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Breaking Bad


futureshock
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All I see in the spoilered shot is a completely blurred image which looks like it might be sky. Just me?

I guess when you line them up like that it's not a perfect copy (that's Walt out of focus there, sorry if my iphone screen grab is unclear, and I might have butchered the framing with an iPhone aspect ratio too). They're not hitting you over the head with it, but the black framing around Wayne walking away is one of the most celebrated and discussed images in Westerns, and aligns perfectly with what's happening at that moment in the story. I'm certain it was a deliberate quotation: what Vince says about other scenes just reinforces that.
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As an aside, my sister was watching through the whole series on Netflix and I caught the episode where Jessie stops for gas in the RV and has no cash so tries to trade for meth. That shot where he leans in and the sunlight catches his blue eyes. I really notice how much his face has changed over the course of the series, his head is much more rounded now.

My wife pointed out that we've seen him grow from a boy into a man during the series and it's really worked for his character, but it totally screwed the newly shot flashback scenes as I can tell it isn't the younger him.

I guess they played on that in the box making shot

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As an aside, my sister was watching through the whole series on Netflix and I caught the episode where Jessie stops for gas in the RV and has no cash so tries to trade for meth. That shot where he leans in and the sunlight catches his blue eyes. I really notice how much his face has changed over the course of the series, his head is much more rounded now.

My wife pointed out that we've seen him grow from a boy into a man during the series and it's really worked for his character, but it totally screwed the newly shot flashback scenes as I can tell it isn't the younger him.

I guess they played on that in the box making shot

I didn't think it was a flashback, more his mind trying to cope with what he's being forced to do and substituting it with a dream.

I also can't believe some critics are saying it should all have been a dream. What mentalness is this!?

Anyway, fantastic end to a fantastic show. I felt really sad at the end.

I did guess that Walt would use Skinny Pete and Badger, just not for what I was expecting.

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The fact is was in the sugar stuff means we can't be sure exactly how much he'd put in. Presumably some of the Stevia would have to remain otherwise she'd wonder why her tea wasn't sweet.

Wasn't Walt's the second sachet she'd put in? It'd be sweet.

Also she's definitely dead, I'm afraid. Also just because Todd is dead now doesn't mean you can swoop straight in, give the woman some space. Also she's fictional. And dead.

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The meth Jesse was making was actually better than Walt's...

I remember Gale talking to Gus about Walt's meth being 98% pure, how he (Gale) could maybe give Gus 96% and what a huge difference that 2% difference represented in terms of chemistry genius. The best I heard Todd accredit Jesse with was 96%?
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I also can't believe some critics are saying it should all have been a dream. What mentalness is this!?

Here's the New Yorker article. She doesn't say the whole thing should have been a dream, but that it would have been a more satisfying finale for her if everything after Walt freezing in the car at the end had been a dying fantasy about he'd like to have gone out.

http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/culture/2013/09/breaking-bad-finale-reviewed.html

I don't agree with the idea that giving Walt some redemption and letting him control his own demise was contrary to the tone of the rest of the series. The last two episodes have brought him so low - I don't think it was ever intended to be a show that made the audience feel miserable with no respite at the end. I don't think leaving Walt to suffer a pathetic death with things left unresolved would have been the right way to go at all. She has a point about how everything seemed to go exactly as Walt planned, despite how many things could have gone wrong, but that didn't affect my enjoyment.

It was a relatively low key finale, but I think it's a slow burner. Instead of leaving me pacing around the room going "oh fuck oh fuck", as previous episodes have, it was only this morning that I started to ruminate on it. Instead of predictable I'd say it felt inevitable. There were no more curveballs left to throw. As someone else mentioned, the show had already reached its climax with Hank's death and the ensuing fallout. This was a reflective coda that allowed Walt to put some things right before he died.

I loved the Western feel. The sparse dialogue between the key characters was perfectly chosen. Long discussions about what had happened would have felt false. Walt has fucked up the lives of everyone around him real good - nothing he could say to Sky, Jr or Jesse could put things right. In Jr's case there was literally nothing to say. It was well judged.

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I would have gone nuts if there was an 'and it was all a fantasy' ending, what a cop out that would have been. I loved it, I thought it was so well pitched.

Again, she's not saying that. She's saying that, given the finale that was presented to her, it would have been more satisfying if what she saw could be explained as a dying fantasy from the point at which he finds the keys on top of the sun shade. She would have preferred a different resolution altogether.

