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]]
2016's been exciting so far to say the least. As I'm writing this I'm waiting to board my plane en route to Switzerland. My mom and I are about to embark on a little European adventure, just us girls. I feel so blessed to have the time and the means to travel like this right now and take three weeks to literally get away and get soaked in an entirely different world. I've been wanting to immerse myself in Europe for such a long time now and to be able to do so for an extended period of time gets me so pumped. We'll be making a loop starting in Switzerland, passing through France, then to Germany, then closing out the trip in Austria and hopefully doing a few day trips to neighboring countries in between.
I'll be blogging photos and memories from each city we stop in so feel free to follow along on my journey with me. As the year unfolds (can you believe it's mid February already?), I've been thinking a lot about this blog and what my hopes are for it personally as well as for you the reader. I'm currently working on a revamp, hence the new domain (officially all mine!) as well as the new look and feel. My main goal is to inspire you and myself. I think that term is thrown around so loosely that we tend to roll our eyes and often forget what inspiration even really means.
That brings me back to why my blog is called "undefined & unrestrained." I want to inspire myself and you who might have happened to stumble on my blog to BE you and DO you. Every. Day. One thing that really makes me tick when it comes to social media and this new phase of technology advancement that we're in is the amount of comparison that brings along with it. Most notably for women but definitely for men too. For myself personally, seeing others' coming and goings, endeavors, and various life milestones has been a wonderful thing thanks to social media. However, let's not to ourselves. I think we can all recall a time where it's made you stop and think. "Should I be doing this too?" "Am I not on the right timeline?" "Am I supposed to be going down this career path to fit in with the rest of my demographic?". These questions can be suffocating. They can cause anxiety and ultimately steal your joy. One thing I yearn to encourage you with (and myself since this is much easier said than done on a daily basis) is to embrace the undefined. To live a life that's beautifully unrestrained. To allow the adventures and fleeting moments of passion that you are seeking to fully engulf you. Not what you see on Instagram that makes you get down on yourself for not having X amount of likes or followers.
In this next chapter of my life which is one that is TRULY undefined since I have no clue what's next I am doing just that in embracing the unknown. I have this newfound excitement for what is to come and a new patience, if you will, for taking each day as it comes and finding the small pleasures that each day brings; instead of trying to skip steps and follow this established timeline that the media or our peers have set before us.
I encourage you to tear up that timeline you have written down, physically or in your mind. Find the joy in being yourself and doing what makes you happy. You might be the only one doing X but that's what you're passionate about, do it. For instance, there were times when I thought at my age it's too late to think about taking an extended trip. What about my timeline? Job? What about what my life is "supposed" to look like right now? And then it just hit me. Throw those questions out the window. Take a deep breath and look outside. We're so surrounded by a beautfiul world that is begging to be discovered. Whether that looks like taking time off to travel or quitting your job to pursue a hobby that's become a passion... if that's what drives you, do it. Because at the end of the day, all of us simply want contentment. I've realized even the richest people in the world can be the most depressed. Yeah, we've all heard this but really let it sink in.
And maybe you haven't figured it out yet. Those passions, that calling. Trust me, I haven't. But instead of stressing out (my usual M.O.) I'm finally learning to roll with it and embrace the undefined. Not to end on the cheesiest of all notes but as Natasha Bedingfield so perfectly puts it, "The rest is still unwritten..." -- I'm finally grasping the beauty in that lyric. As someone who has thrived on living a life where my next step/ direction was always sort of laid out before me, I'm starting to slowly get it now and accept the beauty in the unknown.
With that, I hope some sort of spark has been lit for you. Thanks for following along my journey as I chase what's next.
Be You. One of the shortest sentences one can form. Yet one of the most powerful assertions. So what does it mean to be you? What if you don't know who YOU are? Today at work we had a mini offsite for our team that was meant for some team bonding and brainstorming. With only 10 of us, we all went through the book Strengths Finder 2.0 to see what our top five strengths are (or "themes" as they call them). It was so beneficial to go through this with them because when you're working so closely with a team, often times you're left disappointed, confused, or just plain annoyed because you don't know how to deal with them. Maybe you're wondering why they react certain ways to specific situations -- or why they don't react at all. It was so eye-opening to share our results with one another because now I know exactly why they operate the way they do. And most of all, where their top strengths lie. This way we now know how each member of the team can best utilize these strengths to contribute to the team.
