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"Felina" is the sixteenth episode of the fifth season of Breaking Bad and the sixty-second episode of the series altogether. It is the series finale of Breaking Bad and one of two finales to Breaking Bad Franchise overall, the other being the Better Call Saul finale "Saul Gone".

The episode follows Walter White as he evades a nationwide manhunt. He returns to Albuquerque, New Mexico to deliver the last of the money from his vast methamphetamine empire to his remaining family. Knowing his lung cancer will soon kill him, he revisits his former acquaintances to settle his affairs and prepare himself for the inevitable embrace of death.

Upon airing, "Felina" was met with widespread acclaim from critics. Several critics have called it one of the greatest series finales of all time. Around six years after it aired, Felina was directly followed by the Breaking Bad movie El Camino, exploring the fate of Jesse Pinkman.

Summary[]

Teaser[]

In New Hampshire, Walt enters an unlocked car and searches for something to start the engine. He finds a screwdriver but is unable to start the car after several attempts. The flickering lights of a police car appear and as a flashlight passes over the snow-covered car, Walt quietly pleads to himself, "Just get me home. I'll do the rest." The police car leaves without further inspection, and after a moment of intuition, the car's keys drop from the visor onto Walt's lap. He starts the car and begins his drive back to Albuquerque.

Act I[]

BB 516 UC 0402 0426

Walt sets a meeting with his former business partners.

Somewhere in New Mexico, Walt stops at a gas station. At a payphone, he poses as a journalist from The New York Times and gets Elliott and Gretchen's new address, learning that they are returning home that night from their interview with Charlie Rose. After hanging up, Walt leaves his watch, a birthday gift from Jesse, on top of the phone booth.

That night, Elliott and Gretchen return to their luxurious residence in Tesuque, too caught up in conversation to notice the disheveled Walt sitting in their garden. As the Schwartzes prepare dinner, Walt follows them into the house. Gretchen is startled upon seeing him in their living room. Walt casually greets the couple, telling them that he watched their interview. He asks for their help in unloading "something" from his car. Elliott tries to threaten Walt with a small cheese knife, which Walt scoffs at.

Walt blackmails Gretchan and Elliot

Walt threatens Elliot and Gretchen.

Moments later, the three of them finish piling $9.72 million in cash onto a coffee table. Walt instructs the Schwartzes to give the money to Walt Jr. on his eighteenth birthday, set up as an irrevocable trust fund. He insists that any taxes or legal fees associated with transferring the money be taken out of the stash, and that the Schwartzes not use a single penny of their own money. They reluctantly agree. After shaking hands, Walt turns to the window and signals outside to two "hit men", who train lasers on Elliott and Gretchen. Walt warns them that, regardless of what happens to him, the hit men will come for them if they fail to deliver the money. He signals to the hit men to turn off the lasers, then leaves the house. The couple are left shaken.

Down the street from the Schwartz residence, Walt stops his car and picks up the "hit men": Skinny Pete and Badger. After they hand over the laser pointers and Walt gives them their payment, he asks if it's true that Blue Sky is still being manufactured and distributed. They reply in the affirmative, assuming that Walt has been cooking again. Walt realizes that Jesse is still alive.

Act II[]

5x16 - Felina 5

Jesse remains as a meth slave-cook for Jack's gang.

In a dreamlike moment, a younger and happier Jesse is finishing a wooden box for his woodworking class back in high school. He is quickly jolted from the daydream, still a prisoner of Jack's gang and cooking meth at their compound. Jesse is heavily scarred from months of abuse at the hands of the neo-Nazis.

The following day, on his 52nd birthday, Walt stops by Denny's to purchase the M60 machine gun from Lawson and recovers the ricin from his abandoned house. Before leaving the house, Walt stops in the middle of his former living room and reminisces about his 50th birthday, when Hank invited him on a DEA ride-along that catalyzed his entry into the meth business.

Walt Lyda Todd

Walt's discussion with Lydia and Todd.

