Tag Archives: Vince Gilligan

Breaking Bad Trailer Sets the Inevitable Tone

There is less than a week till the final eight episodes of one of the greatest shows in television history. Breaking Bad is by far my favorite drama ever made and it is kind of crazy to think a simple 71 second trailer could get me more excited… but it has. Forgoing scenes from the episodes, we instead get a brooding Walter White’s voice, setting the inevitable, dark and twisted tone that will ensue. Check out the Breaking Bad trailer below.

The poem that Walter White (Bryan Cranston), reads is Ozymandias, which if you didn’t get from the trailer, talks about the eventual decline of all leaders. That could give us a good taste of what we can expect for Walt as we near the end.


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.

– Percy Bysshe, 1818

When we got a flash forward with the gun in his trunk, I don’t think anyone thought he was getting away scot-free. Even more, Vince Gilligan, the show runner, has compared Walt to Scarface multiple times in interviews, so could that mean he could face the same fate. All that said, the more mysterious question on my mind is how is Hank’s reaction to the news going to last 8 episodes. That will be a tricky one for the writers, but if I trust anyone, it would be the writers of Breaking Bad.

Breaking Bad trailer

Breaking Bad returns for its final 8 episodes on August 11, and if you haven’t caught up or haven’t seen any episodes, buy a Netflix account right now, and marathon the hell out of them. Trust me, it’s worth it.

Breaking Bad: 507 “Say My Name” Review

With only one episode left after this in this first half of the season, it’s reasonable to think that some proverbial shit would hit the fan. In the episode’s opening scene, Mike, Walt, and Jesse make their way to the desert to meet with the crew Mike had been negotiating with about the Methylamine. Walt promised Mike his $5 million dollars, and after some intense negotiating with the crew, he was able to give it to him.

But instead of just giving them the methylamine, he offered his cooking services. They reluctantly agree, but only because the money is too good to resist. Walt and Jesse (who is still set on leaving the business), make one final run to transport the Methylamine from the car wash to the new lab that they’re building. Meanwhile, Mike is working with a non-Saul Goodman lawyer to get money to the nine men who worked for Gus Fring, as well as Haylee, Mike’s granddaughter. Mike then listens in on a conversation with the DEA and abandons his laptop and his dirty guns before they have a chance to search his house.

With a warrant, the DEA does what they said they would but, of course, find nothing. Walt and Jesse talk about doubling down, but Jesse remains firm about getting out. This is when Walt switches into Heisenberg mode and tries to manipulate him into staying. Jesse, who seems to impervious to that kind of thing by now, stands firm and then walks out when Walt refuses to give him his money. Walt enlists the help of Todd who, as of now, is the only person to stick with him.

This decidedly unspectacular episode of “Breaking Bad” exists not to move the plot forward in a significant way, but to serve as a build-up for a final scene that, while I knew it was coming, still surprised me when it actually happened. The thing that really shines in the episode is the lighting. While the camerawork itself isn’t Vince Gilligan/Rian Johnson good, the way the light is manipulated makes for some fantastic still shots and layered visual metaphor.

Say My Name also marks the first time Jesse and Walt have had any real conflict since the pilot episode, and to be honest it was a little disappointing. Their teamwork is what made this season so great and seeing them truly break their partnership was a shock in many ways. The biggest shock of all, though, came in the last five minutes.


Vince Gilligan promised that episodes 5 & 7 would be the most shocking in the season’s first half and while episode 5 was definitely a shock, I’m still unsure how I feel about the twist at the end. After promising Mike that he’d get him his “go bag”, which is a bag filled with money, his passport, and a holstered gun, and then bringing the bag to him, Walt demands the names of the men Mike’s been paying off. When Mike refuses to give them up, Walt shoots him with the gun that was in the bag. Mike attempts to speed away in his car, but quickly crashes into a rock. Running down a nearby hill, Walt finds Mike sitting on a rock with a fatal gunshot wound in his stomach.

