Now, ushering in season 5, Gilligan offers us a glimpse of what we can only assume is nearly the end of the road. ‘Live Free or Die’ revels in offering just enough illumination on the mysterious circumstances to spark what will certainly be countless theories leading to the how and why. An unshorn Walt, complete with beard and thick-rimmed glasses, sits alone in a Denny’s restaurant, playing with his food by arranging pieces of bacon into the shape of a fifty-two – the age he has turned on this day. He’s there to meet up with Lawson (Jim Beaver, Supernatural), the weapons dealer, and purchase a rather large machine gun nestled in the trunk of a car, which Lawson also provided.
The brief scene is telling in many ways, but only telling enough to raise many more questions. For those keeping score, Breaking Bad began on Walter White’s 50th birthday – so this is, in a way, Gilligan illustrating to his audience just how far Walt has traveled and in what amount of time. More clues come while Walt is making the purchase from Lawson in the men’s restroom. Lawson demands the artillery not cross the border, to which Walt replies it’s not even going to leave town – meaning someone is likely about to be on the receiving end of the machine gun. After Lawson wishes him good luck and leaves, Walt dry swallows a prescription pill of some kind, which will undoubtedly leave viewers questioning whether or not his cancer has come back.