Sep. 30, 2013 at 12:18 AM ET
Spoiler alert: If you haven't watched the series finale of "Breaking Bad," turn away now. The following recap contains details of the final drama.
It's impossible to imagine a more satisfying, fitting end to "Breaking Bad," arguably the greatest show on television, than what the series finale delivered.
The soundtrack for the finale was pure genius, especially the song selected for the last scene. After finally admitting to Skyler (Anna Gunn) that he became a druglord not for his family but for himself, Walt bid a final farewell to his one true love: his blue meth.
"Guess I got what I deserve," sang Badfinger as Walt tenderly stroked the tools of his trade with a bloody hand in Jesse's lab. "Didn't know you'd think that I'd forget, or I'd regret, the special love I have for you, my baby blue."
The stainless steel drum captured his reflection before he fell down dead — just as the police arrived.
The episode opened in New Hampshire, where Walt set the wheels in motion — literally — for his grand finale. In addition to being an anagram for "finale," the last episode's title, "Felina," refers to the subject of Marty Robbins' "El Paso." Walt played the song — and sang it later — after finding a cassette in the car he stole in the Granite State. The lyrics foreshadowed his fate: "I saddled up and away I did go, riding alone in the dark. Maybe tomorrow a bullet may find me; tonight nothing's worse than this pain in my heart."
'Should make one helluva story'
Gretchen (Jessica Hecht) and Elliot Schwartz (Adam Godley), the impetus for Walt's road trip, were the first stop on his journey. Bluffing as a New York Times reporter, he found out their new address. Before heading to Santa Fe, he left his 51st birthday gift from Jesse, the Tag Heuer watch, atop the pay phone. His break-in was the episode's funniest scene: Walt's banality was so at odds with their terror, echoing his mild "Hello, Carol" greeting to his shocked neighbor.
No one could have predicted Walt's agenda. Instead of hurting his former business partners, he gave them all of his money. Yep, he handed over more than $9 million in cash — with a caveat: He ordered them to give it to his son in the form of an irrevocable trust. How could he trust them? They shook on it, of course. For added security, he signaled his "hit men" to point their guns' lasers at their chests. The would-be assassins turned out to be Badger (Matt Jones) and Skinny Pete (Charles Baker), offering one last bit of comic relief — and the news that someone was still producing his quality-grade blue meth.
Walt finally made it to Albuquerque, first honoring his birthday at the Denny's seen in the season opener's flashforward — along with his retrieval of the ricin. Viewers didn't know it yet, but his intended victim was Lydia (Laura Fraser), whom he found meeting Todd (Jesse Plemons) at her customary café. As usual, Lydia doctored her chamomile tea with soymilk and Stevia — which Walt had doctored with the deadly poison. He also arranged a meet that night with Todd's uncle — begging for another chance to earn money by teaching them a money-saving cook technique. In reality, he was rigging the machine gun in his trunk to fire hundreds of remote rounds.
'A proper goodbye'
Marie (Betsy Brandt) called Skyler, smoking alone in her shabby apartment, to warn her that Walt was back in town. In fact, Skyler was not alone — Walt was in the kitchen, pleading for five minutes to say "a proper goodbye" to her and Holly. And to explain. She protested that she couldn't hear his "I did it for my family" excuse, but he actually admitted the truth. "I did it for me. I liked it. I was good at it. I was really ... I was alive," he said.
'You owe me'
The Aryans received Walt at their compound and were prepared to execute him until Walt accused Uncle Jack (Michael Bowen) of "partnering" with Jesse. Furious, the Nazi ordered that Jesse be brought in, with his shackles as proof that he was really their slave. Faking a fight, Walt knocked Jesse to the ground, then activated his M60, which gunned down the entire gang — except for Todd and Jack. Jesse strangled Todd with his chains and unlocked himself, while Walt reenacted Hank's murder, shooting Jack before he could finish his sentence. ("You pull that trigger, you're never gonna—" Fire in the hole, pal.)
Walt slid a loaded gun to Jesse and told his former student to shoot him. "Do it," he said quietly. "You want this."
"Say you want this," Jesse countered, before realizing Walt was already mortally wounded, shot by his own machine gun. But when Walt said "I want this," Jesse responded, "Then do it yourself," and jumped in an El Camino and barreled out of the compound's gates, crying, screaming and laughing in the closest he'll ever come to something like joy.
Then Lydia called Todd's phone (ringtone: "Lydia the Tattooed Lady"), and Walt had the satisfaction of revealing that her flu-like symptoms were actually a fatal dose of ricin. Bleeding and mortally wounded, he made his way to Jesse's lab to admire his legacy.
"Elliot, if we're going to go that way, you'll need a bigger knife." — Walt, when his business partner threatened him with a paring knife
"Whole thing felt kinda shady, like, morality-wise?" — Skinny Pete after the laser show.
"I need more Stevia." — Lydia to her server.