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the death and resurrection of walter white (again)

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Tuesday, October 1st, 2013

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the death and resurrection of walter white (again)

super quick note: be sure to check out the predictions i made prior to the premiere of season 5.2. i got 4 out of 5 of my original predictions correct. most awesomely (is that a word?), though, i nailed my hair-brained marty robbins/felina prediction! (i was bummed, though, when someone pointed out to me a couple days ago that someone else [sorta] predicted the same thing almost a week before i did. either way, still cool.)

just over a month ago last year, i wrote a post titled, the death and resurrection of walter white. it was just after season 5.1 concluded with hank’s discovery that his brother-in-law, walt, was, in fact, heisenberg. i wrote that after walt told skylar that he was done with the meth business, we finally saw the return—the resurrection—of walter white.

boy, was i wrong.

season 5.2 proved that heisenberg was not only still alive and well, but he was back with a whole new depth of darkness.

but then we had sunday’s finale. which was nearly perfect. it was truly great. it’s so, so easy to screw up an ending (cough**dexter**cough), so the fact that vince gilligan and the writers got this right is a huge testament to how great they are at what they do.

and with the way they ended the series, i’m prepared to rewrite last year’s post.

in the end, walt dies, caressing—as vince gilligan called walt’s “precious”—the meth lab that he and jesse once created. perfectly, the show ended with badfinger’s baby blue, climaxing with walt collapsing in death. so, to be clear, in the end, walt was still drawn to the darkness of the cook. so, i make these comments in that light.

with that said, though, i believe we finally truly saw the resurrection of the final vestiges of walter white—rather than the dark, menacing heisenberg.

the critical reveal of the rebirth of walter white came as he visits skylar to say his final goodbye. for the first time since getting into the meth business, walt finally owns up to the truth of why he transformed into heisenberg. take a look at the scene here.

he finally admits that it wasn’t about the family. it was about him. and the writers got it right by having his admission that made him instantly sympathetic again. he instantly re-became the emasculated, downtrodden cancer victim that we met in season 1. he re-became walter white.

my best-case scenario was that, in the end, walt would reunite with jesse, reigniting some of the father-son sparks we saw in small doses throughout the series. while we certainly didn’t get any warm embraces, we did, in fact, see some traces of those sparks from earlier seasons. once walt learns that jesse has been held captive by the nazis, he risks his own life to save jesse as he takes out the nazis (in one of the craziest, coolest gun scenes ever…). heisenberg would’ve taken out jesse, but walter white aids jesse in his escape, while remaining to suffer an inevitable death.

as the credits rolled on the finale, i felt satisfied. sure, i’ll deeply miss breaking bad, but after experiencing the death of walter white over the course of the show’s 5 seasons, it felt really good, in the end, to witness his resurrection.