Thursday, September 26, 2013

"Felina" Fantasy: One Fan's Crazy, Epic Prediction For How the Breaking Bad Series Finale Ends


by Mike Ladue

I say “Felina,” you say "finale", let’s call the whole thing right now: No matter what happens in Sunday’s Breaking Bad series-ender, Vince Gilligan’s tragic tale of a man consumed by pride will rank among the greatest dramas of all time. There’s a lot of pressure on these final 75 minutes, snowballing as rabid fans continue to catch up via marathon Netflix/AMC sessions, harboring extreme feelings on the fates of Walt, Skyler, Jesse and the rest of Albuquerque’s dark and twistiest. But lets be real: it’ll be perfect.
That is, of course, if Gilligan and co. somehow came up with the same final episode as I did. On the Dual Redundancy podcast for "Granite State," my co-host Dave and I shared ours and listeners' predictions for the finale, mysteriously titled "Felina." You can listen to those here, but why bother -- the answers to all your questions (Does Walt die, and if so, how? What's the significance behind Marie and the color purple? Who's on the receiving end of Walt's ricin?) are laid out below.
Note for those treading lightly: THIS IS NOT A SPOILER FOR THE FINALE. Hell, it's mostly half-baked, hair-brained ideas that would probably never crack 75 pages of script, and it's written in an outline-ish form with little-to-no dialogue. But it satisfies many of the outstanding anxieties I have going into the finale and pays off some integral themes/motifs/character arcs from the past five seasons.
So here's my prediction, written in the name of family, or science, or getting screwed out of Gray Matter, or finally finishing that Star Trek spec. But mostly out of love and respect for the most brilliant show I've ever seen. 
Without further ado:

Todd jams to an ‘80s classic (“The Final Countdown”, maybe?) as he pulls into the Nazi compound. It's dark, so he doesn’t notice – or at least doesn’t acknowledge – the car tailing him. Inside is Walter Lambert (formerly White), face frozen in hate, plotting his revenge. He takes inventory of his belongings – M60, ricin, big black barrel. Perfect.
We see a montage of Jesse cooking meth, going through the same old motions. He looks like a zombie, his eyes dead, his actions sluggish. The picture of Andrea and Brock has been torn, leaving only Brock’s half. Todd enters and watches over Jesse from afar, smiling. He brushes his hand along the glass jar that holds his (formerly Drew Sharp’s) tarantula. The glass keeps him from any intimacy with the bug, a visual representation of Todd’s sociopathic tendencies.
Todd praises Jesse on his latest batch, which cools on a nearby counter. Jesse actively ignores Todd’s existence. A door opens, revealing Uncle Jack and Lydia, who have been expecting Todd for their latest meeting. Todd joins them in the other room, leaving Jesse alone on his leash.
Or so he thinks. Walt arrives, one index finger pressed to his lips, the other hovering on the trigger of the M60. Jesse is dumbfounded, until he realizes, of course Mr. White is here. It’s hell, after all. They don’t talk.
Walt rolls his barrel, slowly and creakily, into the lab. Jesse and Walt keep eagle eyes on the conference room door. Walt stops near the meth and turns it upright, producing an echoing THUD.
The clamor behind the door dies down. Walt rushes to free Jesse – he can’t. Instead he hands him the M60 and bolts. Startled, Jesse watches as the doors open and Nazis with guns raised start piling out. Jesse opens fire, Scarface style, taking them down.
In the melee, Uncle Jack shoots Jesse in the arm, causing him to drop his gun. Walt saves the day by taking down Jack with the gun of a fallen Nazi. The brawl breaks out again, and Walt frees Jesse by shooting at his binding rope. Todd chases down Jesse, who smashes the psychotic freak in the head with the tarantula jar. He makes Todd’s death tortuous.
The dust clears. The Nazis are dead. Walt’s barrel is overturned, and mysteriously empty. From the wreckage emerges Lydia, hands up. Jesse aims to kill, but Walt stops him. She can live, and take her meth, as a condolence for her trauma. She’s aghast, but she lugs the meth and leaves.
Immediately, Walt and Jesse turn their guns on each other. They air their drama, discuss Jane, Andrea and the fall of the empire. He drops a bombshell on Jesse: he took the ricin. He’s ready to die, the cancer isn’t killing him fast enough, but this gives him a few days to say his goodbyes before he goes. He wanted to make things right with Jesse, then see his family, and die in peace. No more bloodshed.
Jesse agrees. At Walt’s behest, he goes to Brock, giving the boy the biggest hug. He’s going to keep the boy safe. He promises.

