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#599485 - 07/13/12 09:52 PM Re: breaking bad : season 5 [Re: Charles Reece]
Allen Montgomery Offline
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In the final meet-up between Michael Douglas and Robert Duvall, anti-hero Douglas essentially forces Duvall to kill him. You could really sense the lack of a desire to do that on Duvall's part (a testimony to his acting skills), whereas most directors and/or actors would have approached it as a "finally nailed 'im" way.

I doubt very seriously the BB formula would resolve like that in the first place, much less with the multiple layers of empathy that Schumacher, Duvall and Douglas gave Falling Down.
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#599486 - 07/13/12 09:58 PM Re: breaking bad : season 5 [Re: Charles Reece]
madget Offline
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Registered: 05/11/01
Posts: 4870
The Michael Douglas movie? As I recall, he has a kinda cheesy moment of realization (a tearful "When did I become the bad guy?") and then sort of lets the Good Cop shoot him down, tumbling dramatically off the pier into the water.

I'm not sure I agree that "the Good Cop gets the Bad Guy on his last day on the force" is a "gutsy" ending, but I suppose it's conceivable BB could do a version of it. Some scenario where everything explodes into a potential bloodbath, and Walt realizes he's the one who really needs to be taken out. Gilligan has more often hinted at a Scarface-like trajectory; but then again, Walt is an entirely different animal than Tony Montana, with more nagging remorse, and has already admitted that he's "lived too long."

Personally I don't envision Hank dying either, even though it makes sense. I mean, something bad has to happen, presumably. I suppose this season will be the real test of how far the show is willing to take its premise. It could go all the way: Jesse, Hank, Skylar, Marie, even Jr. all die; and Walt is left standing. On the other hand, it has to stay true to the characters it's created, so I'm not 100% convinced a higher final body count necessarily = better quality storytelling. All depends. But if we're measuring the show's narrative success by the size of its balls, Walt sacrificing himself isn't the path there.

Thinking about Walt's motivations though, we might consider another possibility: there's always been this thread of it being for the family. Even Hank's treatment is paid for with the drug money, and Walt seems to consider Hank family. Instead of taking everyone out, the show could take a different tack, where Walt becomes a more mafia-style mob king, keeping the family *together* though its crime-life. Forcing Hank into knowing or unknowing submission would probably take stronger writing chops than knocking him off.

We'll see starting Sunday night.

K

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#599488 - 07/13/12 10:27 PM Re: breaking bad : season 5 [Re: madget]
Allen Montgomery Offline
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Registered: 05/08/00
Posts: 7071
Originally Posted By: madget
I'm not sure I agree that "the Good Cop gets the Bad Guy on his last day on the force" is a "gutsy" ending

Mainly I'm referring to Duvall's "let's not do this" performance. Sometimes Hank was written with that flavor, but in the last season he turned into Nancy Drew.
_________________________
"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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#599489 - 07/13/12 10:48 PM Re: breaking bad : season 5 [Re: Allen Montgomery]
Ted Kilvington Offline
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Seems hard to believe the same director gave us both "Falling Down" and "Batman and Robin".
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#599490 - 07/13/12 10:51 PM Re: breaking bad : season 5 [Re: madget]
Charles Reece Offline
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Loc: us of fuckin' a
I like that idea, M.
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#599491 - 07/13/12 11:02 PM Re: breaking bad : season 5 [Re: Ted Kilvington]
Allen Montgomery Offline
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Registered: 05/08/00
Posts: 7071
Originally Posted By: Ted Kilvington
Seems hard to believe the same director gave us both "Falling Down" and "Batman and Robin".

Also St. Elmo's Fire, Lost Boys and D.C. Cab. Schumacher's all over the map. He had an amazing little run with Flawless, Tigerland and Phone Booth. Then he does something like Town Creek where he personally hijacked the script and turned it into an incoherent mess. I guess he figured since he wrote The Wiz, he's infallible.
_________________________
"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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#599493 - 07/13/12 11:39 PM Re: breaking bad : season 5 [Re: Charles Reece]
madget Offline
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Registered: 05/11/01
Posts: 4870
I do think it'd be a great way to defy expectations while keeping in step with Walt's character. I can envision a story arc wherein Walt decides, "I run this family now," and sort of protecting Hank "from himself." Everyone's been hyped into expecting Scarface; maybe they suddenly go The Godfather route instead. Walt's certainly manipulative enough, and in Season 4 I feel like we actually witnessed his ability to lie improve. The whole story, if you think about it, really kicked off from his frustration with his passive, emasculated role within not only society, but his own family. Maybe Season 5 is about him showing everyone who wears the pants now, twisting them all into complicity, including even bit players like Saul. Jesse possibly being the renegade. Nothing in the previews would seem to hint at this though.