Walt realizes that he could have just gotten the names from Lydia and he apologizes to Mike, who replies with, “Shut the f*** up, Walter, and let me die in peace.” A few seconds pass and Mike falls to the ground, dead. Now, the entire Breaking Bad fandom predicted his death, but I’m still not sure that I agree with it. Of course, no one gets out clean here, but if Gilligan and Co. are willing to kill Mike, a fan favorite, how far can we expect things to go? Some fans are predicting the death of Holly White, while others are predicting a Scarface-style shootout at the end of the series.

I’m definitely not condemning the bravery of the writers, but I guess I’m just disappointed that my favorite character had to go. In a narrative sense, this may be Breaking Bad‘s most accomplished episode of the season. From a personal standpoint, I am, in some strange way, mourning the death of a character that I’ve grown so accustomed to over the past year.

3.5/5 Bears

Breaking Bad: 506 “Buyout” Review

In this sixth episode of Breaking Bad‘s final season, tensions are rising after last week’s episode, which ended with newcomer Todd (Jesse Plemons) killing a kid for the sake of the business. This episode opens with Mike, Walt, and Todd chemically decomposing the kid’s body and his bike, while Jesse waits outside, unable to bear the atrocities taking place. Todd comes out next to him and lights a cigarette as well, complaining about the smell that accompanies the process. Jesse punches Todd square in the face, and the opening credits roll.

It’s decided that Todd will be able to stay on the crew with close supervision, much to the dismay of Jesse who has always advocated for the safety of children, regardless of whether he knew them or not. From there, Mike and Jesse agree that they’re pulling out of the business. The heat on them has the potential to grow exponentially, and their already guilty conscience is getting worse by the minute. Of the 1000 gallons collected, with Mike and Jesse pulling out of the business they’re only able to give up 666 gallons to a former partner that Mike became acquainted with through Gus. The partner says that he wants the blue meth off the market and will only pay for the full 1000 gallons.

Despite hearing about Tony Scott’s death literally ten minutes before this episode aired I was still able to enjoy this episode of Breaking Bad very much. Like most of the previous episodes, this one hits the mark. There’s even an awesome scene with Saul in it! “Buyout” is everything one can want from an episode; all of the cast is given the best of the best material, there are a couple of great surprises, and there’s even a scene that I never thought would EVER happen. Yes, you know what I’m talking about. Walt, Skyler, and Jesse all having dinner together at the White household.

One of the most painfully awkward yet intensely engaging scenes of the entire episode was also the quietest. With almost no words, Skyler is able to reinforce her pure hatred of Walt in a way words can’t express. Jesse tries his best to keep tensions light, but his charm is no match for the burning feud between Walter and his wife. The episode ends with Walt promising Mike a way that he can get his cut of the deal while he gets to keep all the methlyamine to himself. Of course, as with every Breaking Bad episode, I was glued to the tv and when the: “Executive Producer: Vince Gilligan” credit came on-screen, I was about ready to scream at the TV, throw my angered fist in the air and ask “WHYYY?!” to the TV Gods. That, my friends, is quality entertainment at its finest.

5/5 Bears

Breaking Bad Final Season Update, Plus Movie Rumors?

So I’m sure the lot of you are just waiting in anxious anticipation of the new season of Breaking Bad to start, and making the wait even worse is the constant trickle of teasers and tidbits that the show runners keep putting out, making us even more desperate for it to be July 15th already. Speculation about the story, and the shows endgame in general, is something that fans have been doing since it first began, and time and time again its defied the odds and expectations alike. Even the shows star, Bryan Cranston, doesn’t yet know the ultimate fate of Walter White, and makes an interesting suggestion that the show could go on, despite this being the final season.

Vince feels that now we have too much story,” Cranston says, laughing. “We could actually go beyond those 16 episodes…It’s not far-fetched,” Cranston says. “I wouldn’t mind visiting that possibility. And this is coming from a guy who doesn’t know anything of how the show’s going to end. If it doesn’t end up in a total apocalypse, who knows? Maybe we could revisit Walter White a year down the road and see where his life has gone. If he’s still alive, that is.”

