After a prolonged year-long hiatus, Breaking Bad is back with the beginning of the end. On August 11, AMC premiered the first of the final eight episodes in Vince Gilligan's epic New Mexico saga.
When we last saw Breaking Bad, Walter White's DEA brother-in-law, Hank, had just uncovered Walter's connection to Albuquerque's massive crystal meth empire. We've all spent the last few years watching Walter's slow descent from high school chemistry teacher to a murderous drug king-pin, and now the only question we have to ask ourselves is: How do we want his journey to end?
Here are the top ten moments in "Blood Money" the first of Breaking Bad's last eight episodes:
1. Seeing Future Walter
As most Breaking Bad episodes, this one started with what appeared to be a flash forward. Tonight we got to see the future of Walter White: a long beard, new glasses, hair (!), and a trunk with a huge assault rifle in it. He looks awful, but you know what looks worse? His house. The lovely little ranch house where we enjoyed so many family meals with the White family is now in a terrible state of disrepair.
It conjures the idea the Walter's role as a major drug lord may become public because the word "Heisenberg," his criminal alter-ego, is spray painted across his living room, and his neighbor looks terrified to see him. Could this be the same future Walt we saw in a previous flashback that depicted him in New Hampshire buying the aforementioned assault rifle?
2. Hank's Face When he Sees Walt For the 'First' Time
Did you see that look? Hank looked at Walt like he is looking at him for the first time, like he was looking at a serial killer in one of his interrogation cells. Walter is a man Hank has let into his family, they've eaten every barbecue together, shared every birthday, and now he realizes that his brother-in-law is a serial killer.
It was a delightful and terrifying bit of acting on the part of Dean Norris, an actor whose performances have always been a highlight of the show.
3. Hank Going Through Files Re-caps the Whole Series
In case you were thinking that you needed a refresher of the first four seasons of the show, you got one. The first think Hank does after realizing that Walt might be Heisenberg, is bring out all of the old case files. We got to re-live all of the most dramatic moments of the show from Gale's death all the way back to that first big break in at the chemical plant. Thanks Breaking Bad!
4. The Show Dedicated Four Minutes to Star Trek Stoner Ramblings
Although Breaking Bad is one of the most suspenseful shows on television, it's also one of the funniest. With all of the anticipation surrounding the dramatic final episodes of the show, it was refreshing that the writers would dedicate an entire four minutes to hearing Jesse's two stoner friends jabber on and on about bizarre Star Trek fan theories. Did you know there were like 400 Captain Kirk's during the run of the show because every time a person was beamed they died?
5. Walt's Cancer is Back
All of Walt's "business" phone calls are made through gritted teeth and a hushed voice. But tonight, we see that there's an important reason for it. During his conversation with Saul Goodman, we see that Walt is back in a cancer treatment center. Walt's cancer has been in remission for seasons but now, it's back just as Walt feels like everything is going for him. The worst part is, Walt is obviously hiding it from his family, hence the secret vomiting.
6. Jesse is Overcome By Guilt...Again
Jesse is the young man who initially brought Walt into this world of crime, but repeatedly throughout the show's history, Jesse has proven to be more emotionally delicate than Walt. Where Walt is cold and calculating in where he directs his violence, Jesse is usually motivated by passion and always, always, feels remorse. Tonight is no exception. Jesse is overcome with guilt over the death of the young boy killed last season for being in the wrong place at the wrong time. He also confronts Walt on the "disappearance" of their former business partner, Mike.
7. Walt Realizes His Copy of Leaves of Grass is Missing
When Walt is throwing up he realizes that his copy of the Walt Whitman book is missing. He knows that the message Gale wrote him inside the book is the most incriminating piece of evidence he's ever left behind. He quickly connects the dots and realizes that Hank, who used his bathroom before he became mysteriously ill, must have it.
Check out one of the more dramatic trailers for this season above, it also has to do with poetry.
8. Walt is Under Investigation For the Very First Time
Although there have been some close calls, for the entire series up until now Walter White has avoided any police investigations. After realizing that Hank may have his copy of Leaves of Grass, a restless Walter goes out to check his car and, sure enough, finds a tracking device. The camera slowly pans back, making him look small and alone. Walter's life as a family man and his life as a drug lord are slowly merging. This should get interesting.
9. Hank Punches Walter White in the Face
When Walt confronts Hank about the tracking device on his car he slowly closes the garage door behind him and punches him in the face. He finally gets to confront Heisenberg for all of the things he's been through.
In one of the rare instances where the neatly separated Heisenberg speaks out of Walt's mouth, Walt first tells Hank that his cancer is back and that he will never see the inside of a court room.
Then, in a moment that rivals the shows famous, "I am the danger" scene, Hank tells Walt that he doesn't even know who he is, to which Walt responds that Hank, "better tread lightly." Then the whole world got chills and could not wait for next week.
But, most importantly.....
10. Saul Goodman is Back!
Everyone's favorite "criminal" lawyer is back! The fast talking and sarcastic Bob Odenkirk only has one scene but he manages to pack a lot of funny in a short amount of time. Saul in fact is so funny that fans of Breaking Bad may not need to go that long without him. In April 2013 Breaking Bad Creator Vince Gilligan announced that he is working on a spin-off series starting Odenkirk as Goodman. The big mystery is whether or not the show will take place after, before, or during the events of Breaking Bad.
What do you think will happen at the end of the show? What is future Walt doing with the ricin tablet he recovers from his home? Leave a comment now and let us know what you think.