20 Questions About the Season Finale of 'Breaking Bad' - "Face Off"

20 Questions About the Season Finale of 'Breaking Bad' - "Face Off"

1. "Face Off."  Do you get it?

I do.

2. I mean "Face Off."  Seriously.  Walter (indirectly, through Tio) finally faced off with Gus.  And then Gus's face was all...off.

You don't have to explain.  I get it.

3. But I'm just saying.

You said.

4. Anyway, let's get down to it.  This was a pretty intense hour of television, to say the least.  Some people got dead, we found out what made Brock sick, and we found out what Saul plans on naming his future anal polyps.  But let's start at the beginning.  How did Gus know about Walter and the bomb in the hospital parking garage?

I don't think he did know.  I think he's just a guy standing in front of a car he had left unattended, asking it not to blow him up.  Gus has been around the block sixty-seven hundred times.  He's learned a few things.  He's honed his sixth sense to pick up the stench of impending doom.  It's a pretty reliable thing.  Mostly.  Except where Uncle Dingle Bell is concerned.  But we'll get to that later.

5. After the car bomb failed, what was Jesse and Walt's new plan?

Well, Walter asked Jesse if he knew of any place where Gus went that was untouched by his security goons.  Jesse couldn't think of anything.  And then he went and got picked up by the po-pos.

6. Gus?

Didn't you watch the show?  No, Jesse.  Two cops called him in for questioning about why he'd ever suspect that Brock had ingested ricin.  Where had Jesse even heard of that poison?  Jesse told them that he maybe heard the term on House or something and it just stuck with him, as things do.  The cops didn't buy it, and Jesse called in Saul.

7. Hadn't Saul gone off the grid?

Yes, but when the cops came for Jesse, Walter ran immediately over to Saul's office to find out where he had gone.  He broke the window trying to get inside and then he had to bribe Honey Tits with $25K just to get Saul's number.  At this point, Walter has to have about a buck-oh-five to his name.

8. And then Saul went to see Jesse?

Yes, well, first Walt had to go back to his own house to get the money out of the crawl space.  And that's when the big Despicable Character Foreshadowing Moment occurred.  Walt knew that Gus's guys had to have done something to his house, so instead of walking right into their gunfire or explosives, he called his next door neighbor (a little old woman with a cane, of course) to walk over and make sure that Junior hadn't left the burner on.  Walt sat in his car down the block, watching the whole time as the woman hobbled her way into the house, waiting to see if she'd end up murdered or captured.

9. Which was it?

Neither.  Her presence drove off the two goons who were hanging out in the backyard.  So Walt slithered in and out of the house unseen.

10. And then Saul went to see Jesse?

Pretty much, yeah.  Saul saved the day as usual.  And while he was there, Jesse remembered a place where Gus goes unprotected by video cameras and a squad of hooligans.  Uncle Dingle Bell's nursing home.  Saul relayed to Walter that Jesse went to visit Tio with Gus on their way home from Mexico, and from the story, Walter realized that Gus and Tio are not friends.  They're enemies.   An idea bulb flashed over Walter's head.

11. What was his plan?

The first order of business was to get Tio on board.  For whatever the plan was.  And Tio was in.  He asked, through a very nifty BINGO-type board, for his nurse to call the DEA.  Eventually, she got the message and Tio wound up in the DEA office with Hank (despite Marie's protestations).

12. And Tio ratted on Gus?

Of course not.  Uncle Dingle Bell's an old school cartel man.  He'd never rat anyone out to the DEA.  He has principles.  He just told Hank, "Suck my" and "Fuc," before his nurse dragged him back to the nursing home.

13. Well, what was the point of that?

Walt figured, correctly, that Gus had a guy (in this case the omnipresent Tyrus) following Hank's every move.  Tyrus saw Uncle Salamanca leaving the DEA's office and he alerted Gus immediately.

14. Which got Gus to head over to the nursing home to find out what was what?

Exactly.  He sent Tyrus in first to scan the place for listening devices or whatever.  Tyrus found nothing and he called Gus in.  Gus, as usual, took a slow, methodic galavant around the circular gardens in front of the building before finally entering the nursing home and heading to Tio's room.

15. And then Gus walked in and Walter popped out, "Surprise!"

Nope.  Nothing happened.  Gus started talking to Tio and told Tio he was going to have to kill him. And then.  Well, then Uncle Dingle Bell started dingling his bell.  And dingling it.  And dingling it.  Tyrus and Gus were all, "WTF, Tio?"  And then Gus saw it.  Attached to the bell was an explosive and the bell was the trigger.  And before Gus could react the thing exploded and blew open the door to Tio's room.  And then Gus walked out and straightened his tie.

