Posts tagged season 5
Sons of Anarchy returned with a bang last week, instantly drawing in the viewers into some heated action between the Niners and SAMCRO. It also didn’t hurt that it was the highest rated premiere of the series to date. We left last week seeing Unser being attacked in Gemma’s home in the final seconds, wondering if he would survive the night. Fortunately, he did. This continuing storyline will be a constant throughout season 5. He’ll stop at no means to kill them all. What’s crazy is that, nothing can be traced back to Pope. He’s the best type of evil you love to hate.
Later it was decided that the best way to proceed, what with warrants over their heads for the murders of Pope’s daughter and Laroy, was for the wanted Sons to give themselves up to the police. But before they could do this, they needed to ensure they would have protection on the inside. Jax met with Romeo Parada and told him that in order for their current situation to be maintained, Jax and the boys needed to be guaranteed protection in jail. Romeo said he’d see what he could do, but admitted to his right hand man, Luis, that he’ll let Jax die if need be. Since Jax is counting on Romeo to keep him and the Sons safe, this is more than a little worrisome.
That’s why I’m stoked for Nero Padilla (Jimmy Smits), Season 5’s mystery man and the most intriguing new addition to the series. He made a spectacular entrance in last week’s premiere, bouncing a blind-drunk and naked Gemma off his crotch and playing the role of gentleman the morning after, offering a lot more than scrambled eggs. Nero is deep into SAMCRO now, offering his pimp palace as shelter for fugitive Jax and friends, daring an aiding and abetting charge to come his way, and why? Because he’s a nice guy? Ex-gangsters out of the game that have gone on to find success after dropping their colors don’t want anything to do with the criminal element, so Nero’s involvement raises eyebrows.
Also promptly dealt with this week was Unser being attacked at Clay and Gemma’s home. That Unser suspected someone other than the Niners as the culprits was just the thing to give his character some added purpose; Unser’s enthusiasm for investigating started to seep back into him as soon as he decided to look into things. When he visited Roosevelt we were reminded that Unser was pretty experienced when it came to doing police work in the lovely town of Charming, and after that scene I’m officially putting in my request for more of Dayton Callie and Rockmond Dunbar working together.
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The Real Fake Car Job
Leverage season 5 continues Sunday night with episode 7, “The Real Fake Car Job.” Matthew Lillard guest starred as the mark of the episode, and the team delved into the world of vintage cars to take him down.
The two things I enjoyed most about this episode were Matthew Lillard and the wide array of vintage cars. Neither of these things had anything, really, to do with the plot or content of the episode. The background could have been Mars and they still would have stuck out.
Hardison got video footage from the golf course, and Eliot identified the guards as Marshalls. Gabe had been laundering money for the mafia; those mob ties were his get-out-of-jail-free card. He had $50 million stashed somewhere, and there were already transfer papers in place. Marshall Rose parked next to him when Gabe got to work, and Eliot watched him inside the store and charging five dollars for Wi-Fi. It was up to Parker and Hardison to find his hook, and while he went through his DVR, she got his garbage, which he had to go through in headquarters. He found boxes for model cars; his hook was vintage cars. They had to create a rare car competition in Portland, and they needed the Packard 1934 original 1101 Roadster Coupe.
I appreciated that the con had to be complicated so that this con wasn’t a copycat of all their other cons, taking out corrupt Wall Street folks by stroking their egos and lulling them into a vulnerable place emotionally or otherwise. But did we have to put Jim Cole (or was it Gabe Erickson?) into WITSEC with the mob after him at the same time?
At the car show, Rose was with Gabe, but Parker lured him away when he overheard her mention her grandfather leaving her the Packard. He approached her about it and said he could look at it. Once Hardison and Eliot made the car that looked new look old, she led him into the barn. Nate had Parker push the history, and when he kept giving her direction, Sophie told him to leave her. She said she hoped Nate could put the past behind him one day; because he hadn’t, he couldn’t look to the future. Gabe told Parker he’d research the car and then make her an offer on it.
