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#602332 - 09/16/13 07:42 PM Re: breaking bad : season 5 [Re: madget]
madget Offline
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Registered: 05/11/01
Posts: 4870
Side note: probably not the first time I've mentioned it, but as it all wraps up, Walt reminds me a little of Plainview in There Will Be Blood.

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#602333 - 09/16/13 11:37 PM Re: breaking bad : season 5 [Re: madget]
madget Offline
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Registered: 05/11/01
Posts: 4870
http://www.vulture.com/2013/09/breaking-bad-recap-season-5-hank-dies-ozymandias.html

Picks up on some nice details I missed. Love the crying clown statue in the opening that Skyler seals in a coffin-like box. And they couldn't have picked a more fitting poem to reference for the title:

Quote:
I met a traveller from an antique land
Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed:
And on the pedestal these words appear:
"My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!"
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.


Also worth a read: http://www.grantland.com/blog/hollywood-...t-in-ozymandias

Walt's pants' cameo: http://www.hypable.com/2013/09/16/breaking-bad-season-5-episode-14-walts-pants-cameo/

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#602334 - 09/17/13 12:03 PM Re: breaking bad : season 5 [Re: madget]
Charles Reece Offline
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Registered: 08/18/99
Posts: 10013
Loc: us of fuckin' a
Hmm, one thing none of those writeups discuss, maybe because no one cares about her, is that if anyone's a bitch, it's Marie. Instead of the sympathy Skyler displayed when Marie was having her own problems with illicit behavior, she uses her sister's current problems in a oneupmanship with an air of condescension -- I mean, the way she insists on Skyler taking down her family, which Marie has always been jealous of. Skyler, at least the way I remember it, never took any schadenfreude in Marie's difficulties. She even risked problems with explaining where the money came from in helping Hank when he needed it. Marie chooses to hide behind the law and justice for what's really petty jealousy.

Man, I hate Marie. (And Walt, Jr., too, of course, but only because he's so fucking irritating.)
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#602335 - 09/17/13 12:15 PM Re: breaking bad : season 5 [Re: Charles Reece]
Charles Reece Offline
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Registered: 08/18/99
Posts: 10013
Loc: us of fuckin' a
And I think one of the great points about this show that hasn't been done properly in any other show that I can remember is the way it shows evil to be a dialectic between an individual and his environment. Walt puts himself in situations that he didn't have to put himself in, but once there, he's only got a limited range of choices, which he then justifies as doing what he has to do, "given" his situation. I say that's about how evil operates. Maybe Hank's death was predictable, but it fits what we know about Walt. He would've never directly killed Hank, but he's responsible for his death, nonetheless, isn't he?
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#602336 - 09/17/13 07:43 PM Re: breaking bad : season 5 [Re: Charles Reece]
madget Offline
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Registered: 05/11/01
Posts: 4870
I wonder how Gilligan feels about Marie/Hank. The authors of most the write-ups I've seen tend to, if anything, put themselves in Marie's camp, excited by the "epic dressing down" she gives Skyler, as I believe at least one writer put it. I've never felt either Hank or Marie to be particularly sympathetic. They did a wonderful job evolving Hank into a real character, vs. the more one-dimensional cartoon he started out as, but he's still an unimaginative, cocky cowboy, and it's always seemed to me that he does what he does professionally for the same reason Walt does: to feel like a Man. He proves a surprisingly deft detective, but most of his time on the job is spent mocking and putting down the "scumbags" him and his boys are charged with rounding up. Remember when he blew off how destructively he upended the life of the school janitor, who was growing a little marijuana for personal use? It's fitting that Hank has a wife like Marie. The two of them fuel and nurture their mutual condescension for everyone less fortunate than themselves. Meaningful self-reflection isn't a part of their world any more than it is Walt's; they're just on the right side of fence.

I agree Marie is pretty uninteresting on the whole; I feel like the writers just didn't have time to take her anywhere. They started prodding for something interesting with the shoplifting, and I was intrigued, but they never had time to focus on it much or do anything with it, and she's been mostly relegated to snooty back-patter for Hank. Maybe there just wasn't much to be done with it. Really, Marie's crime was a fitting reflection of her: petty, superficial, simple. I do find her rather attractive, even though she reminds me of people I can't stand in real life.

I think you're right about the contrast between the tone with which the sisters' deal with one another's wrongdoings, but let's be fair, here: Marie's shoplifting wasn't nearly as significant a transgression as abetting a murderer and then filming him and standing by him while he forges a confession that blames it all on your husband. And while I don't think there was any schadenfreude from Skyler, she wasn't exactly nice about the whole shoplifting incident. The irony at the time was Skyler was pretty bent out of shape about Marie's actions, while Walt was already murdering people in his free time.

