Talk about kicking you while you’re down. We thought Breaking Bad couldn’t get any more depressing after last week’s episode, which included: marital knife fights! Nazi torture! Hank death! A baby that won’t stop screaming please make it stop screaming!
Granite State was less of a relentless ordeal than Ozymandius, but it was no less harrowing. After all, it included a young mother gunned down on the doorstep, and Walt paying $10,000 just so a mercenary would hold his hand during chemotherapy.
Where do we go now, with only one episode left? With half the cast dead, and the others trapped in fates worse than that, the options seem limited:
Remember the massive gun Walt bought way back in the Season 5 premiere? It seems pretty clear he intends to use it on Jack, Todd and the rest of the Neo-Nazis who stole his money and killed his brother in law. But the idea of Walt storming the compound with a minigun seems unlikely. He’s no marksman, and the cancer-weakened Heisenberg couldn’t even intimidate Saul, a man whose defining trait is intimidability.
2. Yeah science!
Remember the ricin Walt retrieved from his former family home? That’s more his speed. Despite the endless discussion of those two vials, we have never actually seen anyone successfully dosed. It’s been Chekhov’s Poison for years now. If Walt is going after the Nazis, expect a Rube Goldberg/A-Team scheme ala the wheelchair bomb or magnet heist, possibly involving the poison. Another option? The ricin is Walt’s easy way out. After all, his own son asked him to die as quickly as possible. [Starts crying, hugs hot water bottle, tries to remember the good times.]
3. Jesse suffers
Honestly, what else can happen to Jesse at this point? This episode cruelly hinted at his escape, only to punish him in the worst way possible. He is the wildcard in all of this, although it’s hard to see what part he could play while chained to a radiator, cooking meth for Nazis. Perhaps some explosive equipment sabotage? Or maybe they’ll make him eat a puppy?
Jesse described Walter as ‘The Devil’, as not only was he smarter, but luckier than his enemies. But ever since Vince Gilligan and the writers decided Walt’s luck had run out (when Hank picked up that copy of Leaves of Grass), nothing has gone his way. Even at his most desperate, fans tend to assume Walt will get some small victory. But maybe he won’t. Maybe he’ll collapse and die from the cancer in some scummy motel, unavenged, his family in tatters, his formula stolen and sold by Nazis. That sort of feel-good ending would definitely fit the current tone.
5. Witness Protection
Walt goes into witness protection and becomes the dad in Malcolm in the Mid…what, you’ve heard that one before? Forgive me for trying to make a joke in a world utterly devoid of hope.
So, that seems to be the way things are heading. Then again, Breaking Bad has never, ever done the expected. That’s why we love it, even if it is so cruel to us. What do you think will happen?