Although it’s a series chock-full of highly memorable moments, Breaking Bad has never really been one to jump right out of the gate with story, instead letting the tension slowly build over the course of its seasons. But when Walt pauses in the driveway and that garage door comes rolling down, we know – that with only 8 episodes left – Vince Gilligan and company have clearly decided to forgo that route.
From the beginning Breaking Bad has never stopped reminding us that Walter White is, above all else, unrelenting in his pride. It’s been his greatest motivator throughout the series, and his inability to control that hubris will also be his downfall. Walter didn’t need to keep a trophy from Gail, he didn’t need to antagonize and kill Mike. he didn’t need to keep making meth long after he had any reason left to do. And he didn’t need to walk back into that garage and stir up the hornets nest with Hank. But over these last 5 seasons, that’s exactly what we’d expect from the man that we’ve come to know, revere, loathe, and fear. Walter isn’t stupid – there’s no way he could have gotten to where he is if he were – but he is dangerously impulsive when he feels threatened – and there’s also no way he would have gotten to where he is if he weren’t.