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TV Review: The Walking Dead 4.1: 30 Days Without An Accident
Goodman   |  

The Walking Dead Season 4 Episode 1 30 Days Without an Accident

The Walking Dead
Season 4, Episode 1 – “30 Days Without an Accident”
Directed by Greg Nicotero
Written by Scott Gimple
Starring: Andrew Lincoln, Norman Reedus, Steven Yeun, Lauren Cohan, Chandler Riggs, Danai Gurira, Melissa McBride, and Scott Wilson
AMC
Air date: October 13, 2013

The Walking Dead is a mixed-bag of television at its best. The show, (which premiered its fourth season to a record-shattering 16.1 million viewers last night) has never had a problem providing a promising start – it’s what happens after that normally makes me fall through a ceiling, break a leg, and limp away from the show for the remainder of the season.

“30 Days Without an Accident” executes on giving the audience a changed environment, plot threads to drive the new season forward, and a great action setpiece, but all of these things have been done well in seasons past. Can Scott Gimple (who is the third showrunner in four seasons), finally provide us with a show that’s able to give some much needed development to its new and established characters?

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TV Review: Breaking Bad 5.16: Felina (Series Finale)
Goodman   |  

Breaking Bad Season 5 Episode 16 Felina Review

Breaking Bad
Season 5, Episode 16 – “Felina”
Directed and written by Vince Gilligan
Starring: Bryan Cranston, Anna Gunn, Aaron Paul, Dean Norris, Betsy Brandt, RJ Mitte, Bob Odenkirk, Laura Fraser, and Jesse Plemons
AMC
Air date: September 29, 2013

SPOILERS FOR THE BREAKING BAD SERIES FINALE. You’ve been warned.

“I did it for me…. I was alive.”

So much of Walter White’s (Bryan Cranston) Mr. Chips to Scarface journey has been caged with idea that Walter was doing everything for his family. It’s much like the idea that I highlighted a few weeks ago about his Batman-esque “no killing family rule” – the origin of Heisenberg in so many ways came from a place of gray morality for Walter, a justification that was the weakest of crutches as the show progressed.

As a viewer, it’s been clear to me for a while that Walter made every choice because he wanted to do so. And last night finally provided closure to all that.

It’s always been personal for Walt. It’s the thrill, the excitement, and because he was good at being bad.

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TV Review: Breaking Bad 5.15: Granite State
Goodman   |  

Breaking Bad Season 5.14 Granite State

Breaking Bad
Season 5, Episode 15 – “Granite State”
Directed and written by Peter Gould
Starring: Bryan Cranston, Anna Gunn, Aaron Paul, Dean Norris, Betsy Brandt, RJ Mitte, Bob Odenkirk, Laura Fraser, and Jesse Plemons
AMC
Air date: September 22, 2013

After all the predicting and guessing I’ve made, turns out the most simple reason of all is the reason behind Walter White’s (Bryan Cranston) return to ABQ. Massive spoilers follow.

It’s not Jesse Pinkman (Aaron Paul) or Skyler (Anna Gunn) or Walter Jr (RJ Mitte) that brings Walter White’s newly minted Mr. Lambert back to ABQ. In fact, it’s so much simpler than that. It’s the reason that Breaking Bad has explored for so long.

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TV Review: Breaking Bad 5.14: Ozymandias
Goodman   |  

Breaking Bad Season 5.14 Ozymandias

Breaking Bad
Season 5, Episode 14 – “Ozymandias”
Directed by Rian Johnson
Written by Moira Walley-Beckett
Starring: Bryan Cranston, Anna Gunn, Aaron Paul, Dean Norris, Betsy Brandt, RJ Mitte, Bob Odenkirk, Laura Fraser, and Jesse Plemons
AMC
Air date: September 15, 2013

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.

I got assigned Percy Bysshe Shelley’s Ozymandias to read in high school and it very quickly became one of my favorite poems. As with most art, there are several interpretations one can take from its content, but the most frequent — and applicable one, to Breaking Bad at least — marks the loss of power, the decline of leaders, and how their “works” often fade.

Earlier this year, I felt that the AMC promo featuring Bryan Cranston reading Shelley’s poem was a little on the nose, but it did further cement the fact that everything is going to fall apart in the final eight episodes. But we already knew that things were going to end poorly — I keep coming back to the scene in “Hazard Pay” where Walt and Walt Jr (RJ Mitte) are watching Scarface – “Everyone dies in this, don’t they?” Yes, Walt. Yes they do.

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TV Review: Breaking Bad 5.13: To’hajiilee
Goodman   |  

Breaking Bad Season 5 Episode 13 Review

Breaking Bad
Season 5, Episode 13 – “To’hajiilee”
Directed by Michelle MacLaren
Written by George Mastras
Starring: Bryan Cranston, Anna Gunn, Aaron Paul, Dean Norris, Betsy Brandt, RJ Mitte, Bob Odenkirk, Laura Fraser, and Jesse Plemons
AMC
Air date: September 8, 2013

Full-on spoilers for this week’s action-packed Breaking Bad are below. You’ve been warned.

In his mind, the only thing that kept Walter White (Bryan Cranston) from fully descending into hell was a Batman-esque, one-premise code: Family was off-limits. For so long, Jesse (Aaron Paul) was considered family that Walt could never imagine sending him to Belize. He fought hard and long to make sure that Jesse ended up safe, but after last week’s episode that rule was broken and all bets were off. Jesse has always been far smarter than anyone ever gave him credit for and uses this to his advantage. I was half right last week when I said that Jesse would come for Walt at the car wash. So much of Walt’s motivation to cook was always about the money. There’s no way all that green would disappear.

