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Breaking Bad Wiki

"Granite State" is the fifteenth and penultimate episode of the fifth season of Breaking Bad, and the sixty-first episode of the series altogether.

Summary[]

Teaser[]

The disappearer's minivan picks up a passenger and drives to a vacuum repair shop. After the disappearer, a man named Ed, parks inside the rear garage, Saul steps out. Ed takes a photo of Saul and starts working on his new Nebraska ID, saying that he will have to wait at least two days to be transported out of state. In the meantime, Saul will be staying in a downstairs bunker with another client. Knowing the person is Walt, Saul asks how he is doing. Ed shows him a monitor screen with live footage from the bunker, where an impatient Walt paces around the room.

Act I[]

5x15 - Granite State 4

Jack's gang watch Jesse's confession video

SAC Ramey and two DEA agents drive a distraught Marie home; on the way, he promises that they will find Hank and Gomez. They arrive at the Schrader residence to find that somebody has broken in and ransacked the place. One agent speeds Marie away from the house while Ramey and the other agent investigate the premises.

It is revealed that Jack's gang broke into the house to steal Jesse's confession video, which is screened that night at their compound. After they laugh at Jesse's often-emotional confession, Kenny fast-forwards to Jesse's disclosure that Todd murdered Drew Sharp. Suddenly furious, Jack prepares to kill Jesse, but Todd wants to keep him alive so they can keep cooking meth; Jack realizes that Todd wants to impress Lydia. After teasing his nephew, Jack decides to spare Jesse. Meanwhile, in his cage, Jesse is now in possession of the photo of Andrea and Brock from Jack's meth lab. Attached to the photo is a paperclip, which he uses to unlock his handcuffs.

5x15 - Granite State 6

Walt attempts to intimidate Saul

In Ed's bunker, Walt plots revenge on Jack's gang, asking Saul for a list of mercenaries. Instead, Saul advises Walt to turn himself in so that Skyler can go free, otherwise the police will ruin her life to pressure her into giving him up. Ed comes to collect Saul, but Walt insists that Saul is coming with him. Saul refuses, saying that he is now a civilian who will be "managing a Cinnabon in Omaha" if he's lucky. Walt tries to threaten Saul into compliance, similar how he did several months earlier, but suffers a coughing fit and collapses. No longer intimidated, Saul tells Walt it's over and leaves.

Act II[]

5x15 - Granite State 7

Skyler is threatened by Jack's gang

Skyler meets with a U.S. Attorney and members of the DEA, including Ramey, who press her for information on Walt; she can't help them, as she has no idea where he is. That night, to her horror, Skyler finds three masked men, including Todd, looming over Holly's crib at the White residence. With Skyler physically restrained, Todd tells her that they have come to leave a message: forget about "the black-haired lady at the car wash." They leave after Skyler, severely shaken, promises to not say anything. The next day, Lydia and Todd meet back-to-back at a café, debating whether to eliminate Skyler. Lydia wants to call the partnership off, but Todd tells her that, with Jesse cooking for them, they have produced meth with 92% purity as well as the signature blue color. Lydia reconsiders.

5x15 - Granite State 10

Walt collects his money in New Hampshire

Walt is transported inside a hidden compartment in a propane truck. Arriving in the middle of a snowy, forested area, Ed shows Walt his new home, a small cabin in the New Hampshire wilderness with no telephone, internet or cell service. Ed says he will visit on a monthly basis for grocery runs in exchange for a hefty fee. He further explains that Walt will inevitably be caught if he leaves the property, as his face is all over the news. After he leaves, Walt stuffs his pockets with bundles of cash and prepares to depart. He opens the front gate but stops and looks at the long road ahead. "Tomorrow," Walt mutters to himself, returning to the cabin and lighting a fire in the wood stove instead.

5x15 - Granite State 15

Todd kills Andrea

Back at Jack's compound, Jesse uses the paperclip to unlock his restraints and tries to reach the cage bars above his head. Hearing Todd approaching, he quickly puts the cuffs back on and pretends to be resting. Bringing ice cream to celebrate a 96% pure batch, Todd tells him they will cook again in the morning. After he leaves, Jesse escapes the cage and makes a dash to the fences, unknowingly running past a security camera. He is quickly caught by Jack and his gang. Refusing to cook further, Jesse tells the gang to just kill him. Instead, they take Jesse, bound and gagged, to Andrea's house. Posing as a friend of Jesse's, Todd lures Andrea outside and shoots her in the back of the head, killing her. Jesse wails in anguish as Jack reminds him, "Remember, there's still the kid."

