Breaking Bad: "Do it yourself"

jowner wrote:
Grubber788 wrote:
This show has surpassed Deadwood as being my favorite drama of all time.

No pressure, creators of Breaking Bad; no pressure.

Pretty sure I read after this season there will be 16 more episodes that might be split into two small seasons.

For me this is a good thing. This show is great but it really needs an eventual ending and it could be very epic.

Last season of The Wire was hit and miss for me. Loved the Spranos but it isn't standing the test of time. I wonder what would happen if someone went back and edited the hell out of all the boring side plots and made a condensed 4-5 seasons?

Manny from Scarface as the don was a great touch. Some dialogue and scenes bug me but they always manage to get back to why I love the show. Awesome camera work or quirky stuff like the intro to the one episode with the mariachi band.

It's not two additional seasons, it's one season with a 6 week break. I'm actually pretty glad that they're wrapping it up with five seasons. I worry that if Breaking Bad kept going, it would lose focus and drift down the depressing path that Weeds ended up on.

trichy wrote:
I worry that if Breaking Bad kept going, it would lose focus and drift down the depressing path that Weeds ended up on.

I think Breaking Bad's attitude towards Walter is the biggest factor that's kept it from Weeds land--at least for me. I see Walter as a pitiful man (however capable of brief flashes of bad-assery) making frequently terrible choices...and the show agrees. Weeds, however, seems to be of the opinion that I should be amused by how daffy and plucky Nancy is...and I'm not anymore, and the more apparent that became, the harder it was to ignore that the show seemed founded on watching the pretty white lady outwit the scary brown people. As my sister put it "Many more likable characters on The Wire got killed for less."

The idea of a Last Season is an extension of that. Breaking Bad knows Walter can't keep going forever, but apparently Nancy has a boundless reserve of plucky daffiness.

As much as I love this show, I'm ecstatic that we're getting a definite end to the show. It will allow them to really end the story and put every character in mortal danger next season. Right now, we know Walter will survive to see next season, but there's a pretty good chance he'll be dead by the end of the show. I'll actually be a little disappointed if, ultimately, he isn't dead or incarcerated. I'm not sure I even see him as a protagonist anymore. I'm rooting for Jesse and Gus more than walter.

BreechLoad wrote:
I'll actually be a little disappointed if, ultimately, he isn't dead or incarcerated.

Oh man, I totally disagree.

Spoiler:
They've hinted quite subtly this season that his cancer is coming back. If anything cancer will be his incarceration, as will the degradation of all his relationships (The ending of the most recent episode seems like the best evidence for this eventuality). I don't think we've seen the ugliest side of Walter yet, and that's a funny thing to say considering how much morally inept behavior he has displayed with growing frequency over the course of the series. His decisions will destroy him, and he will be there until the end to see the consequences of his actions.

I don't think Walter will die, but he'll wish he had. Or at least I hope

mr_n00b wrote:

Spoiler:
They've hinted quite subtly this season that his cancer is coming back. If anything cancer will be his incarceration, as will the degradation of all his relationships (The ending of the most recent episode seems like the best evidence for this eventuality). I don't think we've seen the ugliest side of Walter yet, and that's a funny thing to say considering how much morally inept behavior he has displayed with growing frequency over the course of the series. His decisions will destroy him, and he will be there until the end to see the consequences of his actions.

I don't think Walter will die, but he'll wish he had. Or at least I hope

This.

Walter has shown over and over that when he's given the opportunity to do the right thing, all too often he lets his stupid pride talk him into self-destructive idiocy. This show seems to revel in punishing those who do wrong, and I think that Walt will suffer far more than anyone else. But to be fair, he does have it coming.

Saul was right, End Times indeed.

Spoiler:
How the hell did Gus know?!

trichy wrote:
Spoiler:
How the hell did Gus know?!

Spoiler:
Gut feeling. Gus isn't a moron

So, I just watched the first season of this show. This here is some crazy sh*t.

This show may be too draining for me, emotionally.

wordsmythe wrote:
This show may be too draining for me, emotionally.

I had a friend at word sum up the experience. She said, "Watching Breaking Bad and Mad Men by yourself is a lot like drinking alone. Sure, there's no problem with it, but its a lot better when there's someone there with you."

wordsmythe wrote:
This show may be too draining for me, emotionally.
I am just into the third season, and it has been really hard to watch sometimes. It feels sort of like watching a car crash - you know it is only going to get ugly, but you can't seem to look away.

