Breaking Bad: The Final Season (5) (2012/13) TV Series Review “The End”

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Finally we have reached the end of our Journey. Many successful TV shows never know when to end, and keep on going season after season after season with continued demise of what was once a show of great quality. “Breaking Bad” is among the most successful TV shows of all time and decided to finish off its run in its 5th season. Which is odd calling this one season. This was broken in half between two years and marketed as, “The Fifth Season” and then “The Final Season”. So wouldn’t that make it, the 5th and 6th season? Whatever the case may be, this was intended to be viewed as one collective whole. I didn’t think anything could match the 4th season, but this final one blows away anything that came previously. The second half of the season is a “binge watcher’s” wet dream, with each episode leaving you with moments that you won’t forget.

(Spoilers From Season 4)

Now that Gus is dead, Walter is looking to pick up the shambles of his drug empire and continue to cook his crystal meth. Walter once again teams up Jessie Pinkman and gets one of Gus’s previous right hand mans, Mike. Some success starts to float their way but soon Jessie and Mike start to look for a way out of the business while Walter tries to press on and teams with a group of dangerous Neo-Nazis. Skyler continues to deals with fear of her husband while Hank may have just figured out the identity of Heisenberg…his brother in law Walter White.

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When you come off from Season 4, you have such a high and your blood still feels like it’s boiling from the stunning finale and it would be a very easy mistake for the writers to come into this season and try to keep riding high on that roller coaster. Yet, they don’t. Vince Gilligan and his team of writers bring it back to square one and reset all of the tension that grew so prolific in the previous season. Then with the extra long season of 16 episodes it gives the story plenty of time to grow and develop.

The first half of this season is very well done and true to “Breaking Bad” fashion but it’s not until the second half of the season that your blood will really get flowing. I watched the last 8 episodes in one day because each one of them is packed full of great writing, expansion material and leaves you craving more and more. It’s a result of the carefully crafted first 4 seasons of the show where all of the characters have built up slowly and impeccable storytelling from the writers. At some key moments in this season, you are shown flashbacks from the beginning of the show and you see just how far they have come and been developed.

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Nearly every single major character has a moment in this season and never once in Gilligan content with what he already has and continues to develop the characters. Walter White has always had two personas, the man everyone knows, Walter White, and the man who is secret and deals with the criminal underworld, Heisenberg. Over the course of the season you continue to see Walter struggle with preserving both sides evenly. More and more thought he loses his humanity and the darkness seeps into him and Bryan Cranston stuns once again in that role. When you think you’ve seen his best, he takes it up a notch demonstrating why he has won yet another Emmy award.

Aaron Paul also comes back in another Emmy Award caliber performance. Like Walter towards the end of the season you begin to see everything crumble around him. To be honest nearly everyone here was Emmy worthy which is largely why they swept the acting categories in the past night of the Emmys. Everyone continues to demonstrate growth and range. Anna Gunn, Betsy Brandt, Jonathan Banks, RJ Mitte, and the increasingly impressive Dean Norris. It’s not often a TV show can assemble a collective group of amazing actors and most of them are not well known either.

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The finale does not disappoint either. With any beloved show, it’s hard to come up with an ending that both closes the story and also satisfies the fans (The “Sopranos” anyone?) . Many can’t even seem to get their season finales right let alone their series finales. “Breaking Bad” makes it look easy as Vince Gilligan brings his show to a close with Hinesburg’s odyssey complete. It has it’s small moments of humor, a somber and emotional tone, and story direction that will leave an indelible mark on the viewer’s mind.

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It’s bittersweet with this series coming to end. On one hand you don’t want to see it end, the show never stopped getting better and better. With those passing seasons it made the one before it even better. I didn’t give Season 1 that high of score but now viewing it as a collective whole of a major series it a much better season than I gave it credit for. Now (back on point) on the other hand you don’t want this series to keep going and try to stretch it out for the sake of popularity and rating. Instead of getting a mix of great and mediocre seasons, we have 5 (or 6 however you choose to view it) amazing seasons of TV that has already gone in history as one of the best. The spinoff series “Better Call Saul” has a lot to live up too.

Final Score

10/10

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