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#600470 - 08/24/12 11:14 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
I concur, mrgh. Makes me wonder if Cranston might have been offered a movie role for those four months that he just didn't want to turn down.

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#600514 - 08/27/12 12:56 PM Re: breaking bad : season 5 [Re: MightyQuin]
MightyQuin Online   content
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Registered: 01/26/02
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An encounter in the desert:
"Who are you?"
"I am the cook. I am the man who killed Gus Fring. You know who I am. Say my name."

Completely realistic, yet practically biblical, it's going to be a long six months wait following the next episode.

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#600552 - 08/27/12 06:42 PM Re: breaking bad : season 5 [Re: MightyQuin]
madget Offline
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Registered: 05/11/01
Posts: 4870
I thought it a little much, personally; I think I just felt like Walt needed something a little stronger than "who wants a world without Coke?" to seal this deal. On the other hand it underscores that Walt is now reduced to a brand name, valuable to others only as a product, as the rest of the episode excoriates the man behind the curtain. It's getting lonely fast, for Walt. That nobody is giving him the respect he now feels he deserves -- Jesse, Skylar, and finally, and most explosively, Mike -- is beginning to eat away at the seams of his megalomania. Despite his "victory," nobody needs or even wants him in their life anymore, except maybe Decklin (for what he can produce).

Not too much else to add I guess. I'm not in the know on police procedure, but it seems somehow improbable to me that the DEA could just show up and arrest the money-dropping lawyer like that. What's the charge? I realize the show isn't meant to be a police procedural and is well-served by skimming over certain things, but the mechanics of that whole thread are a little fuzzy to me.

As usual, I can't foresee where the narrative is headed exactly. Walt's demise obviously -- either legally, or literally, or both -- but I can't predict the arc. Todd seems like trouble, just as Walt seemed like trouble to Gus -- working with him purely out of necessity, as Gus did Walt, maybe Walt will find himself in Gus's shoes by the season's end, with Todd gunning for him. But Todd's just a dopey thug. I wondered if this season might introduce some kind of "the next Walt" or "the Walt who topples Walt" type of character, but I'm not quite seeing it. Which is fine; it's kind of an obvious route to go, the "always someone coming up behind you" cliche.

I wondered if the bug removal would be a problem; I felt like they'd throw a wrench Walt's way for round 2 of noodling with DEA computer equipment. Which I guess they did, in a way, but nothing that interfered with the bug deactivation in and of itself.

I wonder how Walt will spin Mike's disappearance to Jesse. Will he concoct a lie about Mike attacking him first, and if so, will Jesse see through it? I suppose since Mike was on his way to unknown whereabouts anyway, there's no need. Except it'll be up to Walt (and maybe Todd) to dispose of the body and evidence.

I kind of wish they were giving Skylar a little more to do; waiting it out as a silent prisoner seems to be all that's happening there.

K

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#600576 - 08/28/12 11:55 AM Re: breaking bad : season 5 [Re: madget]
MightyQuin Online   content
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Registered: 01/26/02
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Yes, Walt is acting out of his megalomania more and more, but still has to rationalize his actions as being reasonable or at least logical. It was almost laughable that he tells Mike who is very close to death, 'I'm sorry, Mike, I could have gotten those names from Lydia. I didn't think of that until now.' Shooting Mike didn't get him those names! In fact, it broke what he thought was his only access to them.

Well, I know you don't care for the biblical allusion in the first scene and it was certainly ... broad. I thought it was nicely continued though in the power of 'the names'. Just as Walt must make Decklin say his name instead of him saying it and giving Decklin power, Walt won't be denied names from Mike and will kill to get them, as ineffectual as that was in actually getting them. I guess I have a weakness for broad drama, I'll blame Stan Lee for it, everybody else does.

I'm not any more versed in police procedurals than you are, Madget and don't know the exact chain of events here with the DEA. The money-dropping lawyer was seen on bank surveillance putting large amounts of cash into certain account boxes. That's just suspicious, not illegal, maybe it would provide enough for a Search Warrant, I don't know, but they could cross reference the account holders' names (whoah) for any association to the nine guys behind bars who worked for Fring. That's my latter day assessment anyway. At the time, the lawyer's arrest seemed thrown into place very precipitously to me too.

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#600603 - 08/28/12 02:50 PM Re: breaking bad : season 5 [Re: MightyQuin]
madget Offline
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Registered: 05/11/01
Posts: 4870
Right. Is depositing money for the families of those under arrest for some crime or other illegal? And to show up in the middle of a safety deposit box drop like that -- that's supposed to be a sort of sacred/private area. It's not a huge sticking point to me, I just ... have questions, I guess. Does this also mean no more money left for Kaylee? If so, on what basis do they now confiscate it?

