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Breaking Bad Final Season Continues August 11th

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I enjoy watching this television program.

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The Hank stuff was intense, but I find myself preoccupied with the mystery of the flash forward. It appears Walt's family was killed by someone who wanted to send a message to "Heisenberg". The question remains who? The Arizona cartel? The Mexican cartel? Todd's Aryan pals? Lydia's Czechs? Old friends of Gus Fring's?  Who's Walt going to poison, and who's he just going to blow away?

OR

Once Walter White was finally exposed as Heisenburg, his story becomes so infamous while he is on the run that people became infatuated with him enough to spray graffiti in his now abandoned house. Just like when crazy people deface the graves of famous musicians.

 

 

I kinda thought that too at first, but if he was THAT notorious, it's probably unlikely he would have gotten through his Denny's birthday breakfast without being recognized.

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I'm thinking Walt is going to agree to help Lydia's operation out if she arranges to get rid of Hank.  Also predicting Walt himself ends up taking the ricin when he finally realizes he's going to be captured/killed.

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Watching Talking Bad...

How sick do you think Vince Gilligan is of reciting the "It's Mr. Chips turns into Scarface" pitch in interviews? Because I'm sick for him.

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That last line of the premiere ranks up there with "I AM the one who knocks" in great Walt lines.  I don't know why, but I always get the chills when Walt is so desperately trying to be a badass.

 

I was a little worried at first, because I thought the wait had been so long, and it might not live up to expectations, but the last twenty was amazing.  I just love it when characters behave exactly like you hope they would.

 

 

Trying?  I dunno, man, Hank finally met Heisenberg and he looked like he was about to shit his pants.  And the last guy who punched Walt didn't turn out so well, and that guy actually knew who he was dealing with.  This seemed to me to lay it out that Hank is in over his head and shit's about to wind down for the guy.  

 

Brilliant bit on that from the AVClub Review (which I would put in spoiler tags but I'm not sure how to do on the new board.)

 

But there’s another side to Walt’s restful retirement and tiresome re-raveling of loose ends. Like most premature retirees, he’s bored stiff, and as is traditional, he copes by interfering in his wife’s business. Look at how he shows up at the carwash to bug Skyler about his elaborate plan for restructuring the displays to move more high-margin air fresheners. The man always got off on solving problems better than anyone else. Now the only outlets for his talents are penny-ante schemes to move money around, one $14.95 basic wash at a time. (“Please give this to your carwash professional, and have an A-1 day.”)

 

So when he realizes Leaves Of Grass is missing, connects the dots to Hank’s discomfort, and confirms his suspicions by finding a tracking device on his Dodge Challenger, it’s both terrible and wonderful. Terrible: His secret is out. Wonderful: He has a project. And he feels fully up to the task, all but sneering at Hank for his clumsy use of the same tracking device the two of them planted on Fring’s car. “If you don’t know who I am, maybe your best course of action is to tread lightly,” he warns a shaken, awestruck Hank. Making meth was never what Heisenberg was all about. Having an enemy to crush, whether it be in business or in the struggle to survive—that’s the essence of Walt’s alter ego. And he seems to grow a foot taller when he’s able to set that side of himself free.

 

EDIT:  Rewatching now.  Really hating that in the midst of all the Hank/Walt talk, the Badger/Pete fanfic isn't going to get its proper due.

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One of the great tragedies of the scope of the show getting bigger is the diminished role of Badger and Skinny Pete. Those guys are great. Them infiltrating the NA meeting to sell meth and accidentally getting sober in the process was such an underrated moment in the history of the show. (Although I guess they didn't stick with it...)

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The Hank stuff was intense, but I find myself preoccupied with the mystery of the flash forward. It appears Walt's family was killed by someone who wanted to send a message to "Heisenberg". The question remains who? The Arizona cartel? The Mexican cartel? Todd's Aryan pals? Lydia's Czechs? Old friends of Gus Fring's?  Who's Walt going to poison, and who's he just going to blow away?

OR

Once Walter White was finally exposed as Heisenburg, his story becomes so infamous while he is on the run that people became infatuated with him enough to spray graffiti in his now abandoned house. Just like when crazy people deface the graves of famous musicians.