I highly suggest reading this book and taking the assessment (within a team at work, with your significant other, or just for fun between your family or group of friends). As soon as I finished I wanted to share my results with those around me and curious to hear the results of my good friends.
Just for my own reference so I never forget these (and because I'm sure you readers are dying to know all about me!) ... lol, I'll be sharing my top 5, as well as the tidbits from each that stood out most to me. It's interesting because we actually had to read this book for a course I took in high school and I still have it at home. I was comparing my results to the ones I got today (almost 7 years later) and 3 of my 5 strengths have remained the same. The other two are completely new! And in a new order too. Here it goes:
People who are especially talented in the Empathy theme can sense the feelings of other people by imagining themselves in others’ lives or others’ situations.
What stood out most: Chances are good that you are attuned to the full gamut of human feelings. Whenever your own or someone else’s life becomes emotionally barren, you search for people and activities to fill the void. You bring people together. Because of your strengths, you frequently detect impending conflict sooner than most people do. Your keen awareness allows you to sense what others are thinking and feeling. Simply put: You have a gift for helping people find common ground. By nature, you pay attention to what others think. You make them feel valued. Typically people sense that you appreciate what they say. This probably explains why many people enjoy spending time with you.
People who are especially talented in the Harmony theme look for consensus. They don’t enjoy conflict; rather, they seek areas of agreement.
What stood out the most: You realize everyone sees opportunities, problems, solutions, and events differently. While you have opinions, you refrain from imposing them on others. You are good-natured — that is,you have a pleasant, cheerful, and cooperative disposition. Chances are good that you accomplish everything that others are counting on you to do. This is one reason why people admire you.
People who are especially talented in the Connectedness theme have faith in the links between all things. They believe there are few coincidences and that almost every event has a reason.
What stood out the most: Driven by your talents, you sense that everything in life is somehow interrelated and interdependent. This idea fortifies you to calmly face most of life’s challenges and difficulties. ... By nature, you naturally build bonds that unite different types of people who have separate and often clashing agendas. You naturally identify with someone’s situation. You have a gift for helping people discover what they have in common.
People who are especially talented in the Consistency theme are keenly aware of the need to treat people the same. They try to treat everyone in the world with consistency by setting up clear rules and adhering to them.
What stood out the most: You might worry that chaos will reign when regulations or standard operating procedures are not uniformly enforced. Because of your strengths, you may have a reputation for straightening up certain types of things such as your desk, home, and personal items. Perhaps you have a detailed plan or schedule for cleaning, organizing, and maintaining your physical environment. By nature, you like creating familiar patterns of behavior. (dead on!)
People who are especially talented in the Communication theme generally find it easy to put their thoughts into words. They are good conversationalists and presenters.
What stood out the most: Instinctively, you very much enjoy the animated give-and-take of a lively discussion. You yearn to spend time with your friends. Their absence saddens you. It’s very likely that you are sometimes open and honest about who you are, what you have done, what you can do, and what you cannot do. Maybe your straightforward explanations and stories help listeners see you as you see yourself.
Perhaps your words and examples move them to action. Because of your strengths, you like to
amuse people with your stories. Your stories probably provide people with pleasant distractions from their daily routines and worries. Chances are good that you select the right combination
of words to convey your ideas or feelings. You probably express yourself with ease and grace.
That's me! Reading these strengths and diving deep into discovering them is one step closer into figuring out who I am and now the challenge is to BE me with no hesitation, fear, or care about who will accept and and who wont. It's liberating.
Yes, it's definitely been a minute since my last post. I'm slowly coming up on three months officially living in the city. Can't express enough how this has truly been one of the best decisions I ever made. I feel so much growth within the last few months and so much of an internal thirst for more. I'm slowly starting to ask myself the hard questions, like what it is I like, who I want to be around, the people I choose to invest in, the things I spend my time doing, etc. The more and more I work, the more I realize how precious our time is. So much of the week is automatically given away to working so when it comes to time off and the weekends, that's when I've really been focused on making my time count.
