We interrupt the travel diaries to bring you a very special installment of my annual Oscars Round Up! Guys, Oscar Sunday is only ONE week away so the countdown is officially on. This is the first time I won't be home to watch the entire show with friends and fam since I'm in Europe (not too shabby), but I will do whatever it takes to watch so I'm not too worried. With that being said, for this year's round up of all things Oscar-related and my predictions, I decided to come at you in true reporter style -- behind the camera. So sit back, relax, and get ready for the big night. Let me know what you're most excited about![[ special shout out and major thanks to my amazingly talented friend, Elmira Saalabi for shooting and editing this film]]
It's finally that time -- my favorite TV event of the year (and a close second to arguably my favorite event of the year in general, other than my birthday): The OSCARS! Now that we've all had a moment to digest the 4-hour event in its entirety (and hope you all recorded the following event on your DVRs last night because of how much it ran over!), let's discuss shall we?
First off, I miss the good old days. I miss seeing the class acts. Leo, Halle, Adrien, Scorsese, Kate. It was sad not seeing them but instead watching the red carpet arrivals with the likes of Dakota Johnson (who?) and Jennifer Lopez (really?). Other than being jaw dropped at Margot Robbie's breathtaking black gown I wasn't impressed with anyone else's dresses. Literally just hers.
But let's move on to the main affair -- the show itself. I thought NPH was a joke. Sorry I'm not sorry. I had 0 expectations from him to begin with and therefore was in love with the opening musical number but after that it was pitiful! PSA: Jack Black you are amazing. Always.
Someone please get Steve Martin or Seth McFarlane back on here! His jokes were trying way too hard or barely trying at all. And the hype around that hidden suitcase/ Oscar predictions bit?? Um. Even poor Octavia Spencer looked so awkward every time he'd ask her if she was still keeping an eye on it. Pointless! (Side note: loved that Octavia brought her fellow Red Band Society cast mate along as her plus one. RIP Red Banders).
Other than that, I thought the show itself and the award winners were for the most part pretty well-deserved. It's funny, Birdman was the first of all the Oscar-nominated films that I watched even before it was nominated. I loved it when I watched it in theaters. I just watched it at home this past weekend for the second time with my parents and it seemed lack luster the second time. Sure, the cinematography was on point and super unique, as well the acting. Let the record show, Edward Norton is my favorite actor and he did NOT disappoint in this role. I'm so happy he even got the Best Supporting Actor nod this year. That being said, I don't know how I feel about it winning Best Picture. I'm torn. But Sean Penn's reveal -- gold.
So, I think this was an AMAZING year for film. I don't think I've ever had a year where ALL of the films are solid A's. Even the films that didn't get nominated for Best Picture (Foxcatcher, Nightcrawler, Wild -- all three were movies I'd consider top tier for what I watched this year). I think that's why I kind of wish something else got some more lovin.
I think Alejandro González Iñárritu is amazing. I've said it before but him and Tarantino are my favorite directors of all time. So I am all for his Director win -- BUT, I almost feel like he should have won in this category for his dramas -- not a dark comedy. When you look at what Richard Linklater did with Boyhood over 12 years, that's amazing directing. I don't think people think about how much of a visionary you have to be to brainstorm a project over a timeline like that. On top of that, thinking about the commitment the cast has to agree to and how much they will change over the course of the project. It was as close it could have been to being a documentary, yet had the exact measure of depth it needed to be a wonderful film. It's so sad when I hear people say their only gripe with it was that it "wasn't dramatic enough" -- I can't tell you how many people have said that to me. I feel like that's such a shallow way of looking at film. It's almost exactly like what "Birdman" was telling Michael Keaton at the end of the film: people only care about the action in movies these days. We've been accustomed to grow "bored" when watching a real movie about real life. I think that's what Linklater did so masterfully in Boyhood is depict what actual life is like. And the stages of "boyhood" for an individual. Male or female, I think anyone could relate to this film and what true growing pains are like. That's what I loved about this movie. I wish it got more attention at the Oscar's, but super happy for Patricia Arquette at least!
Another film that I thought was AMAZING this year was Theory of Everything. I didn't expect the film itself to get much hype, but I highly suggest watching to movie to anyone. It was not what I expected. And Eddie Redmayne - WOW. I hadn't even heard of this guy but after this film I was in awe. Most well-deserved award of the night went to him!
What was my highlight of the night? I never thought I would be saying this, but Lady Gaga's Sound of Music tribute brought me to tears and goosebumps. This is my favorite movie so the fact that they did a surprise tribute was the most exciting thing of life. Lol. Also, new update: Lady Gaga can SING. Woah, Nelly!! I was jaw dropped. She did an amazing job and I have a newfound respect for her. Finally, to top it all off with JULIE ANDREWS gracing the stage. Done. Done. I can stop watching now. It was the best part of the night for me. She always brings a smile to my face. Oh, and .. why don't they make movies like this anymore?
Finally, my favorite category at the Academy Awards is Writing (go figure). So I'm always super stoked to see who wins Best Original Screenplay & Best Adapted. To be honest, I was pretty surprised that Imitation Game won. I haven't seen it or read the book so it could be on point, but it was a bit of a shock to me. Best Original -- Birdman, that was pretty interesting to me as well. Not shocking, as I predicted it, but I feel like reading a script like that wouldn't wow me. It's seeing all the pieces fall into play together on screen with that genius talent in cinematography that made the film what it was. I feel like when it comes to writing, you need something more. I was personally rooting for Nightcrawler, which I thought was genius in its writing. I was blown away by that movie. As creepy as it was, the writing took me to another world. I secretly wish that would have taken home the win.
Other than that, my favorite scream-worthy moments of the night?
- Terrance Howard's acting audition for the whole audience -- and lo and behold he was getting emotional over.... The IMITATION GAME?! I can't explain how hard I laughed at this
- John Travolta's caress of Idina's face (this reminded me of Face/Off and how scary he was)
- Learning Common's real name (and that John Legend is a made up name?! Ew. Let down.)
- Common skipping over Oprah when Glory won Best Song, and then going back and hugging her to save face
- Steadmond's face the entire night
- J. Lo being super into Patricia Arquette's female equality speech (relax, bro)
- Finally, poor Ellar Coltrane trying hug Patricia (running from back row!!) and her skipping over him. HAHA poor guy
That's all from me. What did you guys think of this year?!
It's over. 62 episodes later and we've finally come full circle. Last night was the epic series finale of Breaking Bad and I was beyond pleased with this hour of television. So freaking good. I'm still giddy as I write it because I can't believe how epic it was, as well as how well Vince Gilligan was able to tie up so many lose ends. The photos above are from my finale party last night because there honestly was no other way to finish this show than going all out to celebrate.
It's truly a talent to be able to do so within an hour time limit. I've finished so many series over the years and at the end kept asking, "But what about ____ or this detail.." And you're kind of left hanging. Honestly, I have no lingering questions after watching last night's finale. I think the only thing I might still remotely have questions about (which is something I've been wondering about all throughout season 5), has been Jesse's parents and brother. I found it a bit weird that they were introduced and then completely disappeared, but hey. I can't complain. That's only a slight issue that doesn't even matter in the long run.
Anyways, tangent. Back to "Felina" -- wow. It's so funny because I was so prepared to be depressed after the episode. I was ready for a shocking ending and a time of reflecting on how crazy things got and how everything fell apart. Not so in this finale. It was perfect. Absolutely perfect. I honestly felt like I was watching a movie the whole time. My favorite part of all of it was seeing how good Walt's spirits were throughout the whole thing.
I had gotten used to seeing this defeatist Walt the last two- three episodes and I was beginning to lose hope. It wasn't until the last 2 minutes of Granite State last week that I was like ok wow thank God -- he's back.
I think me along with everyone else assumed that after seeing Elliot and Gretchen on Charlie Rose that he was on his way to kill them. Which I was actually a fan of the idea last week. It wasn't until seeing the route Vince went that I was like wow -- even better. What better way to make sure that Walt Jr. gets the money. It's genius. It saddens me a lot that he'll never know it was from his dad but I loved that at that point you actually see that Walt's ego and pride aren't in the forefront anymore. It's quite humble actually. He's allowing his son to go along thinking that his ex-partners (whom he probably hates) are the ones giving him a lifetime trust fund.
And that's honestly the theme I found throughout this entire episode... Walt trying to redeem himself. Or at least die with some dignity. The scene with Skyler and him was so so so great. I was so happy she let him in and allowed him 5 minutes to talk. And FINALLY we get some honesty out of Walt. That reveal was like a breath of fresh air for me. He did it for himself. He was good at it. It felt good. And then to give Skyler the coordinates to the bodies... I think that will give Marie the closure she needs to continue her life as well.
Side note -- I was also really happy that Walt told her exactly what happened with the nazi gang killing Hank. I know at the end of the day it was Walt's fault that Hank died, but I didn't want his family to go on thinking that Walt was the one who physically killed him. After all, he was BEGGING Jack to spare his life! Not like that will help at this point but I really wanted some closure in that aspect and I'm so happy he revealed it to Skyler.
The one scene I actually teared up at was watching Walt with Holly. First off, the grace that Skyler has to have for a man who has ruined her family's life and then to let him see her.... Wow. It was so deep. And watching him look at her for the very last time. He knew it. It was all to say a proper goodbye. And then watching Walt Jr. through the glass windows... Gut wrenching. I think it's safe to conclude 100% that this man's love for his family was indeed genuine. He just let his ego and selfish desire get in the way and completely tear them apart.
