The Playlist

Recap: Harrowing 'Breaking Bad' Season 5, Episode 14 'Ozymandias'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • September 16, 2013 10:06 AM
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  • 18 Comments
"My name is Ozymandias, king of kings: Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!" goes the poem by Percy Bysshe Shelley, and not only does it serve as the title of this week's episode, it also was the foundation of one of the more tantalizing teasers that was released before the start of the final season of "Breaking Bad." The entire brief poem evokes the imagery of a man surveying his crumbled empire, and by end of "Ozymandias," everything that Walter White has built up and battled for is obliterated, until even he says farewell to his own name and life.

The Saul Goodman Spinoff Gets Greenlit By AMC & Will Be A ‘Breaking Bad’ Prequel

  • By Drew Taylor
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  • September 11, 2013 4:37 PM
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  • 10 Comments
Saul Goodman Spin-off
Confirming that there is still something good left in the universe, AMC has officially given the green light to a new series based around the Saul Goodman (Bob Odenkirk) character from their insanely popular crime drama "Breaking Bad." The one-hour comedic drama will serve as a prequel to the events of "Breaking Bad," and has been given the tentative title "Better Call Saul." "Breaking Bad" mastermind Vince Gilligan and writer/producer Peter Gould, who created the character for a season 2 episode of the show, will serve as show-runners. While the thoughts of failed spin-offs are running through our head ("After M*A*S*H" anyone?), we can't help but get excited about the prospect of this series.

Recap: 'Breaking Bad,' Season Five, Episode 13 'To'hajiilee'

  • By Drew Taylor
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  • September 9, 2013 9:30 AM
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  • 5 Comments
Breaking Bad
Last week's episode, the sublimely conflicted "Rabid Dogs," ended with a pair of calls: Jesse (Aaron Paul), consumed with paranoia, dialed Walt (Bryan Cranston) with a promise: he'd be coming for him where it really mattered. Moments later, Walt, made a call of his own, to Todd (Jesse Plemons), informing him that the services of his skuzzy Uncle Jack (Michael Bowen), co-architect of last season's massive prison murder, would be needed once more. This week's "To'hajiilee," written by longtime "Breaking Bad" principle George Mastras (who penned last season's crackerjack "Dead Freight" episode), picked up on the other side of one of those calls.

Recap: 'Breaking Bad,' Season 5, Episode 12 'Rabid Dog'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • September 2, 2013 11:57 AM
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  • 5 Comments
"He can't keep getting away with it!" Jesse (Aaron Paul) howls in the twelfth, riveting episode of the final season of "Breaking Bad." And increasingly, it looks like Walt (Bryan Cranston) is on the backpedal, looking to straighten up a mess that continues to seep like so much gasoline into the carpets of his house leaving a stain he can't get out. And indeed, that is the result of the eleventh episode capper that had an enraged, cocaine-fueled Jesse—who finally put one-and-one together in regards to Brock's poisoning and Walt's role in it—literally lighting the match and getting ready to drop it on the gasoline soaked house when... We're getting ahead of ourselves for a moment...

Recap: Breaking Bad, Season 5, Episode 11 'Confessions'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • August 26, 2013 10:04 AM
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  • 14 Comments
"My name is Walter Hartwell White. I live at 308 Negra Arroyo Lane, Albuquerque, New Mexico 87104. This is my confession." These are words no one would have thought they'd ever hear come out of the words of the mouth of Walter White (Bryan Cranston), but it sets up one of the most astonishing plot turns of the final eight episodes yet. Each week we're consistently thwarted by any expectations of where the writers of "Breaking Bad" will take the show, but the key twist of "Confessions" is a true jaw dropper.

