Thursday, July 4, 2013


Like many fellow fans of BREAKING BAD, I'm currently engaged in a major re-watch, savoring each of the first 54 episodes in anticipation of the final eight.

Hmmm..."fellow fans"...I wonder if there's some common nickname for us? Like Trekkies (please, with the Trekkers -- give it a rest) or Losties? Baddies makes us sound like low-grade criminals. White-Heads has the obvious acne connotation (and too many have abandoned the Walter White camp to be comfortable with such a monicker, which will be an upcoming topic).  Bad Breakers sounds positively ridiculous (even after I've trademarked it). Any decent suggestions may not merit a bag of Blue, but at least you'll be mentioned in a future blog.

I actually recapped & reviewed episodes 47 through 54 last year in my Facebook Notes section, which is essentially the less motivated and more stupid man's blog. I considered reposting them HERE, but chances are most who would read them already have. But I will write up the final slate of episodes here, as that's textbook blogging, yo. I can guarantee there will be more than just eight future blogs devoted to what is poised to become my all-time favorite television series.

But why am I furiously tapping away on my iPhone this July Fourth morning? Because I just finished my re-watch of the tenth episode from the magnificent Season Three: FLY.

First of all, anyone who's even tangentially connected to the field of writing or at the very least can appreciate the difficulty and potential of the art form -- is left stunned after FLY. It's as worthy of praise as any great form of literature, and I can think of very few things ever seen on television that are even in the same ballpark (single episodes of HOMICIDE, ALL IN THE FAMILY, MAD MEN and THE SOPRANOS come to mind...and maybe even a MAGNUM P.I., believe it or not). The 47 minutes unfold as if it were a classic stage play. The fly may as well be Godot, an elusive real estate lead or some Shakespearean McGuffin.

Secondly, there's the occasional joke folks make when watching a specific episode of shows like HOMELAND or MAD MEN, when we say "there's their Emmy moment".  Well, Cranston takes them ALL to school in his tour de force performance. His monologue about "the perfect moment" is what major award wins are built upon..."the stuff dreams are made of". I'm almost tempted to go back to see who won the Oscar for Best Lead Actor in a Motion Picture, because assuming it wasn't Daniel Day-Lewis, I bet Bryan Cranston smoked that thespian as well. MALCOLM IN THE MIDDLE seems so very far away and long ago after watching FLY.

Finally, if this had aired for the first time, and I had just read or heard of any negative reaction to the episode, I would have responded quite clearly: stop watching the show

Seriously, go watch something else. If you cannot appreciate the depths that are plumbed in terms of character, that after 30 episodes the creators were still able to expand, expound and explain so much more about Walter White, then to be brutally honest, then this really isn't the show for you. You may not require a Masters Degree to watch BREAKING BAD, but you should have some "degree" of sophistication and intelligence.  And if that sounds harsh, keep in mind the sentence originally was supposed to read "but you shouldn't be an idiot either".

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