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TV Review: Breaking Bad 5.12: Rabid Dog
Goodman   |  

Breaking Bad Season 5 Episode 12 Rabid Dog

Breaking Bad
Season 5, Episode 12 – “Rabid Dog”
Directed and written by Sam Catlin
Starring: Bryan Cranston, Anna Gunn, Aaron Paul, Dean Norris, Betsy Brandt, RJ Mitte, and Bob Odenkirk
AMC
Air Date: September 1, 2013

Quiet hours of Breaking Bad are eventful, but not in ways that are maybe as overt as more action-packed hours of the show. Having officially reached the halfway point in these last eight episodes, the series needed to take a break and regroup as the end game is continued to be pieced together as the threads between the show’s future and present begin to weave together like latticework.

SPOILERS for Episode 5.12 of Breaking Bad.

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TV Review: Breaking Bad 5.11: Confessions
Goodman   |  

Breaking Bad Season 5 Episode 11 Confessions Review

Breaking Bad
Season 5, Episode 11 – “Confessions”
Directed by Michael Slovis
Written by Gennifer Hutchison
Starring: Bryan Cranston, Anna Gunn, Aaron Paul, Dean Norris, Betsy Brandt, RJ Mitte, Bob Odenkirk, and Jesse Plemons.
AMC
Air Date: August 25, 2013

Queue up your Usher and get ready as we spill some Confessions on this week’s episode of Breaking Bad.

SPOILERS…

Since the start of the show, Breaking Bad has continually played with our expectations of how events should occur. Few things often happen in a manner that we predict they will happen (which is fitting, considering the protagonist of the show named his alter ego after a principle that deals so heavily in uncertainty). When Walt (Bryan Cranston) sits down for his second “confession” of the hour, we think he’s finally doing the right thing.

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TV Review: Breaking Bad 5.10: Buried
Goodman   |  

Breaking Bad Season 5 Episode 10 Buried Review

Breaking Bad
Season 5, Episode 10 – “Buried”
Directed by Michelle MacLaren
Written by Thomas Schnauz
Starring: Bryan Cranston, Anna Gunn, Aaron Paul, Dean Norris, Betsy Brandt, RJ Mitte, Bob Odenkirk, Laura Fraser, and Jesse Plemons
AMC
Air Date: August 18, 2013

What would you do if you were Skyler White?

Considering the fact that she acted for so long as a barrier for Heisenberg’s natural progression and evolution, I can understand much of the audience not being a Skyler White fan. It’s almost by design in that aspect, as we’re conditioned to not liking her character because she’s against our “hero.” At that early stage, it was mostly because she’s the one stopping Walter (Bryan Cranston) from becoming more a badass.

But there are so many moments in Breaking Bad episode “Buried” that remind me that Skyler White (Anna Gunn) is doing the best job that she possibly can. Like Skyler, Hank (Dean Norris) and Marie (Betsy Brandt) have been affected by Walt’s cancerous decisions, but they could claim ignorance and continue. Skyler isn’t as lucky, having taken a pledge to protect this family from the man who protects this family. She’s just as buried in the business as Walt is, a fact that Marie hauntingly came to realize in an incredible standout moment for these two sisters.

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TV Review: Breaking Bad 5.9: Blood Money
Goodman   |  

Breaking Bad Season 5 Episode 9 Blood Money

As Breaking Bad begins its final run of episodes, we’ll be reveiwing the series as it comes to what will probably be a very bloody, intense, and exciting finale. Join us after the jump for analysis of Walter White’s final journey.

Breaking Bad
Season 5, Episode 9 – “Blood Money”
Directed by Bryan Cranston
Written by Peter Gould
Starring: Bryan Cranston, Anna Gunn, Aaron Paul, Dean Norris, Betsy Brandt, RJ Mitte, Bob Odenkirk, Laura Fraser, Charles Baker, and Matt Jones
AMC
Air Date: August 11, 2013

What has pride cost you?

Recently, it’s cost me about $10. I got mad at a former girlfriend over a stupid fight and decided to not put on sunscreen before heading into a college football game. It was all about pride, feeling that this was a way I could get back at her: by not letting her tell me what to do. So I ignored her words of advice and marched into the game, having felt that I’d won.

The $10 and the week I spent rubbing aloe-vera into my face told a different story.

I say all this to preface the fact that hubris can lead to lots of stupid decisions and damaging outcomes. In the case of Walter White’s (Bryan Cranston) pride, it’s certainly cost him a lot of things. However, this time around, it may cost him the most it’s ever cost.

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TV Review: Game Of Thrones 3.8: Second Sons
Goodman   |  

 Game Of Thrones Season 3 Episode 8 Second Sons

Game of Thrones
Season 3, Episode 8 – “Second Sons”
Directed by Michelle MacLaren
Written by David Benioff & D.B. Weiss
Starring: Mark Addy, Alfie Allen, Emilia Clarke, James Cosmo, Liam Cunningham, Charles Dance, Stephen Dillane, Peter Dinklage, Natalie Dormer, Michelle Fairley, Jerome Flynn, Aidan Gillen, Jack Gleeson, Iain Glen, Kit Harington, Lena Headey, Conleth Hill, Ciarán Hinds, Carice van Houten, Sibel Kekilli, Harry Lloyd, Richard Madden, Patrick Malahide, Rory McCann, Sophie Turner, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Maisie Williams, and Issac Hempstead-Wright
HBO
Air Date: May 19, 2013

I was not impressed with “Second Sons.”

There’s normally a point each season that I reach with Game of Thrones, where one of the later episodes in the season becomes just too predictable or flat out boring. The latter certainly isn’t the case, as there are plenty of individually strong moments throughout the episode, but the sum of the parts doesn’t work to something I’m excited about. Which is sad, all things considered, because the strong parts in this episode are good. So let’s start with the good.

...continue reading »
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