By now, episode 13 of Breaking Bad's fifth season has been on iTunes or Amazon or Google for at least a full day, so I'm doing some spoiler-filled gushing after the jump. If you haven't seen the last episode, "To'hajiilee," you should not click through. Everything after the video is a spoiler:
Holy. Fucking. Shit. I can't really bring myself to 'review' or do episode recaps of Breaking Bad because I'm such a gushing fanboy that I'm incapable of bringing critical thought to it. I watched the last fifteen minutes of "To'hajiilee" literally squirming in my seat, thinking that Hank was going to get capped at any moment. It was far and away the most tense I've ever been while watching a TV show. Which is kind of a shame, because it was a great ending for the Hank/Walt dynamic—it proved that Hank was just as smart as Walt, and it gave Hank the chance to take a moment and enjoy his win. (I'm convinced that in the last couple seasons, Breaking Bad has built Hank into one of the greatest detectives in television history. Even though he's boastful and coarse, he's grown into an intuitive and sly thinker. I'd watch a Hank Schrader Investigations TV show with a happy heart.) And while we didn't see Hank get killed, and while Breaking Bad has a history of taking people out into the desert to die and not quite following through with it, I have a hard time imagining how Hank gets out of this one. (Gomez is totally a goner, though. Sorry, Gomey.)
This has to be one of my favorite episodes, and if the show was a little less set on making its viewers squirm, it would've made for a great ending for the whole series with just a little bit of retooling. The fact that there are three more hours, and that we already have a taste of what's to come, fills me with equal parts of dread and giddiness. I don't want it to end and I don't want to watch it end, but I have to know how it ends. I'm never this invested in a television show, and I love it.
I have no predictions for the last three hours of the show, because every time I try to predict how the show is going, they go and make something even better than I could ever imagine. But I've read that the next episode, which is titled "Ozymandias," is Breaking Bad creator Vince Gilligan's favorite episode of the whole run. (Plus, it's directed by Rian Johnson, who directed Looper and a few of Breaking Bad's best episodes.) It's probably too much to hope that Bryan Cranston's great reading of the poem will make its way into the episode: