Sunday, September 29, 2013

Curtains For Breaking Bad

Tonight will bring Vince Gilligan's brilliant TV series Breaking Bad to its finale, titled Felina - re-arrage the letters, then listen to the words of Marty Robbins' old song El Paso. Do those lyrics give a hint of what to expect?
The song ends:
Felina is strong and I rise where I've fallen,
Though I am weary I can't stop to rest.
I see the white puff of smoke from the rifle.
I feel the bullet go deep in my chest.
From out of nowhere Felina has found me,
Kissing my cheek as she kneels by my side.
Cradled by two loving arms that I'll die for,
One little kiss and Felina, good-bye.

We're pretty certain Walter White aka Heisenberg will die, either from his cancer or the ricin he has in his pocket, or under a hail of bullets from the neo-Nazi gang who has his former co-meth-cooker Jesse imprisoned. But Vince Gilligan, creator of the series, often takes the plot along strange byways. Not much would surprise me tonight, except perhaps one of those dreadful faux get-outs such as the one about Bobby Ewing in Dallas, in decades gone by. The whole of one season's storyline, including Bobby's death, was disclosed as having been nothing but his wife's bad dream. Viewers wouldn't stand for that these days, and Gilligan wouldn't stoop to it, I feel sure.

Two links of interest, the first not only for Breaking Bad fans, but generally:
a very good piece by David Sirota. He proposes a theory I've had at the back of my mind for some time, but could never have put into words as well as he has:

Walter White’s sickness mirrors America
"Breaking Bad" strikes such a nerve because Walt's ills of body and soul are also those of our country

Here’s a theory: Maybe “Breaking Bad” has ascended to the cult firmament because it so perfectly captures the specific pressures and ideologies that make America exceptional at the very moment the country is itself breaking bad.
A piece on Vince Gilligan's natal chart at Mountain Astrologer.

Gilligan, the show's creator has Sun in Aquarius, Uranus conjunct Pluto in Virgo. A good fit becomes obvious right there!

Whatever end awaits Walter White, and the rest of the cast, Mr White will stand as one of TV's best-remembered characters, and Bryan Cranston as having breathed life into such a complex being, giving what I think will be remembered as one of TV's most brilliant characterisations ever.


mike said...

I'm not in the mainstream when it comes to "Breaking Bad", but only because I don't have cable. I'm sure I'd become addicted, if given the chance. You'll have to give us no-shows a brief synopsis of the finale, Twilight...I hope it's "exceptional"! Get out the popcorn, soak those peanut butter jars, and pour the drinks.

Twilight said...

mike ~ I feel a bit daft having become so engrossed in this series. Online articles and commentary about it, especially during this last run up to the finale, has helped. Different people point out stuff I hadn't noticed, and identify different perspectives from which to see facets of the story and characters. It's so well written!

When the US does good TV it does it wonderfully well. I did say "when" though! So far we've discovered and become thoroughly addicted, mainly via DVD to West Wing, Mad Men and Boston Legal, not forgetting our enjoyable marathon run through Ally McBeal recently; and Breaking Bad.

If you have broadcast TV, mike, there's a new series on NBC, started last Monday, which might develop into something good: Blacklist with James Spader, a very good actor, better in maturity than when young and pretty.

The opener was so-so, but it has possibilities.

I'll add a comment tomorrow to disclose how Walter White met his end (or not?) :-)

LB said...

Twilight ~ I don't watch the series, but loved the link you provided to the SALON article by David Sirota, which was GREAT! Once again, this all relates to the previous day's post and many of the comments left about safety-nets and the exorbitant cost of healthcare and health insurance in the United States. Thanks - I'd have a much harder time keeping up it weren't for some of your posts.

Enjoy the finale.:)

Twilight said...

LB ~ I liked Sirota's article too - he's a good writer, am seldom disappointed by him.

Thanks we shall be in place in front of the "telly" at 8pm CT in eager anticipation! :-)

Twilight said...

mike ~ PS (and off topic)
I just received another comment on "Black Magic Woman" (remember her?)- post from 2008.
Yet another owner of the sculpture has appeared, this one used to use her in a lingerie store, on the thong table.

mike (again) said...

Too bad "Black Magic Woman" wasn't used as a prop in "Breaking Bad"...she'd fit right in, I suppose, holding Walter White's laboratory safety goggles while not in use. BMW definitely has mystique with her unknown pedigree. I wish that Morfy Gikas would come clean, but we have to respect her silence on the matter. Maybe, someday, she'll spill the beans. If "Antiques Roadshow" ever comes to town, I'm sure the appraisers would quickly boil it down for you...they seem very astute at knowing the unknown.

Twilight said...

mike ~ BMW would have been a good accessory in BB, yes! She should/ve been blue though, to match their 1st quality meth. :-)

SPOILER (beware any passing reader who wishes to see last episode but hasn't yet):

The series ended with a few bangs and a whimper. The worst of the baddies, the Neo-Nazis and Lydia got theirs, as we knew they would.
Walt's family all survivedm and will soon receive news of a trust fund which will fund the kids' education etc. from whence they'll know not - Walt tricked his former now billionaire chemistry business partners into promising they'd deal with a pile of dosh he brought to them in that way, without telling the family its source, letting them assume it came from them.
Jesse Pinkman was freed with Walt's help, and drove off like the proverbial bat out of hell after refusing to shoot Walt although invited to do so.

Walt, now much weakened by his advancing cancer, had been injured in the mayhem he'd cleverly created to destroy the Nazi gang, and as the police cars arrived at a meth lab used by the gang , with a last loving look at the chemistry equipment, he slid to the floor, and died - on his own terms as he would have wished.
The end. :-(

Juno said...

NIce summation, Twilight. I miust confess I did not watch any of the episodes until the finale because I did not want to become emotionally invested in a show like I did with Mad Men -- used to love MM, and the last 2 seasons I felt like the writers were just messing with us. It seems I bet on the wrong show! I downloaded the first season after the finale and watched all the episodes in two days - what great writing, and acting!

Mr. White is a fascinating character, and the Salon piece gets it right - WW does represent what ails a good percentage of Americans. They set up the character so that you empathize with a guy who is sick, who works an extra job to support his family, who defends his disabled son (loved that) - and I felt like cheering when he quit his job at the car wash. can't wait to see how they take this basically decent guy and transform him into Heisenberg.