Tag Archive | Aaron Paul

With a Wink and a Smile

Yo! So I’m currently in this contest to go to the Breaking Bad finale in LA, which I’ve been desperately wishin’ and hopin’ to go to for a long while now. The contest is based on coming up with toasts, but I thought, just in the interest of trying everything I can, I’d also throw out a pitch.

This make me so uncomfortable (and I really hope the places where I make fun of myself come across) but here goes:

Top Ten Reasons You Should Pick Me for ToastingBad

jessewalt10. Wanting it More

Whispers about the finale event at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery started in February. And ever since then, I’ve always kept one dedicated window on my phone’s internet browser open to a google search for “breaking bad finale hollywood forever” and would refresh it on a daily basis in hopes of new updates. For months and months, there was nothing new. In June and July the news started picking up and in August ticket info was finally available. At noon on September 4, 2013, I sat here at my computer with two browsers open, refreshing the ticket page on each like a madwoman. But even with all that, it went from “not onsale yet” to “no more tickets available” with one click of the refresh button on each browser. I was so crushed that I wrote a post about it.

In Season 5 of The Office, Michael Scott tries to start his own paper company. He has his first meeting with investors, and of course it turns out to be his grandmother’s investment group. When Michael’s Nana asks him how he expects to turn a profit in this economy, Michael says, “By wanting it more” This answer is hilarious, ridiculous and quintessential Michael. I realize that winning the chance to go to the Breaking Bad finale is a much bigger stretch than Michael Scott launching a successful paper company on his own, that my odds are WAY worse than his (which is saying something sorta astronomical), but I think I can make a case for wanting it more. Or at least wanting it really, really badly.

Point is, I was tracking this event for a over six months. The timing of the event fit my schedule so well (which came as a surprise) that it felt destined. And that’s gotta count for something, right, Nana?

9. Contributions to the Breaking Bad Community

I blog here, a lot, about Breaking Bad. My post How Walter White Poisoned Brock and What Happened to the Ricin Cigarette, which walks through the whole tangled web of lies Walt wove, step-by-step, with episode titles, pictures and detailed discussion to illuminate what happened and how Jesse finally figured it out, has helped more than TWO HUNDRED THOUSAND people (check it: photo evidence from my stats page) understand that plotline. One commenter even said, “This convoluted plot seems to be all crystal clear now about 99.1%. :) Thanks Emilia J I’m going to marry you!” This post has been linked at IMDB, televisionwithoutpity, a Radiohead forum, the Breaking Bad wiki, a bodybuilding forum, the AMC Breaking Bad site, TV Guide, and many, many other sites. Greg Otto linked it in his review of a Game of Thrones episode (it’s the “near-deaths” link) in US News and World Report.

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Breaking Bad Episode 513 “To’hajiilee”

breaking-bad-tohajiilee“Hank, why is there what looks like brains in our garbage can?”

ICE IN MY VEINS

WOW. Just…WOW. What an episode. Surprisingly, I had a strange sense of calm after last night’s episode. Much moreso than last week. Slept better too and I’ve been feeling calm all day. Maybe I have more bloodlust than I thought and just need a desert shootout every now and then. Or maybe it’s because this is the first episode in awhile that felt like it included just a smidge of release instead of all buildup, despite the excruciating cliffhanger. Maybe it’s that whole staying cool in a crisis thing, which I’ve definitely experienced before in real life, and the fallout will come later. The situation on this show is definitely a crisis. Threat Level Midnight, yo.

Anyway, on to the actual content of the episode. It’s hard to know where to start. This was one jam-packed hour. Almost stuck in too much awe to write about it. A calm awe, mind you, but still.

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Breaking Bad Episode 511 “Confessions”

511aimages“Eat me.” Jesse’s first words.

This was my favorite episode so far this summer. Holy shit. So much to discuss. But first:

I gotta do it. I TOLD YOU SO in last week’s predictions that Jesse would find out about Brock and the poisoning. Yeah bitch!

So, are we getting ourselves into a Chekhov’s Disappearer situation now? That’s the second time that someone on the show has tried to use Saul’s last resort and the second time it hasn’t worked out. Walt was going to do it back in 411 “Crawl Space” but then he went to the crawl space to get the money and Skyler had given it to Ted for his IRS fiasco.

