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Vinny Ginardi: The wait is finally over! This Sunday, one of television’s best shows will return to AMC. Admittedly, the wait hasn’t been all that long for me, as I watched all four seasons this past winter. Nonetheless, I am excited to watch the beginning of the end of the tale of Walter White but am equally unprepared to be forced to wait an entire week to find out what happens next (has any show had more of a I-need-to-know-what-happens-next factor than Breaking Bad?).
Let’s take a moment to look at the show as a whole before discussing where season five might be headed.
Breaking Bad is a rarity in television in that it has gotten better with each and every season (this isn’t to say that the first season is weak, because it isn’t). This of course has elevated my expectations to even a higher level for the series’ concluding season. Some people believe that Breaking Bad is already the best show of all time, and if season five ends up being the best season of them series, then it would certainly have to at least be in the discussion.
What also makes Breaking Bad unique is its central character, Walter White. Throughout the four seasons, Walt has gradually transformed (or as Walt describes in the very first episode: growth, decay, and then transformation) from the chemistry teacher with a terminal illness trying to provide for his family into a stubborn, arrogant, power-thirsty drug provider with little regard for morality. The idea of the central character gradually becoming less and less likable makes the show even more compelling.
Mike Aurigemma: I cannot believe that Breaking Bad will finally be starting back up. I also have to admit that my wait has not been as long as others, but it still felt like an eternity.
There is a very good chance that this season will cement Breaking Bad into the discussion for best show ever and it will be interesting to see where they go from here. As Vinny mentioned the development of Walter White has been phenomenal throughout all of the seasons and he could easily go down as the best character in the history of television. Not only has Breaking Bad done a great job with the development of Walter, but his relationship with Jesse Pinkman has been outstanding as well. The roller coaster ride that they have both been on is truly a work of art and my favorite part of the show.
I am truly hoping that the show will really end on a high note and continue the progress of getting better each and every season. Luckily, the wait will not be too much longer to find out if that will be the case.
Michael Cresci: AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! BREAKING FUCKING BAD!
Okay, okay. I’ll calm down. My favorite show on television (and probably ever) is coming back on Sunday and I couldn’t be more excited. I watched the first three seasons of the show in about two weeks of pure addiction (pun intended). I was in love with the layered, brilliantly acted characters, the escalating stakes, the beautiful and strange cinematography and the sly dark humor. Most of all I loved how Breaking Bad doesn’t shy away from consequences. Every single thing that has happened can be traced back to Walt’s decision to start cooking and that first run in with Krazy 8. When I finished season 3 I was convinced I’d just watched the series’ finale, it was that epic and it didn’t seem like the show had anyway out of the staggering corner it had written itself into. Then season 4 started with a boxcutter and a pool of blood and an even better season began.
The best part about watching season four on a weekly basis was the way each episode seemed like an important event. First you sit anxiously awaiting the always brilliant cold opens and then watch television history get made for the next hour. Moments like the end of “Crawl Space”are so affecting that at the time I literally was left with my mouth wide open and unable to talk. I had goosebumps, there is no other way to describe it. No show is better at presenting heightened moments and impossible stakes. Nothing ever feels cheap or easy and I have complete confidence that Vince Gilligan is going to deliver an incredible fifth season.
VG: The fourth season was full of those powerful moments, from Walt’s “I am the danger” scene to Jesse and Walt’s fight to Gus’ face being blown off. The season ends with Gus’ death, Walt proclaiming that he “won”, and a slow focus showing us that Walt would go to any level to get what he wants.
So where does that leave us? Gus is gone. The cartel too. And as the season five trailer shows us, that leaves Walt as the king.
Cresci mentioned how Breaking Bad doesn’t shy away from consequences, which is true. Because of Walt, a plane has crashed. Innocent lives have been lost. His brother in-law was shot and paralyzed. His wife left him. The list goes on and on. The deeper Walt gets invested in and consumed by the drug dealing word, the heavier the consequences become. While there have been several chain reactions because of Walt’s actions, most of them have negatively affected others, and not Walt himself. Does that mean that Walt will experience the ultimate consequence in this final season? Will Walt’s life be taken, just like the numerous lives that have been taken because of him?
MA: It really will be amazing to see what direction this show will lead us in now. Walt has already done so much to get where he is it is tough to imagine what could be next for him. This is why it would seem like this season would have to be based on his fall from power.
Vinny I think you brought up a great point on how Walt has been negatively impacting those around him. Eventually things have to go against Walt. No one can last this long with the decisions that he has made.
One of the more interesting things to me is if Walt does have a fall who will go down with him. Will Jesse suffer the same fate as Walt? What about the rest of his family? How will they be left behind?