Friday, July 27, 2012

Breaking Bad: Magic Mike

Last Sunday's episode of Breaking Bad, "Madrigal" just may have completely one-upped the premier. Sure, there were no magnets (yo), but we did get plenty of Mike Ehrmantraut. Apparently Vince Gilligan is an avid reader of this blog; my request last week for Mike to remain an essential part show was granted; Walt and Jesse have a new business partner and I couldn't be happier. I'm not sure how long it will last, though, but at least we have it for now.

And I know I'm not alone in loving Mike/Johnathan Banks. I think most fans would admit that he's one of the best characters on the show - if not, the best. And a lot of that is a credit to Banks, who is absolutely perfect for the role. Vince Gilligan says as much in this interview. Listening to Aaron Paul's interview with Terri Gross on NPR's Fresh Air, it was revealed that in the early stages of the show, Jesse was supposed to be killed off. Of course that didn't end up being the case because Vince Gilligan was so impressed with Paul's performance - as well as the dynamic between Jesse and Walt. Anyway, I bring that up because I'm not sure how long Vince planned to keep Mike around initially. Based on Johnathan Banks' performances over the past couple of years, it's easy to understand why they ended up writing more and more for his character.

Jeff's new BFF Matt Zoller Seitz is dead on about last week's episode. So many great shots. So many great scenes. It's also just fascinating the way that Gilligan comes up with new deaths - referring to opening sequence with our short-lived German friend, Mr. Schuler.

I've always admired Vince Gilligan's ability to combine both severely intense moments and ridiculously humorous moments into the same 47-minute episode. It's a real gift and completely aids the show in making it feel as realistic as possible. 

I also love what Jeff wrote about Walt in his BB post. I love that Walt is still trying to justify his behavior, and is doing so in the name of family. Re-watching seasons 2-4 over the past few weeks, I've thought more and more about Walt's motives and what seems to drive him. His selfishness and his ego are unrivaled. But yes, what an uncomfortably great scene that was to end the episode. Agreed, Skyler might just be another time bomb like her husband. They've attempted a separation/divorce and that failed. Time for Skyler to attempt a full measure. 

Is it Sunday yet?

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