In a major scoop, TheGreenGrok reveals the surprising ending to the hit TV series — and it’s hot.
Unless you’ve been living in a cave, you know that the second half of the fifth and final season of Breaking Bad begins this Sunday. Over the past five and a half years the series has followed the moral descent of Walter White (Bryan Cranston), also known (to precious few) by his criminal moniker Heisenberg, the cooker of the best meth on the planet.
The Backstory, in Brief
After the first minutes of the pilot thrust the viewer inchoately into the wild ride that is Walter’s criminal escapades, the show goes back in time to when Walter is a mostly happy, unassuming family man living in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Bitter about some career failures, he is now a high school chemistry teacher and a seemingly excellent one at that. Chemistry is his thing. But in short order a diagnosis of lung cancer shines a hard light on the meagerness of his public school teacher salary and leads him to start cooking meth to provide a financial cushion for his family.
Walter ends up beating the cancer but succumbing to the draw of cooking meth — he’s the best at it, thanks to his knowledge of chemistry — and his ego, which episode by fascinating episode morphs into something approximating megalomania, takes it from there.
The Beginning of the End
By the end of the first half of the final season, Walt, or the mysterious master meth cooker Heisenberg, has fallen about as far as anyone can go. He has lied, double-crossed and murdered his way to get to the top of the drug scene in the Southwest, a scene, we learn, that is international in scope. He has even endangered his family, the very people he took such enormous risks for to begin with.
The climactic episode of the first half of season 5 ends on an ominous note when Walter’s brother-in-law Hank (Dean Norris), a DEA agent determined to catch the notorious Heisenberg, suddenly realizes that Walt and Heisenberg must be one and the same person.
Last year’s final episode left TV viewers poised on the edge of their seats, knowing that whatever was going to happen to Walt could not be good but wondering what would that be? If you want to wait and get it from the TV, doled out in weekly bits and pieces, stop reading this now. But if you want to know Walt’s fate, read on.
TheGreenGrok’s Sneak Peek of the Final Season
In the first few episodes of this final Breaking Bad run, we follow Hank as he builds his case against Walt, then takes the evidence to his superiors. Immediately, the DEA enlists the FBI and CIA to get special drone-driven surveillance technology to follow Walter’s every move so that they can identify how and where he cooks and moves the meth.
In a surprising but pretty cool cameo, President Obama is briefed on Walt’s kingpin activities and approves the use of the drones. Obama’s cameo ends as his next meeting gets underway — his discussion with the EPA administrator over the next round of regulations to limit greenhouse gases provides the subtlest foreshadowing of the show’s final reveal.
In the last episode the DEA sets the trap — a sting operation to catch Walt in the act of selling a new batch of his ultra-pure, signature “blue meth.” The setting for the exchange is of course the desert. To avoid suspicion, Walt forgoes the typical plastic bags and places the crystal meth in a large colander, throws a towel over it, then heads for the rendezvous point.
Throughout the episodes leading up to this climax, snippets of TV broadcasts and shots of newspaper headlines warn that the entire globe is experiencing a sudden acceleration in global warming with temperatures everywhere on the rise and breaking records.
On the eve of the drop, Albuquerque temperatures spike to 165 degrees with forecasts for the following day promising to be hotter.
In the final scene Walt, capped in his porkpie Heisenberg hat, stands alone in the desert, the heat palpable through the sweat beading his face.
A quick cut to a thermometer at 170.
The DEA agents disguised as drug buyers approach in their car.
The temperature hits 175.
The agents exit the car, taking Hank’s direction from a vehicle not yet on the scene, and slowly approach the black-hatted man. When they see the meth-containing colander, they break into a run and grab and cuff Walter.
Suddenly a cloud of dust kicks up as Hank’s car bursts onto the scene. The stirred-up desert sand mixes into the sweat, causing tears to stream down Walter’s face. Hank scoffs at this and strides toward Walter, whistling a few bars of “Who’s Crying Now.” He triumphantly reads Walter his rights, then seizes the colander and looks inside, but wait — the colander is empty.
Solution, Dissolution: Chemistry
What happened? Simple high school chemistry; the melting point of crystalline methylamphetamine is 175 degrees, and, as Walt’s luck would have it, the crystals melted and drained into the desert sand.
Hank and his DEA compatriots, foiled again in their quest to nab Heisenberg, have no other choice but to uncuff Walter. They drive off, furious. Hank begins to cry.
The camera returns to Walt alone in the desert. He looks up into the crystal blue New Mexican sky, then drops to his knees.
“Thank you, Lord,” he weeps, “you made global warming and global warming saved my life. I’m going to change and break good instead of bad. I will cook no more.”
He holds this prayer pose a beat. Then stands, composes himself, and throws his porkpie Heisenberg hat into the dunes. Another beat. He walks off.
A final cut shows the thermometer at 198 degrees.
The credits roll.
An interesting plot twist, don’t you think? And yet it was set up in the very first episode when Walt tells his class: “Chemistry is the study of change. … Think about it. … Solution, dissolution, over and over.” Solution of meth, dissolution of meth. Change. But who’d have thunk climate change?!
We’ve always said that there will be winners and losers with global warming. Who knew Vince Gilligan would build a script around it.