Photo: © 2013 Sony Pictures Television Inc. All Rights Reserved.
The beginning of the end.
The eight episodes that make up Season Five Part One of Breaking Bad have an obvious slower pace compared to previous seasons. It certainly feels like this has been deliberate to set up Part Two, which starts on Netflix UK tonight (Monday 12th August) with Episode 9: “Blood Money”.
With Heisenberg, aka Walter White (Bryan Cranston), now in charge of the operation, he decides that sitting on top of the empire is not as easy as Gus made it look. Commanding his workers and associates, he plays each one like a chess piece; he looks, sounds and acts every inch El Jefe.
Despite the slow pace, the episodes intensify, making them as riveting as ever; it’s a ride on the Big Wheel rather than the Big Dipper. The season concentrates less on the minutiae of each person, instead pulling back to reveal the bigger picture. We already know where each character stands: Skyler (Anna Gunn) wants her life back, pulling no punches with Walt; Jesse (Aaron Paul), for his own sanity, wants out; Mike (Jonathan Banks) wants to tell Walter where he’s going wrong; and Hank (Dean Norris), of course, wants Heisenberg – and is now within a whisker of finding out his identity.
No one does a montage like Breaking Bad and there are a number to admire, giving some respite to the heavy set drama. At this point, it’s all in Walt’s hands, or so he thinks. Can you ever opt out of your own empire? Is anyone immune from the corruption of it?
Part One of the season only lasts eight episodes. With the end nigh, we urge you to at least watch Episode 7 (“Say My Name”) and Episode 8 (“Gliding Over All”) in preparation.
The Breaking Bad truck has almost ground to a halt in the New Mexican desert. The blistering sun bounces off the chrome grill as a rattlesnake edges on its belly across the dusty asphalt. Does the driver do a U-turn, or does he put his foot to the floor?
Breaking Bad is available on Netflix UK, as part of an £8.99 monthly subscription.
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