Another thing I loved about this episode was the two flashbacks we got. It really brought the series full circle for me. That short snippet of how it all began -- with a simple joke from Hank inviting Walt over for a ride-along: "You need some excitement in your life" -- ha! Oh how things turned out. Then cut to Walt standing alone in his deserted home. Perfection.
In regards to Walt's plan of action with Lydia and the neo-nazi gang... It was amazing to say the least. I honestly felt like I was watching a movie. The ricin in the Stevia was genius (which is funny because that was the theory I was rooting for all along) and then that machine gun contraption... HOLY MOLY. Yes. That was CRAZY.
Ok I've calmed down now. That whole scene in the clubhouse with Jack and his crew was gold. I was standing on my feet the entire scene with my heart literally pounding.
I think the best part of all of it was that Walt had originally gone in with the mindset of killing all of them -- and even more raging because at this point he's under the impression that Jesse is cooking with Jack as well. [Side note, the Badger/ Skinny Pete cameo was the perfect way to pay homage to these two before the end]. Anyways, I think Walt at that point was so angry to hear this that his one mission was to wipe them all out.
That reveal with Jack bringing Jesse in -- and caring SO much to prove to Walt that he would never partner with a "rat" was perfect.
I think for me the final 5-10 minutes were the best part. Of course. First off, the look in Walt's eyes when he sees how they've treated Jesse for the last 5-6 months. You can totally see the look of a concerned, compassionate father-fugure. The act of literally jumping in front of a bullet for him and tackling him to the ground to save his life was the ultimate act of redemption for Walt in my opinion. It was so poetic. And then Jesse getting the chance to kill Todd. YES. Thank you Vince for giving Jesse at least that. He deserved that.
We all know Jesse isn't a killer. He has too much of his morality in tact (which we see even from his inability to kill Walt for the second time around). But with Todd, it was necessary. This guy who has tortured him for months on end and killed Drew Sharpe (which made a huge impact on Jesse) -- he had to go.
Another point I loved was Walt's final interactions with Jack. The fact that he didn't even flinch to think twice about questioning where his money was. No, at that point Walt didn't even give a crap about it. The money ruined his life. The money fueled his selfish Heisenberg- ego. He was there to kill Jack and he did it. Mission complete.
In my head, I was hoping for a reconciliation between Walt and Jesse. I was expecting Jesse to thank him for saving his life or just some more dialogue between them. But honestly, Jesse is forever changed because of Walt. He's been so mentally messed up even in the months being a slave for Todd that I think it was asking too much. I was satisfied though with the head nod exchange between the two. That gave me the closure I needed. After all, the last time they spoke was when Walt gave him up to Jack's crew & told him about watching Jane die. So we really can't expect a big finale hug and them riding off into the wind together (although I wish). Haha.
That was perfect though. Jesse got his freedom. Walt saved his life and ultimately was able to die with some redeeming quality, as well as with the closure in knowing his family would be forever safe and that he killed everyone who needed to be killed. It was perfect. It reminded me of a Shakespearian tragedy to be honest. Such an amazing hour of television.
And wow -- that final scene. The master left alone with his "art." Seeing Walt die in the lab, reminiscing about his cooking days with that song playing in the background was perfect. Not only that but I loved how it wasn't a "crazy" death like his cancer eating away at him or some insane shoot out, but it was simply 1 bullet wound that slowly took his life. He knew it was coming and he was able to spend his last moments exactly how he wanted.
And who knows, I think his reputation stayed in tact as well because the cops found him in that lab. So maybe he will always be known as Heisenberg. Which is where his pride and joy was because he WAS truly an artist with his cooking.
And in the end, it was the only way to complete the show with Walt dying. It was perfect. I couldn't be happier and I thank you Vince Gilligan for closing every lingering story line and not leaving anything up for interpretation. It was so crisp & clear. So full circle. My life is honestly forever changed by this show. I feel lucky to have been able to catch it while it was airing live.
Thanks for a wild ride, BrBa. I love you forever <3
Final stretch. There is now only one hour left of our story. Watching the penultimate episode Sunday night I was just as sad as I was last week after Ozymandias. Okay, I take it back, nothing could make me as sad as that golden hour of television, but still. It was dark. I keep thinking back to every other season of this show and in awe of how fun and light-hearted the show was until season 5 came along. Not light-hearted in the sense that it was like a fun sitcom, but in the sense that it was simply two protagonists, fighting the "bad guys" for a supposed "good cause." The battles against Tuco, Gus, & the mute twin brothers (lol) were all exciting to us. It's almost like life was on pause and there was no speculation of wait a minute -- what if everything hits the fan and these guys get caught. I feel like my mentality was "if" they get caught, when it should have been.. "WHEN" they get caught.
And I think that's why season 5 has been so amazing is because while there isn't as much dialogue, it's probably the most real season of the show. It forces us to remember that Vince Gilligan wasn't going for the fantasy hero/anti-hero back and forth saga, but instead, showing us the consequences of our actions.
At this point, things look pretty grim. The only thing I'm holding onto is the faith I have in Vince to give us a
happy satisfying ending. Which I'm sure he will. After all, he's proven to be a creative genius with this show. And that's putting it lightly.
What do I want? I've been going crazy past 24 hours reading different blogs, in hopes of some mind-blowing theories as to what the final hour may hold, but of course, nothing satisfies me. Walt on the phone with Walt Jr. ripped my heart apart. Why Jr, WHYY. Forgive him. Give him another chance. [and then as I type this I'm thinking, are you crazy? Why in the world would he forgive his father who is a meth king who got his brother in law killed and now calling just to send over some blood money to his son while he's been MIA for months?!].
^ this above inner conflict is why I LOVE this show so much. I think that inner turmoil is something all of the viewers are dealing with. We're rooting for this criminal because we sympathize with him. Not stopping to think how many lives have been ruined as a result (see my last post). But hey, I've come to terms with it, and I'm fine with it. I'm rooting for Walt. Even if it means dying to cancer at the end of all this.... I still want him to get his revenge on the nazi mafia and at least redeem himself in SOME way.
After watching that last scene with the Gray Matter folks I was fueled with rage for Walt. I'm rooting for him. I want him to prove them wrong or just somehow get it out of his system (whatever is needs to be), in order to move on from all this. After all, I think this was the initial boiling point that set Walt over the edge in the first place. Realizing he was never going to be the millionaire that Elliot became. Realizing he missed out on an opportunity of a lifetime. Mix that with a HUGE ego and pride and you're left with something with a whole lot of anger inside. And looks like he's about to let loose in the finale.
I'm hoping for action, but also more than anything I really want more dialogue. I think a lot of things, specifically relationships, need closure, & the only way that'll satisfy viewers is through some conversation. Even though Walt's phone call to Jr. was heart breaking, it still left me satisfied to see that they actually had a chance to talk. I think it's safe to say that the family is dunzo.
What am I hoping most for? Walt and Jesse to reunite in some way (and put their hatred for each other aside), and take out these idiots. That would be my ideal ending. I think I've become to attached to this pseudo father-son relationship that I want to see it through. Especially now that Walt's role as Jr's father is completely up in flames.
The most depressing part of this whole series, and specifically this episode, was the reality in the realization that yes, that was all for nothing. As I watched Walt's solitary scenes in the log cabin, all I could think was wow what has this guy's life come to. Literally, he's in solitary confinement. Without any updates from the outside world, he's completely out of the loop on EVERYTHING. I don't even know how he lasted more than a week, that sounds like torture to me. And while spending his time there I think he finally realized too that yes this was all for nothing. The family doesn't even want his money at this point. And he's losing more and more of it as time goes on. More than 90% was stolen & he was left with a barrel. He couldn't even carry that out with him so he stuffs a mere 100K into a box and hopes it'll redeem him. And then comes to find out his family could care less about it. His son literally yells, "why don't you just die already?" -- AH.
He leaves the bar in NH with nothing. He left almost a million (more?) dollars in the lonesome cabin and went on his way for vengeance. It just goes to show how disposal money is in the long run, when it actually RULES people's lives. We forget about the invaluable things in life and the money truly blinds us. I keep thinking... I wonder if Walt has realized had he just spent his last few years spending quality time with his family, that would have been more worth it than all the money in the world. Instead, his entire family is broken. His wife cheated on him, stayed silent through his drug empire days, laundered his money, kept this secret from her entire family, and grew to hate him. That my friends is the anatomy of a breakdown. It's so sad. I think the hardest scene for me to watch was when Walt asked vacuum cleaner repair Man to stay a little longer. And then offered him $10K for his time. That scene crushed me. The fact that he's willing to pay.. Literally not think twice.. And throw that much money at sometime simply to stay and converse with him. He's empty. He's lonely. He has no one. It truly broke my heart.
I think at this point the only thing that would satisfy Walt himself would be revenge on the mafia and then to die. I've read a lot of theories on how the ricin is actually to poison himself. Not sure about that, but it would definitely be plausible at this point. I guess I just personally hope he does something that lets him die with a hint of honor or dignity -- if that's even possible.
The only thing that gave me a shred of excitement was watching how quickly he changed from the hopeless guy who wanted to turn himself in (by leaving the phone off the latch so it would be traced), to the guy who realized he needs to be Heisenberg one last time and do what he's gotta do. What that is? We shall see Sunday. But I'm hopeful. In some crazy way.
