Tonight's episode will be Episode 8 of Season 5. The final 8 episodes will run early in 2013. This "split season" set up seems relatively new in the TV world. But it does give a chance for a dramatic plot point for us to stew on for the next several months. As if the relentless drama to this point hasn't been enough.
First Walt cut Jesse out of a deal that would've allowed him to get $5 Million and get out. Then Walt shamed him with his past drug use and love of mindless video games and go-karts to try to make their business the meaningful thing in Jesse's life and pull him back in. Jesse did the right thing and walked.
Walt's character has been headed down this path for some time. He's gone rogue on his partners, and just killed another one. It wasn't to save his own skin, or to take out a rival. It was because Mike told Walt the truth - that his ego caused the whole mess - that he didn't know his place.
Devoted fans of the show have seen Walt extricate himself out of one situation after another throughout the history of the show, and have probably pulled for him. But there is no redeeming quality to his personality, only his mastermind instincts. We all know he's going down - it's just a matter of how and when, and most importantly - who.
Besides the body count, the "legacy costs" are gone with Mike's stash of cash. The remaining members of Fring's crew in jail are going to start talking about the operation, and Walt and Jesse. A happy crew is a quiet crew.
And there's nobody left for Walt to turn to - except maybe Todd (whom Jesse calls "Ricky Hitler") and his uncle's prison connections. Walt's alienated his wife and eliminated his partners. It's just Walt and the flash forward of an assault weapon purchase. So there are certain to be fireworks of some sort for the mid-season finale.