Act III[]

5x15 - Granite State 16

Ed performs makeshift chemotherapy for Walt

Months later, Walt greets Ed as he arrives for another supply drop. Now sporting a beard and full head of hair, he picks a new pair of glasses from a sampler case and reads through newspapers from Albuquerque. Ed tells him that Skyler is working as a part-time taxi dispatcher, still has custody of her children and is using her maiden name. He hooks up a homemade chemotherapy rig, injecting Walt with a drip, then prepares to leave. Out of loneliness, Walt asks him to stay a little longer, offering $10,000 for another two hours. Ed agrees to stay for one hour, and the two play seven-card stud. Seemingly resigned to his fate, Walt asks if Ed would give the remaining barrel of money to his family when he dies. Ed rhetorically asks if Walt thinks he can be trusted with such a task. After Ed departs, Walt wakes up to the sound of his wedding ring falling off his thinning finger. After fashioning it into a necklace, Walt fills a box with $100,000 from the barrel. In the morning, he finally leaves the property and walks to the nearest town.

Act IV[]

5x15 - Granite State 17

Walt Jr. receives a call from his dad

At J. P. Wynne High School, Walt Jr. (addressed as "Flynn White") is taken to Principal Carmen's office, where he is told that Marie has made a call. Junior discovers that it is actually Walt on the line, calling from a pub in New Hampshire. Walt asks if Junior's friend Louis still lives at the same address and says that he will mail a package containing $100,000 for Junior to pick up. Junior, disgusted that Walt is trying to send him drug money, yells at his father and wishes him dead before hanging up. Feeling defeated, Walt calls the DEA field office in Albuquerque and asks to speak with the agent in charge of the Walter White investigation; when asked who is calling, he gives his true name and leaves the phone off the hook so the call can be traced.

5x15 Dimple Pinch

Walt's unfinished drink

While Walt is drinking at the bar, something on the television catches his interest: Gretchen and Elliott Schwartz are being interviewed by Charlie Rose, who asks whether their recent donation of $28 million toward drug rehab clinics across the Southwest was a PR ploy to deflect from their past association with Walt. Gretchen and Elliott deceptively downplay Walt's contribution to the company, with Gretchen stating that the "sweet, kind and brilliant" man she once knew is gone. Walt's rage returns as four sheriff's deputies surround and raid the pub. However, Walt has already left, with his unfinished whisky, and a $20 bill left to cover it, sitting on the bar.

Official Photos[]

Trivia[]

  • This episode was the series' most-watched episode at the time of its airing with 6.58 million U.S. viewers, but was later passed by "Felina", which had 10.28 million.[1]
    • This is the first episode in the series to take place in a snowy, "white" atmosphere. Also mirroring the theme of change in the series.
    • Vince Gilligan originally planned to direct this episode along with "Felina" but dropped out due to scheduling conflicts.
    • The "Granite State" is New Hampshire, where Ed sends Walt to start his new life. This was alluded to in the first episode of the season, where Walt's fake ID says he is from New Hampshire. ("Live Free or Die")
    • During the production for the episode, the footage of Walt's phone call to Walter Jr. had to be filmed again because the footage from the first time was accidentally crushed by a 737 after the footage fell out of a truck. Ironically, this is the same plane model as one of the planes from the Wayfarer 515 incident in "ABQ".
    • The bar and cabin in New Hampshire are set in the fictional Crawford County in the White Mountain region. However, there is a well-known mountain pass called "Crawford Notch" that crosses the White Mountains, to which this name probably refers. Various New England writers explored Crawford Notch, including Nathaniel Hawthorne.
      • In Breaking Bad Insider Podcast of this episode, Peter Gould told a rather funny story on the bar scene. A Police Tech Adviser asked them "What are you gonna do with the cactus?" The production did not realize that there was a cactus right in front of the bar, so they ended up painting it white.
      • The hockey game was NCAA D1 game shown on the bar TV was from February 13, 1998. Wisconsin played Denver at Wisconsin and won 7-4 but only after pulling off one of the biggest upsets in college hockey history[2] .
      • PBS talk show host Charlie Rose makes a cameo appearance as himself in this episode. This was revealed by him during his August 8, 2013 episode that featured Anna Gunn, Vince Gilligan, Aaron Paul, and Bryan Cranston as guests.
      • In the interview, Charlie Rose references a New York Times column written by Andrew Ross Sorkin. The column was actually written and an excerpt appears on the New York Times website.
      • This is the only episode in the series that contains the full version of the "Breaking Bad Theme" scored by Dave Porter outside of the credits. It plays in the final scene, while the police are raiding the bar in New Hampshire. In Felina, and possibly other episodes, the same extended theme plays over the credits.
  • Walt regains his hair in the main timeline for the first time since Season 1's "Crazy Handful of Nothin'", although he was seen with hair in a few flashbacks.
  • Skyler spaces out while discussing with the lawyers the same way Walter spaced out in while receiving the news of his cancer. ("Pilot")
  • Walt and Skyler still have the same last names since Walt was named Lambert and Skyler goes by her maiden name, which is Lambert too.
  • Although he doesn't physically appear on screen, we hear Hank say "Now, this is Todd Alquist we're talking about?" during the recording of Jesse's confession.
  • When Ed is dealing out playing cards for him and Walt to play stud, he deals two kings, referring to the two men playing cards. This continues the theme of a king from the prior episode "Ozymandias". In that episode, a close up of a white king on the chessboard in the fire station is zoomed in on, and also the title Ozymandias, refers to a king that has lost all his power and glory.
  • In Ed's bunker, Saul says "If I'm lucky, a month from now, best case scenario, I'm managing a Cinnabon in Omaha." This is exactly where he ends up in the Gene timeline of Better Call Saul until Saul is captured and sent to prison in "Saul Gone".
    • Saul tells Walt that Skyler and the kids got RICOed out of their house after Walt's crimes were uncovered, just as he said would happen if Skyler gave him up in "Caballo Sin Nombre".
    • Walt's unsuccessful attempt to intimidate Saul early in this episode is a clear reference to his successful intimidation of him in "Live Free or Die".
    • This is Saul's last appearance on Breaking Bad, although Bob Odenkirk is still credited as main cast member for the series finale.
  • When Todd kills Andrea, the scene of Jesse screaming in agony in the truck is very reminiscent of Gus's agony cries when Max Arciniega is killed, and Walt's cries when Hank is killed. The camera angle is very similar and the head positioning of Jesse is similar as well, along with the uncontrolled misery in the cries. Walt and Gus were both lying down with their heads turned sideways, while Jesse begins sitting up, but then lies down partially against the door, and then finally for a moment is lying fully down with his face turned as Gus and Walt's were.
    • Andrea is the second romantic interest of Jesse's to die in the series, the first being Jane. Jesse also learns the truth about Walt's role in Jane's death in the previous episode.
    • Walt is also responsible (albeit indirectly) for Andrea's death, as he attempted to use her as bait to draw out Jesse in "To'hajiilee", which is how Jack's gang knew to use her as leverage against Jesse.
  • Walt packs his money in an Ensure box to "ensure" his family's financial security after he dies.
  • Walt Jr.'s last words to his father in this episode are similar to his words to him in "Cancer Man", "Why don't you just die already?", and are also the last words they will have before the death of Walt.
  • Several characters, who were close acquaintances of Walter before he became Heisenberg, make their return in this episode:

Production[]

Credits[]

Guest Starring

Co-Starring

  • Julianne Flores as Waitress
  • William Stafford as Government Lawyer
  • Deborah Martinez as School Office Worker
  • Kurt Soderstrom as Bartender
  • Leslie O'Carroll as Barfly
  • Charlie Rose as Himself

Filming Locations[]

  • The outdoor New Hampshire scenes were filmed in the Sandia Mountains of New Mexico. The tavern scenes were filmed in the Manzano Mountains. The tavern itself is the former Ponderosa Eatery and Saloon which is on NM Hwy 337 just north of the intersection of NM Hwy 217 and the unincorporated village of Yrissari, NM. [3]

Featured Music[]

  • "Sign of the Gypsy Queen" by April Wine (Jack and crew watch Jesse's confession video)
  • "Salvador" by Philip E. Baker (when Todd meets Lydia at The Grove)
  • "Girl from Sao Paolo" by Vince Constantino (when Walt meets Todd and Lydia at The Grove)
  • "The Final Hat" by Dave Porter (when Walt puts on his hat and heads towards his gate for the first time and over the end credits)
  • "Dimple Pinch Neat" by Dave Porter (as Gretchen and Elliott talk about Walt and the police raid the bar)

Memorable Quotes[]

Saul: "Hey, I'm a civilian. I'm not your lawyer anymore. I'm nobody's lawyer. The fun's over. From here on out, I'm Mr. Low Profile. Just another douche bag with a job and three pairs of Dockers. If I'm lucky, month from now, best-case scenario, I'm managing a cinnabon in Omaha."
Walter: "You're still part of this. Whether you like it or not."
Saul: "I'm sorry. I don't think so."
Walter: "You remember what I told you? It's not over. Unti... [Walter erupts into a severe coughing fit and collapses onto the bed]"
Saul: "It's over."
―Saul and Walter in Ed's bunker.

US Attorney: "Do you understand what's happening here?"
Skyler: "Yes. I understand. I understand I'm in terrible trouble. I understand that you will use everything in your power against me and my children unless... unless I give you Walt. But the truth is, I can't give you what you want. I don't know where he is."
―US Attorney pushing Skyler for information about Walter.

"I just think we work together good. We make a good team. I think it's kind of mutually good."
―Todd to Lydia after raising the purity of his meth.

Walter: "One of these days when you come up here, I’ll be dead. My money over there–What happens to it then? What if I ask you to give it to my family? Would you do it?"
Ed: "If I said yes would you believe me?"
―Walter and Ed in the cabin in New Hampshire.

"Will you just–just leave us alone. You asshole! Why are you still alive? Why don’t you just–just die already? Just–just die."
―Walter Jr's final words to his father.

Charlie Rose: "Is Walter White still out there?"
Gretchen: "No, he's not."
Charlie Rose: "You sound very sure."
Gretchen: "I am. I can't speak to this Heisenberg that people refer to, but whatever... whatever he became, the... the kind, sweet brilliant man we once knew, long ago, is gone."
―Charlie Rose interviewing Gretchen about Walter.

Notes[]

  1. TV by the Numbers
  2. Ryan Lambert tweet
  3. Inside Breaking Bad: Granite State