But as depressing as all this has been, I'm so happy with how the show has progressed thus far because its never strayed from reality. This was bound to happen. There was no way that Walt would go unseen and that they would magically stop cooking and everyone would forget about him. Lets not forget how many people have gotten involved in this venture and how many people still WANT them to cook. Madrigal and the mafia are a whole other story. They're ruthless. They could care less about what Walt wants. Sure Todd respects Walt & Jesse to an extent, but lets be real, he's a sociopath. Need proof? Killing Andrea in front of Jesse. (God, why?!)
So in conclusion, they'll stop at nothing. Jesse has realized his life is ruined. I think they all have. Saul is forced to maintain a new identity too. And it's funny that he does it with such peace and calm, barely showing any anger to Walt like "look what you've done, you ruined my life" -- sure it is most likely out of fear, but I think back and I'm so shocked how crazy Saul's role has been too. They literally pulled him into their mess with no questions and no room for deliberation. And he's been along for the ride with them from the beginning. And honestly, he's helped them a LOT. And now, Saul has to pay for their mistakes too and escape for his life. Craziness.
I can honestly go on for days because each of these characters have so much depth and layers I can keep peeling back. Moving season to season it's crazy how much character development this show has had (both positive and negative. And that's my favorite aspect of any show, aside from the acting quality and graphics and actions, it's always about that for me. Development & the realism. Which this show ACES. Thank you writers for this gem.
Enough for today. I think I'm going to blog about the finale right after it airs Sunday night so look for that as well.
Things fall apart. All at once. Probably the 2 lines I could use to best describe this week's episode. Prior to watching I was beyond excited because I had read this interview with Vince Gilligan where he was saying Ozymandias is the best episode of the series he's written and overall best that there ever will be. So in my mind I was expecting something out of this world. Which is exactly what we got. But amplified 28393X.
I agree 100% that this was one of the most heart wrenching episodes of any show that I've seen on TV. It was harder to watch than some of the most intense movies I've even seen. My friend texted me before I started and said, "just remember to take a deep breath before you start watching." Um, yeah, he couldn't have been more right.
Was I satisfied? YES. More than anything I was simply jaw dropped at how quickly EVERYthing fell apart and how every character on this show is now destroyed.
Think about it. Every character we have come to know on this show has been tainted, broken bad, or crushed either physically or emotionally. We see that most evidently in Walt's immediate family... Skyler, who has been a silent accomplice from mid-series and completely lost who she is. I think that was shown most evidently in the pool scene where she walked right into it. For Walt Jr., who's always been the innocent character that has no idea what's going on, finally had the truth thrown at him. And that caused the giant rip between the family for good.
Even with minor characters that we don't think much about anymore like Badger and Skinny Pete... Their lives were completely left shaken as well after Combo was killed (direct result of being guilty by association with Jesse & Walt).
Jane, Jane's dad, everyone on the flight that exploded, Hank, Gomez, Ted Beneke, Gus, Andrea, Brock... Even Saul. The list goes on but you get the point. It's super chilling to think that an entire population of people we were introduced to in a series has all been left changed due to one person's decision. I'm not saying this is all completely Walt's fault as I know that half of these things weren't even deliberate.. But it's not the intention that matters, but simply the unavoidable consequences behind our decision-making.
I think as an audience we've been so empathetic towards Walt throughout the entire series because we know him, we feel for him, and we can place ourselves in his shoes. So we're like, "yeah Walt, get that money, you deserve to leave your family with something before you pass." But it was that kitchen scene with the knife fight that really set things straight for me. Walt has a bin of $11 million in his car and an escape plan that will give his family a completely new identity and life. They'll never have to remind themselves of this again and they can pretty much erase all of it.
But that knife scene makes it evident -- you can't escape the past. You can't undo what's already been done. Although the idea of an escape plan and new identity seems ideal, it's fantasy. All Walt ever wanted to do was provide stability for his family by doing all this. And when all is said and done, his family hates him and is disgusted by him. So much so that his own son calls the police on him. And his other pseudo-son spits in his face and rats on him with his brother in law.
Things have literally fallen apart.
One thing I really enjoyed was the exchange between Hank and Walt before Hank's death. Even though it was nothing super sentimental I love that Hank was able to see what we as an audience always knew -- that Walt truly never wanted to kill Hank. There was still that shred of love left in him. Dean Norris was actually on Talking Bad this week (the live after show) and he mentioned that he thought that for his character to see that side of Walt kind of showed a redeeming side to Walt. The fact that he was so quick to offer 80 million dollars for Hank's life & whatnot. Obviously it doesn't redeem things remotely as much as it should but still. I agree too. I was crushed to see Hank die for some reason but he went out perfectly. Again, that phone call to Marie was poetic justice.
I'm beyond worried for Jesse at this point. Homeboy looks awful. And that stupid sociopath Todd..... I'm on pins and needles as to what they're going to do with him after he finishes cooking their meth.
Ideal outcome for me? I feel like a family united on Walt's end is out of the picture at this point but for some reason I want SOME sort of a happy ending. Not happy in the sense that Walt gets all his money back or that the family forgives him because that's so unrealistic. But maybe that Walt's humanity and emotions convict him a little more and he goes after saving Jesse or something. Call me naive but I'm still rooting for that duo to somehow pull it together. [highly unlikely now after the Jane reveal, but hey, wishful thinking].
The ricin.... Okay, so we know that Walt eventually comes back from his new identity world to see his home being completely trashed and deserted. Only for the ricin. So clearly he's after someone. The only "bad guy" left in my opinion is Jack & Todd's mafia.. And Lydia.
Bill Hader's theory on Talking Bad was genius and I actually really see it as plausible. He said that he thinks Walt will use it to poison Lydia's tea. Especially because its been such a point of focus throughout all the episodes she has been in. I can totally see that happening.
I'm sure you've all seen the memes going around, highlighting the symbolism of different objects throughout this episode. The one that stuck out most to me was the chess pieces in the fire station. During a quick glance all you see is a king piece in a corner, about to check-mated. Looking closer you see it's a king piece in a corner who actually has a few moves left. That excites me and gives me hope to see what's next to come in the final two hours of this show. I have no idea why I'm still rooting for Walt. I don't even know if rooting is the right word for it. I think I just don't want to see him with everything lost. Seeing him Sunday night completely hopeless and destroyed is so unlike the Walt we know on this show so maybe it was just weird for me to see him like that. Maybe I'm still holding onto hope that he has morality left in him (which we know he does because he gave Holly back, didn't rat out Skyler on the phone while the cops were listening, and begged Jack to spare Hank's life).
So we shall see. This was a long one and I didn't even dive into things as much as I wanted to with the rest of the characters but to be honest I was literally shaken by this week's episode. I actually haven't cried once during the series yet and I was crying through the entire hour this week. It's insane how fast everything can be swept up from under your feet and I felt like this was the PERFECT illustration of that saying.
Last thought-- if Hank & Gomez are dead and no one knows where Huell is, what's going to happen to him? LOL.
For the first time in a LONG time, my reaction after watching Breaking Bad on Sunday night was one of worry, rather than the normal hype of what an awesome cliffhanger they decide to throw at us. I was on my feet standing up during the entire last ten minutes of the show.. trying to cover my eyes out and avoid the fate of our beloved characters, while at the same time being more tuned in to the show than almost ever before. I was literally walking in circles around the living room as the final credits rolled. What. Just. Happened?!!!!
Honestly, this episode felt like a finale. And yet we still have THREE more to go! What are you doing to us Vince?! I can't take it. I feel like it's too soon to kill off any major character. I wasn't ready for that. Maybe, MAYBE in the penultimate episode (or finale), but now?! My heart.
Okay. Slowly recovering. Hence why it took me 3 days to digest and get the guts to write my thoughts on all this. It's funny because as the episode started and they threw in all this dialogue with Jesse's "mystery plan" and trying to get Gomez on board/ The Huell scenario.. I was kind of like, "okay, how are you going to tie this all up in three more hours?" Cue face palm. Why do I even doubt this show for one second?! Come the last 20 minutes and there's more going on than an entire season combined.
To me, the darkest part of this whole episode was Jesse's phone call to Walter. This is the first time in the entire series that we hear Jesse address him as "Walt" -- no longer is the respect of authority in tact (and rightly so). His tone when he was talking to him on the phone was one of the most chilling exchanges of the entire series for me. So much rage, anger, and desire for vengeance. To be honest, I was so distraught at the phone call in general that I totally bought the whole fake photo trick. Literally felt like I was Walt in that moment. The camera shots of him driving like a madman to the desert kiiiiilled me. I seriously felt his fear and panic. And then the reveal. Walt's sudden realization that his phone had been bugged. Wow.
It's crazy because throughout the whole show, Walt's been the one with a questionable (if you will) moral compass, whereas the rest of the characters remind us of ourselves with their normalcy. During this season specifically, I think the tables have all turned. Where Saul was once the comic with wit to share no matter how dark the circumstance, he's now become just like the "bad guys" -- on a spree to kill Jesse no matter what. It was WALT who had to convince him not to lay a finger on Jesse. Even when talking to Todd's Nazi-loving uncle & co. Walt was the one who had to stress the fact that "Jesse is like family." I've seen Walt's love for Jesse from the beginning.. and that's why even last episode I FULLY believed that Walt genuinely wanted to explain the whole Brock situation to him. At the end of the day, he wanted Jesse's forgiveness... if not forgiveness, at least his understanding of the situation.