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Gliding Over All
In the final episode of this year’s Breaking Bad Season 5, Walt ties up loose ends. But “even the best laid schemes of mice and men go often awry.” There was something about this last episode of 2012?s Breaking Bad run that made it hard for me to breathe: a tension that was less the product of the episode itself, and more the knowledge that something had to break.
In hindsight, “Gliding Over All” is the only way this half-season could have ended, I think. It takes us nearly a quarter of the way to Walt celebrating his 52nd birthday with a free Denny’s breakfast and a machine gun, but more importantly it takes us on the first big step to that moment.
“Gliding Over All” may not have been as literally explosive as some of the other Breaking Bad finales, but it has set up a great and terrifying game between Hank and Walt (where for once Walt will not have the advantage) to propel the series into its final run of episodes. Was it predicted that Hank would find out about Walt at some point? Sure — but Hank finding out by sitting on the crapper after Walt was already out of the game, finding a note from Gale to Walt where he used the same language and phrase as one Hank had pointed out to Walt from Gale’s notes long ago … that was novel.
At prison, Dennis Markowski and his lawyer try to pitch a plea deal to Hank, who laughs and begins to leave at the greedy offer. “It’s a buyer’s market,” he says as he leaves to go try and get a better deal from another former associate of Gus Fring.
Walt decides he wants to meet Todd’s uncle, and wants to hire him to get rid of all of the men on Lydia’s list, and all within 2 minutes. This seemed like an impossible feat, but it was somehow accomplished through a truly difficult to watch series of stabbings, strangulations, and (in poor Dennis’ case) getting burned alive. Prison shankings are already one of the most disturbing ways to die, and they did not hold back in conveying just how violent and bloody these can be.
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Say My Name (FKA Everybody Wins)
As “Breaking Bad” has chugged along this summer and Walt has had an answer to every new obstacle surrounding his business, it had started to seem like the show would go out with a whimper more than a bang at the end of these eight episodes. After “Say My Name,” that’s not an issue.
Matt makes the best damned meth in Albuquerque, and he has the purity rating and the cash flow projections to prove it. I know that I’m hard on Walt. He pushes my buttons like no other TV character (except maybe some of the reality competition egotards I’ve loved to hate). At this point, my desire to see Walt get his comeuppance is mostly about needing to see his monstrous ego get slapped down and only a tiny bit about wanting him to pay for all the bodies he’s dropped and all the souls he’s destroyed with his meth.
“Say My Name” was direct and in-your-face, matching the hubris of Heisenberg, rather than calculated and careful like that wimp Walter White. The episode had to be more brash not only to keep up with Walter’s bravado, but because Breaking Bad is feeling the crunch of an 8-episode mini-season, and that means a lot of the drawn-out subtlety was lost.
Mike left the game. He ditched his guns and got rid of his bugging computer. He made Hank look really bad when Hank got a search warrant and everything to tear apart his house. He really was done. His undoing was, hilariously, that he didn’t hire Saul. LOL.
Mike may not deserve a happy ending in a just universe. He’s a bad guy, a trained killer, and a man who helped spread crystal meth all across the South West. Who knows how many people died at Mike’s hands, directly or indirectly? As Walt tells Jesse in his latest botched attempt at manipulation, they’ve each almost certainly reserved spots in hell at this point.
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HBO’s hit vampire drama “True Blood” was nothing but crazy if you’ve watched the season five finale of the show, titled “Save Yourself”. Save yourself, indeed! If you have yet to watch Sunday’s episode of the show, turn back now as this post contains nothing but spoilers as we round up the fifth season. If you’ve missed the show, you can read our full and detailed recap here.
Last week’s ‘True Blood’ episode “Sunset” saw Bill dispatching Jessica to turn Jason Stackhouse into a vampire under the new regime, while Sookie rallied the other Faeries into fighting back against Russell Edgington. So, what will the latest episode of ‘True Blood’ bring?