As for Walt Jr., he has grown more irritating by the season. I think again, it is partly due to the writers just not having time to do all that much with him; and partly due to him being a believably typical teenager. Teenagers are boring, irritating people. He's not a bad kid, just an uninteresting one, even to Walt.

As for Walt being responsible for Hank's death, I suppose, sorta, but I tend towards relativism, and we can tug that thread all day. Hank also put himself in dangerous situations he didn't need to be in, and his ostensible motives are about as paper-thin as Walt's. Walt does it for "family"; Hank does it for "justice/the Law" (and in Walt's case, personal revenge over being one-upped and used by his nerdy brother in law). What Hank's doing with himself professionally is less wantonly destructive, sure, but he's not exactly Columbo -- he's a DEA agent, throwing people into prisons on the basis of what recreational chemicals happen to lack legal sanctuary at the moment. Nobody has to do drugs. The janitor wasn't hurting anyone. I'm not altogether anti-Hank, but that's the great thing about the show -- there aren't super easy, obvious sides to choose. The characters are just characters, one more or less interesting than the next, one more or less compromised than the last. I've seen more popular dramas trending in that general direction and I support it. I've always liked the color gray.

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#602339 - 09/18/13 01:09 AM Re: breaking bad : season 5 [Re: madget]
Allen Montgomery Online   content
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Registered: 05/08/00
Posts: 7086
I had missed the last three or four episodes, but I just watched them. Guh. The writing on this show is such an incredibly painful experience (thankfully, I downloaded them off Pirate Bay and could play them back at +50% speed). Every character is so dumb, I want them all dead. Except maybe Todd and his uncle the only smart and honorable characters are Neo-Nazis. Even the baby made an asshole of herself in the last ep. And the herculean task of moving those money drums around! I'm guessing none of the writing staff have ever done any physical labor in their lives.
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If one wants the credit, one has to cease being a ghost and become a leader or innovator."
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#602342 - 09/18/13 07:27 PM Re: breaking bad : season 5 [Re: Allen Montgomery]
madget Offline
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Registered: 05/11/01
Posts: 4870
BB may not be particularly realistic on the whole, but what is it about a thin, cancer-stricken, middle-aged man not being able to simply up and carry a giant drum full of cash through sweltering miles of desert that you just don't buy? Or was it the fact he was teetering on the brink of exhaustion after spending an entire evening digging a giant hole in the sand to manually bury six of them that you were referring to? Either way, my own suspension of disbelief somehow survived in tact.

Walter rolling the barrel through the desert is a great image. One, it's just kind of funny to see. Two, evokes mythology. Three, it recalls Hank's first advice to Walt and Jesse when he first saw them carrying away a similar drum on tape: "It's a barrel, idiots! It rolls!"

I agree, though, who doesn't love a few Neo-Nazis? And for once they're being fairly depicted as the easy-going, Burt Reynolds lovin' good ole boys they really are. Maybe for the big finale, they'll chase a gay into traffic. With swords!

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#602343 - 09/19/13 12:20 AM Re: breaking bad : season 5 [Re: madget]
Allen Montgomery Online   content
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Registered: 05/08/00
Posts: 7086
At this point, almost anything resembling action would be welcome.
_________________________
"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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#602344 - 09/19/13 05:36 PM Re: breaking bad : season 5 [Re: Allen Montgomery]
madget Offline
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Registered: 05/11/01
Posts: 4870
Right. The last episode included a desert shootout with automatic weapons, the death of two major characters, Walt having most of his money stolen, Walt assenting to Jesse's torture and murder, Walt revealing to Jesse his role in Jane's death, Todd turning Jesse into a deformed lab rat, Walt getting into a knife fight with Skyler and then abducting their baby, Walt confessing his crimes to the police, and Walt fleeing the state. I wish they'd pick up the pace a little and get to something good.

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#602345 - 09/19/13 09:19 PM Re: breaking bad : season 5 [Re: madget]
Allen Montgomery Online   content
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Registered: 05/08/00
Posts: 7086
The shootout started in the previous episode and was cleft in twain by a boring and pointless flashback. The way Walt lost his money to a bluff was too close behind Saul's man also falling prey to a bluff characters are only as smart as their writers. It took way too long for Hank to get shot (the Neo-Nazis couldn't hit him standing in the wide open?); his partner was more a minor nuisance than a major character; then Jesse miraculously and conveniently evades a bullet yet again. Jane is a dim memory at this point (if I hadn't read this thread before watching the episode, I'd have had to look up who she was). We didn't get to see Jesse receiving the beating he so richly deserved. The "knife fight" wasn't much, a missed opportunity to off Junior. I'm assuming the driver of that minivan who picked up Walt must be someone we've seen before, because I can't imagine some random person helping a total stranger load up a dirty 250-pound (assuming all $100 bills) barrel on their vehicle's upholstery.
_________________________
"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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