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AMC to Launch Two New Spin-Offs

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For those of you still reeling from Sunday night’s epic series finale of AMC’s smash hit, Breaking Bad, we totally feel your pain.  We have yet to recover from the awesomeness that was “Felina.”  However, it’s a little bit easier to say good bye to Walter White, Jesse Pinkman, and Co. with the recent news that a Bad spinoff is definitely happening.  We already told you that a prequel just might happen but on Sept. 11th, AMC confirmed that Bob Odenkirk will reprise his role as Saul Goodman (s’all good, mannnn) in the Bad prequel entitled “Better Call Saul.”  While an official air date has yet to be announced, AMC and Vince Gilligan have confirmed that the show will be an hour long drama, and will tell the story of Saul’s adventures before ever becoming the infamous crime lawyer for Heisenberg.  And don’t worry – if plans go south for the show on AMC, Netflix is eagerly waiting in the background to scoop it up.

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AMC followed up this fantastic news with an announcement on Sept. 16th that they would launch a “companion series” for it’s other smash hit, The Walking Dead.  The new series will take place in the same zombie apocolypse as Dead, but will most likely steer away from the story in the comic series, of which the original show is based.  However, fans of the comic shouldn’t give up on the new show.  Comic author, Robert Kirkman, is set to join Gale Ann Hurd (Walking Dead, The Terminator) and David Alpert (Walking Dead) as executive producers of the new show.  AMC is hoping to continue to gain success in the target age group (18-49) as Dead is currently the #1 scripted show in that category.   An airdate (and title!) for this show has yet to be announced.

Season 4 of The Walking Dead premieres on October 13, 2013 at 9pm on AMC.  Can’t wait that long?  Here’s a preview for the new trailer.  Happy Tuesday!

 


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Breaking Bad 5×10 Recap, “Buried”

WARNING – If you have not yet watched Sunday’s new episode of Breaking Bad, 5×10 ”Buried”, DO NOT READ THIS POST.  This article contains SPOILERS!

Sunday night’s episode of Breaking Bad continued this series’ pattern of delivering intense and emotional drama.  And I can’t even begin to give the actors on this show enough praise.  Anna Gunn was on point this episode,  Dean Norris was riveting.  It’s almost ashame that this show is coming to an end, as the actors reach the pinnacles of their characters’ storylines.  But all things must end, whether they be good or very, very bad.  So our recap begins:

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We open up with a lucky old man stumbling upon wads of cash courtesy our friend Jesse, who tossed his money all over Albuquerque last episode.  The man first spotted his own wad and then followed the money trail.  The trail ended with Jesse, who is really not doing very well so far this season, playing on a jungle gym with his car left abandoned a few feet away.

Cue loud harsh music and flashes of the periodic table.

In the habit of picking up exactly where we left off, we catch back up with Walt and Hank concluding their extremely heated and threat-ladened conversation.  Walt races out of Hank’s house to call the one woman who can crush him – Skyler.  However, Skyler is already on the phone and won’t take his call.  In yet another magical moment with a garage door, Hank opens it to reveal to a stunned Walt that he is also on the phone…with Skyler.  Hank got to her first.  Walt heads to the car wash but, of course, Skyler already left without saying where she was going.

Skyler left the carwash and went directly to a small diner to meet with Hank.  He meets her with an embrace, but his look is hard to read.  How much does he know about Skyler’s involvement?  It becomes clear that Hank thinks Skyler is the victim of a “monster.”  Hank thinks she found out the truth around the same time she jumped into the pool earlier in the season.  Hank isn’t sure what Walt did to force Skyler to keep his secrets, but he’s ready and willing to help protect her and the children.  In return for his protection, he just wants her to tell him everything she knows.  Skyler asks about Marie, but is careful not to reveal anything or admit to anything.

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Hank takes out a tape recorder and asks Skyler to start from the beginning.  Skyler seems horrified about the location of the interview and Hank’s urgency to get her statement.  Hank persists but she continues to avoid saying anything.  Hank tells Skyler he needs something solid on Walt, whatever she knows, and mentions that they are running against the clock.  Not one to miss something, Skylar asks him to explain what that means.  Hank tells her that Walt’s cancer is back.  (Inner dialogue: Is she happy about that?)  He tells her that Walt said there wouldn’t be any time to even convict him, if what Hank thought was even true, because his cancer was back.

