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Breaking Bad: Gliding Over All, Season 5 Episode 8

Breaking Bad: Gliding Over All, Season 5 Episode 8

Taking a closer look at Gliding Over All: Breaking Bad Season 5 Episode 8

In a recent interview with Vulture, actress Laura Fraser who plays Lydia Rodarte-Quayle revealed how she got cast on Breaking Bad and her approach to playing a character with nervous energy. What’s most interesting is that she still has never met creator and executive producer Vince Gilligan. All of her auditions were taped; she never met anyone. After receiving notes from the casting director, she was offered the role on the third attempt. On conveying nervousness, Fraser explains “When I play Lydia, I was consciously trying to breathe from my upper body. No diaphragm breathing at all. Just chest breathing … I watched people like Jodie Foster and Tilda Swinton, roles where they’re kind of cornered and frightened, but they have a sort of dark, strong energy at the same time. On ‘Gliding Over All”, Lydia has every reason to feel cornered and frightened. Walt needs the names of the legacy payment recipients, but if she gives up the names there is no reason for Walt to keep her alive. “There’s this heightened sense of urgency as I go back for filming with each episode” says Fraser, “because I’m like, Am I gonna die this time?”

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Breaking Bad: Say My Name, Season 5 Episode 7

Breaking Bad: Say My Name, Season 5 Episode 7

Taking a closer look at Say My Name: Breaking Bad Season 5 Episode 7

As intricate and well thought-out as Breaking Bad is, some of the strongest characters such as Mike Ehrmantraut and Gus Fring were created as a result of bad luck. According to creator Vince Gilligan, the actor that played Tuco (Raymond Cruz) was no longer available because he became a regular on the TV show ‘The Closer’. Consequently, they came up with Gus Fring who is everything Tuco was not: “button-down and business-like.” The introduction of Mike was also out of happenstance. Originally, at the end of Season 2 after Jane’s overdose, it was supposed to be Saul Goodman that comes to clean up the house but the actor (Bob Odenkirk) was unavailable, thus the creation of Mike, the all-purpose go-to-guy. Gilligan was a huge fan of the tv show Wiseguys staring Jonathan Banks and when he discovered who was up for the part, Banks got the role. There weren’t necessarily any long-range plans for Gus and Mike but the producers responded to the actor’s performances and included the characters into the show’s evolving narrative.

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Breaking Bad: Buyout, Season 5 Episode 6

Breaking Bad: Buyout, Season 5 Episode 6

Taking a closer look at Buyout: Breaking Bad Season 5 Episode 6

Creator Vince Gilligan has stated that mystery on this show is good, confusion is not. Breaking Bad has always been clear on the core character’s motivation no matter how extreme or surprising their actions might be. “Buyout” explains why having millions of dollars and saving his family from further danger is not an option for Walter if it means abandoning his empire. Walter is handed a rip cord to break his fall into meth madness and he throws it away. Just as troubling is how he shrugs off a child’s death, telling Jesse to focus on the business as “there will be plenty of time for soul-searching.”

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Breaking Bad: Dead Freight, Season 5 Episode 5

Breaking Bad: Dead Freight, Season 5 Episode 5

Taking a closer look at Dead Freight: Breaking Bad Season 5 Episode 5

AMC

AMC

Nothing stops this train“, proclaimed Walt in the previous episode. Unless of course he literally wants to.

At the core of what drives Breaking Bad is the notion of change and subverting expectations. Much like how each episode or scene can shift gears from family drama to black comedy to crime thriller, characters are in a constant state of flux or to use an analogy, a train barreling down the tracks. The show is “about transformation. It’s about a main character turning himself from a good guy turning himself into a bad guy. To that end, transformation should always be on-going,” executive producer Vince Gilligan said in a podcast and interview here.

