Breaking Bad Episode (5×15) Review – “Granite State”

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Breaking Bad Prepares Fans to Say Good-Bye with “Granite State”

AMC’s Breaking Bad winds down to the second to last episode. Hank’s death last week has destroyed the White/Schrader family leaving Marie devastated and Walter in hiding. It was bad enough for their relationships once Hank and Marie learned the truth about Walter, but now that Hank is dead at what appears to be Walt’s hands, Walter has lost the one thing he claims he’s only wanted to protect – his family. Jesse, who had ratted Walter to Hank, is now in the clutches of the Aryan Brotherhood and forced into slavery as a meth cook. “Granite State” transformed Walter White from a criminal hiding in fear into the man on a mission we’ve met in the flashforwards. Gone was the life he once knew, and now Walter has to decide if his life is worth living or if it’s better to fade away.

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My Secret Identity

Now that both Walter and Saul are in hiding from the DEA, Saul’s fixer is on the case. This guy has been talked about for a while, and the closest we’ve come to him was in “Confessions” when Jesse was supposed to be whisked out of the country to begin a new life. The Fixer has created new identities for both me. Saul is headed to Nebraska, while Walter is taken to a remote cabin in New Hampshire. If I were to feel sorry for Walter, it would be now. Not only does the cabin lack tv and phone reception, but it also doesn’t have any books and only possesses two copies of the same movie. If I was Walter I think I would have followed Saul’s advice and turned myself in to police. At least in prison you get cable television. Watching Walter adjust to his new life, you finally begin to see the version of himself we met in the flashforwards emerging.

“Mr. Lambert, welcome to New Hampshire.”

Breaking Bad 5x15 - Granite State 2Love and Other Drugs

As Walter plays recluse, Jesse continues to be held captive by Todd. Todd’s desire for Lydia’s affections become obvious when Jack’s crew ransacks the Schrader home and confiscate all of Hank’s evidence against Walter. In the evidence is Jesse’s confession about all of his and Walter’s dirty jobs. Todd is named as well as the a child killer. Jack wants to execute Jesse, but Todd holds him off. Todd’s plan is to use Jesse to get the purity of the meth up so Lydia will be happy, and thinks that it’ll increase his chances of hooking up with Lydia. Knowing Lydia she probably already has figured out Todd’s interest in her and is using Todd’s feelings for her for her own purposes. When Todd later “rewards” Jesse for a job well done with a bowl of ice cream, it’s apparent Todd just wants the guy to like him. What’s also apparent is that Todd is feigning empathy, which is later proved to be true when Todd executes Jesse’s girlfriend as punishment for Jesse’s escape attempt. I’m just glad Brock wasn’t home, but I don’t think Jesse’s going to make it. Todd is a bonafide psycho. It’s just a matter of time before he snaps.

“That woman’s so tight, she probably got a wood chipper for a coochie.”

Breaking Bad 5x15 - Granite StateFear and Loathing in New Mexico

Jesse and Walter may not be in great shape, but Skylar has managed to get her feet back on the ground. She’s found an accounting job, a new home, and is even using her maiden name. The DEA have still frozen her accounts and are keeping an eye on her, but at least she’s still free. Walter Jr.’s life also seems back to normal. I figured once the news got out about Walter’s business the kids at school would be mean and shun Walt Jr., but when we meet up with him at school the other students don’t appear to be giving him a hard time. Thank god! The kid’s been through enough already. Even though we don’t see much of Skylar beyond the beginning of the episode, it was nice to see Walter Jr. tell off his father for all the dirt he’s done. Walter may end up walking away from this scot-free, but if he pays by losing everything he once had I’ll be pleased.

“That dead-eyed Opie piece of shit.”

Verdict

This episode of Breaking Bad wasn’t what I expected, but I don’t think I had any true idea of what to expect to be quite honest. Vince Gilligan has kept mum on the final season, and even the episode synopsis are so vague as to be pointless. Even though I went into this episode without any clue what to expect, I will say that it was a great episode to have before the series finale. Not only did we see Walter evolve from the guy we knew last week to the one we’ve been seeing all season long via the flashforwards, but the episode also appeared to indicate who Walter had retrieved the ricin and firearms for – his old friends the Schwartzes. When the season began I believed Walter would get away with his crimes, but now that he’s set off on a kamikaze revenge tip, I have a feeling he’ll go down in a blaze of glory. What do you think? Will Walter White finally get his comeuppance or will he ride off into the sunset victorious? Sound off in the comments below, and be sure to tune in next Sunday for the series finale.


Breaking Bad Series Finale Airs Sunday, September 29, 2013 at 9PM on AMC