I want to begin by saying the final two episodes of the season were GREAT television. Better than anything this side of the Wire. By Breaking Bad standards they were very good. My initial reaction was, “Holy shit!” Walter killed Gus and poisoned a child to convince Jessie to join his side again. This leaves a lot of potential stories for the last season, BUT I truly believe those final two episodes had so much more potential, or possibly shouldn’t have existed. I believe this because the end “Crawl Space” is the most brilliant thing I’ve ever seen on television.
Those final 10 minutes were one of the scariest things I’ve ever seen. Breaking Bad spent the entire 4th season isolating Walter until he had nothing left. The slow burn made that moment so powerful. Walt was by himself. Hank was going to be attacked. Everyone and anyone could die, and then in half an episode Walt and Jessie were back together. Hank was in no danger at all. We KNEW Walt was going to kill Gus. Even as it happened all I could think was, “this is happening WAY too fast.” I believe Walt and Jessie should have never teamed up. There should have been no going back after that emotionally devastating brawl. I believe something happening to Hank or a member of Walt’s family would have been infinitely more interesting than Gus getting half his head blown off.
I believe “Crawl Space” should have been the season finale, and I feel kind of cheated because I feel like those last two episodes kind of undermined a lot of what happened in all of season 4 and restarts the world going into the final season. Obviously that’s not completely true. A lot of actions from this season with have consequences, but Breaking Bad has made me realize something. Dexter sucks. I hate to say it but I’ve realized I don’t like Dexter anymore. Every season they just start his life over. Rita’s death has no affect on him anymore. Besides that great fourth season, every season ends with a nicely tied bow, and that’s kind of how this season of Breaking Bad ended (but way better than those Dexter finales).
In my opinion Breaking Bad should followed that arc instead creating a situation where an all new arc is created. Now we know the season will be Walt in power, Hank getting closer to Walt, Jesse finding out about Jane and/or Brock. The season could have been all this and the fear of Walt, Hank, his family, Jesse, Gus, anyone dying. To me that’s more interesting. That said, I’m a 22 year old film school graduate who has never made anything longer than 16 minutes and could never have created the 4 seasons of absolutely brilliance that is Breaking Bad.
Note: I LOVED the final two episodes as hour long mediums of television. To me the season builds to crawl space with two extra episodes, but I understand they wanted to get rid of Gus so Walter could be the absolute bad guy. They’ve always said he’d be scarface. Also, I may be biased. I love when films and songs end with the climax. I don’t always like the resolution sections of the final act. I’d rather imagine what happens next, not be told. This is why I love films by Darren Aronofsky.