Season 5, Episode 16
The series finale.
Breaking Bad is available on Sundance TV Wednesdays at 9/8c with four back-to-back episodes.
Watch episodes on demand through your local cable provider.
In New Hampshire, Walt breaks into an unlocked car. Holding his breath behind snowy windows, he waits for a police cruiser to pass by. He unsuccessfully attempts to hot-wire the car, and sits stymied.
"Just get me home," Walt whispers to himself.
As he slowly lowers the visor, car keys tumble down. Walt starts the car, and clears snow off the windshield as Marty Robbins' "El Paso" begins to play.
Many hours later, Walt stops for gas at a near-empty station outside Albuquerque. Sifting through his cash-filled trunk, he finds a pill bottle. He washes a few pills down with water from a nearby hose, then heads to a pay phone. Posing as a reporter from the New York Times looking to interview Gretchen and Elliott, he acquires the Schwartzes' new home address.
That night, Gretchen and Elliott arrive home from New York. Walt emerges from the shadows and quietly follows them into their living room. Catching sight of him, Gretchen screams. Grabbing a kitchen knife, Elliott moves to protect his wife. Unfazed Walt is not threatened, and convinces them to come out to his car to help retrieve something.
Soon after, Elliott and Gretchen stack Walt's cash — nearly ten million dollars — on their coffee table. Walt orders them to use the money to set up an irrevocable trust for Walter, Jr. on his 18th birthday. The government would seize anything Walt tried to give his family, he explains, but wouldn't question a donation from wealthy benefactors of methamphetamine abuse victims.
In case the Schwartzes have doubts about following through with the plan, Walt gestures toward the window. Two red laser dots instantly target Gretchen and Elliott, who recoil in terror. Walt explains that he hired the best hit men in the Southwest to ensure the Schwartzes' compliance, no matter what happens to Walt.
"Cheer up, beautiful people," Walt darkly cajoles his former business partners. "This is where you get to make it right."
Afterward, Walt waits by the side of the road. His "hit men" — Jesse's stoner buddies Skinny Pete and Badger — get into the car and hand over two harmless laser pointers. Walt hands them each a stack of bills and asks if they know anything about the blue meth that's recently appeared on the market.
"That shit is choice, yo. Better than ever," Skinny Pete informs him, confused that Walt wasn't the source of it.
"Jesse," Walt says grimly, realizing Jack and Todd didn't follow through on their promise to get rid of his former partner.
In a daydream, Jesse works contentedly in a woodshop carving a beautiful box. As he admires the finished product, he snaps out of his reverie: filthy and unshaven, he's still a prisoner in Todd's meth lab.
At Denny's, Walt arranges his bacon into the number 52 for his birthday. Outside, he surveys the M60 machine gun hidden in the trunk of the Cadilliac he purchased from Lawson.
At the abandoned White House, Walt removes the ricin cigarette from its hiding spot. On his way out, he pauses in the living room and recalls his 50th birthday party, during which Hank invited him on a DEA ride-along.
"You can watch us knock down a meth lab, get a little excitement in your life," Hank jokes.
"Some day," timid Walt replies.
Lydia meets Todd at their usual cafe and orders her usual tea. Much to their surprise, sickly Walt appears and offers to sell them a new cooking recipe that doesn't require methylamine. Todd is hesitant, but Lydia insists that Jack should hear about the new method. Excited, Walt tells them that he'll come by the compound later that evening, and heads out.
After Walt is out of sight, Lydia assures Todd that they have no intention of doing business with Walt. He's surprised, but catches her meaning.
"Jesus, did you look at him?" Lydia scoffs, stirring a packet of Stevia into her tea. "You'd be doing him a favor."
In the desert, Walt assembles an elaborate rig using a disassembled garage-door opener and the base of an office chair. He presses the panic button on a key fob, triggering the rig to methodically sweep back and forth. As he leans over to adjust the rig, his wedding ring falls out of his shirt. Walt touches the ring gently, then tucks it back into his shirt: he still has things left to do.
Marie calls Skyler at her new, shabby apartment and warns her that Walt has been spotted around town. Marie is certain that Walt will come looking for someone in the family. Skyler promises to be on her guard, and hangs up. Sadly, she stares forward until it's revealed that she's face to face with Walt, who is already standing in her kitchen.
