Tuesday, July 17, 2012

What I'm Watching: Breaking Bad (Season Premiere)

Breaking Bad: Season 5, Episode 1 “Live Free or Die” (B+)

This show is back for its final season, a sixteen-episode affair that will be split up over two summers. Expectations are high for this incredible series to wrap up in a satisfying fashion, and this premiere is up to par. The opening shot of Walt celebrating his fifty-second birthday at a diner boasting hair and a New Hampshire driver’s license wasn’t as ominous as the openings often are, but it’s so far from where things are now that it’s hard to imagine how we’ll possibly get there. Skyler seemed shaken by Gus’ death, telling Walt that she’s still scared of him now, but Mike took it the worst. “You know how they say it’s been a pleasure? It hasn’t” was a particularly biting comment, though he did also take the duo to task for constantly threatening that they’d both have to be killed if someone wanted to kill just one of them. Jesse’s magnet idea was smart, and his excitement entertaining, and the execution of the break-in and the dial was excellent. Saul’s entrance was magnificent as usual – “Speaking of things that rile you up” – and fortunately it looks like a severely injured, though not dead, as I had thought, Ted won’t pose a threat to the White family livelihood. Saul may be off the hook with Skyler, but that’s not the case with Walt, who wasn’t impressed by his use of the word “ethically” and coldly told him that they’re done when he says they’re done. Walter truly has become the bad guy, and it’s a frightening and fascinating sight.

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