I think that's why seeing Jesse with Hank hit him the hardest. For once, Heisenberg was blind-sighted. This was the last possible outcome Walt saw coming. And to be honest, I do think that it IS a little shady of Jesse.. He's known as a rat now. And he broke the one rule you don't break. As much as I love Jesse, that's one thing that continues to bother me as the show goes on. Like I said, it's so chilling to see his attitude towards Walt now. When he saw Hank handcuff him, that smirk on his face, almost a sigh of relief, was so telling. It was sad but I guess you also breathe that relief with Jesse -- it's like he's finally free. Free of this guy who has been pulling his chain for years.
And then comes the massacre. Okay. The thing that shocked me the most... after all this, after threatening Hank and going against the entire family, Walt STILL decides to call it off when he sees Hank. It's so hard to read between the lines and know what's going on in his head but I was genuinely surprised he called it off. First we see a reaction that conveyed more shock than anything we've seen all season, and then he calls it off! Not that I'm complaining, I don't want any of them to die, but it was very interesting to me.
I have no idea what to think. My guess is as good as yours for the outcome of the gun fight. Although I do think that Hank dies. That phone call to Marie just seemed way too contrived to mean anything else. Maybe I've just seen Scream too many times but I totally felt like Jamie Kennedy's character with the "rules" for scary movies (#90'sreferencesforthewin). But seriously, "I love you" / "I won't be home til later"... yeah he's a goner.
Gomez? Who cares. Nazi-clan? Who cares. And then we all know Walt makes it (1. because the Nazi's are doing their best to protect him and 2. because we've seen him in the flash forwards). And honestly, I don't even want to go there with Jesse because it hurts my heart too much, lol. He can't die. Especially not when there's three hours left. GAH.
Okay. Apologies for this post but honestly this was one episode that I didn't even want to talk about. I feel like that hour spoke for itself. There really isn't that much more to say. And even guessing around about what could happen is almost pointless. It could seriously go either way. What I will say, is that I fully trust these writers. And I believe in the message Vince is sending so I think the ending will be satisfying and real.
Revert back to the top photo from Aaron Paul himself. God speed.
Apologies for being a few days late with this update. Actually more than a few days.. Forgive me, the holiday weekend threw me off. It's times like these where you realize how invested you have become in a show. I was on vacation on Sunday without cable and I was literally itching for a way to watch Rabid Dog. I was texting all my friends who had seen it, not wanting spoilers, but just wanting to know "HOW" it was. I felt like an addict going through withdrawals. And if that's wrong then I don't want to be right. Hah. Okay, onto the episode.
So believe it or not, this marked episode 4. We are now halfway through the final season. Am I the only one shocked?! 4 more to go. Look at your calendar. By the end of this month, Breaking Bad as we know it will be over. So bittersweet. As much as I'm dying to know how it will all end, I secretly want it to go on longer. It really isn't helping with all of these cliffhangers though. Like really?! I'm standing up yelling at my tv every time. My dad had to tell me to calm down last week. (Which I took very offensively. How can you ask someone that?!)
Okay so, I think it was pretty obvious what Rabid Dog was going to be about... The aftermath of Jesse's realization. I didn't think they would keep referencing the name of the episode though... Which came off as a TAD bit cheesy for me. I've been so used to each episode title being slight subtleties related something within the episode... Not something that's referenced 3-4 times. Although I did like the Old Yeller analogy in typical Saul form. I seriously think he is the most consistent character in this show. Which is not only refreshing but I think also a sense of normalcy for us as an audience when we're watching a sea of such dynamic other characters.
What did I like most about this episode? The fact that I was right. Amidst EVERYONE telling me that Walt no longer has a heart for Jesse and that he could care less -- surprise, he does care! I was so happy to see that. Call it the sensitive soul inside me or what have you, but all along my only concern with this show is the bond between these two. To be honest, at this point I could care less what "action" happens with the whole meth empire. Instead, I just want these two's relationship to be salvaged. After this episode (at least up until before the last scene in the plaza), I went back and realized that Walt's hug to Jesse in the desert was in fact real. It was a moment of comforting someone who he has manipulated more than anyone should be manipulated in a lifetime. Then even seeing him go against his own WIFE's wishes and forbidding Saul to touch him... It's clear how much he values Jesse as a son. And I'm definitely glad that Hank touched on that as well as he was talking to Jesse after filming his confession.
... On that note. My least favorite thing about this episode? Obviously the last scene in the plaza! I mean, okay sure the punk bodyguard looking guy was definitely witty/ sneaky but that was SO unlike Breaking Bad true fashion. It's never been the type of show to really pull off little mistakes like that/ mere coincidences. I don't know how to explain what I'm trying to say, but it was just frustrating. I think Jesse is smarter than that.. Just to see a guy who looks like a hit man and just assume that it's Walt's guy. Obviously after all he's been through the paranoia has crept in and he's expecting SOMETHING... But still. It was just a little too "gotcha!" Especially throwing in his cute little daughter running up to him at the end. Like, really? But then again I'm guessing this what they want.. Us to be yelling at our TV's.
Am I surprised Jesse filmed the confession with Hank? Yes and no. First off, I initially was sold on the fact that Jesse changed his mind about setting Walt's house on fire simply out of the goodness of his heart. I figured maybe the coke wore off and he stumbled upon a photo of their kids and had a change of heart. Then seeing the flashback to Hank's entry I was shocked. Yet at the same time I get it. This guy is fed up. Gassed out. Done. He obviously wants his revenge. Not even revenge but simply to bring justice to light... To a man he now calls the devil!
In my head, I do want that talk to happen. Why? Because I feel like Jesse will somehow be able to understand where Walt was coming from with the Brock thing. Too much of a reach? Maybe. That's just my opinion. My dad brought up a great point though, which was that if the talk HAD happened, the show would be over. All of Walt's conversation would have been heard by Hank since Jesse was wired. So then I'm thinking, "Ok good, we bought ourselves more time." Now Jesse's alternative plan -- who knows. This could be even worse.
And to be honest, at this point it looks like its over. There's no sign of Jesse even letting Walt near him to say or explain anything. And on the other hand, it looks like Walt is done trying to win over Jesse as well. At least that's what we THINK after seeing his call with Todd.
Me personally? I think he's calling Todd to set up a fake death for himself. Not to kill Jesse. I could be wrong but that's what I think. Especially after seeing the flash forwards (thank you LOST) in the premiere episode.
We shall see ladies and gents. Four more to go. Ill leave you with a little Easter egg for fun as well... It's interesting because the name of the series finale is titled "Felina." My first thoughts on this was a cat. Naturally. However thanks to reddit and these amazing minds.. It was broken down:
Fe: iron Li: lithium Na: sodium
AKA: Blood, Meth, & Tears.
Now that we've all had a chance to digest Sunday night (Breaking Bad as well as the twerking of child star Miley Cyrus), lets look back and analyze the sheer goodness of yet another installment of Breaking Bad.
By now I'm sure we've all realized that each episode title relates directly to a major (or minor) plot point of said episode. I actually had a moment of thinking, "how obvious... 'Confessions' why don't they do something more incognito?" Little did I know. How dare I question Vince Gilligan! Where most of us thought this week would center around Jesse's confession to Hank, we were thrown for what has arguably been the best loophole of the entire series. Walt has now penned the ENTIRE series on Hank. From the drive by ride-along in the first season to the punch delivered last week -- everything has intricately fallen into place to form the perfect puzzle; in Walt's favor. It makes me wonder if this was a plan B Walt had from the beginning in case things fell apart... Or if he's simply that smart that he thought of this under pressure. I think what creeps me out most is Skyler being so passive and ok with all this. After all, just last week Walt was telling Saul that "Hank is family" and no one touches their family. Then this week -- it's clear that all he cares about now is his immediate family. Oh how things change. The scene with Hank and Marie watching the video confession was so chilling. One of the things I love most about this show is how strongly emotion is conveyed through each of these actors when words aren't spoken. The fear and shock in them both was so believable and so eerie.
Although I agree with Hank that this is just a threat, I don't doubt for a second that Walt would have any hesitation in making this go viral if it came down to it.
Moving on, the gem of the series -- Jesse. I realized yesterday that I always tend to root for/ feel for this exact type of character. I had an epiphany yesterday and realized how similar Jesse is to Holden Caulfield from Catcher in the Rye (my favorite book). Both characters who have lost hope yet are still desperately in search for a lingering silver lining of hope to hold onto. Masking their vulnerability by anger, being stand-offish, and pretending they don't care. I desperately want to root for these characters to win and find the happiness they're seeking.
With Jesse, this episode we see that sense of hope shine through for merely a second with the news of starting fresh and moving to Alaska (random). Finally, after being pretty much mute this entire season, his face lights up with the chance to start over and put his past behind him. I thought that the scene in the desert was one of the most moving scenes in the entire series so far. From the beginning, I've loved this unique bond between Jesse & Walt, especially the father-son role that composes the entirety of their relationship. I don't think we've ever even seen the two of them hug until this episode. They've had many episodes where they seem like they're about to hug but then go for the hand shake. But all in all, this was a long time coming.