The next morning, Walt finds Skyler’s new house based on Ed’s info. There don’t appear to be any cops watching the place. In the car he practices what he’ll say, but can’t come up with anything substantial. At last he heads up to the front door and barges in.
The family is seated to breakfast – Skyler, Flynn, Holly… and Ted Beneke, Sky’s former boss and sometimes lover. He’s in a wheelchair after his “shakedown” by Huell and Kuby. They see Walt as Carol saw Walt… a monster. Skyler instinctively presses a panic button, which Walt notices. He came with good intentions but rages at Skyler over Ted’s presence. He flings wads of cash from his pockets, forcing them to accept his hard-earned money. Holly cries. Flynn gets up and whacks Walt with his crutches, fuming with hate. He chases Walt outside and gets into his car – he’s going to run Walt down. Walt sprints back to his car, coughing the whole way, as Flynn pulls out of the driveway and guns it towards his father.
CUT TO: Marie, absent-mindedly driving her own car. Her eyes linger a bit too long on a picture of her and Hank affixed to her rear view mirror, and – CRASH. She and Flynn collide, both narrowly missing Walt. Walt rushes to the car to pull his son from the wreckage – he’s already gone, as evidenced by his half-charred face (mirroring Gustavo Fring and the pink Teddy Bear). Flynn is dead.
Marie stumbles from her car and Walt attacks. He chokes her and forces her to the ground. She struggles, kicking and clawing at his body. He suffocates her until she turns a deep shade of purple.
Skyler arrives and sees the damage and destruction. She lunges at Walt, who puts up no fight, but the two just… hold each other up. They weep. They’re exhausted from all the battling and lying and death. They mourn their son and their family, which is irreparably destroyed. The sirens wail in the distance, and she tells him she won’t rat him out. She pressed it because of Flynn. She found Marie like this. It’s just time for Walt to go.
Walt goes. He drives away, narrowly avoiding the police cars responding to the accident. But he has nowhere to go. From his pocket he discovers a purple candy ball. Quizzical at first, he pops it in his mouth and drives on.

Following one last beautiful time-lapse, Lydia sits down at a meeting with Madrigal executives. She’s been rushed in and is unprepared for the meeting. Is there something wrong with the product? They turn on the TV – hundreds of drug addicts across Europe have died in the last few days after consuming Blue meth.  The meth, they say, has been contaminated. They couldn’t give the stuff away at this point and decide to cut their losses in the meth game and focus on other Madrigal subsidiaries. Lydia’s position, she’s told, has been terminated, and as the meeting door closes she panics and tries to escape. She doesn’t.
Jesse has Badger and Skinny Pete over child-proofing his house and playing with Brock. Jesse reads through the newspaper and turns to the obituary section. We don’t see the article, but Jesse’s reads it with trepidation. He needs them to watch over Brock for a while. He has some errands to run.
Jesse arrives at Walt’s dilapidated home. He examines the wreckage, but draws his gun. He heads to the laundry room and looks down the crawl space – there he finds Walter White. Walt emerges. Jesse saw on the TV that blue meth was killing people, and deduced Walt filled his black barrel with liquid ricin and laced Lydia’s last batch in the chaos of the gunfight. Walt admits it – the product dies with him.
But, Jesse pushes, Walt didn’t take the ricin. He read in the obituary section of the paper today – Gretchen and Elliot Schwarz were found dead of mysterious causes. He saved the original ricin for them, right? Walt won’t comment on them but is adamant he took the ricin for himself. Jesse is in disbelief and holds the gun to Walt’s head. This time, he’s finishing the job.
Suddenly, Walt starts coughing. The cough persists, and gets more and more violent. Walt can’t breathe. Jesse steps back to watch him suffer.
Is it the cancer that's finally killing him? Is it the ricin? Is it the purple candy ball, planted in his pocket ever so smoothly by Marie, her dying act after experimenting with poisoning food?
Ultimately, Walt crumbles to the floor. He tilts his head to look beneath the laundry machine. Under there, somehow, is the Teddy bear’s eye staring back at him. He closes his eyes.
Is he dead? Maybe, but once Jesse shoots him in the chest, he definitely is. His eyes startle back open, but the light is gone. Walter White is dead, and the cause of death is everything he had coming to him. Jesse feels nothing.
Time for one last montage: Jesse heads back to the car to retrieve the fruits of his errands, plastic bins and hydrochloric acid. He lifts Walt's body into the tub in slow-motion and pours in the acid, giving the scene almost religious connotations.  His body burns and bubbles, safely within the confines of the bin. Jesse has learned something.
Jesse snaps the bin shut and drops it down the crawl space. The final shot of the series is a trick shot, the opposite of Walt’s maniacal laugh facing up the crawl space. It’s Jesse, looking down, as the camera sinks deeper and deeper. Jesse shakes his head, utters one last line, and closes off the entrance to the crawl space, effectively cutting to black.
The line is, of course: “Bitch.”

