What Could Happen in the Breaking Bad Finale

Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul at the 2013 EmmysThe characters are dropping like flies, with few people left standing. At the Emmy Awards last Sunday Bryan Cranston and Anna Gunn were giving viewers hints about the series’ last episode. Words like “apocalypse” and “Greek tragedy” have been bandied about, suggesting there are many more fatalities to come, in one last 48-minute episode. Seeing as Heisenberg left his drink on the bar after watching Charlie Rose (who doesn’t get livid at Charlie Rose? Amiright?), we may even tally Elliot and Gretchen Schwartz among the dead by series’ end. So what are the remaining possibilities for our band of nerdy thugs, white supremacists, and broken family members?

Possibility #1: Walt goes to kill Todd and Jack at their meth-making enterprise, and finds Jesse still alive. And Jesse finally seizes on the chance to kill Walt, so he grabs Jack’s gun and gets his would-be mentor dead in the face. Likelihood: High that Walt figures out where the newest meth lab is located, low that Jesse gets to end Walt’s life. Much more likely that Jesse, who was originally slotted to die in Season One, finally is killed.

Possibility #2: Walt goes to kill Elliot and Gretchen, but first wants to record them admitting Walt’s role was much larger in the formation of Gray Matter than they’d said publicly, and this hesitation costs him the chance at actually destroying them and their reputation. Either the DEA shows up, or the FBI, or the white power posse of Jack and Co. Likelihood: Medium that we get to see Elliot and Gretchen face to face with their dissed ex-partner. This may be one of the loose ends Vince leaves us with, evidence that in Walt’s cancer-ridden quest to set a terrible, overbearing legacy for his family, he loses everything he’s worked for—the love of his family, the money he earned, his morality, and not only Walt’s reputation but Heisenberg’s as well.

Possibility #3: Jesse escapes his captors again, this time successfully, and he meets up with Walt in Jesse’s torn-up house, where he finally kills Mr. White. Likelihood: Low, because Gilligan has already indicated that Jesse will never get to see justice, at least in the world Walter has created. This season, Jesse lamented:

Mr. White – he’s the devil. He is smarter than you, he is luckier than you. Whatever you think is supposed to happen, I’m telling you, the exact, reverse opposite of that is going to happen.

Possibility #4: Walt goes to reconcile with Walt Jr., and Skyler kills him while he’s there. I would love to see Skyler, who has been tortured emotionally for five seasons, finally get to take out her World’s Worst Husband Nominee. She has certainly danced over the line from innocent to involved to requesting hits on other people, but she has managed to keep at least a few shreds of her original ethics (remember when her biggest problem was Ted’s embezzlement?). After years of people hating Skyler, I am behind this option wholeheartedly. Bonus points to Anna Gunn if she kills him while he’s blathering on in an attempt to manipulate her. Likelihood: Medium mostly because Walt really, really wants his family to love him again, before he dies. He still lays out his bacon in his birthday number, Skyler’s little sweet gift to him each year.

Possibility #5: Holly accidentally kills Walt as he tries to get his family to run away with him so they can start over. Sure, they’ll start over, just without Heisenberg. Likelihood: High, if only because Vince loves a sudden spark of funny in the midst of his tragedy. Besides, he’s made a running commentary about children and violence/guns already in this series, with the character of Tómas, the child drug dealer, the violence surrounding Brock, and the shooting death and cover up of Drew Sharp. At this point in the narrative, anything is possible.

Possibility #6: Walt kills himself with the ricin. Likelihood: Near impossible, because that is not Walt’s style. And if he wanted to give up, he’d have only needed to keep nursing his drink in the Granite State and wait for the Sheriff to arrive, not take the risky move of going back home to pull the ricin out of the wall. We all know Heisenberg’s days (or maybe hours) are numbered, but his death won’t come at his own hand.

Possibility #7: The Feds find Walter and corner him, and he doesn’t make it out of the standoff. Likelihood: Medium mostly for the plausibility of the plot points. And it would be a great statement about Walt, at the very end, not getting to keep control over his universe. But it’s also flipping boring.

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