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  1. #1

    Breaking Bad Season 5-B (Spoilers obviously)

    Well the season got off to a rousing start on Sunday night.

    Great move by the writers to not delay the Hank / Walt confrontation, with Walt receiving a well-deserved fist to his face in Hank's garage.

    Let's use this thread to discuss Breaking Bad as it wraps up its final 8 (now 7) episodes.

    Some obvious questions to ponder as things wind down:

    What is future-Walt going to use that giant gun in the trunk of his car for? Who will receive the ricin he just recovered from the electrical outlet in his bedroom?

    Is Breaking Bad the best ever TV show / serial drama?

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Troublemaker View Post
    Well the season got off to a rousing start on Sunday night.

    Great move by the writers to not delay the Hank / Walt confrontation, with Walt receiving a well-deserved fist to his face in Hank's garage.

    Let's use this thread to discuss Breaking Bad as it wraps up its final 8 (now 7) episodes.

    Some obvious questions to ponder as things wind down:

    What is future-Walt going to use that giant gun in the trunk of his car for? Who will receive the ricin he just recovered from the electrical outlet in his bedroom?

    Is Breaking Bad the best ever TV show / serial drama?
    I thought the opening was terrific setting up most of season 5 B as a flashback and provoking many questions about what's to come. It was reminiscent of the opening of season two with the debris in the swimming pool, that was finally revealed at the end of the season. But retrieving the ricin portends a big finale that comes after the opening scene. So where in the last seven episodes does time catch up to the opening? The after and before encounter with the next door neighbor was also clever. How much time will elapse during the season? The condition of the exterior of the house suggests it's been abandoned for awhile.

    It could end badly for all the main characters but will the writers make it that dark?
    Last edited by 77devil; 08-13-2013 at 01:32 PM.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by 77devil View Post
    I thought the opening was terrific setting up most of season 5 B as a flashback and provoking many questions about what's to come. It was reminiscent of the opening of season two of the debris in the swimming pool which was revealed at the end of the season. But retrieving the ricin portends a big finale that comes after the opening scene. So where in the last seven episodes does time catch up to the opening? The after and before encounter with the next door neighbor was also clever. How much time elapses during the season? The condition of the exterior of the house suggests it's been abandoned for awhile.
    About nine months. Walt receives the machine gun on his 52nd birthday, and the "future" scenes appear to be taking place a few days after that. The current scenes are taking place a few months after Walt's 51st birthday, which took place in the fourth episode of Season 5A.

  4. #4
    Yeah, I think the timeline goes:

    51st b'day: Skyler walks into the swimming pool (very artistic shot). Marie/Hank take the kids.

    51 + 3 months: Marie asks Skyler to take the kids back, "it's been 3 months," doesn't want to "enable" Skyler. Skyler shows Walt the storage unit o' money. Walt gets an MRI. Walt retires from meth-cooking.

    51 + 4 months: While getting chemo, Walt hears from Saul about Jesse's plans for his 2 duffel bags. Walt returns the bags to Jesse and reveals to him "I've been out for a month." So this is where we are now.

    52nd b'day: Walt buys the giant gun and retrieves the ricin.

    With 7 episodes left, a reasonable guess would be the writers take 5 episodes to go from where we are now to Walt going into hiding under his scraggly Mr. Lambert guise. Then 2 episodes to resolve why he comes out of hiding to buy the gun and retreive the ricin. One last ego trip & not leaving things well enough alone would be an appropriate ending to Walt's story. But Breaking Bad tends to surprise with their pacing and plot, so who knows.

  5. #5
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    Walt = Gus

    1. Talking to Lydia in the car wash in the same manner Gus spoke to him in Los Pollos Hermanos
    2. Putting the towel down to kneel on to throw up in the car
    3. Others...?

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Troublemaker View Post
    Some obvious questions to ponder as things wind down:

    What is future-Walt going to use that giant gun in the trunk of his car for? Who will receive the ricin he just recovered from the electrical outlet in his bedroom?
    Here's the thing about the ricin - the whole point of the poison is kill someone without anyone noticing. But Walt's secret is out and he's already on the run - why would he need to act in secret at this point?

    Is Breaking Bad the best ever TV show / serial drama?
    I have to say no - Breaking Bad lacks the deep bench of well-drawn characters of a show like The Sopranos or the searing social commentary of a show like The Wire. But Breaking Bad is probably the most *entertaining* prestige drama to date.

  7. #7
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    I very much enjoyed the new Talking Bad (modeled after the Talking Dead, with the same host) as they had Vince Gilligan as a guest.
    Sounds like a lot of good action coming...

