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We are still two episodes away from learning the ultimate fate of Walter White. But in a way, we’ve known for quite some time. We didn’t even need that first scene of this (half-)season, in which a rumpled-looking Walt freaks out a neighbor, to learn he’d survive. For quite some time, Vince Gilligan has been telling us that the series’ whole raison d’être is to show a person’s gradual moral degeneracy — so we know that this is a story in which Heisenberg will ultimately triumph over Walt, and Heisenberg is a parasite on Walt, who would never be able to make it on its own. With that conceit, everything in Breaking Bad has been about execution: the acting being great overall, the plotting bar none on series television. I have some issues with the way the women on the show have been written but the quibbles are minor, even…

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