'Breaking Bad' Star Anna Gunn Addresses Misogyny Behind Audience Hatred Of Skyler Plus 4-Hour Interview With Vince Gilligan

  • By Charlie Schmidlin
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  • August 26, 2013 8:56 AM
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  • 5 Comments
With last night's episode of “Breaking Bad” drawing the acclaimed show even closer to its visible end, it is a point of pleasure for creators and fans alike to witness beloved characters entering their final scenes, and also reflect upon their series-wide arcs. As Walt's wife Skyler, Anna Gunn has continually surprised in this regard, reacting to her husband's shift into drug kingpin by turns with anger, frustration and sympathy. The response from viewers has been more one-note however, and in a recent op-ed by the actress, Gunn examined her character's vitriolic feedback and what those comments have exposed about the show's dynamic.

Recap: 'Breaking Bad,' Season 5, Episode 10 'Buried'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • August 19, 2013 10:05 AM
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  • 2 Comments
"I am the danger," Walter White chillingly intoned in season four's "Cornered," but with dynamics having severely shifted since, Heisenberg may not be the most unpredictable wildcard in the show, or that Hank (Dean Norris) now faces. Racing down to the final episode, once again "Breaking Bad" is firing on all cylinders and while we wait to see the fate of Walter White, it seems the cards are being dealt for Skyler as she emerges as the Lady Macbeth of the show. It's astonishing reveal, one that once again reorients everything in the world of the program, making for yet another compelling piece of television.

Interview: 'Breaking Bad' Writer/Producer George Mastras Talks Wrapping Up The Series & Much More

  • By Cory Everett
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  • August 15, 2013 2:05 PM
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  • 0 Comments
Now that "Breaking Bad" has entered the home stretch, we've been doing as much as anyone to celebrate the conclusion of the beloved series. Earlier this week, we sat down with writer/producer George Mastras, the man responsible for unforgettable episodes like "Crazy Handful of Nothin," "Grilled," "Mandala," "I.F.T.," "Thirty-Eight Snub" and "Dead Freight" (which he also directed) and the upcoming fourth-to-last episode, "To'hajiilee." (He also has co-writer credits on "Kafkaesque," "Hermanos," and "Crawl Space.") Brought on to the show in Season 1 by showrunner Vince Gilligan, Mastras—along with Peter Gould, Moira Walley-Beckett, Sam Catlin, Gennifer Hutchison and Tom Schnauz—became part of the core group that would plot the entire rise and fall of Walter White, successfully turning him from Mr. Chips to Scarface just as Gilligan had promised back in 2008.

Interview: Inside The 'Breaking Bad' Writers Room With Writer/Producer George Mastras

  • By Cory Everett
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  • August 13, 2013 3:03 PM
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  • 1 Comment
On Sunday, "Breaking Bad" returned for the first of its final 8 episodes. Anticipation for the premiere was at an all-time high, reviews were ecstatic (read ours here) and ratings were 5 times higher than when the series first debuted back in 2008. To celebrate the final curtain closing on this highly acclaimed series, the cast and crew have been taking a well deserved victory lap — a 90 minute Times Talks event, LACMA Live Read and Q&As at FilmLinc are just the tip of the iceberg — but before Heisenberg cooks up his last batch, we sat down with writer/producer George Mastras who was one of the first writers brought onboard by creator Vince Gilligan back in Season 1. In this age of showrunner-as-auteur, Gilligan is one of the few to loudly refute this view, crediting his team of writers (which includes Mastras, Peter Gould, Moira Walley-Beckett, Sam Catlin, Gennifer Hutchison and Tom Schnauz), as well as the cast and crew for making the show the success that it is.

Skyler, Hank & Jesse: Watch 'Breaking Bad' Audition Tapes Featuring Anna Gunn, Dean Norris & Aaron Paul

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • August 13, 2013 12:40 PM
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  • 0 Comments
Breaking Bad
While we have to wait until next Sunday to fight just how deep Walter's threat of "Tread lightly" will go, let's take a step back time. Okay, more like a leap. It may be easy to forget, but when "Breaking Bad" first came around, it was a bit of an unknown quantity. Tim Whatley and Malcom's Dad playing a meth dealer? A cast of mostly character actor unknowns in a show on AMC? Whatever, bro. But of course, it didn't take a long before the show became a cultural force and a large part of that is due to the across the board, excellent cast. So how did they fare when they first got in front of cameras?

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