Yesterday in the Nerd Verse… Jan 10, 2015

Today is football day in most houses as the Dallas Cowboys come up short against the Green Bay Packers and our hometown Denver Broncos aim to destroy the Indianapolis Colts. Go local sports team!

AMC is making moves in 2015! First, there is the new extended trailer for Better Call Saul. It looks like the show will depend more on Bob Odenkirk’s range than zany situations, a pleasant surprise to me. Also, it seems that this will be an all-Saul first season, as Breaking Bad stars Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul will not be appearing in the premiere season. Source: EW.

Speaking of Breaking Bad, BuzzFeed put together a list of the “36 Times Breaking Bad Was The Cleverest Show On Television.” And it is awesome. There are even a few that we missed in our BrBa coverage. I’m going through withdrawals of that show. Source: BuzzFeed.

With Boardwalk Empire and Mob City over, AMC’s Making of the Mob seeks to fill your gangster needs. Focusing on the original five families that organized crime, this eight-part mini-series will debut sometime in mid-2015. Source: AMC.

House is back in the house! AMC’s upcoming The Night Manager, a mini-series based off the 1993 espionage novel by John le Carré, has just tacked on actors Hugh Laurie and Tom Hiddleston. As if you weren’t already interested. Source: Nerdist.

Ready for the fanciest movie ever made? Starz is making a movie of the classic play The Dresser, and it will star Sir Anthony Hopkins and Sir Ian McKellen. Bow down to royalty! Source: EW.

Creepers have peeped The Flash‘s Barry Allen locking lips with Iris West. Are people getting a little too invasive with these set photos? We think so. Source: Facebook.

Mythbusters to test the science of The Simpsons. D’oh! How many donuts can a human eat? Source: Screen Rant.

The results from Ubisoft’s survey regarding the setting of Far Cry are in. And guess what? DINOSAURS win by at least 4x the votes of the next closest vote (Spaghetti Western). Source: IGN.

Finally, there is now a Princess Bride game available for iOS. It’s a collection of mini-games that’s full of the spirit of the movie; might be a bit over-priced, but looks like a lot of fun. Source: iTunes.

Godzilla 2014 Review

Genre – Sci-Fi/Monsters

Director – Gareth Edwards

Cast – Bryan Cranston, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Ken Wantanabe, Elizabeth Olsen, Sally Hawkins

Alluring element – Giant monsters, classic homage, family story

Scorecard:
Plot – 8
Acting – 9
Representation of Genre – 9
Cinematography – 9
Effects/Environment – 10
Captivity – 8
Logical consistency – 7
Originality/Creativity – 7
Soundtrack/Music – 8
Overall awesomeness – 9
 
hush_rating_84
 

I went to the movie theater this past Saturday expecting to see giant monsters destroying cities and each other. I was not disappointed in with that aspect. What I didn’t expect was the family story that made Godzilla more than just another kaiju smashfest. It’s a monster movie with heart. It actually takes close to an hour to even properly see the giant lizard.

Admittedly, during some parts of the movie, I found myself saying “Enough with this! Bring me giant monsters!” By the end of the movie, I realized that I was wrong with this sentiment. Godzilla is brought to us very much from the point of view of someone on the ground. We’re not meant to just sit back and watch terrible beasts duke it out in a random cityscape. The director, Gareth Edwards, wants to put you in San Francisco and makes you understand the real consequence of what’s going on. If you’re looking for Pacific Rim, which is awesome in its own right, you’re not going to find it here. This is more of a movie with monsters, rather than a monster movie. Gareth Edwards has done this very well before with Monsters; go rent it if you haven’t seen it.

Godzilla-Joe-Brody

My biggest gripe with the king of monsters is the severe under-utilization of Brian Cranston. For what you do see of his performance it is intense and heart felt. Instead of Cranston, the story follows Aaron Taylor-Johnson, best known for playing Dave Lizewski from Kick-Ass. Johnson plays Cranston’s son, who is trying to get back home to his wife and son after bailing his father out of jail in Tokyo. I’m not typically a fan of Aaron Taylor-Johnson, but I have to say he did well. I pulled for him to get back to his family.

 

Ken Wantanabe was solid, as usual. He gives the characters a little bit of a terrible monster history lesson. Oh yeah Godzilla, and similar creatures, have been known about since the 1940’s. He plays a very stoic and soft-spoken scientist who has been studying these types of creatures for decades. Like Cranston, Wantanabe does not receive much screen type but still delivers a strong performance. His character is fairly forgettable though.

godzilla-2014-movie-screenshot-ken-watanabe

Now to the big guy. Yes, Godzilla appears to have been preparing for hibernation and has put on a few pounds. When you first see his elephant like foot come down it’s comical and exciting at the same time. It looks a little goofy but you realize quickly that you’re finally going to get the big reveal, and it’s not disappointing. I’m also very happy they stayed with tradition and kept Godzilla as the good guy in this movie. When he goes claw-to-claw with the other creatures, it’s a blast, and when you see the energy slowly build up starting in the tip of his tail the anticipation for giant laser/blue fire is palpable.

godzilla-nature-has-an-order-trailer-10

The FX team behind Godzilla did an excellent job at giving real emotion to the creatures. At certain points I really felt bad for the creatures designed as the villains. Godzilla is probably not the movie most people were expecting, and that’s a good thing. It’s deeper than what moviegoers were looking for, at least more than I was looking for. The length that the story goes to pleasantly surprised me. There were times I felt like they were just teasing me with the taste of a couple 300 foot monsters about to tear each other limb from limb; but once I realized what was going on I was satisfied with everything I got. Godzilla fights with serious brutality.

All photos belong to Warner Bros. and Legendary Pictures

Breaking Bad Review – “Felina” S5E16

I say this in all seriousness, if you are a fan of the series and have yet to watch the finale, do not read until you have watched the episode.

bloodmethtears

It is our great delight to be writing our 100th post on the series finale of one of the greatest television shows ever made, Breaking Bad.  It is also bittersweet.  BrBa has been an inspiration to us here at Hush Comics to pursue our passion of pop-culture as well as any writing we do for our personal pleasure.  Now that it is really over, it is a little overwhelming that this chapter is closed.

At the beginning of the episode, Walt enters a Volvo that is unlocked.  Apparently, people in New Hampshire do not fear meth kingpins stealing their cars.  After he finds a screwdriver in the glove compartment, he unsuccessfully tries to start the ignition.  It is so bitter cold, and his coughing is much worse, so it is near impossible for his hands not to shake while he tries.  For a brief moment, police lights can be seen flashing past the snow-covered car he is sitting in.  He whispers to himself, “Just get me home.  I’ll do the rest.”  Walt has a definite plan in mind for what is going to happen in Albuquerque.  He takes the screwdriver to pull down the sun-visor and the keys fall into his hands.  When he starts the car, the song “El Paso” by Marty Robbins, whose cassette fell out of the glove compartment, plays.  The song refers to the narrator’s love, Felina.  You can read the lyrics here.

