This was truly a finale, tying up all the loose ends: he made sure the money would go to Flynn and that he'd accept it; he made good with his wife (as good as he could) and said goodbye to his daughter; he murdered the last kingpin he knew; he killed all the neo-Nazis (not even giving a shit about the $70 million they stole, because what would he even do with it?); and he freed Jesse from his neo-Nazi slavery. Jesse's ending was happy, speeding away to freedom; I half-expected him to crash the car and die, but Jesse long ago emerged as the show's moral center, and thus its most popular character, so I never expected Vince Gilligan would be so cruel to his audience as to kill him. But of course, Gilligan's coup is that Jesse can never have a happy ending: he may have his freedom, but Andrea is dead and it's basically his fault; if his depression after Jane died, or at the beginning of this half-season, was bad, just imagine what it'll be like now. He's never been emotionally strong; you can assume he's headed for total self-destruction.
As was Walt, of course, ever since he first decided to start cooking methamphetamine. Earlier this season I thought we'd find out that Walt was lying about his cancer coming back to manipulate the people around him—because that's how low I had come to think of him—but it seems that wasn't the case, and his hacking cough at the tea-time poisoning suggested the cancer would soon finish him. But it couldn't finish its job before he committed a sort of accidental suicide, taking a shot to the side like the gunslinger in the Marty Robbins song that gave the episode its title. Having spent his final moments in a meth lab was poetic and kind of beautiful, but watching his dead body stare blankly up at us revealed such a depressing American tragedy. His family hates him, and the daughter who doesn't know him will surely grow up to hear only awful things, and the entire country sees him as a vicious drug kingpin. All he leaves behind is anger, resentment and hatred—that, and a whole lot of fucking cash.
Follow Henry Stewart on Twitter @henrycstewart