Wednesday, October 12, 2011

1634 - Breaking Bad: season four

I saw the first three seasons of this show back to back because I was late to it, so this was the first time that I had to wait week by week, and if you're a fan of the show you know that that's torture.  I have to be honest in that I was getting pretty impatient with the beginning of this season.  The first episode was pretty solid - and I'm sure that if you watched it back to back with last's seasons finale, the pace was a nice relief.  The three episodes or so that followed felt a tad labored though.  I know that they probably needed it to set up what was to come, but I can't tell you how sick I was of Hank and his rock collection.  And when the show resort to watching Marie deal with her kleptomania, you know that you're not in the most exciting part of the season.  Given how much those characters fall to the way-side once shit hits the fan it should be a pretty significant sign to the creative team that these cast members aren't that important, and so spending ridiculous amount of screen time on them just makes us want to get back to the characters that are. 
The rest of this is going to be pretty SPOILER HEAVY, I can't imagine anyone would be reading this that hasn't seen the season - but there's your warning.  Take it or leave it.

First, for anyone interesting click here to get a link to an interview that the A.V. Club did with the showrunner Vince Gilligan - it breaks down every episode this season and it's a pretty awesome window into how they work on the show.
Gus has been an amazing villain, and a real opponent for Walt and Jesse.  The game of chess that they played this season was extraordinary.  And just as you were starting to really dislike Walt they had Gus come in and knock him down a few notches so that you could feel sorry for him.  Brilliantly played.  This show is easily one of the more visually styled show on television, and it almost always work in their favor.  With the exception of those early episodes this season, this has been a series that is always top notch.  The stakes are high, which helps, but the brilliance is that the show never takes itself uber seriously.  There is always a bit of a wink there.  Take Gus' death in the season finale - no way that man walks out of that room, but it's fine because if anyone, he deserved a kick-ass death. 
The dynamic between Walt and Jesse was superb this year and it really tested their relationship - and will continue to do so based on the path that Walt is now on.  I'm going to make a bit of a prediction.  Given that next season is their last, I really believe that the focus is going to shift ever so slightly.  Walt is finally going to fully transform into the shows villain (all hail Heisenberg) and it'll be about Hank and/or Jesse taking him down in the end (unless the cancer gets to him first, which would be the ultimate irony). 
This is a great show and it's been a (mostly) great season.  Can't wait to see where they go next.  Just hope that they don't take as big a break as they did between the last season and this one. 

1 comment:

Jennifer Bragg said...

I agree with your prediction on Walt's fate and I think at this point it's the only ending that would satisfy me.

It's funny b/c I too watched the first 3 seasons back to back and then the 4th season week to week on TV ;)

The relationship between Walt and Jesse used to be weirdly uplifting because in his own messed up way Walt became a father figure and a mentor to Jesse. He gave him a focus that he never had before. But after 4 seasons of manipulation, I just want to bash Walt in the face for all of the incredibly selfish, underhanded and shockingly awful things he has put Jesse through.