Breaking Bad "Granite State" season 5 episode 15 gifs and memes
Adam Rifkin stashed this in Breaking Bad
You know, this was a cool moment... then he walked out into the snow, coughed, and backed down. That was Walter White. Heisenberg didn't truly come out until he was at the bar.
That's what's awesome about this. Heisenberg, Walter White... it's all just words. The darkness is there, and Walt can put on his little hat and pretend to be the bad guy, but when he doesn't feel it he doesn't feel it.
But you turn on the TV, you see his former partners dismissing him, you find out that someone is still making his product and taking credit for his work... then the darkness comes out.
Heisenberg isn't the hat. It's the rage behind his eyes, and we didn't see that until the last few precious seconds of "Granite State."
Reddit discussion during episode:
Reddit discussion post episode:
The use of the music from the intro, for the first time in any of the episodes, was chilling.
That's one of those things you just never expect. It was... perfect.
Notice the crane next to the Dimple Pinch neat:
Look at this face of determination:
“It can’t all be for nothing.”
I have no secret knowledge of how Vince Gilligan and Breaking Bad‘s writers plotted how to finish Walter White’s story, but I have to wonder if the scenario we saw tonight was considered, at one point, as the end. Walt isolated, thousands of miles from home, dying alone, knowing that everything has gone wrong, knowing that his child hates him, knowing that his plan to enrich his family has failed–and powerless to do anything but, wait, and know, and think on what he has done.
It feels in a sense as if these past few weeks have tried on several alternative endings for the story of Walter White. His surrender to Hank in the desert, as I said then, was one way it could have gone down. His disappearance into the horizon, last seen in the rear-view mirror of Vacuum Guy’s minivan, was another. (Hell, the end of last season’s run–Walt retired, successful, free and in the bosom of his family was, before Hank found Leaves of Grass as bathroom reading, the end for a very dark, cynical version of Breaking Bad.)
The Shield’s outstanding finale left its antihero/villain, Vic Mackey, alive and chained to a desk, presumably to ponder his crimes forever. Walt’s exile in “Granite State” might be considered the Shield alternative for Breaking Bad–letting Walt “escape,” but in such as way as to be tortured by his deeds for the rest of his short life. So his world ends, as another New Hampshire resident posited, not in fire but in ice.
There’s something purgatorial about Walt’s New Hampshire; we’ve spent so much time in the red-and-brown sun-baked vistas of New Mexico that emerging from the propane tank into New Hampshire feels like entering another world. As Vacuum Cleaner Guy–played, in an in-retrospect obvious bit of genius casting, by Robert Forster–says, it’s the kind of place where Walt could rest and get some much-needed thinking done. “If you look around,” he says, “it’s kind of beautiful.”
Because there is still too much to reckon with for Breaking Bad to end things this way. There is a vast and still-growing catalog of people whose lives Walt has ruined or ended, directly or indirectly. There’s Skyler, ruined, terrorized, and facing jail; Marie mourning; Junior bitter and angry. There’s Jesse captive in his meth dungeon and Andrea now, dead from the hell Walt unleashed by summoning the demons of Todd and Uncle Jack. As the suffering rolls out in this bleak, bleak episode, you can almost see the paper being crumpled up on the “Walt dies alone in hiding” idea and thrown into the wastebasket. Breaking Bad is not an elliptical show, and these things must be confronted.
Gilligan and company have created an amazing run of seven episodes leading up to next week’s finale; and yet they’ve still posed themselves a challenge in pulling off a satisfying ending. I’d now guess that the finale is building toward what it’s looked like: some revenge plot against Jack and company, abetted by Jesse (who now has a reason powerful enough to ally even with Walt), then freeing up Walt and Jesse for some final, cathartic confrontation. (Though what do I know? Is Walt carrying a machine gun for Gretchen and Elliott too?) He offered his son his money and was rejected. He has nothing to give anyone anymore but his freedom, or his life.
