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Daniel Allen
Daniel Allen

Breaking Bad - Season 5

The fifth and final season of the American television drama series Breaking Bad premiered on July 15, 2012, and concluded on September 29, 2013 on AMC in the United States and Canada. The 16-episode season is split into two parts, each containing eight episodes. The first part of the season was broadcast from July 15 to September 2, 2012, and aired on Sundays at 10:00 pm ET. The second part was broadcast from August 11 to September 29, 2013, and aired on Sundays at 9:00 pm ET.[1] It debuted in the UK and Ireland on Netflix, showing one day after the episodes aired in the U.S. and Canada.[2] Part 1 was released on region 1 DVD and region A Blu-ray on June 4, 2013,[3] and part 2 was released on November 26, 2013.[4]

Breaking Bad - Season 5

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In July 2011, series creator Vince Gilligan indicated that he intended to conclude Breaking Bad with the fifth season.[23] In early August 2011, negotiations began over a deal regarding the fifth and possibly final season between AMC and Sony Pictures Television, the production company of the series. AMC proposed a shortened fifth season (six to eight episodes, instead of thirteen) to cut costs, but the producers declined. Sony then approached other cable networks about possibly picking up the show if a deal could not be made.[24] On August 14, 2011, a deal was made in which AMC renewed the series for a final 16-episode season.[25] Filming began for the season on March 26, 2012.[26] Then in April 2012 Bryan Cranston revealed that the final season would be split into two halves, with the first half airing in 2012 and the second in 2013.[27] After a four-month break,[27] filming for the second half of the season began on December 7, 2012, during which AMC sent the cast and crew cupcakes decorated with characters and props used throughout the show's run.[28][29]

Vince Gilligan explained that the season was split at his request in order to have more time to write the final episodes. Thomas Schnauz revealed that the writers initially tried to conceive a 16-episode arc in advance of completing the first eight episodes, but that most of these plans were scrapped as new plot points emerged "that threw everything into a little bit of chaos."[30]

Dean Norris had asked Gilligan to kill off Hank during the first half of the season after being cast in a comedy pilot. However, Gilligan declined his request, citing the importance of Hank in the final eight episodes.[31]

Gilligan stated that the introduction of the M60 machine gun in the season's first episode created several problems down the line in writing. When the premiere script was developed, the machine gun was written in as a thought-provoking idea to suggest to the audience that something significant was going to happen later in the season and draw them in. However, at that time, they did not plan out how the gun would be used, and Gilligan believed that with sixteen episodes, they would be able to figure something out. As Gilligan started writing the last four to five episodes, his staff reminded him about the machine gun. Gilligan was of a mind to simply drop the machine gun but realized this would not work. He eventually had a eureka moment where Walter would need to use the machine gun to kill multiple people at once rather than a single individual, leading to the development of the character of Jack Welker and the white supremacist gang to be the target of Walter's wrath.[32]

On review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the fifth season has an approval rating of 97% based on 99 reviews, with an average rating of 9.50/10. The site's critics consensus reads: "Breaking Bad's final season cements its status as one of television's great series, propelling its narrative to an explosive conclusion with sharp direction and assured storytelling."[33] On Metacritic, it holds a 99 out of 100 based on 22 reviews, making it the highest-rated season of any show on the site.[34] In his review of the second half of the season, Seth Amitin of IGN stated, "Whether you call it a 'half-season' or consider these final eight episodes its own season, this final batch of Breaking Bad is one of the best runs of episodes TV has ever offered."[35] "Ozymandias" in particular was widely praised and has since been called one of the greatest television episodes ever broadcast.[36]

The fifth season had six separate episodes that became the most watched episodes in the series up to date, in order: "Live Free or Die" (2.93 million),[37] "Say My Name" (2.98),[12] "Blood Money" (5.92),[15] "Ozymandias" (6.37),[20] "Granite State" (6.58),[21] and "Felina" (10.28).[22]

The first half of season five was watched by an average of 2.6 million viewers per episode; the second half averaged 6.04 million viewers. As a whole, season five averaged roughly 4.32 million viewers per episode.