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Breaking Bad: Fifty-One, Season 5 Episode 4

Breaking Bad: Fifty-One, Season 5 Episode 4

Taking a closer look at Fifty-One: Breaking Bad Season 5 Episode 4

Desperate times call for desperate measures. Lydia and Skylar are backed into a corner and make big moves in an attempt to escape from the downward spiral they are being pulled into. Both are not innocent bystanders or victims of circumstance. They’ve got blood on their hands and they’re going to have to get their hands bloody again to get their lives back.

Because of the death of Gus, the show runners felt the need to inject new blood to the final season. As opposed to the calm, cool and collective demeanor of Gus, Lydia is high-strung, tightly wound and always seems to be on the verge of a nervous breakdown. Her emotional instability is expressed externally as evident in her facial tics, mismatched shoes and screams into a pillow. Understandably she is rattled when a team of DEA agents question her and arrest the warehouse worker that’s been securing the methylamine for her.

The question is did she really put the GPS tracker on the bottom of the barrel? Read the rest of this entry

Breaking Bad: Hazard Pay, Season 5 Episode 3

Breaking Bad: Hazard Pay, Season 5 Episode 3

Taking a closer look at Hazard Pay: Breaking Bad Season 5 Episode 3

In the previous episode, Mike tells Lydia “Now, I don’t know what kinda movies you’ve been watching, but here in the real world we don’t kill eleven people as some kind of prophylactic measure”. On “Hazard Pay” we find out what kind of movie Walter White is watching. In an interview with Huffington Post, creator Vince Gilligan says “it was so fun to get to use the clip from “Scarface.” It almost didn’t happen, because using a clip from a famous movie with famous, Oscar-winning actors like that can be a very expensive proposition. But ["Scarface" studio] Universal was very cool about it, and I hear through the grapevine that Al Pacino was extraordinarily cool about it. He could have charged us out the wazoo to use his likeness, and I think he was just very cool about it.” Read the rest of this entry

Breaking Bad: Madrigal, Season 5 Episode 2

Breaking Bad: Madrigal, Season 5 Episode 2

Taking a closer look at Madrigal: Breaking Bad Season 5 Episode 2

“Two good men died because of you” declares Mike. One of those ‘good‘ men attempted to kill him for $30,000.  Being able to see the silver lining or bigger picture could come in handy on a day when Mike looses 2 million dollars, negates a plan to murder 11 men, and goes into business with a man he describes as a ticking time bomb. The second episode of the season sets up the partnership of Mike with Walter and Jesse, while exploring the aftermath of Madrigal’s involvement with Gustavo Fring’s meth empire and the missing ricin cigarette.

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Breaking Bad: Live Free or Die, Season 5 Episode 1

Breaking Bad: Live Free or Die

Taking a closer look at the Season 5 Premiere of Breaking Bad

“I can foresee a lot of possible outcomes … not one of them involves Miller Time”. We are in for a wild finish if the long-awaited premiere of the final season of Breaking Bad is any indication. The powerful image of two cars seemingly on a collision course is still resonating with me. In a game of chicken, someone has to yield or there will be a disastrous consequence. In this case, it appears Walter did not yield and Mike swerved to the side in a cloud of desert dust.

On Breaking Bad, every image and story thread is well thought out. Nothing is left unaccounted for which brings us to the video cameras that Gus placed in the lab. I absolutely enjoyed every moment in the planning and destruction of the laptop in the evidence vault. Here are some of my other reactions after watching this episode: Read the rest of this entry

Breaking Bad: Inside Season 5

Breaking Bad: Inside Season 5

Warning: This post contains spoilers for previous seasons and speculation on Season 5

Taking a closer look at the final season of Breaking Bad

Season 4’s explosive finale titled “Face Off” was written in a way that it could serve as a series finale because the show runners did not know if there would be a Season 5 due to tense negotiations between AMC Network and Sony Pictures Television who produce Breaking Bad. “Face Off” brought a definitive closure to the cat and mouse showdown between drug czar Gustavo Fring and chemistry-whiz turned meth-cook Mr. White. As emotionally satisfying as “Face Off” was, there are still a number of plot threads to tie up in Season 5. Here are some possible storylines I would like the show to explore:

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