 So that at least gives us some info that the season will be densely packed, and that the ending is still up in the air. Many show runners change things on the fly, depending on audience reaction, however I don’t think this is the case with Vince Gilligan, who has clearly planned things out from the beginning, and is following them through to the end. Even if that end does extend beyond the current season itself, which I don’t think is likely. I think that they’ll be able to wrap up everything they have planned the show to be. He even touches on those plans, and reveals a few details about the this seasons plot.

“We can look forward to Walt’s ego growing by leaps and bounds for having killed Gus Fring,” Gilligan says, referring to the late, great Los Pollos Hermanos restaurateur. “To this point, Walt’s been able to lie to himself and reason that he’s done all these terrible things for his family. But that’s a lie that’s harder and harder to maintain as this upcoming season progresses and the money piles up and he’s faced more and more with the badness that he’s done.”

“He’s going to be a harder guy to root for, I promise you that,” Gilligan adds. “The experiment of the show has been to take a good guy and have him transform himself into a bad guy. And we’re committed to seeing that through to the very end.”

So while a movie or continuation isn’t out of the realm of imagination, I don’t think it would be necessary. I remember hearing a podcast interview with Vince Gilligan, who was speaking on where the original idea for the show came from, and he mentioned how his intent was to create a show, where we have a protagonist, who is a perfectly normal, entirely nice guy, and over the course of the show watch him become a wholly corrupt, reprehensible human being. That we’d see what events can happen in a mans life, to break him, and make him a bad person. Hence, Breaking Bad. His quote definitely is in line with that mission statement. Personally, I’ve been rooting for Walter the whole time, but I understand how people could definitely start disliking him in the past season, and with his actions as of the finale, it’s getting harder to defend him. Vince Gilligan’s words are intriguing indeed, and I wonder just to what levels Walter White will stoop to now.

It’d seem that this season seems built from the ground up to hammer home that Walter White as we know him, is already dead. All hail Heisenberg, our new meth cooking king.

Is it July 15th yet?

Bonus: Amazing recap of seasons 1-4.

Breaking Bad: Season 4, Episode 12 – “End Times” Review

Sunday night we saw the 2nd to last episode of the season, and despite the ending, it was still the calm before the storm, and overall, not a great episode.  As we start we see the fallout of Walt’s actions last week. The DEA has been warned of a threat on Hank’s life and the whole family is being put into protective custody. The whole family minus Walt, who is holed up in his house with a gun waiting to be executed.

While in protective custody, Hank convincing Gomey to take a look at the laundry, to which Steve begrudgingly agrees. While there Gomez has no idea that Pinkman is right below him cooking meth. Gus’ laundry disguise for the meth lab worked perfectly despite Hank’s  insistence – they found nothing.

The biggest development however is the way in which Gus decides to deal with Walt. Since Jessie won’t ok the hit, Gus has to figure a way to change Jessie’s mind. One method is to make Jessie think it’s his own idea, which is why Brock suddenly gets sick. It becomes apparent pretty quickly that Brock has been poisoned with RICIN!!! DUN DUH!!!

Pinkman freaks out, and think back to his earlier conversation with Saul, deduces (incorrectly) that Walt is responsible. This is the desired effect Gus was shooting for and Jessie heads over to Walt’s. Once there he easily obtains Walt’s gun and confronts him for (not actually) poisoning Brock.

Once Jessie calms down, Walt is able to convince him Gus must be responsible for the ricin, and they plot to finally handle Gus once and for all. So the plan is that Jessie will skip the cook and wait at the hospital, luring Gus there. This works perfectly. While Gus is inside, Walt wires Gus’ dorkmobile to explode. Problem is, Gus, as usual, is a few steps ahead of the game, and does not re-enter his car.

So Gus’ apparent 6th sense has saved his live. This is how the episode ends, with Walt utterly defeated again. Like I said, I didn’t think the was a great episode, but that is in no way an indication that I thought it sucked, it’s just simply further setup for this upcoming Sunday night.  I’d say 3/5. 