 

 

I kinda thought that too at first, but if he was THAT notorious, it's probably unlikely he would have gotten through his Denny's birthday breakfast without being recognized.

 

IMO, it would explain why he would need a fake New Hampshire ID and Carol's reaction to him in the driveway. I think he wasn't that concerned with being recognized in the first place and he was probably outside of ABQ enough where people readily wouldn't identify him. Also, the black guy sitting a few chairs down from him at the diner was pretty bemused for seeing someone break up bacon. He probably did a double take and thought it was him. With the firepower Lawson gave him, calling the cops on him or following him outside the diner wouldn't do much to deter him.

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That last line of the premiere ranks up there with "I AM the one who knocks" in great Walt lines.  I don't know why, but I always get the chills when Walt is so desperately trying to be a badass.

 

I was a little worried at first, because I thought the wait had been so long, and it might not live up to expectations, but the last twenty was amazing.  I just love it when characters behave exactly like you hope they would.

 

 

Trying?  I dunno, man, Hank finally met Heisenberg and he looked like he was about to shit his pants.  And the last guy who punched Walt didn't turn out so well, and that guy actually knew who he was dealing with.  This seemed to me to lay it out that Hank is in over his head and shit's about to wind down for the guy.  

 

 

Heisenberg is a badass but Heisenberg is still just a role Walter White is playing, being the man he has always wanted to be.  But despite all the grandstanding and bravado, he's still Walter White, and Walter White is a pussy.  Even in the confrontation with Hank, his first line of defense after getting his ass kicked is to play the pity card because of his cancer situation.  It's only when his family is brought into it that he switches gears.

 

I've just always seen Heisenberg as the guy who drops great lines because he saw them in other TV shows or movies.

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Wow, I couldn't (respectfully of course!) disagree more.  I don't think he's "playing the cancer situation" so much as telling Hank that there's an easier way out of all this.  Walt is the pussy in the sense that he lies (or used to lie) to himself and couldn't admit shit to anybody, but that's about it.  There's that scene after the Cousins fuck up Hank where Walt gives Hank that pep talk about being empowered after his cancer, I think that's Walt being straight up about how much he doesn't give a fuck and how crazy and dangerous of a sociopath he is.  Walter is a self-righteous blowhard that overestimates himself to absurdity, and his ego is his biggest weakness, but he's the real deal and everyone who underestimates him dies.  Hank is just another cop show detective who loves to trash the law for his self-righteous hunches, but at the end of the fucking day, he can't even sniff out his own brother-in-law so clearly under his nose, and Walt, killer of Gus Fring and Mike the fucking Cleaner and perpetrator of train heists and all sorts of other horrible acts, knows this and is kind of annoyed by his shit.  That's why he so boldly walks in there, confident that Hank is just the latest bump in Heisenberg's road.  His reaction to Hank is much like Gus's reaction to Hank when he was finally going to finish him off, before Walt blew the whistle.  I think Hank is going to be a bit crafty and maybe even expose Walt, but only after he admits to himself that this is a bigger fish than he's ever seen and he can't just punch the guy around in his garage and expect results.

 

The thing that that makes the audience, myself included, hate Walt so much is that he's the real fucking deal.  We want him to just be this whiny fucking asshole in over his head, but then HE WINS.  Every time, over and over again because, well, he's a crazy evil genius bad motherfucker.  

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At some point Heisenberg might have simply been a role Walter was playing, but I think we are well beyond it now.

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I've always felt that Heisenberg is who Walter really is.  The beaten down, lower middle class, working two jobs schlub we meet in the pilot isn't the real Walter White.  That's what he became after the whole Gray Matter debacle destroyed his confidence.  The flashback with him and Gretchen shows the dynamic, energetic Walter White.  The same Walter we see when Heisenberg is carrying out one of his schemes.  The ego was always inside of him.  His cancer just gave him an excuse to let it out again.  I also think the anger over what his life had become gave him the ability to carry out some of his more despicable deeds.  I think Walter looks at it as "getting even" with life for the shit hand he feels he was dealt.  His chance at greatness was taken from him once, so he sees anyone standing in his path to greatness this time as nothing more than a speed bump he has to run over.

 

I loved this episode.  I really thought they'd do a slow burn with Walt and Hank, leading to a big confrontation at the end of the season.  As usual they turned my expectations on their head and delivered something much better. 

