With four episodes left of the greatest series of our time, I’m going to post my limited theory about the ending, and get it down on the record in case it turns out to be true.

SPOILER ALERT! THIS POST CONTAINS SPOILERS FOR EPISODES UP TO AND INCLUDING SEASON 5 EPISODE 12, “RABID DOG!” SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS! (And obviously it’s such a brilliant theory that it’s probably going to be true, obvs.)

So we know that the season has been defined thus far by the two flashforwards which take place a year from the current timeline, in which Walt is 52. His cancer is advanced, and he’s been hiding out in New Hampshire for a while. He purchases an M60 machine gun from his weapons dealer, and when he returns to his house to retrieve his hidden ricin, it has been boarded up and abandoned, the name “HEISENBERG” is spraypainted on the wall and his neighbour screams when she sees him. His family is dead or gone. His secret is out. But he obviously has something big planned.

In the present day, Lydia is trying to get Walt to return to the meth business, because Declan’s production isn’t up to scratch. Walt refuses. She goes to visit Declan at his secret underground meth lab in Arizona, and asks him to reconsider using Todd – a crap cook, but better than Declan’s guy. Declan objects that Todd started a fire last time he cooked. When he refuses to relent, Todd and his uncles show up anyway and kill Declan’s men. Lydia, Todd and his uncles take the materials and head back to New Mexico.

This storyline is so far unrelated to the Walt vs Hank showdown that’s comprised the bulk of the season. I came up with my theory before watching the most recent episode, Rabid Dog, but that episode only served to strengthen it, because in the course of his discussion with Hank – when Hank is trying to convince Jesse that Walt cares about him – Jesse mentions, almost as a throwaway line, that “I’m the only [meth cook] near as good as him.”

I’m predicting that some shit is going to go down between Walt/Jesse and Todd’s uncles, and that Walt is going to be run out of town – his family, including Hank, killed – while Jesse is going to be abducted and forced to toil in slavery in some secret meth lab, never seeing the light of day. This would fit neatly with Jesse’s continuing spiral into a living hell, and bring back meth production in a show that has always revolved around it, in a season which has abandoned it. Walt – with nothing left to lose and a scant shred of redemption to be gained – has come out of hiding and purchased heavy weaponry in an attempt to rescue his wayward son.

That’s my theory. Just getting it down on record in case it turns out to be spot on.