But that doesn't mean I'm not conceited enough to think that, once again, I've got this whole thing figured out. What's the end game for Breaking Bad? Don't ready further unless you want to know exactly how it will* unfold.
Spoilers if you aren't 100% current on episodes:
The most audacious thing about this season is that every episode is picking up immediately where the last one dropped off. How many days have gone by this season (not counting the flash forward at the beginning of the season's opening)? Less than a week, right? Rather than methodically executing an inexorable, drawn out end to the show, the season is is sprinting to the finish, plot-wise — however no less inexorable and painful to watch.
Each episode pulls the trigger on some long-delayed moment, most of it having to do with characters confronting each other at last in full awareness of what the other is capable of. Marie (Betsy Brandt) has been the MVP of the season. She's gotten arguably the two best scenes of the season: the confrontation with Skyler and suggesting Walt kill himself. A lot of this last stretch of episodes has been about how Marie has reacted to this news. Long a sidelined character, Marie has taken a central role in proceedings.
I think Marie plays a major role in the rest of this. More on that in a moment.
Hank and Jesse got their ultimate moment of victory, as Walt is Mirandized and handcuffed. At least we got to see that.
Here's what I think happens next.
The next episode picks up, once again, immediately where the previous left off. Gomie and Hank are killed. They take out a couple of the Neo-Nazis in the process, including Todd. Jesse has escaped into the desert. Uncle Jack seizes Walt and, since he needs a new cook, impresses him into service.
At some point, Marie finds out Hank is dead. Maybe Jesse tells her? When Marie hears, she goes to the White house and kills Skyler, or plans on killing her but finds Skyler already having killed herself (knowing that Hank is dead because of her own decisions to keep Walt from turning himself in.) I'm leaning toward the former. I would believe it if Marie killed Skyler.
Mixed in with the Neo-Nazis' need for Walt to cook is some leverage to make him do it. Walt's family would be a good bargaining chip. Does Walt Jr. get abducted/killed somehow in all this?
The season continues on a minute-by-minute basis, until it reaches a terminus and jumps ahead months to the flash forward scene where Walt buys the gun.
Walt's giant gun is to get ultimate revenge on Uncle Jack and the Nazis. He does it to even the score.
Then, when he has killed the Neo-Nazis who decimated his family, Walt smokes the Ricin cigarette to kill himself. Because everything/everyone is gone: family all dead or he's dead to them at least, money's gone. And he does it because he finally accepts responsibility that he puts off on everyone else, always. Calling Jesse a coward was the height of irony, considering Walt wouldn't try to kill Jesse himself.
And the last, crucial irony I predict: It's months later because Walt is beating the cancer again. He's still alive many months later. He smokes the cigarette to kill himself because the cancer couldn't, but he doesn't want to live anymore.
I've got some giant holes I can't figure out. What's Jesse's final fate? I thought there was no way he could live, but, strangely, now that he's in the midst of that desert shootout, I like his chances more than I have in a long time.
What happens to the money? It would be kind of lovely if it never gets dug up. Does Saul, Huell, and Kuby reunite in time for the TV spinoff? What about Lydia and the Euro drug dealers? Do they get in the middle of all this? Baby Holly becomes a ward of the state?
Three episodes to go. Next week's, titled "Ozymandias," is directed by Rian Johnson. Is it premature and foolish to say it will be the best episode in the entire series?