Living in the city on my own, I've had the perfect balance of feeding both my introvert side & my extravert side. It's funny how much we can change as we grow older, and now being in my mid-20's I can safely safe I've shifted into a 50/50 split of the two personality types. Being here, sometimes I just have those days where I'll take a walk to the Marina by myself and just sit out by the water and soak it all in. Or walking on the way home and people watching down Fillmore St. and seeing how much life goes on all around me. Aside from that, it's been so good to invest time in friends who I don't get to see as much. It's funny, when I was still living fully at home with the parents I wouldn't see a lot of my friends that often who lived maybe 10-15 min away (I think it's just taking it for granted that you live so close and then life gets busy).. but after moving up, I ended up seeing some of these people even more than I did when I was living at home. You almost make more of an effort because life does get so chaotic. It feels really good to have those friendships that stick out like that... people actually caring to invest themselves in your life and ask about your day to day and keep up with it. That effort goes such a long way, and as humans, we're bound to get moved by the reciprocation -- after all, that's what we're after. There are some people in my life in this past year alone that have made an everlasting mark because of how supportive they were through some of the toughest times. These are friends that weren't necessary the ones I happened to grow up with my whole life or ones that I happen to do life with on the daily -- some were even friends of friends who I happened to click with in an instant. Just seeing the mark those people made on my life as I look back a year ago til today, I am nothing but thankful. It's taught me a lesson in being open to change. Being open to getting to know anyone, regardless of how different you might think the two of you might be on the outside based on surface circumstances like your age or walk of life.
I think the hardest topic for me to think/write about (aside from life passions and what I really want to do with my life -- which we shall leave for another blog post for the sake of my sanity, hehe), is change. Change in the smallest sense like my favorite TV show changing its theme song after a season or two (here's looking at you Felicity and One Tree Hill), or change in the larger sense like not being as close with people you once did life with. Lately one of the things I've been pondering about has been the change I've seen in my social circles. Sometimes it feels like I live two lives. Not in the sense of living a double life or anything like that, but living in two cities, having two rooms, a work life, a family life, a set of friends here, one there -- it's all been so non-linear that it's interesting. For lack of a better word. And yet even alongside the busyness and action-packed life I lead, there are times when I've sat and questioned "where do I belong?" I think growing up with the social groups that are a norm for our society today leads to this type of questioning. We grow up and head off to these institutions like middle school/ high school/ church/ the soccer team, and we're immediately told to start making friends and forming groups. For me especially, I always always had a big group of friends surrounding me. More often than that, these were obviously people who had a ton in common with me and were headed in the same direction for the most part. However, as we grow older, I've realized that this is where the change kicks in like a bitter pill to swallow. We all have that deciding moment to figure out what it is we want for ourselves. Where we want to go, who we want to be. We start asking all these questions surrounding our identity. From college to now (and esp. now), I've had the change kick in the most. It saddens me that I am such a nostalgic person because I notice how much this kind of stuff effects me more than those around me. Sometimes it's so hard to even express how I feel because I don't think others would even get it. But I get so nostalgic for the old times that it definitely hurts. I miss my old group of friends. I miss the people I grew up with and did 10+ years of my life with.
People who would say they consider you "family" or a "sister." It's funny because now at 24, almost 25, I realize how loosely we throw around words like that. And it's so sad because it cheapens the value of words like that so much. One second it's this clique we consider our bffs/ family and then a year later we aren't even talking to that person and moved on to the next clique. It's really allowed my eyes to be opened to the fact that as life changes and we grow up, we begin to find that sometimes we don't even need a group anymore. We need that one, two, or three constants who are always going to be there and have made it clear that they're not going anywhere. Sure, everyone wants to have that TV glamorized clique of friends like how the Kardashian sisters make it seem or the girls on Laguna Beach, but lets be real, this isn't reality TV -- this is reality.
I've finally started to slowly start losing my grip on holding so tightly to the past. Yes, the memories will always remain and always be epic to look back on. And yes, if I could, I would repeat those instances in a second because of how joyful they made me. But am I going to keep missing out on the present because I'm holding onto missing the past? No. Not anymore. I've realized I'm done trying to control things as much as I have in the past. I came across this amazing quote that says,
"If someone wants you in their life, they’ll make room for you. You shouldn’t have to fight for a spot. Never, ever insist yourself to someone who continuously overlooks your worth."
