It was a criminally short run, but 2012's stretch of Breaking Bad episodes comes to an end on Sunday with the midseason finale, "Gliding Over All." The series won't be back until next summer, when it will air its final eight episodes, meaning that "Gliding Over All" almost certainly has to be a massive episode -- not an easy feat considering the shocking events of last week's "Say My Name," which ended with the death of Mike Ehrmantraut (Jonathan Banks) at the hands of Walt (Bryan Cranston) himself.
So where does the series go from here? What will be Breaking Bad's last massive cliffhanger before its final run? We've got a few guesses as to what will happen with "Gliding Over All" (though, knowing Breaking Bad, they're probably all wrong).
1. Hank finds out that Walt is Heisenberg. This seems to be the most likely choice for a cliffhanger, considering that the show has been building to it for five years. With Hank to most likely start investigating Mike's death, it shouldn't be too hard for him to find some connection to Walt. And really, any connection to Walt, a brilliant chemist, should be more than enough to get the wheels turning in Hank's head.
2. Walter Jr. dies. It's no secret that there's some cosmic karmic influence in the world of Breaking Bad. Everything in the series has ironic consequences, and too many of Walt's decisions affect Walter Jr. -- er, Flynn -- for him to not eventually become a tragic victim of his father's "empire business." With so much focus placed on Junior's new car in the cold open of "Fifty-One" (remember that dubstep sequence?), it would make sense for him to die in a car accident, vindicating (and devastating) Skyler and throwing what's left of Walt's mental stability into serious question. It would also shed some new light on why Walt drives a crappy Volvo on his fifty-second birthday. And, you know, if Walter Jr. (or all of Walt's family) is dead, it certainly gives a poignance to Walt arranging his bacon in the season's opening scene.
3. The cancer comes back. Skyler's been pining for it, and we also saw Walt popping pills in that flashforward from "Live Free Or Die." Dramatically, it makes sense. Of course, for the cancer to finally be what kills Walt -- that's not as exciting dramatically.
4. Jesse finds out about everything. Or anything. Walt let Jane die, he poisoned Brock, and he killed Mike. That's three people Jesse cared about that have been killed (or almost killed, in Brock's case) by Walt's actions. Jesse's already left the meth business, apparently, but it would make sense that a desire for revenge would be what keeps him an active agent in the storyline.
5. Todd does something crazy and unpredictable. We don't trust him. We don't like him. But Todd's still in the story, which means he has a role to play. Odds are, it won't be a positive one, especially with him jotting down notes on Walt's cooking methods. Call us cynical, but it's kind of hard to believe his apparent earnestness.
BONUS PREDICTION: The laser tag arcade turns out to be important. Saul is vindicated! Well, we can dream, can't we?
And that's all we've got. What do you think will happen in Sunday night's episode? What do you think of these predictions? Are we barking up the wrong tree here?
Breaking Bad will air "Gliding Over All" September 2 at 10/9c on AMC. New episodes will resume in summer 2013.