It’s taken some time to recover from last night’s Breaking Bad, an hour of television deserving of all the hyperbole and extra exclamation points you may have seen flooding your Twitter feed. With two more episodes to go, the decision to pick up where the desert shoot-out left off, and take out at least one beloved character, will be debated for month’s on end. But why wait? Let’s do what we’re going to do…
RIP Gomez (Steven Michael Quezada). Oh Gomey, Gomey, Gomey. You didn’t stand a chance, “special guest star” and all, but that doesn’t make your death sting any less. You did your part through five seasons, diligently following orders from inside the DEA, and spewing venom at those evil enough to put a hit on an active agent. For all the jabs Hank (Dean Norris) and Gomez traded over the years, his response following Hank’s run-in with the cousins proved how much he cared about him. Gomez long served alongside ASAC Schrader, to the point where he ultimately joined his Heisenberg investigations after hours and out of the office, without so much as giving notice to his department or family. (We think.) But maybe Gomey has a big mouth at home and told his wife everything? Maybe he made a call that we didn’t see, moments before the parade of Nazis came barreling through? Maybe Gomez isn’t really dead?! Unless Vince Gilligan decides to reenact the LOST finale in the coming weeks, it’s probably time to say goodbye.
After having the satisfaction of looking his bastard of a brother-in-law in the eye, reading him his rights, and slapping him in bracelets, Hank will never get to see Walt (Bryan Cranston) actually pay for his wrongs. Sure, he saw the look of defeat, and the genuine terror in Walt’s eyes when Jack (Michael Bowen) was huddled over his wounded relative, with the barrel of his gun staring him down, but it’s not the same. Hank is a by-the-book kind of badass, relegating people as either good or evil, and expecting consequences for immoral behavior that comes from the latter. Just because Walt begged for his life doesn’t change that he cooked and distributed meth to the greater Southwest and stole multiple lives, and it doesn’t erase the fact that this was the second time he’s been responsible for Hank getting shot. With so much building over the last few episodes, it’s hard no to feel defeated as well. Hank doggedly pursued Heisenberg–a target that was right under his nose and often in his own home–for the better part of two years, risking his own career and family to bring forth justice. But this is a show that began with a nasty life curveball (a cancer diagnosis the day after a man’s 50th birthday) and has yet to reveal whether or not “happy endings” truly exist.