So powerful. And at the end of the day, the hard part of this quote to walk away with is the truth in that not everyone will know our worth. People will always disappoint. That's why we can't put our worth in people alone or even let them have that control. So I'll end with this and bring it full circle. Thanks to good old Socrates for putting the secret to change so perfectly. We need to stop living in the past and holding on so tightly to what's already changed. Yes, people may leave, people may change, situations can totally erupt, explode, or implode. But the key is focusing on building the present and the future.
I never want to miss out on the beauty that is to come in my life. I am so blessed to have the people in my life who are in it right now and who have made a lasting mark, especially in such a season of change (har har) for me. I may not have that clique anymore like the kids in high school or those girls you grew up with, because lets be real we're all in different chapters at the moment. But having the few who have made it known they're here to stay has been so comforting. And even bigger than that, this has all taught me so much about independence and finding myself apart from people. I don't think that it's any accident at all that I'm in the spot where I am. I know God knows what He's doing and I trust in that. The changes are good and they're going to bear so much fruit in the long run. I just needed to shift my perspective. And I'm finally ready to let go and move forward with a new set of eyes now. <3
- Jared Leto's win: I think jump starting the show with a main award was the best thing to do to set the tone for the night. Right away they jumped into Best Supporting Actor which was perfect in my opinion. Jared Leto winning was pretty much a given, but wow his speech man. I was blown away. Not only is he an amazing public speaker (super engaging) but the story about his mom and the dedication to her and to his brother was wonderful.
- "Her" winning Best Original Screenplay: Like I said in my last post, this category is one of my favorites. Her was the one I was rooting for most, and honestly I was not expecting it to win. But lo and behold, it got the win. I was so happy for Spike Jonze and I think he definitely deserves it. This was such a unique and forward-thinking concept for a film and the way he brought it to life was near perfect.
- Charlize Theron being a goddess. I mean need I say more?
- The celebrity selfie. Not because it crashed Twitter/ went viral/ or because everyone is photoshopping themselves into it to look cool. But because in that instant, it was like they were just like us. Seeing them one by one trying to fit into the shot and not miss out on it was one of the cutest things I've seen and actually reminded me exactly of me and my friends. Sweet moment :)
- Ellen getting pizza for the audience and the audience actually eating it.
- Like I said in my last post, 12 Years a Slave was going to win Best Picture. I'm not really torn one way or the other on what I think about that. I think Ellen summed it up best in her opening monologue. Had it not won, the Academy looks like a bunch of racists, lets be real. But aside from that, while it isn't the most intriguing or mind-blowing film, it gave us a sense of reality that we don't often think back on or expose ourselves to. And on that note, I couldn't have been happier for Lupita winning Best Supporting Actress.
- "The Moon Song" performance. Chilling.
- Seeing Brad Pitt get teary eyed after Angelina Jolie was presented with the humanitarian award.
- Ellen calling Liza Minelli a man. On top of that, a number of her jokes that just went way too far and were borderline awkward.
- No opening performance of any sort from Ellen? Come on. No entertainment value to this year's show, sadly.
- Leonardo DiCaprio loses. Again. The sad thing is, I knew going into it he wasn't going to win. It's just a given at this point that the Academy has something against him. I just didn't want Matthew McConaughey to win over him. And that's exactly what happened. I said it before on Facebook in my public rant, but I'll say it again here. Matthew McConaughey has a resume of playing in chick flick after chick flick for the majority of his career. I don't agree that one versatile performance should equate to an Oscar win. Especially when looking at the others he was competing against. The perfect word I can use to describe Leo's career choices as an actor is chameleon. This guy blows me away film after film with the characters he chooses to take on and the depth he goes to in bringing them to life. The Departed, What's Eating Gilbert Grape, Titanic, Blood Diamond, the list goes on. This guy has been in 9 films that have been nominated for Best Picture (and played the main role in them), yet has not even been nominated for the majority of them. A lot of people think he's just another Meryl Streep who's always nominated yet never wins. The truth in fact is that he rarely even has gotten nominated for the epic films he's played in. THAT'S where the conspiracy lies (I'm not trying to be one of those insane conspiracy theorists, I'm just using it for lack of a better word -- yet at this point I'm really starting to believe it is a conspiracy, lol). The great thing is, Leo seems like such a humble and genuine actor who truly cares to solely entertain and tell a story through his films, that this is what he'll continue to do. And I know he'll get his win soon. * This is not to say that Matthew was completely undeserving for this award, no, in fact I totally agree that he rose up and put on a show for all of us. Do I think it was a better performance than Leo? Absolutely not.
