Tuesday, September 24, 2013

My Top 10 Thoughts Regarding the End of Breaking Bad


10. With the end of Breaking Bad comes the likely end of my regular viewing of any television show. These days, most of what I watch is on a disc or on Netflix Digital.

Sure there's other stuff worth watching. Not much, but it's there. But nothing that's important enough to clear my schedule. I don't let shit get in the way of Breaking Bad. My DM wanted to schedule an 8-hour Pathfinder session on Sunday September 29th (the air date of the series finale) and I told him to shorten it or else he'd be short one dwarf barbarian. Who is, in turn, short.

9. I think it's interesting how much gushing sympathy we all feel for Jesse. I don't exclude myself from that. After Walt so easily surrendered his protege to the mercies of the neo-nazis, after his "confession" regarding Jane, all I could think was how badly I wanted Jesse to kill him.

How easily we forget what a motherfucker Jesse is. Here's a guy who ordered his dealers to infiltrate Jesse's own drug recovery group. A guy who originally seduced Andrea with the intention of getting her back on the blue. Jesse's been circling the drain ever since Todd killed that kid, but his greatest accomplishment during the whole series was proving he was capable of cooking the same quality meth - which, you know, turns people into addicts, kills them, and supports murderers - as his mentor. I won't lie, I still feel bad for Jesse, but he's in a very particular circle of hell right now and he put himself there.

8. Better Call Saul? Really? This is going to be a show? Yeah, no.

7. This show has given us more entertaining, more engaging, and more frighteningly human villains than we're ever likely to see on television. Consider the notion that at the end of all things BB, the people we're left with are the people who didn't come in until the end. Lydia and the nazis. No Gus, no Mike, no Tucco. No Mexican Terminator Twins. An officious, twitchy little liar, and a bunch of guys who - with the exception of Todd - we didn't even see until the second half of this season.

How does that work? Because they're just wonderful characters. It doesn't matter that they didn't come in until the end. She may not have a gun, but Lydia is doubtless one of the most cunning and manipulative crooks the show has seen. And Todd is the creepiest.

6. I do not understand the Skyler haters. They can all suck a bag of dicks for all I care. Anna Gunn is wonderful and I think I feel more sympathy toward Skyler than just about anyone on the show.

The Skyler hate is indicative of a lot of one-dimensional thinking. A surprising number of people seem to take Walt at face value; that he's done everything he's done just for his family, and hence Skyler is cockblocking him from providing as a father should.

The cooking hasn't been about the White family's future for a very long time. Sure, the cancer is what lit the spark, but eventually Walt found a part of himself too delicious to ignore. Walt found Heisenberg and in Heisenberg he found everything Walt was afraid to be. Heisenberg is why Walt cooks. Otherwise, he would've made himself a few hundred thousand and called it a day.

Skyler is no Carmella Soprano. She didn't marry into a crime family and just live in denial for years. She married a chemist. She married a high school teacher. She didn't sign up for this shit. Once Heisenberg was too powerful, she became a captive. I won't say she's free of guilt or hypocrisy, but she was backed into a corner in a way that Carmella never knew.

5. I have some predictions, but I can't pretend to know what's coming Sunday. I don't expect to be disappointed. But I will say this. I don't want Hamlet. I don't want The Departed. I don't want it to just be, "Hey it's the end! Kill everybody! WOO!!!!" But at this point I expect a lot more out of Vince Gilligan and I'm trusting we'll get it.

4. Is it just me, or is it so sad that not only did Hank and Gomey get it, but they're just in a ditch somewhere in the desert? They should be wrapped in blankets and put in boats and sailed down a river. Then some dude shoots their boats with arrows. On fire. Yeah.


Fucking A.

2. Next episode: Walt wakes up in the back of the car. His head starts hurting, he sits up, puts the gun to Mulder, and tells him, "Keep driving, jew!"


1. So, a few actual predictions regarding the final episode. A few weeks ago, I tweeted the following:

First of all, please forgive my "one large complain."

Second of all, considering how the last episode ended, I think my "complain" is about to be made moot.

It's surprising to consider, at this late date, how little we know about Walter's life before Skyler. We know absolutely nothing about what he was doing with Gray Matter. We don't know why he left Gretchen. We don't know what innovations he was driving. All we know is that he was a part of it, he left, and he regrets it.

I think we're going to find out what was going on. I think we're going to get a flashback. I wouldn't be surprised if whatever chemical breakthrough Walt heralded at Gray Matter has something to do with how he will eventually overcome the nazis.

I also wouldn't be surprised if Walt's vengeance reaches beyond the nazis, beyond Jesse, and reaches his old friends, Elliot and Gretchen Schwartz.

We'll see. Regardless, I'm sure I'll enjoy it. I'm sure I'll be talking about it for weeks afterward, if not longer. And I'm more sure of anything that I'll miss it.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Where I've Been Hiding

For those few who may be stopping by to visit the blog, I have an update. Well, not so much an update as news of potential for a future update.

First, in my last post I expressed losing the desire to write about superheroes. That didn't last. In fact, the death of that particular promise felt a bit like providence. I was at my day job, thinking very seriously about whether or not I wanted to write about superheroes again, when I got an email from a guy named Max Delgado asking if I wanted to contribute something to his website. Max has a website called The Longbox Project. People send him essays about personal memories stirred up by a particular comic book. It's an awesome site, and you should expect something from me on that site by the end of the month. More importantly, the timing of Max's email convinced me writing about comics and superheroes is something I just don't think I can quit. As I told Max in my response, I don't believe in coincidence anymore.

Second, I've registered a domain name and am at the very beginning of building my own blog. While comics and superheroes and various geek stuff will inevitably be mentioned because they're important parts of my life, I don't intend for those things to become the focus.

Once the new site goes live, I'll provide a link to redirect anyone who cares to follow it.