Let’s start with the first death, which coincidentally is also the show’s biggest loss – Russell Edgington has finally been put down. And despite Eric’s episode-wide amazing timing, it seems to have been the Faeries wot done it. Given that the Faeries have done frick-all for the entire season – barring procreating with the nearest drunk – the final score is Russell Nil, Faeries One. Which seems a tad unfair, no? And while it had to happen, and while it was glorious that Eric was present, and possibly partly responsible, it is a massive shame that the batshit ex-King will no longer be gracing Bon Temps with his psychotic presence. RIP Russell, you will be sorely missed.
And when it looked like we would finally get a bit of that old Russell we love so much, he gets staked in the lamest of ways. It’s absolutely fitting that Eric is the one to kill him, but it deserved a moment we would never forget, not a random killing before the opening credits. This also brings up another peccadillo- why are vampires, particularly ancient and powerful ones, so damn easy to kill? After this season they seem more fragile than your average human. What’s the benefit of longevity when you’re able to be dispatched as easy as a baby vamp fresh from the ground?
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I’m moderately surprised at what little happened in “Sunset” the penultimate episode. Usually the second-to-last hour of a season is chockfull of high octane twists and turns, leaving the finale to pick up the pieces and set up for the next season. But this hour was actually pretty tame save for some few compelling scenes.
Jessica (Deborah Ann Woll) defied her maker by only pretending to sire one of Bon Temps’ Finest, but Jason took a pretty hard hit from the Fairy Elder — before Russell Edgington (Denis O’Hare) did us a solid and ate her. (With just one more episode remaining this season, we don’t have time for such fairy foolishness.) Our fingers are crossed for Jason, but elsewhere, the bodies and vampire goop piled up in Season 5’s penultimate episode, “Sunset”:
Nora remembers what Godric said before Salome joins her and asks if she’s having doubts. Nora says she’s worried about Russell, but Salome calls it all part of Lilith’s plan. Jessica tries to use Bill’s phone to warn Jason about Russell and Steve, but he refuses. She suggests she make Jason a vampire, so they could be together and blessed by Lilith. Bill’s sending two vampires with her to make sure she does.
While Eric runs off with Nora for love and trust of Godric, the Authority continues to crumple at the hands of what Eric calls in the promo for next week, “a mad god of destruction.” Good riddance, truly, to most all of the Authority members and that entire story. But for once the deaths of the season’s villains come with larger consequences.
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I sometimes wish Breaking Bad spent more time with the addicts who destroy their lives and their families with Heisenberg’s blue meth. But this week revealed the saddest, most desperate addict of them all: Walter White. As you say, Matt, Mike’s exit strategy makes sense, but addicts never take the sensible route. Apparently, Walt’s desire to be the Cecil Rhodes of the ABQ drugs scene has fried his brain.
Buyout – a brilliantly paced, versatile, and series-pushing episode has certainly ignited what’s sure to be yet another signature sequence of pulse-pounding proportions, cranked up to maximum speed for a thrill ride that doesn’t look like it’ll run out of steam anytime soon. After all, don’t we have to get all the way to New Hampshire?
As we know, things don’t get easier for Walt, but that’s what happens when you get in the empire-building business. There aren’t many emperors in history who shared the throne with anyone else, and those who reach that high on any food chain are generally surrounded by people who’d love nothing more than to take them down.
It turns out none of his past reasons were really it. Or they were, but there were always layers beneath. Peel away the cancer, peel away Skyler and the kids, peel away the need to make money, ever again, in his life; at the core—or is it the core?—there’s pride. Pride, and bitterness, and regret, and the desire to make back what he could have made had he stuck at Gray Matter: “Billions, with a B.”
With Jesse shaken up after seeing that the boy is being reported missing on the news, Walt gives him a fake pat on the back and sends him home early, only to continue working like nothing had even happened. Walt literally whistling while he works may have been a tad over the top, but at least the message was received loud and clear.