- Matthew McConaughey's speech. I was SO intrigued to hear who this guy's role model was after he kept going on and on about looking up to this mystery person his whole life. Then the ball drops -- "me in 10 years." Really, bro? We're all still trying to recover from you stealing Leo's win and then you top it all off with the most egotistical speech known to man. All I kept remembering was his Golden Globe speech too when he was talking about his wife referring to him as, "the king you know I am." Give me a break.
- Zac Efron butchering his lines while presenting.
- Zac Efron presenting an Oscar.
- John Travolta presenting Idina Menzel before she performed for Best Song.. and completely massacring her name.
- Lady Gaga being present.
Greetings friends. Tomorrow marks Oscar Sunday, AKA my version of Superbowl Sunday. One of my favorite things about winter (sadly that list is pretty small), is the slew of awards shows. I love kicking back with friends and catching each show and making it an event -- the Bafta's, the Golden Globes, the SAGS, the Critic's Choice Awards -- all leading up to the grand slam of it all, the Academy Awards.
Each year I've made it my mission to watch every film nominated for Best Picture. Of course life gets in the way and half the time the movies are out of theaters by the time the nominees are released. This year, I made it happen (I may or may not have binge watched four of them in the past 12 hours). And I'm pleased to give you a run down of my predictions of the winners (and why). I'll be devoting my next blog post to my thoughts on each of the films nominated for Best Picture but figured that would be way too long of a post to include here. I kind of wanted to post it after the awards themselves so my opinion isn't swayed by who I want to win, but we'll see, I might do it right before the show tomorrow ;) I didn't take minor awards into account in this post (frankly because I doubt any of you care which foreign film or documentary short I think willl win), so I've left it at the hefty top-of-the-top nominees. Without further ado, here are my bets for tomorrow's big night!
I'm almost positive this will be the big winner tomorrow night, with American Hustle as a back-up. Dating back to the films that the Academy loves to award for Best Picture, we see clearly that a sci-fi film as never won, nor a truly "under the radar film" that hasn't gotten mass hype and general all-around positive reviews (sorry Nebraska and Her.. I wouldn't even consider these two for a second). For me personally, I actually am not a fan at ALL of the increased nominees in this category that they started doing. It was so much better when it was just the top 5/ the cream of the crop, vying for this title.
12 Years a Slave is a true story and it's about slavery, so, lets be real -- that's already engaged anyone who's going to watch it. Steve McQueen was able to challenge an audience with not a "feel good film" but one that makes you squirm and think long after you've left the theater. Which is what a Best Picture winner should be doing (i.e. Traffic, Crash, and the Hurt Locker to name a few). While I think Philomena was one of my favorites of awards season altogether, I think 12 Years a Slave takes the cake this year.
Random thought: I will say this... entertainment-wise Captain Phillips shined for me. Looking back at Argo winning last year, I could see this taking the win by surprise too. Both were true stories, action flicks, and end with the hero prevailing.
Best Actor in a Leading Role
Yup. I'm not going along with what any blog or critic out there has to say. This needs to be Leo's year. I've been rooting for him since day 1. So far, he's won the Golden Globe for Best Actor but even that felt weird because they counted the film in the comedy category. After YEARS of being snubbed by the Academy (don't get me started on my conspiracy theory of how much they're anti Leo), this needs to be his year.
