Monthly Archives: September, 2013

Breaking Bad: Felina Review (9/10)

(More spoilers than a tin of hot fried spoilers)

Well then, that’s that. No abrupt cut to black, no twist “it was all a dream” ending and thankfully no surprise Malcolm in the Middle reveal at the very last minute. Breaking Bad is finally over after five seasons of near perfect television and by God, it was the most satisfying finale since Rachel got off the plane.

We weren’t left wondering, we weren’t left hanging and nobody thought that anything should be left open to interpretation. It was uncompromising, tense and packed full of punch the air f**k yeah moments from Badger and Skinny P’s surprise appearance to Jesse throttling Todd to death (the most satisfying moment of anything, ever).

Of course, a lot of it was predictable, but that is by no means a bad thing. The seeds of this episode have been sown since the start of series five. Walt had a rather large machine gun, some ricin and death in his eyes. How else was that gonna end? Of course no one can say they saw Walt using the machine gun in quite the way he did and it was fantastic to see Walt proving once again that he is one smart bastard.

Everyone got their closure. Skylar and Walt’s scene in the kitchen, where he finally admits that he did it all for himself and no one else… stellar acting from Anna Gunn and Bryan Cranston. If you didn’t well up even a little as Walt says goodbye to Holly and watches Junior through the window then you have a small black rock where your soul should be.

Walt giving Skylar the location of Hank’s body was also a tidy move that allows Skylar leverage with the DA and a way out, while also giving Marie the closure of a proper burial for poor old Hank (who I still expected to pop up and save everything at some point by the way).

My only real problem with the “goodbye half” of this episode was Walt Jr’s lack of closure. I suppose after everything Walt did, he shouldn’t get off so easily that everyone suddenly understands and forgives him. His actions, all supposedly for his family should cost him his son. There was a fitting irony to this, although it still didn’t sit entirely right with me.

Of course what can I really say about Walt’s spontaneous Grey Matter reunion, other than that it was beyond beautiful to see him make them piss their pants and finally find a way to get his hard earned money to his family.

And then, Walt kills people. A lot of people. Getting Lydia with the Ricin (thank God they finally used it), gunning down a gang of armed nazis, saving Jesse and finally lying down to die in the (metaphorical) arms of the one thing he truly loved in the end. His meth lab.

Everything Walt did in this episode proved what we all knew from the start. You do not mess with Heisenberg. He finally got to take the credit by dying in the lab and he finally regained a modicum of humanity through saving Jesse and avenging Hank.

Considering everything that has happened over the course of this phenomenal series, I really do not think anyone could have asked for more from the way it was all wrapped up.

Breaking Bad was one of the greats. A truly special, one of a kind show that never once wavered in it’s impeccable quality. Brilliant written, astonishingly acted and as addictive as a rock of the old blue meth we all love so much… The only question is, what on Earth do we do with our lives now?

Does Breaking Bad Deserve a Happy Ending?

There’s a little known show that used to be on a while back about a mafia boss, called The Sopranos (that description is more than a little oversimplified by the way). As you might expect from a show about a mafia boss, it’s not exactly chuckles from start to finish.

Our main hero, Tony Soprano kills and maims and tortures and yet we cheer him on through it all because this is television, these things aren’t really happening and hey, he’s a pretty charming guy when he isn’t cheating on his wife or doing any of the aforementioned maiming or killing.

But of course this show comes to an end, as all things do (except Doctor Who, which will no doubt outlive even time itself). Just in case you ever plan on watching The Sopranos, and you should by the way because it is absolutely fantastic television, MILD SPOILER; the last ever episode very famously just cuts to black partway through the last scene.

In so many ways, this was the only real way a show of this ilk could end. Tony Soprano was a sociopath and the FBI was apparently closing in on him and people wanted him dead. The cut to black offers no judgement and takes no sides in the end. Tony could have been shot, he could have spotted the feds coming for him, he could just have seen his daughter coming in late for a family dinner.

With Breaking Bad’s final episode looming, I find myself thinking about The Sopranos’ solution more and more and how much sense it made, as confused and annoyed as I was at the time.

Walter White is hands down a bigger monster than Tony Soprano could have ever been in his worst dreams. The mafia has a code of honour, twisted though it is. White is in the game for one person and one person alone, and that is himself. He has poisoned children, disposed of children’s bodies, watched people die, killed in cold blood and he blew up a motherf***ing old folks home and all just to save his skin.

We have people on both sides of the fence when it comes to the fate of Walter White. Heisenberg apologists who believe he should get in, kill uncle Jack and run away with Jesse to start their own brand of hats and there are those who want Walt to rot for his crimes.

There are more than a few similarities in Breaking Bad with The Sopranos and Vince Gilligan himself has said that without Tony Soprano, Walter White would never have existed. So just how will things go for Walt, Jesse and co? The stakes are so high that a fade to black might just cause heart attacks worldwide, but does anyone actually deserve to get out alive?

No matter what, Breaking Bad’s finale will be divisive and it will be talked about for years to come. That’s just what good TV is about.

Of course, there are those we all want to see put down, like that creepy little bastard Todd, and loveable nazi uncle Jack. But looking to the main characters, who deserves to get away? Jesse was a heroin junkie, meth dealer and murdered a man at point blank in cold blood.

He feels bad about it, sure, but does that change anything? For all of his brooding and his stance on keeping kids out of it, how does he know where the meth he makes goes? He doesn’t know for sure that kids aren’t ODing on his product somewhere out there, does he? As far as I’m concerned, his getting out was too little, too late.

Then there’s Skylar. She paints herself as a victim and of course, to an extent she was. However, even before she was caught up in laundering Walt’s meth empire, she was quite happy to cook books for Ted. She too, had so many chances to just get out but was simply too afraid of strapping on a pair and facing the consequences.

Now, here’s the big one. Hank deserved to die. As much as I shouted at the TV screen when it happened and as much as I am still in denial about it, his death was on him. Why didn’t he have back up? Because he was too prideful. He was obsessed with being the one to take down his brother in law so he could at least get fired a hero but going after the head of a giant meth empire with an ex meth head and one other cop is plain frickin’ stupid. End of story.

Walt Jr is the only decent chap left in town and as a result I am sure that he’s about to bite the big one. Gilligan seems to be a bit sadistic like that. But then again, isn’t that what Walt deserves? All the suffering he has caused in the name of his family, for it all to have been for nothing and to maybe even be directly responsible for his own sons death seems appropriate.

A show like Breaking Bad can elicit so many different opinions however, that everyone will have a different view of who should make it out and who shouldn’t. At the end of the day, does the show itself deserve a happy ending?

After everything, Jane, Andrea, Mike, Hank, plane crashes, explosions, misery addiction and mourning I don’t think it would be at all for feasible for Breaking Bad to have a happy ending. It can only have an ending.