Of course, the season 2 teases at the beginning of most episodes wound up being the biggest cheat since "...and it was all a dream". Give the power of the season 2 finale, the reveal was pretty cheap.

I immediately want to defend the ending of Season 2 and the progression of teases that led up to it because of my loyalty towards the show, so completely disregard anything I say. I'm an obsessed fanboy, such is my sad existence

Was it cheap? Perhaps, but not to a point that it didn't make sense within context of the show as a whole. Early on we're led to believe some kind of catastrophe has occurred. The consequences of Walt's actions have finally come too close to home (literally). We see the home in complete disarray, debris everywhere, ominously filled body bags. Some serious sh... stuff has gone down, and it has gone down as a direct result of Walt's decision to make crystal meth.

As the audience we've seen the results of the car crash and we're dying to know exactly what happened, more importantly we have our assumptions of what happened. Deep inside what we really want to see is that Walter screwed the pooch, big time. He bumped heads with some very dangerous people and his reckoning has come. He knew what he was doing is wrong, and he must pay for that choice.

Spoiler:
Fast forward to the events of the last 3 episodes. Walter is in a precarious position. He's losing control of his partner who seems to be becoming more reckless by the day, probably as the result of his latest infatuation. Skyler is putting on the pressure at home after his "fugue" state. He needs to find a way to offload his product after his distribution system utterly collapsed. As always in this show Walter is screwed.

Luckily he finds his means to offload the methamphetamine, but of course as always Jessie is completely unreliable. Walter has to break in to Jessie's place and "steal" the product in order to do last minute liquidation. Of course Jessie gets pissed, Jessie's girlfriend convinces him to blackmail Walter, yatta yatta yatta.

We finally get to the seminal scene of the season. Walter needs to talk Jessie out of leaving, he still feels some affinity towards the guy and can't see his partner walking out on him. Walter knows what's best for Jessie. He finds Jessie and his girlfriend passed out in the apartment after what we know was a "one for the road" heroin session. He turns over the girl to get her to wake up. No longer on her side she begins to vomit. If she continues to vomit laying on her back she will choke and die.

Walter does nothing. He could try and help her out, but this girl has turned Jessie against him. Without her influence everything can go back to normal, business as usual. Jessie will be Walter's once more. So he doesn't help her. He lets her die.

Which leads to the full revelation of the teasers building up since the beginning of the season. How do we get from Walter letting someone die to the destruction we've come to expect in the finale? As it turns out the father of Jessie's girlfriend is an air traffic controller. Depressed at the loss of his daughter he mistakenly/intentionally provides an intersect vector between to airliners. The two airliners crash above the city of Albuquerque, debris falls, the Aztec's windshield gets blown to high hell, bodies of the victims scatter in the lawn. Holy crap, that just happened. The End.

Breaking Bad is not Lost. When the first episode opens with the teaser it's not done just to spur interest. There is a reason behind it; the writers know how this season is going to end from the beginning. Was it cheap to plot out the connection between the teaser and Walter as they did? Too some degree, yes, I suppose. But the one thing that we got out of that entire progression of events is that Walter has changed fundamentally as an individual. He was the cause of something so horrific, and yet he can continue to breathe air.

It wasn't some drug dealers that caused a small scale murder of a family, and those are the results that we saw in the teaser; it was Walter, a high school chemistry teacher who unknowingly created an incomprehensible disaster, killing hundreds. It was Walter who was responsible for this teaser after all, and he was responsible in the worst way possible.

Now having thoroughly spoiled Season 2 allow me to finish with the crux of my argument. How the plot points connect may be cheap, but as a whole they become something so unique in television that it's beautiful. There was intention throughout that entire season, and the audience's investment in the show payed back in full. Cheap to some, not to me.

Apologies to whomever reads this word vomit, I don't know what came over me.

