Breaking Bad Season 5: Where We Left It And What Happens Next

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SPOILER ALERT (obviously)

So the greatest show on television (ok, we agree, The Sopranos is probably the best but we're trying to hype this) returns this August on US TV and in the UK on Netflix. Apart from being a genuine TV 'Event' right up there with the Emmerdale plane crash, there's one small problem. We'd forgotten what the hell happened at the end of the mid-season finale.

Fear not, we've pooled our collective memories, chatted by the water cooler and made a few rash predictions in the process. Here's (roughly) where we left it:

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Hank on the John
It was the big gasp moment at the mid-season finale that asked lots of big questions: how much does Hank know? How will his family ties affect his next move? And is Hank really the type of guy who sits down to have a piss?

In truth, Hank has deserved a break for a while (others might say he's screwed up a lot of good opportunities but that's another story) and the writers have finally rewarded him with a Eureka moment. But what does he actually know?

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Well, at the least we know that he knows that the murdered meth maker Gale Boetticher clearly knew and respected Walt pretty well and, for now, that's enough. As far as actual evidence goes, it's sketchy, but Hank will surely be playing a cagey game of cat and mouse with Walt for the run-in rather than going straight for the full-on confrontation.

We're rooting for you Hank, but can't help feeling that your days are numbered.

Jesse's Next Move
Jesse's not in great shape. He's alone, directionless, slightly bitter and a recovering drug addict. And he has a lot of money in his pocket. Oh, and a gun. What could possiby go wrong?

Imagine what would happen if it ever materialised that his nemesis/mentor Walter White was also the man who killed one girlfriend, made Jesse break up with another and poisoned her son in the process.

Walt's done too much to Jesse for him not to be getting some payback. But at what cost?

That Weird Guy Todd
Todd was always a bit of an odd replacement for Jessie as Walt's number two. Oddly compliant, no interest in money, played by an actor with too big a profile to be playing a glorified extra. And then he went and shot the kid who witnessed their train hold up. To throw more murk into the water, he's also the guy who introduces Walt to the gang who pull off Walt's prison massacre.

Todd has a big hand to play in Walter White's ultimate fate.

The Vial Of Ricin
Walt's sitting on a capsule of ricin (not literally, that would be inadvisable) and he's getting metaphorically itchy fingers. He was all set to poison new contact Lydia in a café for all to see but decided against it when he realised she could make him a lot of money. Having hidden it in an electrical socket in his bedroom, the writers could just be drawing our attention to it as a red herring. But we doubt it.

Maybe it'll be the thing that comes back to haunt Walt rather than his enemies.

The Flash Forward
Remember the bit at the very start of season 5 when Walt is in a diner having breakfast? We know it's his birthday - at least according to his fake ID - and he's on his own. Back on the pills. That his hair's grown back. And that he appears to be the owner of the kind of gun that could take down a small village.

Walt is on the run. But who from? Hank? The Aryan gang? Jesse? Everybody?

The Man Himself
We know that Walt's already been living on borrowed time over the last couple of seasons with no discernible symptoms of his lung cancer. This is surely about  to change. The question now is what effect your impending death will have on a megalomaniac sociopath with a wildly off-kilter moral compass.

Will he force himself to face his demons and try for some twisted definition of redemption with his family? Or will he plunge darker into the abyss?

Given we have plenty of evidence that Walt's ego clearly craves recognition for his criminal handiwork - and therefore capture - it's hard to see him going down quietly.

Breaking Bad Season 5 Finale begins on US TV on August 11 and in UK on Netflix (date tbc)

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