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TV Review: Breaking Bad 5.15: Granite State
Goodman   |  

Breaking Bad Season 5.14 Granite State

Breaking Bad
Season 5, Episode 15 – “Granite State”
Directed and written by Peter Gould
Starring: Bryan Cranston, Anna Gunn, Aaron Paul, Dean Norris, Betsy Brandt, RJ Mitte, Bob Odenkirk, Laura Fraser, and Jesse Plemons
Air date: September 22, 2013

After all the predicting and guessing I’ve made, turns out the most simple reason of all is the reason behind Walter White’s (Bryan Cranston) return to ABQ. Massive spoilers follow.

It’s not Jesse Pinkman (Aaron Paul) or Skyler (Anna Gunn) or Walter Jr (RJ Mitte) that brings Walter White’s newly minted Mr. Lambert back to ABQ. In fact, it’s so much simpler than that. It’s the reason that Breaking Bad has explored for so long.

Hiding out in the snowcapped Granite State that lends itself to the show’s penultimate episode title, the return of Heisenberg is brought on the by the very reason that seems to have formed him. Sitting alone in a bar, on the verge of finally turning himself in, Walter again gives into the one thing that’s driven him all along. And as the extended version of the show’s opening credit swelled around him: Heisenberg is reborn.

Pride. And I should have seen it coming. Of course that’s the reason Walter returns.

The ballad of Heisenberg and Walter White will always be that of pride. A sense of a slighted past that drives him forward more than anything else. So when Mr. Lambert hears Charlie Rose talking about the past of Grey Matter and how Gretchen and Elliot have tried to distance themselves again from Mr. White, and the rumors of the blue meth still lingering, it’s Heisenberg that walks out of that bar, ready for battle.

“Granite State” had a lot to live up to considering how nuts “Ozymandias” was last week. While I think people will always talk about that latter episode, “Granite State” still has plenty of strong moments to further drive in the knife, but I think will fall short to some fans. However, there are plenty of moments are heartbreaking in “Granite State”: the threatening of Holly by Todd, the death of Andrea, the sheer depression that Walter finds himself him – there’s plenty of great series moments.

But it’s that final reason that’s the compelling part of the episode to me. And again, I should have seen it coming. The pride of Walter White might very well be the death of him. But we finally have our setup. We have most of our answers. All that’s left at this point is just to watch how it all ends.

Heisenberg is back. He’s got a gun. He’s got ricin.

And he wants revenge.

So the final battle of Breaking Bad will be Heisenberg versus the Nazis for the control of an empire.

All that is left is to see how it all goes down.

Quick Thoughts:

Skyler gets her own reference to the pilot as she learns of what the lawyers have planned for her. A very nice touch.

– Speaking of Skyler, a huge congrats to Anna Gunn who won an Emmy on Sunday night for her performance. Skyler haters to the left.

– What an incredible episode for Jesse as well. I hope he gets to have some revenge on Todd next week.

– For those that watched the the promo for the series finale, the song that played was Junip’s ‘Line of Fire.’

– And this just in as I write my review, a huge congrats to Breaking Bad on winning best Drama Series at the Emmys.

– It’s a very delicate balance, that the show is able to still make you feel for Walter even after all he’s done. There are some very crushing events that happen with Walter in this episode: look at how he begs to have someone stay with him. It’s no wonder why he wants to go back and claim his empire. At the end of the day, it’s literally all he has left. Walt has had everything removed from him. All that remains is his pride. And all it takes is a little spark to have that pride come full circle.

One left folks. All bad things must come to an end.


  1. Great review. I think one of the Key elements in the episode is the phone call Between Jr. and Walter. When Junior shouts to him “Why don´t you die” we are witnessing the final death of Walter White. He just gives up, and tries to turn himself in. But, as you put it, pride shows it´s ugly head, and Heisenberg is back for the final mayhem.

    PS: Love the final scene between Saul and Walter in the bunker.

    Comment by Federico Garcia del Corro — September 23, 2013 @ 3:32 pm

  2. That’s one bit I didn’t touch on too much. There’s a lot that happens in those moments. The ‘It’s Over’ moment is pretty crushing.

    And thanks so much for the kind words.

    Comment by goodmanw — September 23, 2013 @ 4:44 pm

  3. Interesting tidbit. The writer says that it’s not Heisenberg or White that walks out of the bar, but a new person altogether. It’s in the EW interview.

    Comment by 福 赐 天上(Fú cì Tiānshàng) — September 23, 2013 @ 8:35 pm

  4. I read that same quote not too long ago. I’m VERY interested to see how that will play next week.

    Comment by goodmanw — September 23, 2013 @ 11:24 pm

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