16.  He did not.  He survived?

It looked like it.  He was like the Terminator, just walking out of the rubble.  And then the camera panned around, and at last we could see it.  "It" being half of Gus's skull.  And then he went down like so many slaughtered chickens.  And that was Gus.

17. So, yay?  Gus and Tyrus are dead?  And the next 16 episodes will be like the Ewok party at the end of Return of the Jedi?

Yeah, probably not.  Things did tie up kind of nicely for the crew.  Brock got better.  Jesse and Walt blew up the meth lab.  The death of Gus Fring tied to the death of Tio Salamanca pretty much proved that Hank was right all along about the Chicken Man.  But then the last shot revealed a bit of information.

18. What kind of inforamtion?

The kind that proves Walt was the one who poisoned Brock with the Lily of the Valley (Do I really have to explain the whole "Lily of the Valley" thing?  You watched the episode, I'm assuming).  Now, all the details haven't been sorted out.  How did Walt get him to ingest the poison?  How did Walt get the ricin cigarette away from Jesse (Did Huell switch cigarette packs when he patted Jesse down at Saul's office?)?

19. So Jesse's gonna have to kill Walt.

Probably. Or not.  I mean, that's what you want to have happen, so it probably won't happen that way.  Jesse's such a tragic character, he'll probably die by getting hit by a car while jay-walking.  Or maybe he'll get a blood clot.  Who knows with this show.  I just know that Mike (the only member of Gus's crew still unaccounted for) will be involved.  And he certainly likes Jesse.

20. What are your other predictions for next year?

Skyler buys an El Pollo Loco franchise and Junior gets hooked on smack.  But seriously, there's no way Walter "Ego" White is not going to walk away from these events without wanting to fill the meth dealing hole left in the southwest by the deaths of both the cartel and Gus Fring.

Other Stuff:

  • I loved the little moments of humor in this episode, like Walter carrying around a car bomb in his daughter's diaper bag.  And the magnet on the bomb affixing itself to the elevator doors in the hospital. And the old woman waving to Walter as he waited outside Tio's window as Tyrus searched the place.
  • The nurse asked Tio if he "needs to go poopy."  Even former drug lords get no respect in the old folks' home.
  • Hank is going to want to inspect the newly-exploded laundry service/meth lab.  You know he will.  Did Walter and Jesse wipe off every last one of their fingerprints?
  • Gus had tears in his eyes as he waited for the all-clear to enter Tio's room.  Was he remembering his slain friend?  Was he wistful about losing the sense of purpose his feud with the Salamancas had given him?  I suppose we'll never know.  RIP, Gustavo.

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  • Thanks for recapping one of the best one hours in my TV history

  • In reply to Tom Loxas:

    Thanks for reading!

  • Great episode/Finale but I still have "Crawl Space" as my favorite episode this year.
    I loved the scene when Gus was in the car waiting to meet with tio. I never thought I would feel so sad about a "villain's" as I did with him.
    It will be very interesting how the next season plays out, mostly because its supposed to have 3 more episodes than the past seasons. This is my favorite show right now, although I am starting to go back and watch The Wire...

  • In reply to ryguy:

    There were so many great scenes (the crawl space, the box cutter) this season, so many that made my heart race while my stomach tied up in knots. No show has ever gotten such a visceral response out of me (maybe The Wire).

  • Best. Show. On. Television. Like Gus, I was blown away.

  • In reply to Mary Tyler Mom:

    I see what you did there ;)

  • Just when you think Walter White couldn't sink any lower you see him risk the life of his good hearted neighbor AND you learn that he poisoned an innocent child. I think Gus' last scene was his audition for "Walking Dead". Nice tie-in AMC. You know Walt can't get away with letting Jesse's girl friend die, so Pinkman has to kill him next season. Or, Hank figures out that Walt almost got him killed 3 times (and counting) so he busts his drug dealing ass. Or, Skyler figures out she can save the high cost of a divorce lawyer and...Oh! I don't frelling know!

  • In reply to gvon:

    I'm going to have to start using frelling.

    I just hope they don't (The Wire SPOILER here for all you people who haven't watched The Wire several years ex post facto) do Walt or Jesse in like Omar, all anti-climactic like. That would be a shame.

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