Walt arrives in New Mexico with the stolen Volvo and gets gasoline out in the desert.  He grabs some of his cancer medicine out of the trunk that is full of money (we assume he went back for the money still left in the cabin).  He then uses a pay phone to call someone named “Susan” claiming to be David from the New York Times.  He has already convinced her that he is writing an article on the Schwartz’.  The woman easily gives him their address after claiming he needs to get a photograph of them for the article.  Walt then looks down at this wrist, takes off the watch Jesse had given him a year earlier for his 51st birthday, and leaves it on the top of the pay phone.  As said on Talking Bad by Vince Gilligan himself, this was originally done for continuity purposes, as Walt is not wearing the watch in the flash forward scene at Denny’s.  But the “artsy-fartsy” explanation is that he is done with that part of his life, knowing what he is going to do in Albuquerque.

Gretchen and Elliott arrive home.  They are bickering about the difference between pizza and Thai food.  Their home’s entrance is so grandiose that they don’t even notice that Walt is waiting for them in the shadows.  As they enter their home, Walt follows them.  It is so creepy the way he easily allows himself into their house, just by hiding in the shadows.  The shot of him gently touching the wall was a brilliant showcase of Walt realizing what could have been his, had the circumstances been different.  He finds their collection of photos and picks up one of he and Elliott back when days were better.  Gretchen and Elliott make reference to having not been to Napa Valley in two years, which has been too long.  Ironically, our story started exactly two years ago.  Gretchen goes to turn on the fireplace and when she turns around, she sees Walt and screams.  Walt acknowledges the Schwartz’ and compliments their home.  Walt hold up the picture of he and Elliott and remarks on their view of the Sangre de Cristos Mountains.  This may be a geography error, since we assume they live in Santa Fe, and the Sangre de Cristos are in our home state of Colorado.  But the reference to the mountains named after the Blood of Christ are more important here.  The blood of Christ will play a major role in the following moments of the episode.  Walt compliments Gretchen on how she looked on Charlie Rose, giving a nod to the fact that Walt regrets not being with her in the end, perhaps.  He then asks them to walk to his car to show them something, a very eery invite from a man wanted in multiple murders.  Elliott raises a small knife at Walt, to which he responds with one of his final great Heisenberg lines, “Elliott, if we’re gonna go that way, you’ll need a bigger knife.”  Elliott promptly drops the knife.

Back at the Schwartz house, Gretchen and Elliott stack piles of cash on their coffee table.  Walt informs them the total is nine million dollars.  When they want to know where it came from, Walt demands they give the money to Walt Jr. on his 18th birthday, which is less than a year away.  He instructs them give it in the form of a trust fund.  It really is the smartest way to ensure his family gets some money.  He knows any other way and the government will take the money.  He also knows that the only people who won’t steal his money are the people who have more money.  Elliott and Gretchen reluctantly shake with Walt on the deal.  To ensure they will do as he has asked, he sends a signal out the window to two people who then set laser guns aiming for the couple.

gretchen and elliott

He tells them it cost him 200,000 dollars to hire the “two best hit-men west of the Mississippi.”  It seems so laughable he would use that term.  Only cowboys in old movies say west of the Mississippi.  Also, a thought ran through our heads… the two best hit-men cost ONLY 200,000 dollars?!  And then the way Walt touches their shoulders as he threatens them and Gretchen’s reaction made me root for the Heisenberg master mind behind this act. Notice that he also mentions that if they don’t give the money to Jr., that they could be anywhere and be shot.  He says Prague in a number of places he lists; Prague is the largest city in … the Czech Republic.  He ends his speech by telling them, “This is where you get to make it right.”  Walt clearly feels that they did him wrong and by giving the money to whom it belongs, they will redeem themselves.

Walt drives away from the house and the two hit-men run to Walt’s car.  Badger and Skinny Pete reveal themselves and hand their regular laser pointers to Walt.  When they question the morality of what they just did, Walt hands them their share of the $200,000.  Immediately, they say they are feeling better about what they just did.  Walt questions Jesse’s two best friends about the blue.  They genuinely think that Walt has continued to stay in the game.  Walt gets visibly upset that Jesse is still cooking; meanwhile, Skinny Pete and Badger are stunned he isn’t in Alaska, but proud of him for cooking, yet upset that he isn’t giving them any.  Aww.. I’m gonna miss those nerdy meth-heads.

Jesse is in a wood-working shop making a box.  He is being careful with his craftsmanship and takes a moment to sniff the final product.  He cares about the art, just as he once did with the meth.  Is Jesse like Jesus, a carpenter? Well he snaps back to reality when he realizes he is caught on his chain in the meth lab.  Walt is at Denny’s and we are in the scene we started the season in.  He arranges his bacon into the “52” and then goes to get his ricin.  He stands in his now empty living room and remembers when it was full of life at his 50th birthday party.  Hank tells him he should go on a ride along to get some “excitement in his life” and Walt responds “someday.”  Two years later, Walt has gotten most of the excitement he will ever get in his life.

Lydia enters the cafe in Albuquerque wearing her Christian Louboutin heels, rolling her very expensive luggage, and very unsuspecting that Heisenberg has been sitting there waiting for her.  She orders her standard chamomile tea with soy milk and looks for her package of Stevia in the sugar caddy.  I think everyone was rooting for the fact that this package of Stevia was different than most and just praying that bitch would get the ricin treatment.  Todd comes and sits down, attempting to compliment Lydia on her shirt..er… blouse.  She not so slyly slides the bag of money to him under the table, just as she had done with Walt at one point.  Walt then pulls up a chair to sit with them at their table.  I like this Walt.  He is so cavalier, he does not give a flying fuck if people are afraid of him or that he is just out in the open.   He seems to think that the methylamine is running low and can teach Todd a way to cook without it.  As he goes into a coughing fit, it is hard to believe him as a viewer.  We do know the truth, but it would seem that in real life, Walt is dying.  He says he needs money and Lydia, being afraid of being caught by the police, offers to have Walt talk to Jack.  When the waiter comes, Lydia shoos him from the table.  She asks for more Stevia.  Todd and Lydia agree they are not going to do business with him.  But little do either of them know, Walt has done his business with them both.  Lydia pours the Stevia in her tea and stirs her poison right into her drink of choice.  Being a schedule-oriented person isn’t always a positive thing.

Mmmm Mmmmm.. Ricin!
Mmmm Mmmmm.. Ricin!

In the New Mexico desert, Walt uses his science skills to build a motorized device to set the famed M-60 on.  It was so great to see the use of science and logic by Mr. White.  And it made me root for him again.  I don’t want to.  He is an evil and terrible man.  But we know he is going after the Aryan’s.  And we know he is smarter than they are.  And we just want him to beat them so badly.