**FINALE DAY UPDATE: Skyler has started writing the "tell-all" book about Walt's escapades and her position as a battered, captive wife. She ends up becoming a multi-millionaire, using Walt's deeds to propel her to success and fortune he himself could never provide. Not sure how they'll fit that in, maybe as a coda or a deleted scene. 

What did you think? Anything sound plausible? Anything I missed, or messed up, or am crazy to think would ever happen? Share your own predictions in the comments and be sure to listen out for the final Dual Redundancy Breaking Bad podcast, coming sometime next week!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Podcast Episode 34: Traveling to the "Granite State" with Mr. Magorium

Every week David and Mike will break down and dissect an episode from the final eight episodes of Breaking Bad.

In this week's episode David and Mike break down episode seven of the final season called "Granite State" which originally aired on September 22nd 2013.

Spoilers for anyone not caught up.

To listen to our past episodes you can listen on iTunes or at our YouTube page.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Podcast Episode 33: The Kings of Podcasts Overthrow "Ozymandias"

Every week David and Mike will break down and dissect an episode from the final eight episodes of Breaking Bad.

In this week's episode David and Mike break down episode six of the final season called "Ozymandias" which originally aired on September 15th 2013.

Spoilers for anyone not caught up.

To listen to our past episodes you can listen on iTunes or at our YouTube page.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Podcast Episode 32: Predicting the Unpredictable 2013 Primetime Emmy Awards

Every year David and Mike try to predict the very unpredictable Primetime Emmy Awards in a very special episode of Dual Redundancy. This year they try and forecast who will take home the gold in all the major categories for the 65th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards.

This special is going to be released at first as a YouTube exclusive. To make sure you don't miss out on any specials and fall behind on all the latest in entertainment be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel. Unsure how to? Follow these easy instructions!

As an added bonus be sure to print out your very own Emmy ballot where you can keep track of our predictions and have an easy guide to follow along during the show!

Keep checking back to the Dual Redundancy blog during Emmy week for more Emmy news and predictions!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Podcast Episode 31: Cowardly Hiding from the "To'hajiilee" Shootout

Every week David and Mike will break down and dissect an episode from the final eight episodes of Breaking Bad.

In this week's episode David and Mike look at the fifth episode of the final season called "To'hajiilee" which originally aired on September 8th 2013.

Spoilers for anyone not caught up.

To listen to our past episodes you can listen on iTunes or at our YouTube page.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

DR Rewind: TV Production with Jack Powers

For the next few weeks as our YouTube page catches up with all the great episodes and interviews we have done we will rewind and share some of our favorite Dual Redundancy moments.

When Dual Redundancy became an Ithaca College Television show in early 2012 we did various interviews with some of the Ithaca College faculty. In our sixth episode of 2012 we sat down with Professor Jack Powers and interview him about television production, writing for series television, and his time with ABC's Modern Family. Below is the interview segment for you to enjoy:

To learn more about ICTV you can visit their homepage by clicking here and you can also watch the episode this interview was edited down to fit in here.

Friday, September 6, 2013

TV Review: Big Brother 15: "Week Ten"

DA- No time for witty opening remarks or for Elissa to get her bag on her way out. No, Elissa what are you doing? We will get it later. We have a lot to talk about! It was a double eviction. Come on! Just go out the door so we can get started…

After last leaving our houseguests they were competing for the coveted HOH by hopping around like bunnies and moving eggs through chicken wire. There was a lot on the line. Not only can you become the HOH but also if you lose then you are forced to wear a chicken suit for the next 48 hours! Calm down Judd, it isn’t that bad. Speaking of whining, McCrae I see that you are having a lot of problems with your long hair getting in your face. If only you had a bandana and could use to hold it back but yours is too busy being worn as some weird fashion statement. If only you had multiple ones of various colors you could wear. Hmm, maybe next time!

