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Breaking Bad 
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Post Re: Breaking Bad
Here comes Univision's Breaking Bad:

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And the paroday-looking trailer.


Thu Oct 03, 2013 12:20 am
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Post Re: Breaking Bad
Wow, this ending suprised the hell out of me! Gillighan has pulled no punches in recasting Walt as both a hero andf a victim.

The telling point of the whole episode, the whole series, perhaps the whole show, was Walt's confession that he did it all for HIM ... because it made him feel alive. His lack of contrition is shocking, but perhaps shamefully, also kind of inspiring.

The casual purpose that Walt moves around in the last episode shows us for the repressed genius he always was. Nothing is beyond this man's capability; but as Ken mentioned a few pages back, he has had so many false identities foisted on him over the years, that he has become lost in himself.

Compare the relative ease and grace Walt does things by the end (lung cancer aside), with the spluttering nervousness of Walt in the flashback in the first 2 minutes of episode 15.

This is a brave stance by the writers. It's not saying go out and make meth; but it is telling men to be men.

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Thu Oct 03, 2013 4:34 am
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Post Re: Breaking Bad
I would make meth in a heartbeat for $80 million if I could get away with it.

But, it's between this and the wire for best tv series in the history of the world. (unless we are including sitcoms, in which case the winner will always be Seinfeld).


Fri Oct 04, 2013 11:13 am
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Post Re: Breaking Bad
After some prompting from NotHughGrant (butaverylifelikesubstitute), I realize that my finale thoughts are not up. That's strange, because I could have sworn I did put them up. They appear to have been swallowed by the luminiferous ether. Oh well. Here they are again.

Quote:
I have a friend who was unable to watch during the first airing, so she asked me to send her spoilers. I ended up telling her all kinds of ludicrous shit... like Hank was still alive, Lydia is secretly an S&M freak, Walt gets away in a makeshift dune buggy, other dumb shit. It's how I kept myself occupied during the commercials.

-

Finale was... satisfying. I think that's the best compliment it can receive and it's the best compliment I can give it. A fine capstone to this great work.

I was quite surprised about Gretchen and Elliot's fate. As it was actually unfolding, my expectation--that Walt was just after revenge--started to seem a little ludicrous, so I'm glad it panned out differently. Still... Walt was downright terrifying in that scene.

Not to blow my own horn, but I think there was something to my earlier musing that this is finally Walt without any illusions about himself or what he does. Then he says it plainly, that he was doing it for his own sake all along. It could have been too on-the-nose for him to just come right out and say it, and I can't think of a good reason why it wasn't, but it just didn't feel that way. It seemed right. And it appears that no matter what his motivation was, he did at least try to make good on his promise toward his family. That, plus the situation with Jesse, is the best redemption he could hope for after the life he led.


Quote:
Walt didn't just take out his enemies and free his friends--he also brought down the blue meth business in one fell swoop. No more Lydia. No more Todd. No more Nazis. And the police arrived at the only manufacturing place. Both Europe and the American southwest lost their blue meth connection. The only person still alive who knows how to make the stuff is most likely no longer interested. And Walt brought himself down, after being as high on the hog as he'd ever gotten at the beginning of this season.

Compare and contrast Walt as the supremely confident self-styled ganglord of S08E01 with the Walt of S08E16, who enters the Schwartz home as a thin, shambling wraith--so much so that by the time they realize he's there, he's already been there for several minutes, daring them to notice him. Walt could only leave this life after he'd been brought lower than he'd ever been, out in the wasteland of Connecticut. No longer a big, loud, blustering tough guy, but something much more quiet, and therefore much more genuinely dangerous.

Then there's the unintentional stuff he did--the swath of destruction he carved through the international drug trade by ruining Gus's operation and, in a roundabout way, bruinging about the deaths of the big cartel leaders in Mexico. The crime world was thoroughly hobbled due to the Walt's presence; he, among his many other hats worn on the show, was a blundering force of chaos that wrecked all the china in the shop. Walt's aspirations to be a great master criminal made him the greatest unintentional crime fighter in fiction.

There's no way the ending to an enterprise of this size can possibly blow everybody away. There just isn't. The show can opt for two things: 1, do the arty thing and stubbornly end on an ambiguous note that satisfies nobody, or 2, do the showmanship thing--end on a note that wraps up all the major plots and satisfies a lot of people at a moderate level. I'm glad Breaking Bad chose the latter. It was never an option to make this the climactic episode of the whole series. (That already happened). This one's more like that final grace note at the end of a composition. Not a pandering cop-out to the fanboys, not an intentionally frustrating puzzle with no solution, but an inventive, low-key ending in which these entangled characters are finally set free.

