Monday, September 30, 2013

Breaking Down: Breaking Bad Season Five, Episode Sixteen: "Felina"

Stan Earnest: Golf clap.

Craig Scholes: I have mixed feelings on it.  I don't know what I was expecting, but I didn't love it.  I liked it; I’m not disappointed.  But I don't think it’s the best finale ever.

SE: So tell me what finale was better?

CS: Friday Night Lights.

SE: I take it Landry lives in that one? I should say kills.

CS: Yeah, but that’s not what made it great.

SE: Here is what made this great: Walt wins, and Jesse wins. Everybody wins.

CS: Walt didn't win.

SE: Walt was going to die anyhow. This way he saves Jesse and finds a way to get money to his family.

CS: I think it was a Plan B. It wasn't how he wanted to go out; it’s just the compromise he settled for.

SE: I'm pissed that Jesse doesn't have a barrel of cashola in the back of that El Camino.

CS: I hope Jesse goes "home.”

SE: Home is where the Hartwell is.

CS: I loved the fantasy of him woodworking.

SE: Ways it could have been better: 1. Bill Burr. 2. Walt crushes some blue with the butt of the M60 and snorts it pre-battle. 3. Walt actually fires the weapon. 4. Jesse leaves with money.

CS: I absolutely loved the erector set assassin kit. Lego Mindstorm will be releasing their version next fall.
Meth Damon's reconstruction of the train robbery

SE: I honestly don't see a better ending to this thing, other than the fact that Jesse could have had Andrea waiting for him.

I just realized that "Baby Blue" is in reference to the meth, first Tommy James and the Shondells and now Badfinger? How many songs about blue meth are there?

CS: Well since blue meth isn't really a thing outside of the Breaking Bad world, probably zero.

SE: If ricin really takes four days to kill, then Lydia still has time to do some damage to Walt's family right?

CS: I thought it was two days.

SE: All I know is that they had to pay Laura Fraser a Walt barrel to remove her makeup. Was that Charlize Theron from Monster?

CS: I didn't think she looked that bad. I think it was part of the character because she was so concerned with how she was perceived, and at that point she was as vulnerable as she could ever be.

SE: And watch out Dwight Schrute, the Walt barrel is giving the Schrute buck a literal run for its money.

CS: I thought it would have been hilarious if Skyler just kept blowing smoke in Walt’s face telling him to die.

SE: I was hoping Beneke would be there chilling on the sofa watching Friends.

CS: I really don't get your obsession with Beneke.

SE: He should be dead for messing around with Heisenberg's woman. But hey, another quaalude and she'll love me in the morning.

CS: I would have liked to have seen a scene where Walt is at a stop light in the Volvo and Beneke shoots by blowing into a tube to make his wheelchair cross the street.

SE: Fantastic. Damn you Gilligan, not all loose ends were tied up! I wanted to see Huell all bugged out eating a rack of ribs in Robert Forster's dungeon.

CS: I hope Bill Burr becomes a sketchy henchman for Robert Forster now.

SE: Tell me it wasn't genius to bring Badger and Skinny Pete back into action. Walt probably found them at Jesse's place still ripping on Chekhov's bongs.

CS: I think we have an opportunity for another spinoff: the Badger and Skinny Pete assassin service.

SE: Walt's plan with Gretchen and Elliot was superb. I couldn't help but to be full-on rooting for Walt at that point. All those riches can't make up for missing out on that big ass Walt cock. Take that Gretchen! Of course, she has had Elliot's ears to hang on to during cunnilingus over the years.

CS: Boy was I wrong about them getting ricin'd. Walt's pride really was his undoing.

SE: I called the Marty Robbins shit though. I put the over/under on days in a row I listen to ole Marty at 7 and I'm taking the over.

CS: If you put those odds for me and set them at half a day. Take the under.

SE: I feel like my dad and I put together the soundtrack for Breaking Bad. For every random new track, there was a splash of white-old-man-grew-up-in-the-70s twinge thrown in, fucking Boz Scaggs.

CS: But on the other hand they had that amazing song by Jose Gonzalez in the teaser for the last episode. And that Lydia ringtone was fucking creepy.

SE: Even if you just take these last eight episodes as the final season, I don't see any other final season that was better. Breaking Bad started as my own special show during Seasons One and Two, and then morphed into the best television show ever. This would be like if I was a fan of the Cleveland Browns since the 1950s and they suddenly won like ten Super Bowls in a row. Thank you Breaking Bad. It was a wild ride.

CS: Overdramatic much?

SE: But maybe I just feel this way because the most recent last season I remember is Dexter, the most blasphemous final season of a show ever. That shit made the Sopranos ending look like the final ten minutes of The Godfather: Part II.

CS: I'll get around to watching the last season of Dexter, but I’m not looking forward to it.

SE: When it comes to Breaking Bad, I just associate with a man eviscerated by his surroundings while trying to play fair.

CS: Play fair?  How did Walt ever play fair?

SE: Exactly, once he stopped playing fair a whole new world opened up for him. That fantasy world he was so good at.

CS: “I did it for me. I liked it. I was good at it.”

SE: That's what I tell my wife when I play fantasy football. Very similar worlds.

CS: That's basically my excuse for procrastinating.

SE: You mean procrasturbating?

