Tuesday, October 1, 2013

What I’m Watching: Breaking Bad (Series Finale)

Breaking Bad: Season 5, Episode 16 “Felina”

This show’s series finale was highly anticipated, and I made certain that I went underground and tried not to speak to anyone before I had the opportunity to screen it in its entirety. With such high expectations, it’s understandable that this series ender might not live up to them. Unlike, say, “Dexter,” this show did deliver, even if the episodes leading up to this point were just as exciting. This episode was much more about action than resolution, and therefore the sight of Walt lying with a bullet in him waiting for the cops to arrive is as fitting an end as any. His marvelous mechanism was truly something, and it’s great that Walt managed to take out all the bad guys in one fell swoop before offering himself up to Jesse to atone for everything he did wrong. It’s especially impressive that Walt managed to take out the very crew he had hired to execute his two-minute clockwork hit from the mid-season finale, and both he and Jesse seemed to gain enormous satisfaction from being able to pull the trigger on Jack and Todd. Breaking the news to Lydia that he had poisoned her with ricin was another great victory for Walt, and a neat way to wrap things up, assuring that no one else would come to try to harm Skyler or her family. The extended opening scene was chilling, and an effective reminder of how cruel Walt can be when he tries. The final appearances of Skyler and Marie were fleeting but meaningful, and I think that, all told, it’s this show’s run that’s going to leave an impression rather than the way it ended. Its Emmy win for the first half of season five was well-deserved, and its two penultimate episodes were excellent. I’d like to do some sort of retrospective for this show at some point soon, since it doesn’t feel right to let it to go so quickly after such an unforgettable run, which only got more interesting and entrancing as it went along.

Series finale: B+
Season grade: A-
Season MVP: Bryan Cranston
Series grade: A-
Series MVP: Bryan Cranston
Best Season: Season 3
Best Episode: TBD

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