We cut to a very small town home.   It has familiar furnishings: the painted photographs of Skyler and Walt Jr., the couch with the knitted afghan draped over the back, the china cabinet that used to sit in the living room of the White residence and the large wooden spoon that used to hang on the dividing wall in the kitchen.  The phone rings and Marie leaves a message asking Skyler to pick up the phone.  Noticeably, Marie is wearing white, much Skyler does in season 5b because the life has been sucked out of her. Skyler is smoking as Marie tells her that Walt is back in town, as the car he stole was found at Denny’s.  Marie says that Carol, their old neighbor, or was it Becky, saw him at the house and he looked like the Unibomber.  There are calls about his “manifesto” being made to several different agencies.  It is hard to believe that Walt is making these calls, as he seems preoccupied, but it is plausible because it would throw the police off so he can carry out his plan. Marie’s house is being watched as is Flynn’s school.  Skyler is warned that her house is probably being watched, too.   Marie says that she knows watching the houses is what Hank would do.  As annoying as she can be, she is still a good wife to Hank.  She then goes on and on about how dumb Walt is and how he isn’t a mastermind.  Blah Blah Blah.  But he is.

The next scene is one of the most beautifully shot out of the whole episode.  Behind the wooden post, Walt stands waiting for her to finish her phone call.  Skyler lets him know he has five minutes.  He is wearing his favorite outfit, a green button-up with khakis and his beige jacket.  Skyler lights up a second cigarette, her great coping mechanism, commenting on how Walt looks, terrible.  The camera pans and we can see Skyler’s face reflected in the microwave with the smoke flitting over it.  I wish Vince Gilligan had never admitted it was a happy accident because the symbolism of her fading away in the smoke was the perfect touch on this good-bye.  Walt tells her that he wanted a proper goodbye, not their last phone call.  Calling your wife a stupid bitch probably isn’t the best way to end things. She asks if he is turning himself in and he says, “They’ll be coming to me” solidifying the hope that the gun is going to do some serious damage.  Skyler expresses her fear of the people who came and threatened the family. Walt assures her that they aren’t coming back, after “tonight.”  “What happens tonight?” Haven’t we all been wondering that for years now?  Walt hands her the lottery ticket with the coordinates of the desert on it.  He tells her what to say to the DEA.  He tells her what really happened to Hank and Steve and that they are buried where the money used to be.  Walt tells her to use the ticket to get herself a deal with the prosecutor.  Walt and Skyler’s next exchange is the best of the episode and could be added to the best quotes list.

“Skyler, all the things that I did, you need to understand..”

“If I have to hear one more time that you did this for the family..”

i was alive

It is the first time Skyler ever gets the truth from him.  And it was the first time Walt admitted it to himself.  As the camera pans back, the wooden pillar divides the two, showing the wedge that has always existed between the two.

walt and skylerWalt then asks to see Holly.  How gut-wrenching to see this man rub his child’s head for the last time, knowing that he never really was a part of her life.  Cops are waiting outside of the town house.  Flynn exits the school-bus, noticeably not the Dodge Challenger.  Walt watches Flynn enter the home through the glass of a nearby window. It seems so gutsy of him to be out in the open with the police nearby looking for him specifically.

Walt pulls up to the Aryan’s headquarters for his meeting with Jack.  Kenny comes out and admires the Cadillac that Walt picked up at the Denny’s lot from Lawson.  Kenny directs Walt to the “clubhouse”, but Walt carefully parks his own way, despite Kenny’s protests.  The Aryan’s come out to greet Walt in a not so friendly way and take his keys and wallet.  They ask him to lift his shirt to show he isn’t wearing a wire.  I was surprised that Walt wasn’t more emaciated.  He asks for his things back, but they don’t budge.  A lookout is told to stay outside.  Inside, Jack comments on Walt’s hair, and Walt’s things are thrown onto the pool table.  Walt asks if Jack knows why he is there, but declines to do business with Walt.  Jack lets Walt know that Lydia sends them small amounts of methylamine and the system is fine. Todd tells Walt that he shouldn’t have come back, referring to him as “Mr. White” still.  As the men decide to take Walt outside to murder him, Walt brings up that he knows Jesse is still alive.  Instead of killing him, he is now their partner.  It is a little unclear whether Walt truly thinks he is their partner or prisoner.  Either way, the use of the word partner sets Jack off.  Jack wants to know where “the rat” is.  A good reference for how many viewers have been feeling about Jesse because he has been a snitch.  Todd tells him he is finishing a batch and goes to get Jesse.  Jack makes his fatal flaw by being an arrogant son-of-a-bitch.  He is going to prove “how wrong” Walt is.  This is a proven way to die in recent history with Walt, but to each is own.  Jack then says that he will put a bullet in Walt’s head.  Todd and Jesse come back to the clubhouse and in the time the rest are waiting, Walt makes a move for his keys, clearly the trigger for the machine gun waiting in his trunk.  Just when the door opens, he his able to grab his keys. Jesse comes in full view of Walt, and, out of the two, is the one who looks truly terrible.  His face is badly scarred, his hair is long and matted and he looks very scared.  He looks at Walt as Jack mockingly calls him his partner and then quickly looks away.  In the background, Kenny reclines in a massaging chair, making for very annoying noises.  Walt lunges at Jesse landing on top of him on the ground.  To the Aryan’s, he looks mad, but really he is the sacrificial lamb to save jesse from what is about to ensue.  He pushes the remote for the keys and the machine gun goes off.  In one of his most epic moments, the Heisenberg sets off the machine gun that kills all but two of the Aryan gang.  The whole scene seems to last forever as the M-60 goes off, and in the process seems to hit Walt. The bullets go back and forth and as the gun stops, there is a line of bullet holes along the homes exterior.  In the ceiling to floor shot inside, we see Kenny’s dead body still being bounced on the recliner, calling back to Jesse’s hydraulics’ in the season 2 Tuco shootout. Walt rolls off Jesse and Todd goes to look outside, because lets face it, he is NOT SMART.

mr white gun in your carHe calls “Mr. White?!” and Jesse comes up behind him strangling him to a slow and miserable death with the chains he’s been locked in for months, finally breaking his neck.  It was so reminiscent of how Walt killed Krazy-8 in season 1.  If you weren’t screaming “Yeah, Bitch!” and clapping, you’re a robot, and an evil one at that.  Walt picks up a gun and approaches Jack.  Jack puts a cigarette in his mouth and tells Walt that if he kills him he’ll never find his…. BAM.  Walt shot him in the head first.  The blood splatters on the camera and we know that this isn’t about Walt’s money.

jack dies He turns and faces jesse.  Walt slides the gun to him and Jesse aims it at his head.  When Jesse hears him say “I want this,” he drops the gun and tells him to do it himself.  As Jesse said in “Confessions” he will never do what Walt tells him to again, and he doesn’t.  A ringtone calling “Lydia, oh Lydia” is heard and Walt approaches Todd’s pocket.  Walt answers telling Lydia that he has poisoned her using her own Stevia and his ricin.  She is left alone in her room with her sick face and humidifier.  Walt exits the house and looks on at Jesse.  They give each other a small nod, the yep only desperados can give each other.  Jesse gets in Jack’s car and speeds away, half crying, half laughing.  As he drives away, Walt opens his jacket, showing the blood from the wound he did receive in his side.