If you accept the premise that Walt was once at least mostly a good man–he really meant well, he truly loved his family, and so on–and that he became bad, indeed evil, through a series of gradual moral compromises, then you can see Gilligan’s dilemma in crafting the ending. How do you honor the good in Walt (or once in him) while punishing (or at least not excusing) the evil in him? Well, one way you do that, of course, is to give him a nemesis even more despicable and utterly hateful than himself: the sweet sociopathic Todd on the one hand, and actual Nazis on the other.
The trick, then, is to bring all this to a satisfying, cathartic climax without seeming to engineer Walt back into a good guy simply by giving him a bigger bad guy to fight. And you want–at least I want–the unrelenting suffering we’re seeing to end, or at least to see some sign of hope. (At this point in the series, most everyone we’ve come to care about in any way has been put into misery that shows no sign of ending, or is simply dead–and ugh, I can’t stand to think of Brock inside his house with his mom shot dead on the front lawn.) But you don’t want a happy ending–or let’s be realistic, a not-unrelentingly-miserable ending–to come at the expense of writing off the immense moral debt Walter White has rung up in this series.
Andy Greenwald of Grantland has excellent analysis, some of which I cut n paste below:
If last week's "Ozymandias" snapped and cracked like a hangman's noose, Sunday's "Granite State" was the long, slow walk to hell. Not any conventional hell, mind you. This is still Breaking Bad. Even now, science reigns. The binaries that matter aren't good and evil, but rather action and reaction, cause and effect.
I didn't do that well in chemistry, so I can't say for sure if there's a textbook that accurately traces the downward trajectory of this fascinating and deliberate penultimate episode of Breaking Bad. With apologies to Mr. White's no doubt carefully curated curriculum, what last night did remind me of was something I once read in English class: No Exit, Jean-Paul Sartre's infamous bottle episode of a play. No need to get too in-depth — do you know what they call a spoiler in France? — but the gist is this: Three sinners arrive in the afterlife expecting Sisyphean torture, but instead find a room. With no punishment in sight, the three continue to deny their guilt before falling into bitterness, self-pity, and ennui. Eventually they realize the truth: No God or devil could ever devise a worse fate for them than the one they're bound to make for each other.
For Walter White to end up where he did, 2,200 miles from home, with the desert sands replaced by hard-packed snow and frost, was the cruelest kind of joke — which is to say, the kind that's not the slightest bit funny. The unnamed vacuum cleaner repairman — played, in a brilliant and sly piece of casting, by classic knockaround guy Robert Forster — had sucked Heisenberg out of the certain disaster he had made for himself and transported him across the country inside a gas tank. But when the newly christened Mr. Lambert arrived at his prepper cabin in New Hampshire, he looked anything but flammable. He looked exhausted. His legend had gone viral, but he was too sick to notice. It turns outliving free and dying aren't mutually exclusive after all.
This was a wonderfully ironic look at the real cost of getting away with it. Walt had $11 million — less his vacuum repair bill — for company, but nowhere to spend the money, and worse, no one to spend it on. Remember last year, when Walt and Flynn watched Scarface, and Walt, an almost orgasmic smile playing on his face, mused "Everyone dies in this movie, don't they?" Yes, there's still an episode to go — and a Holly-size machine gun left to be fired — but "Granite State" served as a sobering buffer between the internal reality of Breaking Badand the sweet escape of fiction … or the grave.
Walt's scream was internalized and silent, but he spent the majority of the episode like Jesse, yelling at the Nazis to get it over with and shoot him already. (Jesse's own attempt to escape was no less cinematic — do paper clips really open handcuffs anywhere else than in the movies? — and, eventually, far more cruel.) What Walt wanted was a blaze of glory — any kind of blaze, really, other than the tepid warmth of his woodstove. Instead, what he got was two copies ofMr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium, an occasional gin-rummy partner whose pity costs $10,000 an hour, and an ocean of time to obsess over how everything went wrong. Sartre wrote "Hell is other people," but sometimes one man is more than capable of being his own worst enemy.
