I have much to say about this show and how it stuck the landing. But I am tired from driving back from New York and I have much work tomorrow, so I am just going to report on the game (even though one of the most competitive folks will not be watching until tomorrow). I will post tomorrow at some point my thoughts about the episode and the series. In terms of the best drama ever, the question that will be forever argued will be scope/ambition vs. consistency as The Wire had the former and Breaking Bad had the latter with a better final season. But that is for another time.
Spoilers dwell below (and everywhere else):
Tied for last place were three people who all picked someone who died and someone who did not show up. Kristy chose Todd who almost lasted to the end, evading Walt's car of bullets, but his kindness of Ben and Jerry's did not apparently compensate for his other treatment of Jesse. Ted was never seen in the second half of the season. Mark had been poking at me all season long that Lydia would live, but she is the last to die, outlasting Walt but not Walt's plans. No, we didn't see her die, but I trust Walt's chemistry (definitely not his judgment). Old Joe, too, was absent. Rob gambled on Kaylee somehow showing up, but alas, she was no longer relevant with Mike being dead. Unlike some other innocent bystanders. At least, Gomey will put to rest somewhere other than the meth magic spot.
A big tie for third place among those who had one character surviving and other dead or absent. Rodger did better than I expected as Gretchen survived. Alas, by the strict rules of the game, Lawson did not appear in the final eight although the scenes before and after him did. So close. Too bad, as his tiebreaker was about as good as the eventual winner (see below, but not yet!). Wendy got to see Skinny Pete one last time. Woot! Loved his lines in the car with Walt and Badger--a great way to finish. Speaking of Badger, Will has one survivor as well. Caitlin picked Skyler who seemed fated to die, but only by lung cancer down the road thanks to her chain-smoking. We never did see Jere Burns (group leader) again. Or Bogdan, so Brandon gets three for Saul being the big survivor, managing a Cinnabon's in Omaha or something. Chip must be happy to see Holly not only living but being acted so well by the band of cute stunt babies. But Walt clearly died. Noah made a risky pick that paid off, Jesse, and a safe pick that did not--Andrea. Ooops.
So, it is between the family chooser and the bystander extraordinaire. Sara picked Marie, who managed not to get herself killed and the soon to be rich Flynn. Well done! The carnage could have been far worse--Vince Gilligan showed much restraint by letting Flynn escape his father's fate yet gain the cash. Kelsey picked Huell who may still be a motel somewhere, but was last seen hale and healthy and talking... and Brock who was at risk no longer. With the death of the Nazis, Brock is safe. Of course, if Jesse picks him and takes him on the run, then Brock may still die. But we did see him alive, so we have a tie.
It comes down to the tie breaker. Sara said that Walt would strangle Jesse, and that was so close--that the last death could have been strangulation and it did involve Jesse AND Walt did kind of attack Jesse. Kelsey said that Walt would kill Hank with a gun. Here's the thing--the last death depicted on the show was Walt's. Lydia died off-screen, probably after Walt (Mark could talk me into placing third with 4 points by the "we don't really know the person's fate/coma rule). How did Walt die? By getting shot ... by the gun that he fired, it seems. So, of three components of the tie breaker--who dies, who kills, and by what method, Kelsey has two of the three--the killer and the method. Sara has only the killer (Walt), not the method nor the victim. Thus, Kelsey wins!
Kelsey gets to blog in this space at a time of his choosing and a topic of his choosing. Use your great power responsibly. Remember what hubris did to Walt!!!