I'm really curious how this season is going to end, with one episode left:

Spoiler:

My prediction is that Gus does not die this season. Killing him off doesn't leave much for them to go with for the final season. I think Gus is going to make good on his promises and kill somebody close to Walt. Hank seems to be the most logical choice for Gus, but I could also see him getting more personal and going after Skylar or Walt Jr. I thought maybe Jesse, but I think that would turn off too many fans for the final season.

mr_n00b wrote:
I immediately want to defend the ending of Season 2 and the progression of teases that led up to it because of my loyalty towards the show, so completely disregard anything I say. I'm an obsessed fanboy, such is my sad existence

Was it cheap? Perhaps, but not to a point that it didn't make sense within context of the show as a whole. Early on we're led to believe some kind of catastrophe has occurred. The consequences of Walt's actions have finally come too close to home (literally). We see the home in complete disarray, debris everywhere, ominously filled body bags. Some serious sh... stuff has gone down, and it has gone down as a direct result of Walt's decision to make crystal meth.

As the audience we've seen the results of the car crash and we're dying to know exactly what happened, more importantly we have our assumptions of what happened. Deep inside what we really want to see is that Walter screwed the pooch, big time. He bumped heads with some very dangerous people and his reckoning has come. He knew what he was doing is wrong, and he must pay for that choice.

Spoiler:
Fast forward to the events of the last 3 episodes. Walter is in a precarious position. He's losing control of his partner who seems to be becoming more reckless by the day, probably as the result of his latest infatuation. Skyler is putting on the pressure at home after his "fugue" state. He needs to find a way to offload his product after his distribution system utterly collapsed. As always in this show Walter is screwed.

Luckily he finds his means to offload the methamphetamine, but of course as always Jessie is completely unreliable. Walter has to break in to Jessie's place and "steal" the product in order to do last minute liquidation. Of course Jessie gets pissed, Jessie's girlfriend convinces him to blackmail Walter, yatta yatta yatta.

We finally get to the seminal scene of the season. Walter needs to talk Jessie out of leaving, he still feels some affinity towards the guy and can't see his partner walking out on him. Walter knows what's best for Jessie. He finds Jessie and his girlfriend passed out in the apartment after what we know was a "one for the road" heroin session. He turns over the girl to get her to wake up. No longer on her side she begins to vomit. If she continues to vomit laying on her back she will choke and die.

Walter does nothing. He could try and help her out, but this girl has turned Jessie against him. Without her influence everything can go back to normal, business as usual. Jessie will be Walter's once more. So he doesn't help her. He lets her die.

Which leads to the full revelation of the teasers building up since the beginning of the season. How do we get from Walter letting someone die to the destruction we've come to expect in the finale? As it turns out the father of Jessie's girlfriend is an air traffic controller. Depressed at the loss of his daughter he mistakenly/intentionally provides an intersect vector between to airliners. The two airliners crash above the city of Albuquerque, debris falls, the Aztec's windshield gets blown to high hell, bodies of the victims scatter in the lawn. Holy crap, that just happened. The End.

Breaking Bad is not Lost. When the first episode opens with the teaser it's not done just to spur interest. There is a reason behind it; the writers know how this season is going to end from the beginning. Was it cheap to plot out the connection between the teaser and Walter as they did? Too some degree, yes, I suppose. But the one thing that we got out of that entire progression of events is that Walter has changed fundamentally as an individual. He was the cause of something so horrific, and yet he can continue to breathe air.

It wasn't some drug dealers that caused a small scale murder of a family, and those are the results that we saw in the teaser; it was Walter, a high school chemistry teacher who unknowingly created an incomprehensible disaster, killing hundreds. It was Walter who was responsible for this teaser after all, and he was responsible in the worst way possible.

Now having thoroughly spoiled Season 2 allow me to finish with the crux of my argument. How the plot points connect may be cheap, but as a whole they become something so unique in television that it's beautiful. There was intention throughout that entire season, and the audience's investment in the show payed back in full. Cheap to some, not to me.

Apologies to whomever reads this word vomit, I don't know what came over me.

Spoiler:
I promise not to let you lay on your back...

mr_n00b wrote:
I immediately want to defend the ending of Season 2 and the progression of teases that led up to it because of my loyalty towards the show, so completely disregard anything I say. I'm an obsessed fanboy, such is my sad existence

I love that it can still warrant discussion! I am working my way through season 3, and haven't yet figured out what I will do when I get up to season 4, since it obviously hasn't hit Netflix yet.

