Well it did.
Thoughts (SPOILERS ahead, look away):
The ending was obvious, but perfect. Sometimes plotlines are obvious for the, well, obvious reason that they are often the plot lines that make the most sense. This might be the first sprawling high-art drama to leave the majority of fans satisfied.
Walt dies, his family is (presumably) rich, the baddies are dead and the moral center of the show (Jesse) has been freed. Walt got revenge and found redemption within the same episode. He admitted to his wife, and to us, that in the end he realizes Heisenberg wasn’t just for his family, it made him feel good. It made him feel strong.
While the Sopranos’ oh-so-ambiguous ending in retrospect was rather perfect, there is one primary difference between the show running styles of Sops-creators David Chase and BB-maestro Vince Gilligan. That difference is disdain. David Chase had mucho disdain for his audience. He was disgusted when they complained of the increasingly complex plot lines, and especially disgusted when they said there wasn’t enough violence (really, people?).
Gilligan however loves his audience as much as he loves these characters. He not only wanted to have a comparatively happy ending for us, he needed it for himself.
One must be impressed with this final season. From the first episode of the second part of season 5, it was full speed ahead. And we got, like three finales. Hank is killed by Uncle Jack and the white supremacists steal Walt’s money. Walt runs away to New Hampshire a shadow of his former self. Walt goes home and sets things right. All those could have worked.
And so it ends, the most endlessly exciting and fascinating character-driven drama of the last decade is over. What will be next?