King no more
WARNING: Lots of tears, lot of spoilers, lots of tears caused by spoilers.
Here is, unedited, an email I sent to my friend Matt on Monday afternoon, the day after “Ozymandias” aired. It addresses concerns I expressed about the previous week’s ending backing show creator Vince Gilligan into a corner, with respect to the fate of Walt’s brother-in-law Hank and how his death or reprieve from death would transport the show down a path I did not want to see it travel (namely: Walt vs. the neo-Nazis, with a sliver of redemption for Walt at stake).
Professor Thoms viewing party poster
WARNING: Spoilers. Guacamole. Spoilers.
I have this irrational viewing tic where anytime Jesse Pinkman encounters danger on “Breaking Bad” I fear he might die. I say this is irrational because Pinkman is the show’s moral compass and because the actor who plays him – Aaron Paul – is a gem. Jesse will make it … at least until this upcoming Sunday night’s episode.
Which is more than I expected, I admit. I started bracing myself for Pinkman’s demise during the commercial break prior to the final scene in last Sunday’s episode titled “Confessions”. I just had a bad feeling. I’ve had that feeling before and was wrong – WAY WRONG. This time though I just knew, and then I learned I didn’t.
Keep this in mind while reading more thoughts about “Breaking Bad” Season 5, Episode 11 “Confessions” and the show’s final five episodes.
Professor Thoms viewing party poster
WARNING: Tossin’ out spoilers like Pinkman tossin’ fat stacks, caring not whether I get caught.
As we walked west toward Union Square Sunday night my friend Shaheim suggested he might take a break from TV after “Breaking Bad” wrapped. No need for an explanation. I understood his rationale and agreed. Nothing will measure up.
We watched Sunday’s episode “Buried” with 100 or so devotees crammed into the second floor of Professor Thoms on Second Avenue in Manhattan. The crowd’s roars of approval following key moments – Marie slapping Skyler, Hank entering the interrogation room, etc. – reminded me of watching a sporting event – say the Yankees-Red Sox game on ESPN – more than a scripted drama on AMC. You might recall I had quite the opposite experience watching the midseason premiere at Canal Bar in Brooklyn.
This week’s episode, packed with explosive scene after explosive scene, tempted me to dive into a pool of hyperbole. I might have even told a few friends the final season of “Breaking Bad” has the potential to rate as the best television season I’ve ever watched. With six episodes left until Walter White meets his fate that’s not hyperbole.
Here is my recap from the exhilarating Season 5, Episode 10 titled “Buried”.
Tread lightly past the screen door, y'all
SPOILER ALERT: Watch the episode before reading this post.
I crossed boroughs Sunday night to watch the “Breaking Bad” premiere, only to learn my venue of choice – Union Hall in Brooklyn – had reached capacity long before my arrival. When you cross boroughs for a television show – or anything, for that matter – failure is not an option. Such is the hassle that crossing boroughs involves.
So my friend Shaheim and I set out on foot for option No. 2, Halyard’s, resigned to the likelihood it too would be at capacity. And then what?
On the brink of despair with the premiere five minutes away, and still blocks away from Halyards, I spotted Canal Bar, an unlikely candidate for a “Breaking Bad” screening but what the hell. Did I mention we were desperate? Inside, the accommodating blonde bartender, praise her unknown name, switched the TV from an anonymous sports program to AMC right as the opening sequence of “Breaking Bad” unfolded.
Sure, Canal Bar lacked the “Breaking Bad” inspired drinks and nerdy camaraderie Union Hall promised but it made up for it with a red Kool-Aid and rum concoction called “Jungle Juice” and the drunk woman at bar’s end who sounded like she had a megaphone taped to her mouth. She, regrettably, did not come with a mute button. I tuned her out best I could and basked in the excellence on the screen.
Here are my thoughts on “Blood Money”, in no particular order:
Is it Sunday yet?!
Sunday night I plan on watching “Blood Money”, the Season 5, Part 2 premiere of “Breaking Bad” here with a Walter White-inspired drink in hand. I had the joy of watching several episodes of Season 5, Part 1 at the Hollywood Theater in Portland, and highly recommend the experience of watching the show with a crowd.
Between now and Sunday I encourage you to catch up on the show with a little help from moi. Here are my archived notes on past episodes. You might also be interested in reading my 10 Burning “Breaking Bad” Questions piece from last fall.
Now that 2012 is in the books here’s a look back at my most viewed posts 2012 edition. Thanks to each and every one of you who read my blog!
What happens to this guy?
WARNING: Spoilers, conjecture, and nonsense ahead.
This week “Breaking Bad” creator Vince Gilligan revealed what fans have been wondering forever: Walt Jr.’s favorite breakfast food. Nom nom nom!
Season 5’s 2012 finale left me wanting more. Only the conclusion of AMC’s best show – sorry “Mad Men” fans – will not happen until 2013. That leaves a lot of time for guessing what will happen. Dammit, I’m just not ready for “Football Night in America” yet. I want “Breaking Bad” back.
Here are 10 questions I hope Gilligan and the show’s writers will answer in Season 5, Part 2, including one question submission from New Jersey’s own Robert Zullo.
Once you break bad it is damn near impossible to break away from the life you chose. The words “I’m out” do not grant immunity from previous choices. Complications arise, loose ends remain untied. Meth kingpin Walter White, played by Bryan Cranston, seems oblivious to this in the final “Breaking Bad” episode of 2012, “Gliding Over All.” He has piles of cash that would make Scrooge McDuck envious, a healthy family, and an international drug distribution ring (i.e., everything he’s ever wanted).
Such is White’s ego that he believes when he says “I’m out” he is really out. Show creator Vince Gilligan showed through the plights of White’s co-conspirators Jesse and Mike that is not how the game works. It won’t work that way for Walt, either. He just doesn’t know it yet.
“Gliding Over All”‘s final scene destroys Walt’s myth that he will make a clean break. How will Hank use his newfound knowledge his brother-in-law is Heisenberg? We’ll have to wait until 2013 to find out. Thank the TV gods the NFL and “Boardwalk Empire” are coming to fill the Sunday night void.
Here are more thoughts from “Gliding Over All”. Shout-out to Robert “Silver Fox” Zullo!
Say My Name!
WARNING: Let me write my spoilers in peace, Walter. That’s “Breaking Bad” speak for SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS!!!!!
“Top 1 episode ever.”
That’s how my friend, Matt “Don’t Call Me Joey” LeBlanc, described “Say My Name”, the second-to-last “Breaking Bad” episode of 2012. I didn’t ask him, but I think that was his way of saying best episode ever. Lofty praise, if so.
I watched “Say My Name” Monday night from a hotel room in Cheyenne, Wyoming. I mention this because Wyoming’s rugged, desolate landscape reminds me of New Mexico. And “Breaking Bad” is the only thing that saves either state, in my opinion.
“Say My Name” ripped my wannabe henchman heart out. Here are my abbreviated, solo tour across America thoughts on “Say My Name.”
WARNING: Microwaveable spoilers below. Straight from Albertson’s.
Oh where, oh where, will this runaway freight train known as “Breaking Bad” end up? No TV-watching mortal knows. But this week my friend Wastro and I swapped emails discussing Season 5’s sixth episode, “Buyout”, reevaluated the show’s characters, and made some sure-to-be hopelessly misguided predictions. You can check out our discussion of Episode 5 here.