 

Seeing Skinny Pete with hair on Talking Bad was creepy. 

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They way the house was abandoned and fenced off, it seems like the property was seized. That seems to indicate that in the flash forwards, Walt is on the lam.

I think the catalyst for something really big will be Jesse dying. Walt goes into hiding, Hank kills Jesse, so Walt comes back for Hank?

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My wildly off-base speculation that will surely look silly weeks from now:

The Aryans, or whoever, come for Walt at his home (that's been Skyler's nightmare for forever, so of course that has to happen), but Hank saves the day. Skyler and the kids go to witsec or something like that, but Walt uses Saul's guy to vanish. Walt is exposed as a criminal and becomes one of the most wanted dudes in America. In lieu of Walt, Lydia & Co. settle for kidnapping Jesse and putting him to work. Walt comes back to save Jesse. And then....who the fuck knows.

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I've always felt that Heisenberg is who Walter really is.  The beaten down, lower middle class, working two jobs schlub we meet in the pilot isn't the real Walter White.  That's what he became after the whole Gray Matter debacle destroyed his confidence.  The flashback with him and Gretchen shows the dynamic, energetic Walter White.  The same Walter we see when Heisenberg is carrying out one of his schemes.  The ego was always inside of him.  His cancer just gave him an excuse to let it out again.  I also think the anger over what his life had become gave him the ability to carry out some of his more despicable deeds.  I think Walter looks at it as "getting even" with life for the shit hand he feels he was dealt.  His chance at greatness was taken from him once, so he sees anyone standing in his path to greatness this time as nothing more than a speed bump he has to run over.

 

I completely agree.  I also think that it was more Heisenberg who burned down the bridges with Grey Matter back in the day than Walt. 

 

Seeing Skinny Pete with hair on Talking Bad was creepy.

 

Stuff like this is why I refuse to watch Talking Bad.

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I really like EVA's theory.

Something I didn't like is the Star Trek convo that went entirely too long.

Thats really the only negative I can think of. The line at the end like perfectly summed up Walter White. As some who has watched week to week from the beginning I can't wait to give it a couple of years and binge rewatch. Such a tight narrative.

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My wildly off-base speculation that will surely look silly weeks from now:The Aryans, or whoever, come for Walt at his home (that's been Skyler's nightmare for forever, so of course that has to happen), but Hank saves the day. Skyler and the kids go to witsec or something like that, but Walt uses Saul's guy to vanish. Walt is exposed as a criminal and becomes one of the most wanted dudes in America. In lieu of Walt, Lydia & Co. settle for kidnapping Jesse and putting him to work. Walt comes back to save Jesse. And then....who the fuck knows.

 

I would be totally on board with something like this happening.

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I really like EVA's theory.Something I didn't like is the Star Trek convo that went entirely too long.Thats really the only negative I can think of. The line at the end like perfectly summed up Walter White. As some who has watched week to week from the beginning I can't wait to give it a couple of years and binge rewatch. Such a tight narrative.

For me it didn't go on long enough :) But I see your point. I'm happy we are still getting some levity from the heavy serious stuff.

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My wildly off-base speculation that will surely look silly weeks from now:The Aryans, or whoever, come for Walt at his home (that's been Skyler's nightmare for forever, so of course that has to happen), but Hank saves the day. Skyler and the kids go to witsec or something like that, but Walt uses Saul's guy to vanish. Walt is exposed as a criminal and becomes one of the most wanted dudes in America. In lieu of Walt, Lydia & Co. settle for kidnapping Jesse and putting him to work. Walt comes back to save Jesse. And then....who the fuck knows.

 

I'm skeptical Walt's selfless enough to think about saving Jesse if everything else has blown up in his face.  I've always thought Jesse's relationship was built on need and Walt's pathos and wouldn't stand a test where Walt didn't have something to gain from preserving his status quo with Jesse.  My opinion is that Walt is the ultimate "have-your-cake-and-eat-it-too" guy,  He wants everything all at once.  He wants to be let his Heisenberg personality run wild, but doesn't until an event occurs where he can act out his impulses, but still rationalize it as doing the right thing, given the circumstances.  He wants the power & influence being a drug kingpin affords, but still wants the conventional middle class respect: wife, kid, adoring neighbors, etc.  As he's gotten deeper into the drug trade, he's found it's not enough just to be rich and powerful.  He wants people to know it, to know he's a somebody, while at the same time realizing people can't know.  So he takes some unnecessary risks and flaunts his new role in front of people like Hank, using the knowledge that they should know, but don't (because he's too smart for them) as a replacement for the satisfaction of people knowing he's a somebody.

