Breaking Bad, "Fifty-One": the end for Walt and Skyler?

Quick Take: Breaking Bad, "Fifty-One"
"There's absolutely nothing for you to be afraid of anymore." - Walt 

Review: Breaking Bad, "Fifty-One"
(S0504) For seasons, the Breaking Bad writers have built up Walter White (Bryan Cranston) into something of an unstoppable force. Again and again, in the face of impossible odds, he finds a way to triumph. Sometimes it's through dumb luck, sometimes through sheer determination, occasionally through brilliant planning. Regardless, he's still standing and his enemies have fallen -- although not before adjusting their tie

Walt's cluelessness combined with his unrivaled hubris have made him impervious to harm from low-level drug dealers, trained cartel hit men and even brilliant criminal masterminds. Victory after victory have left Walt feeling as indestructible as his Pontiac Aztek. (The "nine lives" wise-crack from the mechanic in the cold open was a great callback).

In the wake of his victory over Gus (Giancarlo Esposito), Walt's delusions seem to know no bounds. He buys a new car as a birthday present to himself, then tops it off buy re-buying Walt Jr. (RJ Mitte) the sweet Charger that Skyler (Anna Gunn) forbid. His excuses: "We can afford it now" and the cars are leased. "Life is good," he tells Skylar. "There is absolutely nothing for for you to be afraid of anymore."

But clearly Sky is more terrified than ever. And who can blame her? I've heard critics complain that Skyler's journey from pseudo-accomplice to virtual hostage in her in own home has been rushed. I can see their point, but I have to disagree. It's one thing to be complicit in money laundering, its another thing entirely to knowingly share a bed with a man who blew up a nursing home. To make matters worse, Walt seems to have no idea the extent his actions affect his wife. "I had no idea she was taking it this hard," Walt tells Hank (Dean Norris). Their conversation is about the White's martial woes, but its clear Walt is referring to something different entirely.

Skyler's stuck between a rock and a hard place. She know's her husband is capable of murder, so she dare not send Walter Jr. to boarding school without Walt's permission. Obviously, baby Holly can't join the Peace Corps. Sure, Walter Jr. and Holly can sleep-over at their aunt and uncle's house for a couple of days, but that's not a a permanent solution. She can't go to the police because of her involvement in the car wash and Ted's "accident." She can't pretend to hurt herself to keep the kids out of the house and away from Walt. He'd simply have her committed and get custody of the kids. 

"How are you going to save our kids from this terrible environment?" Walt asks, after successfully shooting down all of her plans to keep the criminal element out of there home. Skyler admits to not having any of Walt's "magic", but she does have the luxury of one thing: time. Even though the "c-word" is almost never uttered on Breaking Bad, the guillotine of cancer hangs over Walt's every second of the day. He might be able to outsmart, outgun, outmaneuver everyone in his path. But there's no outrunning cancer. And cancer might be Skyler's one chance to escape the inevitable crash of the house cards Walt has built. 

At the very end of the episode, Walt shows Skyler a watch Jesse (Aaron Paul) bought him for his birthday. He tells her the man who bought him this watch wanted to kill him very recently as well. The implication is that Skyler will come around on Walt. I'm not buying it, there will be no reconciliation for the Whites. I don't think there is any coincidence that Skyler is smoking a cigarette in this final scene. It's only a matter of time until Chekhov's ricin-cig rears its ugly head.

By Lucas High

About the author

Lucas High is a man on a mission. That mission: to watch television for a living. Drop him a line at lhigh2@gmail.com, on Facebook and on Twitter at twitter.com/LucasHigh.

More From Lucas High

"String theory is complicated, that's just yucky." - Sheldon
Read More
"Sometimes I'm like, 'How do I not O.D.?'" - Deanna
Read More
"We sell history." - Alex
Read More
0 Comments
Name:

Email (Will not be used):

Comment:

characters left
 

Featured Articles

Popular Today

 
 

Recent Comments

"Mysterion Rises" with The Cute Lord Cthulhu - South Park review
Actually, the birthing of Kenny in "Cartman Joins NAMBLA" doesn't necessarily conflict with the circumstances of Kenny's reincarnation...
Alien Encounters, "The Message": a hard to find little show that's worth the search
Mind Reading Technologies and Tongues Governments from around the world have been using mind reading technologies that can read...
Dog The Bounty Hunter, "And Baby Makes Three": revisiting an old favorite
i do like your show i wish can be your fan club i want all of your show on dvd please
Boardwalk Empire, "Two Boats and a Lifeguard": daddy issues
Are you looking for a partner for the relationship or for fun? Then you came to the right place. We are providing you the best dating...
The Boonies: National Geographic's off the grid reality exploit
I can verify Bear Claw. Good man. I cant vouch for the other participants. It is to bad society does suck so bad that this type...
The Boonies: National Geographic's off the grid reality exploit
Lake Michigan is not an ocean. Has anyone seen my white dog? Lost him while hiking in Arkansas
The Boonies: National Geographic's off the grid reality exploit
I too also as well live on the island, I can attest that Dan lives in the ocean as he has for hundreds of decades. We locals call...
Parks and Recreation: why is everyone so mean to Jerry?
It's funny because its so not funny.
The Boonies: National Geographic's off the grid reality exploit
I too live on the island and ISLANDER does not know what they are talking about. Dan lives out in the middle of the island with...
The Boonies: National Geographic's off the grid reality exploit
this is not real i know that goat and it is not "doc's" its my neighbors goat. and by the way i live on the very top of that mountain...