Breaking Bad ‘Granite State’ Recap

Walter White is on his last legs. With the death of his brother-in-law, being robbed of roughly $70 million dollars, and being shunned from his wife and kids, he is out of options. The last episode ended with Walt being picked up by the Extractor and taken to his new life. Since exposing himself to the police as Heisenberg, Walt’s only option is to go into hiding. Since the season 5 opener and episode 9, we knew he was in hiding. Now that we know how he ended up there, we are finally seeing what brought him out of hiding.

What’s in Nebraska?

The episode begins with the extractor arriving to his shop. Once inside, he directs his passenger to exit the vehicle, which is revealed to be Saul Goodman. He proceeds to take his photo and shows a comp of his new ID from Nebraska. Given Saul’s minor celebrity status, the extractor, named Ed, informs Saul it’ll take 2 to 3 days for him to start his new life. Ed mentions he will be bunking with someone, which Saul figures to be Walt. Once he asked how Walt is doing, Ed turns on a television which shows Walt clearly distraught.

Marie, saddened by the loss of Hank, is driven home by agents. One of the agents promises they will find both Hank and Steven. As they arrive, the agents noticed the door has been broken into with debris from the house scattered across the street. Two agents exit the vehicle with the driver taking Marie away from the scene. As the two agents enter, the house is revealed to have been ransacked with Jesse’s confession tape being overheard. Jack and his crew has taken the confession tape and viewed its content, mocking Jesse for his state of distress. One of Jack’s men reveals that Jesse had snitched to Hank about the murder of Drew Sharp, a 10 year old boy who went missing, but was in fact killed by Todd during a heist. Angered, Jack heads to where Jesse is kept ready to kill him. As Todd tries to convince him not to kill Jesse, Jack sees Todd is really into Lydia. After mocking Todd, he decides to let Jesse live. In the bunker, Jesse holds the photo of Andrea and her son Brock, with the paperclip as well. Out of desperation, Jesse attempts to use the paperclip to unlock the handcuffs.

I’m not your lawyer anymore

With pen in hand, Walt makes a list, which hurts his hand. Providing a piece of paper and pen to Saul, Walt asks for a list of hit men or contacts he knows for a hit. Feeling uncertain, Saul asks who the hit is on, which Walt states the hit is on Jack and his men. Needing 5 men, Walt wants to pay top dollar to get back what is his: the 7 barrels of money. With Walt going into hiding, Saul informs him of the path his wife Skyler is facing. Agreeing his phone call was a good idea, Saul believes Skyler has nothing to bargain for and will be prosecuted eventually. Not wanting to run, Walt claims he has no other option but Saul disagrees. He suggests Walt turn himself in and face prosecution, which could fulfill Skyler’s alibi and be set free. Ed walks in to see if the two are fine, to which Walt explains he wants Saul to go with him. Claiming he is no longer his lawyer, Saul states it’s over. Angered, Walt confronts Saul and reminds him of what he said before, but fell into a coughing fit before he can repeat it. Saul states it’s over, gathers his belongings and leaves.

Skyler, on the other hand, is sitting with her lawyer and representatives of the DEA. In reminiscence of Walt first hearing he has cancer, Skyler stares aimlessly while the DEA discuss things about Walt/Heisenberg. The head agent curiously asks if Skyler is even paying attention, to which she replies (in the same tone as Walt hearing the news of his cancer) that she knows she’s in trouble unless she has info on Walt. Stating she has nothing nor does she know where Walt currently is, the DEA agent advises Skyler and her lawyer to talk and figure something they could use. At home, Skyler sits while seeing agents surveying her home. As she walks to baby Holly’s room, she sees 2 masked men above her crib and is grabbed by a 3rd masked man. Todd and 2 men use a scare tactic to get Skyler to agree to what they want. Seeing as Skyler has seen a women with black hair (Lydia), Todd informs her not to bring her up at all to the DEA. Skyler agrees and the 3 men leave the room while Skyler picks up Holly in fear.

