16 July, 2012
Guest Review of BREAKING BAD Season 5 Premiere
Another guest review by Shawn Mahone, who wrote the ARCHER season finale review a few months ago. Check it out. You can check out my less glowing review HERE. --HGF
For a show that is so predictable and at times magnificently so, the cold opening raises the biggest question with the most unpredictable answer...who will bring down Walter White? Who is chasing Walter White? Who is Walter so clearly scared of? Who has Walter so petrified that he buys a huge ass gun off of Jim Beaver?
What makes this all unpredictable is that it could be Hank, Mike, Saul (or a hired gun of Saul's), Skyler, Madrigal Industries, a user who received a bad batch, one of their new dealers or and this is wish fulfillment it could be Jesse.
So at the beginning of season 5 we are entering the period of Scarface in this particular story (Vince Gilligan has said that this show is about taking Mr Chips from Scarface) and now that Walt is Scarface he has no boss because he is the boss ("Because I said So") and he is full of confidence and ego and empowerment and courage and sheer skin crawling menace ("I Forgive you", "It is over when I say it is over").
What I like about this season premier is that it did not try and outdo the last 2 episodes of last season...because that would have been insane on many levels and both resets the arc and continues in the well known and detailed formula that has made the show so loved.
The formula is the detailed process...the show gives details along the way and like the Wire everything matters down the line and in the case of this episode Gus Laptop cause all sort of shit for Walt and co, and so when there is a problem Breaking Bad goes into the whole process of how it should be fixed and so Walt and Mike argue through every reason why anything but magnets will not work...they decide magnets and we spend 5 minutes going through the purchase of said magnet, the test of said magnet the need to get more magnets. All details are worked out so that when Mike asks the necessary questions after the deed is done we as Walt know that they will not be caught because everything was thought through.
Skyler White is the weakest link this show has ever had and she continues to be so. All her scenes really drag down any episode she is in to be honest and every time I saw her I was praying for the show to switch to Saul or Mike or Jesse or Walt or anyone else but her. Having Anna Gunn on this show proves that Vince Gilligan is not as smart as people think, I know that Gunn is second in the credits and was supposed to be more important than she actually turned out to be, but the man who is third is along with Cranston the best actor on the show and wisely has been the focal point of the series. Paul's Jesse was supposed to die in season 1 but did not and maybe Gilligan is smarter than I only a few sentences chastised him for not being. But she is just a terrible actress and a terrible character that the show has never been able to figure out and probably costs the show it's drama Emmy.
Ok enough with that rant...sorry. I enjoyed this premier a lot, although the show has a limited budget it did not over use characters that did not need to be overused we saw only one scene of Hank, two of Saul, one of Hank Jr and so on and so forth. The pacing was Breaking Bad at it's best and it sets up the season very well. Walt maybe Scarface but their is still some Walt left in him like the way he ignored Jesse when Jesse was coming up with the magnet idea or how he could not stop himself for going to far with the power switch or how even though Saul made the right call and the only way out of the predicament was to pay Beneke's tax bill...Walt is still being petty because Beneke banged his wife.
My mind is a little frazzled trying to do this so quickly after work and only a limited time to think and review the episode so I apologize for what I missed. This was a solid if not spectacular start to the season and the end of the series...things are only going to go even more bat shit crazy along the way and I cannot wait to see it.
I saw on HGF's article that the author said that he did not think this show was as good as Lost and some other series. While I disagree about Lost I do agree that the show is slightly over hyped but it is all about opinion in the end and what people like.
If people like answers then Breaking Bad whips Losts ass [LOST answered virtually everything mind you --HGF], if people want unpredictability then Lost whips Breaking Bads ass [it does in every way possible --HGF], if people want....to each their own I suppose.
Episode Rating: 90 out of 100.