CS: I never put that off.

SE: Can we get a show about how to pull off Breaking Bad stunts hosted by Richard Dean Anderson? Maybe this is how I'll describe Breaking Bad to folks that haven't seen it: It's like MacGyver meets Scarface meets Everybody Loves Raymond.

CS: Everybody Loves Raymond?

SE: Everybody Loves Walter Hartwell White. Yeah, in the small segments of that show I've seen his wife is always busting his balls.

CS: I've never really seen it, so I'll take your word.

SE: You called it last week with Walt not being adept enough to fire the M60, so it stays true to the show’s nature that Walt would blind the Nazi's with science.

CS: I do like him putting the last bullet in Uncle Jack’s dome. So do you have any last gushings about how your life won't be the same without this show anymore?

SE: Well, I could really use the ten hours a week I have been dedicating to the Bald Move podcasts and Sepinwall columns.

CS: Now what?  Do we start writing about Zero Dark Detroit, or Low Winter Scrotum, whatever the fuck that fucking show is called.

SE: Every week the same three-word column: "This show sucks." And then we just start talking about how much we miss Breaking Bad.

CS: I'd just have to assume it still sucks, because no way I actually watch any more of it.

SE: Walter could still become a zombie that runs into post-apocalyptic Jesse. The new Walking Dead season looks like it needs a new direction.

CS: I think I’m done with that show.  I hate basically every character on that show.

SE: Yeah, that show needs a Tuco. That reign of Cadillac trunk fire reminded me of a Fourth of July when one of my narcissistic buddies unwound like 1,000 packs of Black Cats into a bucket and then smoked around them, and they all went up in a two-minute hellfire blaze.

CS: I think it would have been awesome if Walt let off the trigger before he ran out of ammo to trick someone into standing up, and then finished them off with the last few rounds.

SE: Then we wouldn't have the audience gifted Todd's murder by Jesse. That thing was wrapped with more ribbons than a Christmas Day Lexus.

CS: We still could have had that, Landry ain't bright. Are we not gonna talk about Flynn wearing Timberlands with Zubaz?

SE: Nah, let's just end on that image of Walt watching him enter that apartment and close the door behind him. That is where most lackluster shows would end it.

CS: What would have been the "Scooby-Doo" ending for Breaking Bad?

SE: I was just wondering what the Stephen-King ending would be. The Scooby-Doo ending would have Mike coming back to kick out the crutches underneath Flynn, proving him to be the real mastermind as he tries to run away.

CS: Flynn rips off his mask and turns out to be Tuco the whole time and has been maintaining an abandoned amusement park. The Stephen-King ending would have been aliens.

SE: An alien army of 1,000 Marie's on the crystal blue.

So even though guns were not ablaze for the full hour and a half, we still love this episode right? I mean, nothing touches "Ozymandias," but this was a nice solid home run while "Ozymandias" was the grand salami.

CS: Like I said, I liked the episode, didn't love it.  It was a really good last season, but not the best last episode for me.  I have no complaints with it.  I think Gilligan did the show right.

SE: You’re goddamn right.


Josh Duggan said...

Thoughts from someone not completely enamored with the show:

Definitely agree with Craig on this not being the best finale ever. FNL, Six Feet Under, The Wire, Party Down, Freaks and Geeks, Buffy, and Angel all come to mind almost immediately.

This finale was ultimately too kind to Walt. With the way everything ended, not only was everything tied up too neatly (especially for someone as prone to fucking things up as Walt, as Sepinwall pointed out), but it ultimately showed that the stakes were fairly low in the series on the whole. Jesse getting away was obviously going to happen, but Walt still [presumably] got money to his family, took out the guys who took out Hank in the desert, and did something he was going to do shortly anyway: die. Yes, Walt lost access to his family for the last few months of his life, but he still wrapped everything up in a nice little bow with really very little happening to his family. If Gilligan & Co. weren't fucking around Skyler would have been collateral damage, both for her complicity and in that there would have been serious long-term consequences for Walt having chosen his path. Having his family still get 1/8th of the money he earned while he met the fate that he was going to meet anyway ultimately still rewards Walt, which seems a cop-out, especially if Jesse had to watch Andrea get capped just last week.

Also, can't remember the promo from last week with any degree of certainty, but I think it might have been Junip (Gonzalez's band) not Jose Gonzalez. Was it "Line of Fire" (video here:

Josh Duggan said...

All that said, good work on everything, guys. While I didn't always agree with you guys in your unbridled enthusiasm for this show, I definitely enjoyed reading these.

Craig Scholes said...

Well thank you kind sir, I had fun doing it. I just hope the editing process never got to horrible for you. And the song was most definitely Jose Gonzalez. It was "How Low."

Josh Duggan said...

Nah, the editing was never horrible. I liked giving y'all a bit of guff, though, especially the transcribed texts week (which was all Stan's fault). I think "Line of Fire" must have just been used in a promo for something else. I remember it being in something, and I remembered JG's vocals last week.

Josh Duggan said...

I just saw the promo for the finale again while watching this week's Hell on Wheels. Definitely "Line of Fire" by Junip.

Josh Duggan said...

Craig Scholes said...

You are correct, I saw a promo that a fan made using "How Low" by Jose Gonzalez.

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