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#602357 - 09/28/13 08:28 PM Re: breaking bad : season 5 [Re: madget]
madget Offline
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Registered: 05/11/01
Posts: 4870
http://www.ew.com/ew/gallery/0,,20302134_20737170,00.html?stitched

EW took the time to rank every single episode of Breaking Bad from worst to best.

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#602358 - 09/29/13 04:41 AM Re: breaking bad : season 5 [Re: madget]
madget Offline
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Registered: 05/11/01
Posts: 4870
http://tv.yahoo.com/blogs/tv-news/breaki...-150629521.html

Interview with Uncle Jack. Had no idea he was Buck in Kill Bill.

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#602359 - 09/29/13 10:40 PM Re: breaking bad : season 5 [Re: Allen Montgomery]
Allen Montgomery Offline
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Registered: 05/08/00
Posts: 7072
Originally Posted By: Allen Montgomery
I'm guessing Jesse will make it to the end, though, while Todd won't

Didn't take Nostradamus to figure that one out. I am left wondering, however, what kind of future anyone thinks Jesse has in front of him (Jesse included).
_________________________
"The trouble with being a ghost writer or artist is that you must remain anonymous without credit.
If one wants the credit, one has to cease being a ghost and become a leader or innovator."
Bob Kane

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#602361 - 09/30/13 03:44 PM Re: breaking bad : season 5 [Re: Allen Montgomery]
madget Offline
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Registered: 05/11/01
Posts: 4870
Well, much like the initial confrontation with Tuco in Season 1 (when Walt blows out the room with the magic of Science) his plans work out rather implausibly well. And, much as I loved the confrontation with his former associates, I think it'd ultimately be pretty easy for Elliot and Gretchen to wriggle out of Walt's bluff once the initial shock of the encounter passes for them.

Overall though, while the blatant effectiveness of the machine gun trick was pretty eyebrow-raising for me, the finale was very satisfying in that it certainly wasn't inconsistent with anything that came before. They even bothered to establish, via Jesse a few episodes back, that Walt is blessed with tremendous luck, time and time again. As finales go, much as Gilligan promised, 'Felina' did an impressive job of avoiding any deliberate ambiguity while tying up more loose ends than I would've thought possible in a 55-minute episode that didn't even find it necessary to eschew Breaking Bad's usual contemplative pacing. It was a very Walt-centric finale, sparing almost no time for Jesse, but his box-making reverie sufficiently made up for that I think, an odd little callback to Season 3's "Kafkaesque" episode.

A few odds and ends:

http://entertainment.time.com/2013/09/30/breaking-bad-watch-say-hello-to-my-little-friend/

http://www.vulture.com/2013/09/dream-of-jesse-pinkmans-happy-ending.html)

http://blogs.wsj.com/speakeasy/2013/09/29/breaking-bad-finale-recap-felina/

http://www.rollingstone.com/movies/news/vince-gilligan-walt-is-not-darth-vader-20130925

I'm sure I'll find out with a little more internet surfing, but at the moment, I'm unsure of and wondering why the episode is called 'Felina' ... ?

Favorite bits:

- Walt confronting Gretchen/Elliot. The image of them tagged by red lasers as bedraggled Walt looms behind them like a phantom, admonishing them: "Cheer up, beautiful people," might be one of my favorite moments from the final half-season. This whole scene was really terrific. He has always been a dark phantom looming in the shadows of their privileged life (even if we never do get the full details of their ambiguous falling-out); here that is made manifest, and the performances (especially Cranston's) are pitch-perfect.

- Walt's close call with the police in the opening. Unique, visually interesting way of executing a moment of near-capture.

A couple minor bits I could've done without:

- The flashback to the pilot as Walt roams his house. We get it; this was totally unnecessary, a cliche trick BB usually knows better than to indulge. At least it was dispensed with pretty quickly.

- The call from Lydia at the end, where Walt explains he poisoned her. I just see no reason we needed this. Maybe a shot of her dead to confirm the poisoning worked as intended, but not a conversation.

- The final song as things close. I think BB has time and again done a surprisingly great job choosing music to use. That final song though, eh.

But nitpicks aside, I feel pretty positive about the finale overall.

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#602362 - 09/30/13 03:56 PM Re: breaking bad : season 5 [Re: madget]
madget Offline
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Registered: 05/11/01
Posts: 4870
Sure enough -- didn't take long.

Quote:

"Felina" is an anagram for "finale", and is also the feminine version of the word "feline" in Italian and Spanish.

The title is a reference to the 1959 song "El Paso" by Western music artist Marty Robbins. The song concerns an unnamed cowboy who falls in love with a woman named Felina, gets shot by his enemies, and dies in her arms. The song plays in Walt's stolen car in New Hampshire, and is later hummed by Walt as he assembles the M60.

Walt's birth year matches the year which Marty Robbins song "El Paso" was released.

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#602363 - 09/30/13 05:51 PM Re: breaking bad : season 5 [Re: madget]
madget Offline
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Registered: 05/11/01
Posts: 4870
Also a bit putting the ratings explosion for the final episodes in perspective:

http://insidetv.ew.com/2013/09/30/breaking-bad-series-finale-ratings/

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#602364 - 10/01/13 08:05 PM Re: breaking bad : season 5 [Re: madget]
madget Offline
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Registered: 05/11/01
Posts: 4870
http://www.avclub.com/articles/felina,102961/

The directorial care and the way Walt is treated as a ghost gliding peripherally into scenes stuck out to me more on 2nd viewing. Really good work by Gilligan as director this episode.

Also, one of the funniest moments in a long time, right after Walt's "pop!" to Elliot and Gretchen, is the way he mumbles: "Darkness." Man that was great.