Later, Walt intercepts Lydia and Todd as they meet at the café, offering a new meth formula that doesn't require methylamine in exchange for $1 million. Lydia reluctantly agrees and tells Walt that he can meet with Jack's gang that evening. After he leaves, Lydia stirs Stevia into her tea and insinuates to Todd that the best thing to do is to kill Walt, stating they would be doing him a favor.

Act III[]

In the desert, Walt's M60 and instruction booklet are laid out as he builds a device with an electric garage door opener connected to a car battery. He switches on the device remotely with his car remote. The contraption starts rotating back and forth and he smiles in approval. Walt notices his wedding band, hanging from his makeshift necklace, and focuses on his next course of action.

Walt and Holly Felina

Walt says his farewell to Skyler and Holly.

In her cramped apartment, Skyler receives a call from Marie, who tells her that Walt was spotted at their old house. Skyler asks if Walt has hurt anyone, but Marie states that nothing has apparently happened so far. Marie tells Skyler that Walt is likely searching for his family, saying the police are coming to watch her house and Junior's school. She tells Skyler to be vigilant and safe, then hangs up.

The camera pans to reveal that Walt has been in the room the entire time; Skyler tells him that he has five minutes. Walt tells her that whatever happens by the end of the day, he wanted to give a proper goodbye. Skyler tells him about the men who threatened her, but he replies that, after tonight, they won't bother her anymore. He hands over the lottery ticket and tells her to use it to negotiate a deal for her, as it bears the GPS coordinates where Hank and Gomez are buried. Walt admits to Skyler his true motive for cooking meth: because he liked it, he was good at it, and it made him feel alive. As a final request, he asks to see Holly. Skyler looks on sadly as Walt lovingly caresses his daughter for the last time. Later, watching from afar, Walt gets a last glimpse of Junior as he comes home from school.

Act IV[]

5x16 - Felina 12

Walt meets with Jack.

That night, Walt drives to Jack's compound and parks his vehicle parallel to the gang's clubhouse, opposite the window. After being frisked, he is greeted by Jack. Jack falsely claims that the gang is no longer in the meth business and declines Walt's purported offer. Todd menacingly tells Walt that he shouldn't have come back as Kenny puts a gun to his head. Before they can execute him, Walt calls Jack a liar for partnering with Jesse instead of killing him as he was hired to do. Angered by Walt's accusation, Jack orders Todd to bring in Jesse to show Walt what sort of "partner" he really is.

5x16 - Felina 15

Walt's M60 machine gun, concealed within his trunk, opens fire.

Todd retrieves a shackled Jesse from the meth lab. When Jesse is brought into the room, Walt sees just how badly he has been treated. Walt feigns anger and tackles Jesse to the floor, then activates the car remote, which opens the trunk and activates the mounted M60. Oscillating on the garage door opener's motor, the machine gun's fire rips through the clubhouse and kills everyone in the gang except Jack and Todd. A bullet ricochets and Walt winces as he is hit in the abdomen. After the gun runs out of ammo, Jesse takes the opportunity to strangle Todd with his chains, snapping his neck. Walt approaches an injured Jack, who desperately offers Walt the location of his remaining money. However, Walt coldly shoots Jack in the head mid-sentence, in the exact same manner he killed Hank.

Jesse vs walt

Walt asks Jesse to shoot him.

Freeing himself from his restraints, Jesse faces Walt. After an intense moment, Walt slides his gun to Jesse and urges him to pull the trigger: "You want this." Jesse refuses unless Walt says that he wants it; Walt obliges. Still unable to bring himself to shoot him, and noticing that Walt is already mortally wounded, Jesse drops the gun and tells Walt to do it himself. Hearing a ringtone, Walt retrieves Todd's cell phone and answers: it's Lydia, asking if Walt is dead yet. Walt tells her that Jack's gang are all gone and asks if she's feeling ill. He then tells her that he spiked her Stevia with ricin at the café. Lydia starts to panic as Walt calmly says goodbye. Outside the clubhouse, Jesse and Walt share one last look of mutual respect. Jesse gets in Todd's car and speeds out of the compound to freedom, relieved to be alive and free.

