LOS ANGELES - The journey of anti-hero Walter White came to a dark end on Sunday when fans of "Breaking Bad" finally learned the fate of the chemistry teacher turned drug kingpin, as AMC's cult drug drama concluded after a five-season run.
Emmy-winning "Breaking Bad" has captured audiences with its gritty plot about Walter, played by Bryan Cranston, a cancer-stricken chemistry teacher who turns to cooking methamphetamine with ex-student Jesse Pinkman, played by Aaron Paul, in order to make money for his family. Walt's chemistry skills allow him to create the purest meth available, which becomes known as "blue sky." Its popularity in the market leads Walt to eventually becoming a drug kingpin known as Heisenberg.
Sunday's 75-minute finale, entitled "Felina," saw Walt return to his deserted family home, retrieve a vial of ricin he hid in the wall, and embark on his final mission to tie up the loose ends left by his crumbled drug empire.
Walt visits the gang of white supremacists he had once contracted to kill Jesse, but who instead stole his drug money earnings and kidnapped Jesse to cook the 'blue sky' meth. Walt sets up an automatic rifle in his car that discharges when he goes into the white supremacist compound, killing the gang and freeing Jesse from captivity.
Walt takes a bullet but stays alive long enough to call meth dealer Lydia, the last remaining link to his drug empire, to tell her he poisoned her with ricin. Walt watches Jesse drive away a free man, and draws his last breaths in the meth lab at the compound as the police finally catch up with him.
Walt's death was one of the probable endings that audiences predicted ahead of the finale, especially as his cancer had returned in the fifth season and his path into darkness saw him lose the support of the people closest to him.
In one poignant scene where Walt sees his wife Skyler for the last time, he finally reveals his reasons for taking the dark path into the meth empire.
"I did it for me. I liked it. I was good at it. And I was really, I was alive," Walt tells Skyler, after he gives her coordinates to the site where his police officer brother-in-law Hank was buried in the desert after being shot in the head by Walt's contracted neo-Nazi gang in an earlier episode.