Breaking Bad: "Granite State" Review | Fanboys Anonymous

Breaking Bad: "Granite State" Review

Posted by Ronnie Brown Sunday, September 22, 2013
Welcome to New Hampshire, the "Granite State"! That's right, we've taken a huge step towards catching up to those flash forwards sprinkled throughout season 5 in what was admittedly a weaker episode than last week's, but that was bound to happen. If you go into this episode expecting "Ozymandias" part 2, you're going to be disappointed. But if you take it for what it is- showing the fallout of last week while putting everything in place for the series finale- it was an extremely effective hour of television. Where "Ozymandias" left us completely emotionally drained, "Granite State" just had a heavy sadness weighing over the whole thing, and it also contained one of the darkest moments in the history of the series- but more on that later.

We immediately got to see the fallout of everything from last week, and the best part about it was we finally got to meet Ed the disappearer! He wasn't really what I expected, but then again I don't know what I really expected. Looking back on him now though he was perfect. In a fantastic mirroring of Walt's menacing "We're done when I say we're done" moment from last year, he tried to bully Saul into going with him to New Hampshire, but the lung cancer stopped him in his tracks and sent him into a horrible coughing fit. The great Heisenberg truly has fallen.

For me, one of the most heartbreaking aspects of this episode is even though Walt's menacing phone call last week was meant to free Skyler by making her seem completely innocent, the cops are still after her and will stop at nothing to take her down unless she can give them Walt, whose name and face are now nationally known. Since she couldn't, the house was repossessed and, as Ed informed Walt, it became kind of a tourist attraction for kids, so the city put up a fence around it. That explains the appearance of the house in the flash forward scenes. It was also amazing mirroring when the scene with Skyler in the deposition greatly resembled Walt receiving his initial cancer diagnosis back in the first episode of the series (the high pitched noise drowning everyone out, someone asking if he/she understood what they just said, etc).

Watch Breaking Bad The Final Season Episode 515 Granite State Online Free Stream
This episode finally showed that everyone will indeed remember his name.
The sadness REALLY kicked in starting with Jesse. After rather brilliantly managing to escape his cage and getting caught, Jack decided to punish him. And what an awful, awful punishment it was. Todd luring Andrea out of her house and shooting her in the back of her head while forcing Jesse to watch from the nearby truck was so heart-wrenching for us as an audience to watch, especially since Jesse originally broke up with Andrea to keep her away from this business. Then thinking about how Brock would discover his mother dead on the doorstep the next morning makes it even worse.

After that brutal scene, the episode jumped forward a few months, meaning now we're extremely close to the flash forward scenes showing Walt's 52nd birthday. Here is where I felt more sympathy for Walter White than I had in a long time; he had lost a drastic amount of weight, to the point where his wedding ring would no longer fit on his finger (excellent symbolism of that sliding off too), and he was so desperate for human contact in that cabin that he begged Ed to stay longer and bribed him with $10,000 to do so. He also didn't even have the spirit left to try to find a vein to inject the chemotherapy into. This truly is a broken man. Then even his endeavor to "Ensure" his family had a better future (I'm so sorry for the terrible joke, please don't stop reading) blew up in his face, with his son telling him off and to just die already; again, great callback to season 1 when Junior said basically the same thing, albeit in a drastically different way.

Finally in the end we got to see Heisenberg return. It seemed that Heisenberg was dead and Walter White was about to die with him, ready to turn himself in and get caught in that bar. Leave it to Breaking Bad to surprise me because the absolute LAST people I would've ever expected to see were Gretchen and Elliot. We know that Grey Matter has been a sore spot for Walt since the beginning, but hearing the two of them reduce his contribution to the company down to the name and nothing else was too much for Walt to bear. When Gretchen said that the man everyone knew long ago was gone, that reinvigorated Walt. He realized she was right; Walter White is gone and Heisenberg remains. And Heisenberg would not go out with a whimper. He'd go out with a bang.

Random Thoughts
Free Online Stream Breaking Bad The Final Season Episode 515 Granite State Torrent
"Remember, there's still the kid."

  • I decided to save that image for this section because I just feel so bad for the poor guy. He's been through so damn much and I really hope he can make it out of this okay, but I'm not holding my breath. 
  • Todd is really the world's nicest sociopath, from giving Jesse ice cream to telling Andrea "it's nothing personal" even to his intense scene with Skyler (orchestrated by Lydia) in the White House.
  • I really hope that wasn't Saul's last appearance in the series. It very well could be and I don't feasibly see how he could come back from Nebraska, but I still have some hope. Saul deserves a much grander exit.
  • The show got two "fucks" this season. Vince Gilligan and others have said numerous times in the past that AMC gives them one "fuck" a year, so they try to make it count when someone says it. I guess AMC was more generous in the final eight episodes, since Hank got to say it last week and Jesse got one in this week. Both were so effective.
  • Of all the things I want to see answered next week, close to the top of the list would have to be will Huell ever get out of the DEA safe house?! Hank was supposed to come back for him and never did...
  • Finally, congratulations to Anna Gunn (Skyler) for her well-deserved Best Supporting Actress Emmy for last year's episodes! And congratulations to everyone involved for the outstanding drama series Emmy! It's about time! I'm so disappointed that Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul didn't win, but I'm so happy for Anna and the show itself. You all deserve it.
So there you have it. The end is almost here. The use of the extended Breaking Bad theme at the end of "Granite State" and the excellent despite showing no new footage trailer for the series finale have gotten me so incredibly pumped for the finale. I'm personally glad that this episode wasn't nearly as emotionally devastating as "Ozymandias" so we could get a chance to recover, but I'm sure the finale won't be so kind. So come back next week for the last time and join me for "Felina!"

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