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#600019 - 08/07/12 01:05 AM Re: breaking bad : season 5 [Re: madget]
MightyQuin Online   content
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You, my friend, have a dark sense of humor!

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#600124 - 08/13/12 08:55 AM Re: breaking bad : season 5 [Re: MightyQuin]
madget Offline
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Registered: 05/11/01
Posts: 4870
EP. 5:

It amazes me this is only Episode 5 of 16, they're packing in a lot of content this season while somehow still maintaining that suspenseful, unrushed pacing typical of the show. Further drawing on Westerns for inspiration, BB adds a Great Train Robbery to its impressive collection of meth misadventures.

Of course mostly I'm pondering the ramifications of the episode's conclusion. This is going to devastate Jesse, who's ability to float along as the relative moral center of the gang, the peacemaker if you will, I must imagine has just been shattered. The fact of it being a kid will of course be a particular sore spot for him.

A part of me foresees a trajectory where Jesse falls apart after this, becoming the weak link, with the surprisingly ruthless new character Todd rising to replace him in Walt's esteem, setting the stage for a Walt/Gus-like face-off between Jesse and Walt. However, Jesse has now been established as very inventive in his own right, and just as Walt outsmarted his Master Opponent in Gus, Jesse may have a chance to outsmart his in Walt. But, I have some problems with this possibility and I think I hope I'm wrong.

For one thing, I don't see why the whole gang shouldn't come down pretty hard on Todd for this; maybe they will. I really don't see what harm there would've been for the crew in just shooing the kid along on his way. I mean, what does he know? That there were a few dudes doing some work out by a train track in the desert? Who would he tell, and why would it matter when no one on the receiving end of the shipment will know anything about the fact the train was robbed anyway? On Todd's part, it seems not only a ruthless act, but an incredibly stupid one -- and in that sense, maybe too forced, a macguffin. Not only did none of his superiors give him the greenlight for this action, but its potential ramifications are far, far more serious for the crew than the kid just having seen them would've been. A theft nobody knows happened with a practically irrelevant eye witness, vs. a dead child. One of those things is going to bring a lot more heat than the other.

Will Walt and Mike defend Todd here, or is Todd now a new problem for the crew? Mike may be willing to knock off a compromised player like Lydia, but an innocent kid that likely posed no danger? He does have a granddaughter,* for whose sake he does much of what he does. And Walt may have poisoned Brock as a manipulation tactic, but he didn't kill him. Ruthless as Walt has become, he seems too smart to not see how bad an idea murder was in this instance.

K

*PS - I'm getting a little tired of "children die" as the go-to plot device for BB ... anytime you start including children in a story like this, sheerly for the emotional value of them being innocent, doe-eyed children, it's a bad move IMO. At this point I'm thinking BB has played that card one too many times. Further, I could do without Mike having the granddaughter at all frankly -- it feels stuck in, and has a little of the stink of Character Development 101. Although I do like when Hank interrogates him about it.

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#600126 - 08/13/12 10:10 AM Re: breaking bad : season 5 [Re: madget]
madget Offline
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Registered: 05/11/01
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K

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#600200 - 08/16/12 12:30 PM Re: breaking bad : season 5 [Re: madget]
MightyQuin Online   content
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Registered: 01/26/02
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Loc: Tallahassee,FL
Finally got a chance to see the Inside Episode 505 above. Good stuff, although no real insights as to future behavior, only because that has been crystallized so well in the show itself already.

You might add 'foreshadowing' to the list of story elements that are somewhat overused in Breaking Bad. When Todd says, "You've thought of everything", well that just begs for a wrench in the works. Likewise Mike saying something like 'there are only two types of crimes/jobs, ones with no witnesses and ones where you get caught'. They're both a bit too on the nose regarding the kid's murder. Still, a certain shorthand is necessary and I don't begrudge Gilligan's use of it for the most part. Even the newest victim of Walt's spider web of a life being a child has a 'it had to be' aspect to it. I agree with madget that it's overused in the series, but if the motorcyclist were a grown man, woman or even a teen, it wouldn't create the side of the argument that says the killing was largely avoidable and unnecessary. Of course, Walt didn't commit this murder, but if his reactions to it seem to Jesse to be more indifferent than they should be, will it put a seed in Jesse's mind regarding Brock?
Also, will we get a back story on cold-blooded SOB Todd? The other characters are so rich and defined, he will seem out-of-place as the main catalyst for the story until we know something about him by dialogue, action or flashback. Then again, a run of the mill, two dimensional punk would be novel for this show.

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#600201 - 08/16/12 12:43 PM Re: breaking bad : season 5 [Re: madget]
Charles Reece Offline
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Registered: 08/18/99
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"I'm getting a little tired of "children die" as the go-to plot device for BB"

Yep, this was #3, right? There are only 5 seasons. Wouldn't it have been more effective with an adult, who everyone would've been reasonably fearful might've reported something? As it stands, it felt too gimmicky.