GinaMarie takes the competition and Amanda can’t figure out why Elissa is celebrating. She claims it is her fault that Aaryn went home. Amanda, Aaryn needed three votes to save her. It is not like you, your boyfriend, and her best friend GinaMarie could have voted for her instead of- oh wait. You could have! Silly me!

But Amanda does not stop there with her masterful game play. She tells GinaMarie she needs to nominate two people the house hates. Lucky for her that is…Amanda and McCrae! Now as long as can make it through her nomination prese-… pre-set… presentmatio-… speech it looks like a done deal.

After Judd’s help with pronouncing “dynamic” and choosing other words after struggling, McCranda is finally on the block to the displeasure of well, McCranda. Instantly Amanda starts calling GinaMarie out for lying to her that she was safe. Umm, so if she told you that you were going up you would have been content?

Amanda and Elissa fight again and everybody is a chicken to stand up for her. Wait, let me rephrase that. Everyone is a figurative chicken to stand up for her except for Judd and Spencer who are literally dressed like chickens and are quietly watching the fight take place. My favorite moment of the various fights? Amanda sarcastically telling Elissa that she is so “mature” as she walks around the house in her underwear. However, there is one moment that really angered me. Elissa is listening in to Andy and Amanda talking in the storage room. When Spencer sees he goes in and tells on her (mostly to save his skin so Andy does not say he is with Amanda in front of Elissa). After hearing this Amanda swings open the door with all her might, probably in hopes of hitting Elissa. While sure Elissa is eavesdropping this is clear attempted violence. What’s the difference of Amanda throwing something at her like pork rinds and missing then trying to hit her with a door and also missing?

After her temper tantrum Amanda lets loose with McCrae and cries that she did so good to get here. She is ready to quit and tells Andy who immediately tells her to stop that type of talk! Umm, Andy you may want her to quit so she can skip jury where she won’t be mad at you for backstabbing her and diluting the whole jury to be against you in the end but hey, that’s just me.

Finally it is time for the veto competition and for ballerinas who love to bowl this competition is for you! After spinning around for 15 rotations they have seconds to throw balls up a ramp to knock down pins. Of course Amanda is chosen for every single round and by the end it is McCrae and Amanda to battle it out. McCrae even compares this situation to the book/film Old Yeller (which was coincidentally was a major point from this week’s Breaking Bad). First, Walt goes back to get his ricin in the Breaking Bad premiere the same night the Whodunnit? killer uses it in the tea to kill Ronnie and now this? What’s next? A competition with a prize to Belize? Houseguests, be warned. A trip to "Belize" may not be to Belize if you know what I’m saying.

In the end McCrae wins it by a millisecond (or that is what the editors want us to believe and we all know how tricky they can be). He finally does not let Amanda cloud his judgment and chooses to take himself off thereby forcing GinaMarie to put up Spencer, who by volunteering breaks the record for being on the block the most in one season!

Speaking of records this Thursday’s double eviction is the show’s 500th episode!! Can you believe it? 500 episodes! That’s insane. Is there anything more unbelievable than that? Well actually there is. In some weird out of nowhere miracle, Amanda asks for Elissa’s vote and they become, dare I say it, friends. These are the same two that days before were saying some of the most disgusting things about each other and their families. To make it even more official they exchange jewelry including Elissa’s wedding ring! This sounds serious. Are you worried now Spencer? This may be “the dumbest thing [you] have done in the house.” While you may think this is, I think this may be instead.

In the end Amanda almost had the votes if only Andy was really on her side. After a 2-2 vote GinaMarie had to break the tie and picked Amanda to leave the house. Once in the audience and receiving some boos, Julie brings up the bullying. She regrets some of the things she said but asks if we saw Elissa against her when Julie interrupts and says we saw everything. WRONG! Sure the Internet saw everything (or close to it) but the television audience is getting only a fraction of the story including how this fight between the two girls was more two sided then we were to believe. Unsurprisingly Julie skips over the racism, which only proves my point that Aaryn will be the face for the disgusting comments this season despite the fact that many other houseguests including Spencer and GinaMarie will not even be mentioned!

