preaching the end of the world: predictions for the final episodes of ‘breaking bad’

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Friday, August 9th, 2013

preaching the end of the world: predictions for the final episodes of ‘breaking bad’

UPDATE : sunday, august 11 : 1:06 p.m.

yesterday morning (a day after originally posting this), i was fully prepared to change my final prediction to say that walt would not die. my thinking was that death is too easy of an escape. rather, losing everythingtruly embodying the tale of ozymandias—is the ultimate punishment for walt’s actions.

but then i had a conversation with a fellow breaking bad geek yesterday.

the conversation went like so:

me: the final episode is titled, ‘felina’. i’m trying to figure out if that tells us anything.

him: (jokingly) maybe marty robbins will show up and have a shoot-out with walt.

and then i did that i-don’t-know-what-you’re-talking-about-but-i’ll-laugh-and-nod-to-pretend-i-know-the-reference. (c’mon, you know you do it, too…)

like any good pop culture geek, when i got home, i googled “marty robbins felina”. and, ultimately, i found this:

so, my friend was referencing the character in the song, feleena (while the actual mexican named is spelled felina, feleena is the way marty robbins spelled it). in a nutshell, the song tells the story of a man who goes to el paso and falls in love with a woman named feleena. when another man makes a move on here, the singer guns him down and is forced to flee el paso. ultimately though, his love for feleena compels him to return to el paso to reclaim her (lyrics: “my love is stronger than my fear of death”). but before he can do that, he’s gunned down by what we can assume to be friends of the victim or maybe the law.

here’s what we know: the penultimate episode is called the granite state, which is new hampshire. new hampshire, of course, is referenced in the first episode of season 5. that’s where walt’s driver’s license and license plate is registered to.

so, connecting the dots, i think walt makes a decision to flee once he knows that hank has discovered his true identity. once he flees—much like the singer in marty robbins’ song—i think something happens to either his family or possibly to jesse that prompts walts to make the decision to return to albuquerque to settle the score—hence the reason for getting the weapons and the car in episode 1. i think this will be walt’s final stand, ending the series with his tragic death.

look, i know this is a crazy longshot, but i think there’s gotta be a deeper meaning for vince gilligan naming the episode felina. and i know that vince gilligan has stated that he considers breaking bad to be a modern-day western. few songs embody the spirit of old westerns more than marty robbins’ classic song.

i might be laughing about this crazy prediction come october when the series concludes, but for now, i’m crazy enough to go with it.

happy breaking bad viewing tonight!


this sunday night (august 11 at 8 p.m.), the long wait mercifully comes to an end. yes, breaking bad finally returns. it’s been a very long time since we saw the first half of the 5th and final season, so it’ll be good to finally connect the dots and complete the story.

[if you’d like a recap of season 5’s midseason finale—along with some video—go here to see my post from last september.]

last year, prior to the beginning of season 5, i offered some predictions. all in all, i did pretty good, particularly in my prediction that the midseason cliffhanger would be hank finding out that walt is heisenberg. the final 8 episodes are a bit more mysterious, so the following predictions are, at best, educated guesses. we’ll see how i did come october when the series wraps.

without further ado, here we go.

1. a secondary character will be walt’s ultimate downfall.

particularly, it’s most likely to be todd, but i’m leaving the door open for a person like lydia. the reason i focus on todd is two-fold. first, i don’t think they’d introduce a character as strongly as they did todd in the first half of the final season if not for a significant reason. secondly—and this is going out on a limb—i think the jar with the tarantula will somehow be significant. i’m really not sure how, but there was such a strong focus on that jar/spider in episodes 5 and 6, that i think it will resurface.

2. walt will kill todd.

speaking of our pal todd, i don’t think he’s making it to the end of the series. upon jesse’s departure, walt made todd his assistant. walt has done very few things wrong throughout the course of the series, but this move is definitely one of them. todd being a part of walt’s life is bound to lead todd down a path of destruction. and i believe that destruction will come at the hands of walt.

3. walt’s cancer will return.

good standup comedians skillfully bring their routines full circle by referencing a joke early in their sets. and so do good tragedies. the series began with the grim discovery that walt has late-stage lung cancer. the cancer has been a character until itself throughout the series, but in the last season, it was less in the forefront. so, i think it’s time to bring it full circle and make it, again, a prominent character.

4. hank goes rogue.

the big cliffhanger, of course, was hank’s realization that walt is, in fact, the great heisenberg. as a family member, though, this puts hank in a tricky position. which is why he won’t just mount up with his DEA buddies and take down walt. i think he’ll stage his own investigation. i think hank will catch up with walt, ultimately, in one of two ways. first, either by discovering the storage locker full of cash. or, i could see this is where my earlier prediction of todd being walt’s downfall comes into play. either way, i think hank will go at it alone—at least for the majority of the season.

5. walt dies. jesse lives.

ok, this is the one i cringe typing because i’ve changed my mind on this literally 10+ times. the main thing that has me waffling is that it’s so predictable that walt dies. i still believe that deep down somewhere inside of walt, he’s a good person that the writers want to see redeemed in the end. but. i don’t think that’s gonna happen. on the flipside, though, i do believe that the writers want things to end well for jesse. to me, he’s to breaking bad as bubbles was to the wire. in the midst of enormous tragedy and death, bubbles was the one ending that showed a crack of light. (side prediction: i think walt will die unspectacularly. the writers won’t dignify him by going out in some kind of blaze of glory. it will be unexpected and nuanced.)

alright, there you have it. i could be 100% wrong with every single one of these, but this is my story and i’m stickin’ to it.

of course, we’ll find it all out over the next couple months. it should be fun.