The next day, Todd waits for Lydia at a cafe. Once she arrives, she sits behind him, and states they’ll talk with their backs facing each other. Todd indicates his plan has worked, and they they scared Skyler into not mentioning her to the DEA. Feeling nervous, she brushes off his tactic feeling that Skyler needs to be eliminated to be silenced. Lydia tells Todd they will no longer work together, but Todd states he’s ready to continue and has 50 lbs of meth ready to go. Wishing him good luck, Lydia proceeds to gather her things and leave when Todd mentions the product is at 92% purity and is blue. Lydia pauses and questions the 92% purity, indicating its at Heisenberg’s level. Questioning Heisenberg’s motives, Todd reveals they have Jesse working for them and even though police are looking for him as well, they will never find him. Todd then proceeds to woo Lydia into keeping their business partnership and hints at his feelings towards her.

Welcome to New Hampshire Mr Lambert

Arriving at a cabin, Walt and Ed are shown in the snowy mountains of New Hampshire. Ed shows Walt his new life of solitude and mentions what he has in the cabin, plus 2 acres of land. He also warns Walt to never leave the area since he will be caught once outside. Seeing as Walt still wants to pursue Jack, he states he has business to attend to but is unable without a phone. Ed reiterates it’s his business to keep him out of custody and is basically leaving Walt completely cutoff from the world. He also states he won’t return for his safety if he finds out Walt has left the area. With his monthly supply run, Ed states he’ll bring the Albuquerque newspaper so he can follow up on what’s going on. As Ed leaves, Walt grabs some money, his signature hat, and proceeds to leave. Once at the gate, he stares at the road and heads back inside, telling himself ‘tomorrow.’

Back at Jack’s compound, Jesse attempts to break out. When Todd arrives to give Jesse some ice cream, as a reward for making a batch at 96%, Jesse asks if he could leave the tarp off to see the stars. Todd grants his wish and leaves. After a bit, Jesse unlocks his cuffs and stacks everything in his bunker to reach the top. Once he grabs the gate, he opens up the latch and escapes. As he runs towards the fence, a security camera alerts the gang and they arrive before he can climb over the fence. Infuriated, Jesse yells at them to kill him since he’ll never cook for them again. Todd proceeds to walk to a house, which is shown to be Andrea’s home. He talks to Andrea, stating he has Jesse outside in his truck. As she steps outside to see Jesse, Todd shoots her in the head. Jesse cries hysterically as he was forced to watch her death, and violently shakes when Todd gets back in the truck. Jack yells at Jesse to remain quiet, and reminds him ‘There’s still the kid left.’

If I told you yes, would you believe me?

Months pass with the Ed arriving on a supply run for Walt. Along with newspapers from Albuquerque, he brings prescription glasses. Walt removes his beanie, revealing a full set of hair. While looking for news on his family, Walt asks what Skyler is doing for money. Ed replies she works as a taxi dispatcher and lives in Eubank. He also states that his abandoned home brought a lot of vandals so the city barricaded his home with a fence. Asking if Walt is ready, Ed pulls out a chemotherapy home kit. While trying to insert the needle, Walt grabs it saying he’ll doing himself. With a little hesitation, Walt hands it back to Ed, which inserts the needle on his first try. Ed prepares to leave and indicates when he’ll return, to which Walt asks if he can stay a bit. Though refusing to stay, Walt offers him $10,000 to stay for 2 hours but Ed agrees to only one hour. Pulling out a deck of cards, Ed shuffles for a game of 7 card stud. While shuffling, Walt brings up he’ll be dead one day when he arrives. He asks if he’ll give his money to his family when he dies. Ed replies, “If I tell you yes, will you believe me?”

Alone in bed, Walt notices his wedding band fell from his hand. After grabbing it, he places it back on his finger seeing that it doesn’t fit anymore. Grabbing a piece of string, he ties the ring as a necklace. Before heading back to bed, Walt notices a box of Ensure. Removing all the bottles, he stuffs the box with as much money as he can and wraps it. The next morning, Walt heads to the gate and leaves the property. At school, Walt Jr is called out of class and is escorted by the principal to a room. She indicates his aunt Marie is on the phone. Once Jr answers the phone, the waitresses says hold on and passes it to Walt.  As he grabs the phone, Walt tells Jr not to tell anyone he’s on the phone. As he tries to explain what has happened, he breaks down unable to fully explain. Walt asks if his friend Louis Corbett still lives at the same house, he states he’ll receive a package meant for Jr. Once Walt mentions there is $100,000 in the package, Jr questions his motives. He becomes irate and yells to Walt that he killed Uncle Hank. Unable to calm Jr down, Walt breaks down as Jr yells at him to leave them alone and to just die.

