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Breaking Bad - S05E16 - "Felina" (series finale!)

Discussion in 'Now Playing - TV Show Talk' started by jkeegan, Sep 29, 2013.

  1. Oct 3, 2013 #421 of 760
    danterner

    danterner Not it!

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    I'd say it was hyper-real, done in the service of good story-telling, but didn't cross the line over to surreal/sci-fi/supernatural to me. There were other moments that I'd categorize similarly - the planes colliding directly over Walt's house being a main one. Or the electromagnet police station caper.
     
  2. Oct 3, 2013 #422 of 760
    gweempose

    gweempose Active Member

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    The thing with Gus was obviously completely over the top, but I didn't have a problem with it. If they had done stuff like that regularly, it would have been annoying. In this particular instance, however, I found it to be an effective artistic choice. It took a crazy, intense scene and flipped the script. I thought it was brilliant.
     
  3. Oct 3, 2013 #423 of 760
    JohnB1000

    JohnB1000 Active Member

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    I agree with gweempose, the point of that scene was that Gus is dead, they used dramatic license to make it exciting and shocking. I had more problems with unrealistic scenes of convenience in the finale than I do with that.
     
  4. Oct 3, 2013 #424 of 760
    astrohip

    astrohip Well-Known Member TCF Club

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    I disagree. Everyone in this story has a bleak future, or is dead. Yes, Walt did get money to his family, but other than that, he lost everything he ever had--family, reputation, love. His kids will forever be known as Heisenberg's kids, not Walter White's. Walt did not get off easy, did not get everything he wanted.

    Ozymandias was the most powerful, intense episode of the series. But as a finale, it wouldn't work. It wasn't satisfying. I've used that word until I've almost worn it out. Felina left us satisfied. We have resolution. To end it with Walt on the run and Jesse in chains... jeez, this would have left such a different taste in our collective mouths that we would be having a very very different conversation this week.

    Breaking Bad as we knew it ended with Ozymandias. The story was over, all exposed, money gone, Hank dead. The final two episodes were the epilogue that we needed for closure.

    I guess we can debate for years whether Breaking Bad ended properly, whether Vince Gilligan changed it up, whether Walt truly got his just deserts. I know that personally, I was at peace with the series and how it ended.
     
  5. Oct 3, 2013 #425 of 760
    betts4

    betts4 I am Spartacus!

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    Yo, the magnets was SCIENCE!

    Holly? she may be able to get past that. Heisenberg may be forgotten by her generation or not known to be Walter White, just Heisenberg.
     
  6. Oct 3, 2013 #426 of 760
    astrohip

    astrohip Well-Known Member TCF Club

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    Here is the review in the New York Times. Spoilerized for space only. Not sure if this link works if you're not a subscriber.

    http://tv.nytimes.com/2013/10/01/arts/television/breaking-bad-finale.html

    A Clear Ending to a Mysterious Beginning
    By ALESSANDRA STANLEY

    A Clear Ending to a Mysterious Beginning
    By ALESSANDRA STANLEY


    After so many lugubrious turns, “Breaking Bad” came to an end on Sunday on an almost uplifting note.

    Walter White died, of course, but first he ran the table of revenge, settling score after score with mathematical precision. He went out with a big finish: his ingeniously rigged machine gun mowed down the entire Aryan Brotherhood gang in a fantastical killing spree that was almost like a scene from a Quentin Tarantino movie. (As bad guys go, the next best thing to a Nazi is a neo-Nazi.)

    It was a fitting ending, and predictable in only some ways. Crime didn’t pay and Walter lost just about everything, including his life. But it was also, by the show’s bleak, almost Calvinist standards, a relatively happy ending. It wasn’t, as he so often feared, all for nothing – he found a way to get his money to his children. He also saved Jesse, actually taking a bullet for him by throwing himself on top of the younger man to protect him from the machine gun fire. He even made up with his wife, Skyler.

    It was way too late for contrition, but there was a confession and even a kind of deathbed conciliation. Walter for the first time told Skyler the truth about his reason for cooking meth and becoming a drug lord. “I did it for me. I liked it. I was good at it,” he said. “And I was really, I was alive.”

    After so many layers of lies, that blunt admission won him at long last the shadow of a loving smile. And that was almost the same look that Walt exchanged with Jesse as the two parted for good, a glint of recognition and farewell.

    Then again, the episode began with Walter still alive but already a ghost, walking in and out of secured mansions, public diners and even Skyler’s house undetected, almost as if invisible.