As for what’s in store this week, I think Hank is gonna get to play hero again. I was kind of hoping Gus would just kill Walt’s whole family and then we could see Walt explode and rampage his way through the organization. Also, I’ll be curious to see what kind of role, if any, Mike plays in the finale…

Breaking Bad: Season 4, Episode 10 – ‘Salud’ Review

Well well well – Pinkman is acting like a real badass tonight. But we’ll get to that. First off, the aftermath of last week as displayed by Walt’s face. Anyhow, this episode taught us 4 major things. The most obvious, Ted Beneke is an idiot. But after that, Walt looks at Jessie like a son, you really shouldn’t mess with Gus, and Jessie Pinkman can no longer be underestimated. Kid pulled through in the clutch.

So let’s take a look. First, Beneke. This guy is like an anchor who sinks everything in his path. Against the advice of our favorite lawyer Saul Goodman, Skyler gives Ted the money he needs to payoff the IRS, disguised as a bequeathal from a relative he’s never heard of. This should end the threat of a White family audit. That is, if Ted doesn’t blow all the money first. That’s right kids, Ted buys a new car instead of paying Uncle Sam and Skyler is forced to reveal to him the true source of his newly found income. Being that Ted is an idiot, I can only assume revealing herself to him will lead to more problems.

Ted Beneke - Breaking BadSpoilers ahead…

Continue reading Breaking Bad: Season 4, Episode 10 – ‘Salud’ Review

Breaking Bad: Season 4, Episode 7 – ‘Problem Dog’ Review

This week was all about Jessie trying to cope with Gale’s death, and Hank once again, about to inadvertently save our meth cooks. Walt, despite his massive amount of screen time is actually for the most part filler here. We start out with Pinkman playing video games, in what almost seems like training for the job. In his head he keeps seeing Gale’s face and it obvious that our beloved meth head isn’t quite right…

As the episode progresses Jessie is being pulled in 2 directions. First by Walt, who wants him to kill Gus, and secondly by Gus, who wants to control Walt. Gus’s influence seems to be taking hold too as we see the hesitation to poison Gus’ coffee. Walt treating Jessie like an idiot vs Gus making him feel important, he is torn.

In the middle with Pinkman is Mike, who seems to see what is happening, and to no real surprise is vocal about it in their talk about ‘loyalty’. Walt’s focus in this episode, other than being a catalyst for Jessie’s problems, is acting rather childish as he and Skyler get the car wash operation up and running. His actions with Junior’s car show just how careless he is becoming. No longer the constant source of worry, Walt seems headed down a path of self-destruction that undoubtedly be thwarted  by…Hank.

As foreshadowed in past episodes, Hank has determined that Gus is Hisenberg, which, while not accurate, is close enough to true and should ultimately prove useful for Walt and Jessie…assuming they both live that long.

Maybe the best scene of the episode is where the title comes into play – the ‘problem dog’. Jessie goes to his old support group as a result of his mixed feeling about Gus. He talks about a dog he killed, obviously referring to Gale, and seems to totally break down about it. He can’t vocalize a reason for the dog to be killed, because the ‘dog’ didn’t actually do anything, but was a problem none the less.  Jere Burns (Justified) returns as Jessie’s group leader and he becomes the focus of Pinkman’s outcry, giving us yet another excellent performance from an under-rated actor.

Overall, very good episode. This is without a doubt, one of the best shows on Television, and it continues to deliver week after week. 4/5 Bears.

Breaking Bad: Season 4, Epidsode 4 – “Bullet Points” Review

Someone really doesn’t like Los Pollos Hermanos.

This episode took only about 5 minutes before it was already better than last week. This starts out with Mike in the back of a refrigerated truck when some competitors decide to turn the back of said truck to Swiss Cheese. Total dick move, and one that results in the attackers slain and Mike’s ear a little worse for wear. It was a pretty sweet way to start an episode before the credit even begin.

 After the sweetass opening and intro are done, we’re hit with some solid levity. Walt and Skyler discuss her quite detailed explanation for Hank where their money came from and how sweet Walt is at gambling. And while Skyler’s script makes Walt out to be some sort of animal, it result in little else than Hank and Walt Jr. being impressed.

Continue reading Breaking Bad: Season 4, Epidsode 4 – “Bullet Points” Review

Breaking Bad: Season 4, Epidsode 2 – “38 Snub” Review

After last week’s near perfect premiere, a normal decline can be expected as they now have the task rebuilding the excitement and tension for this season. So while tonight’s episode was by no means as good as last weeks, I wasn’t the least bit disappointed.