Anyways the week is not over yet. We are treated to the famous “clown shoe” competition where contestants have to search for bones in a pile of grass. Last time it was a veto competition but this time it was for HOH. McCrae wins and without much time to think nominates GinaMarie and Elissa. At first I thought he was trying to trick Andy to not play hard in the veto competition (especially after Amanda said “I thought I could trust you” to him on the way out). However, I think he thinks it is still Elissa who voted for his girlfriend/fake wife/whatever Amanda is to him. Before McCrae realizes his mistake and gives The Exterminators a clear target in Elissa it is time for the veto competition.

This year’s double eviction veto is very similar to last year’s where houseguests had to guide a racecar through a long, winding puzzle. Out of nowhere Judd takes it and he decides not to use it for either two reasons. One he is mad at Elissa (after finding out she knew about his backdoor at the last double eviction) and wants her to stay up OR GinaMarie’s speech is so compelling. She tells him “if he wants to use it- that’s great. If he wants to use it on Elissa well that’s not a good idea.” Wait, so it’s a great idea to use it as long as he doesn’t use it on Elissa? GinaMarie you have such a way with words!

In the end it is Elissa walking out the front door-what’s that Elissa? Yes, you will get your bag later. I promise. Now please let me finish this recap! As I was saying Elissa leaves and talks with Julie about how she has no idea what just happened (or probably happened during most of the game). She also shares Rachel’s advice for her, which was to play without her emotions. Did Rachel even do that?

That’s it for your weekly Big- oh my god Elissa! Here! Now take your bag and go the jury house already.

In and Out Points:

- I know I have talked about how crazy GinaMarie is but this week I have more concrete proof. After winning her HOH she begins talking to her “bunny” Aaryn through her memory wall photo. Also the majority of Sunday night’s cutaways? It was her alone in the HOH room practicing her hip-hop moves in an oversized hoodie.

- Spencer begins a story but is then called to the diary room mid-sentence to receive his chicken outfit. “I went to the doctor two blocks from my house…” Wait, that’s it? We will never hear the rest of it?! Why did he go to the doctor? This show is just like Lost with all of its unanswered questions!

- For some reason the houseguests find the whole house covered in balloons and are forced to pop every single one to find 3 tokens in hopes of winning $10,000. Why? No reason. I think Big Brother was just feeling generous this week or was just worried for everyone in the house making rent after losing their jobs.

- “First you pump it and then you squirt it.” Out of context this a terrible sentence. For a motto of a Big Brother alliance? This is also a terrible sentence.

- Many are mad at Andy for the game he is playing and while I do not think it is perfect, he is getting blamed for things others have done in the past. For instance, this week Andy backstabbed one alliance where he would have been third for an alliance with a terrible name and gesture. Last season Ian schooled Boogie (and Frank) so he did not end up third by going with the Quack Pack. Ian won last season. Is this now Andy’s season to win?

Are you sad to see either houseguest go? Do you wish Julie brought up Amanda’s racist remarks? But first, what episode of the 500 was your favorite? I personally liked #67, #233, and #356. Let me know in the comments or @eastwoodmcfly. Also be sure to let me know what episodes I just picked by typing in random numbers on my keyboard.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

DR Rewind: Media Aesthetics with Professor Ray Gozzi

For the next few weeks as our YouTube page catches up with all the great episodes and interviews we have done we will rewind and share some of our favorite Dual Redundancy moments.

When Dual Redundancy became an Ithaca College Television show in early 2012 we did various interviews with some of the Ithaca College faculty. In our fourth episode we sat down with Professor Ray Gozzi and interviewed him about media aesthetics, Herbet Zettl's five fields, and how to watch television in a smart way. Below is the interview segment for you to enjoy:

To learn more about ICTV you can visit their homepage by clicking here and you can also watch the full episode this interview is from here.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Podcast Episode 30: Breaking Down "Rabid Dog" Free Willy Style

Every week David and Mike will break down and dissect an episode from the final eight episodes of Breaking Bad.

In this week's episode David and Mike look at the fourth episode of the final season called "Rabid Dog" which originally aired on September 1st 2013.

Spoilers for anyone not caught up.

To listen to our past episodes you can listen on iTunes or at our YouTube page.