So there's less than two weeks to go until the final season of "Breaking Bad" kicks off and every Monday at the office will be spent dissecting the final movements of Walter, Jesse and everyone else. Details have kept tightly under lock and key but pretty soon the show will be the only thing anyone can talk about. Perhaps speaking to the absurd levels of secrecy around the show, the first reviews, which have landed today, contain exactly zero plot points and read with something of a Kafkaesque obliqueness, so it winds up being a recap of the last season. But we'll get to that in a second...
First off one more tidbit has been revealed about the final batch of episodes: none other than talk show titan Charlie Rose will be making an appearance. He spilled the news during an event celebrating the "Breaking Bad" exhibit at the Museum Of The Moving Image, adding that he will be in the penultimate episode entitled "Granite State." The AV Club speculates that title cold be a wink toward the season five opener, "Live Free Or Die," which flash-forwarded to a grizzled Walter in a diner closing a deal for a massive M60 machine gun. Perhaps the story of Hank's brother-in-law becoming a meth dealing kingpin goes national, prompting him to chat with Charlie Rose? Guess, we'll find out in a few weeks.
Until then, here's the mostly effusive praise that the critics had for the first episode. We'll have our take closer to the air date on Sunday, August 11th. Roundup below, followed by a new teaser trailer for the final batch of episodes.
NY Daily News: If this first episode foreshadows the other seven, much of the drama will be psychological. While Bryan Cranston’s Walter White tries to ignore the toll of his chosen course on those around him, the wreckage has begun piling up...the first episode offers few clues about what form justice will eventually take, if it takes any form at all."
Hollywood Reporter: "... the return episode is riveting from start to finish -- with the use of another flash-forward that also kicked off this final season -- and it concludes with an extended scene that is written, acted and shot with the kind of magnificence that is at the heart of why the series is so exalted."
The Wrap: "...nothing I could put into sentences would deliver the crackling euphoria the show creates with each jittery montage, wincing fight, scream-at-the-screen flashforward. 'Breaking Bad' tells its story better than anyone else could."
Sun Sentinel: "Indeed, to the show's credit, the Jesse arc might be every bit as fascinating as Walt's is—or, for that matter, Hank's appears destined to be. And while Gilligan and company have occasionally taken their time to meander on oddities, betraying the showrunner's quirky sensibilities, this tautly paced episode suggests it's going to be more of a sprint toward the finish line, with barely an ounce of fat on it."
Think Progress: "But watching the first episode of the final season, which returns to AMC on August 11 at 9PM, I found myself struck by one of the theories of the show, that Breaking Bad is the story of a hero told from the perspective of the villain."Variety: "And while the first of these remaining hours does little to suggest whether the wrap-up will ultimately prove worthy of the journey, it’s breathtaking stuff, providing tour-de-force moments for the key characters. Continuing to tease the outcome with out-of-context glimpses of future events, there’s no telling where “Bad” will wind up. But if this first hit is any indication, the audience is in very good hands."