Monday, September 9, 2013

Breaking Bad Death Power Rankings: "To'hajiilee"

We have finally reached the edge of the cliff. And just as we're ready to peer down and see out imminent fate, everything goes black. All we're left with is the name of our cruel storyteller: Vince Gilligan.

The deaths will finally come next week. I'm not sure if I'm excited or terrified, but when the body count tally starts next week, there will definitely be some sort of release. However, there's no doubt that the standoff will just be the tip of the bloody iceberg. And when the punishment comes raining down, I don't think it will be too pleasant for anyone, including the viewer.

1) Agent Gomez - Chance of death - 99% (previously not ranked)
We have a new number one! Gomez, who was completely off the radar previously, shoots up through the rankings as Breaking Bad's likely first death in the final string of episodes. He's clearly lacking the firepower of his enemies and he is the most expendable character out there. No one there is fighting for him, no one there wants to really protect him, and he didn't even get to make one last phone call to his wife. I'll miss your goatee, buddy.

2) Hank - Chance of death - 95% (+30%, +3 spots)
Hank is currently 2-0 in shootouts. He's disposed of Tuco easily. And when Tuco's cousins had him in his crosshairs, he managed to pull out the victory. But I think the '72 Miami Dolphins will be popping the champagne next week, because Hank is running low on escape routes and ammo. Hank is way overmatched at this point. And that phone call to Marie certainly felt like writing on the wall. Of course, that phone call was so blatantly-unsubtle, it could very well be misdirection from Gilligan.

I've run the Breaking Bad simulator over 200 times and the only way Hank survives is through Walt. In this sole scenario, gunfire ceases long enough for Walt to gather his wits. He blackmails Todd's family, saying if they dispose of Hank, he will not cook for them. This is certainly a plausible scenario, and the exact one he's used for Jesse in the past. But if that happens, where does that leave Hank? How do they keep him indisposed without killing him? I don't have an answer for that. Therefore, he dies.

3) Walt - Chance of death - 90% (-9%, -2 spots)
Walt finally relinquishes his spot at the top of the charts. We know he survives this shootout, and we're pretty sure he avoids jail. The cancer continues to look worse, but it seems like a lot of his rivals are on their way to the mortuary. The story will almost certainly end with his death, but even though he's literally in the backseat, he'll likely find him self in the driver's seat soon.

4) Jesse - Chance of death - 75% (+5%, no change in rank)
Not much change for Jesse this week. It remains unclear if Todd and his gang are even aware of Jesse's presence in the desert. And although Jesse has no weapon on him, he does have a fully functioning car that conveniently is not littered with bullet holes. I'm not sure what would happen if he jumps in and takes off. Do the skin heads direct fire that way? Or are they too distracted by Hank and Gomez to notice? I think we'll find out next week.

5) Todd - Chance of death - 65% (-15%, -3 spots)
Todd, who I learned this week has the same ringtone as I do (really), holds all of the cards right now with his family and they plan on playing every single one. So far, though, their aim leaves plenty to be desired. Todd and his gang may have the weapons, but they don't have the smarts to outlast Walt in the long run.

Plus, look at Todd.

If there's anyone that deserves to die, it's this guy.
Has anyone ever looked so non-threatening in the middle of a shoot-out? Hold the gun like man, Todd: one hand, cocked to the side.

6) Marie - Chance of death - 40% (-35%, -3 spots)
Marie takes a huge plunge this week (though not the biggest), as it looks like she's destined for the life of a widow rather than a life of non-existence. Of course, I think it's entirely possible that in reaction to Hank's death, she goes after Walt and quickly finds herself overmatched.

7) Lydia - Chance of death - 30% (no change)
Lydia has proven to be pretty adept at masterminding her meth operation. Even after being threatened by Skyler to stay away forever, she's managed to manipulate Walt back into cooking for her. It'll be interesting to see when/if she pushes Walt too far.

8) Skyler - Chance of death - 20% (-40%, -2 spots)
Skyler is back in a spot of ignorance, totally unaware of chaos going on miles away in the desert. Her two biggest threat, Hank and Jesse, are unlikely to be of any danger to her anymore. Hank won't survive much longer, while Jesse just doesn't have it in him to actually kill Skyler.

However, if Walt really does don his chef hat again, Skyler and Walt Jr. could definitely be used as threats against him. I certainly wouldn't put it past Lydia or the Todd crew.

9) Walt Jr. - Chance of death - 15% (-5%, -1 spot)
Even though his dad is currently flailing in the midst of a hail of gun fire, and he's stuck at work on a weekend, Junior seems to still be having an A-One Day.

10) Saul - Chance of death - 5% (-5%, -1 spot)
Saul is looking much better after his beating at the hands of Jesse, but mentally he's a mess. With jolly ole Huell missing, presumed by him to be offed by Jesse, Saul is scurrying around New Mexico hoping to find a safe haven. When in reality, no one really cares about him right now. Don't worry, Saul, Junior was still pretty psyched to see you.

11) Holly - Chance of death - 0% (-3%, -1 spot)
If I insist this won't happen, it won't. Right?

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