‘Breaking Bad’: Walt ‘Won’ … For Now — POSTER

When we last left the world of Breaking Bad at the end of Season 4 (spoilers ahead), our hero… villain… whatever… was sitting pretty on his crystalline throne (it’s a beach chair, but you get the metaphor), reigning supreme over the kingdom of New Mexico’s methamphetamine market. But as much of a hold as Walter White has on everyone and thing around him, he is hardly capable of handling himself. 

Walt (Bryan Cranston) has weathered through some pretty tumultuous storms. He has faced troubles with the law, rival drug suppliers, and (not least of all) his own family. The Season 4 finale left off with the man called Heisenberg in a uniquely powerful position when it comes to the outside world, what with both Gus and the Mexican cartel out of the picture, and Skyler finally back on his good side (good enough, anyway).

But as fans are learning, Walt is losing grip on himself, and is becoming something that he is no longer able to control. The bounds of his character are beyond reach — he is not the father, husband, schoolteacher, and car-washer he once might have identified himself to be. He has broken.

So, although it might seem as though Walt has less to worry about now — propped stoned-faced atop the crystal meth empire — he actually has more working against him than ever. When Season 5 begins on July 15, the world will see the last chapter (or, second to last chapter, depending on who you ask) in the inevitable downfall of Walter Hartwell White.

Breaking Bad‘s fifth season premiere airs July 15 at 10 PM ET/PT on AMC.

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