I still can't decide if I think that Walt was genuine in his embrace or if it was just like a sympathy act, kind of saying, "yeah Jesse you're right, I'm sorry it's come down to this but I would definitely have to kill you if you don't leave town." One thing I wish there was more of this season was communication. Especially in this scene I was literally yelling at my tv because I wanted them to TALK more. Just like Jesse was yelling at Walt for answers, I wanted something out of him (in addition to the hug of course). Ugh. But the hug itself spoke volumes and I think that was the biggest sigh of relief for Jesse to finally get everything out and just sob.
Too bad that moment lasted for 2 minutes. They didn't waste any time in shifting gears completely and getting into the ricin realization. I won't go into detail about how Jesse found out/ the timeline of events -- there are plenty of other blog posts outlining the details -- but what I do want to touch on is the insane 180 we see in Jesse. He literally went from catatonic to blind rage in the matter of one episode. We see him barely saying a word to Hank at his office to sheer anger as he crashes into Walt's mailbox and goes rabid dog on us with the gasoline. Spoiler alert - don't think it's an accident that next week's episode is titled "Rabid Dog."
What makes me sad is that the little amicable father/ son moment between Walt and Jesse was so short lived. I know I know, the majority HATES Walt at this point, but I don't know why I still have a glimmer of hope for him. And I want to believe that he DOES truly care about Jesse. After all, Jesse has been more of a son to him than Walt Jr. Jesse knows him in a way that Jr. will never. I guess that can be seen as a bad thing though.
I'm so nervous for what is to come. Only 5 more hours of this journey left. I'm seriously so scared that Jesse is going to get killed in the next few. Crossing my fingers that he comes out victorious. We know from the season premiere that Walt's house definitely isn't burned down. Yes, it's trashed, but definitely not burned. So what happens with this gasoline debacle?
Interesting note to add on as well... Even though Jesse knows (pretty much) at this point that Walt killed Mike, he still didn't rat him out to Hank. He even still let Walt embrace him! But now that he's found out about Brock... Is he going to run straight to Hank and take his side? Or is this all anger and there's still a sense of partnership between the two? Most blogs I've read have lost all hope for peace between the two of them but I'm just latching on until the last minute. Another thing I wonder is if Jesse will have any sense of understanding if Walt does explain the Brock situation to him, after all, it really wasn't the ricin -- it was lily of the valley.
Not sure if this show has just done a good job of manipulating me or if I'm crazy (or both) but I still justify both Jane & Brock in my head. Like I expect Jesse to understand. Both times, Walt was trying to get Jesse back. First time, he was trying to save Jesse from dying and becoming a heroin addict. Sure, Jane's threat about turning him in probably added to it, but I know for a fact Walt had so much love for Jesse and his well-being especially in season 2. So I don't doubt he was genuine there for a second.
With Brock, yes he lied to Jesse and yes he poisoned a child. It's wrong, it's immoral. But he did so knowing how much to give him so he wouldn't die and only to get Jesse back on his side (when he was clearly in the process of becoming Gus' protégé. No one wants that. So I don't know dude.... But I see the justification in both those scenarios. Even though then I look at it the other way and see Walt's selfishness in all this.
See! That's what the creators do best. We as the audience are in this moral dilemma. Rooting for the bad guy or wanting him dead. I seriously think that we all still have a shred of desire for Walt to come out on top in the end. Even though he's gone off the deep end... Maybe for me it's just hoping he can be saved and come back down to reality and redeem himself for all this.
Doesn't look like it but here's hoping. Only 5 more weeks. This is going to FLY by. What's going to happen with Todd? The Nazi uncle? Lydia? Will Hank come up with a plan? Is Jesse going to be ok??
GAH. Ok enough stress for one morning. Until next time.
-- "How about that guacamole?"
Finally. It's time. For those of you who have had to wait a year for this moment, I applaud you and congratulate you. For the rest of you who spent countless days marathon-ing the past 5 seasons and just jumped on the band wagon -- welcome.
Ladies and germs, this is it. Season 5B of Breaking Bad. As we know it, there are only 6 precious hours left of this gem of a show. As you can tell, I couldn't be more passionate about it. Apologies for chunking up both the premiere and episode 2 in one post, but truthfully, after the premiere I really had to take it all in.
Disclaimer: these weekly blog posts aren't going to be a summary of what you just watched. I won't insult your intelligence with bullet pointed wrap-ups. Instead, this is just my personal analysis, my thoughts as I went through the episode, and what I think is yet to come. Comments, critiques, and feedback are welcome, as some of you know these discussions are one of my favorite past-times.
Lets dive in -- so what I love most about this show (actually ONE thing I love because I would never be able to decide what I love most), is the fact that Vince Gilligan (creative genius), has his timeline so well constructed. There are so many shows that after the season finale, we jump ahead 3 months back in fall when the show starts up again. All the pent up tension, action, and build up from the finale dies down and we as an audience are forced to go with the flow and make up in our heads what went down in the past three months. The opposite is true for Breaking Bad (which instead of three months actually had us waiting a YEAR). Instead, we start off RIGHT where we left off. Yes, with Hank on the toilet. I'm not going to dive into the 3 minute flash forward segments before the opening credits because clearly those are a tease of what's yet to come. So lets hold off for now and stay in the present.
Moving forward -- oh, the subtleties! As soon as Hank walks out onto the patio, we hear Marie say to Walt, "You are the DEVIL!" It's writing like that, that I'm like okay you're amazing team. Can I be a part of you one day!?
Anyways, I think everyone who is a true BrBa was in shock at the speed with which the season is going. I honestly thought we would spend the majority of this season waiting for the ultimate Walt/Hank face off. What does Gilligan do? Holds the confrontation in the FIRST episode!! It only makes me think of what more there is to come. The sheer volume of emotion that last scene in the garage held.. I was speechless. They didn't have to say anything. Props to Dean Norris for his performance thus far. I think he's been heavily overlooked the past 5 seasons, and now I honestly would say he's stealing the show.
Moving on to my favorite subject -- Jesse. From season 1 (episode 2ish), Aaron Paul has stolen my heart. I think that Vince has done such a great job of allowing us as an audience to relate to these two characters. We both see a little of ourselves in both Walt and Jesse. So much so in fact that it has us rooting for the "bad guy" - Walt. But with Jesse I think it's a different story. As the moral compass of the show, he's gone up and down so much throughout the series. In the end, he still hasn't found himself. I think he's tried finding himself in his relationships most of all. With Jane, with Walt, with children, or with Mike. Clearly he didn't find the acceptance from his parents so now it's all on these people. I think that's why he's gone off the deep end at this point in the series as well because Mike literally was that father-figure he sought after. He didn't really get it from Walt, and when he realized Mike's death was most likely Walt's doing, it set him off. I keep thinking back to this second episode that aired on Sunday and the scene that resonates most with me is the opening sequence before the credits. We see the man finding all the cash by his house and then Jesse -- spinning around on the playground fixture, no words spoken. You can SEE the confusion in his face, the hopelessness, the despair, and literally the defeat. He's over it. He's done. That scene gave me goosebumps. Aaron Paul said not ONE word in this past episode, yet his performance spoke most to me. That's how you know someone's an amazing actor and that the quality factor of the show is sub-par.
I'm glad we saw the return of Todd at the end of the episode. I don't care much for him at all but I'm excited that there's some action going on with this new crew (now that half of Madrigal's meth chefs are dead?) Side note, I have a major qualm with Lyida. "I don't want to look" -- bro, you just ordered and planned for the mass murder of these guys and you're too scared to walk up the ladder and see a few dead bodies? I'm sorry. You're either hard or you're not. Please don't play both cards.
Anyways. Another note. I absolutely LOVE the fact that they're not showing next episode previews this season. It's funny, growing up, any show I'd watch with my dad he'd leave before they showed next week's preview. I on the other hand would rewind and rewatch it 20X to make sure I got every segment down and knew what was coming. Call it the impatience in me. Now, I totally see where he was coming from. With Breaking Bad, I don't seek after ANY spoilers. This show is too good not to enough thoroughly. I want to savor the next 6 hours as much as I can.
With that, I apologize for the relatively short post as I usually have a ton more to say. But right now, I'm still processing. This show meets my expectations and then some. I honestly can't complain about one thing. Best of all for me? The writing. Honestly, it bugs me when people are fans of the show (or any show) just because of the action factor. To me, special effects and ongoing drama don't amount to much quality. It's the realism and writing that add substance. That's why this is my favorite show because of the level of genius that is the minds of these writers and creators. I pay a lot of close attention to dialogue and character development, so initially those are what I pay attention to right off the bat. This show blows me away. End.
More to come Monday (or Sunday night if I'm feeling wild). Feel free to sound off in comments, I'd love to hear your thoughts. Thanks for reading and I can't wait to see what's next in store.
-"AM I UNDER ARREST?!"
"Trouble in Candyland"
-So last night's episode of Parenthood marked a new record for me. This was the first episode this season that I didn't shed tears. Interesting too because I've been a big fan of Sarah and Mark's relationship, but it didn't get me as much as I thought last night. Maybe it's because I still have hope they'll salvage it? Or maybe because I'm actually really happy inside that Mark finally stood up for himself and put his own well-being over his heart and emotions.
