Breaking Bad 101
205 pages

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205 pages

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AMC's Breaking Bad is among the most beloved, critically acclaimed American television series of our time. Created by Vince Gilligan, the series charts the transformation of high school science teacher Walter White (played by Bryan Cranston) into a cold, calculating meth kingpin. Breaking Bad 101 collects esteemed critic Alan Sepinwall's (Uproxx) popular Breaking Bad recaps in book form, featuring new, exclusive essays and completely revised and updated commentary-as well as insights from and interviews with the creative masterminds behind Breaking Bad. The ultimate critical companion for one of the greatest television dramas of all time, Breaking Bad 101 offers fans Sepinwall's smart, funny, and incisive analysis of the psychology and filmmaking craft behind each episode and celebrates the series' unique place in pop-culture history.



Publié par
Date de parution 10 octobre 2017
Nombre de lectures 0
EAN13 9781683350774
Langue English
Poids de l'ouvrage 2 Mo

Informations légales : prix de location à la page 0,0706€. Cette information est donnée uniquement à titre indicatif conformément à la législation en vigueur.


Foreword by Damon Lindelof
Season 1
Growth, Then Decay, Then Transformation S1 / E1 Pilot
In-Between S1 / E2 Cat s in the Bag
Missing Elements S1 / E3 And the Bag s in the River
Apply Yourself! S1 / E4 Cancer Man
The Point of No Return S1 / E5 Gray Matter
Enter Heisenberg S1 / E6 Crazy Handful of Nothin
The Agreement S1 / E7 A No-Rough-Stuff-Type Deal
Season 2
The Devil in the Details S2 / E1 Seven Thirty-Seven
The Captured S2 / E2 Grilled
Fugue State S2 / E3 Bit by a Dead Bee
Descending S2 / E4 Down
Newton s Third Law S2 / E5 Breakage
Nothing But a $10 Savings Bond S2 / E6 Peekaboo
Slow and Steady S2 / E7 Negro y Azul
Everyone Needs a Good Lawyer S2 / E8 Better Call Saul
Warning Light S2 / E9 4 Days Out
Damage Repair S2 / E10 Over
All You Get Is One Shot S2 / E11 Mandala
Know What s Best S2 / E12 Phoenix
Karma S2 / E13 ABQ
Season 3
A Prayer to Santa Muerte S3 / E1 No M s
Seeing Red S3 / E2 Caballo Sin Nombre
Welcome Home S3 / E3 I.F.T.
An Effective Motivator S3 / E4 Green Light
Close But Getting Warmer S3 / E5 M s
The Learn d Astronomer S3 / E6 Sunset
Ruined. Turned to Shit. Dead. S3 / E7 One Minute
Half the Man S3 / E8 I See You
Learning from the Best S3 / E9 Kafkaesque
Contaminated S3 / E10 Fly
My Last Door S3 / E11 Abiquiu
No More S3 / E12 Half Measures
Nowhere to Go S3 / E13 Full Measure
Season 4
Trust Us S4 / E1 Box Cutter
Cold Blood S4 / E2 Thirty-Eight Snub
One Slip-Up S4 / E3 Open House
Finger Prints S4 / E4 Bullet Points
This Genius S4 / E5 Shotgun
Another Coin Flip S4 / E6 Cornered
Lucky Cigarette S4 / E7 Problem Dog
Blood Is Thicker S4 / E8 Hermanos
Dead Men Walking S4 / E9 Bug
Zafiro A ejo S4 / E10 Salud
Nothing Left S4 / E11 Crawl Space
Predator and Prey S4 / E12 End Times
Lilies of the Valley S4 / E13 Face Off
Season 5.1
The Mysterious Mr. Lambert S5 / E1 Live Free or Die
Tick, Tick, Tick S5 / E2 Madrigal
A Well-Oiled Machine S5 / E3 Hazard Pay
Sink or Swim S5 / E4 Fifty-One
Another Boy on a Bike S5 / E5 Dead Freight
Hydroflouric Acid and Methylamine S5 / E6 Buyout
This Whole Thing Could Have Been Avoided S5 / E7 Say My Name
An Honor Working with You S5 / E8 Gliding Over All
Season 5.2
The Beginning of the End S5 / E9 Blood Money
Fresh in Her Mind S5 / E10 Buried
My Brother s Keeper S5 / E11 Confessions
Burn It Down S5 / E12 Rabid Dog
Back to the Burial Grounds S5 / E13 To hajiilee
And Despair S5 / E14 Ozymandias
Gray Again S5 / E15 Granite State
The Moment of Truth S5 / E16 Felina
(Burst) Appendix
To Marian who makes all of this possible
It was the broken plate.
The first and second episodes of Breaking Bad were good but I was a snob, watching them with my arms crossed, grumbling to myself that this new entry on AMC s airwaves was enjoyable, chewy pulp that fell below the high-water mark of the transcendently brilliant Mad Men .
Then, I saw it. A quick glimpse inside a trashcan as Walter White discarded an empty can of beer. A beer he sipped while talking to a man with a bike lock securing his throat to a pole. A man affectionately named Krazy-8, who softly told Walter that he was not cut out for this kind of work. This kind of work being cold-blooded murder.
I should probably back up. A few hours earlier, Walt compiled a list while sitting on the very same toilet he had just used to flush away the liquefied remains of Krazy-8 s cousin and partner in crime, Emilio, whom Walt had poisoned to death with improvised mustard gas in order to save his own life. But Krazy-8 somehow survived the gassing and now, bike lock around his neck in the basement, Krazy-8 needed to be dealt with. Split into two columns, the list weighed the pros and cons-Column A, titled Let Him Live, was rife with bullet points: Judeo/Christian Principles, It s the moral thing to do, Won t be able to live with yourself, and last but not least, Murder is Wrong. However, Column B, Kill Him, offers only one:
He ll kill your entire family if you let him go.
