As we head toward Sunday’s finale, let’s check in on the state of each of our main characters.
Walt: Like Gretchen Schwartz, the Walt we knew died long ago. Now too has Heisenberg. This is a different man living in the snowy mountains of New Hampshire. He’s a completely broken, lonely man, forced to pay $10,000 for one hour of human interaction with his caretaker. Instead of reveling in Heisenberg’s infamy he’s relegated to reading about it from a month’s worth of newspapers. His phone call to Skyler which he hoped would absolve her of any investigation from the authorities didn’t work. She’s lost the house, has been forced to get a part-time job as a taxi dispatcher with their assets frozen, and is under constant surveillance. These are the consequences of the choices Walt made. You don’t become a murderous drug kingpin and then magically wipe your hands clean of it all.
He was ready to take Saul’s advice and turn himself in after the crushing conversation with Walt Jr., but then, like always happens with Walt, pride and ego got in the way. Gretchen and Elliot Schwartz, who run the company Walt help found but foolishly left before it made billions thus fueling the life he’s now chosen, downplay his involvement, claiming he just came up with the name. That, coupled with the news that his blue meth is still being produced, leads him to head west toward Albuquerque.
Jesse: No one has it worse than Jesse Pinkman. It’s not as if he hasn’t done, or been a part of, terrible things. But no character on the show has suffered as much. Your former partner orders your death. You’re locked in a Nazi compound, forced to cook for the foreseeable future. Sounds terrible, right? Now add in watching a woman you loved get murdered in front of you to teach you a lesson. He’d rather die than continue this life. At least Todd brings him ice cream, so, that’s something.
When this half-season started I thought Walt was coming back to town to save someone, likely Jesse. That’s certainly out the window now. Walt sees him as a rat and blames him for getting Hank killed. If Walt had his way Jesse would have died in the desert. Unless Vince Gilligan comes up with an extraordinary plot twist there’s likely no happy ending for Jesse.
Skyler: As I mentioned above, Walt’s phone call did nothing to help Skyler. Sure, she’s not going to be implemented in any of the criminal aspects of Walt’s case, but her life is in shambles. She’s lost the house, is working as a dispatcher to put food on the table and having her children threatened by Todd and his gang. Gee thanks, Walt. We didn’t see much of Skyler in “Granite State”, which means she’s likely to play a bigger part in the finale. Like Jesse, I can’t see anything involving Walt, a machine gun, and ricin turning out well for Skyler, even if she’s not directly involved.
Flynn: The only truly innocent part of this show. His world has come crashing down in the span of two episodes. His dad is the most wanted man in the state and is responsible for the death of his un ncle, who was more of a father figure than Walt. No one can blame him for not wanting to go by Walter Jr. anymore. R.J. Mitte hasn’t gotten much to do this finale season, but when he has he’s nailed it. The “Why don’t you just die already?” line to Walt, after rejecting his blood money, was a dagger. It made Walt realize he couldn’t continue this new life as a runaway. “It can’t all be for nothing”, Walt gasped.
Marie: Her husband is presumed dead and her house has been ransacked. Not a good couple days for Mrs. Schrader.
Todd: The fact that Todd has become a fascinating, integral part of the show so late in its run is a testament to Vince Gilligan and his writing staff. He’s a sociopath. He shows zero emotion when dispatching of Drew Sharp or Andrea, but is still polite enough to bring Jesse ice cream and tell Walt “sorry for your loss” in a hollow tone after Hank dies. Todd and his uncle’s crew are the dark reminder of what really happens when you get involved in the drug game.