Season 5 of AMC's druggy drama, Breaking Bad, resumed Aug. 11. "It's a violent, brutal sprint to the finish line," said Aaron Paul, who played meth-maker Jesse on the show.
In Episode 9 ("Blood Money"), the first of the final eight, Jesse wrestles with what to do with $5 million Walt (Bryan Cranston) gave him. Walt, who's stopped cooking meth, is confronted by his DEA brother-in-law Hank (Dean Norris) at the end of the episode.
In Episode 10 ("Buried"), the cat and mouse game continues. Hank and his wife Marie (Betsy Brandt) attempt to persuade Walt's wife and Marie's sister, Skylar (Anna Gunn), to rat out Walt. Police bring Jesse in for questioning. Walt buries his huge cash cache in the desert.
In Episode 11 ("Confessions"), Walt gives Hank a disc with his "confession" on it. Actually, it accuses Hank of forcing Walt into the meth business and taking $170,000 in drug money from him and Skylar to help pay for the injuries he sustained during a cartel hit on him. Jesse's released and Hank is warned to stay away from him.
In Episode 12 ("Rabid Dog"), Walt is encouraged by his lawyer Saul (Bob Odenkirk) and Skylar to kill Jesse. "He is a threat to us," she implores. "We've come this far. What's one more?" However, this could be a problem since Jesse's in Hank's custody.
In Episode 13 ("To'hajiilee"), Hank and Jesse conspire to trap Walt, but all hell breaks loose when Walt's henchmen show up for a real Western style gunfight.
In Episode 14 ("Ozymandias"), Walt can't stop Jack (Michael Bowen) from killing Hank when he learns Hank's a DEA agent. Jesse is badly beaten and torturted.
In Episode 15 ("Granite State"), Walt trades the desert climate of New Mexico for a snowy cabin in New Hampshire. Jesse tries to escape and Todd (Jesse Plemons) threatens Skyler.
In Episode 16, the series finale ("Felina"), Walt comes back home with a plan to exact revenge against Jack. He tricks Todd into setting up a meeting, then unleashes an automatic weapon fullisade via remote control. Walt gets hit by one of his own bullets and passes out (or dies, it's unclear). And Jesse gets away, wideyed and thankful to be alive.
In episodes that aired last August and September, Walt consolidated control of his drug manufacturing empire by killing off one of his two partners, Mike (Jonathan Banks). Fearing for his life, Jesse stopped cooking. Skylar implored Walt to stop as well, wondering just how much money he intended to amass. And Hank inched closer to figuring out the true riddle of the show. Norris (below) calls the last eight episodes "insane, scary and intense."
Watch Breaking Bad on AMC, Sundays at 9 pm ET.