The "Breaking Bad" Dead Pool
What fun would the final five episodes of one of television’s most acclaimed series ever be without a little gaming diversion to make it more interesting? Granted, the tale of knocking Walter White, guilt-stricken and now raging Jesse, money-laundering Skyler White, resilient DEA agent and beer-brewer Hank Schrader, shifty Saul Goodman, and the rest of our Albuquerque gang is quite excellent without any sort of trivial diversion attached to it, but — forgive me — I’m a compulsive gamer. As morbid as I might find dead pools in the real world, I’d say there’s a reasonable allowance for them in the world of fiction. Plus, we still have a long wait ahead for us before my next Academy Awards quiz.
Thus, I bring you the official Pajiba “Breaking Bad” Dead Pool.
Here’s how it will work. I’m giving you a list of specific characters, and you tell me whether each one will be dead or alive at the conclusion of the series finale. Different characters are worth different point values as designated, a hierarchy subjectively assigned by me based on risk factor, potential dramatic punch, and general prominence within the show.
In addition to possible points on the dead or alive choice, you can also score a bonus point for each character by designating the episode in which the character meets his or her end should you predict a demise. Confirmed news of death trumps the stroke of death. For example, if we find out this week in a flash forward that every single character dies but only see the circumstances of the deaths in subsequent episodes, this week’s episode counts, unless of course we were to find out later that the news was false.
As another example, if were playing this game back in seasons three and four with Gale in the mix, the season four premiere with Gale’s confirmed corpse would count as the correct answer as opposed to the season three finale with the firing of the gun by Jesse. As yet another example, if the series were to end with Walt technically still alive but doomed to die soon whether that be by cancer, ricin, bullet wounds, or some other means, he counts as alive.
If there is any ambiguity whatsoever about whether a character is dead or alive at the end of the series, the character will count as alive for purposes of this quiz, unless I find in my own judgment that the character must be dead. (Perhaps see Tony Soprano had we been playing this game back then, but that is a debate for another time.) All decisions by this judge that have any sort of debatable nature to them are final.
In order to make this easy for me in the scoring, please refer to the episodes by their sequential number for this 2013 half-season. We’ve already seen the first three episodes, so this leaves only numbers 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8 as possibilities.
All entries should be posted in this comment section before this Sunday’s episode (September 1st) airs on the east coast. The first tiebreaker is the number of correct dead/alive answers, and ties after that will be settled by random drawing. Here are the characters whose fates you hold in your speculative minds:
1) Walter White (10 points)
2) Jesse Pinkman (10 points)
3) Skyler White (7 points)
4) Hank Schrader (7 points)
5) Walter White, Jr. - perhaps soon to be “Flynn” again (5 points)
6) Holly White (5 points)
7) Todd Alquist (4 points)
8) Lydia Rodarte-Quayle (4 points)
9) Marie Schrader (3 points)
10) Saul Goodman (3 points)
11) Steven Gomez (2 points)
12) Skinny Pete (1 point)
13) Badger (1 point)
Sample entry, in case there is any confusion (please include “dead” or “alive” and episode number if the former):
1) Dead, 8
3) Dead, 6
4) Dead, 5
7) Dead, 7
8) Dead, 8
10) Dead, 4
13) Dead, 8
Entertaining discussion in the comments section is encouraged, so beware spoilers if you are not up to date on Breaking Bad! If you have any inside knowledge, you are ineligible to win, but of course we’d be thrilled to see Vince Gilligan, Bryan Cranston, Aaron Paul, and the rest of the cast and crew giving their regards below. Should news of future episodes leak to the Internet and ruin our fun, the contest will become void.
Outside of the inevitable bragging rights that would befit a hybris-filled Heisenberg, I leave the prize to the Pajiba overlords to determine.
C. Robert Dimitri recently had a surgical procedure and in his bleary post-anesthetic haze asked his wife about his second cellphone.