"Breaking Bad" recap: Walt finds himself in the "Granite State"

Walter White, Jr. (RJ Mitte) and Walter White (Bryan Cranston) - Breaking Bad _ Season 5, Episode 14 - Photo Credit: Ursula Coyote/AMC
Ursula Coyote/AMC

As showrunner Vince Gilligan and the stars of "Breaking Bad" were accepting the Emmy Award for best drama series Sunday night, the second-to-last episode, "Granite State," was airing at the exact same time in some TV markets.

This week's installment wasn't nearly as pulse-pounding as last Sunday's momentous "Ozymandias," which saw the untimely demise of Walt's brother-in-law Hank (Dean Norris). It served as more of a set-up rather for the upcoming series finale, "Felina," (which just so happens to be an anagram for "Finale").

"Granite State" kicked off with Walt (Bryan Cranston) and Saul (Bob Odenkirk) discussing their options in a room belonging to the vacuum cleaner guy, Ed, portrayed we come to find out by veteran actor Robert Forster.

The lawyer and his client are both seeking new lives far away from Albuquerque.

Walt also wants to have Todd's uncles and their neo-Nazi henchmen killed after what they did to Hank, but Saul advises against it, urging him to instead turn himself in for the sake of Skyler (Anna Gunn) and the kids.

Attempting to re-employ his Heisenberg persona, Walt tries to intimidate Saul but fails when suffering a coughing fit from his chemo.

"It's over," Saul declares.

Let's hope that isn't actually the case, as it would be nice to see Mr. Goodman again when the series wraps up next week (although there's always the "Better Call Saul" spin-offto look forward to).

We didn't get to see too much of Skyler in this episode, except for a tense scene where Todd and his goons threaten little Holly in the hopes of scaring her out of talking to the Feds.

Speaking of Todd, has he now officially become the most depraved TV villain ever? Just when we think he couldn't commit a more despicable act, Todd (and Gilligan for that matter) somehow surprise us.

Following a botched escape, Jesse (Aaron Paul) gets taken to Andrea's house and looks on in horror as Todd unflinchingly shoots her in the back of the head on her front porch. First Jane, and now this? Mr. Pinkman just can't catch a break when it comes to the ladies.

Adding to his torment, Jesse must now do whatever his captors want or risk the life of Andrea's young son, Brock.

Walt, too, is also seen in a state of captivity as he adjusts to his new humble surroundings in New Hampshire, nicknamed the Granite State.

Months go by, with Walt's only human contact coming from Ed's once-a-month visits (it takes about three days to drive from New Mexico to New Hampshire in case you were wondering while watching the episode).

Finally, he caves in and makes a desperate phone call to son Walt Jr. (R.J. Mitte), who wants nothing to do with his father.

Despondent and alone at a bar, Walt watches on TV as Charlie Rose interviews two familiar faces from his past, Gretchen and Elliot. Both lie and distance themselves from their former friend and colleague.

Walt constantly says that all of his horrible misdeeds were committed for the sake of his family, but it's apparent that his motivations were really based more on placating his ego and ambitions.

Gray Matter was the final straw. It was the catalyst that truly pushed him into the dubious meth business in the first place and it's what springs him back into Heisenburg-mode while watching the Rose interview.

The king is now returning to his crumbled empire.

As this season's tagline suggests, Walt will make sure everyone remembers his name.

The final episode of "Breaking Bad" airs Sunday, Sept. 29 at 9 p.m. ET on AMC. Beginning Wednesday, the cable network will kick off a marathon of the entire series, leading up to the night of the big finale.

Tell us: How do you think "Breaking Bad" will end?

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    Ken Lombardi is an entertainment reporter for CBS News. He has interviewed over 300 celebrities, including Clint Eastwood, Oprah Winfrey and Tom Hanks.