Tag Archive | Jane

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 310 “Fly”

Breaking-Bad-3-10-Fly-breaking-bad-12485988-760-535Oh shit. One of my all-time favorite episodes of this show EVER. I noticed that, last season, I was just saying that about too many episodes, which is natural when a show is this good, so I purposely held off this season and plan to only say it about two Season Three episodes (possibly three, the last half of Season Three may be my favorite part of the entire series). And “Fly” is one of them.

I know it’s a real fan divider. People love it or hate it. And I LOVE it. You know why? Because this is the only episode, ever, in the whole show that I almost turned off because I just couldn’t keep watching. So many episodes have been so intense that I would have to soothe myself by naming the elements during the credits or something–a sign of a really great series, no doubt. But this is the only episode that I thought I couldn’t watch. It was that good.

I still remember the first time I saw this one. It was late at night, I was binging on this amazing new show, watching it on Netflix, laying in bed with my iPad and Walt and Jesse and the fly in the superlab. And I was thinking this is the dumbest episode ever, did the writers accidentally start using Walt’s product or what? A fly, seriously? This is totally on crack. And then it turned.

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Breaking Bad Episode 213 “ABQ”

213imagesHow does so much happen in one episode? The Earth has moved in the world of the show. So many storylines intertwine and evolve.

And we learn some key things in this one. Like, Combo stole a baby Jesus statue from a Knights of Columbus display. That might be my favorite detail of the whole episode. Also, Walt’s storing his drug phone in a plastic baggie in the toilet tank, another favorite detail.

There is also a lot–probably in part for time, because so many stories are being told at once–that we don’t see. We don’t see Jesse waking up, or the moment he discovers Jane’s body. Or when he calls her death in to the police. We actually don’t even see or hear anything Jesse says to Walt when he first calls him. All of these things can be inferred and don’t need to be shown on screen.

How did Aaron Paul not win an Emmy for this episode? His acting here blows me away. He’s playing crushing grief, detoxing, guilt, drugged out stupor, and numbness, sometimes several of these at once, and he’s so, so raw. Just like he was in “Grilled” but for much longer stretches. Just breaks my heart.

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Breaking Bad Episode 212 “Phoenix”

212indexThis is a huge episode. So much happens. Birth and Death, coupled. It’s so emotional. Watching it again, even though I already knew what would happen, it still made me cry. Powerful stuff.

I was thinking about how this episode starts out all fast and loud, and ends in slowness, quiet. And yet it’s the end that’s full of drama. It’s almost the opposite of the norm. Usually tension builds as events heat up and speed up towards the most dramatic moment. In this episode, it’s the opposite arc, the tension rises as the pace slows and the volume lowers from a scream to a whisper.

Walt made his choice, drug deal over being there for the birth. When Walt gets to the hospital, he discovers that Ted was there when he wasn’t. But Walt, I believe, loves his new baby. There has been a lot of love this season between this family, despite all the deceit and lies and the people in positions that oppose each other. As bad as Walt can be, and his heartless side has shown a bit this season, I don’t think that his love for his family, in his own mind anyway, has wavered. Just morphed in ways.

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Breaking Bad Episode 211 “Mandala”

04-breaking-bad-jesse-heroin-sceneThe whole season has felt like a gathering storm. Like every episode, Walter and Jesse are doing things that are bound to come back in some way and just wreak havoc. Those weird black-and-white flashforwards showing all kinds of destruction and a floating eyeball and a creepy awesome burnt bear in a plastic bag help with the growing sense of dread. And up until this episode, Walt and Jesse have experienced some crappy things, some strong winds but nothing they can’t handle.

But now, the storm is here. And it’s gathering speed. Combo is dead. Jesse’s on heroin. Walt’s missing the birth of his baby for a drug deal. No good can come of this.

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Breaking Bad Episode 207 “Negro Y Azul”

207imagesThis episode is all about new territory, literally and figuratively, on so many levels.

The previous episode, “Peekaboo” gave a much needed glimpse into the real dark and depressing and yeah, swanky, underworld that’s on the other other side of Walt and Jesse and their cooking endeavors. But it also did something else important. It set Walt and Jesse up in a position of power that they didn’t have before. As long as everyone thinks that Jesse crushed a dude’s head with an ATM machine, our dynamic duo have a new license to take new risks.

Or really, it’s just Walt who wants to. He’s kind of a greedy bastard this season. He wants to expand into other dealers’ turfs. He immediately senses the business potential inherent in people thinking Jesse killed a guy who jacked him. He knows they can feed on fear. As always, he’s real academic about it, all exponential growth and levels of distribution and initiative and nice colored maps. Walt would have made a good business shark in some ways.

But I’m not sure he knows the criminal world as well as he thinks he does. Jesse seems much more in touch with the realities of the drug dealers on the streets, and with the unspoken rules about territory and turf.

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Breaking Bad: Walter White’s Moral Demise and the People Jesse Pinkman Loves

Contains some spoilers (relating to the end of Seasons 2 and 4).

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about Walter White’s actions at the end of Season 2 and the end of Season 4. In both cases, he causes harm to someone close to Jesse, and I’ve been thinking about how these two acts of Walt’s alone tell us so much about the dark turns his character has taken. Even though what happens to Jane is worse (she dies) than what happens to Brock (he’s fine, as far as we know), the progression of Walt’s moral demise is still evident because what Walt does to Brock is in some ways worse, for Walt’s part anyway.

At the end of Season 2, Walt watches as Jesse’s girlfriend Jane chokes to death on her own vomit. When Walt goes over to Jesse’s apartment and finds Jesse and Jane passed out in a heroin stupor, he shakes Jesse which causes Jane to roll from her side onto her back and start choking. Walt mumbles, “No, no, no” to himself and you think he’s going to go over and save her but then he stops himself and lets her die.

At the end of Season 4, Walt poisons Brock, the son of Jesse’s girlfriend Andrea, a boy whom Jesse has become very close to. Walt does this as an elaborate plan to manipulate Jesse into thinking that Gus Fring has done it (Gus has used kids in the drug trade before, as well as allowing his guys to kill Andrea’s little brother, both points that Walt uses to convince Jesse that Gus would poison Brock) and win Jesse back on his side so they can work together to kill Gus.

More analysis of Walt’s moral disintegration