series finales

Five Loose Ends Breaking Bad Probably Won’t Tie Up

Photo: Maya Robinson and Photos by AMC

“Felina” is nigh. The series finale of Breaking Bad airs Sunday, and it’s destined to melt the Internet and be referenced in thinky columns by TV critics for decades to come. Part of BB’s allure is its ferocious attention to detail, and that’s been in full force during this last run of episodes — see, for example, Walt’s pants from the pilot popping up in “Ozymandias.” But just because the show excels at tying up its loose ends doesn’t mean that every single element is going to be resolved. In fact, we’re readying ourselves for the idea that the following Breaking Bad–universe characters and story lines won’t be given a proper send-off.

Earlier this season, Badger pitched us one of the greatest spec scripts in history. But that very well could be the last we see of him. Jesse’s presumably still being held captive by the Nazis, a fate Badger doesn’t know about. Even if he did catch wind of Jesse’s whereabouts, it seems unlikely he’d be able to stage a rescue for his friend. Good-bye, Badger. You were fabulous.

Huell is still at that safe house! Hank and Gomez are both gone (no help on that front), and whoever was there babysitting him is presumably under strict orders not to let him leave. Now even Saul, who would, one hopes, be looking for his henchman, has forsaken him, bound for Nebraska and a new identity. Will we ever find out what happens to the big guy? Doubtful.

Last week, a DEA agent swore to Marie that he’d find Hank. Good luck, buddy. We know Marie will never have real closure on Hank’s death, but it’s not clear what kind of closure she’ll have on the show. She’s not on the list of people Walt is determined to kill, but she’s not so dear to him he’d come out of hiding to protect her. Marie already told Walt he should die, and that was when her beloved Hank was still alive. So what’s left for her? What’s the Marie end game? Think of all the essential showdowns on BB’s finale to-do list: Walt and the Nazis, Sklyer and Walt, Jesse and Walt. Marie isn’t an essential factor in any of them.

Skyler’s former boss and lover Ted Beneke was last seen in the season-five premiere, “Live Free or Die.” (Crazy, right? It feels like we haven’t seen Ted in 100 years.) Skyler gave him $600,000 to pay off his debt to the IRS, but Ted was being kind of a dick about it, so she sent Huell and Kuby to force his hand. Ted panicked and tried to flee, but instead tripped and broke his neck. When we last saw him, he was vowing to Skyler that he wouldn’t say anything to anyone — but that was when he thought Skyler’s windfall was gambling money. If Walter White is really national news like Charlie Rose claims, Ted might have felt obligated to say something to the authorities, although he seemed scared shitless when he was in his hospital bed, so maybe he kept his mouth shut. I half expected the vacuum cleaner repairman to tell Walt that Skyler and Ted had gotten back together, but short of that, it’s a safe bet that we’ll never hear from or about Ted ever again.

The ricin
A lot of what’s happened this season on BB has been foretold. We heard about the vacuum cleaner repairman on multiple occasions, and now here he is. Skyler fretted over Walt Jr. finding out about his father’s criminal history, and bam, that happened, too. There’s a sense of inevitability built into these final episodes, a crushing sensation of well, what did you think was gonna happen? And what’s been foreshadowed for the ricin, over and over, is that Walt never gives it to anyone. No one has ever been poisoned with ricin on this show, even though that little vial has been of enormous significance. Maybe that’s how the series will leave things, too, with the menacing vial intact but poised to kill.

5 Loose Ends Breaking Bad Might Not Tie Up