It’s all over. The finale of Breaking Bad met all my expectations and more. This is going to be a very long blog post because in a sense, I want to savour the ending as much as I can. The ending was tremendously satisfying, tied up all the loose ends, and didn’t end ambiguously. It felt like us fans got the closure we needed. As I watched this episode, I kept checking the time, counting it all down. 30 minutes left. 15. Will they wrap it all up? What’s going to happen? Breaking Bad kept me guessing and gripped all the way down to the very last second. And when that final cut to black came, I let out an enormous breath that I hadn’t even noticed I’d been holding. Here is how to end a show.
Sometimes, it takes a very special show to make you realise what you’re missing in your life. Before watching Orange is the New Black, I had no idea that what I was really looking for in terms of entertainment was a thoroughly engrossing, deeply human, and incredibly genuine portrayal of female characters. I can’t think of any other show that I’ve watched that was anywhere near this good in terms of both high quality entertainment value and thoughtful, provoking and empathetic characters. Orange is the New Black is described as a comedy-drama but I think it’s more accurate to say it’s a character-piece; exploring the lives of various prison inmates through the beady, naïve eyes of WASPy Piper Chapman, Orange manages to be both hilarious yet often, deeply poignant. It’s a masterful series which often plays on conventional prison stereotypes but in a fresh and often exciting way. I cannot hype this series enough so I’m going to try and avoid major spoilers, but I will mention tidbits from the show to give you a flavour of it.
***SPOILERS FOR ALL SEASONS OF DEXTER***
Overall, Dexter is a fantastic show with an interesting premise and brilliant characters who live in a slightly crazy but still believable world. It’s thoroughly entertaining, with moments of comic genius as well as moments of genuine human sentiment. Whilst the plot lines aren’t always flawless, the show is engaging enough to ignore some of the weaker plots. – On…Dexter, 11 Jul 2013
That’s what I wrote 3 months ago about Dexter. The reason I put this here is to serve as contrast to some of the comments I’m going to make about the last season of Dexter. I re-read my review of Dexter in preparation for this one, because I wanted to remember why I even watched the show in the first place. So let’s just put it out there: the final season of Dexter is just bad. Now that it’s finished, dressed all in plastic and dumped in the ocean, I can get all my vitriol out at once and forget about it. I hope. Spoilers abound obviously.
What a much needed episode after last week’s bombshell! I’m not sure I could bring myself through the wringer again like last week, so I’m glad that for the most part, this episode was a build up towards terrifying events. It definitely felt to me more like the first half of a two part episode. So whilst this episode hasn’t ignited a fire under me as much as the last one, I think it was well paced and intriguing nonetheless.
I met a traveller from an antique land
Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed:
And on the pedestal these words appear:
“My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!”
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.
Back to form for Breaking Bad this week after a slightly lackluster episode last week. Whilst things started somewhat slow, the end result was reasonably clever though not entirely satisfactory. What I particularly liked about this episode was its ability to completely influence and change the way I feel about the various characters. There was also some absolutely amazing cinematography in this episode with the shots of the desert looking particularly gorgeous as well as the scene in the car which was just fantastic.
So this episode was noticeably slower than previous ones. But don’t get me wrong, it certainly wasn’t a filler episode. No, this episode was the slow burn of a fuse before the explosives go off. It was an episode full of tragedy, as this is the episode that solidified the beginning of the end of Jesse and Walt’s amicable relationship. Whilst it didn’t quite reach the highs of the previous few episodes, there was a lot of deeper, character exposition here that deserves a bit of analysis and may foreshadow things to come.