Tonight will see the very final episode of Breaking Bad air in the US, with the episode set to appear on Netflix this side of the pond by tomorrow morning, so the final fix is not that far away, so it's time to get my thoughts and predictions down. Obviously it goes without saying that this will involve spoilers for every episode but the finale, up to and including Granite Slate, so if you don't want to know, look away now. Otherwise: read on below the fold.
When we left our (anti)hero the show was finally caught up to the flashforward. Walter White has left New Hampshire and is on his way to fulfill his destiny, whatever that may be. I honestly believe the machine gun we see in the back of the car in the flashforward will bring an end to Todd and the Nazi Brigade, as Walter makes one final bid to save Jesse but that Walt himself will get caught in the crossfire, dying with at least a shred of redemption having saved his friend, while still getting everything that we all know Heisenberg deserves. Walt will die in Jesse's arms, and Jesse - heartbroken at all that has happened, and disgusted in himself for his part in the deaths of Joan, Andrea, Hank, the kid on the bike and now his father figure, will hand himself into the police to confess once and for all and serve his time - the final shot of the series being Jesse walking into the police station resolutely.
The Nazi's won't be Walter's only kill of the episode though, as lets not forget the more recent flashforward, which saw him fetch the risin poison from the house. As to who will fall victim to that, I think probably Lydia would be the most likely candidate - they go on about her tea almost every time we see her, and I feel like Walt may look to tie up the loose ends by slipping the deadly concoction into her cup when she's distracted. The other outside option would be that he takes out the guy who facilitated his move to New Hampshire, again just because he will think he needs to tie up some loose ends before he goes to face his maker.
So that's what I think is going to happen as far as the central story goes. On the periphery I hope we see Walter Jr and Marie get some kind of closure, as their character's have been through so much, that if anyone is going to get a happy-ish ending (is that even possible anymore) then it should be them. I don't know what form that will take, and as I said, I don't even know if its possible at this stage, as they've both been through too much to ever just adjust to it and live happy lives, but
Skyler meanwhile is going to prison, for a very long time. Walt's phone call when he knew the police were listening brought her something, but with Walt dead (and there is no way he makes it out of the finale alive, no matter who ends up killing him) then the cops are going to make sure someone goes down for Hank's death and everything that surrounded Heisenberg's activities, and its pretty clear that Skyler knew everything - its only going to take a court of law to put her away forever.
Who knows whether my version of events will look anything like what will happen in practice, but one way or another I think at this point it will be nigh on impossible for the finale to not feel both epic and indeed final - Vince Gilligan's story is over, and we can only hope that he doesn't leave some kind of cliffhanger ending with Jesse looking down the barrel of a gun pointed at Walt and then the screen goes black. Because you know...that'd be terrible. This has to end. No Sopranos stuff here!
Gilligan has said on a number of occasions that he wanted to take Mr Chips and make him into Scarface, and he achieved that. By the end of Granite Slate, just as Gretchen opined, Walter White had truly gone. only Heisenberg remained. Now all that remains is for Felina to make some effort at redemption for Walter, to see if he can be resurrected and save Jesse's life one final time before he and Heisenberg bow out of our lives for good.