Last week on Breaking Bad, Todd gave Jesse ice cream, Saul went to Nebraska, and Walt watched "Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium." This week, everything ended. Let's talk about the series finale, "Felina," below.

Loose Ends: And so we come to the end, and practically nothing has been resolved: did Saul make it to Nebraska? Where did Skinny Pete and Badger buy those laser pointers? How many times did Walt watch Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium? What was the smoke monster all about? Why was Jimmy Kimmel hanging out on Talking Bad? And most importantly, will Huell ever step out of that safe house?

Having said that, let's go through all the stuff they did tie up:

  • Walt figured out a way to get his last $9 million to his family—by using Gretchen and Elliott.
  • Walt said goodbye to Skyler, and gave her the location of Hank and Gomey's bodies.
  • Walt got to hold Holly one last time.
  • Walt FINALLY used the ricin ...on Lydia.
  • Walt went full Scarface on the neo-Nazis.
  • Jesse killed Todd.
  • Walt and Jesse had a peaceful final moment together.
  • Jesse lived!
  • Walt died surrounded by his beloved lab equipment (as Gilligan put, "his precious").

It was the perfect ending—if you wanted an ending that wrapped everything up in a bow. It definitely wasn't nearly as painful as most of this past season has been—there were a lot fewer "holy shit" moments than we got in the brutal "Ozymandias."

This was as close to a happy ending as Walt was ever going to get, considering all the terrible things he's done to the people who have cared about him over the last 62 episodes. The ending doesn't change the fact that Walt was emotionally abusive and a manipulative murderer for much of the show, but it did give him at least a modicum of redemption.

More importantly, I felt ready to let Walt go at this point; this wasn't a gut punch like Hank or a shocker like Andrea. It was time for Walt, and that made everything in the episode seem more inevitable, seem to go down smoother.

However, a lot of people were torn about the end; they wanted something with more ambiguity, something that didn't give Walt such a clean death, something that wasn't quite such a crowd-pleaser.

As Gilligan put it during Talking Bad, this was the ending that he and the writers felt this story needed. It's an ending that fits in quite well with the loop that they started in the first episode. Bryan Cranston was dead-on when he described it as an "unapologetic" ending. As AV Club wrote before this season started, the ending was never as important as the journey, but it was important "knowing the consequences for Walt, his family, and everyone his cancerous personality has corrupted." And in that sense, the show nailed it.

Although it totally let Huell down.

"I Did It For Me. I Liked It. I Was Good At It. And I Was Really — I Was Alive:" Let's keep in mind that Walt spent (at least) 3-4 months in New Hampshire before returning to ABQ for his final stand. He had a lot of time to contemplate his (and Dustin Hoffman's) sins and finally come to terms with his own selfishness and pride. It's incredibly satisfying for Walt to admit this to Skyler (and to do what he can to "make amends"). Skyler can finally breathe again, she may have an out with the DEA, and she gets a last chance to feel some sort of affection for her husband.

With some momentary exceptions during "Fly" in season three and "Salud" in season four, Walt has been totally incapable of reaching this kind of self-awareness. It turns out he had just been unwilling to do so.

Jesse The Woodworker: Gilligan hinted last week that the finale would involve woodworking—and it came into play during Jesse's meth-imprisonment reverie. Back in season three episode "Kafkaesque," Jesse told his support group about being inspired by a high school woodworking teacher to make an intricate box for his mom. He then admits that he "traded it for an ounce of weed" instead of giving it to her.

I'm grateful the show lets Jesse ride off—whether he follows through on his artistic inclinations, or moves to Alaska, or spends his life watching over Brock, he got away from Walt without murdering anyone else (well, except Meth Damon, but that's a gimme). And best of all, our last glimpse of Jesse is him smiling. Maybe he'll get to make another box again.

The Watch: if you were wondering why Walt took off his watch (the one Jesse gave him for his 51st birthday) on top of the payphone after pretending to be a writer for the NY Times, Gilligan explained it all on Talking Bad:

The reason he had to do it was because they realized that in the flash-forward of him at Denny's that they'd shot for episode 501, Walt wasn't wearing a watch, so they had to explain where it went for continuity reasons. And so, out of necessity, they came up with what Gilligan called the "artsy fartsy" reason: It was a symbol of Walt, seeing the end is near, cutting ties with one of his "arch-nemeses," Jesse.

Cheer Up Beautiful People!: What was more satisfying:

  • Walt having his revenge on Gretchen and Elliott?
  • Walt outfitting Skinny Pete and Badger with laser pointers to pull off that scheme?
  • Walt finally using the ricin?
  • Walt building the machine gun contraption and then remotely mowing down the neo-Nazis?
  • The blood-spattered camera shot when Walt shoots Uncle Jack?
  • Jesse strangling Todd with his chains?

My Precious: What did everyone think about the finale scene? Maybe Walt was trying to preserve his legacy by putting his prints all over the lab equipment (thereby ensuring that everyone thinks Heisenberg was the only one who could produce the blue meth). Maybe Walt was admiring Jesse's, uh, achievements (and the fact that he taught him well). Maybe Walt just felt like himself again—back in touch with the part of him that came to life when he first started cooking.

This Happened:

It's All Over Now "Baby Blue:" The show had three big musical moments: as many people predicted, we heard Marty Robbins's "El Paso" during the (very cold looking) cold open. The song is all about a girl named Feleena...just like the episode title, "Felina"!

Then there was Todd's hilarious Lydia ringtone, "Lydia The Tattooed Lady." Who would have thought Meth Damon was a Groucho Marx fan?

And finally, Walt's series-ending reverie amongst the lab equipment was soundtracked by Badfinger's "Baby Blue."

Check Back In A Few Months: As I'm writing this, it's 2 a.m. and the finale finished about four hours ago. It's probably futile to hope that everyone ease up on the hyperbole about whether this was the best or worst finale ever, about whether this was exactly what you wanted or not. People on Twitter are ripping each other (and TV critics) apart because other people's immediate reactions did or did not line up with their own. But surely most of us who love Breaking Bad can agree that at the very least, this finale does not diminish the journey (sorry) we all just went on.

It took years for some people to appreciate the ambiguity of The Sopranos ending. I don't imagine people will be writing hundreds of thousands of words on Breaking Bad's ending alone. But that doesn't necessarily mean it is a better or worse ending than The Sopranos—some distance may shed some light on that. And obviously it's possible to love both endings on their own terms.

What I can imagine is people will be writing hundreds of thousands of words on the story of Walter White both in the near and far-flung future. I can't wait to read those pieces. I also can't wait re-watch the entire series again...in a few years. Maybe after I've experienced 30 seasons or so of Low Winter Sun.

Well, this has been fun. See you folks next season! Oh, wait...