“I saddle up and away I go, riding alone in the dark… Maybe tomorrow a bullet may find me but nothing’s worse than this pain in my heart.” The more-than-fitting lyrics to Marty Robbins’s song “El Paso” welcomed viewers into the much-hyped-about series finale of AMC’s Breaking Bad on Sunday night.
And what a perfect and ironic soundtrack it was.
In the opening scene, we find Walter White making his journey back to New Mexico. In fact, every single action and detail in Sunday’s finale was well thought-out — from the songs to the “Live Free or Die” slogan emblazoned on Walter’s New Hampshire license plate.
As the show progressed, we followed Walt on his journey to finish things off; we questioned him along the way, but knew deep down that he had a reason for all of his actions. We finally get the truth straight from our conflicted protagonist when Walt appears in Skylar’s kitchen. “All the things I did, I did it for me,” he says. “I liked it. I was good at it. I was live.” In essence, he no longer is trying to convince Skylar (or himself) that his life of crime and drug dealing was altruistic — he excelled at it and sought power from it, first and foremost.
With Todd lying dead on the floor and Lydia approaching death, music makes another powerful appearance; Todd’s phone goes off to the tune of “Lydia the Tattooed Lady” by the Marx Brothers, chiming, “Oh Lydia, oh Lydia, say, have you met Lydia?”
Fittingly, creator Vince Gilligan allows Walt to meet his final match to Badfinger’s “Baby Blue,” which kicks in as the cops descend upon Walt and the meth lab.
“Guess I got what I deserved / Kept you waiting there too long, my love / All that time without a word / Didn’t know you’d think that I’d forget or I’d regret / The special love I had for you, my baby blue.”
It was a poignant end to a series — and a character — that’s greatest moments were always in the details.