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Subject: Breaking Bad Finale Discussion -- Season 5 Ep 16 "Felina" [Spoilers] rss

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Erik D
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radynski wrote:
Bankler wrote:
Walter White froze to death in a car in New Hampshire, and the rest of the final episode is his dying hope/fantasy.

The problem with that theory is that there's no evidence whatsoever to back it up. If you want to start playing that game, you could pick any point in the entire show and say that's where the dream starts.

It's a fun idea that's clearly not the intent, like how Ferris Bueller is just Cam's Tyler Durden.
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Chris Long
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erak wrote:
It's a fun idea that's clearly not the intent, like how Ferris Bueller is just Cam's Tyler Durden.

I LOVE that idea. My wife loves that movie and now I have to go text her.
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Brian Bankler
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You mean things like Walter sneaking into Skylar's house without being noticed? Getting into a snowed-in car without disturbing any of the snow in it (as compared to having gotten into it and then sitting there so long it gets snowed in as he freezes)? Being able to waltz into a multi-billionares mansion without running into any security? Suddenly having all of his plans work? (Lydia and Todd both say no meeting will happen, but it happens. To be fair, that scene was hard to hear for me, so I may have misheard it).

The entire Skylar scene feels reminiscent of the Sixth Sense. To be fair, they are clearly in a conversation (while Bruce Willis is never shown talking to anyone other than Haley Joel) but is he really there? Would Skylar really not just rush him out. If the cops discovered him there she's suddenly involved again.

The instant he makes a prayer things turn around amazingly from the downward spiral of the last half-season.

Something I don't remember, but which would seem to me to be a real test of this theory -- Does Walter cough at any point after making his prayer? If not, then that's strong proof, he's been coughing pretty constantly the prior episode. (Coughing after being shot doesn't count). I don't remember him coughing much, it all, after the cold open.

Edit/Update -- As for whether that's VG's intent -- I don't think so, but there are so many things that make me think "Hm" that I won't rule it out. It would be a way to have his cake that there is no redemption (Walter dies alone in a car) while still pleasing most of the fans.
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Wasn't he coughing when he built the Heisenberg KKKill-O-Matic 9000?
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Chris Long
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Well I'm really looking for actual evidence. Everything you listed out (with the exception of the coughing - I'd like to see that answered) is really just implausible scenarios that strain believability. But that's not evidence.

Every argument I've heard from people that didn't like the ending essentially boils down to the fact that at the very end, Walt mostly got what he wanted. And I just disagree with that. He got beat down pretty freaking hard over the past couple of episodes. I think we've seen pretty clearly how all of his plans went to shit. Just because he manages to get a little silver lining doesn't exactly make up for the fact that he's lost everything he ever cared about.

And all of the nit-picky points that are being brought up when the shows strains believability seem to ignore the fact that there was plenty of that throughout the entire run of the show. I mean, seriously, how did Walt ever become the drug kingpin of New Mexico? That entire process was filled with incredible strokes of luck at every turn. The fact that he wasn't dead seasons ago was incredibly lucky.

It seems to me like people were perfectly fine with Walt's crazy plans magically working out, up until the very last one. I don't get it.
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jonnylawless wrote:
Wasn't he coughing when he built the Heisenberg KKKill-O-Matic 9000?

Not sure, but he certainly had a coughing fit at the diner when he snuck up on Lydia and Todd, though I guess it could be argued that was deliberate to play up both his desperation and that he'd present little risk to them. Only Todd knew better, of course...

I wonder if Jessie could be regarded as Walt's Felina (per the song) ...the one person he must reach before the end.
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Chris Long
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MFinch wrote:
I wonder if Jessie could be regarded as Walt's Felina (per the song) ...the one person he must reach before the end.

I feel like the ending scene with the lab is meant to convey that the lab itself was Walt's "Felina".
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Brian Bankler
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radynski wrote:
Well I'm really looking for actual evidence. Everything you listed out (with the exception of the coughing - I'd like to see that answered) is really just implausible scenarios that strain believability. But that's not evidence.

I enjoyed the ending, to be sure. (I was not one who wanted to see Walter ground into dust, although I thought that he had to die in the finale I was hoping he'd get some mixed redemption, and I think he did).

People escaping to fantasy, particularly as they lay dying, does not strike me as implausible.