Mark had every right to say what he said to Sarah. I think some people might think the "lousy fiance" comment was a bit harsh, but in fact I think he let her off so easily. On top of that, taking a flight back down to see her after she chose work over him?! Sarah should have been the one who felt so bad that she decided to take a flight to Mark and surprise him! Time after time Mark surprises me with his humbleness and sweet persona. That's why I'm such a big fan of him and I actually think he's really good for Sarah; he stabilizes her. But after tonight, although I hope for a reconciliation, I'm weary of how that will play out because of how much she's hurt him. Sarah needs to come to a place of reflection and realizing how true everything Mark told her was (about pushing away the good things in her life). He waited for her once with the whole Seth ordeal, and this is the second time she's pulling the same thing.
For the record, I don't think that Hank and Sarah's friendship is romantic on both ends. Hank definitely has deep feelings for her but all I sense from Sarah's side is that she feels bad for him and wants to "fix him" like she said last night. It was the same pattern with Seth, it wasn't necessarily that she was still in love with him, but moreso that she wanted to be the one to save the bad boy. We will see how that plays out next week.
I loved that this week we got to see a comedic scene featuring Kristina and not have it be completely Kristina-centric like weeks past. Don't get me wrong, Monica Potter is one of my favorite actresses on the show, but it was a bit refreshing to have a light-hearted episode thrown in after 4-5 really emotional ones. I loved her scene with Julia; I haven't seen the two of them interact one-on-one in so long! Hands down my favorite line of the night, "Alright so I'm actually smoking pot." And Julia's reaction -- priceless. I feel so bad for Kristina and looking at next week's preview I am seriously anticipating the episode like no tomorrow. The biggest question I have is will they really kill off her character? Monica Potter is one of Parenthood's best actresses and the show is only in its fourth season. Seems a bit unlikely, but who knows! I haven't been able to find any interviews or articles with her or the writers discussing this so I guess we'll just have to wait and see.
Other than that, another heart warming side to this episode was the final resolution with the Luncheonette drama. Leave it to Crosby to save the day. I LOVE that it was him who came up with that brilliant plan and that he didn't even need a bit of assistance from Adam. Such a great way to end the episode and put that pesky neighbor to rest (we hope).
I don't even want to get into the Ryan story-arc. Sorry, it's completely useless and takes up so much screen time that other main characters should be in. Does anyone else miss Jabbar and Jasmine? Or Camille? They've spent too much time making him seem like a central character on the show. Looks like things will be getting very emotional and very exciting in little time. I'm not sure if Parenthood has a winter break this year, but if so, looks like next week will be our cliffhanger episode!
What about you? What was your favorite story arc from last night's episode? Are you as tired of Ryan as I am? Are you Team Hank or Team Mark? Sound-off below!
Only 2 more episodes left of this gem of a show. Is it just me or has this season seriously flown by? I love Showtime programs so much because 1) they never take random breaks like CW or NBC decides to do out of the blue and 2) no commercials! ah such a breath of fresh air. I love that I can watch the show in peace and not have the remote glued to my hand ready to fast forward every time the scene ends. So thank you, there's my little shameless plug for how much I love Showtime. Now, regarding the past two episodes... um WHAT?!! I seriously don't even know where to begin?! First off, I never in my wildest dreams would have thought that the show would decide to bring Abu Nassir to the US this early on in the show -- and then to have him kidnap Carrie and be face to face, communicating with her?! WOW. Of course even though it hadn't crossed my mind, it was still definitely very believable. And I love that Brody did what he was asked in order to save Carrie's life. Now Carrie on the other hand is just plain dumb because of course she decides to run back into the abandoned warehouse and have a 1:1 battle with a terrorist. Sure, nothing insane about that at all. Come on girl, he just let you go! Run AWAY. But in typical Carrie fashion she thinks about the state of the country first and puts herself second. I love that the second she got her phone and called Saul it was to tell him about Nassir's location, not the fact that she had been taken ransom and attacked by him. She's so selfless in that respect.
I'd like to take a moment at this point to share my joy in the reappearance of DANNY Galvez! Ah, thank you Lord that they didn't kill him off! Such a minor character, but I still love seeing him on the show and his little one-liners. Poor guy comes back in with a broken arm after being shot but he still wants in on the rescue mission to save Carrie.
Regarding the Mike/Jess affair.. to be honest I like the two of them together and I really love Brody/Carrie together. But for some reason I get so ticked off at Jess for cheating on her husband. I'm ashamed that I'm pretty much buying into a stereotype and getting more mad at the girl than the guy, but I don't know what it is. I think it's the fact that the audience knows that Carrie understands Brody more than Jess at this point. And even though we see Jess trying and trying repeatedly to get into Brody's head and comfort him, I think I just feel like she needs to try harder. Instead of rushing into bed with Mike, I would expect her to hold out longer and stay committed to Brody, especially because they've been apart for 8 years. But that's a touchy subject and I'm still iffy on what I think exactly. All I know for sure is that I see so much more chemistry between Brody and Carrie. You almost lose sight of the fact that he's involved with a terrorist and you want to cheer for the two of them to get together.
Anyways! Lets get to the side story with Quinn! Very, very interesting sub-plot. I can't tell you how stressed out I was watching last week's final minute. Seeing Quinn as Brody's driver, show up to pick him up, and then wait patiently holding a gun waiting to shoot Brody...?! Speechless!!! I never would have guessed Estes would concoct a plan to overrule Saul and get a black ops guy on this case, and we're still a bit confused exactly why, but it has added so much tension to the show. And I love it. I really feel for Saul though, I couldn't believe that Estes ordered him to be kept at the CIA offices while everyone else went after Carrie. I want to know exactly why Estes is so against having Saul on the front-end.
This episode and last week's were both truly two that made this season. I'm so sad that there are only two left! All my favorite shows are ending by mid-December :/ Well okay, only like 4 of them, but still! This was an amazing season and I know that the last two will have us on the edge of our seats and provide some serious cliff hangers. [I don't think I've ever been more antsy than I was when Season 1 ended with Carrie about to go through electric shock therapy! -- okay, yes, probably during every LOST finale, but still this one is a top 5 moment].
Next week we see Roya is in with the CIA getting interrogated. I'm curious to know if she will feed them lies or if the honest truth will come out. As of now, Nassir has gotten exactly what he wanted; the Vice President is dead (easiest death possible if you ask me), and he's on fire to complete his mission.
Until Sunday folks, that's it for Homeland!
Sunday night's installment of Homeland was again, mediocre, in my opinion. I'm getting annoyed that every other episode is semi-boring, especially because I thought that Season 1 was pure gold - every episode. But, I'm trying not to be too picky. First order of business: we finally get a mention of Galvez! LOL. Even if it comprised only 2% of the episode, I'm glad we got confirmation that he's alive. Well, in Quinn's words he's, "still dying" -- but hey that's way better than the writers randomly killing him off. I can't wait to see what happens. I'm starting to like Quinn more and more with each episode. I love his spunk and "take-no-crap-from-anyone" demeanor. It took some getting used to in the beginning but I really like him now. In fact, I wouldn't even mind some more interaction between him and Carrie for that matter! They seem to have some chemistry. I wonder if they'll decide to take the show in that direction. But it's pretty obvious that for now they're keeping Carrie's love life completely centered on Brody. I was absolutely shocked that he's still maintaining his affair with her! I honestly can't read him whatsoever though. One minute he's talking about how good he feels when he's with her and then the next second he's borderline about to shove her aside. I'm not complaining because it's keeping me on the edge of my seat but I'm dying to get an inside scoop on where he's at. Meanwhile, a majority of the episode was centered around Dana and Finn's hit and run accident. I really like that Dana is showing so much concern about this. It was a little predictable that Finn's parents of course were hoping to keep this out of the public eye and just "dispose of it" like most people high up do -- but I'm curious to see how things will turn out because of how adamant Jess and Brody are about going about this the right way.
Of course the second that things are starting to unravel, with Faber putting two and two together about Brody's involvement with the terrorism acts, he gets shut down by Carrie. GAH! No closure in sight. I love it. And again, exhibit B, Saul's interrogation with Aileen didn't go anywhere. I wasn't too shocked that she lied, but I was super shocked that she ended up killing herself. After all that trouble to get her above ground & get her the beloved window cell -- she kills herself?! It was definitely sad. I was surprised to see how emotional it made Saul. I think the biggest thing for the CIA at this point is keeping Brody close, but not letting him in too close. Which scares me because every episode we see Carrie letting her guard down more and more with him. Truthfully, I can barely tell where her head is at anymore. It seems like she's forgetting this is the guy who has a deal to bomb your country with a top tier terrorist.. Girls. Always.
Well, the preview for next week looks appetizing as always. Lets see where that takes us! I'm so excited that after two weeks, Parenthood is back on tonight. Be sure to check back in the morning for a review!
"A Gettysburg Address"
THANK YOU, Homeland! You gave me exactly what I wanted on Sunday night. I have to admit I was a little "meh" when I started watching Sunday night's episode because of how mediocre I felt Episode 5 was for the viewers. Way to flip me upside down and leave me begging for more!! No exaggeration, when the episode faded to black in the last minute, I literally yelled "ARGH!" at the TV, haha. I wasn't expecting it to end there and I absolutely LOVE when the full hour passes by in an instant and you're left wondering where the time went and how it ended so quickly. That's how you know the episode was great.