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by A-Tex Devil View Post
    1. Talking to Lydia in the car wash in the same manner Gus spoke to him in Los Pollos Hermanos
    2. Putting the towel down to kneel on to throw up in the car
    3. Others...?
    Others.

  9. #9

    Ricin etc

    The writer of the series (only one they would allow to talk about this season's possible progression) was on "Talking Bad" which followed the first new episode on Sunday night.

    While being (as expected) quite evasive, he made a comment along the lines of there is enough ricin present to kill several people.

    Whether "Breaking Bad" is the best drama offered by AMC is somewhat subjective. I feel that "Mad Men" might take that overall award. But along the way I've become addicted to "The Walking Dead," enjoyed the storytelling of "The Killing," and "Hell on Wheels" also has a certain appeal. I would rather watch any of those shows (where everything is not settled in one episode) than much of the stuff that network television broadcasts!

    FWIW: The newest AMC show "Low Winter Sun" has some potential. It is set in Detroit, and the first episode showed there will be some serious "how bad IS the good guy?" or even "how good IS the bad guy?" issues to resolve. A lead character is Lennie James, an excellent British actor whom you might recognize as appearing in a couple of episodes as Morgan in "The Walking Dead."

    FWIW #2: At least for a limited time, AMC has available online the first current episodes of "Breaking Bad" and "Low Winter Sun."

    k

  10. #10
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    The oranges!!

    Quote Originally Posted by 77devil View Post
    The after and before encounter with the next door neighbor was also clever.
    And she dropped a bag of oranges. Godfather, anyone??

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by tommy View Post
    And she dropped a bag of oranges. Godfather, anyone??
    Breaking Bad has played with audience expectations on that before, with the oranges that conspicuously landed on Ted's head right he broke his neck, but did not die.

  12. #12
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    Best TV drama ever?

    My vote goes to Hill Street Blues, with the West Wing a close second.

    Best AMC drama ever?

    Another vote for Mad Men over Breaking Bad.

    And I've got to figure out a way to get the Twilight Zone into the mix.

    That's just me.

  13. #13

    Comparisons can be problematic

    Quote Originally Posted by jimsumner View Post
    Best TV drama ever?

    My vote goes to Hill Street Blues, with the West Wing a close second.

    Best AMC drama ever?

    Another vote for Mad Men over Breaking Bad.

    And I've got to figure out a way to get the Twilight Zone into the mix.

    That's just me.
    Unfortunately, many of the "votes" can only reflect what the viewer had available for comparison.

    I agree that "Hill Street Blues" deserves consideration, for several reasons. But so should "NYPD Blue." And, for that matter, even "Kojak" (Who loves ya, baby?!?). THEME

    But rest assured many people on these boards never heard of any of those series, nor something like "St Elsewhere," or "ER," or even "Homicide - Life on the Street."

    Since this is mainly a basketball board, the same issues arise trying to discuss the relative talents of players like Jeff Mullins, or Bob Verga, or Danny Ferry, or Johnny Dawkins, or even Grant Hill. Those of us who were fortunate enough to see them play in a Duke uniform generally have a different perspective from those who only have film or word-of-mouth stories to make their comparisons.

    k

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Duvall View Post
    Here's the thing about the ricin - the whole point of the poison is kill someone without anyone noticing. But Walt's secret is out and he's already on the run - why would he need to act in secret at this point?
    Interesting point. I like the current popular theory that the ricin is meant for himself, that future-Walt is going on a murder-suicide mission with perhaps some redemptive quality to it. He could probably easily re-create the ricin on his own if I remember correctly that in season 2 he basically just bought some beans and home-made the ricin. But he retrieves the old ricin from the electrical panel because he doesn't want to leave anything behind that can hurt others, showing the same concern Jesse did in 5A when he freaked out over the lost ricin cigarette, which forced Walt to put a fake one in Jesse's Roomba to alleviate his concern.


    Quote Originally Posted by Duvall View Post
    I have to say no - Breaking Bad lacks the deep bench of well-drawn characters of a show like The Sopranos or the searing social commentary of a show like The Wire. But Breaking Bad is probably the most *entertaining* prestige drama to date.
    Yeah I basically agree. Like you, I find BB more consistently entertaining than those other shows. I could basically do without The Wire seasons 2 and 5, for example. In the end, that for me pushes BB ahead of The Wire and other shows, but I get that it's easier to be consistently entertaining when the scope is smaller and the plot is so tightly focused.

