Breaking Bad: A Clueless Review

The biggest thing to happen in the world of chemistry this week was the final episode of Breaking Bad. The Chemical Notebook never saw the show, and for the last several years has felt left out of the fun that most of the chemical world was having watching it every week. I considered seeing the show before, but getting caught up would take more than 50 hours. It doesn’t seem important enough to invest that kind of time.

Instead, I just jumped into the final episode. Technically, I watched a little bit of the second to last episode, but most of that time was spent telling the kids to stop playing in front of the television.

I don't know what bromine and barium have to do with anything.

I don’t know what bromine and barium have to do with anything.

Here’s my review of the last episode:

[[SPOILER ALERT: People may have recorded the show on VHS or whatever.]]

The main character is Walter White. He’s played by the dad from Malcolm in the Middle. I’m pretty sure the shows occur in different universes. Walter White makes drugs, probably methamphetamine, using science. In fact, many references in the final episode leave me with the impression that he was once a reputable scientist. Most likely he was a chemist because I know chemists enjoy the show and they wouldn’t like it as much if it was about a renegade geologist.

White may have done other bad things besides making drugs, but that isn’t 100% clear from just the last episode. He seems like a nice man, as far as drug makers go, so I have my doubts.

Walter has some kind of disease that makes him cough a lot. Also, he’s a fugitive.

He has a wife. I didn’t catch her name. She smokes. He also has a son, who walks around with crutches. He is very angry with his father about the drugs and other things he may or may not have done. Oh, and a baby. There’s a baby in house. I’m not sure how it got there. The wife smokes in the house even though there’s a baby. Maybe she just smokes in the kitchen.

I should mention Jesse. I think he used to be friends with Walter White. He was making drugs while tethered to a thing. He used to make nice boxes out of wood.

The show has a lot of characters. I can’t get into them all. A woman who drinks tea a lot seems like she was important for the last few episodes at least. Walter kills her with chemistry. Also there were two rich people with a nice fireplace, apparently two former businesses associates of White. They said bad things about him on Charlie Rose. This upset Walter White even though nobody really watches that show. Walter White makes them set up a trust for his family by threatening them with laser pointers. This scene left me wishing there were cats in the room. It would have been funny to see cats trying to climb up their legs to get at the laser pointer dots.

Walter does lots of other stuff during the episode. He steals one of New Hampshire’s many Volvos and drives it all the way back to Albuquerque. He manages to find every working payphone along the way. He has a nice breakfast. Because the police are looking for him, he’s sneaking around the all the time.

To set up the finale, Walter makes a contraption with an oscillating motor, which he attaches a machine gun to and hide the trunk of an old De Ville. (He had ditched the Volvo a while back.) He infiltrates a bad guy place under a ruse. (I thought it was a chop shop at first, but it soon becomes clear that he’s been there before.) They take his wallet and keys from him. Then they threaten to kill him. It really seems like Walter is a goner.

But no.

Now for the important part: the keyless entry thing that was taken from him controls the machine gun contraption. They don’t think it’s strange that a 30 year old Cadillac has a keyless entry system. In any case, he grabs the keys, tackles Jesse, activates the thing he made, and all the bad guys in the room get shot…almost. One guy survives because the writers needed him to stick around so Jesse can kill him with the chains he was bound with. Another guy lives long enough to finish his cigarette. Jesse drives away at an irresponsibly high rate of speed.

Walter dies in a factory of some kind. It was probably his old drug factory, judging from the Badfinger music playing the background. Then AMC showed a bunch of interviews I didn’t really understand.

Author: Alex Tullo

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  1. This is not a review, it’s a big ‘ol pile of spoilers. For those of us who watch on a delay (iTunes Season Pass) and have this blog on our RSS readers, please be kind and put some sort of warning up.


  2. Consider it done.

  3. Hey – me too. I was feeling left out so I watched the final episode. Nice catch on the keychain anachronism (actually I guess it is the car that is the anachronism). I’d been following the show via osmosis rather than by watching it. Still, I was glad they tied up all the loose ends.


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