Now Jesse gets even closer to using this “out.” Saul tells Jesse, “This is it. Once I make the call, no take-backs.” Saul makes the call and asks for “a new dust filter for a Hoover Max Extract Pressure Pro Model 60,” Jesse’s at the pickup site, it’s all good to go…and then he just wants to smoke a little pot and the whole plan goes up in smoke. (Much more on that coming up.) So a second attempt to use the disappearer is thwarted. Will the third time be the charm? Will Walt (and family?) end up using the guy later on? Is that how Walt ends up in New Hampshire? Will this “gun” ever go off?

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Breaking Bad Episode 204 “Down”

204indexI think this episode can be summed up by something Skyler says: “Obvious, desperate breakfasts” just about does it. This is actually one of my favorite episodes of Season Two.

It’s no secret that I’m a huge Jesse fan (freakin’ <3 that dude, totally Team Jesse) and whenever I think of this episode, and how much I love it, I think of my friend Lissa. When we were like thirteen or fourteen and first starting to hang out, she was telling me about TV shows she used to be really into, and how she was an “Evil Lucas Fan.” Now I don’t know what show it was, or who the fuck is Lucas (maybe Lissa can come by and clarify), but I remember her telling me that being an evil fan had something to do with loving the episodes where your favorite character is in peril, or as it applies to this case, having the shittiest (literally) day you can imagine. I’m kind of an Evil Jesse Fan here, not because I want bad things to happen to Jesse (not at all) but because I really love this episode. I think it has to do with how freakin’ brilliant Aaron Paul is at making the character of Jesse so compelling, especially when he’s crying into a gas mask in a methmobile RV and covered in blue porta-potty goo.

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Breaking Bad Episode 202 “Grilled”

202imagesThis has to be one of the most dramatic and sit-on-edge-of-seat-biting-nails episode of Breaking Bad, although there is hot competition for that category. There’s just such high drama here. Walt and Jesse have been kidnapped by the crazy enigmatic Tuco.

And the writers make us wait. Walt and Jesse and Tuco don’t even appear until more than ten minutes into the episode. How genius is that? We’re dying to know what happens, and they just draw it out, slow, a little like torture, but in a beautiful way.

Even the scenes that do involve our dynamic duo are drawn out at the start. In the teaser, where all we really get to see is Jesse’s bouncing Monte Carlo and some blood and bullet casings, the scene opens on a wide view of the landscape with its low greenery, then moves onto other odd things, including that creepy smiley face, before focusing on the car. This is another teaser that plays with time, a flash-forward to the end of the episode, but this time there’s no lingering mystery.

Then later, when we finally get back to our boys in the desert, the opening shot is the sky. Finally we see Tuco, and then realize that Walt and Jesse are in the trunk. Even in the movement when they transition from car to inside Tuco’s place, there are a lot of wide shots, then the TV, then Hector Salamanca’s face before it gets to Walt and Jesse sitting on the couch. This lingering, building the tension slowly, making us wait? It’s very effective. Tension: Threat Level Midnight.

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Breaking Bad Episode 102 “Cat’s In the Bag…”

Walter White and Jesse Pinkman survived their first cook, their first drug deal (barely), and are escaping with their lives intact and two dead bodies in the back. So they think at first.

This episode is all about aftermath, about the natural and unnatural consequences of what comes next and cleaning up the mess.

And let’s talk about that for a moment, because Breaking Bad takes a turn here that a lot of shows wouldn’t. The pilot episode was fast-paced with lots of dramatic action. It had pants falling from the sky, a fire, a cancer diagnosis, a meth lab bust, blackmail, a meth cook in an RV, a drug deal, two “bad guys” coming after our “heroes,” Jesse getting knocked unconscious, Walt’s ingenuous plot to kill those bad guys with some chemistry, and then a near-miss almost getting caught (not to mention Walt’s almost suicide in the process). And then we get a nice conclusive ending with Walt and Skyler in bed together.

And I think a lot of shows would’ve left it there. The next episode would go on to the next drama of the next cook and the next drug deal. The fact that Breaking Bad doesn’t do that and instead goes back to look at how they deal with getting the RV towed, and how they deal with the two bodies (and later with the fact that Krazy-8 is still alive), shows that it’s going to be a different kind of show. It’s going to hyperserialized, for one thing, novelistic. And the aftermaths of events won’t be swept under the rug or ignored, but rather explored in detail. This is a world of cause and effect. This is a show that’s going to take it’s time and deal with the high dramatics and the internal struggles.

This episode is slower than the pilot, for sure. It’s a different type of episode, and the balance and play of all these aspects is one of the things that makes BrBa so good. I mean, this episode isn’t so much high drama as it is phone calls and coin flips and ultrasounds.

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