Walt tells Skyler that he wanted to have a proper goodbye, and assures her that — after tonight — she'll be safe from Jack's crew. Handing Skyler the lottery ticket with the GPS coordinates on it, Walt urges her to use Hank and Gomez's burial site to strike a deal with the prosecutor.
Walt tries to explain to Skyler why he started cooking meth, but Skyler interrupts: "If I have to hear one more time that you did this for the family..." weary Skyler sighs.
"I did it for me," Walt confesses. "I liked it. I was good at it. And, I was really... I was alive."
Before he leaves, teary Walt watches Baby Holly sleep in her crib. Outside, he watches from afar as Junior comes home from school. Junior enters the apartment without catching sight of his father. Heavy-hearted Walt leaves the complex before the DEA agents in the parking lot can spot him.
That night, Walt pulls his Cadillac up to Jack's compound. Jack's second-in-command Kenny meets him at the gate and gives the car a once-over before climbing in and escorting Walt to the clubhouse. Once they arrive, another of Jack's men frisks Walt, taking his wallet and car keys — including the remote-control key fob.
Inside the clubhouse, Walt tries to pitch his new meth recipe to Jack, who refuses to hear it. Kenny cocks his gun to shoot Walt, but Jack tells him to take Walt outside — no executions allowed in the living room.
As Jack's men seize him, Walt struggles and screams that Jack "owes" him. Offended, Jack asks what he could possibly owe Walt.
"Jesse Pinkman," Walt spits. "You promised that you would kill him, and you didn't. Instead, you partner with him?!"
Jack bristles at the implication that he'd partner with a rat and orders Todd to fetch Jesse and prove Walt wrong. Todd hesitates, but angry Jack refuses to be called a liar by Walt.
Waiting for Todd to return with his captive, Walt furtively retrieves his car keys.
"This look like a partner to you?" Jack demands when Jesse arrives, shackled and battered.
Walt eyes broken Jesse, who can't even meet Walt's gaze. Then Walt leaps, tackling Jesse to the ground. Amused Jack orders Todd to separate them as his gang watches, laughing. As Todd crouches down, Walt activates the panic button on the key fob.
The M60 machine gun rises out of the trunk of Walt's car and begins spraying a hail of bullets at the clubhouse. Jack's crew is massacred as the room is shot to pieces. Amidst the chaos, Walt winces.
The M60 finally runs out of bullets, but continues to sweep back and forth. As Walt rolls off Jesse, bewildered Todd crawls to the window to see who was shooting at the building.
Leaping up, Jesse wraps his chains around Todd's neck from behind and strangles him to death. Meanwhile, Walt aims a gun at a wounded Jack.
"You want your money, right?" Jack offers. "You pull that trigger you're never gonna—" Walt fires.
Turning, Walt slides his gun across the floor to Jesse, who has fished keys out of Todd's pockets and unlocked his shackles. Jesse picks up the gun and points it at Walt.
"You want this," Walt implores, urging Jesse to kill him.
"Say you want this," bitter Jesse replies. "Nothing happens until I hear you say it."
"I want this," Walt concedes, as Jesse notices blood blooming from a bullet wound in Walt's side.
"Then do it yourself," he tells Walt, dropping the gun and walking out the door.
Todd's cell phone rings: it's Lydia. Walt answers. "Is it done?" a pallid Lydia asks, propping herself up in bed. "Is he gone?"
"He's gone," Walt informs her. "They're all gone."
Heading outside, Walt asks how Lydia is feeling. He reveals that he slipped ricin into the Stevia that she always puts in her tea. Lydia is dumbstruck.
"Goodbye, Lydia," Walt says, tossing the phone away.
Walt makes eye contact with Jesse. The former partners share a moment before Jesse gets into Todd's car, fires up the engine and careens through the compound fence. Jesse screams as tears stream down his face: he's finally free.
Walt limps into Todd's meth lab, admiring the cook that Jesse had underway. Sirens sound in the distance. Walt taps at a nearby gauge and fondly picks up a gas mask. With a smile, he rests his hand on one of the cook vats that he and Jesse designed.
Walt's hand relaxes and he slips to the ground, his hand leaving behind a smear of blood on the vat.
Police swarm the lab, but they're too late: Walt lies dead on the ground, staring serenely up at the ceiling.