The fact that this argument exists adds to my enjoyment. Unlike Norm MacDonald, I'm perfectly fine with ambiguity. I brought up the coughing because I literally did not remember (I do think that Walt coughed a bit in the restaurant, as mentioned above).

A more likely explanation is simply that they'd run out of time and felt no urge to have a totally plot driven finale but have it act as a denouement (a decision I wholeheartedly support).

I read that the "One King, Two Kings!" line by Robert Forrester (the vacuum cleaner in 'Granite State') was improvised. But with the fire house scene in Ozymandias (close up on a chess endgame with two kings) the writers liked it and kept it in. It may be that they filmed that scene first, and then decided to add chess to the firehouse scene. It works as symbolism, even though it was an appropriation by the writers instead of a conscious pre-planned decision.

That's how I feel about this theory.
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Eric "Shippy McShipperson" Mowrer
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radynski wrote:
Well I'm really looking for actual evidence. Everything you listed out (with the exception of the coughing - I'd like to see that answered) is really just implausible scenarios that strain believability. But that's not evidence.

Every argument I've heard from people that didn't like the ending essentially boils down to the fact that at the very end, Walt mostly got what he wanted. And I just disagree with that. He got beat down pretty freaking hard over the past couple of episodes. I think we've seen pretty clearly how all of his plans went to shit. Just because he manages to get a little silver lining doesn't exactly make up for the fact that he's lost everything he ever cared about.

And all of the nit-picky points that are being brought up when the shows strains believability seem to ignore the fact that there was plenty of that throughout the entire run of the show. I mean, seriously, how did Walt ever become the drug kingpin of New Mexico? That entire process was filled with incredible strokes of luck at every turn. The fact that he wasn't dead seasons ago was incredibly lucky.

It seems to me like people were perfectly fine with Walt's crazy plans magically working out, up until the very last one. I don't get it.

Yeah, this.

1) He died. That wasn't great for him.
2) His money probably won't get to his family.
3) Even if it did, his family hates him forever.
4) He didn't recover vast majority of it, now lost forever, presumably.
5) Hank was killed.
6) Saul refused to go with him.
7) Did I mention he died?
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Chris Long
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Bankler wrote:
...and felt no urge to have a totally plot driven finale but have it act as a denouement (a decision I wholeheartedly support).

I agree. I feel like Ozymandias was clearly the climax of the series as a whole. These last two episodes were pure denouement. And I liked that.
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Matthew M
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Bankler wrote:
Following @NormMcDonald I see he's been going on about a rather interesting theory.

Walter White froze to death in a car in New Hampshire, and the rest of the final episode is his dying hope/fantasy.

(Emily Nussbaum also wrote that she hoped that was the intent, see http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/culture/2013/09/breaki...)

This theory works pretty well and is fairly satisfying. Still pondering it.

The biggest hole in the theory is that Walt had no idea about the details of Jesse's situation to be able to incorporate it into his dream.
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Octavian wrote:
The biggest hole in the theory is that Walt had no idea about the details of Jesse's situation to be able to incorporate it into his dream.

Exactly. In addition, he had no reason to dream up a new house for Eliot and Gretchen. The dream theory doesn't add up.

I really liked the final episode. After so many episodes where the only remaining good people got killed or kicked so hard (a part of me will always wonder why Vince Gilligan had to kill Andrea), it was cathartic to see that Jesse got out of his terrible situation, and Lydia, Todd, and Jack's crew got their richly deserved desserts. To paraphrase a tired movie line, this isn't the series finale we (or Walt) deserved, but it's the series ending we (and Walt) wanted.

Also, goddamn, I hated Todd. I wanted Jesse to tear his head clean off.
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Matthew M
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Jesse is fucked.

I think it was a kindness from Vince Gilligan to leave us with Jesse "escaping". He was the only one left worth rooting for. He's gotten it the worst. And after the fade to black it's not going to get any better. If the DEA didn't already know how tied up in Walt's business Jesse was, they will after they see the video in the Nazi camp. He'll make a much better target than Skyler. He doesn't have the money to disappear, and he's burned that bridge anyways even if he did know where the barrels were.
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You can't bring me down, Matthew M. Monin. In my mind, Jesse is forever watching in approval as Brock sands the surface of a lovingly-crafted cabinet. Motes of sawdust cascade through the sepia-toned sunlight that illuminates the shop. Nobody is sad at all.
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