I really hope you weren't rooting for Walter White to meet his end in a way that denies him any kind of anti-hero cred, because that's basically all we get in this finale. Walt wins, almost entirely. He even manages to defeat cancer.
So, for starters, Walt steals a car in New Hampshire and drives it all the way to Gretchen and Elliott's palatial home, whereupon he presents them with all that is left of his money. He's figured out a way to get the money to his wife and kids, by forcing Gretchen and Elliott to give it to Flynn in a trust when he comes of age. No one will suspect a charitable donation from such a reputable couple -- they'll probably just call it liberal guilt from two people ashamed of their connection to Walter White. They agree to this, mostly just to get Walt to leave, but before he does, he makes a signal, and suddenly there are twin laser scopes on the Schwartzes. Walt says he hired assassins to make sure they go through with the plan, even after he's gone. (It turns out that the "assassins" are Badger and Skinny Pete, armed with laser pens, wah wah wah.). So that's the money, taken care of.
After reminding us of what we've seen -- Walt gets a gun; Walt gets the ricin -- he goes to meet with Lydia and Todd at their coffee shop. Pretending he's broke (though I guess he really is now), he presents them with an offer for a new method of cook, that he can show them if Todd will let him come over to the compound. After Walt leaves, Todd's like, "Cool, huh?" and Lydia's like, "Come on, are you serious?" But the joke's on her, because it turns out Walt is now able to open packets of Stevia and seal them back up with his laser-beam eyes so that no one's the wiser when he fills them with ricin. So, R.I.P. in a little while, Lydia.
After putting together some kind of contraption with the gun out in the desert, Walt pays Skyler a visit. After some heavy emotional back-and-forth -- at which point Walt finally admits that rather than having done this all for his family, "I did it for me. I liked it. I felt alive." -- he hands her the lottery ticket, which is no longer the location of his money but rather the location of Hank and Gomez's bodies. He tells her to trade that information for a deal from the prosecutors. So Walt has now provided a trust fund for his son and now gotten his wife out of jail. He's like a superhero, you guys! Just doing good things all over town!
Finally, the big ol' showdown. Walt arrives at Uncle Jack's compound, but Jack is in no way receptive to any new deals. In fact, they're just going to kill Walt right here and be done with it. Walt panics and hollers at Jack that they had a deal, and Jack still owes him Jesse's death. He knows Jesse is still alive because the blue meth is out there. He's furious at Jack for "partnering" up with the guy he was supposed to assassinate. Jack takes exception at the accusation of "partnering," so he has Todd bring Jesse out, in chains.
After a moment of looking at what's become of poor, pathetic Jesse, Walt charges him, tackles him, makes sure they're both on the ground, and then he hits the trunk-opener on his car keys. Outside, the trunk opens, and the makeshift machine-gun that Walt created just starts firing everywhere. All of Jack's men get killed, though Todd hits the deck in time. (Also, if you're keeping score, benevolent Walt just saved Jesse's life.) After the bullets have been exhausted, Jesse leaps upon Todd and chokes him to death with his own chains. Walt puts a bullet in Jack's head to finish him off, not even letting him try to bargain with the location of the rest of Walt's money. Walt then kicks his gun over to Jesse, tells him to do it. Kill him. Jesse spots a bullet wound on Walt's abdomen and refuses to take an active part in any more of Walt's grand plans. If Walt wants to die, he can do it himself. So Jesse takes off, driving away from the compound a free man. Also a completely broken man who probably has no real future to speak of, but hey. Walt got him out.
In the final moments, a mortally wounded Walt surveys the meth lab, caresses the equipment -- the science of it -- and manages to drop dead just as the police are arriving. So. Walt defeats Jack, defeats Lydia, gets his money to his son (by asserting his dominance over Gretchen and Elliott no less), hands Skyler the ticket to her freedom and then manages to die before either the cops or the cancer can take him down. It is a good day to be Team Walt as this series wraps up with this tidy, ever-so-slightly safe finale.
Previously: I won't even dignify that with a response.
With only 75 minutes of show left, I'm glad we kick things off with one last POV shot for the road. This time, we're inside a car that's been snowed in. We can see a shadow outside the driver-side window, and of course that figure is Walter White. Now that he's made the decision to storm the castle back in New Mexico, he needs to escape the coming onslaught of authorities he called moments before his big change of heart. He jimmies his way past the lock and starts using his brilliant chemistry brain to try and hot-wire the car. Like they do on TV! POV from under the dash shows Walt hard at work, to the point where he cuts his hand open (again) on the screwdriver. Suddenly, the swirling lights of a cop car approach. Walt holds his breath (as best he can, what with the cancer) and tries not to move. Lucky for him, the snow is still caked on the windows of the car. Once the cops have passed, Walt exhales and, perhaps having had a moment to clear his thoughts, pulls back the overhead mirror flap and down fall a set of keys. Just one more example of how calm planning beats haphazard thrashing every time.
With a functioning car, a box full of money, and a ticking clock full of tumors in his chest, Walt pounds the driver-side window and the snow drops off of it. Like a boss! That's probably the first indication of the flavor of Walt we're going to get this week. Walt the wheezing Houdini. A cassette of Marty Robbins singing "El Paso" (from which we get our episode title) starts playing in the tape deck and Walt prepares to take this bitch to the end.
I'm oddly heartened by the fact that Dean Norris is in the credits, still. I guess he does show up in one brief flashback. So by the next time we see Walt, he's driven this New Hampshire Volvo clear across the continent to New Mexico. He pops open the trunk (carefully), and we see he hasn't get acquired the gun that we saw him with at the beginning of season 5. So we're closing in on convergence, but we're not there yet. Here's where I maybe should mention that -- now that it's all been said and done -- I'm not entirely sure what purpose the flash-forwards at the beginning of "Live Free or Die" and "Blood Money" served, in the end. Besides stoking fan speculation, of course, and driving the engine for a flurry of excitement going into the finale. Which is all well and good, I suppose. But it did contribute a whole bunch of loops that needed to be closed before the finale was over, and there is a certain degree of obligation in this episode. Or else maybe they knew ahead of time that they didn't want to spend a lot of time showing Walt acquiring the gun and the ricin, who knows?