10 Burning “Breaking Bad” Questions

What happens to this guy?

WARNING: Spoilers, conjecture, and nonsense ahead.

This week “Breaking Bad” creator Vince Gilligan revealed what fans have been wondering forever: Walt Jr.’s favorite breakfast food. Nom nom nom!

Season 5’s 2012 finale left me wanting more. Only the conclusion of AMC’s best show – sorry “Mad Men” fans – will not happen until 2013. That leaves a lot of time for guessing what will happen. Dammit, I’m just not ready for “Football Night in America” yet. I want “Breaking Bad” back.

Here are 10 questions I hope Gilligan and the show’s writers will answer in Season 5, Part 2, including one question submission from New Jersey’s own Robert Zullo.

1. What does Hank do with his newfound knowledge that his brother-in-law Walter White is the meth cook known as Heisenberg?
Conventional wisdom would say Hank would build a case against Walt and then arrest him. There are complications though. Skyler is culpable for laundering the money. Hank has taken drug money, albeit unknowingly, to pay for his recovery from a leg injury in Season 3. So this is not as cut and dry as it would seem.

2. What events lead Walt to celebrate his 52nd birthday alone in New Hampshire?
The answer to Question 2 is likely tied to the answer of Question 1. Perhaps Walt is forced to seek a new identity to avoid prison time at the hands of Hank or death at the hands of his distributors. Or perhaps he seeks out cancer treatment in New Hampshire. The cancer scenario does not explain why he pays for the gun. Gilligan has compared Walt’s transformation to a bad guy with that of Al Pacino’s portrayal of “Scarface.” Could Walt go down in a blaze of gunfire? Maybe. That doesn’t play to his strengths though.

3. What happens to the money?
Assuming no one but Walt and Skyler know where the money is it’s hard to see the DEA getting at it unless Walt or Skyler talks. It’s possible Skyler could roll on Walt, if given an opportunity to save herself. Or she could commit suicide. The 2012 finale shows her in good spirits though. That could have been an act. The only thing I know for sure is Walt will not get to enjoy the mountain of cash he’s accumulated.

4. Does Jesse learn Walt’s role in Brock’s near death, Jane’s death, and Mike’s murder?
Gilligan showed the audience Walt’s misdeeds with regard to Brock and Jane to show just how he had fallen. But, in doing so, did he suggest Jesse would one day learn how Walt had undermined his life? No one knows that Walt did these things – if Brock knew wouldn’t he have told his mother or Jesse? – but it would be more interesting to see Jesse discover Walt’s sins somehow than let the show end without him finding out. Does a return of cancer cause Walt to come clean? Probably not.

5. Do Walt and Lydia get it on? (guest submission)
Zullo was joking when he posted this on my Facebook wall. At least I think he was. Anyway, I don’t see this happening. It’s much more likely that Lydia – jittery, overcaffeinated loose cannon that she is – fingers Walt to the DEA. Now that Hank has connected the dots from Walt to Fring it shouldn’t be long till he makes the connection to Madrigal, right? It would be ironic if Lydia gave Walt up, considering how Mike wanted her killed in Season 4.

6. Did Walt really make a clean break with his distributors?
No. Viewers got Walt’s point of view in the final episode of 2012. There is no way he told his distributors he was quitting and they were cool with it. There’s no way Todd could have picked up Walt’s racket in three months and been capable of doing it all by himself. Not without any type of chemistry background. The distributors in Arizona will play some role in making Walt’s life miserable in Season 5’s second half.

7. How does Walt Jr. learn his father is a meth cook?
This has to happen, right? Hopefully while he is eating breakfast. I mean, that’s the only time we see Walt Jr. That and when he is getting pissy slamming his door and driving his sweet new ride. Maybe he learns his dad’s true identity, slams his door, and then goes out for a ride to unwind.

8. Who the hell is Todd, really?
He’s not a DEA agent. That much is clear after he killed the kid following the great train robbery. Oh, and his relatives can coordinate prison murders like no one’s business. But besides that, it feels like we are missing a lot with Walt’s new BFF. Why the hell did he keep that jar with the spider in it? Is that going to be a key plot point or did Gilligan just want us to know this ginger is off? Is he going to roll on Walt? Unlikely. Most likely to roll on Walt: a) Lydia b) Skyler c) Saul d) Todd.

9. Does Jesse survive?
Jesse has been the show’s moral center. Yes, he’s an addict and a cook whose creations have undoubtedly negatively impacted thousands of people’s lives. So he’s not a faultless person. But his sins seem to have an impact on him. He just does not know how to leave his life behind. That’s why his decision to leave Walt’s meth operation in Season 5 seemed like a big step for him. Can he leave, take his $5 million, and forge a new life? Or will his ties to Walt lead to his death? I want him to survive and be free but I know that’s not a realistic ending. Unless, of course, Steven Spielberg directs the final eight episodes. PS: I predicted Jesse would die in Season 4. That prediction didn’t turn out so well.

10. Is it essential for Walt to die for the show to achieve a place on TV’s Mount Rushmore?
Walt has to die in a blaze of glory due to his ego and pride. He just has to. His cancer might play a role in his decisions but it won’t kill him. The audience wants to see how he unravels. I have confidence Gilligan will do this in the most dramatic way possible. Right now, “Breaking Bad” is No. 2 on my top shows of all-time list behind “The Wire”. I don’t see any way “Breaking Bad” would drop out of my Top 4 minus Fran Drescher and Dane Cook being brought into the fold as comic relief for Season 5’s sure-to-be bloody end.

Thanks for reading! “Breaking Bad” returns to AMC on July 14.

7 thoughts on “10 Burning “Breaking Bad” Questions”

  1. Walt could survive the series end. After all being destroyed does not absolutly mean that he needs to die. An even more horrible fate might be what Lydia proposed at their meeting. She insisted he “swear on the life of his children” that he would not kill her. My guess for Walt’s final demise would be that he does end up killing Lydia followed by the fulfilment of Lydia’s curse. With Walt responsible for his childrens death he would be irreconcilably alienated from Skylar. His family that means everything to him lost he would in fact be destroyed despite still being alive with a storage unit stacked with (now useless) money. That would be a profound and not so predictable end. In Walt’s current position death is not really the most horrible possible fate.

    1. Steve,
      Thanks for your response! That would be a great twist – Walt making millions to leave for his family but having no family for which to leave the money. The only given at this point seems to be Saul surviving the last eight episodes, given AMC’s public discussions of a Saul spin-off show.

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