Walt's Death

Walt dies in the meth lab

As police lights approach in the distance, Walt walks into Jack's meth lab. In his final moments, he lovingly admires the equipment before finally succumbing to his injury and collapsing. In the final shot the camera, looking straight down, slowly rises above a deceased Walt, a contented smile on his face. The police arrive and secure the premises, finding Walt's body mere moments after his death.

Official Photos[]

Trivia[]

BB Finale poster

Series Finale poster

  • This episode has the outstanding score of 9.9/10 on IMDb. This is the second highest rated episode of the series, just after "Ozymandias" with 10/10.
  • The title "Felina" is a reference to the 1959 song "El Paso" by Western music artist Marty Robbins. The song concerns an unnamed cowboy who falls in love with a woman named Faleena, gets shot by his enemies, and dies in her arms. The song plays in Walt's stolen car in New Hampshire, and is later hummed by Walt as he assembles the M60.
    • "Felina" is an anagram for "finale," and is also the feminine version of the word "feline" in Italian, Portuguese and Spanish.
    • The song involves the unnamed cowboy being driven away from his love "Felina" and later returning only to die in her arms. This mirrors the events in the episode where Walt returns to Albuquerque and dies in the arms of a chemistry lab.
    • "Felina" could be a portmanteau of "Fe", "Li" and "Na", the symbols for iron, lithium and sodium, or shorthand for "blood, meth and tears". However, the methods used to synthesize methamphetamine in Breaking Bad, Nagai Reduction and reductive amination of phenylacetone, do not use lithium. Lithium is used in Birch Reduction, which does not appear in the show.
  • This is the second longest episode of the series (55 minutes), only surpassed by the "Pilot" (58 minutes).
  • This is the fourth episode to be written and directed by Vince Gilligan, after "Pilot", "Full Measure" and "Face Off".
  • Just like in "Pilot" and "Fifty-One", this episode takes place in Walt's birthday, September 7th. This states that the storyline since the first to the last episode lasted exactly two years.
  • Walt's reflection on the lab equipment is distorted in such a way that he appears to have a goatee and a shaved head.
  • Carol compares Walt's appearance to the Unabomber (real name Ted Kaczynski,) a terrorist who evaded capture for 17 years despite a federal investigation but who was eventually caught after his sister-in-law and his brother became suspicious of him; this parallels with Hank and Marie's role in catching Heisenberg. Similar to Heisenberg, Kaczynski was also a highly-educated and intelligent mathematician who spent a significant portion of his life living in a remote cabin.
  • Carol's comparison also contrasts with Saul Goodman's comparison of Walt's appearance to that of D. B. Cooper in Better Call Saul.
  • The device Walt used to control the M60 is a Chinese made UN-4001 Central Car Lock System, a remote-controlled central car lock. The letters UN on the box is covered by a bar code sticker, but largely uncensored. It is the only Chinese product in the show to be shown as Chinese. Statistically, it is the most commonly used remote car lock in China.
  • The outfit Walt wears when he arrives at Skyler's apartment and Jack's compound is identical to what he wore in "Pilot" (pastel jacket, green button-up shirt, white undershirt, beige slacks.) He begins and ends the series in the same clothes, but only figuratively, since his old slacks were originally lost back in the first episode.
  • While assembling the M60, Walt hums "El Paso" to himself, after hearing it playing in his car at the beginning of the episode. This could be a callback to when he hummed "Horse with No Name" to himself after hearing it playing in his car in "Caballo Sin Nombre".
  • Todd Alquist, Walter White and Lydia Rodarte-Quayle are, in sequence, the fourth, fifth and sixth main characters to die.
  • Jack's death mirrors Hank's; as Hank was shot by Jack as Walt offered Jack all his money to spare him, Jack is shot by Walt attempting to offer him his money back to spare him. They were also both shot in the head mid-sentence.
  • Despite it being a recurring element throughout the show, Lydia is the only person to have been successfully killed with ricin.
    • Lydia's fate is confirmed in "El Camino" where Jesse hears a news report about an unnamed Houston woman poisoned by Walt who is hospitalized and not expected to survive.
  • Several takes were shot of Walt's blood-stained hand sliding down the stainless steel tank. Vince Gilligan selected the one where a "W" (for Walter White) is created by the smear.
  • The lyrics "A deep burning pain in my side" in the song "El Paso" parallels what happens to Walt towards the end of this episode.
    • His death also reflects "El Paso" by how the cowboy died in the arms of his lover, Walter died amidst the empire he loved.
