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Review: 'Breaking Bad' Season Premiere Promises All Bad Things Must Come To An End

Photo of Cory Everett By Cory Everett | @modage August 11, 2013 at 9:52PM

Tonight "Breaking Bad" returned for the first of its final eight episodes which will bring the highly acclaimed series to its conclusion. Though the show has been on hiatus since last September, if you're like me, you've spent the last couple of weeks re-immersing yourself in the show, revisiting the previous five seasons, watching extended Q&A's with the cast and creator Vince Gilligan, reading Internet theories (Walt won't survive the finale? Walt is wearing a wire? etc.) and think pieces (see: Matt Zoller Seitz's excellent essays for Vulture), puzzling through the upcoming episode titles for clues and wondering just how it will all wrap up on September 29th. Despite the torrential downpour of hype surrounding the return of the show, the stellar premiere episode "Blood Money" (directed by star Bryan Cranston) does not disappoint. Rewatching last September's mid-season finale "Gliding Over All" just beforehand proved to be a wise decision as many of the cliffhangers from the finale are resolved in the premiere.
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Breaking Bad

What Lies Ahead

- If you were concerned that Walt's adversaries were all in the past (and in the ground), think again. Gilligan told EW, "There will be antagonistic relationships aplenty. Walt's got plenty of fight left in him. And he's got plenty of forces to fight. You met some of them. Others you haven't. As the movie title goes, there will be blood. You need to really settle down on the couch and pay close attention because it's going to come at you fast and furious in the final eight episodes."

- Charlie Rose recently let slip that he'll be appearing on the penultimate episode presumably as himself possibly interviewing Walt? Or Walt's family?

- "Looper" director Rian Johnson (who had previously helmed the episodes "Fly" and "Fifty-One") will return to direct the third to last episode titled "Ozymandias" which almost certainly has to do with this just released teaser. Gilligan praised Johnson, calling him "the next Spielberg or next Michael Mann" and said his upcoming episode might be the best in the entire series. "It may be the best one we've ever done.... unfortunately there's two more [episodes] after that."

This Is The End

- Though most people assume that the series has to conclude with Walt's demise, Cranston suggested during the TimesTalks event that it might not be the only possibility left. "What if the thing he wanted the most, which was the togetherness of his family—what if he lived and they didn't? Wouldn't that be a worse hell to be in... or maybe he should die? I vacillate on this."

- Adding even more confusing layers onto either of these theories is Gilligan, who told Vulture, "In my mind, the ending is a victory for Walt. You might see the episode and say, "What the fuck was he talking about?" But it's a somewhat happy ending, in my estimation." He also elaborated to EW, "We worked long and hard to ensure that these final eight—and, in fact, the very last episode—would satisfy an audience. I am guardedly optimistic that we have achieved just that. And furthermore, trying to be as coy as possible, trying to give away as little as possible, I feel like this ending represents on some level, however small, something of a victory for Walter White. Read into that what you will. And try to be as open-minded as possible when you watch this episode, because it may not indeed feel like a victory. Or maybe it will. … I feel good about where it all ended up, and I can't wait for people to see it."

- One last bit of hype to fuel the fire is DP Michael Slovis who spoke to RogerEbert.com about the end of the show. "All I can tell you is…two things: A) You will not be disappointed, I promise. I promise, I promise, I promise. B) Every single storyline will be buttoned up, and there will be no loose ends. It's going to redefine last seasons of television. It's going to redefine series finales, which are almost inevitably disappointing. This one will not disappoint. I've seen all eight episodes. I've seen it through to the end, and I sat in front of my screen crying, myself, alone, during the last couple of episodes, and I'm telling you…well, call me afterwards. Call me in September, let me know what you think."

What did you think of the Season Premiere? What loose threads do you hope the show untangles before the finale? And what do you think will be Walt's fate when all is said and done? Sound off below in the comments.

This article is related to: Breaking Bad, Reviews, TV Reviews, Television


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