    Perhaps the best thing about the finale of “Breaking Bad” is that it actually ended. So many shows, notably “The Sopranos” and “Lost,” have gone dark without anything approaching finality. Here, the writers were so determined to not leave unfinished business that the last episode was called “Felina,” an anagram of finale. And almost every loose end was tied. In some cases, a little too tightly, and in others, not quite as much.

    The all-important ricin, like Chekhov’s gun, had to actually be put to use at long last. And it was almost comical that Lydia, so prissy and exacting, was poisoned with a packet of her beloved Stevia sweetener.

    In a later scene, the writers underscored the point, showing Lydia in bed, pale and sickly as Walter explains to her over the telephone that he poisoned her drink at the diner. But that was almost overkill: when Lydia tapped the sweetener into her camomile tea, the camera zoomed in on her mug of tea as it clouded up — as ominous as a glass of milk in a Hitchcock movie.

    Even the dreamy scene where Jesse, still in shackles in a meth lab, fantasizes that he is in a woodworking shop sanding a beautiful box had a precise antecedent: in an episode when Jesse was in group therapy, he reminisced about the satisfaction he felt in high school of making a perfect box from “Peruvian walnut with inlaid zebrawood.”

    When Walt died, it was to the tune of “Baby Blue” by Badfinger, which begins with the words, “Guess I got what I deserve.”

    The ending was clear enough; it was the beginning that was left ambiguous.

    The finale circled back to Gretchen and Elliott Schwartz, Walt’s former partners at Gray Matter. Walt broke into their mansion and cleverly blackmailed the couple into providing his children with the millions he couldn’t give them directly. And it was a delicious scene: When Elliott fearfully brandished a small blade, Walt said gently, “Elliott if we’re going to go that way, you’ll need a bigger knife.”

    But the show never fully spelled out why Walt broke away from Gretchen and Elliott in the first place.

    There were hints throughout the series. On several occasions, Walt accused them of cheating him out of his share; that bitterness seemingly helped steer him into his life of crime. But it wasn’t clear that his version was correct — in an episode where they confront each other at a restaurant, Gretchen said that Walt left her without any explanation. And the true story never came out.

    “Breaking Bad” brilliantly tracked Walt’s transformation from teacher to criminal mastermind. But it’s still a mystery why that talented chemist turned his back on fame and fortune and became a humble high school chemistry teacher.

    That is one secret Walter White took to the grave.
     
  7. Oct 3, 2013 #427 of 760
    JohnB1000

    JohnB1000 Active Member

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    Astrohip, I think what bothered them was we had 5 seasons -1 episode where Walt slipped into nothing but overall failure and the message was that bad guys don't get what they want. However the last episode ( and most of the last season ) changed from observing a story about a set of characters to the story of Walt, and ultimately him going out on his own terms (while disposing of a set of disposable characters).

    I'd love to see the stats on Jesse's average minutes per episode by season.
     
  8. Oct 3, 2013 #428 of 760
    JohnB1000

    JohnB1000 Active Member

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    I'll also add that in principle I agree with their overall point.

    This was one of the better series finale's that I can remember...but it was only a middling episode of Breaking Bad. Perhaps only the 7th best episode out of the last 8 (IMHO). I just don't see it as a perfect episode, though it may be the best we could hope for as a finale.
     
  9. Oct 3, 2013 #429 of 760
    betts4

    betts4 I am Spartacus!

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    I think once they started down the road of Jesse and Walt splitting up and Jesse tossing money all over, there was no easy way to get Jesse back into it. It did become Walt's story. But, it started out to be HIS story with Jesse only around for one season. I wonder if it would have gone on for so long without the chemistry that those two had. it was sorely missed this last season.
     
  10. Oct 3, 2013 #430 of 760
    TonyTheTiger

    TonyTheTiger Pro Troll Magnet

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    I loved VG's reasoning for Walt leaving his watch on the payphone!

    In the flash forward in 501, he wasn't wearing a watch so it was done for continuity!
     
  11. Oct 3, 2013 #431 of 760
    DevdogAZ

    DevdogAZ Give em Hell, Devils

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    I listened to that on Tuesday and I just felt like the two of them were watching and expecting a completely different show than I was. First, as much as I liked the finale, I felt like it was pretty mechanical in moving through the things that we knew had to happen. Because of the two flash forwards, we knew Walt had to be trying to take someone out with the M-60, and we knew that he was going to serve the ricin to someone. Everyone pretty much already knew who those things were for, so there wasn't much surprising about how that all went down. About the only surprising things about the finale were the way Walt didn't hurt Gretchen and Elliot, but instead used them, and how he admitted to Skyler that he did it all for him.