Hank essentially tells Skyler he has no case so far.  He has a lot of little pieces, but they don’t fit together, and he needs her help to figure it out.  She responds by telling Hank that she thinks she needs a lawyer.  Dismayed, Hank says that isn’t necessary and tries to argue his case.  But Skyler doesn’t believe him.  She thinks Hank wants to get Walt “at all costs” and wants someone there on her behalf.  Hank agrees but still tries to make Skyler leave with him therefore preventing her from speaking with Walt.  Skyler finally asks Hank out right,  “am I under arrest?” in the “Shutup! Shutup!” style to which he responds by grabbing her arm.  She continues to throw a tantrum to cause a scene and finally gets the hell out of there.

Walt, who is now doing everything he can to cover his tracks, has Saul’s men move the gigantic stack of cash.  After using the cashstack as a bed, Huell suggests that they take the money and run to Mexico.  “Guy hit 10 guys in jail within a two minute window, all’s I’m saying.”  That response sent chills up my spine; it’s clear that Walt is now feared by everyone.

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While Walt is waiting for the money, Skyler tries to get in contact with him.  Saul convinces Walt to avoid the call and he listens because Walt thinks that Skyler told Hank everything.  Saul tries to convince him that that’s probably not the case, but Walt doesn’t listen.  Then, Saul suggests that Walt send Hank on a “trip to Belize” or wherever it was that he sent Mike AKA Walt should kill Hank.  Walt adamantly refuses and reminds Saul that Hank is family.  Walt’s pure shock and clear disdain of the idea was very surprising to me.  It was the first of two times that Walt really surprised me this episode.

The men finally show up with the money and Walt decides to deal with it himself.  Walt instructs Saul to find Jesse before he heads into the desert.  Walt deals with the money by digging a gigantic hole and burying all six barrels in it, chemo-treatment and all.   He memorizes the coordinates and then breaks the GPS on a rock, leaving no evidence behind about his hidden fortune.

Hank enlists Marie to plead at Skyler’s sisterly heartstrings to break her of the truth.  Marie eventually convinces Skyler to open the door and the two of them head to the bedroom to chat.  In a carefully constructed conversation (and some MAGNIFICENT acting), Skyler manages to let Marie know that she has in fact known about Walt’s secret for much longer than Hank thinks while still admitting absolutely nothing to her.  It is right here that Marie realizes that Hank not only was shot because of Walt, but also received treatment with Walt’s drug money.   Marie and Skyler’s bond is broken with a harsh (and sort of deserved) slap in the face from Marie.

Marie then leaves and tries to take Holly with her.  In one of the most emotional and intense scenes of the entire series, Marie and Skyler fight (with the baby screaming in between them) until Hank convinces Marie to return the baby.  Marie leaves, her world shattered.  Hank joins her in the car and Marie ominously tells him that he has “to get him.”  The family is now broken.

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Walt finally returns home with the coordinates a la lottery ticket (nicely done, Mr. Gilligan) and we have The Confrontation.  Neither Walt nor Skyler have any idea what has happened to the other.  Skyler begins asking Walt a series of question but he literally collapses from exhaustion.  Physical activity has that effect on cancer patients.

Walt finally comes to and they talk about the cancer.  Walt asks her if she’s happy but Skyler admits she isn’t and hasn’t been in a long time.  Walt believes that she already told Hank everything.  He tells Skyler that it’s his fault that Hank knows, that he slipped up and it cost them.  He offers to turn himself in on one condition – she must keep the money and give his legacy to his children.  After all, that is the reason he did all of this.  This is the second time that Walt surprised me.  For two instances, we saw a flicker of the old Walt, the Walt we came to love and root for in Season 1.  It seemed like that person was gone, especially after the heinous crimes he committed earlier this season.  Is it possible that the old Walt is still in there somewhere?

