October 10th, 2011
11:36 AM ET
Wow. Season 4 of “Breaking Bad” is in the books.
This run, more than the others, favored finesse over fireworks. The meticulous structure led to a gradual swell of tension that crept up like flood waters. By the end of last night’s episode, the water was up to chin level. And in a matter of minutes, it all receded. Sweet relief.
In fact, I began typing “for once, they didn’t end the season on a bleak note.” Of course I typed too soon, for after flood waters recede, there’s always a path of destruction left behind. Last night was no different, as the final shot revealed the utter obliteration of Walt’s moral compass.
October 3rd, 2011
10:35 AM ET
Sunday night’s installment of “Breaking Bad” had its moments of tightly wound drama and superb acting, but the episode still felt like the writers were suffering from a hangover after last week’s tour de force.
Not that we blame them - it’s tough to follow up a gem like “Crawl Space.” And as we know, the “Breaking Bad” crew always saves its best hand for season finales, meaning “End Times” was more of a setup episode.
It started with some tearful goodbyes as Walt’s family went into D.E.A. protective custody. Walt hung back at the house with his .38 snub, by the pool where season 2 ended, where the all-seeing teddy bear eye first emerged.
September 26th, 2011
12:07 PM ET
The final act of last night’s episode of “Breaking Bad” gave us dramatic television perfected, as multiple plot points converged in an 11-minute cyclone of goosebump-inducing dread and tension (and superb acting and cinematography).
Recapping it won’t do it justice, but I have a duty to you loyal readers. So let’s start at the beginning, where various storylines both moved forward and served as fodder for the episode’s concluding spectacle.
First, after Gus turned the Cartel’s pool party into a mass murder scene, Jesse rushed the semi-poisoned kingpin and his bullet-riddled sidekick to a personalized port-a-hospital in the middle of the Mexican desert.
September 19th, 2011
11:07 AM ET
In a season that has often kept the main characters superficially active but substantively static, these last two episodes of “Breaking Bad” brought about significant shifts for all parties. From the calm of the expansive opening shot to the jittery closing shootout sequence, last night’s “Salud” was the most game-changing episode of the season.
First, the Bald Triumvirate descended upon Mexico for an interminably foreboding trip. Though Jesse seemed terrified at their departure, he quickly took control in the lab, belittling the Cartel chemist and cooking up 96 percent pure meth in the process. Cue Gus’ approving glance.
But the viewer knew what Jesse didn’t: this trip was only about revenge. We didn’t know how it would play out, but we knew it would involve that Cartel Patio of Death.
September 12th, 2011
01:03 PM ET
After focusing so much on pulling the threads of the figurative (chemistry teacher) sweater to reveal what was underneath, the past few weeks on "Breaking Bad" have been violent.
That’s not to say last night was light on the storytelling. For one, we finally found out the cartel’s question: Will you give us your meth recipe? Before deciding to give them the math behind the meth, though, Gus made a grand spectacle in the middle of a firefight to prove he was no folding coward.
With the reckless abandon of season 1-era Walter White, Gus walked straight into the cartel’s sniper fire. In the face of such badassery, the gunman flashed a respectful smirk and disengaged, natch. Though Gus was unscathed physically, his pride surely took a hit when he decided it was time to share that secret Pollos Hermanos recipe.
September 5th, 2011
11:38 AM ET
Like a family sized bucket from Los Pollos Hermanos, there was lots to digest in the latest episode of “Breaking Bad.”
Flashbacks, the reappearance of cancer talk, the return of Jesse’s girlfriend and her adorable son, and some incredibly tense scenes were just some of the meaty bits served up.
After the open, we were presented with the now uncommon sight of Walter White wearing a hospital gown.
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