Walt's former meth-cooking sidekick, Jesse Pinkman (Aaron Paul), was still enslaved to a group of bad guys forcing him to cook crystal-meth for them using the laboratory-pristine process Walt had pioneered and prospered with. Walt rescued Jesse: His assault rifle mowed down the bad guys by remote control from the trunk of his car.
Freed, Jesse was last seen speeding off, screaming in hysteria, rage and gratitude. Against all odds, he had lived to face another day.
For Walt, the outcome was much different. As the cops descended at the scene of the mass slaughter to seize him, he was lying on the floor, dead, apparently from a stray bullet from his own rifle. An inadvertent suicide, he had successfully escaped from the law, his foes and the cancer that was stalking him.
And, yes, Walt used the ricin he had held in reserve for ages. He poisoned Lydia Rodarte-Quayle, who had shown the bad judgment to collude with Walt's enemies on more than one occasion. He substituted it for the sweetener she thought she was putting in her tea.
The episode, and series, ended with Badfinger's "Baby Blue" ("Guess I got what I deserve").
So did viewers, with a finale that was surprising in its relative lack of carnage, that tied up loose ends and seemed organically fitting, however outlandish at times ("Breaking Bad" never insisted on stark realism).
Written and directed by Vince Gilligan, the series' creator, this series went out as it came in, and stayed: wicked, twisted and wildly creative. Certified with its conclusion as perhaps the best TV drama series of all time, "Breaking Bad" remained as pure a product as the crystal meth Walt White cooked, to his peril and demise.