jesse free

Walt then enters the meth lab. He taps the pressure gauge.  He walks and finds a gas mask.  He is reminiscing on the one thing he was perfect at in his life. He looks at his reflection in the pressure cooker, as he has done so many times in his time as The Cook.  In that reflection, we see the cop cars approaching.  He touches the cooker and as his hand slips away, his bloody handprint is left.

blood on the cookerHe falls to the floor and we see his blank, dead stare.  He lays dead with his arms out and the police slowly surround him as the song “Baby Blue” plays.  Was Walt Jesus, as he posed like in the final scene?  Hardly.  Remember, Mr. White is the Devil.  But the way he died, it was on his own terms, and he was able to save the only family he had left.  A friend of ours mentioned that Walt looked more like Leonardo DiVinci’s Vitruvian man.  Walt is every man and every man is Walt.  We are all capable of being heinous people, yet we are also capable of being our best selves.  Dying in the meth lab after saving Jesse, letting Skyler off the hook and giving his money to Walt Jr. was Walter White at his best self.

walt is dead

It’s hard to grade perfection, but we will give what is the only grade to give:

Hush Comics gives Breaking Bad’s“Felina” an A+.  There was no other way for the great Heisenberg to die but than to die in a meth lab. There was no other way for Todd to die but for Jesse to choke the life out of him.  Bringing the episode full circle, from the classic green shirt to allusions of the past.  It was the perfect end to a very imperfect chapter in the lives of those effected.

written by Adrian Puryear and Sherif Elkhatib

Breaking Bad Week: Series Defining Episodes

Breaking Bad has been a series to help define modern television.  It is one of the smartest series to exist to date.  The writing is impeccable, bringing a myriad of literary techniques to the screen.  Not only is the dialogue memorable, but so is the vast amount of symbolism.  The character development is of such high caliber that it becomes obvious how the characters changing has also influenced the show changes.  With that being said, we felt there were certain episodes that changed the course of the series in the most dramatic ways.  Here are our Series Defining Episodes:

7. Blood Money

“Tread lightly.” The quote still sends shivers down my skin. This is the turning point of the series; Hank had just gotten the epiphany (or rather, the epoophany) that Walt had been the Heisenberg all along. Instead of quietly searching through the evidence for any proof, or telling anybody at the DEA, his pride leads him to confront Walt after Walt asks him about the LoJack he sloppily placed on the Chrysler 300. He decks Walt in the face and lets out all his anger to him. We can see the hurt and anger in Hank’s face, but Walt is still calm and in command. He advises Hank that he needs to drop the case, because he has no idea what the Heisenberg is capable of. It sets the rest of the season in motion, and truly marks the beginning of the downfall of the empire – all ironically when Walt is finally out of it. It’s also the end of Jesse and Walt’s relationship. Jesse knows that Walt killed Mike, the only true father figure to him through the series, and we realize that Walt has no power over anybody anymore. He pleads Jesse to believe that his hands are clean, because he needs him to.

IMG_2688

6. Face-Off

Gus Fring represented a new type of “bad guy.” Unlike Krazy 8 and Tuco, Gustavo Fring didn’t have to be the villain. Gus gave Walt several opportunities to be a good asset to the business, and Walt was the one that proved to be the the sloppy, unpredictable one. It’s a theme that is consistent through The Walking Dead comics – it’s the realization that maybe our protagonist isn’t a good guy. A lot of fans were polarized by this because Gus Fring (an oddly charismatic character) didn’t have to be the villain, but Walt’s arrogance and greed put Gus in a situation with no choice in the matter. Walt poisons a little boy and throws Jesse right into the fire to save his own ass. He even literally uses Hector Salamanca to do his dirty work in killing Gus. “Face Off” marks Walt’s fall into villainy. While he does what he does out of the fear of his family’s safety, Walt proves that it’s little more than a pissing contest to him, telling Skyler “I won” after the deed was done.

Dafuq??
Dafuq??

5. One Minute

This episode is about much more than Hank’s parking lot stand-off with the Salamanca cousins. It marks the turning point for when Hank stopped being a jerk off and became a hero that we all rooted for. Hank Schrader was simply caught in the web that Gus Fring and Walter White had weaved for him. Hank was the sacrificial lamb Gus gave to the cartel hitmen, Marco and Leonel Salamanca, or so it seemed. The episode really showed us that Gus Fring is not simply your neighborhood “Chicken Man.” He is a manipulator, and with the botched attempt at agent Schrader’s life, he causes the death of a major cartel capo. More importantly though, this episode marks Hank’s true cross into lawlessness. The beatdown that he gives Jesse can be interpreted as his frustration that a junkie got the better of him, and not as much being about Marie. As we see later in the series, Hank hates to lose and will bend the law pretty far to make sure that he doesn’t. “One Minute” also captures the tragedy of Jesse; while Jesse undergoes even more tragedy, he never words his feelings quite as honestly as in this episode.

Well, this sucks.
This is how an average day at Wal-Mart ends.

4. Phoenix

“Phoenix” was defining in so many ways.  Walt just missed the birth of his daughter.  He claims to be doing everything he does for his family for the entire series, but it is a rare occurrence when he is actually there for his family.  Missing Holly’s birth continued Walt’s dead-beat daddy routine.   Walt Jr. sets up a website for Walt’s cancer treatment, savewalterwhite.com.  It highlights Jr.’s kind heart and what he thinks of his dad, or probably the man he used to know.  But as so well stated in this episode, Walt is not the man he used to be.  He mars the point of Jr.’s website and allows Saul to use it as a money laundering technique for the meth business.  Walt will continue to ruin nice things for the sake of the money he makes.  Most importantly, “Phoenix” defines the series because of what happens to Jane Margolis, Jesse’s girlfriend.  In the duration of the episode, Jane lies to her father about using again, lies to him about seeing Jesse, blackmails Walt into giving Jesse his fair share of money, and helps Jesse shoot up a combo of meth and heroin.  She shoots up the mixture herself.  Walt goes to Jesse’s house while the two are both passed out due to the drugs.  Walt tries to wake up Jesse, seemingly to talk about his drug abuse, and in the process of shaking him, causes Jane to roll onto her back.  She begins to vomit and choke.  Walt looks on at her with his hand covering his mouth.  He knows he has every opportunity to roll her on to her side, but instead he chooses to let her choke and die on her own vomit.  This act, or rather, lack of act, set in motion not only the pain that Jesse endures from Walt, but the fact that Walt is willing to let go of anybody as long as it benefits him.