As the episode starts, Walt has decided to take matters into his own hands by buying a gun from his friendly local black market weapons dealer, played by my boy Ellsworth from Deadwood. He chooses a 38 special, snub nose – hence the title.  Jessie is headed down another path entirely, having apparently already accepted his inevitable . He has chosen to live out his last days among friends and squander the money he believes he won’t be around long enough to spend. Jessie and Walt seem to be heading down the same road, but in total opposite directions.

Hank on the other hand is wallowing in a pool of self-pity and resentment – directed at Marie. The more she helps him the further apart they grow, and the weaker Hank feels. His manhood once again challenged. And as Hank feels weaker, Skyler gets bolder. She attempts to buy out the car wash and gets denied as a result of Walt’s Season 1 crotch grab. Continue reading Breaking Bad: Season 4, Epidsode 2 – “38 Snub” Review

Breaking Bad: Season 4, Epidsode 1 – “Box Cutter” Review

After the roller coaster ride that was the end of Season 3 tonight’s much-anticipated premiere has been a long time coming. And it was worth the wait. In Sunday night’s episode we put to rest all the questions left by the finale, or at least the big one – Did Jessie really kill Gale? The answer – Yes. Of course he did. There was a lot of speculation about if Jessie really killed Gale or if it was a ruse. Well, Gale’s dead. Like – super dead. Pinkman put a bullet through his eye socket and that was that. It was the only way that he could save Walt, and it worked. At least for now.

 This was one of the best premieres I’ve seen in quite a while. Here is a perfect example of the writers taking established characters, and evolving them to a whole other level. For example – Gus. This is about as much as you can get out of a character with so little dialogue. The example he makes is a loud one, and it goes a long way. This, despite his statuesque demeanor, is the most human emotion Gus has shown to date. His frustration is truly personified with one quick swipe of the box cutter.

But Gus isn’t the only character who evolved tonight…

Jessie Pinkman seems now a changed man, and seemingly forever intertwined with Hank. As Jessie learns to cope and adapt, Hank regresses. The once weak junkie is learning to accept his fate, while the once impervious DEA Superman must come to terms with the effects of getting shot 4 times. Jessie’s murder of Gale, while resulting in Walt’s survival, has filled him with contempt for the man who made it necessary. You can see it on his face at the lab when confronted with Gus. Hank however is now reduced to a bed-pan and a reliance on his wife. This is something new to him, his power is gone. This leads the audience to garner a new-found respect for Marie, who early in the show was portrayed as a childish brat, she has now grown up very quickly.

Skyler on the other hand, rather than getting stronger like her little sister, seems to be weakening, and moving towards the dark side. For as much shit as she gives Walt all the time, she’s not complaining about the money that’s paying for Hank’s therapy, and now she’s even conning poor lock smiths into breaking the law for her. Shame.

As for Walt, he seems only slightly more scattered than Mike. Gus’ reaction clearly caught Mike and Walt more off guard than they did Jessie. And it’s a move that may save them later. This unexpected execution could very well drive a wedge between Gus and Mike.

Anywho – Walter seemed rattled, but it’s clear from his speech to Gus that he’s getting harder. A man can only be pushed so far…

Alright, let’s talk about Gale Boetticher. He was a good man, and a good chemist. And I  cared about him. He didn’t deserve what happened to him, he didn’t deserve it at all. But I’d shoot him again tomorrow. And the next day, and the day after that. When you make it Gale vs Me, or Gale vs Jessie, Gale loses. Simple as that. 

This has set up what should prove to be an excellent 4th season of a show that has done nothing but get better as it’s gone. I loved the disposal of the body, which called back to troubles they had season 1, and feed into the advice Walt was given by both Gus and Mike in season 3 – “Never make the same mistake twice.” Between Gale’s notebook, Walt’s new found spine (Saul’s lack one), and what we can expect from Jessie, I have to say – I don’t have to be disappointed Sunday  All and all, a very good episode. I give it a 4.5/5 Bears.