Well, as we enter the month of March we are at the lowest point of the valley between Breaking Bad seasons. The good news is that Vince Gilligan and the great writers of the show have been back in the writers’ room for a few months now, working hard on the final season of the show. Only four and a half months or so until we get to see the fruits of their labour, and enjoy the bittersweet taste of saying our 16 episode goodbye to this masterpiece of television.
Of course, after four seasons of the show, there are a number of open-ended questions that need to be answered, and some issues that need resolution. Knowing how meticulous the writing team is on this show, I am sure they are considering all the angles. I’ve gone over the episode summaries myself and compiled a list of all the items I could identify that are open to be resolved in Season 5. Some are fairly minor points, while some loom quite large over the situation we were left with at the end of Season 4. I don’t expect that we will receive answers to everything, although I would be willing to bet that the writers have given them all some thought.
Here are all the questions and issues I have been able to identify from the first four seasons. Most arose in Season 4, however a few go back as far as Season 1, so I have arranged them roughly chronologically in the order which they came up on the show.
1. Will we learn Walt’s past with Gretchen and Elliott and “Gray Matter”? Why did Walt leave the company – and what happened between him and Gretchen? I think that Walt and Gretchen were a couple at some point, but why their relationship ended and how she ended up with Elliot is not known. Is is it because Gretchen got together with his business / research partner that Walt left Gray Matter, or is there another reason?
2. Will we learn more about Marie’s shoplifting problem? It seems that she resorts to this when she feels her life is not going the way she wants at home, and wants to feel some control or power. This may not be a major plot point, but it has arisen at two different times in the past, and obviously bugs the heck out of Hank.
3. Will Jesse reconcile with his family, or will we even see them again? It was pretty obvious that his parents don’t want anything to do with him anymore, and he is setting up his own family with Andrea and Brock. It might be interesting to see what path Jesse’s brother Jake is on.
4. Will Jesse learn that Walt was in a position to prevent Jane’s death?
5. Mike was a cop in the past. Did he ever cross paths with Hank? Is this a possibility for future plot developments?
6. Will the videotape of Jesse cooking meth in Mexico make an appearance? Either through another Mexican cartel or through the authorities? Perhaps this is not something to worry about as the police already suspect Jesse of a few crimes, and Saul would step in quickly to ensure the tape could not be used as evidence. However, if the police did get a look at it, they might start asking about how Jesse learned to produce such a pure product.
7. We last saw Mike in the field hospital in Mexico. How is his recovery going? How will he react when he returns to the U.S. and discovers Gus’ death and his drug empire revealed to the DEA? Will he just shrug and move on, or will he go after Walt and Jesse? Knowing Mike’s rather blasé attitude, he would probably move on… what point would there be for him to take vengeance for Gus? Mike is too great a character for me to want to see him go away though!
8. Does Hank have any suspicions of Walt left over from when Walt caused their accident?
9. I assume that Ted Beneke is dead, but will there be any fallout from his death and the IRS? Perhaps the IRS will be happy to receive their money and have no further concerns. Someone investigating his death may question his recent “inheritance”, then death, and almost simultaneous squaring of his accounts with the IRS though.
10. Will Jesse be under any more scrutiny for suggesting ricin was used to poison Brock at the hospital? Probably not, it seems that the police are satisfied now that ricin was not the poison ingested by Brock.
11. Will Tio Hector Salamanca’s sweet elderly neighbour from the nursing home mention to investigators that she saw a bald man with a goatee outside her window prior to the explosion? Granted, she seemed a little “out of it”, but you never know!
12. Will any of the laundry workers (now unemployed) mention anything to authorities about Walt or Jesse? Gus was clear that his employees there knew to be discreet, but there is no one for them hide secrets for anymore. Would Mike really have any reason to discipline an ex-launderer at this point? One thought is that some of these workers were in the U.S.illegally and would not want to get in trouble with the law, and therefore keep their mouths shut. I don’t know how likely that is, as I think that with Gus’ “hide in plain sight” strategy he would not have risked an investigation of the laundry by immigration authorities.
13. It is now a pretty safe assumption that Walt was responsible for poisoning Brock as the first step in his ingenious plan to assassinate Gus. This raises a lot of questions that I really want answered. How did Walt pull this plan off in the limited time he had to do it? Remember, he started the day hooded and in the desert with Gus, where Gus made the threat against his family. Walt then went to visit Saul about contacting the “dissaperer”, and then went home and freaked out in his crawl space. It is only after the DEA left with his family to take them into protection with Hank that Walt had time to sit in his back yard spinning his pistol and come up with the plan. He then would have had to execute this plan between that time (late morning) and the evening when Brock was admitted to hospital. How did Walt even know who Brock was? As far as I know Walt only had a momentary glimpse (if even) of the kid in Jesse’s house the night before. I am guessing Saul was the only person that could have told him, but how would Walt have even thought that Saul might know who the kid at Jesse’s house was? Then Walt would have had to convince Saul (and man-mountain Huell) into aiding his plan to poison a child. It was also a very huge gamble to try to replace Jesse’s cigarette pack with the ricin loaded cigarette. On this one, Mr. Gilligan and the writers have a lot of ‘splainin’ to do!
14. As a follow on to the previous item – will Jesse discover that Walt was responsible for the poisoning of Brock, and that Saul,and Huell were potentially involved?
15. Is Gale’s murder investigation still open or will it be wrapped in with the investigation of Gus and the super lab? This is still lurking in the background, and it would be interesting to see how it is resolved.
16. What will happen to the methamphetamine market of the South Western U.S. in the vacuum left by the elimination of the Mexican cartel, and Gus’ operation? Don Eladio and all his capos are dead; presumably leaving the underlings of his cartel to be taken over by other Mexican cartels… will they now move in? Will they have any interest in Walt and Jesse? Perhaps after they view the videotape of Jesse’s Mexican cook?
17. All the “drop money” that Mike and Jesse used to go pick up is out there waiting (at least the final payments from the dealers). Will the dealers go and take it back for themselves once they learn that their network is dead? Or will fear of Mike result in them just leaving it there? Will Mike or Jesse make one last pickup run for their own benefit? The thought of all that cash scattered at clandestine locations around New Mexico is intriguing, even though this may just be a mystery left for us to wonder about.
18. Madrigal Electromotive owns Los Pollos Hermanos and was a source of lab equipment for the super lab in the laundry. Will they be subject to investigation? Do they have any knowledge of Walt and Jesse – and if they do – will they any interest in going after them? Is there a connection between Madrigal Electromotive and Gus’ past? Which leads us to the next question…
19. Will Gus’ background in Chile come to haunt Walt and Jesse? Hank said no record of Gus exists in Chile. Gus had Mike checking to see how well his background in Chile was covered up. Don Eladio did not kill Gus when they first met because he knows who he was in Chile. Obviously Gus has some powerful connections in his past. Many wonder whether Gus was involved somehow in the Pinochet regime. This is menacing! I will definitely be expecting some flashbacks with more of Gus!
20. Walt is now broke again. He has the Car Wash, but it most likely does not generate anywhere near the money he needs for any further medical expenses (for him or for Hank) and to provide for his family’s future. What to do.. what to do…?
All in all, it’s going to be really great to see how many of these questions can be resolved as we also get treated to the new stories and issues that will inevitably arise in the new season!
Oh and just for fun…
1. Whatever happened to Wendy? Will we get one last look at that pitiful soul?
2. How deep is Tucker’s Hole now?
Finally, thanks to Pinkman’s B*tch (Formerly Lady Heisenberg) for her input on this article.
Now back to waiting… we’ll see what answers we get in the Summer!