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Breaking Bad pauses in final season

Breaking Bad poster

Written by : published Wednesday 5th September 2012

AMC's Breaking Bad pauses this week, a mere eight episodes into its finale season. There will be eight more installments, but they are being held until next summer to give the writers more time to figure out an ending for the popular, critically acclaimed series. This wait sucks, to be frank, but I guess it's worth it if the ending of the show delivers, as it almost always does, rather than trying to rush greatness.

In this midseason finale, "Gliding Over All," Walter White (Bryan Cranston) takes stock of where he is. Walt has become a kingpin, controlling his own drug empire, and striking fear into the hearts of those who would oppose him. Killing anyone who might expose his secret trade, he is finally the kind of ruthless bad ass that he once cowered to.

But at what cost? His wife, Skyler (Anna Gunn), feels like a hostage, drinks heavily, and won't meet his eyes. She keeps his kids away, refusing to let them stay in the house with a criminal whose business is so dangerous for himself and those around him. Walt has murdered Mike (Jonathan Banks). He has run off his long-time partner, Jesse (Aaron Paul), who hates what Walt has become. And all he has left is a somewhat inept assistant named Todd (Jesse Plemons, Friday Night Lights, Bent).

This is a turning point for Walt. He has to choose between his loved ones and his meth making life, because he can no longer balance both. One or the other must be given up, lest he destroy everything. And it's a decision he must make himself, since no one else wants anything to do with him, the supporting characters not only stepping away from Walt, but appearing far less on screen, too, enhancing the feeling of loneliness in a very neat way.

Walt chooses his family, telling Skyler he is out, and attempting to make amends with Jesse. What would cause Walt to do this? The entire run of Breaking Bad has been about turning the sickly, mild-mannered chemistry teacher into a hardened thug at the top of the food chain. Walt loves the power and control, and relishes his new-found confidence. There are almost no signs that he would back down, especially after refusing to budge when Jesse and Skyler plea with him to. Why does the let the loneliness get to him now, of all times?

A hint may be found in a montage slightly earlier in "Gliding Over All." As the various character are shown going about their business in this changed world, Walt revisits the hospital. Is his cancer back? That's not clear from this episode. It seems a safe assumption to make, as there wasn't really anything else in the hour that would spur Walt to shift direction now.

But Breaking Bad doesn't finish with the viewer there. After seeing Walt in a happy, normalized life again, there is a final bombshell. Hank (Dean Norris), while sitting on the toilet in Walt's house, finally makes a connection. Hank now knows that Walt is the elusive Heisenberg, whom Hank and the rest of the DEA have been searching for. Will Hank do his duty and bring Walt in? Or will family loyalty win out, especially now that Walt has given up the trade and moved on? The way that Hank has been built up, as a wonderful, complex character, his next move is not predictable.

So what will the finale eight episodes be about? Well, a big piece has to stem from Hank's decision based on his new knowledge. Will Walt's family be protecting him? Will they work against him, as there is a point in "Gliding Over All" that it seems like Jesse and Skyler will turn him in? It's too bad that Skyler hates Jesse, because they would probably find much to agree on. Is Walt lying? Is he dying? Will he turn back to meth if the going gets tough? Will someone, or more than one someone, end up dead?

Breaking Bad concludes next summer on AMC.

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About the author JeromeWetzelTV

JeromeWetzelTV

Jerome Wetzel is a huge fan of stories, in both books and television. He writes TV reviews and fiction. He currently posts articles for TheTVKing, Seat42F, and BlogCritics, as well as his own personal blog, as well as writing fiction. His website is www.jeromewetzel.com Follow him on twitter @JeromeWetzelTV

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