Having said that, they did a good job making a heist movie this episode.
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#600292 - 08/21/12 03:54 PM Re: breaking bad : season 5 [Re: Charles Reece]
madget Offline
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Registered: 05/11/01
Posts: 4870


EP. 6:

Great opening this week, with excellent scoring as usual by Dave Porter. The disassembly and dissolution of the bike is amazing; we can watch them do to the machine what we -- and they -- know will have to be done to the body as well, making the whole sequence a deft, emotionally loaded feat of visual substitution. The business-like atmosphere and the look on their faces are pitch perfect. And while it may not seem that striking out of context, the shot above is a wonderful visual moment, as Walt gazes out, waiting, to the dumptruck where Todd is digging out the non-mechanical body. This is what it has come to: dismembering and dissolving the body of a child. The gloves, mask, the filthy garage -- it's a great dialogue-free intro.

As to the subsequent handling of the Todd situation, I guess I'm mostly satisfied. I think they brushed off/played down the utter lack of the murder's necessity, but at least it was sort of debated, with the option of murdering Todd even being raised. While Jesse of course takes the whole thing hardest, it doesn't trip him up to quite the degree I anticipated, at least yet. But this works; it's a reminder that Jesse has changed a lot too, and is more in control of himself than in the past. I'm still wondering where this whole Todd subplot might lead.

As to the rest of the episode, it's probably not one of the most stand-out, but it covers some interesting ground. I didn't anticipate Mike and Jesse simply deciding to pull out (or sell out, rather); it's an interesting problem to throw at Walt, and by the end of the episode he seems to have devised some kind of solution, though we don't yet know what. It can't be some form of coercion, because Jesse wants Mike to hear Walt out and appears amenable to whatever proposition Walt has. But anyway, it's an interesting problem in part because it forces some onscreen confrontation about what Walt is really in this for at this point, because it's clearly not the money itself. "Empire building," Walt claims. I'm on the fence about how compelling "personal revenge against Gray Matter" is as a driving motive, but as Walt points out, he has nothing else left and little chance of getting the things he's lost back. The only direction is forward, deeper, more; in some ways Walt is as addicted to the Blue as his unseen customers. He's begun to remind me a bit of Plainview in There Will Be Blood, actually, and his "I have a competition in me" monologue.

Oh, and while I sometimes find "MacGuyver Walt" a little much, I like the way he gets out of his restraint; like the train robbery last episode, it was a clever twist on an age-old cliche.

K

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#600294 - 08/21/12 10:18 PM Re: breaking bad : season 5 [Re: madget]
MightyQuin Online   content
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Registered: 01/26/02
Posts: 1068
Loc: Tallahassee,FL
It was a pretty satisfying episode, as strange as that is to say about a show that begins with a young boy's connections to this world being totally erased.

I have to wonder about 'Gray Matters' as an ultimate motivator as well. It seemed a bit out of the blue as I was hearing Walt's explanation. However, if you were watching one episode after another, previous mentions of Gray Matters would've been more fresh and, after all,less than two years actual time have passed in the entire series timeline. Perhaps in the TPB version of Breaking Bad this would seem perfectly feasible? Walt probably could have begged or guilted his former colleagues into paying for his health care and even providing for his family after his death. That wouldn't have done for Walter White though. Definitely ego was involved in his decision to make the necessary money through his unique meth formula, so possibly envy, revenge and a need to right a past 'injustice' figure in also.

One thing I enjoyed with this episode that has been done before is the portrayal of different worlds coming into contact. We've seen plenty of Mike and plenty of Hank for a few seasons, but only seen them together, I believe, twice. It can't be comfortable for Mike in the police dept.'s hot seat, but you'd never know it. It's a world that he's familiar with, there are no surprises, only factors to be considered and dealt with. On the other hand, when Jesse sits down to dinner with Skylar, they're barely the same species much less on the same wavelength. The distance between them conveyed by the difference in their respective postures as much as anything else. Of course, we know why Skylar is completely removed from the niceties of the family table, but the way she and Jesse do not connect at all was well done.

Damn, what is Walt's new master plan to satisfy all parties? Will it be a science-ey solution that we just have to accept or will he offer to cook for the other meth ring? I guess the latter since we see him confronting them in the preview. Walt's ego won't allow him to adopt any position under full partnership though and this bunch seem to be cut from Mike's cloth, I'm worried about him!

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#600299 - 08/22/12 12:43 PM Re: breaking bad : season 5 [Re: MightyQuin]
madget Offline
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Registered: 05/11/01
Posts: 4870
It occurs to me too that if Mike and Jesse are walking, that leaves Walt with one possible alternative assistant -- Todd. Todd clearly wants in, and if he's all Walt has, he may be part of the plan.

K

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#600467 - 08/24/12 09:22 PM Re: breaking bad : season 5 [Re: madget]
madget Offline
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Registered: 05/11/01
Posts: 4870
Here's a little article discussing the cinematography of BB with Michael Slovis.

http://www.wired.com/rawfile/2012/08/the-look-the-feel-of-breaking-bad/

K

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#600468 - 08/24/12 09:36 PM Re: breaking bad : season 5 [Re: madget]
madget Offline
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Registered: 05/11/01
Posts: 4870
Ah, *fuck* -- this is news to me:

--------------
AMC has decided to split the fifth and final season of its award-winning meth drama Breaking Bad into two parts, according to star Bryan Cranston.

In a recent interview Cranston announced the news of how the new 16-episode season 5 will be set up; “We’re splitting it. We’re going to shoot the first eight, then take a four-month production break, then the rest will air next year.”
--------------

In short, only two more episodes, then a long wait until 2013 for the final 8. Mrgh.

K

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