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'Breaking Bad' Premiere Review and Roundup: 'Blood Money' Kicks Off Fast-Paced Countdown to the End, Breaks Show Ratings Record

Photo of Ryan Lattanzio By Ryan Lattanzio | TOH! August 12, 2013 at 4:08PM

With eight episodes left, "Blood Money," the final season premiere of AMC's "Breaking Bad," moves faster than entire seasons of this brilliant series. Some huge developments unfold along the way, including a scene fans have been waiting for since the first episode.
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Bryan Cranston and Vince Gilligan of 'Breaking Bad' at the 2013 TCA Awards.
Bryan Cranston and Vince Gilligan of 'Breaking Bad' at the 2013 TCA Awards.

Here's a roundup of what some critics are saying about "Blood Money."

Vulture:

That ending was powerful... Walter’s Achilles heel, we’re reminded again, is his pride. His masculine inferiority complex in relation to the fireplug-macho Hank is part of the reason he ended up in this horrendous psychic place, the good man subservient to his dark alter ego.  Dean Norris and Bryan Cranston have been waiting over five years to play this moment. They finally got their chance, and the result was as powerful as anyone could have expected.

AV Club:

Just when you think there’s a lot that needs to happen before the next huge development, the show bypasses all the details and cuts right to the chase, leaving you goggle-eyed and scrambling to retrieve the pieces of your brain in its wake.

Time:

Granted, the jaw-dropping throwdown between Hank and Walt was precipitated by Walt’s figuring out that Hank was on to him. But you can see–after his literally sickened response to first learning–that the discovery has awakened a fury in him. There’s no regret in his turning on his brother-in-law, no apparent fear or hesitation, but rather, great relief... It's an astonishing scene.

San Francisco Chronicle:

Cranston directed Sunday's episode, and while none of its content will be revealed here, you'll find his work behind the camera as great as his Emmy-winning performance as Walter White. The pace of the episode is measured, controlled, constantly building suspense. It is magnificently and appropriately excruciating.

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


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.