Wow. What a show, what a season, what a finale. If Breaking Bad was a woman, I would marry it without a prenuptial agreement. I’d buy it anything it desired. I’d let it sleep around on me. I’d endure its physical and verbal abuse.

Seriously though, what a phenomenal season. It’s a free country and all, but people who don’t watch Breaking Bad should be ridiculed and shamed; short of being stoned or put in a stockade. I will never look at car washes, call bells, the ABQ, Pontiac Azteks, chemistry, fried chicken, meth, Malcolm in the Middle, Bryan Cranston, Aaron Paul and Giancarlo Esposito in the same way…let alone, the medium of television. It’s going to be a long wait until the fifth and final season.

By the way, I’m going to go as Tio Salamanca for Halloween. Ding! Ding! Ding! Ding! Now who wants to go out and destroy a superlab with me?

@teemunny

 

Here are some postmortem (pun intended) links:

 

RECAPS / REVIEWS (some of my favorite critics / BB experts, who I’ve followed (mostly) for the past two years, commenting/writing about the finale):

How fantastic was it that the bomb’s detonator is the bell that Tio has been so ominously ringing for parts of the last three seasons? I knew I was going to miss Esposito whenever Gus died, but these last few Tio appearances have allowed Mark Margolis to do some incredible work, as well. No words, so little range of motion or expression, and yet so much said with just those eyes and the curl of his lip. Who knew I’d actually be rooting for the sick old bastard in the end?

Gus’s face blown off and still walking, adjusting the tie – precise neatness to the end – then dropping dead? Not my favorite ending, but I’m fine with it. To me, the brilliant part of the finale came in those last few minutes when Walt talked with Jesse and Skyler.

Walter has fallen far enough to poison a child without batting an eye or betraying a blink of remorse. He’s a guy who carries a bomb around in one of his baby daughter’s diaper bags and pokes at his enemies’ defenses with other people, as if their lives were ten-foot-poles whose function is simply to allow him to stay at a safe distance. And there’s no bottom yet in sight, which could make the remaining seasons of Breaking Bad a hellish descent indeed.

I don’t know that Vince Gilligan has a post-it stuck somewhere in his office listing the general narrative priorities of Breaking Bad. But if such a document were to exist, it’s fair to surmise that “Plausibly depict the interpersonal vagaries of the southwestern methamphetamine trade” would rank somewhere below “Revel in the philosophical ramifications of moral ambiguity,” and “Stylized violent imagery is kewl!”

Giancarlo Esposito and Mark Margolis will be missed — but you can’t say that Gilligan didn’t give them one hell of a sayonara. Cranston and Paul couldn’t have been better. As a season, this unrelentingly tense show just seemed to up the difficulty level episode-to-episode, and, in this live wire finale, Gilligan stuck the landing. Was anyone disappointed? If so, how could you be? Was The Sopranos really ever any better than this show? I’d say no.

My prediction is that, when ‘Breaking Bad’s’ series finale arrives, Walt’s death or ultimate punishment will come at the hands of Jesse. How could that not happen, especially if Jesse ever found out who poisoned Brock? Finally Jesse would realize that he’s allied himself with a monster, a monster who manipulated him back into an alliance that was mainly about saving Walt’s skin.

“I think it is perfect,” said Esposito, 53. “I thought it was quite shocking to have something so horrific happen and you don’t really know what’s happened until it’s upon you. And still the instinct is, as human nature goes, to fix his tie as he goes down. It’s just brilliant. It’s an incredible character study of a human being, and I think the writers nailed it. I always imagined how Gus would go. In a hail of bullets? Would he be poisoned? And I think, much like the character is so quietly and silently explosive, the end of Season 4 is commensurate to that. It’s really explosive, and it’s really kind of marvelous that he’s able to stand up and walk. But that’s Gus.”

 

VINCE GILLIGAN SPEAKS (creator / showrunner / writer of Breaking Bad is interviewed):

There are two big questions left wanting for answers: one is what is the state of Walt’s cancer, and the other is what about Hank? Will Hank ever figure out who Walter White truly is? Those would be the only really, for my money, big questions left outstanding. If for some reason a meteor hit the earth or something and then episode 413 was the last episode we were ever gonna do,  I would feel pretty good except for those two being the only outstanding questions. However you slice it, I feel fortunate that we’ve got 16 more. I’m happy about that.

For me, this is the most creatively satisfying job that I have ever had, or that I will likely ever have, and I will probably be in a fetal position on the day that it all ends. I will miss it intensely. I also don’t want to tread water for seasons on end and have people begin to say, “God, ‘Breaking Bad,’ that used to be a really good show – is that thing still on the air?” That would kill me. I would much rather go out a little bit early and miss it fondly for the rest of my life.

And I guess the thing we try to do is to go forward with courage and to tell ourselves there are no sacred cows with this show. When you go forward like that, there are things you miss afterward. But the show was always, from conception onward, designed to be about change and about transformation and not about stasis. It was always designed to be a much more closed-ended, finite thing. And to that end, if it’s going to stay with flux and change, we have to find these natural and organic things that we do indeed change.

My writers and I are inspired constantly by great movies and TV shows. Not just crime movies, but westerns. We take a lot of inspiration from the “spaghetti westerns” of Sergio Leone. Once Upon a Time in the West is a particular favorite, and the first fifteen minutes of that movie is something that I have potential directors of the show watch before they start directing for us.

 

EXTRAS:



  • Breaking Bad – Gag Reel – Season 3:

  • Better Call Saul:

a frame from Episode 401, Breaking Bad foreshadowing

Hector “Tio” Salamanca, we’ll miss his sourpuss and his bell dings

Heisenberg won, we’ll see this evil bastard again


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Breaking Bad Postmortem Thread