Have to admit I hadn't thought about "names" as an actual ongoing theme. And the episode is actually called "Say My Name" if I'm not mistaken. Which I'm not crazy about as a title, but it lends some credence to the idea that the writers were concentrating on that as a motif here.

K

PS - It was sort of a uniquely weird thrill to see Mike in real trouble for once. Sure, he's been shot before and all, but to see actual human fear register on his jaded, unflappable face as the police close in on the park -- and to have to abandon his granddaughter without saying goodbye -- was a subtle tipping point in mood and tone I thought. Although this said I found it a little much that he made his way to the shore for such a picturesque final moment at the end of the episode. Oh, and yeah -- Walt's "I just realized, I could've gotten those names from Lydia" is pretty funny. It seems to me Mike would've been much wiser to let Jesse make the drop. I guess he wanted to protect him, but he should've known Walt coming could mean trouble.

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#600660 - 08/29/12 12:20 AM 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
Originally Posted By: madget
Right. Is depositing money for the families of those under arrest for some crime or other illegal? And to show up in the middle of a safety deposit box drop like that -- that's supposed to be a sort of sacred/private area. It's not a huge sticking point to me, I just ... have questions, I guess. Does this also mean no more money left for Kaylee? If so, on what basis do they now confiscate it?


I can't disagree with that. Maybe we'll find out the exact charges the lawyer was picked up on, but likely not. In real life, whatever evidence came to law enforcement would probably have resulted in surveillance of the lawyer and following a paper trail for months. It's not a sticking point to me either, I'll just chalk it up to events in TV time vs real time. I don't know if they could confiscate the money immediately. After a conviction though, RICO would take everything. I have a feeling that events in the series will never reach trials for the main characters anyway, that is, the still-living ones.

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#600709 - 09/01/12 01:56 AM Re: breaking bad : season 5 [Re: MightyQuin]
madget Offline
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Registered: 05/11/01
Posts: 4870
Ah, I'd been wishing they'd do this for ages; maybe it's always been there and I just never saw it till now. Often BB features music that interests me; the non-scored music is now listed by season & episode at AMC's website.

http://blogs.amctv.com/breaking-bad/2010/03/season-3-music.php

That's season 3 but links to others are there too.

K

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#600745 - 09/03/12 10:25 AM 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
Well, that was-- actually, I think I'd better leave the initial analysis of the half season closer to Madget, this one is for the pro's! I have a question though. You're an observant admirer of the series music soundtrack. Is this the first time they've used 'Crystal Blue Persuasion' in the background? It's such an obvious, but perfect choice, I have to wonder, and in sync with Walter's timeline to be popular when he was a very young kid. Soundtracks often filter right through me effective but unnoticed. I may've heard it several times, and each time thought, "Wow, what a good and unexpected idea!".

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#600750 - 09/03/12 02:25 PM Re: breaking bad : season 5 [Re: MightyQuin]
Jimbo Offline
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Registered: 07/13/01
Posts: 2751
Loc: New Zealand/Canada
I have a feeling they were saving that song for a special moment.
_________________________
Walla Walla Bing Bang.

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#600754 - 09/03/12 04:51 PM Re: breaking bad : season 5 [Re: Jimbo]
madget Offline
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Registered: 05/11/01
Posts: 4870


I like that we still see a bandage on Walt's wrist from the restraint escape last week ....

The song, yes, I am almost certain it is the first time they've used that. You're probably right -- they probably had been intending to use it for a while, but hadn't found the right time. Or maybe it was difficult to get the rights. Hard to say ...

I liked the first half of this episode better than the second half. The two minute mega-murder was pretty amazing, quite well done, and the obvious stand-out sequence.

Beyond that: I like the bug imagery -- obvious enough, but well-used -- overlapping with the twitchy, unpredictable Lydia and Todd characters (not to mention Todd's lovely uncle) as they become Walt's new right/left hands. The heavy, conscience-burdened days of Jesse, Mike, and Skyler are past, now. Todd, Todd's Uncle, and Lydia are the new circle, a decidedly shadier bunch better able to keep up with and match Walt's complete moral emptiness. It reminds me a little of No Country for Old Men (the book more than the movie) with its passages about the new breed of criminality in a changing landscape that is leaving an old-timer like the Sheriff outmatched. (Then again it takes very little to get me thinking about McCarthy's work.)

