SPOILER WARNING FOR THOSE NOT CURRENTLY WATCHING THE SHOW ON AMC
I am sitting here listening to TV on the Radio’s latest album Dear Science, specifically track ten, DLZ. I cannot hear this song ever again and not think of what was yet another of the best scenes I have EVER seen in a series.
I’m talking of course about Breaking Bad, season two, episode ten. Walt’s face-off with hopeful dealers outside of the local hardware store. MAN! It’s scenes like this that get my blood pumping, my heart racing and my fists itching to stand up and pound on my chest. This show is Awesome with a capital ‘A’ and I jones as soon as the minute mark on the DVD player shows 38 minutes because I know we’re entering the final act of yet another episode and I want more!
If you watch Breaking Bad then you obviously realize that I am behind on the series, having waited very impatiently for the release of the second season on DVD. That was difficult but not impossible – after watching season one for the first time last spring I had not yet become a full-on junkie for the show. Well, season two has done it. It was the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back, or more accurately perhaps the hit that turned the addict. I am now so helplessly in thrall to Walter White’s ABQ journey into kingpin-hood I couldn’t stop now if I tried.
Put simply, Breaking Bad is the finest example of episodic fiction I have seen since (are you sick of hearing this yet?) Twin Peaks. And of course those two shows are apples and oranges stretched twenty years apart, so let’s just say Breaking Bad is the finest thing going.
As with a drug there was the moment when, chemically speaking, the show first sank its hooks in me. I had been really enjoying season one first time through last year, but when we got to the Mercury Fulminate episode, where Walter puts his own life in mad danger to show his fearless and crazy side in order to gain Tuco Salamanca’s respect, well do not doubt me when I tell you I leapt from my chair and applauded at full volume, hooting and hollering like a an old school biker at a Marshal Tucker Band concert.
From there I was in.
Now finally working through season two with a friend recording three for me the hooks have sunk even deeper. And it was an anticipatory re-watch of one and then the first two episode turn around of season two that really did it to me. SSN 2 EP 1 – directed by Bryan Cranston? My god, acting wise the guy has already blown me away, but the direction in that episode, so unlike the rest of the series but perfect for the transition – from what you’re sure is going to take place at the end of one to the way it actually goes down. Man!
And of course to come back around we have a series where the people creating it are not only into good music but very conscious of where and how to use it to accentuate their series and drive key scenes, whether violent or sublime in nature, home into the emotional cortex of the user, ahem, I mean viewer.
Thank You to everyone involved in the production of this series, it has re-ignited my lust for the possibilities of episodic fiction.