[This post contains major Breaking Bad spoilers. Do not read unless you are completely caught up with the show.]
Breaking Bad’s first half of season 5 ended in dramatic fashion, with Hank finally putting the pieces together and realizing that his brother-in-law is Heisenberg. With this past season in our rearview mirror, we can turn our attention to the important question: How will the show end? Here are ten predictions about how the final eight episodes of Breaking Bad will play out.
1) The Walt Whitman book was not planted, and Hank is now on to Walter
Some people online have suggested that the poetry book was planted in Walt’s bathroom, or that Walt purposefully left the book out for Hank to find. After all, how could a criminal genius like Walt be so careless as to leave that evidence lying around? Season 5 has focused around Walt’s ego, and how it gets in the way of his running a smooth operation. Shooting Mike was a great example of this. Walt could have gotten the list of informants from Lydia, but his ego took over and Mike paid the price. Walt has been very careless lately, and it finally caught up to him. I don’t expect to see any conspiracies; just a dramatic 8-episode showdown between Walt and Hank.
2) Hank has to investigate Walt on his own
Hank isn’t able to use his department’s resources to investigate the blue meth. Due to his lack of hard evidence and his internal conflict about chasing a “monster” who happens to be a family member, he’ll start gathering evidence without any help. Hank will keep his discovery secret for at least one tension-packed episode next year.
3) Walt’s cancer has returned
We’ve gotten plenty of hints. The scan at the end of the last episode. The way Walter looked at the busted towel dispenser. The pills Walt was popping in the very opening sequence of season 5. I think the cancer is back, and it’s reached a critical level.
4) The ricin will eventually be used
They’ve shown that vial of ricin way too many times for it to not play a major role in the final 8 episodes.
5) Todd is killed
I have no guess as to how it will happen, but Todd’s got to die. He’s been playing with fire from the minute he stepped on the screen, and I think it catches up with him at some point.
6) Jesse goes to jail
Jesse has been the one most damaged by Walter White’s reign of terror. It’s always Jesse who ends up getting hurt. I think his story ends with a life sentence.
7) Walt will die
There are only two possible endings for Walter White. Prison or death. I think he’ll do whatever he has to in order to avoid prison, even if it results in his own death.
8) Walt will take the ricin himself
Not only that, but…
9) The reason Walt comes back to New Mexico and buys the M60 is to protect Hank from the drug dealers
Just because Walt says he’s “out,” that doesn’t mean the drug trade will disappear or his colleagues will leave him alone. I think Declan and the Arizona drug dealers aren’t going to be very happy about Walt’s sudden retirement. They’ll begin chasing him down, and with the heat from Hank’s investigation (which Walt will surely become aware of at some point), Walt will be forced to run. Which brings us back to the opening sequence of season 5, when Walter White, sporting a full head of hair, buys an M60 from someone in a Denny’s. Hank’s investigation of Walt is going to lead in all sorts of directions: Madrigal, the cartel, Declan’s group, maybe Jesse or Saul. Hank’s bound to make some enemies, and I think the Arizona dealers will eventually attack Hank, much like the way the cartel went after him in an earlier season. After all the evil he’s done, Walter White returns to New Mexico to redeem himself in the end. I think a cancer-stricken Walt ends up swallowing the ricin, and knowing and that he’ll soon be dead, goes out in a Scarface-esque blaze of glory. Walt dies, but in the process saves Hank’s life.
10) Hank will figure out a way for Skyler and the children to keep some of Walt’s money
$737,000, the exact amount Walt wanted to make when he got his cancer diagnosis. And there’s your happy ending.