There's no way Walt could have possibly set everything right that he's set so wrong, but he sets as much right as he reasonably can. It's not necessarily a hopeful ending aside from Jesse's escape. What it is, certainly, is a satisfying conclusion. It is just plain appropriate that Walt literally brings about his own demise. His grand plans were always a little sloppier than he intended.

He gave what he could. He gave Jesse freedom. He gave Hank and Gomie a chance at a proper burial. He gave Skyler his honesty. He gave Lydia a big ol' cup full of ricin. He at least attempted to give his kids the money he's been promising all this time, and in doing so also gave the Schwartzes a chance to escape the wrath he very nearly visited upon them. And, by gum, he gave the Nazis what they deserved.

Good ending.


And I'll add to it that having Walt storm the gates in a surreal bloodbath after all his previous plans were met with a more realistic string of successes and failures isn't necessarily just a crowdpleasing move. The show entered living nightmare territory as soon as Hank arrested Walt and the Nazis showed up. There is something distinctly nightmarish about what became of Walt's life and Walt himself after he fled New Mexico.

There is a moment in Taxi Driver when the color is drastically desaturated in psychological preparation for the part of the movie that is simultaneously its most triumphant and most disturbing. I think there's something similar going on in the last episode of Breaking Bad.

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Mon Oct 07, 2013 11:28 am
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Post Re: Breaking Bad
I thought it was satisfying, but I'm not sure I would call it great. I thought the last scene, the choice of song didn't work. Also, there weren't a lot of surprises, with one exception. The Gretchen and Elliot scene especially afterwards when you find out the red dots just came from Badger and Skinny Pete. Great stuff. And that might be why it's probably my favorite scene of the episode. Great scene. Other than that though, the episode plays out exactly like you would expect it to. No surprises. Everything just seems to come to Walt a little too easily. That said, I was happy about Jesse killing Todd and Walt getting that final shot at Uncle Jack. A lot of people have talked about Jesse killing Todd, but Walt getting that one last gun shot at Uncle Jack was equally, if not even more satisfying. Of course the Lydia scene afterwards was great. And the final moments between Walt and Jesse, with Walt tossing over the gun to Jesse and Jesse deciding not to kill Walt and the little nod that Jesse gives to Walt as he leaves. All great stuff. Other great little moments includes the Skylar scene and his final moment with baby Holly and then Walt watching Walter Jr. from a distance wishing he could talk to him but knowing he can't. All very powerful stuff.

I loved too how everyone got their little curtain call in this episode for one last time. Marie had one last moment, Skylar, Walter Jr. (sort of), Jesse. Badger and Skinny got that one last great funny scene. Heck even Hank sort of with the little flashback scene. The only person who didn't get their one last curtain call was Saul. But I guess that's understandable given where his character is at.

So, while I'm not sure I can rank this as one of the best series finales (my favorite series finale is one that was very polarizing, some loved, a lot hated it) but it was a solid, satisfying ending to a great show.

My rating for this show would be between a 7.5 or an 8 or between a B+ to an A- Haven't decided. But the season as a whole is definitely an A+ and a 10/10.

It's going to be weird to not come home from work on Sundays and immediately start loading this show on my laptop. Fortunately, I do have Homeland in it's replacement.


Mon Oct 07, 2013 1:10 pm
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Post Re: Breaking Bad
Some final thoughts -

Despite being an evil bastard, I found it hard not to sympathise with Walt. The final episode did an excellent job in rehabilitating him somewhat. I though the Gray Matter situation was handled quite sublimely. I knew, just knew he hadn't really hired "the best hitmen west of the Mississippi". Which was also a good way of shoehorning in Badger and Skinny Pete for one last scene.

I was youtubing (is that a verb now?) some of the shows highlights, and I found something almost, but not quite, by accident that actually made feel sad -

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a-Qva8lG4mY

This is such a sad, sad scene. Walt, a man, as Ken says, with the world at his finger tips. A brilliant mind, misunderstands humanity just enough to see him ultimately foiled by life.

This small scene is fucking wonderful. The picture of Walt sat there, in his family saloon, the traffic below zooming away from him, much like life - he feels himself transported back to a time where he could have made something, but a weakness (no how subtle) to recognise something other than crude chemistry stalled him. Only then is he rudely awakened from his flashback by the obnoxious sound of a bike engine.

Unlike a few one here, I'm no technical expert on film making, but even I fully recognise the immense care and craft that went into this seemingly unimportant scene.

Breaking Bad - I salute you!

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Tue Oct 08, 2013 4:36 am
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Post Re: Breaking Bad
Breaking Bad's camera operator Andy Voegeli is currently posting up a bunch of really cool behind-the-scenes photos from the show on his Twitter account.

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Tue Oct 15, 2013 7:53 pm
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