As Todd clearly replaced Jesse, I thought they might actually move to have Lydia begin to replace Skyler. Lydia is a more powerful, well-connected, willing partner; she can offer Walt Madrigal and worldwide distribution. Contrast this to Skyler and her little car wash. Lydia's also reasonably age-appropriate for Walt, gorgeous, and equally morally compromised; not to mention she seems to be single. But much as I thought some kind of new relationship was being brewed there, it doesn't look like the writers see fit to go anywhere with it. Which I can sort of understand; I'm not sure this is the time for a steamy new love affair -- these characters are in it for themselves, it's all business, now. But people will be people, and all the right elements for something to happen between these two are (or were) certainly in place.

Then, surprisingly, Walt reveals that he's out. Is he? Could be he's found a new way to launder his money, and this is just a ploy to reassemble his family for his remaining years. The show plays it pretty straight, though; we have no reason to doubt him at the moment. And with 8 episodes remaining, the show does have to start wrapping things up for whatever ultimate conclusion it has planned. Maybe Walt really is out; the remainder of the show could fall largely into Hank's hands. I guess we'll see.

To that end:

I love that Leaves of Grass is now a bathroom reader for Walt; in and of itself it's a nice touch. How I feel about it as Hank's window into WW as Heisenberg, is a little more conflicted. It's a little too dumb and narratively convenient for Walt to leave that kind of evidence tying himself to a murdered man lying around -- at the season's opening, Walt even got rid of the Lily of the Valley plant, just to be extra safe. If there was a more compelling Walt-esque reason for the oversight, I'd accept it better, but as it is, just seems ... a really stupid oversight. Every season of BB tends to bring a few of these too conveniently convenient moments with it.

My mild dissatisfaction with this plot turn isn't helped by the fact that the corresponding cliffhanger is facilitated by a pretty run-of-the-mill, purely functional flashback, a made-for-TV moment well beneath BB's usual level of quality and craftsmanship. Not to mention that really, anyone up on the show's narrative doesn't need that flashback for the moment to communicate what it needed to. It should've ended with just a steady shot of the interior text, in silence, held long enough for the audience to take it back in, and maybe a cut back to Hank briefly, if needed.

Anyway, this all points to a final showdown between Hank and Walt. While I don't doubt that that will be a highly entertaining thing to see, it's a little more obvious than I might've hoped for, and I think the remainder of the series might prove a bit weak compared to everything up to this point. My original idea about Walt taking ownership of the entire extended family, including Hank, I think could've been a more unique way to go. Instead it looks like it's going to be the Good Cop gets the Bad Guy. Although, I could be wrong. That ricin is probably going to end up in someone's system, at the end of the day (maybe even Walt's own). The show has been incredibly daring at times, and it is possible that Walt will take out Hank. Jesse already knows he has to be very careful lest Walt choose to dispose of him too; Walt's become so dark, I'm not even 100% convinced Skyler couldn't end up in Walt's line of fire. Walt is now believably fully transformed into the "monster" Hank speaks of.

Anyway, in conclusion, I do have a couple nagging annoyances -- much as I love BB, every season tends to throw in a few little aspects that don't quite clear the bar. But hey -- it's been a wonderful eight weeks, and nothing else on TV I've yet encountered gives me as much pleasure as this show.

I'm still pissed, of course, that they broke this season into two halves. We have to wait until NEXT SUMMER for the end. Buhh. I'd rather have had a full Season 5, and a renewal for Season 6 as the finale. Much as I appreciate that they have chosen to opt for a finite narrative with a beginning, middle, and end, I really do think they have more than enough to work with to have gotten a complete 5th and separate 6th season out of it all.

K

PS - Quick follow up thought on the episode that opens with disposing of the dirt bike, which I watched again. One thing that makes the trick they pull in that sequence work as well as it does struck me more so the 2nd time around -- it's *long.* Not only is the deconstruction of the bike well-done, but there are two or three points you think it's over, and it's not. They need to strip the wheels. They need to saw the body in half. Some things won't fit as well as hoped and must be further broken down. It's a great thing to drag out, inviting gruesome speculation on similar problems that might be encountered with the body itself. Although on 2nd viewing, it also occurred to me that the kid's pretty small; the only real reason to dismantle the body would be to be extra careful. They probably didn't need to do much more than dump the body in the barrel. But the sequence works anyway; we don't really know what exactly occurs after the dirtbike is dealt with.

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