Close second: I agree that Chiwetel did an outstanding job as well and very happy for his Bafta win in the same category. But come on, this was truly Leo's most challenging role of his career and I think he NAILED it. I wasn't even a die-hard fan of the film itself, but his acting was spot on (note: this impressed me, but didn't blow me out of the water, because Leo has been blowing me out of the water with his performance in EVERY film of his that I watch). Ok, end of my soap box. #leoforlyfe ;)
*For those rooting for Matthew McConaughey... Sorry, not a fan. Yes, I totally agree, his performance in Dallas Buyer's Club was showing a WAY more versatile side than he's ever shown, but this is one role out of 15 other chick flicks where he's played the exact same character. I wouldn't be so quick to give that an Oscar. Whereas with Leo every single role he's chosen to play over the span of his career has resulted in a metamorphosis as an actor. However, knowing the Academy -- watch them give it to Matthew :/
Best Actress in a Leading Role
Best Actor in a Supporting Role
Why? This phoenix is rising from the ashes. I personally was so excited about his performance in this film, esp after being such a big fan of his roles in Requiem for a Dream and Fight Club, I feel like a proud mom or something watching how stunning his acting was in this film. No joke, he was the reason why I liked this movie. Without him, I don't think it would have been as good. Appropriately enough, he's picked up almost all the awards in this category as well.
Close second? I'm actually super happy for Barkhad Abdi for winning the Bafta in this category. If you haven't heard the Cinderella story behind his history before the role, definitely read up on it.
Biggest surprise: Jonah Hill. After a slew of stoner comedies/ Judd Apatow flicks I was blown away with his character and acting in WoWS.
Best Actress in a Supporting Role
Why? She nabbed the Golden Globe and is the "all-American," versatile actress they're all rooting for. Forgive the sarcasm in my tone, I actually did think she was amazing in American Hustle. In fact, she even choked up Christian Bale during her audition. I think I just secretly am rooting for Lupita N. But either way, I'll be happy for her :p
Best Costume Design
Why? This is one exception to the rule I think. What rule am I referring to? General rule of thumb with the Oscar's is that the winner for Best Director almost always has gone on to win Best Picture. For instance, last year's Ang Lee took home Best Director for Life of Pi but Argo won Best Picture. This was the only time in the 2000's it's happened however, but I'm going to go with it and predict this will be the second year in a row that it happens again. Why? Lets be real, directing an entire film based off the vision you have in your head and projecting that all via green-screen is a feat in itself.
Rooting for? Steve McQueen. He won the Bafta and I really hope he takes home the Oscar too.
Best Film Editing
Best Makeup and Hairstyling
Best Original Score
Best Original Song
Best Sound Editing
Best Sound Mixing
Best Visual Effects
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
I think it's good to sometimes take a breather from the day to day and focus on the little things that make us happy. I've been thinking a lot lately about how consumerism has had such a hand in changing the socioeconomic status of our present day and age. There seems to be no work/life balance at the office — instead, it's looked down upon if you want to leave work early to go spend time your family. We're forced into this bubble of conforming to what's considered the "norm" and we stay silent and simply, "go with the flow." Why? It weirds me out that we're so often too timid to question the societal norms that are already in place. We justify it by seeing that everyone else is going along with it and no one's complaining so hey, looks like we're all on board. When in reality how many people are actually feeling the same way I do inside but no one's bold enough to voice it? Not sure where I'm going with this but woke up this morning with a deep frustration for the intimidation/ fear traps we box ourselves into.
Cool segway into the new music I'm listening to because ironically enough, the album I'm most excited about this fall is M.I.A.'s "Mathangi." Call her what you will (and I do admit she can go way over the top sometimes), but one reason I respect this artist SO much is that she isn't afraid to speak her mind. In the midst of a media culture that's entrapped in the "twerking culture" and hoping to get 5 min of fame by performing like a stripper at an awards show (Miley, here's looking at you), this girl is standing firm for what she believes in and calling out society for exactly what it is. It's funny because when I started listening to her back in 2005 I was a freshman in high school. I can't begin to say how much she's opened my eyes to since then. It's funny because for some all it takes is something small to do so. And for me, it was the amazing music of this talented artist who not only mixed some of the most unique sounds -- but also sang about something ACTUALLY important.
Sometimes it's only 1 line from her songs that challenges me for an entire day to stop and think:
"Your shoes could feed a village; you should think about that."
I feel bad for people who even waste their time sucked into the music on the radio these days because the value of the lyrics they're listening to is quite frankly, garbage. [And hey, guilty as charged, I'm the last to talk because I'm sucked into it daily as well -- it's literally like a web you can't get out of. And half the time we're completely dazed as to how/why we even got there in the first place].
