessary and holds no remorse. he exercises cold disinterest toward his wife. he fearlessly demands his will to his enemies. he’s nearly emotionless, carefully calculating his every move. (seriously, the scene where all the prisoners were murdered was one of the most gruesome and difficult to watch scenes in the show’s history.)
heisenberg allowed no more room for walter white.
death, though, sometimes leads to resurrection.
at the very tail end of sunday night’s episode, we finally see, it seems, the return of walter white. after skyler reveals a shocking mountain of cash that she’s been unable to launder due to its volume, walt reveals to skyler that he’s done with the meth gig (he also makes amends with jesse by giving him his fair share of the money). while i’m still not sure that heisenberg won’t rear his ugly head, we, at very least, got a few final moments with walter white. like those fleeting moments in a cold hospital room as your loved one prepares to enter the next life.
whether or not walter white remains or heisenberg returns, the end is certainly nigh.
the midseason finale ends with a peaceful lunch poolside in which the kids finally return to their home with a newly reunited walt & skyler. my stomach was in knots as i was nearly convinced that something awful was going to happen during this scene. rather, we’re left with what becomes the proverbial cliffhanger. and a great one it was. (not to mention that it sorta kinda fulfilled one of my preseason predictions.) watch it unfold here.
brilliant. one of my favorite things throughout the entire series of breaking bad is the writers taking small details from the past that you almost forgot about and making them critical plot pieces. beautiful example of that in this case.
one final note: in some ways, this was a disappointing season. don’t get me wrong, the show was as incredible and expertly crafted as ever (probably moreso than ever). the disappointment came, though, in being forced to say farewell to walter, who we’ve spent 4 seasons rooting for. season 5 disallowed us to embrace him as the hero. walter the hero disappeared and only heisenberg the villain remained for the majority of the season. i’m glad we got a glimpse of walter white again. here’s to hoping he stays…even if doom is impending.
also, lest we forget how season 5 began, below is a photo of a very different walter white than what we’ve seen so far. there are many more twists and surprises to come, indeed.
so, we’ll see how this plays out…next year.