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Monday
Sep302013

Yup, He Totally Broke Bad

JA from MNPP here - we all know, to varying degrees of consternation, that Nathaniel's not a viewer of Breaking Bad. But guess what - I am! Very much so. I've spent all morning reading recaps and opinion pieces on it. And I know there are a lot of you who are with me, and I'd love to hear y'all's opinions on last night's series ender. Tell me your thoughts in the comments! Since nobody's clicking on The Film Experience expecting spoilers for Breaking Bad I'm not going to write up any extensive thoughts here out in the open where anybody could have it ruined, I'd feel awful. I'll just say that I personally found the finale pretty much entirely satisfying, and we can get into the nitty gritties of that "pretty much" in the comments, if you so desire...

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Reader Comments (13)

It will undoubtedly shock everyone to hear that i actually watched the final episode (recording problem with the dvr) since the boyfriend religiously watches Breaking Bad. Just as unpleasant as always! haha. but I will say that i imagined that that final shot of aaron paul was probably really satisfying for fans of the show because i felt something and i've know idea why since i didn't know what was going on.

September 30, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterNathanielR

Even though he was sidelined for most of the episode, Aaron Paul really brought it with that last shot. Good acting will always get across!

And ratings-wise I think there were a lot of people like you Nat who didn't normally watch the show that did, since its numbers were pretty big, as far as shows these days concerned. We'll never have another MASH finale but this was pretty watercooler. I've spied two different people in my office watching it on their computers today!

September 30, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJA

It was satisfying, but fell just shy of being a great finale. This season has necessarily kept Walt and Jesse apart for most of this season, and by focusing so much on Walt, it's almost like the writers forgot where the show's heart is. I might have wanted Walt to get his comeuppance, but I wanted Jesse to achieve his redemption even more, and besides the satisfaction of watching him kill Todd, we didn't really get to see that.

September 30, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBen

I felt like they really dropped the ball on Jesse's story. I was glad to see him get out alive - and Aaron Paul's expressiveness ensures even viewers like Nathaniel while have an emotional reaction - but I just kept thinking throughout those last few episodes that Jesse has been so broken and traumatized, and is so completely lacking in supports or skills to overcome that trauma, that I don't know he will ever come back from his experience. The final scene with him and Todd was not satisfying to me, because I just thought about how his actions were likely to cause him more trauma in the future (whether it was morally right for him to do that or not is not the question, rather the effect on him of having actually done it). And the final shot of him felt like a tacked on feel-good ending that doesn't acknowledge how difficult his life will probably be.

September 30, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterRebecca

I watched Revenge instead

September 30, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMadeline Stowe

I loved every minute of it, even if it all had a certain tidiness to it. After "Ozymandias" the final episodes have had an epilogue quality to them, and I'm fine with that.

September 30, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPaul Outlaw

I really liked the finale but hoped for a little more closure. Also, I wanted to see Lydia actually die. But I can't complain. Amazing show from start to finish. Not a single bad episode.

September 30, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSad man

Madeleine -- i worship you and injustice of injustices The Boyfriend informed me that i would have to wait to watch Revenge on demand since this was the last week there was a conflict in scheduling. too many shows on at once. Sunday night is trying to kill us all.

September 30, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterNathanielR

I personally enjoyed the finale: as a big Breaking Bad fan, I don't know if I can say if I LOVED it, but it was a satisfying end that tied everything up pretty nicely.

I think that maybe the finale tied things up a bit TOO well, since even though I don't necessarily think I wanted a "Sopranos"-esque ending, I still wanted something a little bit more left to stew and think about after the show's end.

But, I'll take it, Mr. Gilligan!

September 30, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterRyan M

not enough jesse or skyler... in the finale and the episode before.
in the other episode I get that the point was to make the viewer feel like walt, isolated from the other characters, but I didn't care much for it. and I thought maybe this episode we would see them a little more. (also, I could have lived without jesse being tortured and seeing andrea get shot in the head, because OBVIOUSLY he would escape after all that --- not that he was feeling 'good' in the end, of course)

loved the ending scenes, and the scene between skyler and walt... "If I hear you say you did it for the family one more time".

September 30, 2013 | Unregistered Commentermarcelo

I wanted more Skylar too, but if we'd gotten more of her (or Marie, who I adore) then maybe they would have died, so nevermind. Best the characters I liked stay out of the way! But that scene in the kitchen between Anna Gunn and Bryan Cranston was AMAZING. Gunn is so good, I'm so happy she got an Emmy.

September 30, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJA

To me this episode owed a lot to John Ford, particularly two pantheon Ford movies: The Searchers and The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance. The Ethan Edwards connection should be obvious but Walt is the twist on the Jimmy Stewart character in Liberty Valance. He has no time or distance to clear the legend of Heisenberg. The legend has become fact, print the legend. That legend can only live but the world of his construct needs to die with him for the sake of the people he loved that he dragged with him into this world.

"but I just kept thinking throughout those last few episodes that Jesse has been so broken and traumatized, and is so completely lacking in supports or skills to overcome that trauma, that I don't know he will ever come back from his experience. The final scene with him and Todd was not satisfying to me, because I just thought about how his actions were likely to cause him more trauma in the future (whether it was morally right for him to do that or not is not the question, rather the effect on him of having actually done it). And the final shot of him felt like a tacked on feel-good ending that doesn't acknowledge how difficult his life will probably be.:

Walt was prepared to kill Jesse. Walt figured that Jesse had moved into his spot. Then he saw this was not the case and he was spinning in limbo. Walt let him have the choice of killing him. But here is what separates Walt and Jesse: Jesse feels like the biggest punishment of death is the rug pulled right out under you. Walt clearly does not. Jesse's hell was Walt's heaven... or probably the hell where he can die in. I took Jesse as a cathartic exit in the way people who had just escaped in a horror movie.

Jesse is not a criminal and he is not a killer despite being in a criminal enterprise and killing people. He did these things to survive but he has revealed himself as a moral person whose guilt was always a touchstone of the series. Jesse rejects the blue meth and Walt let's him go while giving Jesse a possible catharsis to kill him. But that is not Jesse. I thought it was really in-character.

Jesse can probably never come back or close the door on his life but I think knowing everybody in that world who were out to get him are dead or completely divorced from that world works as his ending. I can see Jesse going to schools talking about his experience and what the enterprise did to him.

I am not even close to being a #TeamWalt kind of person but to me this ending makes a lot of sense. I still care about the living characters in this series and what is next for them. But maybe it is the lapsed Catholic in me who found the whole show functioned like a Dante's Inferno that I appreciated how Jesse and Walt revealed themselves to be the people they always were. The meth lab was hell and Walt belonged there, not Jesse.

I would've liked more Skyler and Marie rather than exposition said in the previous episode but I think as a final 8, this show covered a lot of ground and operated in a structure that was deceptively ambitious and yet simplistic at the same time.

September 30, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCMG

It was good, but honestly I would have been happier if the show had ended on Ozymandias with a few threads getting tied up there because I feel like it was just too "neat" here for how big of a mess Walt caused. Wanted more Jesse who was given so little and deserved more for how invested people were in him. Would have liked to see him like go and take care of Brock or something. Same with Marie, she deserved something other than just warning Skyler about Walt, especially after Hank. Skyler and Flynn I think ended just right. Dissapointed though that the ricin was just for Lydia, kept thinking it would be for Walt.

Overall it just went as expected as it could get.

September 30, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSeeking Amy

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