Of course, in no way am I saying we should buy into every conspiracy theory out there or become an anarchist by any means; those are way too extreme. What I AM saying is we should be challenged to do our own research daily and call things out when they need to be. Not sure where you stand politically? Do your research. Not sure if you agree with a certain war or why we're forming alliances w/ said nation -- research. Don't just go with the flow of what the media tells you is appropriate to believe. After all, the media is at the top of the hierarchical pyramid of institutions that are more censored and more biased than you would EVER think.
Not sure why I got on this rant and it's random of me to even go this deep into it on a random Wednesday morning, but hey, gotta keep it true. Once I start writing it just flows out like floodgates.
Happy hump day. Oh, and look for MIA's album released in early November :) meanwhile, half the track list has been leaked via soundcloud so take a listen.
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.
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?!"
Tomorrow marks the start of a new chapter in my life. I can't explain the ways in which the past year and a half has been... a whirlwind.. to say the least. Every month it seems like there's been something new going on. It's weird, being 23, the past year has been the one where I've felt the most sudden spurt of growing older. Usually every year that goes by, I don't necessarily feel THAT much older. If anything, I'll look back later and feel semi-older. But for some reason with 23 it's literally been a growth process with something new every week it seems like. I've been so stretched and so challenged -- so forced to make certain changes.
It's so funny how things work out though. I'm such a big believer in the fact that we cease to see the full picture that God has set apart for us. We can choose to remain stagnant, get caught up in our comfort zones, or even distractions that seem like fun while we're in the heat of the moment. That was me the past 6 months. It's truly been a trying time for me. I can honestly say though that I feel so blessed that I've had the opportunity to test out so many different things at only age 23. I've tried working corporate, being in a research lab, doing administrative work, event planning, and even in the mental health sector. All of which have been opportunities that I have been extremely passionate about and interested in. For me, beginning my Master's program at the start of 2013 was something that I thought was really what was meant for me in this next phase of life. After half a year into it though, the past quarter I realized that I may have rushed into it. I'm not as dead set on going into counseling as an official career as I was back then. And I think it was the experience of school and the exposure to the industry that really allowed me to see this. I can't stress how important experiences are.. I feel so bad for people who simply rush into something just because they have a mental picture of what they think it's going to be like. Honey, will are in for a rude awakening. And thankfully, I was blessed enough to realize that this might not be meant for me at such a young age and only 2 quarters in. I realized -- school will always be there. Now is the time to live life to the FULLEST and chase after being truly alive. That's when writing came back into play.
I think the thing is that I have always felt fearful about going full force with the writing thing. I can compare it to my friend who is an amazing singer and has all the potential in the world to be the world's next big star (i'm dead serious). But I think it's that initial fear of exposure and intimidation that holds us back. We're so quick to go after things we know we will thrive in. For instance, I knew I could be successful in the corporate world doing sales/admin and I was. But I wasn't happy. Why? It's not something I'm passionate about at ALL! There's no driving passion behind what I was doing. And for me, I am one of those people who has to be doing something I'm passionate about. After all, don't our careers compose over 70% of our day to day lives? You want to be doing something you love. So that's when I decided to go on a limb and just start applying. After trying so many different routes, opportunities, and crossing out 3084 plans on my to-do list, I realized: It. Always. Comes. Back. To. Writing.
And that's where we come full circle to the amazing opportunity I am starting tomorrow. You may have read my past few posts about feeling so restless and lethargic here. My heart and soul have been yearning for adventure and new explorations. I was itching for it. And lo and behold the right door opened up. I will officially be an editorial content writer for an amazing start-up in SF for the next 10 weeks. Finally, a solid step in the right direction to set my feet on a firm foundation for the career I want to seek after. I can't explain how humbled I am to be given this opportunity -- among over 200 candidates! It's been such a confidence booster and a push in my drive and ambition to use the next 10 weeks to grow in my niche and develop the skills I need to thrive in the writing world. We shall see. I'll never know until I try and now is that time. Meanwhile, my main inner circle is all getting domesticated; having kids & getting married (and yes, literally it's all of them)... so I do feel the yearning even more to remember to DO ME. It's so incredibly hard not to get caught up in the status quo and think you're the minority since you're not going with the crowd. But this constant reminder to myself is what has kept me going and helped to maintain my perspective. It's ongoing. This is my life. Yes, it looks a lot different from yours. I'm not the girl that went all her life "knowing" her destiny was to be a lawyer or engineer. I'm a trailblazer. I'm curious. I'm analytical. I like options, testing the waters, and being sure of myself. This opportunity could not have come at a more perfect time for me. It's almost like I'm literally going to be shutting out the rest of the distractions and people who have been negative energy in my life and just going full force with my eye on the prize towards what I want.
