A farewell to one of TV’s greatest shows

‘Breaking Bad’ provides enjoyable twists and turns

Advisory: If you are not up to date with the latest episodes of Breaking Bad, this column has several spoilers. Be forewarned.


As advertised on AMC, all bad things must come to an end, and this weekend, it’s the end of Walter White and one of the most brilliantly-crafted TV series’ ever.

The closing episode of the wildly popular Breaking Bad is Sunday, and what a wild, compelling ride to the finish it has been for fans. A benevolent, family-first Walt morphed into the power-hungry drug kingpin, Heisenberg, lifting the series to heights rarely seen in the history of TV drama. In the process of Walt not being able to forfeit his ego and let go of the underground meth empire he built, he loses the trust and love of his family, which has proved to be recipe for viewing gold since the show’s inception in 2008.

Season after season, episode after episode, it’s a constant wonder of what craziness will ensue next. Little by little, people seemed to pick up on the excellence of show creator Vince Gilligan.

I didn’t watch the show, or know about it, from its onset. But as word of mouth spread — that’s how I found out about the show — it developed a cult following and budded into the Sunday viewing event it has been for the last couple years.

I began closely watching Breaking Bad about a year ago. Friends and co-workers had told me how great of a show they thought it was prior to that, but I was always reluctant to invest an abundance of time into it. Boy, am I glad I turned heel, though.

Like the rest of the millions of enthusiasts, I have been captivated by the unique story, twists in every episode and always unpredictable plot. Seeing the initially good-intentioned Walt turn into a feared meth dealer deterred me from many hours of needed sleep and homework. It was binge-watching on Netflix multiple nights each week until I was caught up.

And the character development is unmatched to anything I have ever watched.

Several episodes, it seems, are dedicated to allowing the audience to better connect with lesser characters. It was nice to get to know Gail Boetticher and Gus Fring, though he was prominent, before they were killed off.

The episode a few weeks ago in which Hank and Gomez broke Huell and his ridiculously perfect cone-shaped head down enough to admit where Walt’s money was hidden comes to mind when thinking of an embodiment of minor character development. So does the whole dynamic of slowly working Todd into playing a chief role the last season.

And of course Saul became such a fan favorite that AMC is launching a spin-off starring him. Oh, yes.

It’s incredibly diligent work done by Gilligan and the rest of the production team to mature Breaking Bad into what is on the same immortal level as The Sopranos and The Wire.

So, as I prepare for the series finale Sunday, one thing is for certain: I won’t make any kind of prediction of what will happen, like I erroneously did the last seven episodes. Let’s face it, the show’s genius lies in the ability to keep viewers guessing.

At the same time, on Monday, with Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul on the set of his show, Conan O’Brien notified them of a theory he heard. I laughed when Conan said there are estimations that in the finale, Walt comes to grips with his new identity and starts a family. His new name would be Hal, and he’d be married with three boys — the middle being named Malcolm.

That wouldn’t be the wildest scenario to happen in the five seasons. In fact, it wouldn’t even be close to it.

Aaron Garland can be reached by email at [email protected] or on Twitter @AA_Garland.