I only set my DVR to 60 minutes...
I only set my DVR to 60 minutes…

3. Dead Freight

“Dead Freight” is the episode that really changed the game.  Not only was it masterfully pieced together, it influenced the rest of the series up until the tonight’s finale.  With a serious lack of methylamine, Walt, Jesse and Mike devise a plan using Lydia to get what they need.  According to Lydia, there is “an ocean” of the methylamine in trains that run in the northern part of New Mexico.  The three men plan to  rob the train, replacing it with water to make up for the weight difference when the train is weighed.  With Todd, the worker from Vamanos Pest, in tow, they are able to stop the train with a road block.  Todd is at the top of the train with the hose to release the water, Jesse is on the bottom of the train to release the methylamine, Mike is radioing Walt to tell him what is happening at the front of the train and Walt is counting off the gallons.  The train starts moving with Todd still on the top and Jesse still on the tracks.  In the end everything goes off without a hitch.  Except that Walt made it clear to Todd that no one can know what they did.  So after their short celebration, they turn and see a young teenage boy on his motorbike.  Todd without hesitation raises his gun and shoots the boy, killing him.  The episode ends there, with Jesse screaming “No!” but the effects of that one action have continued to take their toll.  Jesse got out of the meth-game because of it, Todd has been revealed to be an even bigger piece of trash since, Walt killed Mike, and Hank is dead.  And it all leads to Walt’s stupidity of trusting Todd at the train heist in the first place.

dead-eyes Opie son of a bitch
Dead-eyed Opie son of a bitch

2. The Pilot

In a 45-minute period, we meet a normal high school chemistry teacher, Walter White, who turns into a meth cook.  We saw his life quickly spiral out of control in one episode.  He is diagnosed with cancer, turns 50, quits his part-time job, goes on a meth-lab bust with his DEA brother-in-law, reunites with an old student of his, and decides to cook meth with said student, Jesse Pinkman aka Cap’n Cook.  Walt and Jesse cook meth together, and Jesse takes it to his friend Krazy-8, who was part of the meth bust Walt was a part of.  Krazy-8 is upset with Jesse about the bust for leaving his cousin, Emilio to be caught by the cops, so he questions the high quality of the cook.  Jesse is forced to take the two druggies out to the desert to the RV he and Walt bought to cook meth in.  Jesse lets Walt know they are in danger, promptly trips and Krazy-8 and Emilio beat him up badly.  Then they force Walt to teach them how to cook the meth he made.  Instead, he uses red phosphorus to kill them.  Or at least just Emilio.  There are so many decisions made in this episode that could have avoided the decay of this man everything he touches.  Without being on the car ride with the DEA or seeing Jesse, or decided to cook meth at all, Walt may be dead because of cancer, or he may be alive and just in debt.  But for such a prideful man, we know that he couldn’t live with constantly being at the bottom of the food chain.  His pride alone set in motion the consequences of the rest of Breaking Bad.

My life after Breaking Bad
My life after Breaking Bad

1. Ozymandias

If you’re a family member of Walt’s, sorry, you don’t get any free trips to Belize. After several offers to off his brother-in-law, Walt’s twisted sense of morality keeps him from taking out his one real threat to him and his empire. Picking up at the end of the shootout that began in “To’hajiilee,” we see a very weak Walter White pleading the Uncle Jack and the Aryans to spare Hank’s life (oh, and Gomey’s dead already). This is the same man who was a hardened criminal that ordered Jack to murder ten men in prison. In a panic, Walt offers Jack and crew $80 million to turn their back. The Aryans counter Walt’s offer by killing Hank and taking all of him money for themselves. Walt’s two treasures are his family and his money – and in just one segment, they are both stripped from him. It’s not as satisfying as I thought it would be, and is instead terrifyingly tragic. In a panic to make his family disappear with the remainder of the cash that Todd convinced Jack to leave him with, Skyler deduces that Hank is dead and that it is Walt’s fault. When Skyler and Walt get in a tuft over the kitchen knife, Walter Jr. becomes the man that must protect the family from the man that protects this family (cue Inception music. Baauumm!). Not to mention Walt’s ultimate sacrifice of absolving Skyler and saying goodbye to baby Holly, who he realizes he does not even know due to his exploits of the Heisenberg. Plot aside, there is so much symbolism in this episode, most of it stemming from the first cook. The call-backs to the Pilot remind us of a simpler time, a simpler lie. Walt has been broken by Hank’s murder, and in turn, his wife and child have abandoned him. “Ozymandias” does a superb job of making a full-circle to the beginning of the series. Not too be hyperbolic, but this is one of the best episodes of any drama. Ever.

Tonight is the last episode of the Breaking Bad.  How will our lives go on?  There is nothing on cable as high of caliber of writing.  Vince Gilligan, sir, you spoiled us.  Thank you for such a rollercoaster of emotion through your writing.  “Felina” an anagram for finale and the chemical symbols for Iron, Lithium and Sodium or as the internet has deemd it, Blood, Meth, Tears will surely by the final piece of the puzzle of “Growth, Decay, Transformation.”  Be sure to read our recap and review later tonight.

Written by Adrian Puryear and Sherif Elkhatib

Breaking Bad Week: Funniest Moments

Tomorrow is it, guys  The world will finally know what happens to the shells of humans we know on Breaking Bad.  It’s bittersweet.  But before tomorrow gets too heavy, we wanted to feature the funniest moments in the series.  It’s true that the first season had more funny moments than the rest, but that dark comedy did come all the way through season 5, which was much needed for a show with meth as the main premise.  Saul has been our comedic relief since season 2, but our tops feature Walt and Jesse, because they are equally funny people.  We dare you to try not to laugh.

7. Walt Throwing the Planter at the Glass Door.  Kinda…

In episode 3.04, “Green Light” Walt has just found out about Skyler’s affair with her boss, Ted Beneke.  Being the dangerous man he is, Walt decides to take matters into his own hands and show Ted what a man he is.  So he marches right into Ted’s building, gets past the receptionist, and then unsuccessfully tries to throw a planter through Ted’s office window, all while Skyler is yelling from the top of the stairs.  This is the same man who bravely walked into Tuco’s place of business and declared being the Heisenberg.  Now he’s just throwin’ planters.  Oh, Walt.

walt and the planter
What are you looking at?

6. Helicopter, Bitch!

When Jesse tries to get a job in episode 1.05, “Gray Matter”, he quickly realizes that with his lack of experience and education, he makes more as a criminal.  He decides to bring his friend Badger to the RV to teach him how to cook the meth he and Mr. White have been making.  It quickly becomes obvious that Badger is a better meth user than a meth maker, making Jesse look like Walt.  In all of Badger’s shenanigans, he picks Jesse up in the narrow RV, spins him around and yells one of the best “bitch” moments of the series:helicopter bitch

5. Jesse Trying to Test out the Plastic Tubs.

In episode 1.02, “Cat’s in the Bag…”  Jesse and Walt must deal with disposing of the body of Emilio after killing him in the pilot episode.  Per the coin flip, between murdering Krazy-8 or disposing of Emilio, Jesse wins.  He chooses to dispose of Emilio.  Walt instructs Jesse to go get special plastic tubs to be able to pour hydroflouric acid over his body in order to decompose it.  Feeling sick yet?  Well thats ok, because when Jesse goes to get the plastic tubs, he decides to test them out in the store.  And makes a fool of himself.  It’s hard not to laugh at his logic at the hardware store despite the dark content.

jesse in the tub

4. Awkward Family Dinner with a Guest.

In 5.06, “Buyout”, Jesse comes over to Walt’s home to discuss selling their methylamine after the murder of Drew Sharp.  When Skyler arrives home early, she insists Jesse stay for dinner.  Skyler is upset with Walt as usual, and makes the dinner with Jesse as uncomfortable as possible for Walt, but in turn it becomes even more uncomfortable for Jesse.  His coping method to get through the dinner is to really enjoy his glass of water.  I mean really enjoy it.

