The Breaking Bad season four finale has come and gone, but the images and events from "Face Off" will be remembered and discussed by fans of this AMC smash for many months to come.
So let's get started, shall we? Below, Matt Richenthal and Dan Forcella discuss all that went down, and all that still might go down, in the first-ever edition of the Breaking Bad Round Table...
What was your favorite scene from the finale?
Matt: The Reservoir Dogs-esque destruction of the super lab by Jesse and Walt. Just great filming all around, with the use of the camera angles, the music and, of course, the final, well-oiled example of these two partners teaming up. Well, possibly final. More on that in question number-four.
Dan: It may have been a bit ridiculous that Gus attempted to walk out of Hector's nursing home room like nothing was wrong, adjusting his tie in the calmest of manners, but that doesn't mean it wasn't absolutely awesome to watch. Sure, I almost laughed at the moment, because it was so unrealistic, but to see the legendary Gustavo Fring go down in all of his Harvey Dent-like mutilation was certainly a highlight for the series.
So, Walt poisoned Brock with that flower. Do you buy the planning, execution and final result of this plan?
Matt: On any other show, I'd follow up on a number of issues: How did Walt slip the poison to Brock? Is it right that the show essentially hid vital information from viewers on purpose, a somewhat manipulative strategy that Breaking Bad has never before employed? (In the past, we've always been privy to Walt's line of thinking.) But why pick at those nits? The actual poisoning positively lines up with Walt's transformation and will hopefully put to rest any lingering questions over whether or not Walter White is a good man at heart. He's not.
Dan: Absolutely. From beginning to end. It's been said over and over that Walt's plans never work out the way he wants, and neither did this one. When Gus didn't go to his car, Walt had to make new plans, but the original one to poison Brock in order to get Jesse on his side still worked. Looking back at "End Times," it is refreshing to see that Walt's plan was finally a genius one. I have so much more respect for his conversation with Jesse, where he had this revelation that "maybe it was Gus?!?!" The acting he was putting forth in that moment was seriously impressive. Walt being able to then make up a new strategy, using Hector, shows that Walt has turned into the One Who Knocks.
Pen a eulogy for Gus.
Matt: Dear departed Gus, you were so much more than a chicken man. When you unclipped that tie and flew the fried-based coop, you gave us all a lesson in business, how to run one efficiently, how to take care of untrustworthy employees, how to scary the living bejesus out of viewers without saying a word. I'm sorry you lost half your face. In honor of your legitimate fast food front, may you rest forever in anywhere from six to 20 pieces.
Dan: Gustavo Fring was one bad dude. We've never met someone as arrogant or ruthless, and yet this same person had the decency to put a towel down on the floor of the Cartel's bathroom before throwing up the poison he gave himself in order to kill dozens of others. Gus' passing came at the perfect time, as his story has been told brilliantly. He was a mastermind at the top of his game who simply ran into the wrong man at the right time.
Where do you envision things picking up on season five?
Matt: Nowhere good for Skyler, that's for sure. I don't see Walt even trying to hide his real self any longer. Will she finally wise up and skip town for good? Or will she grow even more complicit in what I imagine will be a new drug operation headed by her husband?
Dan: That's a great question because I would have been extremely happy with this as a series finale with one caveat: Walt takes out Gus, basks in his glory, and then goes to the doctor to find out the cancer is back. They insinuate that Walt will die within the month. That way, he gets the triumphant victory, but then loses his life almost immediately after. My guess for the final 16 episode would be Walt and Jesse attempt to run the business for a while. Of course, it will fail miserably, but they have to give it a try.