Granite State (Breaking Bad)

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"Granite State"
Breaking Bad episode
Episode no. Season 5
Episode 15
Directed by Peter Gould
Written by Peter Gould
Featured music "Sign of the Gypsy Queen" by April Wine
Original air date September 22, 2013 (2013-09-22)
Running time 53 minutes
Guest appearance(s)
Episode chronology
← Previous
"Ozymandias"
Next →
"Felina"
Breaking Bad (season 5)
List of Breaking Bad episodes

"Granite State" is the fifteenth episode of the fifth season of the American television drama series Breaking Bad, and the 61st and penultimate episode of the series. Written and directed by Peter Gould, it aired on AMC in the United States and Canada on September 22, 2013.

Plot[edit]

Saul Goodman (Bob Odenkirk) is brought by the extractor, Ed (Robert Forster), to the basement of his vacuum repair shop. There he finds Walt (Bryan Cranston), who also paid for extraction. Walt asks Saul to put him in contact with hitmen so he can kill Jack and his men and recover his other barrels of money, but Saul refuses. Saul tells Walt that by giving himself up, Skyler might still keep their house instead of losing it to the authorities. Walt can only think of doing so once his entire wealth is recovered and given to his family, even though the police are monitoring their communication. Walt attempts to coerce Saul into coming with him, but Saul refuses, saying that he is no longer a lawyer and that if he's lucky, he'll be "managing a Cinnabon in Omaha". Walt attempts to threaten him further but is subdued by a coughing fit. No longer intimidated, Saul bids Walt farewell and leaves for his new life in Nebraska.

Jack's gang raids Marie Schrader's house and finds Jesse's confession tape. The gang wants to kill Jesse, but Todd needs him to cook more meth in order to impress Lydia, with whom he is now infatuated. Shortly after, they break into Walt's house and threaten Skyler not to reveal Lydia's involvement, to which a shaken Skyler complies. Lydia visits Todd and wants to end their operation because of all the heat, but she reconsiders after he reveals that the meth composition is now at 92% purity thanks to Jesse. At Jack's base of operations, Jesse uses a paper clip to unlock his chains and tries to run, but he is captured. The gang punishes him by taking him to Andrea's house and forcing him to watch Todd kill her. They threaten to kill Brock if he disobeys again.

Walt is taken by Ed to his new location, a secluded cabin in the woods of northern New Hampshire. He is told that he'll be caught if he chooses to leave the cabin and the two acres around it. Walt is tempted from the first day to walk out, but doesn't. A few months later, in a disheveled state, Walt has a full beard and head of hair. Ed arrives on his monthly visit to drop off food and supplies, including an assortment of eyeglasses and a chemotherapy dose. Ed tells Walt that Skyler has returned to using her maiden name, that she works as a part-time taxi dispatcher to earn money, and that she and Walt Jr. have left their house. There is a nationwide manhunt for Walt, and his abandoned house is now in ruins and something of a tourist attraction. A lonely Walt pays Ed $10,000 to stay for an extra hour and play cards with him.

Later, Walt stuffs $100,000 into a cardboard box and leaves the cabin. He goes into a local bar and pays the barmaid to call Walt Jr.'s school pretending to be Marie, and Walt Jr. is pulled from class to answer the call. Walt tries reconciling with his son. To get around the police, Walt tells him that he is going to send a box with $100,000 to Walt Jr.'s friend Louis, but that he should take it and give it to Skyler. Though initially emotional, Walt Jr. becomes enraged that Walt would attempt to give him his drug money, especially after Hank's death. Walt argues that everything he did cannot be for nothing, but Walt Jr. ends the call after angrily telling his father to hurry up and die.

A dejected Walt calls the DEA and identifies himself, leaving the phone hanging so they can trace his location. However, he sees Elliott and Gretchen Schwartz being interviewed by Charlie Rose on TV, who have made a $28 million contribution for drug rehabilitation in the American Southwest. Walt is angered when Elliot and Gretchen openly dismiss his contribution to Gray Matter Technologies and, before the police arrive, he decides to flee.

Production[edit]

Bob Odenkirk made his final appearance as Saul Goodman in this episode.

On September 18, 2013, it was announced that both "Granite State" and "Felina" would run 75 minutes, including commercials (actual length, 53 minutes).[1] The episode title refers to the nickname of New Hampshire, which is where Walt is relocated upon being given a new identity[2] (headstones are also often made of granite; and "lying in state" is a term for viewing the deceased). Parts of the phone call of Walter and Walter Jr. needed to be reshot, because during the transport a Boeing 737 rolled over the film.[3]

This episode marks the final appearance of Bob Odenkirk as a series regular, as his character, Saul Goodman, fled to Nebraska. Odenkirk returned as Saul in the spinoff to Breaking Bad entitled Better Call Saul.

Reception[edit]

The episode was watched by 6.58 million viewers on its original broadcast.[4][5]

The episode was generally acclaimed, with critics commenting on how the change of pace from the previous week's explosive episode allowed for a more contemplative narrative.[6]

Peter Gould was nominated for the Writers Guild of America Award for Television: Episodic Drama for this episode.[7]

Robert Forster's guest performance earned him the Saturn Award for Best Guest Starring Role on Television.[8]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Couch, Aaron (September 18, 2013). "Breaking Bad: Final Two Episodes Get Extended Run Times". The Hollywood Reporter. Prometheus Global Media. 
  2. ^ Porter, Rick (July 16, 2013). "'Breaking Bad': New pics, episode titles and everything else we know about Season 5b". Zap2It. Retrieved July 17, 2013. 
  3. ^ Breaking Bad Insider Podcast for Episode 515 "Granite State" Archived 2014-02-28 at the Wayback Machine. 1:17 h
  4. ^ Kondolojy, Amanda (September 24, 2013). "Sunday Cable Ratings: 'Breaking Bad' Wins Night + 'Dexter' Series Finale, 'Devious Maids', 'Real Housewives of New Jersey' & More". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved September 24, 2013. 
  5. ^ Seidman, Robert (September 23, 2013). "'Breaking Bad' Hits New Highs In Penultimate Episode With 6.6 Million Viewers". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved September 23, 2013. 
  6. ^ Dietz, Jason (September 22, 2013). "Episode Review: Breaking Bad, "Granite State"". Metacritic. Retrieved September 23, 2013. 
  7. ^ Ausiello, Michael (December 5, 2013). "Breaking Bad, Orange Is the New Black, House of Cards Lead 2014 WGA Nominations". TVLine. Retrieved December 5, 2013. 
  8. ^ Saturn Awards: A Genre Reunion and More Gold for 'Gravity'

External links[edit]

Further reading[edit]