I was reading another blog yesterday reviewing this same episode, and I really enjoyed what the author was saying. He mentioned that we are beginning to see a lot of Season 1 type of uneasiness now, in regards to Brody's motives and where his head is at. It's true, the entire time I was watching, all I wanted was an aside of Brody, maybe even talking to the mirror or something and venting about where he's at. At this point we have no idea if he's really given in, and come on board fully with the CIA -- or if he's playing them too and gaining even more intel to provide to Abu Nazir. My mind is absolutely boggled at this point.
Most shocking moment of this episode? The shootout in the tailor's store!!! Um, WHAT?! I was absolutely shocked seeing that, and even more so, I am dying know what happened to Galvez! (yeah, so what, maybe I have a little crush).
But seriously, I think that took everyone by surprise and it takes us back to the scene with Brody and Roya chatting in the hallway. Did he somehow give her a message to lead her to the tailor's store shootout? Did he somehow inaudibly warn her of that? I mean, how in the world would he be able to convey that through body language? Again, I'm just honestly confused but in the best way possible. I am completely satisfied.
Another question I'm left with is the fear that Carrie is really starting to fall for Brody hard, and in a way where she is about to believe him more than the CIA/ what her job is asking of her. In the preview for next week, we see the two of them getting more intimate and it only starts to worry me because she is the key to this entire operation. The second she gets vulnerable, it's done. And not to mention, who knows what his intentions with her are?! We have no idea at this point what he even feels for her. One minute he's holding her the next minute he's running home to his wife.
I don't know but Homeland has won me over yet again and I publicly apologize for being a doubter simply because of one episode!
"Q&A" What do you get when you mix a CIA agent who is in love with a terrorist, simultaneously trying to bring him down, with a terrorist who is trying to trick the CIA into thinking he's actually "good"? Well sounds like a mouthful right? That's what Homeland has come to as it's embarked in it's second season. I'm not sure what I thought about Sunday night's installment. I sadly think the show is starting to run out of ideas with where to take it from here. Not sure if it's too soon to make a statement like this, but I almost think the show would have been better off as a mini-series, as opposed to a regular TV show.
Don't get me wrong, Season 1 was gold. I think the transitions were perfect, the build-up was exciting, and it was enough realism to keep you hooked until we got to the finale. But then season 2 started up and everything kind of went for a spin. As much as I love that Carrie (thank God), is back in the CIA, I think it's a little unbelievable that she would be given her job back as well as all this authority in such a short time. Was it not just 4 episodes ago that her entire team was calling her crazy and Saul himself being the sole agent to encourage her to go for the shock therapy?!
Now all of a sudden they're referring to her as a genius and letting her run the show. I love it and I think she deserves this, however, I'm not quite sure how believable this is in the long run.
In addition to that, I know I tend to rag on Dana's character a lot, but really? The hit and run accident with Finn? We. Don't. Care. I'm sorry this isn't a high school drama where we need weekly cliffhangers and murders and kidnappings -- this is an adult show centered around the government and homeland security. Why are we mixing the two?! I was honestly really surprised that they dedicated half of this week's episode to their story arc. Not sure where they can take it from here, and sure it will buy them some time for maybe 2 episodes max, but really? I would have much rather seen more from Carrie and Brody's time in the interrogation. That part of the episode, I definitely enjoyed. So much emotion, so much raw vulnerability from both ends. I got super teary eyed watching Carrie as she kept asking him if he ever really felt anything for her.
I still can't put together my discernment on his true intentions. We see him reaching out and grabbing her hand for comfort and then telling her that night in the cabin that she's the only one he can talk to -- but then we also see him calling her crazy and obsessed. I really want to know how he truly feels. I have a huge feeling she cares way more about him than vice-versa though, and I'm really scared that she might let her emotions get the best of her. Typical girl syndrome.
Time will tell. I'm not a huge fan of this new spin with "Brody working with the CIA" now -- but lets see, maybe next week's episode will salvage my distaste and give us some fresh info.
The highlight of last week's episode for me was Max. Amidst the tears, the worry about Kristina's tumor removal, and Haddie's decision to take the semester off of school -- Max stuck out most. Throughout the whole episode, I was curious to see how the writers would have his presidential speech turn out. Would he run off stage? Yell at the audience? Freeze up there? The final result was the most heartfelt and gut wrenching speech that a little boy could give. I've found it a little tough to empathize with Max throughout the show because of his lack of emotion. It kind of bugged me that he had not even an ounce of TLC for his mom when she was talking to him about her cancer, but I kept thinking I'll give him that because of his condition. But wow, actually seeing him talk about his Asberger's and why it causes him to act the way he does completely broke my heart. The fact that he repeated exactly what his sister told him in their prep talk.. the fact that he said his condition is his biggest strength as opposed to a weakness-- gahhh! So unbelievably sweet. And I'm so happy that he ended up winning. Of course, who wouldn't vote for someone after a speech like that. I loved watching the camera cuts to the audience while he was speaking. Their faces were so in awe and interest after he changed gears and delved into his Asberger's condition.
Other than that, Kristina's tumor removal went well and we are left hanging because unfortunately, the story isn't over for her. In fact it's just begun. She has to start chemo now :( I'm wondering what will happen because they decided to keep this a secret from Haddie. Are they going to keep it a secret from everyone in the family? Just the kids? Curious to find out, because I know Haddie and she will be devastated that they kept this truth from her.
Such a solid episode, in fact such a solid season! I'm the type of person that usually picks Season 1 of everything as my favorite (with the exception of Dawson's Creek & Breaking Bad). But for Parenthood the seasons have just gotten better and better! In fact, this might be my favorite season to date. It's just annoying that NBC keeps having these random breaks in between. Not sure if Episode 7 is tomorrow night or a week later, but more to come!
"New Car Smell" I'm a really big fan of episode titles of shows where it's always something minor and detailed that forces you to pay close attention to the whole episode to figure out how they came up with it. Remind me a lot of Breaking Bad in that sense. In my opinion, this week's episode of Homeland was one of the best the series has had so far. I never thought that Carrie and Brody would reunite this soon in the game -- and then to see that the meeting led to Brody's arrest?! I was floored. I mean obviously there is an entire season left to cover so I doubt the CIA will find any real evidence to keep him locked up, but still. Just the fact that they have him locked up, in hiding, and the flash drive to use against him really places the odds against him.
The writers did such a good job with the scene featuring Brody and Carrie in the bar. They didn't have to say too much, but their body language and emotions gave it all away. I kept thinking, "Is Carrie going to crack?" the whole way through. And in typical Carrie fashion, she did crack in a way. But thank God they at least had some sort of grounds to arrest him upon. But was it just me, or did we all think that the hotel room scene was going to go a whole other direction than it actually did?!
New character alert -- I absolutely love Kevin. I'm so glad they've introduced someone new and I love that he adds somewhat of a light comedic touch to the show. The way he is so dead on about everything, he just reads people perfectly. I can't wait to see more of him as the show continues. In addition, thank GOD that the CIA is finally giving Carrie her credit when it's due! I feel like Estes needs to man up a lot more and give her a more legit apology, but hey, we can't expect too much from him. I'm so happy to see her back in her element and secure in the fact that she was right this entire time. Finally feels good to see her happy. Which, sadly, is only half true, because although most of her identity is back in tact, she's still really heartbroken. It was painful seeing that last scene with her fighting back tears in the hotel room. That last line where she yelled in his face, " I LOVED you" -- wow, sent chills down my spine. I wish the CIA had given us at least one more minute to hear Brody's response to that, but of course, they pop in right at that moment.
I can't imagine where her mind is at. On the one hand, she's the only person who's known that this guy is a fake, phony, and terrorist. On the other hand, she's managed to block off that side of him and fallen in love with him! And it honestly looks like even up until Sunday's episode she was STILL hoping that there was some humanity left in him or something to save. She even goes so far to expose herself 100% and admit she's been in love with him. That's heavy.
Other than that, it was cool to see some other aspects of Dana's life rather than her rants and rude one-liners to Jess, but really? Spending a whole 5 minute segment on a 16 year old's crush on the VP's son? We don't care. Kind of added the high school appeal to it though, so maybe they're trying to broaden their audience base?
Finally, I love this entire arc with Lauder's character. He's the only "layperson" who really knows what's up, but of course no one believes him because he's the town's obnoxious drunk. It's interesting seeing his discernment in putting the pieces together. I'm glad Mike finally at least has lent an ear to this and he's sort of being pulled in. At least a bit! I'm curious to see how the writers will develop these guys' story lines to figure out more of Brody's real identity and what he's up to.
"My back's up against a wall -- and not in a hot, Chuck Bass sort of way."
xoxo, Blair Waldorf
Shame on me! How late am I on this review?! I promise, I promise I will get better. Things have just been so weird this week with the transitions I'm dealing with & pretty much trying to figure out what I want to do with my life.Which I feel like is way too early to even think about, so I don't get why I'm stressing. Anyways, moving on to Homeland! I always want more Carrie air time. I was annoyed that I didn't get as much as I wanted, but nonetheless, Sunday night's episode was jam packed. Let first talk about Brody and his ordeal with the bomb-maker (yes, thats what I want to call him).
I thought it was a little weird that Abu Nazir's crew chooses Brody as the sole rescuer to get this guy to a safe house. Didn't they think that it would be suspicious that they guy you just made a bomb for is the one that's supposedly getting you out of danger? I don't know. But that side story was really enticing. I was absolutely shocked that Brody ended up breaking his neck. It was so random!! But I guess that's what happened when push came to shove in a stressful moment. I don't think Brody even expected the guy to run away from him! But come on, leaving him alone in the car? Kidnapping 101, sweetie.
