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Breaking Bad Virgin Diary – Damn you, writer’s strike

This truly impressive first season ends as strongly as it began.

Season One, Episode Seven: “A No-Rough-Stuff-Type Deal”

“Yeah science!”

Sorry it’s taken me so long to get to the season finale; things have been pretty crazy. Not “discover you’ve got cancer so cook meth with an ex-pupil leading to the wrongful arrest of a janitor, the destruction of your home life and brutally murdering drug dealers” crazy, but you know, “work” crazy.

Anyway, season one was over all too soon. It’s two episodes shorter than planned, thanks to the notorious writer’s strike, which TV fans speak of in hushed, regretful tones, the way in which normal people might talk about a death or a war. Nonetheless, it ended as perfectly as it began.

Only Walt, with his nothing-to-lose attitude and nothing-to-lose hat and glasses combo could strike a deal with Tuco, or as Jesse calls him, the “insane ass clown dead-eyed killer.” The result is a story that begins and ends in a car junkyard, with Walt and Jesse struggling to make a seemingly unfeasible amount of crystal meth in-between. Their robbery sequence was a highlight, with innovative and explosive use of an Etch-A-Sketch; the second best use of a household item all season, after the bike lock of course.

Speaking of which, the episode saw a welcome return to the basement; “Just imagine all the things you could do down here”, the estate agent tells potential buyers of Jesse’s house. Presumably cooking meth and killing drug dealers isn’t quite what she means, so it’s just as well Jesse changes his mind about selling, as an open house takes place above their new meth lab.

Meanwhile, Marie continues to be my favourite character, as she steals a tiara for Skyler’s baby who she tries to name Esmerelda. This leads to Skyler pretending to go into labour to avoid being arrested. Every character is awesome. Even Hank, with his beautiful obsession with Shania Twain.

Finally there was Tuco’s random and brutal attack on his henchman, the kind of violent, Tarantino-esque outburst that Breaking Bad does so well. Walt and Jesse are now in business with this man, who is nothing short of insanely dangerous. But then when he wants to be, so is Walt.

Throw in issues like alternative medicine and the legalisation of drugs, and we had one hell of a finale. This first season never put a foot wrong, with writing, direction, acting, cinematography and sound design all as consistently strong as each other. For all my comparisons with Dexter and Pulp Fiction, Breaking Bad is truly unique and original. Vince Gilligan has created some of the best characters of any TV drama, brought masterfully to life by Bryan Cranston, Aaron Paul and everyone else, and I can’t wait to see what they do next. If anyone wants to buy me the season two boxset I’d be ever so grateful. …

Photo Credit: AMC

One Response to “Breaking Bad Virgin Diary – Damn you, writer’s strike”

August 29, 2012 at 9:14 AM

You, sir, are in for a treat when you keep on watching.

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