The sweet, kind, brilliant man that we once knew long ago

Feeling defeated, Walt calls the Albuquerque DEA and requests to speak to the agent handling the Walter White case. Once questioned who is on the phone, Walt replies “Walter White” and drops the phone. Heading to the bar, Walt orders a Dimple Pinch Scotch, neat. While drinking the Whiskey, Walt notices Elliot and Gretchen Schwartz on the television as the bartender changes channels. Walt asks the bartender to change it back and watches an interview by Charlie Rose being held for the two. From the interview, Walt learns that Elliot and Gretchen have donated $28 million to drug rehab facilities across the American Southwest. Gretchen states it’s their home with Rose countering it as a publicity stunt. Rose pushes for an explanation and deduces it as a way to wash their hands from Walter White, co-founder of their pharmaceutical company, now worth over $2 billion. Both Gretchen and Elliot deny he had any involvement with growing and establishing their company. When questioned on what Walt’s involvement was, Gretchen states the name with Elliot confirming it. With the combination of their last names, Schwartz meaning Black in German, mixed with White, Rose exclaims “Grey Matter Technologies.”

Rose brings it up to their attention of Walt’s iconic blue meth still in the US and popping around Europe. He asks if Walt is still out there, to which Gretchen says no. Rose claims she sounds sure to which she replies she can’t speak for Heisenberg but knows the sweet, kind, brilliant man that we once knew long ago — he’s gone. Visibly upset, Walt stares ahead angered at what he had just heard. Four New Hampshire police officers arrive, guns drawn and enter the bar. As they search, they are unable to find Walt, only seeing his unfinished glass of whiskey and a tip.

 

There are so many words I can use to describe this episode and at the same time not many to truly grasp how effective and emotional it was. This is the fall of Heisenberg, the fall we expected to happen and knew it was coming. Seeing Walt in solitude after the events that took place in the last episode really capture a defeated man who lost everything. Seeing as how he called the DEA to track where he was, he was ready to call it quits. Once he saw the interview of his old friends/colleagues , it reignited his passion, what he was striving for since the beginning. Walt once stated to Jesse that his research was used for their gain and he lost out of billions of dollars. That’s why he pushed and pursued for more money, and more so, for his kids to have a future once he’s no longer there. Seeing as Walt eagerly wanted to hire hit men against Jack and his crew, wanting to reclaim his money, he’s still out for revenge and Elliot and Gretchen’s lies just pushed him over the edge. But who is he really coming for? We know he wants to come back for the money, hoping to kill Jack and his men to reclaim it, but what of Gretchen and Elliot? Is the ricin for them? Is that a last minute dose of revenge Walt wants to dish out before his capture/death? And once he reaches Jack’s hideout, what will he do if/when he finds Jesse Pinkman? Even though he may not be heading there for the intention of saving Jesse, he could end up freeing him once he finds him there. There’s still a lot of questions going in to the finale, and we’ll see what exactly is on Walt’s mind and who he’s seeking revenge against.

After 5 years, Breaking Bad is reaching its end. A great story of a man against the wall of desperation to find a way to make money for his kids. In need of money for chemotherapy and knowing his time is limited, Walter White (Bryan Cranston) slowly gives in to his demons as he grows from small meth cook to drug lord. Week after week we saw a man breaking down mentally and physically as his actions leads to madness and greed and the destruction of his family.

Grade A+

Breaking Bad ends Sept 29th.

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Joe Gonzalez
Joe Gonzalez 288 posts

Gamer since '86, well knowledgeable in movies and games, and semi tech savvy. Graphic artist and t-shirt printer for over 10 years.