Very glad people are talking about this episode/spoilers now. I apologize as I know this is going to be a long post but I have a lot to say about this show :).
Great great finale. Not surprised that Gus died. I think that was inevitable, and as all the various interviews with Gilligan acknowledge, it kinda had to be that way. I think it was an appropriate death. He was so cold. So calculating. The man planned for everything and even had teh much discussed "gus/spidey sense" in the penultimate episode. BUt it was his full unadulterated hatred for Tio that was his downfall. Absolutely thought of the movie Heat while watching the finale and how Gus met his demise. Sometimes you have to just walk away and not let your emotions get the best of you. I do admit then when I saw Gus walk out of the room I thought back to the scene before in Gus' office where he starts to change. For liek 3 seconds I thought.. no way.. this guy put a bomb suit on?? Just goes tos how you how good this show is. As implausible at it is that Gus figured that Tio might have a bomb in there to blow his ass up, I would have totally gone with it had Gus walked out unscathed.. damn.
As for the poisoning/issue with timing of everything/could Walt do this. I read that some people thought that this was a cheat, or were unhappy with how this went down, but I personally was not at all. I was willing to go with it. I also agree that how Walt acts in the last 2 episodes was completely set up by the final shot of him cackling under the house with 2 episodes left. THat was Walt finally fullyl breaking bad. He is now all Heisenberg IMO. And if you go with the logic that Walt is now fully Heisenberg, that he has given over, he is MUCH more calculating and he is now ready to match wits fully with Gus. This is how it has to go down. This is how he becomes Scarface. I liked the questions that Sepinwall asked in both his review and his interview with Gilligan. How the show sets up everything so meticulously and we see everything, and for the first time here, we were left in the dark. Totally OK with this. The show is allowed to do this IMO. It is plausible that Walt had time to do everything as the show leaves it purposely ambiguou where he was for large chunks of time. I think in the penultimate episode, when he is spinning the gun, he has already formulated the plan. The first 2 spins land on him, and karmically, he probably realizes that he should just kill himself. It synches up with what he told Skyler about this all being his fault and how he hast to handle everything. But Walt's ego/pride won't let him go down that path. So he keeps spinning until the gun points at the plant. This is his excuse for going forward with it. "well.. the gun randomly pointed at teh plant. So its the kid or me." I think Walt was genuinely relieved that Brock didn't die because its how he justifies it to himself. BUt it was really the only move he could make. I also liked Gilligan's explanation that Walt coudl easily have decided to dump the ricin knowing that it would implicate him more.
Hank. Hank will end up looking like a genius in that he had tied it all together. I think the underrated brilliance of Walt's play is that by having Tio take out Gus it looks like total retaliation for Gus taking out the cartel down south. We have to remember that the DEA is still way in the dark about everything. My guess is that the DEA will not suspect Walt at all and will think everything calms down now.
Walt/Jesse and next season. When the show was initially created it was only supposed to be 4 seasons. I would bet that all of this stuff with Gus/the cartel/etc. was what the writers came up with to get an extra season out of everything. Now, we get back to teh core of the show for the end. I would not be surprised if when the show returns we find out that Gus and JEsse have not been cookign for a while and are laying low. Mike will have a say in this somehow. Saul will bubble back up and really want to become the consigliere to Walt now and will push Walt to take over. I do think that the big reveal has to be Jesse at some poitn connecting the dots about the poisoning and that Walt did it. I have no clue how this show will end but I cannot wait to find out. What. A. Show.
Thanks for indulging me on a long rant :).
Well said. Yeah, the fact that the story has been told almost exclusively through Walt's p.o.v. and then changing the game to hide their hand...I had no problem with that. it was so seamless. And, this season, as Walt has been finding his order turned to chaos and his every move checked he has become a little unhinged, which allowed for a change. And I think overall the whole season was told through many perspectives. Gus's certainly, Jesse's, Hank's(with Walt as a passenger)...so I did not even notice that Walt disappeared from his own story. Gilligan speaks about the 'long con' idea where the writers are constantly thinking in advance. I just don't see any seams. I hate to use LOST as an example, but it is the most obvious...while I loved that show it really illustrates just how hard it is to keep all the threads tidy. Add in tv decisions about how long the show will continue and it seems almost impossible. I think that you are right about Gus/Mike/Tio providing Gilligan & company with enough great acting to really pad things out. Reading between the lines, Esposito seems to affirm that. I have to figure that Gilligan has pretty much the entire remaining run mapped out. And that scares me. This season was SO good. So solid. I just know that those last 16 are going to be better...and that bar is set so high already.