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It definitely wasn't a straightforward redemption, either. Walt owns his mistakes and has an explicit self-realisation that he wasn't doing it for the family at all but was doing it for himself (a scene which, as Goldaline said earlier, seemed to me a mild fuck-you to the Walt apologists who bought into his for-the-family line - subtext becoming text in the form of a character moment). He isn't redeeming himself at the end - he's patching things up as best he can when things have already crashed down around him and proper redemption is impossible, and then, that done, he takes comfort in knowing that his criminal reputation will be at least partly intact and that he's still good at doing this stuff, right up to the end. Redemption would have been to renounce it entirely; that's not in Walt's character and there was no chance of us getting that.

A very satisfying ending and impossible not to want his revenge to succeed but a redemption for Walt? No. Not in the slightest.

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Loved the final insider podcast and will miss those too. Vince has been on every podcast and as Kelly Dixon brought up last week he is one of the most genuine and honest people out there. He's always sharing his bad ideas and doubts. Always so sincere about what was planned, what wasn't and all the flukes. I feel he saved his best secret story for the final podcast though, he talks more in depth about his plan to kill off Jesse and what follows that. It is amazing yet very dark/twisted plotline which is really cool but wasn't the right choice for the show and thankfully his writers persuaded him not to go down that route. As the guy says himself all the time, the show is really a collaboration.

I'd recommend listening to it but if you're not check this out;

Jesse gets murdered by a 'badass' bad guy at the end of season 1. This really hits Walt and he becomes deeply rooted in anger. He manages to kidnap this 'badass' guy and keep him as a prisoner in the basement. He ties him up against the wall and sets up a shotgun that is pointed at his prisoner with a wire attached, Walt won't kill him and wants the guy to pull the wire and kill himself. Everyday at a specific time Walt comes down and chops off part of this prisoner. Thing is this guy is so 'badass' that he holds out and eventually half of his body has been chopped off over time. Then one day Junior discovers this on his own and tries to help the guy. He asks Junior who he is and he finds out this is Walt's son. He pulls the wire and they both die........

Amazing but yeah :D Vince would pitch this idea to various groups (his writers, Sony, AMC) and always get strange looks.

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I remember Gale talking to Gus about Walt's meth being 98% pure, how he (Gale) could maybe give Gus 96% and what a huge difference that 2% difference represented in terms of chemistry genius. The best I heard Todd accredit Jesse with was 96%?

Did I imagine a look of pride on Walts face when he was looking at Jesses cook? Like when he tapped the dial on the thing and it didn’t move.

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IGraham has already said that wanting more character/relationship exploration is "wanting it to be something it's not", which unfortunately is the exact defence people use when they love a completely mindless explosion film. I feel like all the loose ends were tied up, with the exception of everything that was to do with character or relationships. Marie's exit - what was that? Why was she even in it?! They kind of "teased" with characters. Hank was a potentially awesome character, but he never really got his crowning moment. The "my name is ASAC Schrader" thing was cool, except it contradicted the fact that for a while before that he'd been acting quite unprofessionally. Come on, his reasons for not telling the DEA about his suspicions were bogus, not character driven, but in service of how the writers wanted the plot to .

I think characters like Walt, Jesse and Skylar have had plenty of interesting stuff to do over the seasons, and are enriched enormously by the performances, but they too have to suffer a bit to drive the plot and all its reversals of fortune over so many episodes. I think a character like Hank, which could have been not much more than comic relief, has been elevated way beyond my expectations for the character over the run. I think Marie had about as much screen time in the finale as she deserved: someone's observation about her drained colour palette and her reaching out to warn her sister was enough for me.

I'm sure you can always hope for things to be better somehow, but I struggle to imagine how a show with characters like Six Feet Under could be combined with a need for the cliffhangers and derring do of a King of the Rocketmen serial.

I do think for me that the type of show that it is will probably stop it from being up there with my absolute favourites, other programmes are ultimately more profound and meaningful to me, but I really think Breaking Bad achieves so much it's a bit churlish to moan too much. I'm just astonished and grateful they pulled it off.

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I won't be watching this again any time soon. I'm going to let it fade from memory before I tackle it again.

My wife however has just starting watching it on her commute. It's both interesting and warming to hear her thoughts and comments of events which I watched ages ago.

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