  • The lyrics "Guess I got what I deserved" relates to Walt's final reflection on his actions, and how he understands his own demise, but still feels some happiness for what he did, mingled with regret.
  • The lyrics "The special love I had for you, my baby blue" in the song "Baby Blue" by Badfinger, reflects Walt's actual love and respect for his own exclusive signature product Blue Sky.
  • The lyrics "Kept you waiting there too long, my love, All that time, without a word, Did you really think that I'd forget, And regret...", as well as the general theme of regret and breakup relate to Walt's leaving the meth business, and how in a sense, he was saying farewell to cooking himself, and that he never truly left the business behind, but only stopped cooking out of duty to his family, but always wanted to go back in the end.
  • A faint blue hue follows Walt and Jesse when they see each other for the last time. The same lighting could be seen in the Pilot when Walt confronted Jesse for the first time.
  • Vince Gilligan explained that The Searchers heavily influenced the final standoff between Walt and Jesse. Gilligan believes that Walt was intending to kill Jesse, but when he saw the state his former partner was in, Walt couldn’t do it.
  • There was one scene cut from the finale script for budget and time reasons. It took place at the gas station after Walt makes the call in which he pretends he's the Times reporter. In it, a former student of Walt recognizes him. Walt pays him off and threatens him to make sure he doesn't rat him out. But before leaving the former student, he asks, "What kind of teacher was I?" The former student replies, "You were good." and then says he remembered the time Walt sprayed different chemicals at a flame and it made different colors, which is a callback to the chemistry lesson scene in "Pilot".
  • Walt's last word is 'Lydia'.
  • Some fans still joke about whether or not Huell is still sitting in the safe house, for Hank never told him it was safe for him to leave. Funny or Die even made a sketch, Huell's Rules, parodying this. However, Gilligan revealed that Huell was let out once Agent Van Oster found out that Hank and Gomez had died, and that "right now, he’s doing what Huell does best, whatever that is. He’s out and about as a free man."
    • In the episode "Breaking Bad" of Better Call Saul, Francesca Liddy reveals that Huell was eventually released as he had been held under false pretenses and subsequently returned home to New Orleans.
  • The license plate of the Cadillac reads "JG8-516", whereas "516" is a hint for this episode, which is the sixteenth episode of the fifth season.
  • The entire series began and ended with sirens heading towards Walter.
  • Judging by the way Walt talks to Skyler about his confrontation with the neo-Nazis and the fact that Walt wanted Jesse to shoot him, it can be concluded that Walt had planned to get himself killed with the M60 along with Jack's gang before finding out Jesse's condition. Although unknown, it can be assumed. Coincidentally, in the first episode of the series, Walter tries to shoot himself, unsuccessfully.
  • Not only was Walt's decision to save Jesse a touching act of mercy, but it turned out to be a highly pragmatic move. Had Walt followed his original plan of trying to kill everyone in Jack's compound including himself and Jesse, Jack and Todd would have probably survived the spray of bullets flying through the room as seen in the aftermath of M60 shootout. In the end, former partners got to personally avenge their rivals, Jesse a chance to flee, and Walt to spend his last minutes of life where he felt most alive.
  • As the camera pans out from Walt's body, the lighting fixture forms a crosshair and settles over his left lung. This throws back to his initial CT scan, and future references where Walt stated he had a tumor in his left lung.
  • Co-executive producer Melissa Bernstein can be seen in the bus when Walt Jr. comes home from school. It is a voluntary wink to the "Pilot", in which for lack of budget, she had played the sole occupant of the school bus seen during the scene where Walter accompanies Hank on a drug bust.
  • This episode was watched by 10.28 million people on its premiere night, up from the previous high, "Granite State", which had 6.58 million. This makes "Felina" the most watched episode in the series' history.[1]
    • The finale also set new records on Twitter, with 1.24 million tweets from 601,370 unique users during the live broadcast of both the EST and PST telecasts. The Breaking Bad finale hit a peak of 22,373 "tweets"-per-minute as the final episode began on the East Coast. Popular Breaking Bad-related Twitter tags included: "#BreakingBad", "#BreakingBadFinale", and "#GoodbyeBreakingBad"; all of which were trending on Twitter that night.
  • Bob Odenkirk (Saul Goodman) does not appear in this episode.
  • RJ Mitte (Walter White Jr.) does not have any speaking lines in this episode.
  • Dean Norris (Hank Schrader) only appears in this episode through archival footage, from Walt's birthday party scene from the "Pilot".
