It was pretty good. Maybe because I was burnt out from watching so many episodes back to back, or maybe because the agonizing tension was finally largely diffused when
, whatever the reason, I guess I was hoping for a more traditional face off between the trio and more of a showdown overall (
spoiler - highlight to read:
Walt's wife was brought into the fold and the cartel neutralized
). The penultimate episode was called End Times, but it didn't really quite feel as desperate and 'end times' as Walt, Jesse and Saul made it out to be... Walt waiting for the end in his house--just didn't have the nailbiting suspense that so many tight spots before did have. The end times obviously have yet to come.
spoiler - highlight to read:
the family didn't get terrorized, Hank et al totally left out of the picture?
Don't get me wrong, it was very memorable and artfully done, it just wasn't that suspenseful compared to many back to back episodes earlier in the series. I guess there was a turning point somewhere in the series... a before and after of sorts, when hard choices were made, and when they subsequently made the big time. The stakes seem smaller, rather than bigger, after that turning point, because of all that has gone down; so much tension is diffused, and you're on morally shaky ground (if you weren't before) as to how much you can empathize with these protagonists anymore--Walt is no longer a simple high school teacher trying to leave his family something before he dies of cancer.
Finally, I was expecting a little more shit to hit the fan. Ultimately everything went down pretty neatly, not nearly as messy as I was anticipating. Nevertheless, Walt laughing under the house with the camera craning upwards was a pretty sweet scene. I have to wonder how much the creators of this series were influenced or inspired by Lost. (that scene/shot had a Lostian air about it). And of course the namesake of the final episode was a very memorable scene indeed.
But yes, great television. BTW, I haven't seen any of season 5, so please be spoiler sensitive.
EDIT: Anyway, it's interesting how the characters change over time. I really didn't expect Skyler to change so much. For a long time I was waiting with anticipation for the day when Skyler totally is beside herself when she learns the truth about Walt, but that scene never materialized, because the reality of who her husband had become became evident to her in stages.
Shit really hits the fan in season 5, as in, right from 0:00 of episode 1. I think the end of season 4 is meant to feel cathartic; Gus is dead. "I won" etc. Also, we see how Walt has transformed from someone who wouldn't even kill a scumbag drug dealer, to someone who will poison a little boy(!) just to get ahead in the drug game.
S5 explores a lot of Walt's loss of his humanity, so you should just hurry up and watch it. Lol