Breaking Bad: Granite State (5×15)

Synopsis: Walt disappears and Jesse makes a fatal mistake in an attempt to escape from Todd and his Uncle Jack.

Rating: ★★★★★

We have one episode left of Breaking Bad and I’m not ready to say goodbye – the Saul Goodman spin-off is only going to help so much (and we’ll have to wait so long)… The Disappearer, as he is dubbed by AMC, pulls up and out of the van steps Saul himself! He has an actual vacuum store, where he takes a picture of Saul for a new identity, setting him up with a Nebraska license. The Disappearer tells Saul he’ll have to stay in the bunker in the basement for two to three days because of all the posters and billboards around town. The only problem is Saul will have a roommate. Leaning down the check the video feed, Saul sees an angry Walter White pacing the room and hitting the light before the opening credits roll.

Marie is with the DEA and they’re assuring her that Hank and Gomez are out there and they’ll find them. When they pull up to her house, it’s ransacked and things are strewn about the street outside her house. They drive her away quickly and it’s revealed that Todd’s Uncle and his crew broke into the house for the DVD of Jesse’s confession. Sitting around the television, they watch enough to see Jesse admit that it was Todd who killed Drew Sharp before his Uncle goes off to kill him. Todd stops his Uncle from killing Jesse and his Uncle quickly realizes it’s because Todd wants Jesse to cook for them so that he can impress Lydia. Leaving Jesse alone, he’s seen in his cage attempting to pick his shackles with a paperclip.

So we're looking at Saul Goodman setting up shop in Nebraska, sans black eye thanks to photoshop.
So we’re looking at Saul Goodman setting up shop in Nebraska, sans black eye thanks to photoshop.

Back in the bunker, Saul is sitting on the bed waiting to leave and Walt is frantically writing up a list and making plans. He asks Saul for five mercenaries to kill Uncle Jack’s crew because they murdered Hank and stole his “life’s work.” Saul tries to talk to Walt rationally – saying that some people see Walt as leaving the kids and Skyler high and dry. Walt says the police think Skyler is blameless, and while Saul commends the call, he thinks they’ll go after her soon enough without Walt there. He suggests Walt stays and becomes the John Dillinger of the story, but Walt refuses. He wants to make sure all of his money goes to his children, even when Saul reminds him of how that went for Mike. The Disappearer comes to collect Saul, but Walt stops him – claiming that Saul is now going with him wherever he goes. Saul disagrees and when Walt goes to intimidate him in the way he’s done in the past, he dissolves in a fit of coughs, allowing Saul to take his things and go.

Just as Saul predicted, Skyler is in a meeting with the lawyers, zoning out most of the conversation. She tells them that she doesn’t know where Walt is to give him up, but they urge her to come up with something they can use. They’re staking out her house, but somehow miss Todd and his Uncle’s crew sneaking into Holly’s room with ski masks on. When Skyler goes to check on her, they confront her about Lydia. Todd makes it very clear that she’s to say nothing about Lydia to the police – ever – or else.

After tying up that loose end, Todd is waiting to meet Lydia in a restaurant. When she comes in, she sits back to back with him and it shows a lot of Todd’s inexperience when dealing with these types of things – Walt and Mike have both sat at her table to speak with her before. She tells him that sending a message isn’t enough, implying that Skyler needs to be killed. Lydia also tries to break their cooking contract when Todd reveals his latest batch is 92% pure. That’s Heisenberg level and he tells her they’ve got Pinkman helping them cook, which causes her to continue their cooking contract for the time being.

The shit is hitting the fan and Walt is doing so much worse for his family fighting than he would if he just gave himself up...
The shit is hitting the fan and Walt is doing so much worse for his family fighting than he would if he just gave himself up…

Elsewhere, Walt is let out of a propane tank and The Disappearer tells him, “Mr. Lambert, welcome to New Hampshire.” In the rural cabin, there’s a month of food, a generator, a tv limited to DVDs, freezer and wood-burner. He offers to make monthly runs and bring the Albuquerque papers, but it’s going to cost Walt – who is paying for his travel and the risk. There’s no phone and Walt should not leave the cabin. If he does, The Disappearer will never come back for his own safety. After he leaves, Walt begins setting up the cabin and finds his Heisenberg hat. Putting it on his head, he sets out to leave the cabin, walking through the snow to the gate. Walt ends up standing there before deciding, “Tomorrow.”

Jesse is out of his chains and failing to reach the top of the cage to get out when Todd brings him ice cream, lowered down to him in a bucket. He brought it to Jesse because the last batch was 96% and, I think, because he genuinely wants Jesse to like him. Jesse asks him to leave the tarp off the top of the cage and Todd allows it. As soon as he leaves, Jesse takes the cuffs back off again and jumps to the top of the cage. He manages to unlock it and escape. As he climbs a fence to freedom, a bunch of guys come out with flashlights and he climbs back down in defeat. For a brief moment I swear I thought they were DEA agents who had swarmed the compound. I knew there was no such luck when we see Todd at Andrea’s house, asking about Jesse. He tells her that he’s in a car parked across the street and Andrea walks out into her driveway a bit to try to get a look. Todd tells her, “Just so you know, this isn’t personal.” Then he shoots her in the back of the head while Jesse watches from the car. Hysterical and broken, Jesse is freaking out in the car when they remind him there’s still the kid.


Cut to some time later (Walt has hair!), The Disappearer has brought Walt Ensure. He asks about Skyler and The Disappearer tells him they’re in Eubank, all together still. She’s doing taxi dispatch and using her maiden name, his old house is up for auction and a fence was put up around it. Walt can’t even stick himself with his own needle and has The Disappearer do it for him. As he gets ready to leave, Walt offers him $10,000 to stay for two more hours, saying, “Please.” It’s a testament to how far Heisenberg has fallen. The Disappearer agrees to one more hour and settles in to play cards with him. Walt questions if, when The Disappearer finds him dead, will he give Walt’s money to his kids? He doesn’t answer because he doesn’t think Walt will believe him.

Later, Walt is alone and passed out in bed. His ring falls off because his fingers have gotten so slim and he has to tie it around his neck with string. He sees the Ensure that was brought and dumps it out, filling the box with money and wrapping it up in brown paper before leaving the cabin with it.

Flynn White is called to the principal’s office to speak with his Aunt Marie, but it’s really Walt, who begins to cry when he hears Flynn’s voice. Walt tries to explain himself a bit and then tells Flynn that he’ll be sending Louis a package intended for him. He says there’s close to $100,000 in the box and it should be kept a secret. Walt really stresses that he wanted to give Flynn so much more, but all Flynn can yell into the phone is, “You killed Uncle Hank!” They continue to argue and Flynn asks him why he doesn’t just die already. After Flynn hangs up on him, Walt calls the DEA to speak with the agent in charge of the Walter White investigation.

It all could have ended right here. Thanks a lot, Gretchen and Elliott, for poking the sleeping bear.
It all could have ended right here. Thanks a lot, Gretchen and Elliott, for poking the sleeping bear.

When the person on the phone asks who is calling, he simply says, “Walter White.” And then let’s the phone drop. Taking the package, he sits at the bar and orders a Dimple Pinch, neat. While the bartender is channel flipping, he asks him to stop on an interview with Gretchen and Elliot, his old friends who started Gray Matter with him. The Gretchen and Elliott Schwarz Foundation is offering a $28 million grant for drug treatment, which the host suggests is a publicity stunt because of their connection to Walt. Elliott says Walt’s only contribution was the name of the company and Gretchen says the man who was Walter White is long gone.

A close-up of Walt’s face shows a deep rage, an offense to Walt’s ego. When the police show up at the bar looking for Walt, he’s already gone and only his drink is left. And that’s it. We have one episode left and so many questions. How are you all feeling? Are you ready for it to end? Are you ready to watch the ending? How quickly do you think Jesse is going to kill himself? Who will avenge ASAC Schrader?!

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