It shouldn’t be all that bothersome to read reviews or hear comments about an episode of television that seem antithetical to the impression you took from that particular episode. Breaking Bad concluded a couple of weeks ago, but debates rage on about whether Walt ended up as a hero, or a monster, or perhaps whether the writers meant for him to not completely satisfy either binary distinction. Some seemed to find “Felina” to be a finale that encapsulated the show rather perfectly, others thought it was a departure from the show’s previous maverick sensibilities that sought to pander to populism rather than stay true to its characters and their perceived sense of its morality (for the record, I’m pretty much entirely in agreement with Jonathan Lack’s assessment).
Perhaps the best suggestion about the conclusion I’ve come across is that it was essentially an inkblot test, or a mirror, in which people saw in it what they wanted to see, and each person’s response amounted to a reflection of what he or she wanted the series to be in the end. If they wanted Walt to come out victorious, and thought the episode allowed them to feel as though he did, then it was awesome. If they wanted Walt to face some severe punishment for his transgressions, and thought the episode let him off too easy, then it was disappointing. It’s hard to say whether this is a testament to the show and its finale in and of itself, or whether this is a result of both the highly-charged Twitter-driven era we live in and the cultural buildup to this final episode. At the very least, it’s rather fascinating to see the disparity between the pre-finale narrative that was essentially “This is probably the greatest television series of all time” and the post-finale narrative that has amounted to “…….hmm!”
Here are the 5 categories of responses that most viewers seem to fall into when it comes to the conclusion of Breaking Bad.
Continue reading on the next page…I hope you realize there will be spoilers and such ahead.