 

Jesse's just a tool to him, but Walt doesn't want to admit that to himself, so he plays at being a real friend to the kid. 

 

If it all turns to shit for Walt (which it will), I'd guess he'd cut bait and leave Jesse to fend for himself.  Unless he further deludes himself into thinking that something can still be gained from keeping Jesse on his side.  I could see him being exposed and destroyed, and making some grand, over-the-top play to "save" Jesse as a way of proving to Skyler and/or Hank that, at his core, he really is Walter White. That Heisenberg really is just a role he plays. 

 

The problem with that is it's probably not true.

 

Great character and a great ep. 

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Yeah, I definitely have the exact opposite take on Walt/Jesse. Walt's feelings for Jesse are genuine. Cranston has said as much, that he saw Jesse as a lost boy that he could save. Of course, it's often difficult to reconcile that with how Walt actually treats Jesse at times, but I think that's a defense mechanism for Walt. He is often cruel and callous to Jesse because he thinks tearing down Jesse's self-esteem will keep Jesse from leaving him. It's an emotionally abusive relationship, for sure, but emotional abusers do care about the people they abuse (mostly), they just have really fucked up ways of showing it.

This was plainly played out at the end of last season (either in "Buyouts" or "Say My Name"), in that period when the kids were staying with Hank and Skyler was waiting for him to die, when Jesse showed up at Vamanos demanding his buyout. Walt runs through his Greatest Hits of manipulation to convince Jesse to stay, but to no avail. And the look on Walt's face after the door slams and he realizes Jesse isn't coming back says it all. It's not professional frustration that he's been left alone to run the new enterprise or that he won't get to set up the second cook he was going to put Jesse on. The hurt is clearly much deeper than that. At that point, Jesse represented the last reciprocal, unencumbered caring relationship he had left, and he wanted desperately to keep it.

Jesse IS his surrogate son. And despite all the ugliness in Walt that has been exposed over the course of the show, it has never been a lie when he talks about how much he cares about his family. I fully believe that, if put in a situation where he had permanently lost his biological family, whether through death (unlikely) or being placed in some sort of protective custody where he couldn't get find them, he would go to war for his surrogate son.

Lest anyone forget (because it seems like ages ago now), Walt screwed up his relationship with Gus irreconcilably FOR Jesse when he killed those street dealers. He could have easily stayed out of it, let Jesse get killed, and kept making money hand over fist at the superlab. But he didn't, because he cares.

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The premiere drew 5.9 million viewers, up a shocking 102% over last year's premiere and easily the show's biggest audience ever.

Saturday afternoon, I was hanging out with a friend playing videogames and he noted that almost everyone on his friends list was watching Netflix. I joked, "They're all catching up on BREAKING BAD before the last season starts tomorrow." Maybe I was right?

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That gif is glorious.

 

BB had never had an ep top three million viewers, let alone approach six. That's absurd. There will be a drop for the second ep (because there's ALWAYS a drop), but lord knows how much. Cranston directed last night's ep, btw

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I'm leaning toward the "Walt is going to save Jesse" idea.  I also don't think it's fair to judge what Walt is doing by that point by what's going on now.  Walt is irredeemable, but by the time the last event rolls around, he's likely to be a very different person with a very different perspective on his actions.

 

I loved the Pete/Badger thing, and I HATE to be this guy, but, well, the ricin has always been (and consistently referred to by critics as) a Chekhov's gun, and blueberry pies are being transported from stomach to space until one distraction fucks the whole thing up.  It'll definitely be something to pay closer attention to on rewatch.  Oh and:

 

http://www.vulture.com/2013/08/breaking-bad-badger-star-trek-story-animated.html

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It really was all anyone was talking about last night. It's strange because I didn't start watching in real time until right before season 4 and I was the only person I knew who was watching it. Now it feels like everyone is watching it. I think Netflix probably has a lot to do with it.

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