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by jimsumner View Post
    Best TV drama ever?

    My vote goes to Hill Street Blues
    Loved Hill Street Blues. HSB had my favorite theme music of all time that is somehow still incredibly moving/nostalgia-inducing when I hear it today. And I loved the opening roll-call gimmick leading into the theme.

  16. #16
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    Let's play a little game

    Over/under how long each of these characters remains alive! There are 7 episodes left. For ease of discussion, let's say that the episode we watched last week was Episode 1, and the last is Episode 8, all abbreviated as E1 or E8, etc. Taking the over means that the character is alive during the ending credits of that episode.

    1. Walt: E8 (does Walt live?)
    2. Hank: E6
    3. Skyler: E7
    4. Jesse: E8
    5. Lydia: E3
    6. Saul: E8 (Does Saul get that spin-off show? Does it occur after the end of BB?)
    7. Badger: after successfully pitching his Star Trek episode

    Any others you want to add?

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Duvall View Post
    Breaking Bad lacks the deep bench of well-drawn characters of a show like The Sopranos or the searing social commentary of a show like The Wire. But Breaking Bad is probably the most *entertaining* prestige drama to date.
    Really? I loved the Sopranos cast too, don't get me wrong, but Breaking Bad's depth of (at least in my mind) well-drawn characters includes: Walter White, Jesse Pinkman, Skyler White, Hank Schrader, Marie Schrader, Walter White, Jr., Saul Goodman, Mike Ehrmentraut, Gustavo Fring, Hector Salamanca, Badger and Skinny Pete, and then a secondary group that either was not on the show long enough or didn't get quite enough screen time to merit inclusion in the first group, but still were effective and memorable characters: Lydia, Todd, Gale Betticher, Ted Beneke, Agent Steve Gomez, Jane, Jane's father, Krazy-8, Tuco Salamanca, Don Eladio, and Huell. I'm sure I'm forgetting some, but that's a pretty deep bench!

  18. #18
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    The episode of Mythbusters on Discovery Channel this week tests some of the chemistry of Breaking Bad with creator Vince Gilligan and actor Aaron Paul who portrays Jesse Pinkman.

  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by Troublemaker View Post
    Interesting point. I like the current popular theory that the ricin is meant for himself, that future-Walt is going on a murder-suicide mission with perhaps some redemptive quality to it.
    I have thought since the first "Mr. Lambert" flash-forward that Walt intends to use the gun on a family member, probably Skylar. I see Skylar eventually turning state's on Walt, and him needing to eliminate her in order to destroy the key witness against him.

    Thus Walt goes full-circle from a guy doing bad things purportedly for the sake of his family, to a guy actively trying to kill his family in order to save himself. All pretense is stripped away from him, and he's revealed as a completely irredeemable monster.


    As far as BB's place in the pantheon of great TV shows - it's hard to say without seeing whether they stick the landing, but I will say this: there has been no show - EVER - that has had me as riveting to the edge of my seat as BB. I don't think I took a breath during the last five minutes Sunday night, and it's not the first time this show has had that effect on me.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Matches View Post
    I have thought since the first "Mr. Lambert" flash-forward that Walt intends to use the gun on a family member, probably Skylar. I see Skylar eventually turning state's on Walt, and him needing to eliminate her in order to destroy the key witness against him.

    Thus Walt goes full-circle from a guy doing bad things purportedly for the sake of his family, to a guy actively trying to kill his family in order to save himself. All pretense is stripped away from him, and he's revealed as a completely irredeemable monster.


    As far as BB's place in the pantheon of great TV shows - it's hard to say without seeing whether they stick the landing, but I will say this: there has been no show - EVER - that has had me as riveting to the edge of my seat as BB. I don't think I took a breath during the last five minutes Sunday night, and it's not the first time this show has had that effect on me.
    Whole wife testifying against husband thing will be tough to get around. I still say he's going back to either (1) save Jesse, or (2) re-establish that he "is the one that knocks" out of some pride-led thing.

    As for the above discussion, nothing compares to the Wire and Game of Thrones for sheer number of developed, mutli-dimensional, characters. I'd argue that BB is a little thin in this regard, even against Mad Men and Sopranos -- and that's OK. It's certainly not a character study other than with respect to its leads.

    As examples, imo, Prez in the wire, Brienne in GoT, Paulie in Sopranos, Harry Crane in Mad Men are much more flushed out characters than anyone beyond Walt, Jesse and Hank, and perhaps Skyler, in BB. And again, that's OK. That's not what BB is, and it's probably a better show for it.

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