On why the Season 2 finale was cheap:

Spoiler:
I totally get that Walter basically started all of this disaster. That said, it isn't really his fault. He makes stupid, bad, or sometimes downright evil choices all the time - letting the cute girl (whose name I sadly can't recall) die is a great example of an evil decision. Of course, nothing he did forced them to get high and nothing forced her father back to work. In fact, if Jessie had been paying any attention, he would have seen that Walt was really looking out for him, and could see the looming drug problem.

The basic lack of trust Jessie has for Walt is such an annoying character trait, given how dedicated to being someone who can be trusted he himself is. I can understand Walt's mistrust of Jessie, given that he has seen Jessie using drugs, and Jessie, even when he tries to do what is "right", still screws things up plenty of times (but usually on a much smaller scale than Walt).

Back to the teases: you guessed the frustration in one try - LOST. The feeling I got was that this was expected to be the last season when it was written, and they were teasing us with Walt's family paying the ultimate price for his new job, eventually also showing "his" glasses in the wreckage, so we can assume that none of them made it out alive. As the season went on, some of the stories were feeling very dragged out, which happens a lot when a show with a known arc gets extended (see also: Seasons 4,5,6 of The Sopranos and the last two seasons of The Shield). Now that they had more room to tell their story, they needed to make the teasers work for this season, instead of dragging a teaser across the remainder of the show's lifetime. The reason the plane crash is cheap is that it is impersonal and random. We just saw Walt inadvertently kill Jessie's girlfriend, and then let her die - knowing that it was wrong - to make his life easier. We get to see the absolute devastation this one death has on two lives, one we have been following for a while, one that parents could somewhat empathize with. Then we follow that up with Skyler kicking Walt out (and bravo to him in Season 3 for coming back) - seeing the close emotional pain that hits him with. With all of this - you end the season with "and two planes crash just over Walt's house - GOTCHA!!!". I think I actually prefer the uncertainty of the future theory more than the writers having a laugh theory.


That said, I think this show has the potential to rival The Shield for best series, depending on how it ends. They are dragging the twins presence out too much in season 3, like they did with Skylar's view of Walt in season 2, but in general it is really, really good.

I'll be very curious to hear what you think about the twins AFTER you finish Season 3. I dare not say more!

But what I will say is... well, first of all, let's just call what happens at the end of Season 2 "The Event" (not to be confused with Jason Ritter's acting). The way in which "The Event" is dealt with in the following season always felt incredibly hammy, which in my mind adds legitimacy to the "they didn't know how to properly cap off Season 2" camp. Couldn't agree more with that. However, no matter how cheap "The Event" was I can't help looking fondly back on that moment, specifically Walter's involvement in it.

This show is really about Walter, and his development as a character. Everyone around him is just filler, in my honest opinion. It hurts me to say that... because I absolutely adore every character on the show ...but they are all simply a means by which Walter is morally corrupted, in one way or another. This is about the trajectory of Walter, the question is how do we drive a narrative to completely destroy him. "The Event" is a fundamental stepping stone on his character development. Without it we as the audience would not be able to swallow the actions he takes after that point.

I will admit that "The Event" was cheap, you're right about that. But this is my caveat: I didn't mind it one bit

I recently re-watched Season 2 with my roommate. Watching his reaction to "The Event" was priceless. At first he was angry, and then he started connecting the dots, and then I saw shock on his face (dripping with revelation), after which he turned to me and simply said,"Oh sh*t!" That was all the confirmation I needed as to the "cheapness" of "The Event"

Edit: @Nomad:

Spoiler:
Wish I could say the same... :cool:

So a thought for those who have watched the latest episode...

Spoiler:
I wonder if Walt actually did poison the boy. Walt has realized throughout the season that the only way to kill Gus is to get someone else to help him. At this point, he knows that Jesse is pretty firmly in Gus's camp. By poisoning Brock, Walt has the opportunity now to convince Jesse that Gus was responsible (success) and has pulled Jesse back into his corner. Plus, there was the image of the gun pointing at the plant and the proverbial light bulb over Walt's head, and I actually think that Jesse could have been right: the big fella could have palmed the cigarettes when he frisked him. If true, this would put Walt at an all-time low, but it would be interesting.

trichy wrote:
So a thought for those who have watched the latest episode...

