"Fire is motion / Work is repetition / This is my document / We are all all we've done / We are all all we've done / We are all all we've done / We are all all defenses."

- Cap'N Jazz, "Oh Messy Life," Analphabetapolothology

Monday, September 09, 2013

some brief opining on the magnificence of Breaking Bad

a scene from last night's S5E13, "To'hajiilee"

the greatest triumph of Breaking Bad is its inevitable tragedy.

despite the foreshadowing and the inescapable justice that awaits Walt (and possibly some other characters) at the end of this, the audience is spell-bound watching it unfold.

consider this: "To'hajiilee" is the first episode in possibly the entire series where the final 30 minutes were totally predictable, and yet, they were the most intense, excruciating minutes i've ever seen (in television and film). that was a ground-breaking moment in television -- when total expectation of what came next was still met with complete and utter stunned surprise. bravissimo!

a few more thoughts:  

a friend of mine theorized about the significance of Walt's name and his allegiance with the white supremacists (White = right/might). i don't really think there's much symbolic significance to that connection (too literal, in my opinion), but i've often wondered about the significance of the names -- White, Pinkman, and the non-color-related Goodman (a little literary irony, yes) -- and the use of color in the show. did you notice how Lydia wore such a vibrant, almost strident shade of blue in the scene with Todd at the lab? and then Walt wore a drabby cerulean to the desert? even Skyler had a royal blue edging on her sweater in the car wash. and then Jesse frequently wears red, as i believe he was in last night's episode. oh god, and then there's Marie with her obsessive, childish purples! (though recently evolved to dark purple, bordering on black, as if in mourning / edging towards sophistication and adulthood as she becomes privy to the wickedness in the world immediately around her).

i read once that Vince Gilligan made Bryan Cranston try on, like, 50 shirts before he found the right shade of green for the scene they were shooting. so much attention to detail and careful execution!

for more on the color theory behind Breaking Bad, see this infographic from a graphic designer who worked on the show: "Colorizing Walter White's Decay" (via Buzzfeed)


also: that scene with Hank on the phone -- one of the few times where Hank seems to express genuine affection for Marie, also the first time you feel he is finally actualized in his career; and then the drama that ensues from the juxtaposition of that with what you know is coming next. brilliant. 


an interesting thing happened last night, where the audience knew Jesse was leading Walt into a trap in order to trace the phone call to the location of the money. i initially thought this was a flaw in the writing, that there would be no way the Walt/Heisenberg we know would be so easily duped. Walt would typically see this move coming and be able to counter it, but he was so overcome with greed/rage/love for Jesse that the thought that Jesse would betray him and trick him never entered his mind until it was already too late. it's also possible that Walt's ego got in the way and he never expected Jesse and Hank to join up to outsmart him at his game. 

in this video, Bryan Cranston talks about Walt's descent into a more emotional and less rational state of mind: Bryan Cranston talks Walter White on Talking Bad (via AMCTV.com)

sidenote: isn't he incredibly handsome? i am completely astounded by the physicality of Cranston's acting -- this can't possibly be the same man behind Heisenberg! if you look at pictures from the first season of Breaking Bad and compare them to recent pictures, it's as if Cranston grew a whole knew jawline over the course of the filming. amazing!  


a logical flaw found in the writing!!

it is hard to believe that Walt, so meticulous and forward thinking, would return the van to Huell and Kubie with desert dust all over it. i mean, doesn't he own a car wash?? specifically a car wash his wife and co-conspirator used to launder his money? also, why would Huell wash a rental before returning it? as Skyler said herself earlier this season, "who washes a rental?!" only suspicious characters, that's who! 

since this is the one clue that leads to Walt being caught, it seems pretty far-fetched. also, Walt seems too smart to not check out a rental place and make sure he is untraceable (especially since earlier this season, he even thought to check his car for a GPS tracking device). 

another thing that struck me as really odd was that Walt goes through a lot of effort to memorize the GPS coordinates, yet he immediately drives right up to the spot, the spot that also happens to be the same spot where he and Jesse made their first cook? i dunno...

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