Tuesday, December 03, 2013

Breakus Interruptus

Eight minutes to go in the final episode of Breaking Bad last night and the internet experiences some sort of a swoon.  Very frustrating.

Happily, things were fine again half an hour later (I went downstairs and cleaned the kitchen).  Finished up the series.  All 62 episodes.  All 2,790 minutes.  Outstanding finale.  Herewith the quibbles:

Okay, let's be honest.  It wasn't a great finale.  It wasn't Bob Newhart waking up with Suzanne Pleshette.  Who wouldn't want to do that?  But it did tie every conceivable string into a nice bow, providing a satisfying sense of closure.   So it was a neat finale -- and neatness counts.    And it certainly was worth the fifteen bucks I spent for the final eight episodes.

But it wasn't a great one.  It lacked a bit of grandeur.  Me?  I liked David Chase's cut to black.

We didn't like it quite as much as you.
You and millions like you.
I'm just saying.  Neatness has to count for something.

To me, the best part of the Soprano's finale was the horrified anticipation I felt while Meadow was trying to parallel park her car in front of the diner.  I was convinced she was somehow going to get killed in that scene.  Run over by a car crossing the street, I was thinking at the time.

Then, when she survived and took her place in the booth, all you could think about was which person in the diner was going to do something horrible.  And then ... blammo!  Cut to black.

Thus the grandeur of the Sopranos.

Back to Breaking Bad for a moment.  I'm a huge fan of the television version of Friday Night Lights.  And it was fun to see Jessie Plemons, the actor who played Landry Clarke, the earnest, bookish best friend of quarterback Matt Saracen, playing Todd, the stone-faced slash baby-faced killer on Breaking Bad.  And the fact that he fell in love with Lydia was, really, like a cherry on top of the sundae.

Note to Todd:  You're better off without her -- she'd have made you miserable.

I thought the whole thing was magnificent.  Finale letter grade:  A-


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