Breaking Bad series finale recap: Did Walter White die?


If you had to pick one word to describe the Breaking Bad finale, it would have to be “perfect.” After plenty of speculation about how it would all end and what characters would die, we finally learned the fate of Walter White and company.

The man who started it all and carried the action throughout the series was none other than chemistry teacher turn meth kingpin Walter White, so how did his story come to an end?

After a a bloodbath that took out the entire Nazi clan, Walt was able to avenge Hank’s death by delivering the final bullet to Todd’s Uncle Jack. It was then that Walt came face to face with his former partner, Jesse Pinkman, for the final showdown.

Walt had the gun while Jesse was unarmed, but he slid the gun over to Jesse and offered him the chance to pull the trigger.

With Walt saving the life of Jesse, Pinkman returned the favor and walked away as Walt was left on his own. In the final moments of the show, Walter White walked over to the meth lab that was built with the plans that he and Jesse put together, before admiring his work one final time and ultimately dying in the lab as a result of a gunshot wound he suffered in the crossfire.

The closing shots showed Walt sprawled out on the floor as police came in and the camera faded out as Badfinger’s “Baby Blue” took us to the end.

It was a beautiful ending that couldn’t have left you asking for more. Simply put, it was brilliant.

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Tags: Breaking Bad Walter White

  • videogamingtown

    could you have spoiled the show more with the headline? what an asshole

    • jhan

      I dont think he’s implying that its unclear in the episode…. I think he is posing the question to entice readers who are wondering how it ended because they didnt see the episode. He is indicating that he is going to tell us one way or the other.

    • Kyle Barton

      I havent watched any of it, but my god man WHO ON EARTH would have guessed he would survive due to the theme of the show?! I MEAN C’MON!

      • Daniel Drumm

        Enlighten us then; what is the “THE THEME” of Breaking Bad?

  • db

    I don’t want to believe he died…. i mean jail would be okay i guess…

  • WalterWhite

    terrific episode finale awesome..,,.

  • TZ

    *Todd’s Uncle Jack

  • GM

    Did Walt die at the end though, I don’t think it’s definite. He collapses eyes still open that’s it.

    • Daniel Drumm

      Thank you! The number of people that are just assuming it’s definitive that he died is getting annoying. I’m fairly sure they leave it purposefully open with no definite DEATH point, so that events beyond that final scene are left up to the audiences interpretation. he could just have easily been apprehended by the police, survived the bullet wound and had to face the legal fallout of his actions, as he could have died. The point is that whatever way it goes after the last shot, live or die, it’s definitely OVER for Walt. A line is drawn under the events of the series either way.

      • Daniel Drumm

        Although, having just watched the final shot again, he has his eyes open in, but in that ‘dead mode’ actors like to use. It’s actually much less ambiguous than I thought.

      • Acrofilo

        I agree. I think it is open to interpretation. Personally, I believe the place on his body where he was shot is key to all of this. There clearly is no redemption for Walter… or is there? Let’s remind us of the fact that in the tradition of Jesus Christ he was crucified but during crucifixion, people are not supposed to die. They don’t, it is a torture. They died when the executioner drove a spear and they used to do it exactly where Walter White got shot. That effectively killed anyone. But again, in the tradition of Jesus Christ, he dies only to resurrect. I believe that’s the kind of open field Vince Gilligan wants to share with us with Breaking Bad’s finale.

        • Daniel Drumm

          I think you’re digging for the Christ comparison a little bit…

          Firstly, the spear in the side is not a staple of the crucifixion process, it was something that was done specifically to Jesus. Crucifiction most definitely WAS done to KILL people, as well as torture them. They we’re left up there till they died and it took days. If anything the spear in the side, for killing Jesus sooner, contradicts the point of the Crucifiction.

          Secondly, the story of Jesus is one of a man who attempts to spread a mostly positive message (which is more than I can say for his modern representatives) and is killed by the powers that be, who see that his message will upset the status quo.
          The notable thing about Walts journey is that he starts off as a dispossessed and harmless man, and slowly finds his way to being the egomaniacle, morally ambiguous, murderous Heisenberg. The stories are not comparable.

          Thirdly, we were arguing that Walt either DIES or LIVES, but at no point is it implied that he RESSURECTS, nor was anyone suggesting so. If if that were the case, there are resurrection myths in many religions since the Dawn of civilisation, most if them preparing Christ, how could you be sure to which they are referring? You point to the location of the wound, but I’d imagine the creators of the show had Walt shot in the side as that was where he shot Mike; a bit of symbolism.