And so, pants around his ankles, taking a shit, Walter White weighs the costs and consequences of taking another man s life. And when he goes to Krazy-8, Walt begs him to give him a reason not to kill him. Because he doesn t want to. He doesn t want to break bad. And over the course of seven beautifully written and immaculately acted minutes, Krazy-8 does just that. He tells Walt that he wanted to study music at Oberlin, that, in fact, he spent years working in his family s furniture store to earn the tuition. Turns out Walt even shopped at the very same establishment years back for his now teenaged son s crib. And the two, jailor and jailed, sing the jingle for that furniture store together. And they bond. And Krazy-8 promises that he will exact no revenge whatsoever if Walt just lets him go. And Walt believes him. He nods, cheeks wet, relieved that he will not have to commit murder, as he shakes his empty beer can and says, I ll go get the key.
Shit. I left something out. The most important something, actually. Because earlier, before the list on the crapper, before the long talk about Oberlin and furniture, Walt makes Krazy-8 a sandwich (he even cuts off the crusts), but when he reaches the bottom of the basement stairs, he s so overwhelmed by a coughing fit that he passes out. When he wakes up, the sandwich is on the ground beside the broken plate upon which it sat. Walt gathers up the wreckage and heads back upstairs to make a new sandwich, dumping the shards into the trash bin.
The very same trash bin into which Walt tossed his empty beer can right after grabbing the key that will free Krazy-8 from captivity below. But then he sees it.
The broken plate.
Walt walks away from it at first. Then returns. Takes out the pieces. Puts them on the counter and starts to put them together like a puzzle (I have a thing for puzzles) and as he does so, he already knows that puzzle will be missing one critical piece. And he starts to mutter, No . Over and over again. No, no, no, no, no . Because he knows where that missing shard of plate is. It s clutched in Krazy-8 s hand. Just waiting to exact revenge upon him. And Walter is saying no because he now has no choice. He has to ignore everything in Column A because the only relevant information is in Column B. And we all know what B stands for.
But seriously. It stands for Bad. And that is how Walter breaks when he returns to the basement and chokes the life out of Krazy-8, as his victim manages to stab him in the leg with that piece of broken plate. The missing piece.
And it is here where the show transcends traditional storytelling and touches something greater. Because that empty space where the plate shard would fit is not the only missing piece in this episode. In fact, it begins and ends with a flashback (I have a thing for flashbacks) to Walt s college days as he and his lab assistant, Gretchen, attempt to break down the precise chemical composition of the human body and come up .111958 percent short. Gretchen has a theory for what that mystery (I have a thing for mysteries) element may be-
-The soul. But Walt shakes his head dismissively and responds, There s only chemistry here. In other words there is no soul.
Which brings us, at last, to Sepinwall.
Now hold on. I m not saying he has no soul. Has he made me cry myself to sleep sometimes because he hated my writing? Sure. Who hasn t? But that doesn t mean he s soulless. And the point I am attempting to make has nothing to do with souls. It has to do with depth. It has to do with insight. It has to do with a rare and incredible skill. Because Sepinwall does not simply recap episodes of television .
He helps us understand them. He doesn t just tell us what happened. He tells us why it happened. And he doesn t tell us if it s good or bad. He tells us why it s good or bad. Reading a Sepinwall postgame for an episode of a beloved show always enhances it, even if you disagree with his opinion. He is a storyteller, telling great stories about storytelling. Imagine the experience of watching a great football game with no play-by-play, and now imagine the same game with Howard Cosell calling it. This is the Sepinwall experience. Because he can take something that s already great
And transform it into something classic .
This is what Alan (and his many excellent peers) have done for television. They ve elevated it as an art form by investing thousands of hours of their own time into appreciating TV. And in some notable cases, depreciating it ( cough -season three of Lost - cough ), but always in the spirit of fairness. The process can be harsh, but necessary. Because Sepinwall breaks plates. He puts them back together. He identifies the missing pieces. And then he uses those pieces to stab you in the leg.
And by you, I mean me. But as much as it hurts to be stabbed in the leg, I know this this without a doubt-it has made me a better writer. This introduction notwithstanding.
So you bought this book. Maybe it s because you loved Breaking Bad as much as I did and you re ready for a deeper dive. Maybe you ve never seen it and I just spoiled episode three for you and I m really sorry about that but it s early in season one and it s not like I told you that Walter uses [REDACTED] and his Chekovian [REDACTED] to blow [REDACTED REDACTED REDACTED REDACTED] 1 or that Hank ultimately [REDACTED] while taking a [REDACTED] and reading [REDACTED]. 2
Okay. I clearly don t understand why you would buy a book about a show that you ve never seen. I also may have a little disdain for anyone who has never watched Breaking Bad because it is so utterly brilliant that I refuse to take anyone who hasn t seen it by now seriously. Sorry. I told you up front I was a snob.
But Sepinwall is not a snob. He is a guide. He is a translator. He is a curator. He is a disapproving parent challenging his kid to do b

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