Walter White is a cockroach. Breaking Bad‘s second-half fifth season premiere, “Blood Money,” is a perfect summary of the retired drug kingpin’s unbeatable survival skills: sociopathy, cunning, emotional manipulation, meticulousness, and violence – or at least the threat thereof. Even with the return of his cancer, the apparent front-page news of his crimes, and the likely target on his back (it’s probable that one of the ten thugs he had stabbed in prison have vengeful family members), Walt is seen alive and free in the future, covering his tracks by recovering a vial of ricin, while his house, the symbol of everything he had worked and sweated and killed for, sits rotting and condemned, picked at by teenage vultures. This was a flash-forward much more compelling than that of the fifth season premiere’s birthday breakfast, mostly because it suggests Walter’s imminent notoriety. The legend of Heisenberg will extend beyond the narco-corridos, which means the truth will come out: Walt will leave behind a trail of poisoned lives, including those of his somewhat guilty wife, his college-bound son and baby daughter, his inept-looking DEA brother-in-law, and his former accomplice. It’s a vision similar to the chilling end of The Shield, where survival becomes its own form of prison.