While not as explosive, earth shattering or tear inducing emotional, this still was an effective episode properly showing the far reaches and depths Walter White will go to protect himself and his family. And I am glad it’s not like the previous episode. The mind needs a break from such awful events and this set up the final episode perfectly. With a name like Granite State, it not only alludes to the state of which Walter White will reside for the next few months but to the state of Walter White himself. As the definition goes granite has great hardness, endurance or resolution. But Walter White has and will use all three of these traits to extinguish his enemies once and for all.
Saul’s relocation guy is dropping off Walter to what happens to be a real vacuum repair shop. It wasn’t just a front after all. In a surprising casting move, the relocation guy, whose name is Ed is Robert Forester who just oozes authoritative cool. He is most famously known as calm and collected bail bondsman Max Cherry in Jackie Brown. He lets out who you think to be Walt but it’s Saul as he is directly involved with nearly every bit of the sordid affair with Heisenberg. Sad to see him go but I’m glad he got out alive. He gets his ID photo taken and is off to the wonderful state of Nebraska. He then learns he has a bunkmate for the next two to three days who just happens to be Walter White. He is clearly agitated as he punches a light fixture with Saul watching from a security camera
Marie is in a catatonic state as you would think after finding out your husband was murdered. She is driven home by federal agents to find the house broken in. I fear for Marie’s life but I’m glad she wasn’t hurt or killed but isn’t feeling any better that ruthless violent criminals invaded her house. The agents inspect the house to find it absolutely turned inside out. The Nazis aren’t there but clearly found what they were looking for. They’re watching the Jesse confessional, chilling, laughing, and having beers like it’s a party or a football game. As you would expect with hate mongering killers, it’s incredibly strange. It’s also like watching Heisenberg’s greatest hits collection with all the criminals being fascinated by this legend. They complain about his crying throughout which is odd since so much horrible things have happened and have no idea what Jesse has gone through. But I wouldn’t expect any empathy from the Aryan brotherhood.
When it gets to the Andrew Sharp murder and Todd’s connection to it, it gets even creepier like a pat on the head or a job well done. He lets out a twisted smirk on his face but Jack has other things on his mind. He rushes out to kill Jesse since he fingers him as the killer. But Todd once again saves his ass and persuades jack to use him for more cooks since there is still a high demand for meth and he is the only cook that can do it properly. But Jack sees that Todd has a thing for Lydia and they persistently tease him about it. Todd is clearly put off by it, which is an odd feeling as he’s been portrayed as a calm and cool killer. Seeing him with a crush gives Todd a whole other creepy dimension. He is very much the kid in this gang as they agree with him, returning to watch the rest of the confessional. Jesse is in the whole, fondly looking at a picture of Andrea and Brock, the reason he is even doing this in the first place and why he is alive. He notices a paper clip on the photo which leads him to MacGyver his chains and locks.
Ed is up above with legal business with Walt and Saul below. Walt is all pent up with revenge, wanting a hit squad of determined men. Saul asks what for and Walt wants to take out Jacks gang for killing Hank and more importantly taking his money originally intended for his family. But Saul is afraid that it looks like Walt is leaving Skylar, but Walt was adamant that the ruse worked and she should be in the clear. Saul then lays out the scenario brick by brick with none of it good for Skylar and the family. It doesn’t matter if they don’t get Heisenberg as Skylar will do perfectly. Saul wants him to not run but turn himself in which is the best case scenario for him and his family. No point dragging this out with the feds investigating everything, ruining more lives and damaging reputations. He said he did it for family but running is clearly not for his family.
This is all about Walter White not wanting to be caught and having it destroy his ego. He wants Jack dead and all the money for his family. One is a viable option; the other is a 100% impossibility to the highest degree. Why his family would want the money is a stretch. Let’s not forget that giving it to them would be blocked by authorities the millisecond it appears. Ed is ready for Saul to leave but Walt wants Saul with him as he could still use him. Saul knows it’s over but knows going against Walt is never a great idea. Walter muscles him like the season five premiere Live Free or Die which coincidentally is the first appearance of the haggardly Walt and the connection to New Hampshire. Saying we’re done when I say we’re done to Saul but not before coughing up a storm due to his returning cancer and revealing he’s not as strong and intimidating as he once was. He can act tough all he wants but the foreboding ugliness of cancer will always creep up on him making him no more than a mere man and not the drug lord known as Heisenberg. The cancer will always prove to be the most ruthless, ugly opponent he’s ever faced and its one opponent he can’t beat with all his smarts. Saul says a not so heartwarming final goodbye to Walter and the show until his spinoff later on leaving Walter all alone. Too bad to see Saul go as he was the ultimate voice of reason in a show mired in violence and insanity. He now has no one else to rely on for his violent tale of revenge but himself.
