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'Breaking Bad' Fans React To 'Felina' At Finale Party

Jeremy Fuster |
September 30, 2013 | 3:07 p.m. PDT

Staff Reporter

The saga of Walter White wrapped up on Sunday night. (Photo via AMC)
The saga of Walter White wrapped up on Sunday night. (Photo via AMC)
"Who wants some Blue Sky meth?" yelled Jason Juhl Gray to the crowd at the Spot Bar & Gastropub on the outskirts of downtown L.A. A bucket filled with blue, glass-like rocks was passed around, hands diving in to get their fix.

Of course, it wasn't really meth. It was rock candy, similar to the kind used as a prop for Walter White's hot-selling product on 'Breaking Bad,' which came to a dramatic close with last night's series finale, "Felina."

READ MORE: 'Breaking Bad' Finale 'Felina': 4 Predictions

And boy, did viewers tune in to AMC for one last taste of Walter's addictive tale. According to Entertainment Weekly, last night's finale broke the 10 million viewer mark, almost doubling the 5.9 million that watched last month's season premiere. Even more mind boggling is the fact that the show's fourth season finale, which feature the final showdown between Walter and infamous drug lord Gustavo Fring, was only watched by 1.9 million. 

And keep in mind, that 10.3 million doesn't take into account the countless viewing parties held from New York to L.A. to Albuquerque. The biggest one was at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery, where the cast and crew gathered with hundreds of fans to watch the final episode among the dead.

Aaron Paul, who has won two Emmys for his portrayal of Jesse Pinkman and is likely to win a third next year, hosted the event for charity, with all tickets being sold a minute after they went on sale.

But there were still plenty of other parties going on around the city, including at the Spot Bar, where waiters took orders while wearing meth-cooking jumpsuits and fans wore plastic goggles and gas masks. Jason Juhl Gray, an event promoter at the Spot Bar and supplier of the blue meth/rock candy, said he had been watching the show since the first season five years ago, and was captivated immediately by the fearlessness of Vince Gilligan and his writing team as they turned Walt from a sympathetic protagonist to a power-hungry monster that corrupted everyone around him.

"This was the most unbelievably depressing show in the world! We're just watching peoples' lives completely fall apart," he said, "It was as if [Gilligan] said, 'If these people like these characters right now, let's go ahead and show them their teeth. Let's show how awful these people can be."

READ MORE: Aaron Paul: 'Breaking Bad's' Secret Weapon

That horror came in right from the get go, with the show's first episode seeing Walt defend himself from two murderous drug dealers by trapping them in an RV filled with poisonous fumes. The second episode ended with hydrofluoric acid dissolving a bathtub with a dead body inside, spilling the bloody contents all over the hallway of Jesse's house. And the third featured Walt making the first of many chilling murders, strangling a dealer with a bike lock. 

It was terrifying to watch, but fans couldn't turn away, and as the years went by and Walt transformed into the criminal mastermind known as Heisenberg, word spread about "Breaking Bad," with hardcore fans converting friends and family to the show with the words, "You HAVE to see this." That was how Diana Georgie, a West Hollywood resident, found out about the show last year and became one of the many fans who caught up on the show through Netflix. 

Jason Juhl Gray, a hardcore 'Breaking Bad' fan, sports his meth cooking outfit outside the Spot Bar on West Olympic Blvd. (Jeremy Fuster/Neon Tommy)
Jason Juhl Gray, a hardcore 'Breaking Bad' fan, sports his meth cooking outfit outside the Spot Bar on West Olympic Blvd. (Jeremy Fuster/Neon Tommy)
"It's such a fascinating character study. Usually I don't like investing that much time and emotion into a TV show, but the acting in this show is so captivating. Gus in particular was such a great character because I imagine that running into a person like him in real life would be so intimidating."

The crowd at the Spot Bar gathered around multiple televisions, holding bingo cards in their hands with certain events in each square, such as "Walt poisons someone" or "Jesse says 'bitch'." There were many theories, including members of Walt's family being driven to suicide and either Walt or Jesse getting killed by the other. Instead, Walter White used the final days of his life to ensure his legacy and get his revenge on those that wronged him. 

A collective gasp could be heard as laser dots appeared on the chests of Walt's old business partners Elliott and Gretchen, as Walt threatened to have hit men kill them if they did not deliver his nearly $10 million in drug money to his family. Laughter followed when it turned out the hit men were just Jesse's old friends, Badger and Skinny Pete, holding laser pointers. Murmurs of agreement came when Walt finally admitted to Skyler in their final chat together that he had built his meth empire for himself and not his family. "I liked it," he confessed. "I was good at it, and I was really… I was alive."

"It was like a car accident after you've collided," said Juhl Gray about the confession. "This is a girl who is looking across at someone whom she once loved and now who she is just done with, and when he just says that one thing, it takes away the tyranny of it."

But the loudest response came during the final scene, when Jesse finally got revenge on Todd Alquist, the emotionless sociopath who has taken over the meth cooking in Walt's absence, enslaved and tortured Jesse into producing meth for his uncle's white supremacist gang, and killed one innocent child and left another orphaned. Using his own shackles, Jesse strangled Todd until his neck snapped, with the entire bar roaring and cheering him on.

Then, with the deed done, Walt gave Jesse a chance to kill him as well, but Jesse decided to use it instead to break free of Walt's control over him, telling Walt that if he wanted to die, then he should do it himself. As it turned out, Walt did do it himself. The machine gun he rigged in his trunk to kill the Nazis hit him in the stomach with a stray bullet. So, with Badfinger's "Baby Blue" playing him out, Walt finally died in the one place he truly felt alive: a meth lab.

Fans at the bar praised the finale for providing closure for many of the lingering plot threads, but did note that the future of many of the characters is still uncertain. Will Walt's son accept the millions of dollars that will soon be coming his way? Will Skyler be able to make a deal with the DEA to avoid jail time by showing them the coordinates to Hank's burial site? Will the surviving members of the White family be able to survive and move on from Walt's actions? What will happen to Jesse now that he's free, considering how he's still probably on the DEA's wanted list?

"If I could write Skyler's ending or Jesse's ending, I would like to see them find a way to move on and continue living their lives, with all that we saw on the show as a phase or a few years of their life," said Georgie. "It is something they will look back on but not something that is ongoing."

For Juhl Gray, there is one thing that is certain: the legacy of "Breaking Bad" as one of the all-time great TV dramas is now sealed. 

"When HBO and Showtime got into these dramas like 'The Sopranos,' they started dealing with the stuff that no one would ever do on TV; but after a certain amount of time, they ran out of these archetypal stories they could tell. But 'Breaking Bad' talks about METH…on basic cable! Thousands of lives are ruined by that stuff. It's terrible, but they managed to make an incredible story out of it. This show pushed the boundaries of what kinds of subjects writers can tackle on TV."

Now it's time to hang up the meth suits and the gas masks, but Juhl Gray say the Spot Bar is already planning their next big viewing party for when the recently-announced spinoff "Better Call Saul" makes its premiere. 

"Saul has made more catchphrases on this show than most actors ever will have. I can't wait for that spinoff, and you can bet we will be having viewing parties once it gets out!"

Reach Jeremy Fuster here or follow him on Twitter.



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