Skyler then tells Walt again that she did not tell Hank anything.  In fact, she believes that Hank doesn’t even have anything to work with besides his suspicions.  In a moment that proves that Walt isn’t the only one on this show who has transformed, Skyler suggests to Walt that their best move is to stay quiet.  Hello, Mrs. Heisenberg.

We then catch up with Lydia and get a glimpse into the world that was set in motion by Heisenberg.  Lydia, who looks utterly ridiculous strolling through the desert in heels, goes to visit the men that Walt left in charge.  She asks them to take Todd (Walt’s former mentee from earlier this season) back and allow him to cook a more superior product.  The men deny her but that doesn’t matter.  Soon after, Todd and his deranged family show up and kill all of the men in a firefight.  Lydia, the orchestrator of this whole thing, leaves the scene with her eyes closed to ensure she doesn’t have to live with the reliving the crimes she committed.  This story isn’t over yet.

We stop by the Schrader house one more time to find Marie and Hank now both playing hookie from work.  Marie tells Hank it’s time for him to go to the DEA with this case.  In a gut-wrenching scene, Hank finally admits a hard truth to Marie.  Once Hank tells the DEA that Heisenberg, the man he’s been chasing after and the man that destroyed his life, was in fact Hank’s very own brother-in-law, Hank’s career is over.  The least Hank can do for himself is to bring in solid evidence, so he is the man who takes Heisenberg down.  However, Marie tells him that if Hank hides the truth and the DEA figures it out without him, and realizes Hank’s role, he will go down with Walt.  That seems to change Hank’s mind.

He heads back into work and makes arrangements for a conference call.  It seems like Hank is about to open the can of worms.  However, in a brilliant twist of fate, Hank learns that Jesse Pinkman has been arrested and found with millions of dollars in unreported cash.  Booyah baby (at least for Hank).  As Hank convinces the cops to give him some time with the prisoner and heads into the interrogation room with a very much alone Jesse, the dorm slams shut and we cue the credits.

So there we have it.  We are now six episodes away from the series finale and we have no idea where we are headed.  The only thing we know is to expect one crazy ride with twists and turns to the very end.  Catch all new episodes of Breaking Bad Sundays at 9pm on AMC.


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Breaking Bad 5×9 Recap, “Blood Money”

WARNING – If you have not yet watched Sunday’s new episode of Breaking Bad, 5×9 “Blood Money”, DO NOT READ THIS POST.  This article contains SPOILERS!

In a brilliant episode, which not only answered many questions but also posed new ones, and spurred thousands of theory conversations all across the Internet, AMC delivered the final season premiere of Breaking Bad, episode 5×9 entitled “Blood Money.”  The full recap discussion is below.

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We open with skate-boarders having at it in the Walt’s abandoned backyard pool.  We then pan to the front to find a much scruffier and hairier Walt breaking into his condemned house.  We notice he’s driving the red car that he procured with the M60 in the trunk from the cold open of BB 5×1.

The house is completely empty and dilapidated, and the word “Heisenberg” is scrawled in graffiti on the wall.  The White’s have clearly been gone for a long time – how long, we do not know.  We can only guess it isn’t too far past Walt’s 52nd birthday, considering the car and his disheveled appearance.

Walt slowly takes everything in as he makes his way back to his bedroom.  There, he removes the Ricin from the outlet he hid it in during Season 5.  This is the reason for his return.  However, in an interaction with his neighbor, Carol, it’s confirmed that everyone knows who Walt is and they are very much afraid him

We jump back to The Moment, the one where Hank is reading the encrypted message in “Leaves of Grass” which confirms that his dear brother-in-law, Walter White, is Heisenberg.  This is the moment we’ve been waiting for!

Hank leaves the bathroom with the book in hand.  It’s too soon for a confrontation, so he sticks it in Marie’s bag and then feigns illness to get out of dodge.  Marie and Hank leave and then Hank, clearly reeling and very shaken after his discovery, suffers from a panic attack while driving home.  We have a quick moment in the hospital, so Marie can rule out a heart attack, before they return home.  When they get home, Hank asks Marie not to mention any of this to Skyler.

Hank heads to the garage and takes out the Gale Boetticher case files.  He tries to match the “W.W.” written in the Whitman novel with the “W.W’ written in Gale’s lab notes.  It seems that he’s found a match, but he needs to find more evidence.