Any chance Mike decides that 'here's the new boss, same as the old boss'? I find his character fascinating and he was missed in the finale'...but i really think he is being held for bigger things. God it's going to be a long year.
Shed a tear for the chicken man...rest in peace Gus Fring (hey, it's hinted that isn't really his name. Do you think he purposely chose to name hisself after the yummy combo of fries/rings???)
Ok, Better Call Saul.
I think you are bang on with the point about how throughout the season we are treated to the p.o.v. of all the characters. Sepinwll I believe made this point during a mid season review, and i have discussed with some friends, how within episodes this season Walt would just disappear. And how the action could be focused on other characters like Skyler/Gus/Jesse/etc. and now because teh show has been going on so long you didn't even really notice. When you combine this with reading Gilligan and how everything is so planned out... it really is like chess. These writers are just 5 moves ahead and really plannign things out and introducing things subtlely.
Interesting that you used LOST as a comparison as I have read people using LOST as an example of how they don't want BB to become that. You risk too much filler and losing people mid way thru. Absolutely would rather have 5 totally connected, tight seasons, then having a couple just OK ones in the middle and getting frustrated by the show.
Mike is a real wild card here going forward. I'd be the proverbial $1 that the writers don't even know how they want to use him yet. I have read interviews where Gilligan says that altho they have some overarching idea where to go, the show really is very much in flux when they write it (see my above post about them adding in Gus) and how they write themselves purposefully into corners and then figure out how to extract themselves. The only obvious non-enlightening thought about Mike is that there will be some sort of pay off there and it will be epic. How's that for a hard hitting prediction!
In his own way...Mike the fixer is really the only one with a true sense of honor. He knows what he is, and in certain moments you can see that it weighs on him, but you always get the feeling that he is unswerving in his beliefs. It was clear when Walt tried to appeal to him that Mike does not betray. He gave Walt an ass whupping in kind of an 'I'm doing this for your own good...now straighten up' way. He did that with Jesse a few times too. I would almost be satisfied with him being the one person who walks away at the end of this. There is a tremendous backstory there in my opinion.
ok ya, that was f***ing awesome how he walked out of hector's room and i thought to myself "you have got to be f***ing kidding me" and then they show his blown off face and i'm like "HA!" i feel the same, JD, where i don't want to watch that again so that i'm left with the first reaction.
and omg, walt is diabolical in getting jesse to side with him by poisoning brock. leading him on to think it was the ricin but using something ultimately much less harmful. i agree with the shaking off of humanity when he's in the money pit maniacally laughing, but i think he had an ounce of good in him still by using his chemical know-how and using an everyday garden plant to poison the kid and not the actual chemical poison he'd wanted to use on gus. make no mistake though, i still think he's a conniving bastard.
he's a bumbling fool at times, but he's also very clever.
i can't wait to see what the next 16 episodes hold.
Yeah, just because the poison was from a plant don't fool yourself...i'm pretty sure it was still fairly deadly. Not like the Ricin, which is lethal, but still. And just the fact that he could do that to Jesse...and Jesse legitimately looks up to him and cares for him in his own sick way. Walt is a cruel man. What he once did out of necessity he now does so he can 'win'. The way he sent his neighbor over...the way he casually dispatched the two thugs guarding Jesse. He was so close last week when he gave Skyler the 'consequences' speech. That was his last shred of humanity. And now Jesse, who started out a typical waste/druggie has become a tragic sympathetic figure. The final arc of this story is going to end in tears.
He really is the wild card in the mix. I don't expect them to all go happily skipping off hand in hand. 300 or so more days...sheesh!
and yes! i forgot about the neighbor. i kept thinking when he called her and asked her to check on the place how truly careless of him that was. they could've killed her as collateral damage and he did not give a f***! wow, haha!