"Full Measure" Review
“Full Measure” deals chiefly with the characters and their motivations. I was surprised to see that Skyler, Hank, Marie, and Walt, Jr. were all absent from this episode. Well, we saw Skyler for a couple minutes in the beginning flashback, and her with Walt, Jr. for a few seconds in their home. Still, it’s surprising when four of the major cast members are missing from the finale.
Just quickly on that teaser though: that was a really interesting way to start “Full Measure.” I’m not entirely sure why we were given this glimpse into buying the White home. This season has given us a lot of flashbacks, and it was certainly welcome. The flashback provides a nice contrast to the way Walt was and the way he is - especially when considering that Walt’s family isn’t even in the episode. Still, it was a bit out of place with the tone of the episode.
I didn’t miss the rest of Walt’s family, though, because “Full Measure” was an intense journey that ended in a really sad - and really dark - place. I’ve been wondering all season (for the whole series, actually) how Walt’s decisions would end up killing him. This is the closest Walt’s come to death and it wasn’t from cancer, it wasn’t from the DEA, it wasn’t from the cartel… it was from Walt’s employers.
But let me just say it now: Mike is insane. He started as a likable (yet shady) character. Remember when he protected Walt earlier this year? The same holds true for Jesse in last season’s finale (he cleaned up after Jane’s death). Even last week, we were led to believe that Mike was there to look out for Walt - think of his half measure/full measure speech. I suppose we never really knew what Mike was capable of.
Turns out he can take down a bunch of guys without breaking a sweat. There’s a whole scene of him killing four or five guys with this trendy music playing in the background. Mike is a hit man, and he’s not afraid of getting his hands dirty… as long as it pleases Gus. Mike is definitely a pawn who will do whatever Gus asks. He’s getting paid for it though, and it seems he wants to provide for his family, too.
The end of “Full Measure” is brutal. First, Walt’s breakdown before his near execution was so hard to watch. In “Fly,” Walt seemed suicidal, but here, when the chips are down, he doesn’t want to die. Who would? I’m assuming that Bryan Cranston’s going to win the Emmy again this year. His acting was so raw and emotional - to see Walter White break down and flat out plead for his life? That was rough.
And then we have to watch Jesse murder Gale in cold blood. Just when I thought we’d seen the worst. Poor Gale… and poor Jesse. The implications of this action are going to play out throughout the rest of the series. Jesse is not a murderer. Walt can kill when push comes to shove, but Jesse can’t. He’s not the bad guy he thought he was at the start of the season. Jesse only does this for Walt.
I give the writers credit for ending in such a dark and brutal place. The show can go anywhere from here - the possibilities are endless. I give it up to the creators for another fantastic season of Breaking Bad. The show hasn’t officially been renewed yet, but a renewal is expected.
If you’ve been following my reviews, thanks for reading! I think I’ll put up a season review in the next week. I think I need to let it all sink in though.
I’ll see all you Breaking Bad fans next March. Thanks again.