A Bad Future

dinner scene breaking bad

” Look Who’s Coming To Dinner”

By: Leigh M. Lane

This week’s episode of Breaking Bad, “Buyout,” seemed to be all about setting up for the final ten.  While it opened with a wrap-up of last week’s episode, the team cleaning up Todd’s mess with yet more barrels of hydrofluoric acid, much of the rest of it seemed written to offer some very specific clues as to how the series might conclude.

The foreshadowing appears to begin as soon as Todd leaves the garage and crosses the street to his El Camino.  The camera is angled behind a set of wrought iron bars as he moves to his car.  Then, when inside, he pulls out the tarantula from last week’s episode—still trapped in the jar.  This seems to allude to the possibility of the DEA closing in on Walt’s team, and that at least one person will be heading to prison.  It could also hint at Todd’s “connections” in the prison system, through which Walt might find a way to eliminate the “legacy costs” he’s anything but enthusiastic about paying.

The second camera visual that alludes to prison is the shot in the desert when Mike and Jesse are awaiting Mike’s “motivated” connection to arrive.  Interestingly, the shot pans low to the desert floor, offering an unobstructed shot of barbed wire leading into the ground.  Here, the barbed wire might represent the razor wire found along the perimeter of a prison exercise yard.

Finally, after Walter and Jesse see the news report about the missing boy, Walt offers Jesse a seemingly innocuous statement about the need to continue working now and leave contemplation for later: “There’ll be plenty of time for soul-searching.”  Although Walter strives to diffuse Jesse’s guilt for the time being with these words, a closer at them look might reveal the foreshadowing of one or both of them serving a prison sentence—suddenly finding himself with all the time in the world to reflect upon the decisions that led him to such a fate.

While a shot through wrought iron, a quick pan along barbed wire, or a simple line about having time to reflect each on their own might be insignificant, together, along with the spider still held captive in Todd’s possession, seem meaningful.  Moreover, it seems that the camera direction used in this show—and the dialog, or any of the characters’ actions for that matter—is never without purpose.  As entertaining as Breaking Bad is, and as much as any fan might want to deny it, every episode of this series is as masterfully and artfully crafted as any fine piece of literature.

Up until recently, it is likely that nearly every viewer has been rooting for the “bad guy,” hoping for some type of satisfying conclusion to the series that doesn’t involve the “protagonists’” deaths or incarcerations.  Up until recently, the audience might find some excuse to continue seeing Walt as a good, desperate man seeking only to protect his family.  This is no longer the case.  The writers are gearing up for something big—something bad—and when it finally comes, we’ll all be relieved and gratified to see the justice served.

leigh lane

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Leigh M. Lane lives in the beautiful mountains of Montana, where she writes speculative fiction that spans from sci-fi to horror. All of her writing contains a gritty realism that hallmarks her unique voice, which also often has social or political undertones. Her recent full-length releases are Finding Poe, World-Mart, and Myths of Gods.  Leigh’s influences include H.G. Wells, Kurt Vonnegut, Isaac Asimov, Clive Barker, Edgar Allan Poe, and Stephen King.  For more about Leigh M. Lane and her works, visit her website at http://www.cerebralwriter.com.


  1. Phil Simon says:

    Nice write-up. I can’t wait to see how this plays out. I didn’t think about Walt using Todd’s prison connections but that makes sense. Mike and/or Jesse get pinched and Walt goes to Todd to have them taken out.

  2. shulgidude says:

    I agree to the authors opinions to some extent here. Another very well written article, however there are alot of things to consider here. Mike doesnt want to leave the business and i think jesse doesnt really care either way. I dont think walt is really as money hungry as he says he is, i think he likes having a project liek this since he has seen that skylar isnt the women he fell in love with. She has betrayed his trust more severly than he has done with her. His actions were to provide for them, hers were to retaliate. Here is a question for the author: Have you ever loved someone so much that the laws made by man didnt have any bearing on your actions ? This was extremely evident in walts attitude when he was discussing with hank, who makes the laws and who must abide by them. Walter loved his family that much, that laws didnt have any bearing on his decisions. Once he was persecuted and betrayed by his wife his attitude changed immensely, because he saw the charade that she was playing the whole time just to have control of him. In all honestly i dont believe skylar’s character ever truly loved walt’s as much as walt loved her. I believe that Walter became a product of his environment and that Skylar’s actions drove him to this and actually taught him how to be so manipulative.

  3. Dan Lindblad says:

    Very nice write up! I agree that this series is masterfully and artfully created! It’s up there with my top 3 TV series of all time. I love this show!!

  4. spike says:

    Walt is in neither the meth business nor the money business. He is in the empire business. In episode 0501 he is running his empire incognito (Mr. Lambert) from New Hampshire. He is doing the gun deal in an Albuquerque Denny’s (30 hours non-stop from New Hampshire) because he can trust no one but himself.

  5. paul says:

    walter white leaves the diner gets in the cadillac ready to leave he has to stop because he’s coughing up blood you can tell he is near death then a rival shows up gets out of their car and has Walter surrounded with high powered machine guns fade to black series over

  6. paul says:

    Jesse will dissapear with his girl and the kid and some cash

    Walter will end up killing skyler

    Mike will turn states evidence under the condition that his granddaughter can keep the cash but he’ll go to jail

    Hank and Marie end up keeping the kids But after All Hank will abruptly hang up his law career

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