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In the New Mexico sun, a young boy rides his motorbike through the desert. He happens upon a tarantula, and lets it crawl over his hands. The kid’s no coward. Just a little curious. He puts it in a jar and heads back to the bike with his new pet. After fastening his helmet for safety, he pauses. He’s heard something in the distance. Was that a whistle? He rides off to investigate…
Walt pays Hank a visit at the DEA. Where a previous incarnation of Walt would have been shifty and nervous in the presence of the law, the new model is confident, brazenly waving around his new Rolex. It seems he’s there to talk to Hank about Skyler. “She doesn’t love me anymore,” he breaks down. But of course, he’s really just there to bug Hank’s office so that Walt and Co. can find out whether Lydia is telling the truth about the tracking device on the barrel of methylamine.
With Skyler on the brink of a mental breakdown, the White children living with Hank and Marie, and now a hideous murder on their hands, how long can this band of misfits keep on keeping on? And they can’t stop now, even if Hank had some complete change of heart. Mike’s surviving former employees are counting on a steady paycheck to keep their mouth’s shut. Now that things are bloody, will Walt opt for more blood instead of more payolla?
Similarly, Todd’s act at the end completely changes everything we think about “Dead Freight,” which to that point is practically a “Breaking Bad” romp. Though there’s some tension early on as the guys debate what to do with/to Lydia, and the usual frostiness between Walt and Skyler, the overwhelming emotion I felt throughout this one was giddiness.
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Gone, Gone, Gone
This season of True Blood is almost gone, gone, gone, and at this point I really haven’t figured out where exactly it’s going. ::sound of gong:: Thank you, I’ll be here all week!
Gone, Gone, Gone proves that there is still a lot at stake (pun intended) for all of our favorite characters. The Authority is still prattling on about Lilith and her grace, eventually managing to turn Eric, the staunch nonbeliever of the group. Of course, whether or not he’s actually converted is up in the air, but I’d put my money on this turn being a last ditch effort at faking his way onto the winning team. All of the Tru Blood factories have been destroyed, causing a spike in human deaths at the hands of vampires, which is exactly what the Authority has hoped for.
Bill was on FaceTime, Russell and Steve danced to “Teenage Dream,” and some glyph expert claimed to have an ex-wife who named her toes. Yes, it was a happening. Unfortunately, this episode was also all over the map; as demonstrated by Eric and Nora seeing visions of both Lilith and Godric and Russell maniacally revealing that he doesn’t give a crap about Lilith and the council. Yes, I understand that Lilith killing Godric represented her blood presence overtaking his, but it was still loopy. And while Russell may have seemed completely anti-religion back when he killed Roman, he’d since fallen in with the flock.
Poor Molly. Who knew that when she first introduced us to those deadly vampire training bras that she’d be subjected to the technology herself? Bill puts the order in after the security breach, and she’s nothing but vamp entrails in a matter of seconds. I have to admit, though, it’s kind of a cool scene (maybe I’m just desensitized to True deaths by now).
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Heisenberg is back. At least sort of. The black-hatted baron of terror and meth dealings has been cultivating and brewing within Walt’s frame for several seasons now. We’re finally seeing its froth seep out of Walt’s pores, the bulk of the violent matter yet to come to surface.
“Breaking Bad” the series began as Walter White was turning 50, and this season began with him turning 52. There’s still a birthday in between, and “Fifty-One” uses that occasion to look back over the past year in show time (which, in a meta touch, feels longer than that to Marie) and see who Walter White used to be, what he’s been through, and what he’s become.
When Walt, Hank, Marie and Skyler are all outside, having dinner together, the entire scene is about Skyler about to break; and when it comes to a head—when Walt describes how Skyler was there for him, taking care of him during the cancer, one year ago—the camera doesn’t shift to the table at all. It is entirely on Skyler, her face unmoved with a twinge of regret, cut-to her point of view of the pool, cut-to her face. Cut to her walking into the pool.
Skyler’s walls finally crumbling as she admits to Walt that she has no plan, that she’s just going to bide her time until the cancer comes back. Turns out she really does have a death wish – just not in the usual sense…
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