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This Character Was The True Winner At The End Of Breaking Bad

At the end of Breaking Bad, almost everyone who is involved in or even remotely associated with the rise and fall of Walter White's (Bryan Cranston) meth empire is left worse for the wear — assuming they've managed to survive the bloodshed at all, that is.

Some characters still have much better prospects than others by the time the credits roll on the series finale, "Felina." As we see in the sequel El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie, Jesse Pinkman (Aaron Paul) is able to narrowly escape to a new life in Alaska with some help from the Disappearer (Robert Forster), and his buddies Badger (Matt Jones) and Skinny Pete (Charles Baker) will have some explaining to do the police but will probably be fine. Meanwhile, an argument can be made that Skyler (Anna Gunn), Walter Jr. (RJ Mitte), and Holly can recover after they receive their money, while Marie (Betsy Brandt) may get some much-needed closure once the feds find Hank's (Dean Norris) body. And we still have yet to see what will become of Saul Goodman (Bob Odenkirk) in his new life in Omaha on Better Call Saul. However, even those with a chance at a new start have still experienced severe loss and trauma, and more importantly, they have also lost some control over their own lives.

The one person who has claimed complete control of his fate in the show's finale is Walt, who, despite having a tragic end, manages to accomplish many of his goals before going out, including settling some scores and making it as right as possible with the people he loves.

He finally gets his money to his family

In the final episode of Breaking Bad, the first thing Walt does upon returning to Albuquerque is pay a visit to Gretchen (Jessica Hecht) and Elliott (Adam Godley) to do something he's been trying to do for months: Find a way to give his money to his family. Not only is this the most plausible way to avoid his cash being seized by the government, but Walt is also slyly punishing his former Gray Matters partners for wronging him by forcing them to look over their shoulders forevermore in case "the two best hitmen west of the Mississippi" are still on their tail.

Walt also gets the chance to say his goodbye to Skyler in the episode, giving her a literal ticket to a potential plea deal with the DEA and saying the words she's wanted — nay, needed — to hear from him: "I did it for me. I liked it. I was good at it, and I was really ... I was alive." He also gets to see both of his kids one last time and makes his peace with the fact that they won't miss him much and may not even know the money they eventually get was his. Gus Fring (Giancarlo Esposito) once sagely told him, "A man provides ... even when he's not appreciated, or respected, or even loved," and it appears that message has finally been received.

He makes amends with his former partner

Walt also vanquishes the last of his enemies, including Jack (Michael Bowen), the compound crew, and Lydia (Laura Fraser), and he rescues Jesse from his chains by using his own body to shield him from the bullets he attacks the compound with.

The two have been through hell since they first partnered up, and Walt even called for Jesse's death the last time they'd seen each other in "Ozymandias" after Jesse betrayed him to inform to Hank. It's unclear in the finale whether Walt actually intends to rescue Jesse from the compound when he first arrives, but there are a few hints that he does: Walt knows that Jesse is likely still alive because of the prevalence of Blue Sky on the streets, and he seems to also know that accusing Jack of partnering with Jesse will anger Jack enough to bring Jesse out to see Walt.

After Walt protects Jesse from the bullet spray and watches Jesse take out Todd (Jesse Plemons), he even ignores an opportunity to recover the last of his money — which was something that would've previously been very tempting to him — and offers Jesse the opportunity to end Walt's life as revenge for everything that's happened to him, even telling Jesse it's what he wants him to do. However, Jesse ultimately declines, and before he leaves, the two share a meaningful nod goodbye and part in peace. With that, even though Walt knows he faces a grim fate, he has successfully tied up all of his loose ends with everyone left who matters to him.

He goes out on his own terms

Walt's death itself is also something of a triumph for Walt. When we first meet Walt in the Breaking Bad pilot, he receives what is basically a death sentence diagnosis of advanced lung cancer, and he spends a lot of time fearing that he will die as a feeble man who is unable to care for himself as a result of the disease. But even though his cancer is back in the finale and taking its toll on his thinning body, prompting Skyler to even tell him he looks "terrible," Walt says that he feels good, and it's clear that he means it.

In the penultimate episode, "Granite State," Walt is inches from spending his final days in a jail cell after almost turning himself in, but instead, he becomes determined to finish what he started and goes home to New Mexico. Rather than going to prison or withering away in a hospital, Walt's final moments are spent surrounded by lab equipment after accomplishing his last life goals. He dies on his own terms, which is something he didn't know would be possible when the story first began.