Breaking Bad Season 5 Review: Remember His Name

Steve Perotti, TSV Staff Writer

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Though the final season of AMC’s “Breaking Bad” was split in two, with a one-year gap in between airing dates, the finale of the Emmy-winning series did not disappoint.

The first part of the show’s final season aired from July 15 to Sept. 2, 2012, and the first eight episodes delivered with new characters and gritty story telling. Walter White (played by show staple Bryan Cranston) and Jesse Pinkman (Aaron Paul) have gone back to cooking their trademark “Blue Meth” with the help of Mike Ehrmantraut (Jonathan Banks), the former security and right hand man of Gustavo “Gus” Fringe (played by Giancarlo Espostio). The introduction of Ehrmantraut as a partner added a more serious tone to the normally chaotic partnership of White and Pinkman.

One of the highlights of the first eight episodes involves a high stakes train heist in which White, Pinkman, and Todd, an employee of the pest control business they’re using as a front, in which they steal hundreds of gallons of methylamine. Without giving anything away for those who haven’t watched it yet, this is one of the defining moments of the fifth season, and the catalyst for newer connections and chaos that will dominate White’s life.

The remaining eight episodes were broadcast from Aug. 11 to Sept. 29, 2013. The overall theme of the final half of the season was one of closure. Tensions come to a head. Characters make decisions that can’t be overturned, and White ensures that all debts are paid in one form or another. It’s the final episodes of the fifth season that makes the almost year-long wait worthwhile. From moments of intense action to dramatic plot twists, the second half does not disappoint. Walter White is, for all intents and purposes, a criminal mastermind. The equations and formulas he takes into account to “even things out” are groundbreaking in their complexities. One connection made to previous episodes that satisfied many viewers was the use of the ricin from previous seasons. Without giving anything away, it was a moment that had me cheering.

Show creator Vince Gilligan can be proud of his creation and the impact it has made on modern television. To say that “Breaking Bad” has reset the bar for television drama would be an understatement of the highest degree. With the loss of more of Walter White’s adventures, audiences are forced to turn to other avenues of entertainment. The good news is that there are worthy successors to the title of outstanding drama series.

It has already been hinted at by show creator Gilligan that there will not only be a spin-off of “Breaking Bad”, but a Spanish version of the show as well. The spinoff will focus on Saul Goodman (played by Bob Odenkirk) and his life prior to meeting Walter White and Jess Pinkman. The show is credited as being created by Gilligan and Peter Gould, with a working title of Better Call Saul. The Spanish version is tentatively titled as Metastasis. Diego Trujillo and Robeto Urbina will be playing Walter Blanco and Jose Miguel Rosas, the Spanish equivalent of White and Pinkman respectively.

Whether or not Better Call Saul will be able to satisfy American audiences the way “Breaking Bad” did is unknown, but it will be interesting to see if Gilligan can catch lightning twice and recreate his success from his time with Cranston and Paul. Will Spanish-speaking audiences connect with Blanco and Rosas the way American audiences connected with White and Pinkman? Will Metastasis be a hit in the Spanish market the way “Breaking Bad” was with American audiences? Time will tell, and one way or another I’m sure it’ll make for good television in the long run.