We cut to the unknowing Walt, who is busy trying to come up with marketing tactics for air fresheners and assimilate into his “carwash owner” lifestyle, talking strategy with Skyler.  It’s here that Walt mentions “the story” and reiterates to her the importance of sticking to it.  I feel like this is important, since Vince Gilligan put it in the episode.  I guess we shall see.

Lydia stops by the car wash, which Skyler notices is pretty odd.  Lydia’s there to beg Walt to return to his laboratory, because the cook he left in charge is producing meth with purity levels at 68%.  She seems almost desperate, and mentions  “a lot of moving parts.”  Walt thinks this isn’t his concern and dismisses her.  How foolish of him.  Walter killed Gustavo Fring in 4×13, and he knows that Gus has many friends and connections, many of which would be happy to seek revenge against the infamous Heisenberg.   Plus, Gus’ military background as Generalissimo in the Chilean army, and the many mentions of his connections to Chile, make me think it’s too soon for Walter to stop watching his back.  However, Lydia leaves the carwash.  But not before Skyler gets an opportunity to tell Walt’s former business associate to never come back to their carwash again.

Hank stops going to work and begins having work brought to him.  He has all the case files on everything blue- and Gus-related delivered to his house.  He’s working to find connections between Heisenberg, Gus, and his brother-in-law.  Remember, Hank is the boss now so he can pretty much do whatever he wants.  We then have a scene montage where Hank is like the new Carrie Mathison, working the case crazy-timeline style.   It seems as if Hank isn’t going to find anything, until he stumbles upon the sketch of Heisenberg that appears to be a dead ringer for Walter White.

Then, it’s the second moment we’ve all been waiting for – the first sighting of Jesse Pinkman.  Jesse is hanging out with Badger and Skinny Pete, who are in the middle of an intense Star Trek conversation/smoke session.  Jesse seems disinterested and lost, and he’s not really paying them any attention.  Poor Jesse.  He was a wreck after the boy was shot and killed during the freight train heist last season and he doesn’t seem to have gotten over it.  Side note – Badger’s story was pretty funny.  Jesse suddenly goes and gets two huge black duffle bags and heads to Saul Goodman’s office.

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After growing impatient and smoking up in his waiting room, Jesse sees Saul.  He tells Saul the bags are each full of $2.5 million and he wants one to go to Mike’s granddaughter Kaylee, and the other to go to the parents of Drew Sharp (murdered boy).   Saul tries to talk Jesse out of it but he insists before leaving the office.  Saul then calls Walter to report on Jesse’s behavior.  Walt instructs Saul to hold on to the money.  We then see that as Walt is on the phone with Saul, he is also receiving chemotherapy treatment.  The cancer is back. 

We catch up with a distressed Jesse as he lies underneath his table, watching a huge bug scuttle across the glass.  I take it that this big bug is a symbol, representing or even foreshadowing contamination, as the fly has in earlier seasons.  I digress.  Walt then stops by to return Jesse’s money, and try to convince Jesse that they are still partners.  Walter reminds Jesse that he’s earned his money, which makes Jesse look even more sickened and distressed.  Walt tells a teary-eyed Jesse to let go of the darkness behind him and let go of the past.  It may be easy for Walt, but Jesse can’t seem to let go of his pain.

Jesse then tells Walt why he wants to help take care of Kaylee.  He knows that the only way Walt could execute all of Mike’s men (like he did in BB 5×8) is if Mike is permanently out of the picture.  Walt (of course) denies this and pretends like Mike left town alive and well.  Jesse doesn’t really buy it, and it seems Jesse has really come to hate Walter White.

Over family dinner, Skyler mentions that Hank still isn’t feeling well and hasn’t returned to work.  Walt then flees to the bathroom and covers up his vomiting, caused by the chemotherapy.  (PS – Notice in this scene he is sure to kneel on his towel, like Gus does in Season 4).   It is then that Walt first notices his Whitman book is gone.  He then heads outside to search his car and, much to his dismay, discovers a GPS tracking device attached to it.  It’s the same tracker that he himself stuck on Gus’ car on Hank’s behalf in Season 4.  Walt now knows that Hank is (finally) onto him.