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#602365 - 10/01/13 10:40 PM Re: breaking bad : season 5 [Re: madget]
Allen Montgomery Offline
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Registered: 05/08/00
Posts: 7072
Too many convenient logistical details. As I recall:

The Gray Matter couple apparently don't subscribe to a security monitoring service.

Super-nervous Lydia owes her demise to being written as a repetitive cartoon character (and the bizarre Deus Ex Ricin).

Skyler's apartment has some weird pillar in the kitchen which allows for dramatic camera shifts.

The Neo-Nazis not only allow Walt to drive his car into their compound and park it how he wants, they don't check the gigantic trunk (bomb, maybe?).

Walt is hit only once in the machine gun barrage, lives to keep acting and finish the episode.

Todd and Jack survive, as well (but no one else), for a trite dramatic payoff.



Then to address the great revelation that Walt actually cooked meth because he enjoyed it, not for his family's benefit this really makes his getting so chewed up over Hank's death much more difficult to swallow; and the price he paid for his attachment to Jesse further makes no sense. Additionally, the Ricin should have been used much earlier... on Marie. Never once did I ever believe Walt was "evil," but rather purposely written to be as morally conflicted as possible.


All in all, if you think about it, this series was carefully constructed yet a nonsensical mess. If you only *feel* about it, it was probably great.
_________________________
"The trouble with being a ghost writer or artist is that you must remain anonymous without credit.
If one wants the credit, one has to cease being a ghost and become a leader or innovator."
Bob Kane

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#602366 - 10/02/13 12:06 AM Re: breaking bad : season 5 [Re: Allen Montgomery]
madget Offline
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Registered: 05/11/01
Posts: 4870

The show powers through logistical implausibilities time and again, which has been true since the first episode, really. But that's not the same thing as being a nonsensical mess. The smallest details are incredibly well thought-out, particularly in Season 3-5 (though the attention to detail in 1-2 is nothing to sneeze at either). The show rewards multiple viewings, rewards thinking about at length, studying carefully. But this isn't realism we're dealing with. I think getting too hung up on how realistic certain things are -- though I fully confess I'm frequently guilty of it it myself -- is kind of a waste. The implausibilities of Breaking Bad are certainly no worse than any Western you could point to, and that's what the creator thought of the story as. There are plenty of terrific Westerns, but anticlimactic realism isn't exactly what that genre trades in.

What's important is that the show is consistent to itself, and the characters are consistent to themselves. The themes are consistent to themselves. And I don't think they ever fully dropped the ball on any of those things. There are a few bits here or there that I question a little, in terms of characters' decisions or actions, but there's nothing that I just flat-out don't buy or that jars me out of the show's spell. I wasn't too thrilled with Jesse's doofish confusion about a bystander being a hitman Walt hired; and Uncle Jack plays into Walt's final gambit a little too easily, probably. But these things are so minor compared to the sins of most serialized TV shows, and counterbalanced by such dazzling high points.

I don't find it to be a very cloying show, emotion-wise. It gives wide berth to a lot of sentimental gimmicks, when compared against the rest of the medium. That's not to say it doesn't manipulate viewer emotions, but, I mean, come on -- that's simply a part of storytelling. I vaguely remember you (I think it was you) had high praise for the movie Source Code, which threw its whole set-up away to end on a cheesy Kodak moment, as I recall. Gilligan & Co. manipulated audience emotion with intelligent precision, interesting aims, and an appreciation/respect for the audience's own intelligence. Making you feel good just for the sake of making you feel good isn't something I think very many people would accuse Breaking Bad of.

If we're just nitpicking logistics though, of your bullet points: #1 didn't bother me (Gretchen deactivated the main house security, and I accept that Walt is smart enough to get as far as their courtyard without having to be walked through his whole process). #2 -- I like the AV Club write-up's attention to the finale's focus on machinery that keeps moving on its own, and tying that to the predictability of certain characters. Walt is a chemist and by the finale, people are just another ingredient. He knows how to use them now, mix them, predict them, almost as skillfully as chemicals in a lab. This is illustrated early in the episode with the phone call he places to get Elliot/Gretchen's address. But anyway, yes, Lydia's fastidious, schedule-oriented nature was embraced as a fundamental part of who she is, a part that could be reasonably counted on, and exploited. #3 -- I liked the shot you're talking about, but I do get a kick out of your description, made me laugh. #4 -- I agree with this. #5 -- if anything, I thought it more strange that he got hit at all, especially with any degree of lethality. He was safely below the horizon-line of fire. #6 -- I didn't find the dramatic payoff to be trite, but yes, it all works out a little bit pat.

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#602367 - 10/02/13 12:14 AM Re: breaking bad : season 5 [Re: madget]
madget Offline
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Registered: 05/11/01
Posts: 4870
Oh, and as for Walt's "great revelation" -- obviously it's not much a revelation to the audience at this point, but it's a fairly significant revelation (or at least admission) for Walt himself. But I don't think that's that, on that particular point. I think he did do it all in part for his family, but that that became a convenient excuse while blinded to how much (and how destructive) of an influence his ego was wielding over his decisions. Admitting it was for himself, because he liked it, was important, and represents a self-awareness Walt had been missing or too busy to pay much attention to, previously. But one thing that always struck me about Walt, even when the show wasn't specifically focused on it, was that he really did value his family, and valued providing and caring for that family. Walt's evil was believable because his course into evil always was in character. Infidelity or freedom from the family was never of any interest. His only act of direct infidelity to his wife was quite clumsy and quite obviously motivated by her infidelity to him, which he was genuinely hurt by. And in the end he does leave his family a $9 million payday. Sure, he put them in mortal danger and kind of ruined their lives in the process, but hey, just sayin'...

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