Random Thoughts on Season Five of Breaking Bad

Anna Gunn and Bryan Cranston in Breaking Bad

I had originally planned to go through Season Five at a slow pace. But then I threw that out the window as a friend and I binged all eight episodes in one sitting. It worked perfectly, because it played out like an especially long movie, and that was just fine. So here are my thoughts on what I saw, and what I’m excited to see in the final eight episodes.

• This is the best possible show to binge-watch because of the narrow timeframe.
• Since it’s only half a season, I can’t say that Season Five is the best yet until I see the remaining eight episodes. However, I can safely see these are the eight best consecutive episodes of the series. (Season Three remains my favorite.)
• I didn’t think it was possible to hate Walt anymore than I did at the end of Season Four, but I do, to another level.
• If Jonathan Banks doesn’t win Best Supporting Actor, I will throw a Molotov cocktail.
• Also, obviously, Bryan Cranston should continue to win every year. He should have won last year, too. I’ve never seen Homeland, but there’s no way any actor gave a better performance than Cranston in “Crawl Space.”
• Erica, like Hooch from Scrubs, IS crazy.
• Definitely not the best showcase for Aaron Paul this season, but I still think he’s incredible.
• The dinner scene with Walt, a drunken Skylar and an awkward Jesse, was one of the most hilarious things the show has ever done. I think it even tops the pizza on the roof.
• Jesse Plemons gives the best guest performance on the show of anyone not named Giancarlo Esposito.
• Man, I miss Friday Night Lights.
• The train heist is the most exciting thing the show has ever done. It even beats the shootout of “One Minute.”
• I think we’ve only gotten one flashback to Walt as a professor with a much younger Sklyar. I hope we get a ton more in these last episodes. I want to know exactly why he sold his shares of Gray Matter.
• The opening and closing scenes of these episodes were perfect teases.
• I think “Gliding over All” (the finale) might be the best episode the show has ever done.
• The Nine Prison Murders in Two Minutes montage was terrifying.
• Also, how have they not used “Crystal Blue Persuasion” in every episode? It’s an amazing track and perfect for the show.
• Skylar’s depression storyline keeps her from being too annoying. We’ll leave that to Marie.
• Unsung hero of this show: RJ Mitte.
• I love how reckless Walt gets with everything. It’s almost like he wants to get caught.
• This show uses cold opens better than any show ever has.
• Speaking of which, those cold opens remind me of how brave this show is. With the German food lab or the kid riding his dirt bike, anyone randomly flipping channels would have no idea this was Breaking Bad if not for the hashtag at the bottom left. Tremendous faith in the audience.
• Is it just me, or did all the Latinos completely disappear from the cast, aside from Hank’s partner?
• Absolute power corrupts absolutely.
• That big pile of money is even more valuable considering a relatively low cost of living in Albuquerque.
• I wanted more Ted.
• Also, in the pantheon of Emmy travesties, Bob Odenkirk never getting nominated for Saul Goodman ranks slightly below Nick Offerman never getting nominated for Ron Swanson.
• Are we ever gonna find out why Hank loves geodes? Or was that just a cheaper hobby (from AMC’s standpoint) than baseball cards?
• Magnets, bitch!
• Also, that’s one of the great, intense aspects of this season: Every solution Walt comes up with causes at least two more problems.
• Between these episodes and 2 Guns, I’m a little tired of plots hinging on people hiding millions of dollars in safe deposit boxes.
• Ranking serious conversations on Walt’s couch, I’d say his “empire business” speech ends up slightly below Mike’s “half-measure” speech.
• Hurry up, August 11!

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