It’s hard to imagine after S4 that Breaking Bad could actually get any better the first half of S5 it showed that it could, oh it could.
Splitting a season is never an easy thing because 8 episodes isn’t a whole lot of time for a sometimes slow burning show like Breaking Bad to build up the storyline and yet all 8 of the episodes fitted in perfectly with the plot and pacing of the season.
From the opening moments of premiere Live Free or Die where we caught a tantalising glimpse of Walter’s future to the closing of mid season finale Gliding Over All where we saw the possible start of his downfall with Hank’s realisation of just who his brother in law was.
Everything just felt so right with these episodes, so perfectly written and wonderfully acted especially by Anna Gunn during Skyler’s meltdown or Jonathan Banks during Mike’s swansong.
There was the underlying tension of just how bad Walter had become, just have far he would go to prove he was the man no one should mess with that I feared for the life of everyone around him every damn minute of every damn episode. There was the much needed humour and fun that the show does so well when it has the breathing space to do it – Dead Freight was a positively giddy episode for 99% of it until that shockingly brutal ending. Let’s not forget the world’s most awkward dinner with Jesse joining the White’s, Aaron Paul possibly deserves a best comedy actor nod at the Emmy’s next year for his facial reactions alone.
This season also did something to move the timeline of the show along, its hard to believe it but inFifty-One when they celebrated Walter’s birthday only a single year had past since the pilot episode. All that madness, all that anger that has consumed one man all in the space of 12 months.
The finale moved time along by I think about 6 months, Walter finally realising he had achieved enough, had enough money, was indeed the best in the business. Everything is good for Walter White and even if Skyler is still longing for his cancer to return things seems pretty stable between them. However, we all know that S5 started with Walter turning 52 alone and looking very much a broken man, so something big must change in the next six months. The fascinating thing is even though the obvious choice is that Hank now knowing the truth goes after his nemesis there are still so many other things that could happen to bring down Walter White.
Jesse seems to be out of the game for now but he is still in the dark about the true nature of Brock’s near death experience. Skyler may look like the loving wife once again but is she just binding her time? Walter may look like his king of the castle with no other competition but is he really?
The end is near for both Walter and the show and if it can keep up the quality of its first half then we have some fantastic TV ahead of us.
He was the threat, he was the danger. I thought you were the danger.
Favourite Episodes: Fifty-One / Gliding Over All