Skylar is also shown in a catatonic state while being grilled by federal prosecutors. They ask if she understands and she does. She says she can’t give them what they want as if she knew where Walt was, shed turn him in faster than you can say blue meth. Her lawyer surely is no help as he looks like he just got out of law school. She’s up shits creek without a paddle and knows it. If there was any reason for Skylar to hate Walt, this is it. The cops are watching the house waiting for Walter to show up. As if he would even try. If they truly knew how brilliant he was, he wouldn’t even be anywhere near on the west coast. When under high distress, Skylar could use a smoke and rightfully puffs away looking out the window towards the cops.
Skylar walks down the hallway into Holly’s room then suddenly Nazis in ski masks envelop her. Scared for her mind, she is threatened by the slimy and creeptastic Todd. He wants to know if she told the cops about Lydia and wants her to promise she won’t unless they’ll come back and kill her kids. She complies as it’s the only thing she can do. Todd’s entire demeanor down to his voice is used to perfection. Hearing him talk to Skylar in such a low, calm, and threatening tone makes your skin crawl.
It gets even creepier when he meets with Lydia at a coffee shop. Todd should work on his discretion as he is taught by Lydia to not talk directly. They discuss that Skylar won’t reveal who she is no matter what. Lydia is as squirrelly as ever not being convinced in the slightest. Lydia is ready to move on since the meth isn’t of quality but Todd reveals its 92% purity reaching Heisenberg levels and that he has “enlisted” Jesse to cook for them. Lydia reconsiders the offer and is a clear and through business woman. Todd has other things on his mind utilizing his creepy douche charm to show that they work well together mutually. Lydia rightfully doesn’t rescind the offer. And who wouldn’t want to be involved with a cold blooded, psychopathic, and murdering, drug dealing criminal with Aryan ties? It then reaches for more random acts of creepiness when he picks lint off of her shoulder. I could not be more disgusted by Todd right now and he murdered a child. Walter is in darkness until it’s shown he was in a truck the entire trip from Arizona to New Hampshire. As he gets out he is literally in the middle of nowhere with hardly any traces of life. It's the perfect place for a drug lord to hide out.
Ed gives Walt the tour of the place. It’s clearly not the best place but beggars really can’t be choosers in this decision. Also the ground rules where Walt clearly can’t use the phone, use cable, internet or anything that would require a direct signal to his location. He sends off Ed as he goes into his new home. He opens up his money drum, getting out stacks. But later notices something in a bag. He reaches out and sees his Heisenberg pork pie hat. He cinematically puts on the hat in the coolest way possible. He goes out towards the gate but goes back to his humble abode starting a fire. Jesse is back still trying to escape and is within reach, almost getting caught with the sounds of approaching men.
It’s everyone’s favorite psycho Todd who sweetly brings him two types of ice cream like one would give to a caged pet. He felt he deserved it since the meth is near perfection and Todd can’t see the weirdness in being nice to someone while also torturing them into meth slavery. There is an awkward silence until Jesse asks for the top off the cage. Todd obliges him, both saying their goodnights. Jesse readies his escape once more and jumps up to the bars. He inches towards the lock and unlocks it. He sprints to freedom with the entire area surrounded by barbed wire fences. During Jesses Great Escape, I bet he could use a motor cycle. No better way to escape a Nazi camp. Moments later his escape is for naught as his captors are behind him. Jesse asks for death as he would rather not cook another day.
Too bad Jesse never realized there are things far worse than death. Todd is shown at Andrea’s house and I am left with the all too familiar huge feeling of dread. Todd as always comes with a smile, saying that he knows Jesse. Andrea is obviously worried for Jesse’s sake and goes outside onto the porch. Todd says he’s in the truck, with Andrea looking for him. Todd calm as always says it’s nothing personal, and then puts a bullet in her head. Jesse is clearly devastated as he is forced to watch the only person he cares for die. My only wish for this show is to have Jesse get a somewhat happy ending. Todd gets more and more sick, twisted and evil in such a short span. This episode firmly states his cold hearted mind in so many ways that there is no way you can feel for him in any way, shape or form. It’s devastating to know that Brocks life is now officially ruined forever by having two direct family members murdered. I’d love to see or know that he has a somewhat happy ending by shows end. It’s just too depressing to leave it like that.