3. Oooooh, Wire!

In 2.09, “4 Days Out”, Jesse and Walt go on a long trip to cook the most meth they could at that point in time.  After Jesse leaves the keys in the ignition of the RV, the battery is dead.  In Walt’s attempt to teach Jesse a chemistry lesson, he shows Jesse how to build a battery out of the materials they have.  The moment proves that Jesse didn’t always think logically.

Walt: “And now, what shall we use to conduct this beautiful current with, hm? What one particular element comes to mind, hm?”

aaaa wire

Walt: … Copper.

2. Wipe Down This!

In the Pilot episode, we meet Walt who works full-time as a teacher and part-time as a cashier at a car wash.  He is a man who is typical, middle-aged man.  He doesn’t make a lot of money and is trying to support his pregnant wife and disabled teenage son.  When he gets his cancer diagnosis, he is even more down on his luck.  So it’s easy to imagine, that he would be easily angered.  When his boss at the car wash asks Walt to wipe down the cars, Walt has the best resignation speech in history:

1. Is That a Pizza on Your Roof?

In 3.02, “Caballo Sin Nobre”, Walt has long been kicked out and she has known he’s a drug manufacturer.  Her actions cause a rift between she and Jr.  Jr. packs his bags and goes to Walt’s new condo.  Walt then brings Jr. back to the house with a forgiveness pizza so they can have a family dinner.  After Skyler denies Walt from entering the house, he leaves the porch with the box of pizza in his hand.  In a fit of rage, the greatest meth maker in all of Albuquerque shows her who is boss by doing this:

What a badass, Walter.

Stay tuned for tomorrow!  Not only will we be posting our Series Defining Moments.  And as you well know, tomorrow is the premiere of “Felina,” the last episode of the series.  We will post our thoughts on it as soon as possible!  Thanks for reading!

written by Adrian Puryear

Breaking Bad Week – Top Quotes

The dialogue in Breaking Bad is the baseline for what makes the show so enjoyable.  It’s smart and funny.  It is packed with a lot a punch.  There are very few things that are said that don’t mean more than what it first appears as.  It is also one of the most quoted pieces of modern pop-culture.  It suddenly doesn’t seem inappropriate to yell “Bitch!” at someone or gruffly tell them to “apply yourself.”  It was difficult to narrow the list to only seven, as there are so many great ones,  but we felt these were the best of the best.

7. How Walt Lives His Life: 

“To hell with your cancer. I’ve been living with cancer for the better part of a year. Right from the start, it’s a death sentence. That’s what they keep telling me. Well, guess what? Every life comes with a death sentence, so every few months I come in here for my regular scan, knowing full well that one of these times – hell, maybe even today – I’m gonna hear some bad news. But until then, who’s in charge? Me. That’s how I live my life.” – Walter White

This may be the most honest Walt has been the entire series, and it was to a total stranger in the waiting room at the doctor’s office. He is angry he has cancer, but that has never let him hold back in the two years we have known him. While it seems like an inspirational quote on the surface, Walt has lost the desire to live, and he really doesn’t care when the cancer comes back. At points in the timeline, Walt actually wishes that the cancer would come back; he has enough money to leave his family. Walt’s Heisenberg alter-ego is his way of coping with the cancer. He’s created this “big bad” persona that always has an answer to an issue that arrives, the anti-Walt, if you will, but it’s really just a coping mechanism that helps him feel in control of his cancer.

6. The Chemistry Must be Respected:

Walt: “You believe I have some proprietary kind of selfishness about my own formula? Some sort of overweening pride that you think simply overwhelms me, clouds my judgment?”
Gus: “But it doesn’t?”
Walt: “Absolutely not. I simply respect the chemistry. The chemistry must be respected.”

What a smug asshole. He could have been out of the game cleanly right here.
What a smug asshole. He could have been out of the game cleanly right here.

In this scene, Walt finds out that Jesse has been entrusted in taking over Gus’ operation and been manufacturing Walt’s signature blue meth. Offended by this, Walt convinces Gus that Jesse is nothing but a burn-out junkie that must be “supervised” during cooks and that a quality of “more or less that he has come to expect” is still not Heisenberg Level (although, technically, Heisenberg level is only 92%). Walt gets very snobby and denies that there is any conceit in his words, but simply that he is so in love with Chemistry that he could not bear to have this product cooked by anybody less-deserving. Gus cleverly sees right through all the bullshit, as he was just letting Jesse cook the product to lure Walt back. Gus shows Walt the lab and convinces Walt that he needs to be a man and provide for his family, forever setting Walt back on the bad path for the remainder of the show.

5. ASAC Schrader is Really the Smartest Guy We Know:

“You want me to beg? You’re the smartest guy I ever met, and you’re too stupid to see—he made up his mind ten minutes ago.” – ASAC Hank Schrader

asac

It was silly for Walt to ever think that he could pay the Aryan’s off when they still had the opportunity to sack a DEA agent, who they know would have gotten them all arrested eventually.  Hank knew that with these types of criminals, when they have that chance and get 80 million dollars for free, they are going to jump on it.  And his words to Walt were the things we all have wanted to say to Walt.  He is so smart, but the entire show has been too stupid to see… well pretty much everything. His judgment has always been clouded by his family or his pride. And as we find out, he cannot have both.

4. You Knew the “Empire Business” Would Make the Cut:

“Jesse, you asked me if I was in the meth business or the money business. Neither. I’m in the empire business.” – Walter White

Empire business photo

So back to the pride thing… Walt’s still butt-hurt that Gretchen and Elliott “screwed” him out of Grey Matter Technologies, a company that Walt helped build, but ultimately walked out on because of some weird relationship with he and Gretchen. Anyway, his own pride kept him from staying with Gray Matter and his own pride is what keeps him as Heisenberg. When Drew Sharp is murdered, it’s the end for Mike and Jesse. They want to sell the methylamine and be done for good, something that they are well-justified in doing after dissolving the body of a teenager. Walt has this delusion that the drug empire he has built will be a fair substitute for the one that he missed out on with Gretchen, and refusing to give up the methylamine to Jesse and Mike add one more crack to the mirror image of Walter White.

3. You Also Knew “Say My Name” Would Make the Cut:

Walt: “Now, say my name”
Declan: “Heisenberg”
Walt: “You’re God damn right.”

Who's the bitch now?!
Who’s the bitch now?!

