[Review] Breaking Bad, Season 5 Finale, Episode 8, "Gliding Over All"


Courtesy of Sony Pictures Television
I was going to start this review by mentioning how perfect a metaphor for life, and more importantly, this show, the final fate of Mike ended up. No matter who you are, no matter how far you come, in the end, you always end up in the barrel. Some of us end up there sooner then you'd like.

And then the show topped itself. In the end, no matter how hard you try, somethings shit happens.

Hit the jump for the review, which contains spoilers that keep a big pile of money in a shed somewhere.

Will you remember the famous men, who had to fall, to rise again?

It's taken us a very long time to watch Walter White rise. He is, after all, in the empire business. And here, finally, he has never risen higher. Having cast off the last remains of Gus Fring, Walt is finally free to do what he wants, as he wants. He's even free of Jesse pestering him on his shoulder at every turn. He has what he always wanted. And realised, that he'd had enough. I don't know if it was truly genuine, but if he honestly gave up all that he had realised, then it is a major character development.

To abandon something he has worked so long towards just isn't in his nature. All it took was a Scrooge McDuck sized pile of cash to shake him out of his vision of ruling the world of meth. It honestly felt a little disingenuous, that he would achieve so much and then give it up all within one episode. An episode that, if Marie's three month time frame for having the kids is correct, skipped over a considerable chunk of minutes. It all seemed to happen so fast.

I find myself at a loss. I knew that this episode couldn't match last weeks, and it didn't intend to. But there wasn't really anything that can be said here, that hasn't been said already. I will single out the meeting between Walt and Lydia as being a stand out. I refer to it as the Seduction of Walter White, because Lydia completely plays him. Despite her nervous, uneasy exterior, I feel now that Mike is out of the way, that Lydia is a bigger problem then Walter understands. The only thing keeping her in check is that she is making out in this deal too.

In the end, I feel like this episode was just a means to the end. A life support system, setting up the big reveal. This show has done tension before, but nothing like those last five minutes. The children walking along side the pool. The adults engaging in the sort of scatter shot, natural small talk that never appears in television. Everything is played so... casual. And you knew something was coming. You just didn't know what. You didn't know if someone would end up in the pool, which has gotten a lot of attention this season, and this episode. You had no idea where it was going to come from. And when it followed Hank into the bathroom, and he lowered his pants, you got real confused real fast.

Will you remember the famous men. Like Jesse and Hank. Who had to fall, give up their life, live in squaller, begin to fall back into old habits because the one thing that gave their life meaning had to given up. Or who have everything they've been working for riped out from under them in literally two minutes. Only to rise again. To be given a gift that could stand to change their life for the better, if they have the personal fortitude to make those sorts of decisions (which Jesse has proven capable of doing in the past). Or stumbling across a clue where you least expect to find it, that gives you nothing in and of itself, but is enough to start you down a dangerous path.

Walter stands to fall so much further. We don't know what his body scan shows, but we know he lives to see his next birthday. What happens to his family? What happens to his careful plans, in the eventuality that Hank finds out the truth? How will Walter, the ultimate survivor, the last man standing, and the only vote left, rise again?

He'll take a moment, think about all the angles, pick himself up, dust himself off, and start all over again.

After all, in the world of Walter White, everybody wins.
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About MR. Clark

Adopting the descriptor of "successfully unpublished author", MR. Clark began writing things on the internet in 2012, which he believed to be an entirely reputable and civilized place to find and deliver information. He regrets much.

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