I didn't catch the "this changes nothing!" line. Good catch:
But Walt, the stubborn, bad scientist to the end, contradicted his own teaching at the start of the series. Chemistry is the study of change, he once said. But now, with his circumstances altered beyond all recognition, the teacher had become the failing student: "This changes nothing!" he raged. Which left it to the guy with the fake name and the faker hair to tell the truth. "The fun's over," Saul said as he gathered his sky-blue luggage. "I'm Mr. Low-Profile, just another douchebag with a job and three pairs of Dockers."
His own teaching:
Heisenberg Walter White transformation complete:
This is one of the craziest story arcs in the show:
Grantland on Todd and Lydia:
If that's the case, though, what are we to make of Todd? Of all the devious stunts pulled by Breaking Bad over the years, the casting (and corruption) of Jesse Plemons in this role has to be among the most memorable. On Friday Night Lights, Plemons's features — as wide and open as the Texas prairie — were perfectly suited to play the boy next door. Now, they've been perverted: He's the boy next door only if your neighbor happens to be a Supermax prison. Jesse described Todd best as an "Opie, dead-eyed piece of shit." But what Peter Gould gently teased out in his script last night was that Todd — vicious and murdering, gentle and polite — is the logical conclusion of Heisenberg's quest for the perfect son and heir. He does what he's told, he's motivated by love and science, and he's able to cleanly segregate the unspeakable things he does from the (in his mind) justifiable reasons for which he does them.
When he meets Lydia in her favorite, awkward café, Todd sips tea and suggests that the two of them make a "good team." He's not wrong. Sure, one is high-strung and the other has the vibrant, inner emotional life of a cinder block, but they're ideal co-conspirators: 92 percent purity, 100 percent avarice. The market decides what's best for both of them; anything that gets in the way, be it a Czech tariff or a single mom, is what soldiers call collateral damage and what capitalists call a write-off.
Awkward Todd poetry:
Grantland on Jesse and fates worse than death:
Death has played such a large part in Breaking Bad that it's likely listed on the show's IMDb page. Even so, I'm not sure a killing has unsettled me more than Todd's hideous dispatch of Andrea. Unlike Krazy-8 or Victor or Gus or even poor, home-brewing Hank, Andrea truly was an innocent, a single mother in recovery whose greatest mistake was accepting kindness from the wrong hoodie-clad millionaire. Others have been dissolved in acid, but seeing Andrea reduced to a puff of red mist was simply devastating. It was something even worse for Jesse. Stripped of dialogue and devoid of all hope, Aaron Paul's performance in these episodes has morphed into something primal and animalistic; I wouldn't be surprised if his end-stage dialogue, such as it is, is written solely in punctuation marks and emojis. His post-gunshot howl was the opposite of lifeless: It was the hoarse and rattling sound of someone who has been alive too long. Unlike Jack, Jesse isn't a passive viewer of this waking nightmare. He's a part of it all.
Awful as this murder was, I have to point out the karmic similarities between the horror show Jesse watched and the one in which he played a starring role. Tellingly, it was the same part of the Breaking Bad story that Uncle Jack found so maudlin: Jesse's "nothing personal" execution of Gale Boetticher. Here again was another late-night knock on the door, another guileless victim all too eager to undo the locks and let in the unimaginable horror waiting on the other side of the threshold. Jesse didn't "deserve" to watch Andrea die, just as she didn't deserve the bullet. But unlike Walt, who still rages and self-justifies against the dying of the light, Jesse's moral ledger is never anything less than immaculate. For every bad thing he's done, something even worse has happened to him or to those around him. That's why, even as his existence redefined the word "bleak," my confidence in his ultimate survival only rose. Making it out of this show alive isn't the same as "winning," but it's still a result worth rooting for. The universe Vince Gilligan created is based on balance, not cruelty.
Even so: Why Vince Gilligan why ???