I'll be posting more often now that I begin this adventure. The best part of all of it is I literally got my dream come true with it being in San Francisco. It's so funny because for most people location isn't a main driving force and they could care less -- for me, my heart lies in San Fran. I have such a deep love for it and it truly makes me come alive anytime I'm there. The rich culture. The diversity. The LIFE in the streets you walk in; makes such a difference. My goal from March was to find the right job there and to move out there to begin this next chapter. And funny enough, it only took a few months for God to open that perfect door for me. Little by little, the search will officially begin to get settled out there but for now I'm just ready to embark on this adventure and truly get serious about starting my career. I'm no longer in college and no longer in a place of just chilling around and being lazy all day. Sadly, those days are over ;)
But I know the rewards and growth to come are going to be so worth it. Finally, I've realized what matters most is going after our heart's desire and not letting others control us (whether that's our happiness, joy, or what we do). Don't be so quick to give anyone that honor. Protect yourself and guard yourself. By doing that since the start of 2013, I can't even explain the amount of inner growth I've had and the realizations that are so much more clear to me. It's as if I had blinders on before and now I'm seeing crystal clear. To sum this all up I'll leave you with this: for my college entrance essay way back when in 2008, one of my prompts was to write about some song lyrics that speak to me and have significant meaning in my life. I chose, "Let Go" by Frou Frou. A song that I can honestly say has guided me throughout my teen-young adult life. And even now, coming to this juncture in my life, I can say with confidence that I now know exactly what it means when they sing "there's beauty in the breakdown." Amidst a literal breakdown and whirlwind of a life, I've found the beauty and sunlight beaming in through the thicket. And it's the most peaceful illustration I can leave you with.
Hello. Sunday night marked Homeland's penultimate episode of season 2. Usually penultimates are known for being one of two types of episodes. 1) They are filler episodes; barely leaving us with any new information and mostly getting us psyched out for the actual finale, or 2) complete cliff hangers, almost finale worthy [i.e. last night's episode of Gossip Girl before it's series finale next Monday!]
Anyways, I would definitely say that Homeland this week was a complete mix of both. On one end we're given the HUGE resolve with the death of Abu Nassir, on the other end we see the episode end with a simple amicable, yet loving exchange between Brody and Carrie. I loved that we see Jess finally letting go of trying to save the marriage and realizing that it's best for them to walk away now.
On another minor note -- the Danny Galvez accusation?! Um. I think that was a totally unnecessary and out of the BLUE! And literally took up, what, 5 minutes of the plot?! Thank you?? Sorry it really annoyed me. For a second I was actually really intrigued because I thought wow finally they give Danny more a purpose as a character on this show but then I realized how farfetched this idea sounded and just watched it play out. It was so random too that Carrie's only reason for it being accurate was that Danny was a Muslim. She's the least racist or stereotypical person on the show and for her to play that card was a really low blow. I think they need to have more of a one-on-one with him and actually show an explanation being given to Danny. And an apology to say the least! That was very off-putting in my opinion. Other than that though --
I keep thinking what they can do next with the third season of this show now that Abu Nassir is dead. Knowing them, they have a million amazing ways to go from here, but it's just an initial shock that he's really dead now. I loved all the scenes of Carrie just looking at his dead body and even her many glances into the mirrors around her this episode. Her facial expressions carry so much thought and emotion. I loved that she has finally reached a sense of closure after running after this terrorist for a huge chunk of her career.
I still am in sheer and utter confusion regarding this new shady side of Estes we're seeing. I don't get why he needs Saul out of his way so bad? Why is he trying so hard to get rid of Brody now of all times? It's really confusing. They made us think that Quinn was the bad guy in episode 10 but now it's just the mission itself that seems shady.
All in all, can't wait for an epic finale on Sunday night. And congrats to Showtime for reaching epic record viewer ratings this past week! Oh, and thank you Gossip Girl for the Homeland reference. Made my day.
"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.