          I just don’t see the comparison. I think Breaking Bad is written by talented story tellers, with a high degree of insight into humans and humanity, and the ability to weave a staggeringly complex but cohesive yarn. I think the last thing on their minds while creating it was Christian theology, and think it does those writers a gross diservice if you reduce this incredibly well written show, and it’s incredibly well written conclusion to a laboured allegory for alleged – and quite frankly in this day and age irrelevant – religious texts.

          • Daniel Drumm

            “EDIT: preDATING Christ”

      • Amir Tobgi

        Hang on… My speculation….

        I think perhaps you and those many others missed a huge key scene that would suggest an answer to his death being a definitie (well to at least push that certainty of Walt actually dying to 99%)

        Play the episode again, go to the scene just before he’s laying ‘dead’ on the floor (where he’s touching the pressure vessel) and watch HIM as he lets go; his reflection for one [observe the motion of the disappearance carefully], and secondly in conjunction with his heavy handed ‘slip’. Tell me again if that’s intended as him just casually sighing it off and walking away, but with the following scene out of no where him dead on the floor. Breaking Bad director has looked at and uses everything for detail that (for fun) challenges the viewers’ registration of information. I believe him reminiscing over the past has given him the final moment of satisfaction just prior his death.

        But hey i could be wrong :)

  • Little Franks

    Breaking News: Walters Dead.

  • Staal Burgher

    Series had a stupid ending. The fact that meth is illegal in the first place is questionable from a moral and liberal view point. Walter was maybe wrong in some actions but I don’t see him as having become an inherently bad guy. He was just doing what he could. If you take out the improbably offer by Gretchen and Elliot to pay his medical bills he would have had no choice but to die or bankrupt his family. So what realistic choice did he have (if you ignore the improbable)? There was far too little understanding from his family. They might not have liked what he did but according to me they have zero empathy (which is not normal). And he had left the business by the end. Jesse should’ve died in season 1. That stupid, whiny kid caused most of the problems throughout. Without him very few people would’ve gotten hurt. Not Walt’s fault. He got a raw deal.

    • Katherine McChesney

      Walter was THE bad guy. He lied, he killed, he broke the law. He was a devious human being.

      • Staal Burgher

        Everyone lies and the law is immoral to begin with. As for killing, other than the boy, I don’t see many innocents around. Even Hank was the architect of his own destruction because of his myopic view of the world. Walt had stopped manufacturing by that stage! He should’ve just let it go but his own ego drove him to try and catch Walt and it cost him his life. He himself benefited from the meth!

        I state again the purpose of life is survival. He was placed in an impossible situation. The vast majority of people will kill someone to preserve their own life and in this case the boy’s death was completely unintended and co-incidental. He could’ve been run over by a car. If you are about to die and someone offers you the choice, heal yourself or let a child be shot by a criminal, the vast majority of us will save ourselves. So this mass outpouring of scorn on Walt is hypocritical. You are not doing the shooting and from an evolutionary point of view there is no reason to choose the child ahead of yourself unless he is related to you. I would say the kid is at least of the same race so maybe their is an argument to be pursued there but I am going to take a guess you don’t make that distinction so… unlucky for you.

    • Neil Aspin

      The show is called ‘Breaking Bad’… the last scene with Walter and Skyler again. (“I did it for me!)

      • Staal Burgher

        That is just his way of saying that he enjoyed part of it. The part that made him feel in control of his life. Everyone wants that. If it was something other than meth he would’ve done that and it would have had the same positive impact on his sense of self worth.

        And you are ignoring the complete lack of empathy from his family. His whole situation was improbably and grey. He tried repeatedly to stop but circumstance kept on pulling him back in.

        The only legitimate, unarguable reason for the family to reject him is a fear for their safety, a very real concern in that type of business. That however was not much of an issue in their eyes. Their misplaced sense of morality states he should rather choose to die than life. Makes no sense. 90% of people will realize the situation is f-up but will also understand the impossible choice Walt faces.

        Walt started out doing what he did to survive, the fundamental purpose of life. That he ended up “enjoying” the freedom and control he gained over his life because of it is just a happy by product.

    • poopan

      yes.. i hated that stupid meth head junkie.. and am disappointed that he gets to go right back to that life

    • TheOldMan

      As a teacher covered under a union contract, White would most likely have been covered by a “Cadillac” medical insurance plan. He did not get into meth to make money for his treatment but rather to leave money for his family to live on after he died.

  • Ju$tinn ッ

    but did he die, of did he get arrested?

  • Sharaz Hossein

    Hollywood and TV creates the story to add discussion and viewer’s perception so that they can in time make more money from the same concept. To be dead or not to be dead is the great question. Watch as they reboot it and shut everyone up. But I would say great discussion on what everyone thinks and believes. From this fictional story a great deal of real life can be seen in it. The series was written by amazing writers and it evoked in everyone that saw it 360 degrees of point of views.