Anyways, back to Carrie. My heart broke this episode just seeing her ups and downs. The fact that the CIA lied and told her the meeting was an hour later than it really was -- and on top of that taking her 18 page report for the intel first -- come ON! That was low! I can't even imagine being in a situation where your whole identity was defined as being in the CIA.. and then you're told that you are fired because of a mental instability.. and THEN they change their minds and want you back for one last operation because you're the only one who can help! I mean that's a lot to put on one person. On top of that, she delivers and not only that, she ends up being right about everything. She succeeds in Lebanon, she leads you to Abu Nazzir, AND risks her life to grab that backpack from the home!
And then you won't even let her into the debrief?! Ugh. All I can say is thank God she gets her job back next week (or so it looks like). It's about time. I think my favorite part of the episode was the last 15 minutes. For some reason I could totally put myself in her shoes in those moments. She's home finally for the first time in months, but her self confidence is out the door. So she thinks of the one thing that could really boost her confidence -- dolling up and going out. The second she wants to go out, I almost felt like she was thinking, "This isn't going to satisfy me permanently." And she does a 180 and runs for the pills. Obviously we all knew she wasn't going to kill herself because she's the main character! But still that scene was hard to watch.
Flash forward to her throwing up the pills and taking a few breathers and enter Saul! The best ending this episode could have. I had no idea that he hadn't shown the CIA the memory stick yet! I think they totally tricked the audience with that one, because we were all expecting that David had all the information once he spoke to Carrie. I got shivers all up and down my spine as she plugged it in and watched Brody on the screen. Her body language and her emotion as she said, "I was right?" over and over killed me. Finally. Yes. Closure. Poor girl -- you WERE right! And you can finally rest in the fact that you are normal and sane.
Wow. It almost felt like it was me! Haha. Other than that, we have the usual bickering between Jess and Brody and I think she's slowly coming to realize that something's not right with him. I'm curious to see how long he can keep up the white lies before Dana or Jess finally put the pieces together. It's going to be a great season, and with the preview for next week I'm even more excited.
On the one hand, the CIA knows that Carrie is their only link to getting close to Brody. On the other hand, the terrorist group wants Brody to get close to her for more CIA intel! So it's a mess on both ends & I can't wait to see it all untangle.
Happy Hump Day!
Tonight's viewing of last night's Parenthood was a treat for me. I had such a tough day at work --edit: tough week -- and tonight was literally just my lounge around night. My dad and I always watch it together, but tonight was different. We both took our dinner (Persian food, what else?) and sat in front of the TV and watched. It might seem like nothing out of the ordinary, but for some reason it was just one of those "little things in life" moments. We hardly ever take our food from the dinner table and eat in front of the TV, but tonight no one else was home except the two of us, and we were both so excited to watch the episode.
Again - GOLD. Wow, this episode not only was I in tears at the end, but I think 2-3 other times throughout. And I kept looking over at my dad and he was too. I especially loved watching Erika Christiansen's performance as Julia. She rocked the house last night. She finally came to the realization that she isn't super mom... she isn't going to be able to be a full time mom and full time lawyer. I've admired Julia from the start because she did manage to be that whole package of "full time mom with a career in tact too." But with Victor in the picture now, it really shifts everything. Not mention he isn't even really her child but that they've adopted him at age 9 -- obviously the transition is going to be difficult. Watching her as she performed in that scene while preparing breakfast was so painful. I literally had goosebumps as I watched her. I felt so sorry for her, but at the same time also so jealous that she has such a stud muffin of a husband to come her rescue ;)
The final parts of the episode watching her in front of all her bosses was also a great moment. I loved that they didn't fire her (like we all expected), but instead, put the ball in her court. "We want you to tell us that you are committed." In that moment she was forced to deal with reality and answer that question as truthfully as she could; as in what is the reality of the matter. And she simply quit. I honestly respect her so much for that because when push came to shove, she chose being a mother. And beyond that, this wasn't just any old job. She was there for 9 years and was in the thoughts of becoming partner! And she still chose to leave. That takes major guts and also major LOVE. I'm proud of her.
Aside from that, I could care less about the war hero that Zeke has a man crush on. Yeah, yeah, there's some chemistry a'brewin' between him and Amber -- veryy subtle, writers! Pft. And on Sarah's end.. thank God she wasn't into the kiss. Well, okay, I'm being naive, I know that it will only take time until she reciprocates.. but hey, I expected her to be all in, even from this episode. It saddens me because even though I see her saying all the right things to Mark, I know inside she's only trying to convince herself that she's in a great relationship. Actually, that isn't even speculation because you clearly hear her say it too while they're out jogging together. Of course, she says it in her normal dry humor tone, but she says "we're one of those great couples" or something along those lines. And then the whole idea about moving in together.. talk about desperate and talk about CLEARLY trying to convince yourself that you're happy. It just breaks my heart for Mark more than anything because I am certain that he is certain about his love for her. He's so confident in it! The fact that she's been shaky from the start and then again shaky now with New Guy in the picture honestly just pisses me off towards her!
But I digress. I honestly think what really hit me the most this episode were the group family moments of ALL of them together. All of them together watching Victor's game & cheering him on, and then all of them together at the pizza parlor after. It sums it all up; there is nothing more important than family. I love their constant support for one another and just the fact that they are a huge family. It reminds me a lot of my extended family friends here who are pretty much like my real family. But I do wish I had that. It just makes me want to have a lot of kids at this point, haha.
The last scene... Sadly I have to say that this week I was left a little unsatisfied. I felt like they gave away that entire scene in the preview from last week. I expect more, maybe more reactions or even just a longer length of time placed in the scene. It was pretty quick and all we really see is Sarah's full reaction. Personally, I wish they didn't have the music playing and that we could actually hear what they said in response and feel their emotions as the news sank in, but my dad actually disagreed with me. He liked that all we see is their facial expressions and shock, while the calm music is playing. So it's all a matter of opinion. For me, I just love the dynamic between each of the characters, so I wanted to see for instance, "What will Crosby say to this news?" or "How is Camille going to react to this?" and just watch their individual interactions with Kristina and Adam. But I'm sure more will come to pass next week as we move further along into this season.
Unfortunately no episode next week (who knows why?!) ugh, but I will be back with more as soon as it returns!
"Back to Beirut"
I'm ashamed to be posting at this hour, on a Tuesday. This post was supposed to be up yesterday morning, but shame on me! I've been lagging on my posts. I'll get into the why's and whatnot in my next post, but lets give Homeland its credit for delivering a promising sophomore episode on Sunday night. At first, the excitement that had built up from the premiere had me thinking that Sunday's Episode 2 would either be a flop, or totally a mix of too much information. And I'm so happy I was wrong! Claire Danes... can you just get an Emmy PER episode?! She was amazing. The montage of the music while she walked in her room in Beirut, hyperventilating, crawling on the floor, and seeing the dust particles gather around her in the sunlight had me shaking. I literally felt her emotions as she walked up to the roof and just took her breaths. Those scenes were powerful.
I can't explain how realistic these writers are. I love when you are unable to predict what's going to happen. Sure a lot of us love screaming out, "I CALLED THAT!" while watching movies with a big group sometimes, but for a show like this, it's that much more intrinsically rewarding to be in complete shock and awe when seeing the final scenes. I honestly was torn both ways, wondering if Carrier's informant was indeed trustworthy or playing them. It wasn't until I saw Abu Nazzir's face come out of the car that I was like "done deal." It KILLED me that they let Brody into the CIA room to view the secret op. I think that's the only part that I was like.. um, really now? Would they really let a random congressman into a secret operation's film sesh? I don't know. That bugged me a little but honestly the whole time as he started to break a sweat, I was like wow, what are you going to do next? And of course -- all he could do -- a warning text. It was so awesome watching all of that go down. Milliseconds before we hear Estes give the go ahead on firing, Abu Nazzir's men get Brody's text.. and of course they get away just in time. Rightfully so, too,because of course we need him around for the duration of this season!
I love Carrie's fire and 110% attitude. Not only is she PISSED about this (doesn't even take a moment to bask in the fact that her informant led them directly to Nazzir), but she goes above and beyond and decides to run her own suicide mission into Farida's old home! Gosh, watching her grab those bags and run up and down the stairs was incredibly intense. The camera angles were perfectly shot in those scenes. And I kept thinking, watch, she won't even grab anything meaningful... but hey, I bite my tongue! Of course the last 2 minutes were the most intense of all! The disk drive in the backpack. GOLD. Seeing Brody's face on the screen.. double whammy. I literally screamed at my TV. Now, I know, it won't give away too much, but even that little reveal satisfies me. It'll hold me off until Sunday. Who knows what is yet to come, but I like it. And I can't wait to see how they will incorporate Carrie's return to the CIA. I want Brody done with. Season 1, I was awkwardly a fan of his. Probably cause his M.O. was undefined. But now, even though he's that character they want us to love and hate; at this point I don't really like him at all. Like come on bro, you have a wife and kids and you're in the government.. and here you are calling your ex-Marine brother a fake because he turned on the US... yeah well you are doing the exact same thing hypocrite! I know he has to cover his tracks, but he is seriously brain washed. Gah.