But to go with it as a prediction anyway, however unlikely, let's say this: Walt twists entire family and faux-family (Saul, Jesse, maybe even Mike) into complicity/submission to him, through various manipulations and subtle bullying, but Jesse becomes more and more haunted by the past and more and more wise to Walt's dishonest ways. Jesse tries to jump ship and divorce self from Walt's world; Walt is no longer willing to let that happen though. Confrontation between Walt & Jesse ensues in which Walt confesses -- or maybe brags, rather -- about how he's manipulated Jesse, also "for his own good/to protect him from himself, etc." One of them kills the other or maybe they both die, leaving the crime dynasty they've created behind to face the music on their own.

(As for Batman & Robin, it's hard to believe anybody directed that.)

K


Edited by madget (07/13/12 11:49 PM)

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#599528 - 07/16/12 12:11 PM Re: breaking bad : season 5 [Re: madget]
madget Offline
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Registered: 05/11/01
Posts: 4870
From this point on in the thread there will be SPOILERS.

Anyone needs tips on where/how to view episodes hit me up.

---------------------------------

Episode 1: I was happy to see some signals here that my prediction might actually have some legs. I liked the episode's systematic dribble-down illustration of the new hierarchy/way of things, the scene with Ted being the particular stroke of genius. Not only is the depiction of him harrowing in a way that jolts us out of having too much fun with it all, but the writers' sourcing the effects of the new fear to the subjects of that fear rather than the object of it (mostly, at least) is smart. Ted's submission is voluntarily given; Skylar need only accept it. Same with Skylar's to Walt. The final line of the episode, to me, nods strongly towards the more Godfather-like direction I mused on earlier. Walt, ego entirely on fire now, doesn't demand submission to his will as much as expect it. Once people fear you sufficiently, you can proceed with a light touch and the pretense of tenderness, the pretense of being the Protector. It's all very promising.

As for criticisms ... nothing major, for me. The magnet plan seemed a little out there, but it was certainly interesting, and they sell it sufficiently I think. My feelings are a little mixed on Mike's reaction to it all. His interactions with Walt and Jesse in this episode are maybe just a bit too pat and cute. But Mike not being a very deeply developed character, it only bothered me slightly.

K

PS - No idea what to make of the opening scene, quite, but as usual, it's intriguing and obviously a flash forward of some kind. It seems precursor to some kind of violent showdown, so I'm guessing we catch up to it somewhere in the last five episodes or so.

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#599540 - 07/16/12 06:03 PM Re: breaking bad : season 5 [Re: madget]
MightyQuin Offline
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Registered: 01/26/02
Posts: 1069
Loc: Tallahassee,FL
I appreciate that PS, Madget. I only twigged onto Breaking Bad by the second season and wasn't sure whether that opening scene was a flashback of Walt at or before the beginning of the series.

Actually, I liked the magnet bit. A plan involving some straightforward action that begins, proceeds and finishes in maybe 10 minutes screen time was a good change of pace for the series. As long as Walt doesn't go full on super-villain and I don't think there's much chance of that.

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#599545 - 07/16/12 11:30 PM Re: breaking bad : season 5 [Re: MightyQuin]
madget Offline
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Registered: 05/11/01
Posts: 4870
Well, it's established as a flash-forward by what he does with the bacon; he shapes it into a 52, indicating that it's his 52nd birthday. The very first episode of the show, Season 1, saw Walt greeted by a breakfast plate on which his wife had formed the bacon into a 50. So two years will have elapsed. I hadn't dwelt on it much, but the sequence does give us a string of pretty intriguing information.

1. Walt has assumed a false identity.
2. Walt has assumed a new appearance.
3. Walt is somewhat subdued, distracted.
4. Walt is coughing again a little and taking pills, suggesting perhaps his cancer is no longer in remission.
5. Walt still has money to throw around. (I am curious how at this point in the story Walt obtains new money, since Skylar and Walt blew most of their existing load last season, what with treating Hank, the Beneke stuff, Walt's excesses, etc.)
6. Walt is purchasing heavy firepower with it, and a mystery item or items in the black bag (I assume some kind of explosives, but who knows).

What to make of all that info I don't know, but it certainly sets up a lot of interesting questions and possibilities about what's coming.

K



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