The Final, Catastrophic Collapse is Coming: Breaking Bad Resumes on August 11th

Anything is possible.

While Walter and Skyler and Jesse and the rest seem to have been heading deeper and deeper into a vortex from which there will be no escape, Vince Gilligan just might trick us all on August 11th and let some of the main characters out alive.

All signs, though, point to an apocalyptic — what you might call “Branch Davidian” — ending in which the bad guys will finally be immolated in the fire that they themselves set. Collateral “civilian” casualties are also probably inevitable.

But as we learned in the first few seasons, the moment anything starts to seem inevitable (who knows? even Walter’s death) it becomes a candidate for a counter-intuitive surprise from the writers.

I can’t imagine it’s possible, but wouldn’t it really be something if, after slowly squeezing every ounce of decency out of Walter, after turning him from likable to loathsome, he and Skyler somehow got out alive and retired to a Caribbean island conveniently lacking an extradition treaty with the US?

Don’t count on it.

This has been the ultimate “vortex narrative,” a story line in which almost everyone is slowly and inevitably pulled down into a bottomless and fiery pit. Walter will somehow pay the piper.

The main question I have is the same as the one I had toward the end of The Wire. Who will get out alive? Who will defy expectations and walk away relatively unscathed by all the carnage? Will anyone be saved, or will even Walter and Skyler’s baby daughter bite the dust?

I would only make one prediction. The incredibly perceptive and nuanced take on human nature that has been so central to the show’s success very well might mean that — as if often the case in the random, unjust world — one creep will walk away and one completely innocent victim will buy the farm. I base this only on the thought that a show this intelligent and complex will almost certainly end with something to disappoint everyone rather than any sort of rough “what goes around comes around” justice.

So that’s my guess: 1) Some bad things are going to happen to good people and 2) some yet to be determined weasel will slither and sneak away to continue his or her weaseldom in some other venue.

I sure wish it was August 11th.