TV Review: Breaking Bad S05E15, Granite State

Witness the inner struggle of Heisenberg vs Walter White, Jesse begins to lose more than he has already

Sharin Bhatti September 24, 2022
  • Direction
  • Acting
  • Screenplay
  • Cinematography

Breaking Bad

In a lot of ways, Walter White (Bryan Cranston) is a modern day Macbeth. Drunk on his own muscle, the Shakespearean King led himself to his own downfall even as his paranoia killed those who potentially threatened his power. But what of the demons that reside within? Let’s not call Walt a lunatic just yet, but show creator Vince Gilligan’s tragedy seems to be leading his “Ozymandias” onto that path of self-destruction. “Breaking Bad’s” penultimate episode may not have driven it’s viewers with the same palpable pace as “Ozymandias” did, but “Granite State” has started carving the headstone that would rest on it’s grave this coming Sunday.

Walt is picking up the pieces of his fallen star. Forced into hiding in a desolate, cold and grey log hutment in the middle of snow-clad nowhere, Walt is regrouping, rethinking and waiting. He’s gaining courage to walk out his gate and hope to hide amongst the locals of this nowhere America. The former meth kingpin has become the target of a nationwide manhunt, with his face plastered all over the news, buses and cereal boxes. Skyler (Anna Gunn) and Junior (RJ Mitte) have become hostages of the office of the DEA. Their bank accounts have been frozen, their house vandalized and their lives at the mercy of the FBI. Their only hope is to give Walt up. The phone call from Walt freeing Skyler from the collusion, has proved useless. Walt’s cancer is not just killing him, but has eroded into the lives of everyone around him. Even Saul (Bob Odendrik) is searching for a new identity, happy at the prospect of even selling Cinnabons in a Nabraska post the expiry of his’s life’s campaign of “Better Call Saul.”

The loneliness is eating into White’s soul and fearful of losing his last barrel to his current saviour, he makes another call. This time to Junior.  ”I did wrong. I made some terrible mistakes. But the reasons were always … things happened. I never intended, I never intended….” The money, yes it was all the money. “I am sending you some…I wish I could send you more…It won’t fit in the box…” Walt with rage-filled tears and a shaky voice pleads. These unfinished sentences however, don’t resonate with Junior, who’s made his decision about his father’s morality. He won’t take this darkness from him. “What you did, just shut up. Just leave us alone, you asshole. Why are you still alive? Why won’t you just die already? Just die.”  Cut. Another call. Alberquerque DEA office…

Walt spends most part of “Granite State” in hibernation, possibly introspecting his next move, putting the black hat on and taking it off sporadically, making his own personal fame board and fighting his rage and the cancer, and dealing with his mortality. In the end though, Heisenberg walks on with his rage intact, to kill Jack (Michael), avenge Hank’s death and reclaim his barrels of meth money, he staked his life working for.

Jesse Pinkman (Aaron Paul) meanwhile, in an escape bid, loses not just freedom but also his love, Andrea for whose and whose son, Brock’s safety, Jesse risked his own downfall, losing miserably in the end. The brutal way in which she was put down like a dog, by Todd (Jesse Plemons), as he watched helpless and muted from a mini-van nearby, Andrea met with the fate intended for Jesse (remember “Rabid Dog?”) Ironic.

In one more week – Walter, Jesse and Skyler will all be faced with their final fates. Let’s hope Gilligan has saved the best for “Felina.”