Last night’s penultimate episode of Breaking Bad was another breathless adventure laced with symbolism. In this article, I want to focus on some of the symbolism that I found particularly telling. Starting with the episode title, superficially “Granite State” refers to New Hampshire which we have known now for over a year that would be Walt/Mr Lambert’s brief home. But it could also be read as a state of granite – the lone rock among the desolate white landscape. Walt is surrounded by white snow everywhere and all alone with memories of his recent past and yet no remorse – none that we see. He is so alone in fact that he has to offer $10k to The Disappearer to get a measly hour of his company. Granite is a mineral – perhaps one of those in the late Hank Schrader‘s collection? – and known for its density and even emits small amounts of radiation (cf. the Wikipedia article). Hank did point out that Walt’s hubris makes him dense and capable of stupid tests while still emitting an aura of genius. Incredibly enough, Walt still thinks he can buy Skyler and Jr back by sending them $100k via the ever-elusive Louis and when that is rejected, I think Walter White died definitively. Well, either right then or when he sees Gretchen and Elliott altering history and removing Walter White’s legacy from Grey Matter – so much for “Remember my name” This symbolic erasure was symbolized by hanging phone as the operator asked for him and he was gone.
It seems obvious now who the ricin is really for (Gretchen likes tea just like Lydia) and why he has the M-60. I still hold to my prediction that the last episode will start with the teaser from S05E01 although perhaps – in typical Vince fashion – we will probably get a teaser at the beginning that will misdirect us. I think that we will not get closure on the Chilean connection but that there will be some major bloodshed. I don’t see a happy ending for Todd and the Aryan Unclehood or for Jesse. As for Marie, Skyler and Junior, I think they survive but as ghosts of themselves. I think we may not see Saul again…unless he still doesn’t have his walking papers when Walt come back. As for Walt, I really don’t know. I tried hard to bring this back to the famous Star Trek sequence with Badger and Skinny Pete, but was unable to draw a direction connection there.
So, what did you guys think? Amazing episode? As good as E13 and E14? I think this one was a slight pause in the rollercoaster ride that will end next Sunday. 6 more days…
- Recap/Review: Breaking Bad 5×15: Granite State (pixcelation.com)
- Breaking Bad Recap: “Granite State” (thehollywoodgossip.com)
- BREAKING BAD Recap: “Granite State” (collider.com)
- 5-paragraph review of ‘Breaking Bad: Granite State’ (newsmanone.wordpress.com)
- ‘Breaking Bad’: A quick ‘Granite State’ react (popwatch.ew.com)
- The Pretentious Corner: The Breaking Bad Sort-Of-Live Blog – S05E15 – “Granite State” (brocastnews.com)