Breaking Bad is back!
Walt vs. Hank. Let the games begin!
The final season of Breaking Bad starts tomorrow night and the buzz and excitement couldn’t be stronger. For all Breaking Bad fans, this is the moment we have been waiting for. Walt’s veil of secrecy has finally been revealed. We’re giddy, giddy, giddy with anticipation!
Warning, spoilers ahead.
When it comes to TV, I’ve been around the block and back and then some. I think Breaking Bad is arguably the best TV drama of all time. It’s smart, yet amazingly accessible. Suspenseful and yet fun. For modern TV, I think The Sopranos and several seasons of Dexter also had greatness in them. But unlike those shows, Breaking Bad has a leading character that has completely evolved and changed. That difference puts it at the top of the heap for me.
Breaking Bad has a memorable storyline. I never expected to like a show that revolves around drugs like crystal meth, but that’s what makes the show brilliant. Its creator Vince Gilligan has also filled the show with a treasure trove of unforgettable characters. From leading man, Walter White, the goody two shoes, ethical science teacher who “breaks bad,” to Jesse Pinkman, the loser meth dealer who develops into a good guy with a conscience. Gilligan has taken these characters on a long drive in the amazing Arizona sunset and we loved being their passengers.
There was also a brilliant performance by Giancarlo Esposito as Gus Fring. He took a part originally written for just one episode and turned it into TV’s most brilliant and complicated villain — a chilling bad guy with a huge moral code of honor. His explosive death was the best season ending finale ever.
Gilligan has also paid beautiful attention to minor characters.
The “cousins” had to be two of TV’s most memorable hit men — introduced by crawling on their bellies to a shrine in Mexico. What an entrance! Their final “One Minute” showdown with Hank Schrader was a hyper-suspenseful Hitchcockian-like scene. Jane, Jesse’s ill-fated lover, was memorable for what she didn’t do. She triggered Walt to commit a crime of omission, clear evidence he had indeed “broken bad.”
There have been numerous memorable bad guy drug dealers, including Crazy 8 and Tuco Salamanca. Then there was the brilliant character Hector Salamanca. Paralyzed, in a wheelchair, with the ability to communicate only through facial expressions and ringing a bell with one finger. Yet he said and did sooo much.
Gilligan gave us fun minor characters like Jesse’s clueless pals Badger, Combo, and Skinny Pete; a strange guy on a truck selling handguns to the cousins while rattling off an obscene sex story; two bizarre meth heads, one being “TUCKER!!!” who Jesse convinces to dig a hole because “you know why;” and Spooge and his creepy girlfriend who raised a poor child in deplorable conditions.
I could go on forever singing the praises of Breaking Bad. But instead, I’ll do a write up following each episode of the final season. I don’t expect the last episode will have the White family sitting around a diner eating onion rings a la The Sopranos. The bar is raised higher for Gilligan and company.
Forget raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens. These are a few of my favorite things from Breaking Bad:
Elements in the opening credits (one is always wrong)
Tortuga’s head on a turtle
The pink Teddy bear’s eye
A PLASTIC container
Heisenberg’s pork pie hat
Better call Saul
I know a guy who knows a guy
I got a get of jail free card, bitch
Walt Jr.’s love of breakfast
Lily of the Valley
Ding, Ding, Ding
I am the danger. I am the one who knocks.