I knew it was coming.
You knew it was coming.
We all knew it was coming.
Walter White, the greatest anti-hero in TV history, was going to die in the Breaking Bad finale, which is why the ending was so, well, bad. Why? Because for a show that kept its audience guessing since Walt cooked his first batch of beautiful, blue meth, the ending was predictable.
Walter should have lived – and everyone else should have died.
Jesse Pinkman? He should have been murdered because that’s what he deserved for turning on Walter after he made him a multi-millionaire.
Skyler? She should have been sent to heaven – or hell, take your pick – because that’s what she deserved for trying to kill Walt, whose biggest sin was trying to take care of his family – something Skyler couldn’t do.
Walt Jr.? He told Walt, who gave his disabled son everything he ever needed, to die, so if a stray bullet would have cracked his cranium, it would have been ironic.
Saul? Would New Mexico miss one shady lawyer?
Thank goodness those Hank-killing, money-stealing, crappy-meth-making, wannabe Nazis all got lit up like fireworks on the Fourth of July.
But no. Walter died because that’s the way it had to be. The bad guy always loses – generally his life – be it on TV or the silver screen.
Clubber Lang and Ivan Drago may as well have had the word “Loser” tattooed on their foreheads when they fought Rocky. Would you have put money on Johnny Lawrence from the Cobra Kai dojo to beat Daniel LaRusso in The Karate Kid? Of course not.
Hans Gruber had like 20 assassins armed with automatic weapons in Die Hard and he still couldn’t kill barefooted John McClane, who in five movies has killed more people than cancer, which couldn’t kill Walter White. Yippee Ki-Yay to that!
I mean, you’re telling me the Wicked Witch and all of her powers couldn’t kill Dorothy?
How much cooler would Star Wars be if Darth Vader blows up the Millennium Falcon and looks at Luke Skywalker and says “Who’s your daddy!”
Heck, Goliath didn’t beat David.
Why can’t the bad guy, just once, win? Because society simply won’t allow it. Everything always has to end well. Call it the triumph of the human spirit. Call it a happy ending. Call it whatever you want, but I’ll call it what it is: fiction.
In the read world, bad guys win and good guy lose.
Why can’t it be that way on TV? Breaking Bad should have ended with Walter White on a yacht with his daughter, Holly, sailing toward a non-extradition country, where he would spend his final days living in the lap of luxury. He’d have a huge bank account that could take care of Holly – the only person on the show you didn’t turn on Walt the entire series – for the rest of her life.
Walt earned that money, every bloody dollar. When the Mexican cartels tried to mess with him, he messed them up. When Chilean drug lord Gustavo Fring tried to take everything from Walt, Walt took Fring’s life. When Mike Ehrmantraut wouldn’t give Walt his contacts in prison, Walt let him take the names to his grave.
Did Walt need to let Jesse’s girlfriend choke to death on her own vomit? No, but there are no rules in love and drug dealing.
For five years and through 61 episodes, America’s favorite “cook” found ways to stay alive. It was like a game: Instead of playing “Where’s Waldo?” it was “Where’s Walt’s lifeline?” The show’s biggest allure was how Walt – no matter the circumstance – would survive a deadly game. Until he didn’t.
Maybe the series had to come full circle.
The first episode concluded with Walt killing a drug dealer whose name very few remember.
The last episode ends with the death of a drug dealer no one will forget.
In death, Heisenberg’s legacy lives forever.
Is that losing?
Jon Gallo is an award-winning journalist and editor with 19 years of experience, including stints as a staff writer at The Washington Post and sports editor at The Baltimore Examiner. He also believes the government should declare federal holidays in honor of the following: the Round of 64 of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament; the Friday of the Sweet 16; the Monday after the Super Bowl; and of course, the day after the release of the latest Madden NFL video game.