There goes that pride thing again! At this point in the series, Walt has a major hard-on for himself. He’s murdered the drug kingpin of Albuquerque and established himself as the all-powerful Heisenberg, with a ruthlessness as fine-tipped as his product. After convincing a hesitant Mike to make a new deal for the methylamine, Walt meets up with Declan, the kingpin of Phoenix. We don’t know anything about Declan, but we do know that Phoenix is supposed to be a bigger player than ABQ in the meth game, so this dude is a big deal. Walt doesn’t care; he’s taken on the Cartel for Christ’s sake. He nixes the original deal and tells Declan, a presumably-dangerous man Walt has never met, that he now works for him. When Declan laughs at the idea, not knowing who Walt is, Walt elaborates. “I’m the man that killed Gus Fring.” Ahhh, snaps! He proceeds to make Declan his bitch by making him say Walt’s street name.

2. It’s How We All Feel, Jesse:

“I am not turning down the money! I’m turning down you! You get it?! I want nothing to do with you! Ever since I met you, everything I ever cared about is gone! Ruined, turned to shit, dead, ever since I hooked up with the great Heisenberg!” – Jesse Pinkman

Should have got out while he still could...
Jesse sees things more clearly, even if it’s through one eye.

It’s a surprise that this quote only comes half-way through the third season. Jesse had been through a lot up to that point, losing both Combo and Jane, not to mention having murdered a man. And while Walt saved him from Hank at the junkyard, there was nobody around to stop Hank from beating the ever-living crap out of Jesse at his own home. In what some could call a two-season long bitch-fest, Jesse breaks down in his hospital bed and refuses to work with Walt ever again. It’s a tragic statement so vivid that, no matter how you end up feeling about Jesse (we love him, btw), you can’t help but feel sorry for him. He has had everything taken away from him since beginning his time working with Walt. Unfortunately, money overrules foresight, as Jesse goes back to work with Walt. As everybody in Breaking Bad will eventually discover, this quote applies to more than just Jesse.

1. Knock, Knock. Who’s there?:

“You clearly don’t know who you’re talking to, so let me clue you in: I am not in danger, Skyler. I am the danger. A guy opens his door and gets shot, and you think that of me? No! I am the one who knocks!” – Walter White

If there was one line of Breaking Bad that sums up the entire show, it’s this one right here. Skyler wakes up Walt and asks him about Gale Boetticher, she is frightened at the notion that the people Walt work with killed Gale and may do the same to Walt. She is sincerely worried about Walt and her family, pleading with Walt to turn himself in, that he was obviously in need of help and in way too deep. Walt, not one to allow anybody to make him seem weak, barks back at Skyler and makes himself look like a cold-hearted killer. In essense, his own arrogance destroys a family dynamic that was barely there in the first place.

Thanks for reading our Top Breaking Bad quotes. There was so many more we wanted to add, but we didn’t want to double dip moments by mentioning them more than once in our Breaking Bad Week articles. Stay tuned tomorrow for our Funniest Breaking Bad Moments article in the meantime (isn’t it hard to remember a time when this show was actually funny?), but in the mean time, let us know what your favorite quote from the show was below!

All photos and videos courtesy of AMC Television

Breaking Bad Week – Character Defining Moments (SPOILERS!)

A greatness of a show is best defined by its characters. What they experience adds to the gravity of the situations they are in. Some characters in the show grow, while some characters simply show the same nature throughout the show. While we realize we could do this for many more characters, we wanted to the severity of each defining moment to really be one that makes you identify with the series just as well as with the character. Plus, we had to keep with the theme of sevens. Also keep in mind that we were very torn with some of these, and even crossed out a few that were the top selection but appear elsewhere in our Breaking Bad Week articles. Make sure you vote for your favorite Character Defining Moments in the polls below each character. In alphabetical order, here we go:

Gustavo Fring: Poisoning himself to kill Don Eladio

Gus has always been a professional, at and away from a deep fryer. Always cold and calculating, Gus seems to have a contingency for everything that goes awry. Which is why he clashes with Walt and Jesse’s reckless actions throughout season three and four. After managing to separate the two chaotic partners, he ends up putting Jesse under the wing of Mike, his right-hand man and prepares to take Jesse to Mexico to teach the Cartel how to cook the blue; when the Cartel says that they will be keeping Jesse in Mexico, Gus does not flinch. He then negotiates with Don Eladio to ease troubled relations in the fallout of the Juan Bolsa/DEA attack. Gus seems compliant, even toasting the mended relationship with Zafireo Anejo tequila (like $8000 a bottle, yo!). As the cartel celebrates their victory, Gus quietly excuses himself to the restroom, lays out a towel in front of the toilet and then vomits. It turned at that the tequila was poisoned. As Gus returns to the party, most of the Cartel members have already succumbed to the poison. Gus gets his personal revenge on Don Eladio, but, not completely evacuated of the poison, doubles over. In almost-Shakespearean fashion, he tells the remaining people to “fill your pockets and leave in peace, or fight me and die!” What a total badass.

taste that non poison
Captioned photo courtesy of vh1.com

Honorable Mention: In “Hermanos,” Gus and his chicken partner (AKA gay lover) Max present their case to Don Eladio in Mexico to pitch the idea of cooking methamphetamine for the Cartel. When conversation turns sour and Max begins pleading for Gus’ safety, Hector Salamanca draws his gun and shoots Max in the back of the head. This callous act puts Gus on a trajectory that he might not have been on otherwise. Max was the cook and Gus was the “Chicken Man.” Now, with hatred in his heart, Gus became the heartless killer that took down the entire Cartel.

Hank Schrader: “My name is ASAC Schrader, and you can go fuck yourself”

Hank is the character that, in my opinion, experienced the most growth in the five seasons we’ve known him. From the guy who was the joke of the DEA, Hank has worked his way up the ranks to become a high-ranking officer and very capable detective. His life was his work, whether or not he was in the right of the law. Knowing that admitting to the office that his own family was the Heisenberg that had been avoiding him all this time, Hank was willing to give up his career to get the proof he needs to put Walt away for good. While he certainly avoids treading lightly, he goes out with such resolve that you actually end up hating Walt for it, even though he tried everything possible to stop it. Hank dies a hero and that’s more of an honor than any other dead person can say on this show.

Ain't nobody put Hank in the corner.
Ain’t nobody put Hank in the corner.

Honorable Mention: When I say that Hank is ready to give up his career to catch the Heisenberg, I mean that Hank is willing to break the law in order to do so. He takes Walt, a civilian, on his ride-alongs to get evidence on Gus, not to mention the tracking devices he places (without warrant or DEA knowledge) on Gus and Walt’s car. He follows Mike around without a warrant, to the point where Saul has to intervene and remind him how illegal it is. And in the few episodes where he finally catches Walt at To’hajiilee, he: bugs Walt’s house without a warrant, lies to Huell and places an officer at his door to keep him from leaving, and stealing police evidence to work on at home.