    So for Mo and Ryan to feel like the finale was somehow a let down or didn't go where they expected is just bizarre, since we pretty much already knew what was going to happen. It's like they expected Walt to get his comeuppance and since that didn't happen, they were disappointed. But given the way the story had progressed, who was left to give Walt his comeuppance? It would have been profoundly unsatisfying if Walt had come back to ABQ and then been caught by some nameless, faceless DEA agent that we'd never met before. It would have been even worse if he'd gone to the AB compound to kill them and instead his plan failed and he was killed but they survived.

    Maybe they had a different idea of how the series should progress way back in S3 or S4. But by the time we got into late S5 and we'd already seen the flash forwards, I don't feel like there was much else we could have expected from the finale. Especially after Hank was killed and there really wasn't anyone else that could catch Walt in a satisfying way. So I really don't understand what they were getting at.

    Also, this show was always about Walt. It was Walt and those around him, so that's how we got to know Jesse, Hank, Skyler, Marie, Gus, Mike, Saul, etc. But ultimately it was a show about Walt, so when most of those characters were dead or disappeared, and Walt had alienated himself from the other characters, I don't really know how we were supposed to focus on what was happening with them. What good would it have done to have a scene with Marie where we saw how she was dealing with Hank's death six months later? Or what more could Flynn have said in this episode after what he said at the end of Granite State? I really don't know what Mo and Ryan were smoking, because the opinions they expressed just seemed so out of touch with the show I watched.
     
  12. Oct 3, 2013 #432 of 760
    tivoboyjr

    tivoboyjr Unregistered User

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    That didn't make sense to me. People don't take their watches off now and then? I don't see how it would have been a continuity error. A continuity error is him having a watch in the diner, then not having it, then having it again, all in the same scene.
     
  13. Oct 3, 2013 #433 of 760
    TAsunder

    TAsunder Debates Ghee vs Gi

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    Things did not always go horribly wrong for Walt. There were periods of time where things were going quite well. And his plans often worked out in his favor. What often got him into trouble was not being satisfied with what he had or where he was in life. He killed the AB leader who was offering him $70mil more. I think "old Walt" would have fallen for that. "New Walt" did not fall into the same trap. And, so, his plan worked out well and he never felt compelled to do more.
     
  14. Oct 3, 2013 #434 of 760
    MikeAndrews

    MikeAndrews Registered abuser

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    You're cute. Every time that the original Mickey Mouse is threatened with being in the public domain Disney just buys a new bill from congress to extend the term.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Copyright_Term_Extension_Act

    There have been teams of lawyers who claim that no work should ever be public domain. Vis: "It's a Wonderful Life" is no longer in the public domain.

    The recording industry is worse than the movie industry. That's why the CD soundtrack for a movie can cost twice as much as the entire movie on DVD.
     
  15. Oct 3, 2013 #435 of 760
    DevdogAZ

    DevdogAZ Give em Hell, Devils

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    In addition to what netringer said, people have found their way around the 70 year thing by then having corporations own the copyright. Since corporations are perpetual and do not die, the copyright can continue to be renewed in perpetuity.
     
  16. Oct 3, 2013 #436 of 760
    Numb And Number2

    Numb And Number2 New Member

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    I figured Walt bought information and assistance from the barmaid with the watch. She preferred a story about how she "found" it to one where she abetted a criminal.
     
  17. Oct 3, 2013 #437 of 760
    nyny523

    nyny523 Oy

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    Why would you think that?

    He left the watch on a payphone near home (South West)

    The barmaid was in New Hampshire. She never had the watch. He got rid of it long after he left the bar...:confused:
     
  18. Oct 3, 2013 #438 of 760
    Numb And Number2

    Numb And Number2 New Member

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    I must have blinked LOL!
     
  19. Oct 3, 2013 #439 of 760
    MikeAndrews

    MikeAndrews Registered abuser

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    Like: In Hollywood pretty much anybody who gets shot doesn't seem to feel pain. I fell and dislocated my shoulder and could be heard for a half mile. These guys get shot and grimace while maybe, they quietly spew their dying words, otherwise they just fall quietly.

    See on Cops. People that really get shot scream in pain. Taking a bullet kinda smarts. :rolleyes:
     
  20. Oct 3, 2013 #440 of 760
    Turtleboy

    Turtleboy Well-Known Member TCF Club

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    Sorry if smeek.

    SNL alum Norm MacDonald thinks that police surrounded Walt's car in NH. Everything else wasn't a "dream" per se, but the plan / imaginings of a sick mind.

    And he'll argue with you about it on twitter.

    https://twitter.com/normmacdonald
     

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