Breaking for Perfection

Posted: September 30, 2013 in T.V.

breaking_badBefore Breaking Bad’s final episode was going to air, I racked my brain trying to think of ways to compare this to other greats; maybe try and rank it against shows like Cheers, M*A*S*H, The Sopranos, and Seinfeld and discuss its ending versus theirs or assign an album/some songs to that would reflect the different emotions I felt during the final episode or even write a “what’s next for the cast”-type of blog (that has Dean Norris getting the career Michael Chiklis should have had, Anna Gunn takes on a dramatic movie role that makes us all change our minds about her acting abilities, Bob Odenkirk has huge success with his Saul-spinoff and gets to host SNL; Aaron Paul becomes the next Bruce Campbell in that he absolutely nails every B-Role he gets for the rest of his career [and he’s got a jump start on it now], and Bryan Cranston ends up winning an Oscar for Best Actor after teaming up with George Clooney).

But then the episode started and it did what it always does; sets up a situation and leaves you wondering what’s going to happen next but simultaneously allows you to get lost in the show. Never before have I been in a room for a show and you could hear a pin drop (unless an “OH, S***” moment happens like last night with the ricin and the big boom). The show’s creator Vince Gilligan earlier said he was going to kill Walt and the show will end, so we knew what was going to happen. We just wanted to know who else Walt was going to take down with him (…because, well, that’s what Walt does). But there was a point in show (for me, around the same time Jessie drove off) where it all sank in; you couldn’t help but think that you’re a part of history.

Growing up, you heard about ‘the classics’ like M*A*S*H and Cheers and how your parents weren’t going anywhere for that final episode. Talk to someone who was around and they’ll tell you where they were just like they would if it was the JFK assassination or Paul Henderson’s goal in 1972. I was able to experience this a little bit with Seinfeld but that ending left a bad taste in a lot of people’s mouth (it’s like the ‘Saint Anger’ of show endings; see? A musical reference I felt was strong enough that I had to use). The Sopranos was not available at the time to me (young, living at home, bad cable package, and even DVD’s weren’t totally popular) so I wasn’t that invested in the show when it ended. Not like this.

Gilligan and Co. ended the show almost exactly how we all wanted it to end; the loose ends with Skylar and Marie over Hank should be tied up, Flynn and Molly have been taken care of for life, Jessie gets to do whatever he wants, and Walt just went away. It was an ending as intense as the rest of the show, graphic, but also made you realize just how beautiful it is in its own way. During the last episode, I was watching it with some friends and one of them asked “Do you think this can ever be topped?” Forever is a long time, but I certainly hope not.

Thank you to everyone for making this show such a success, keeping millions entertained every week and being damn near perfect.

Thanks for reading and stay connected with me on Twitter: @ChrisFudali

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