Jesse Pinkman: Problem dog speech/NA blow-up

Quite the antithesis of Hank, Jesse has experienced the most decay throughout the series. Who was once a silly high-school burnout, Jesse has undergone so much personal tragedy. He’s been kicked out and abandoned by his family, he’s had one of his best friends killed and woke up next to his lover dead, not to mention that he’s had his ass beat several times. More damaging, though, he killed a man who was pretty innocent, in the scene of things. So going into season four, he is a fucking hot mess. His one release comes in the form of Narcotics Anonymous meetings. While he is also hustling recovering addicts to sell them meth on the side, he genuinely feels like he can talk about his pain. However, when he compares the murder of Gale to putting down a “problem dog,” the other members refuse to relieve him of responsibility, sending a hurting Jesse on the defensive and telling everybody that he is just there to sell them meth. In turn, he shuts down the one door he had towards emotional recovery and never really gets better.

You're nothing to me but customers! I made you my bitch! You okay with that? Huh? You accept?
You’re nothing to me but customers! I made you my bitch! You okay with that? Huh? You accept?

Honorable Mention: More tragedy… After the start of season five, Jesse looks to be bouncing back. He has come up with some ingenious plans with magnets, and the train heist. Down to all the tiny details (including the fluid density differences), Jesse is proving himself to be a valuable commodity. And it has to be noted that he does all of this without any violence. That is, until Todd AKA Toddfuck AKA Meth Damon decides it’s a good idea to shoot little 14 year old Drew Sharp for stumbling upon them in the desert. Jesse is crushed. Like Gonzo crushed. It’s this incident that gets Jesse permanently out of cooking, but unfortunately not out of the game. It’s fun to imagine what would have been if Jesse had continued growing with Mike believing in him, and not the snowball of shit that played out.

Mike Ehrmantraut: “No more half measures”

Mike is always the coolest cucumber in the room, but it’s not too hard to believe that he can lose his cool from time to time. In a speech to Walt about risking getting into business with Jesse, still on drugs, he tells the account of a domestic violence case. In the story, he speaks of his big man who would beat his tiny wife and every weekend, she would beg them not to arrest him and that she was afraid of him. One night, when Mike’s partner is out sick, he takes this man into the middle of nowhere and puts a gun in his mouth, threatening the man that, “So help me if you ever touch her again I will such and such and such and such and blah blah blah blah blah.” When he releases the man, he murders his wife two weeks later. The moral of the story is to take no half-measures. It’s the realization that Mike is inherently a good guy, but more so that he is willing to go to extraordinary lengths to ensure his job is complete – which we infer that Mike had, in turn, murdered the man and broke bad.

Mikespeech

Honorable Mention: With Walt planning to murder Gus, he thinks he can still get Mike on his side to do it. Walt invites Mike to a bar to try to manipulate Mike and it does NOT work. As soon as Mike figures out what Walt is doing, he cracks him in the face and thanks him for the drink. It’s an ode to the loyalty that Mike has, as well as his consistency as a character.

Saul Goodman: Old Yeller

Always the sneaky scumbag lawyer, it isn’t until we see him part ways with Jesse that we see him for the opportunist that he is. While Saul and Jesse have never have a friendly relationship, I would like to think that the two of them have been through some pretty dangerous situations together. Jesse has grown under Saul’s tutelage, albeit only legally, but there should still be some type of personal connection. That’s why I was so appalled during “Rabid Dog” when Saul uses an Old Yeller euphemism to suggest that Walt simply put Jesse out after Jesse goes crazy and tries to burn Walt’s house down. It’s a despicable act that reveals Saul’s true nature. He is out for him, and while he may still show some loyalty to Walt, it’s 99% money and 1% due to the fact that if Walt goes down, so does Saul. He’s a snake, plain and simple, but he’s funny and witty enough to carry his own series. I’m looking forward to see what kind of character he begins as in Better Call Saul.

"I should have never let me dojo membership run out"
“I should have never let me dojo membership run out”

Honorable Mention: In true lawyer etiquette, Saul refuses to be Walt and Jesse’s lawyer without being paid for it. In the middle of the desert with strange men pointing guns at his face, he still has the balls to ask them to play along because something tells me (as we should find out in the spin-off) this isn’t his first rodeo. He’s a criminal lawyer, but more importantly, he will always be a criminal lawyer.

Skyler White: Pretending to be crazy to save the children

Oh, Skyler. Poor Skyler; everybody seems to hate her! In truth, I’m not crazy about her either, but she had been put into such a difficult decision, as a wife and a mother. Unlike Lady Soprano, though, Skyler is weak. She buys into the naive idea that she can control her ego-driven husband, and it works for a bit, until Walt begins masturbating to the fact that he killed Gus. Skyler, feeling trapped and with nobody to turn on, her last cry for help is to fall in the pool and drown herself. Looking entirely bat-shit crazy to her children and family, the goal of having the children moved out of the house and out of danger is accomplished. She also takes a lot of shit from Jr. the entire series in trying to keep Walt from being conspicuous. It’s a tough but necessary role and I commend Anna Gunn for being ready to play it.

skyler.jpg.CROP.article568-large

Honorable Mention: Enough is enough. After being forced to live in a hotel when Jesse spills gasoline all over the house, Skyler tells Walt to “handle” it, because in her mind, “What’s One More?” When that one more turns out to be her brother-in-law, Hank, Skyler can’t handle it. As Walt rushes to finish packing the family’s bags, Skyler grabs a knife and tells Walt to leave; that was the final straw. She slashes his hand when he approaches her and then violently lunges at him. Walt’s motto may have been “family first,” but Skyler had made up her mind that Walt was no longer a part of it.

Walter White: “Ozymandias”

Oh boy; this was definitely the most difficult decision. Walter White has undergone so much change; he’s gone from the loser chemistry teacher to frightening drug kingpin to frail (but no less dangerous) cancer carrier. In all those changes, though, he has always put his family first. This is not illustrated any more truly when he gives up everything in “Ozymandias.” Ignoring the fact that he offers $80 million dollars to the Aryans, he walks away from the family after he realizes he can’t be with them ever again. He tries his best to absolve Skyler of any involvement in the meth empire. He takes all the blame, something his arrogance and pride wouldn’t have let him do earlier in the show. In the ultimate sacrifice, he leaves Holly in a semi-safe place that will allow Skyler to get her back, it’s sad to see Walt, leaving alone with his money and nobody to give it to.

walt holly breaking bad

Honorable Mention: The great thing about Walt in Breaking Bad is that he is always responsible for bad things that happen, but he never seems to find himself responsible for events that happen. There’s no greater example of this than when Walt watches Jane die. He did not, in the strictest sense, kill her. But his inaction, Jane chokes on her own vomit and dies – a death that makes her distraught father cause the crash of Wayfarer 515 and the death of 167 people. This isn’t the only time Walt causes somebody’s death without actually killing them, as the demises of: Tomas Castillo, Gale Boetticher, Victor, Hector Salamanca, Gustavo Fring, Tyrus, the ten of Mike’s men in prison (including a lawyer), Steve Gomez and Hank Schrader are all due to Walt rocking the boat. The list isn’t complete either, as there’s sure to be plenty more rockin’ to do.

I hope you all liked our character defining moments. Stayed tuned for tomorrow’s Top Quotes. Let us know in the comments if there are any other character defining moments for the characters we didn’t list here.

Written by Sherif Elkhatib

All photos and videos courtesy of AMC Television.