Spoiler:
I wonder if Walt actually did poison the boy. Walt has realized throughout the season that the only way to kill Gus is to get someone else to help him. At this point, he knows that Jesse is pretty firmly in Gus's camp. By poisoning Brock, Walt has the opportunity now to convince Jesse that Gus was responsible (success) and has pulled Jesse back into his corner. Plus, there was the image of the gun pointing at the plant and the proverbial light bulb over Walt's head, and I actually think that Jesse could have been right: the big fella could have palmed the cigarettes when he frisked him. If true, this would put Walt at an all-time low, but it would be interesting.

Yeah...

Spoiler:
The big fella definitely did some tricky slight of hand during the pat down, he put something in his pocket right before the camera cuts out a bit (boy do I love DVR). And Walter waiting around all day for one of Gus's guys to kill him? Didn't we just determine last episode that Walter is bulletproof as long as Jesse has his back? Walter's defense at gunpoint stinks, it all stinks. Walter is doing some heavy dirt now, and that bit of acting for Jesse did exactly what he wanted it to, convincing Jesse that Gus is the bad guy. He did after all kill a kid already right? Well played Walter, well played.

But then again what did Gus mean when he said "Something has to be done." I'm still trying to puzzle that one out.

Spoiler:
What the hell kind of strip club lets people take photos inside?

clover wrote:
Spoiler:
What the hell kind of strip club lets people take photos inside?

Spoiler:
The best kind.

Holy sh#t.

Spoiler:
That was outstanding. They've said from the beginning that they wanted to turn Mr. Chips into Scarface, and this was a brilliant transition for Walter. Even though I knew what was about to happen to Gus, I still was stunned at the result. Walt is officially a ruthless bastard, and I can't wait to see what they do with the final season.

This is a brilliant analysis of the final episode and season by Alan Sepinwall.

Hrm, I am intrigued. Tagged for later.

What a fantastic season ending!

And if anyone hasn't mentioned it yet, the Breaking Bad Insider Podcast is pretty good. It usually has Vince Gilligan, some of the other writers, and a cast member or two on it (love the episode with Bob Odenkirk (Saul, my favorite character BTW), and they go very in-depth on each episode, kind of like what you would expect in the DVD commentaries. I'm currently playing catch up with the earlier seasons' podcasts.

Holy sh*t indeed

Spoiler:
I laughed at the plant. Didn't Feinberg make some crack about "Shoot the plant!" last week on his podcast with Sepinwall?

It would appear the AV Club is doing a 4 part series with Gilligan discussing each episode. Past articles/interviews/commentaries have been brilliant.

And Sepinwall has an interview, too.

That image will not leave my mind. Will. Not. Leave.

I'm way behind, just got into the show recently and finished Season 2. About the finale...

Spoiler:
Yeah, it is kind of cheap, but it does work on a characterization level. Walter, as he says at one point, is the unfortunate genius whose future was once promising, but who has witnessed his peers surpass him in nearly every conceivable way despite in many cases being less deserving. He only really pays lip service to the idea of making the world a better place for his family; his real motive seems to be to prove everybody wrong about him, which is to say, to change their opinions about him and perhaps in the process improve his own sense of self worth. Now, because Walt's defining character trait would seem to be always making the wrong choice, his strategy for achieving this is to invest in an absurdly dangerous and secretive industry that prevents him from achieving any recognition or even spending the money he makes (without convincing everybody his son actually made that money via the internet). He of course manages to alienate his wife, his son, his brother in law, his ex-colleagues, and even his druglord partner in the process of failing.

The joke behind the airplane thing is that even karma fails to notice how much evil the man has done, killing a whole bunch of random innocent people rather than give him his due.


Also, just made this:

IMAGE(http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y276/Kolian/breakingbad.jpg)

That finale was awesome:

Spoiler:

I didn't really think they would kill Gus off. I figured they would get clsoe but Gus would escape somehow. Then the explosion and when Gus walked out I said "Hah, knew it. They wouldn't kill him off... wait why are they only showing one side.. Oh snap!"

The reveal at the end that Walt had poisoned the kid? Yeah, Walt is definitely a ruthless bastard.

As usual, Holy sh*t.

trichy, SpacePPoliceman and Bonus_Eruptus wrote:
Holy sh*t.

This. Breaking Bad is the best show on television.