Walters back at the gate seeing Ed drive up. It’s revealed to be months later with Walter in the disheveled state he was in the premiere episode. Ed puts a bundle of the local paper on the table, showing Walter every bit of the trial. He is later given more personal information by Ed like how Skylar is doing, living, the money situation etc. The news is pretty awful as Skylar is taking calls for a taxi dispatcher but still has her kids. The house is no more but has moved to a nice place. Gets worse that her lawyer is a moron and she is on the chopping block. The house is abandoned and is no longer for sale. It later becomes a house of horrors, like a haunted house. This is the Heisenberg house where the meth king slept. It sounds pretty cool from a perspective looking in.
He then gets a new pair of glasses finally transforming into Mr. Lambert. Ed sets up Walter for his chemo, putting in the IV. Later the guy is about to leave, with Walt having no physical contact for a few more weeks. He asks for a couple hours of his time and I’m suddenly feeling bad for Walt in his dire time of need. I’d never think I would feel bad for Walt so quickly after hating him so much the last episode. The writing and acting on this show is that damn great that your emotions for characters can change in an instant. He pays ten grand for an hour’s time and they play cards together, leaving Walt with the only friend in the world. Albeit its one you have to pay for but a friend never the less.
He asks if Ed would give his money to his family when he is to be found dead. Ed smartly says would you believe me if I said yes. No matter how much he wants to give them the money, they will never take it or get it. He clips every article pertaining to him and the trial and tapes it to the wall in a bizarre mural of his drug dealing exploits. While sleeping his ring falls off from all the weight he lost from chemo. Since he can’t put it on his finger, he puts it around his neck. It’s sad that everything that was Walter White isn’t there anymore. His wife is now Skylar Lambert, his appearance has changed dramatically, and the symbol of the love he has for his wife can no longer be rightfully worn in its proper place. He later puts as much money as he can in a box, preparing to mail it. He walks toward the next town eight miles away.
Walter Jr. is in class when he gets a call from the principal’s office. But he is now known as Flynn as he also distances himself from anything Walter White. The principal says Marie has something serious to say but it’s revealed to be Walter. Flynn is unresponsive to his sudden appearance. Walt is clearly broken in every sense of the word, breaking down trying to talk to his son. He has a plan to use his friend Louis as a way to receive money. It’s clearly a terrible idea as to involve his friend into this is beyond dumb. And Flynn sees that too as he emotionally blow up on him wanting him dead, not wanting anything from his father ever again. After receiving such a devastating blow from your own son, there’s only one thing he can do. He calls the DEA surprisingly remembering the number from memory asking for the agent in charge of the Walter White investigation. He says his name is Walter White to the agent’s question of who is this, leaving the phone off the hook.
Knowing he has no incentive, reason or drive to go on any longer he asks for a final drink before being apprehended by the authorities. Watching TV, he notices something while the bartender is channel flipping. He sees former partners Elliot and Gretchen Schwartz talking about Grey Matter and recent contributions to rehabilitation centers. Charlie Rose asks about that it’s a cover since it’s found out that co-founder Walter White is also a meth dealer. During the interview The Schwartz’s shoot down questions about his contributions to Charlie Rose, and merely squashing them down to him just simply naming it. Walter becomes increasingly enfumed with blistering rage, clenching his fists and gritting his teeth. They lie about his direct contributions that netted them billions which should have been his. I love how his legend will be remembered for all time with nationwide coverage. I may want Walt dead but I want Heisenberg’s legend to be around forever.
The cops are later shown outside ready to arrest Walter when it’s shown he’s escaped authorities once again, leaving only his drink and a crumpled napkin. The score of the show plays over the entire sequence in an awesome extended mix pumping you up for the utter destruction about to happen all over Albuquerque. Interestingly enough Walter has done this before, fueled by his ego and his genius not being appreciated by anyone. In the episode Shotgun, Walter gets stupid drunk and jealous that Gale Boetticher would be the Heisenberg that Hank was searching for. He slips that he is still out there which opens up the case again, causing more trouble for Walt with his big mouth. Similar to the Grey Matter situation, he says “simple rote copying, probably of someone else's work.” That’s exactly what Walt said about The Schwartz’s and their rise to power. I don’t know how he will exact his revenge with no help what so ever and every cop in America looking for him. BUT his genius will be shown once again at full blast and finally revealing that no one takes out Walter White but Walter White.
Just like Scarface, I wanted him to get away even though he couldn’t and had to die. I may want Walt to die but I still want him to finally finish what he started. This episode swerved my emotions about Walter White a bit and I ultimately want Todd dead much more that Walter. With no way of getting the money, seeing his family, finding Jack and his gang, being outnumbered and outgunned, getting in contact with anyone he once knew, and every cop in the state looking for him saying Walter White is at a disadvantage is the understatement of the year. But it will prove to be the biggest thriller and finale TV has ever seen and will likely never see again.