The last season of most every acclaimed (or otherwise) and successful television series is fraught with weirdness. Writers get bored and introduce oddball guest stars, dream sequences, flashbacks, bizarro plot lines and a basic diversion from the perceived balance of the previous seasons.
The season premiere of everyone's favorite meth saga, Breaking Bad, featured Walt and the boys trying to wipe the slate clean from the Gustavo Fring debacle by using a gigantic magnet from the junkyard that used to house the cooking Winnebago from the first season. One of Fring's laptops, a box van and the local police station are involved. That's it for spoilers.
The fifth-season premiere, "Live Free or Die," was a right and taut opening to a two-part final season (eight episodes air this summer, eight more in 2013) which will no doubt be a nail-biter, or a comedy of improbable errors, à la the Keystone Kops.
That first scene with Walt turning 52 in a Denny's foretold the chaos hopefully to come. Visions of Hal from Malcolm in the Middle came dancing into my head. You're not the boss of him now.
But it was the image of Walt, Jesse and Mike tinkering with a giant magnet to magically wipe a laptop containing damning video clean that made me howl with laughter. It was a crowning cartoonish moment in a series that, well....always has been. Also, somewhere the Insane Clown Posse was laughing under a pile of money.
The acid baths, the exploding tortoise with a Danny Trejo head on it, Walt Jr.'s constant lust for breakfast, all of those things and more have kept this show just outside the edge of believability. But that's a good thing.
Where could series creator Vince Gilligan take his cast in the next 15 episodes? Obviously, DEA company man Hank will find out what his brother-in-law has been doing, the Heisenberg streak in Walt Sr. will only grow more vicious and ruthless, and I am afraid that the most hated character on TV -- Skyler White -- will attempt to roll over on her husband for the sake of their youngest child.
Of course, Breaking Bad could go full-on gonzo for its swan song season(s) and turn into a farce, which I almost hope for. Gilligan used to work on The X-Files and The Lone Gunmen, so anything could and should happen.
Maybe It Was All a Dream?
Yes, a Walter White cancer coma dream, with White playing out his demonoid scenario as a drug-running capo. He could wake up, family by his side, breathe a sigh of relief à la The Wizard of Oz and get some toast and cereal with Jr.
Walt Jr. Takes Over the Family Business
It would be the perfect cover, and no one (no one) would expect a guy with cerebral palsy to be an infamous meth cooker and brutal leader. His name? Flynn.
Gus Fring Comes Back As a Mischievous Ghost
If anything, season four showed us that Fring was more than just a methodical kingpin; he was conflicted, beaten down and also human. Maybe this season he can return as a ghost to muck up the works for the cast. You know, knocking over batches of meth, pulling people's pants down, haunting Hank while he tries to tie up the case.
Hank Wants In
Hank discovers the sordid truth about Walter and decides not to haul him in, but instead asks to join in the fun. Using his DEA background, it would be a perfect ending to the game of cat-and-mouse that has been going on now for four years. Cut to Hank and Walt in matching fedoras and chomping cigars on the top of a hotel in Las Vegas high-fiving each other. He could hide the extra crank in all his "minerals."
Skyler White Gets Cancer, Too
Ah, hell, why not? She could become desperate, too, and start selling fake MAC makeup out of the car wash and become a bootlegger in her own right, like an Avon Lady Heisenberg.
Jesse Has to Jump a Shark Cage
In the last episode of this summer's season, Jesse has to jump a shark cage at Lake Havasu to win the rights to push meth to spring breakers at the resort destination. Of course, the credits roll (the most hated image for any BrBa fan) while Jesse is in mid-air.
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Badger Becomes a Dubstep Superstar
Your favorite dopey meth-head cleans his self up and becomes a dubstep DJ. This has nothing to do with the greater BrBa mythology, I just like Badger.
Bogdan Ionitaaka (Finally) Gets His Revenge After losing the car wash and losing his money on his own Los Pollos Hermanos franchises (the business goes under with Fring), Ionitaaka converts to Islam, grows a beard, becomes a fanatical terrorist and returns to blow everyone up while they are all together for daughter Holly White's third birthday. The episode ends with a graying Mulder and Scully surveying the wreckage at the White compound.