  • Vince Gilligan had Walt leave his watch at the gas station for continuity reasons, as he wasn't wearing it during the flashforwards in earlier episodes.[2] ("Live Free or Die") ("Blood Money")
    • Leaving the Tag Heuer watch may also be symbolic that "time has run out" for Walt, or it may be symbolic of Walt leaving behind his prideful, selfish, "Heisenberg" self, who was overly focused on greed and power, symbolized by the watch. Many of Heisenberg's worst actions were taken after he received the watch as a gift.
    • The watch makes a brief cameo appearance in the Better Call Saul series finale "Saul Gone" during a flashback taking place during the events of "Granite State".
  • Gilligan almost didn't get to use Baby Blue, but the music supervisor said it was the best choice in the end.
    • The song Baby Blue by Badfinger saw a 9,000% increase in streams, and more than 5,000 iTunes sales the night Felina aired, putting it in the top 20 iTunes songs 40 years after it was initially released.
  • In the final scene between Skyler and Walt:
    • Anna Gunn wore oversized clothing (like Cranston often does) to make her look like a "shrunken person" and a "shadow of her former self."
    • The shot of Skyler reflected in the microwave was completely accidental. Gilligan admits not knowing he got it until the editor complimented it.
    • The camera operator cried shooting the final Skyler and Walt scene and had to take his eye off the eyepiece.
  • Walt's machine gun robot was recreated on an episode of Mythbusters.
  • Walter's death, despite general acceptance from fans, is widely disputed. Logically, Walter could survive and Cranston has since teased this theory by stating "You didn't see a body bag" in an interview.
    • Walt's fate is confirmed in "El Camino" where Jesse listens to a news report how the police found Walter White's dead body in the aftermath of the gang massacre. The same news report confirms Lydia's fate. Walt's death is also mentioned in the episodes "Breaking Bad" and "Saul Gone" of Better Call Saul.
  • Walter's final attack on the Neo-Nazis heavily mirrors Gustavo Fring's assassination of the heads of the Cartel.
    • Walt and Gus were initially motivated to take revenge due to someone close to them being shot in the head.
    • Their loved ones were murdered by a character frequently referred to as "Uncle."
    • They set up a meeting with their enemies under the pretense of teaching them the formula for a new drug.
    • Almost everybody present, aside from Walt and Gus, fell victim to their secret weapon and died nearly instantly.
    • The only survivors of the attack are their enemies' leader, who dies soon afterwards, and their lieutenant, who is strangled from behind by their attacker's longtime partner.
    • Both Walt and Gus are hurt by their own weapon; Gus poisoned himself to coax the Cartel leadership into doing the same, and Walt was shot in the side protecting Jesse.
    • Jesse kills the last survivor of the "Salud" massacre and one of the two survivors of the Felina massacre.
    • Jesse Pinkman was deliberately protected from being killed in both assassinations, Gus didn't allow him to drink the poisoned tequila and Walter knocked him to the ground to save him from the gunfire.
    • This also coincides with Walt’s fall after Hank gets shot mirroring Gus’s fall after Max got shot.
  • The fate of several characters post "Felina" are revealed by Francesca Liddy in the Better Call Saul episode "Breaking Bad":
    • Walter White's death didn't change anything and, in fact, made it worse for the remaining low-level players connected to his drug empire.
    • Skyler White reached a plea deal with federal prosecutors as Walt had intended. This likely means that Hank Schrader and Steven Gomez's bodies were recovered, as Walt had given his wife their location as leverage for the deal.
    • Jesse Pinkman's car was found near the border as intended by Badger and Skinny Pete in El Camino, which was helpful in Jesse's successful escape to a new life in Alaska with Ed Galbraith's help. The police are still looking for Jesse, as he and Saul are the last of Walt's accomplices left to pursue.
    • All of Saul Goodman's assets have been seized, leaving him with only the belongings that he took with him to Omaha.
    • Huell Babineaux has apparently returned to New Orleans after the DEA were forced to release him, due to holding Huell under false pretenses.
    • Lydia Rodarte-Quayle is not mentioned, but is implied to be dead, as Francesca says that Jesse and Saul are the DEA's only remaining targets, particularly as a news report in "El Camino" mentioned that she was not expected to survive her poisoning.
    • Francesca herself is still being targeted by the authorities in an effort to find Saul.
    • As seen in "Saul Gone", Saul himself is eventually caught and sentenced to eighty-six years in prison for his various crimes in connection with working for Walter.

