HBO; AMC; Showtime; ABC
HBO; AMC; Showtime; ABC
Spoiler Alert: We are straight-up spoiling the series finale of several series, including Breaking Bad, so if you don't wanna know, don't continue reading!
We love them. We hate them. We root for them. We curse them. They are TV's great antiheroes.
And one of TV's most legendary antiheroes Walter White's (Bryan Cranston) journey came to an end last night on Breaking Bad, finally bringing his epic five-season cook session to an end. Of course, Walt isn't the small screen's first morally ambiguous leading man, which is why we are taking a trip down memory lane to revisit the series finales to see how Walter's ending stacks up against others, such as Tony Soprano, Vic Mackey and Dexter Morgan. Again, we repeat: Spoilers ahoy!
Walter White (Bryan Cranston), Breaking Bad
Journey: TV's best cook went out with a bang...or a few hundred, really. After making sure his family got the money they deserved, Walt took out Jack's (Michael Bowen) entire gang with his now-infamous trunk machine-gun contraption, which also ended up taking him out as he took a bullet to the gut when he saved Jesse's (Aaron Paul) life. Visiting his lab one last time, Walt collapses to the floor and dies just before the police raid the room.
Jack Shephard (Matthew Fox), Lost
Journey: A mess himself, Jack was always trying to fix people, leading to the downfall of his relationships with his father, wife and, later, Kate. In the finale, Jack sought redemption by sacrificing himself to save the Island, of which he was the new protector. But twist: He ended up reuniting with Kate and the rest of the Losties in the church, one of TV's more controversial endings as they all "moved on."
Tony Soprano (James Gandolfini), The Sopranos
Journey: TV's most iconic antiheroes got one of TV's most notorious endings: Tony met his family for dinner at a local diner when a man gets up from the counter, where he had been staring at Tony. As he walks to the restroom, Tony's daughter Meadow comes into the restaurant. Tony looks up and the episode ends as Journey plays on the jukebox. Gah!
Dr. Gregory House (Hugh Laurie), House
Journey: Though fans were lead to believe the troubled doc had died in a fire (there was a funeral and everything!), House actually got a happy ending, riding off into the sunset on a motorcycle with BFF Wilson by his side. Yes, House faked his own death to avoid prison and to spend time with Wilson before he died.
Nancy Botwin (Mary Louise Parker), Weeds
Journey: Though TV's hottest dealer made it out of the Showtime hit alive, it wasn't exactly a happy ending as she didn't end up with former brother-in-law Andy and had fractured relationships with most of her children in the series finale's time-jump. But it was nice to see Nancy and Weeds' core cast enjoy one final joint on her porch together, right?
Vic Mackey (Michael Chiklis), The Shield
Journey: What good is it being alive when you are miserable and alone? Though Vic managed to make it out of the finale alive, the collateral damage for his sins was pretty insane: His family went into witness protection, Ronnie was serving life in prison and Shane killed himself. Though he was ordered to fulfill the last three years of his contract stuck at a desk doing paperwork (probably Vic's idea of hell), the final scene featured Vic grabbing his gun and walking off into the night with a snarl on his face.
Dexter Morgan (Michael C. Hall), Dexter
Journey: After eight seasons of killing, Dexter made his most devastating kill in the series finale: pulling the plug on his sister Deb (Jennifer Carpenter) after she suffered a stroke. Distraught after her death, Dexter leaves Miami, son Harrison and Hannah (Yvonne Strahovski) behind by faking his own death. The series' final scene reveals Dexter is now working as a lumberjack and living alone in a cabin in the woods, completely isolated.
How do you think Walter's ending ranks amongst TV's other antiheroes? Sound off in the comments!