Jesse then finds himself in the parking lot of a bar being solicited by a homeless man.  He pays it forward, and hands the homeless guy a huge stack of cash.  An idea then hits him and Jesse begins to drive through the streets of Albuquerque, tossing cash onto lawns, newspaper-style.

As Hank receives another shipment of files (I guess he’s having trouble building the case?), Walt shows up at the house.  Never one to avoid a confrontation, Walt heads right for the garage.  After dribbling around an awkward and forced conversation, Walt finally gets to the point.  He pulls out the GPS tracker and asks Hank if he knows anything about it.  In a move that I definitely didn’t see coming, Hank closes the garage door and punches Walt in the face.

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“It was you, all along. It was you, you son of a bitch.”  And then Hank begins to rattle off the hindsight moments that ate at him the most – Walt drove them into traffic to avoid the laundry, he faked a call about Marie in the hospital to avoid Hank finding him, he killed 10 witnesses to protect his name, he bombed a nursing home.  And then Hank calls him by his true name – Heisenberg.  Walt denies the “wild accusations” and tries to use the family card.  He then tells Hank that his cancer is back, and none of this will even matter in six months because he will be dead.  So according to Walt, there is no point for Hank to even pursue this, if there is even anything there.  And then, in the most perfect sentence that could be written to come out of Bryan Cranston’s mouth, Walt tells Hank, “If you don’t know who I am, then maybe your best course would be to tread lightly.”

And BOOM, there you have it.  The ground for the final episodes of Breaking Bad is laid.  And now the waiting begins.

As mentioned above, there are many different theories circulating the Internet right now about how Breaking Bad is going to end. Of all the ones I’ve read, this one here is my particular favorite.  In this theory, Walt murders his wife at some point between Hank discovering the truth and the cold open of Season 5.  In my opinion, this is perfect.  There is no greater way to symbolize the full circle that Walt has come – the transformation from Walter White to Heisenberg.  But, I don’t want to focus too much on theories.  I want to enjoy this final ride as it plays out, since this is the last time I’ll ever be enjoying new and unknown episodes of Breaking Bad.

New episodes of Breaking Bad air Sundays at 9pm on AMC. 


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Breaking Bad Final Season Airs August 11th

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Breaking Bad is back, and we’re jumping for joy with our favorite meth-cook, Jesse Pinkman. YEAH, BITCH!

AMC confirmed that the final eight episodes of the Emmy-winning series, Breaking Bad, will air on August 11th at 9pm on AMC. In addition, AMC unveiled its second live after-show, Talking Bad, will accompany the conclusion of the epic series. Talking Bad will analyze and dissect every detail of Breaking Bad‘s final episodes beginning Sun., Aug. 11 at 11pm.

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Breaking Bad: The Rougher Years

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Everyone’s favorite high school-student-turned-meth-scientist Instagrammed this hilarious photo earlier today with the tag line “News Alert: Breaking Bad – The Rougher Years begins Christmas 2014.” I can’t decide what my favorite part of the photo is – Walt’s hat or Jesse’s “bitch” tattoo. But I digress.

Fans of the AMC hit, Breaking Bad, shouldn’t get too excited. There has been no word of an extension to the series, a spin-off, or a movie. In fact, the final 8 episodes of the Emmy-winning show will air this summer. Executives of the show made a [questionable] decision to air the final season in two parts – eight episodes in 2012 and eight in 2013. And, as many of you can probably recall, the first half of the season ended with quite a bang – Hank discovered that his dear friend and brother-in-law, Walter White, is the true Heisenberg and the baddest meth-dealer in all of New Mexico. What will happen to Walt and Jesse now that the truth is out? Will there be any way to escape the DEA now? Or, more importantly, save his innocent family? Only time will tell!

The final episodes of Season 5 begin on August 11, 2013. But don’t worry. Rock Paper Watch will be covering the premiere and the final season quite extensively so be sure to check back soon! We can’t wait to see the end of Breaking Bad and we know that it’s going to be an epic series finale. It’s just science, bitch!

UPDATE: A follow-up article to this post was published on RPW on October 1, 2013. To view it, click here.