Production[]

Credits[]

Co-Starring

Uncredited

  • Monique Candelaria as Waitress (archive footage)
  • Rick Anglada as Albuquerque Police Officer
  • Timothy Holmes as DEA

Filming Locations[]

  • The Canoncito Gas station shown when Walt first returns to New Mexico from New Hampshire is located on Trail 56, out near the cook site & barrel location.

Featured Music[]

  • "El Paso" by Marty Robbins (Playing from a cassette in Walt's stolen car, later muttered by Walt as he sets up his machine gun rig)
  • "Ballet Music No. 1. Allegretto (Mouvement de valse) [From the opera, "Faust"] by Charles-François Gounod" by Louis De Froment et l'Orchestre symphonique de Radio Télé Luxembourg (when the Schwartzes arrive home)
  • "Ballet Music No. 2. Adagio [From the opera, "Faust"] by Charles-François Gounod" by Louis De Froment et l'Orchestre symphonique de Radio Télé Luxembourg (when Elliot threatens Walt)
  • "Love is Running Through Me (aka Running Through Me)" by Javaroo (Reprised from "Live Free or Die" as Walt celebrates 52)
  • "Unknown Track #1" by Unknown Artist (when Todd & Lydia meet in the café)
  • "Lydia the Tattooed Lady [From the film, "At the Circus" by Marx Bros]" by Harold Arlen and Yip Harburg (Todd's custom ringtone for Lydia)
  • "Baby Blue" by Badfinger (As Walt dies and the police arrive)
  • "Line of Fire" by Junip (Promo)

Memorable Quotes[]

"I did it for me. I liked it. I was good at it. And, I was really... I was alive."
―Walt to Skyler, about his true motivation for manufacturing meth.

"He's alive isn't he? And he's cooking for you! What, are you gonna lie?"
―Walt to Jack about Jesse during their final confrontation.

"Jesus. Mr. White..."
―Todd's last words before Jesse strangled him.

"Wait, wait... You want your money, right? You wanna know where it is? You pull that trigger, you'll never-"
―Jack's last words before Walt shot him in the head.

Walter: "Do it. You want this."
Jesse: "Say the words. Say you want this! Nothing happens until I hear you say it."
Walter: "I want this."
Jesse: "Then do it yourself."
―Walter telling Jesse to kill him.

Walter: "How are you feeling? Kind of under the weather? Like you've got the flu? That would be the ricin I gave you. I slipped it into that Stevia crap that you're always putting in your tea."
Lydia: "Oh my god.."
Walter: "Well, goodbye Lydia."
―Walt's last words, and the last lines of the series.

Videos[]

Notes[]

  1. TV by the Numbers
  2. Talking Bad episode 8, originally broadcast September 29, 2013
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