An eight-minute bonus scene titled Chicks 'N' Guns was included with Breaking Bad's fifth season DVD and Blu-ray sets.[49] Written by Jenn Carroll and Gordon Smith and directed by Michelle MacLaren, the scene offers a backstory on how Jesse Pinkman obtained the gun seen in the episode "Gliding Over All". Sony Pictures released a behind-the-scenes featurette discussing the scene on its YouTube channel.[50]

It is revealed that Jesse is still a slave cooking meth for Jack's gang, with his face completely scarred from various beatdowns he took over the months. Back to the flashfoward from the season's opening, Walt buys a M60 machine gun from Lawson and changes cars, he then drives to his former house. The place is in ruins and fenced, inside, Walt spots many sprays insulting him, such as a giant "Heisenberg" painted in yellow on the wall of the living room. Walt goes to the bedroom and retrieves the ricin he hid there. As he is leaving the house, his former neighbor, Carol, spots him. Walt normally greets her and drives off, prompting her to drop her groceries. Lydia is at the café meeting with Todd, they are having a casual conversation when Walt suddenly approaches the two, he asks them for just two minutes of their time. Lydia is startled by this, but Walt says that he found a new way to cook Blue Sky without methylamine and he will teach Todd how to do it in exchange of a million of dollars. Todd is hesitant, but Lydia accepts and asks Walt to visit Jack at the neo-nazis compound at night. After Walt leaves, Lydia orders Todd to kill Walt when he shows up at the compound, having him around is not good for their operation. Lydia stirs a package of Stevia into her cup tea.

Editor's note: Last year, contributor Dave Bunting began editing a series of video essays that arrange images from seasons of "Breaking Bad" in ways that highlight the show's motifs, colors and textures. Bunting published most of his video essays on the series at Press Play, and is finishing the series as a coproduction between that site and Watch his take on Season 1 and read an essay by Nick Schager here. You can also view the video and an accompanying essay by Max Winter at Press Play. You can find his video essay and the transcript of an interview with series cinematographer Michael Slovis about Season 2 here or at Press Play, with an accompanying essay by Arielle Bernstein. Bunting also published videos about Season 3, Season 4, and the first half of Season 5 at Press Play. Bunting's concluding video, about the second half of Season 5, is below, with an essay by Scott Eric Kaufman. You can also watch this video and read a companion essay by Arielle Bernstein at Press Play.

The fifth season of "Breaking Bad" is an exercise in aggressive nostalgia. "Ozymandias," lauded by many as one of the strongest hours in television history ten minutes in, is especially committed to reminding the audience how different the world these characters inhabit is.

This is not to say that a slight shift in the palette or scheduling defines the aesthetic of the final season of one of television's most visually stunning programs, but it is indicative of the general ethos adopted by the talented people who directed these episodes: the day is late for Walter White, and to quote the man who thinks him incomparably evil, the night is long and full of terrors.

The stakes have been exponentially raised going into Season 5. The death of Jimmy's brother Chuck (Michael McKean) seems to have given him the license to delve further into the criminal underworld he's been dipping his toes in over the past four seasons. As Jimmy further embraces his Saul alter-ego once the series returns to AMC on February 23, one has to wonder what other Breaking Bad faces may appear.

Another season, another familiar question: Will Jesse Pinkman (Aaron Paul) or Walter White finally appear in the series? Well, no. The appearance of the blue meth duo here, especially given the point in the timeline where the show is, currently, wouldn't make sense. Although, it was brought up during the panel that it may be an eventuality for Jesse to show up since he's the one who originally brought Walt to Saul Goodman's office in Breaking Bad.

Peter Gould did reveal that another partnership from the original series will be showing up in Better Call Saul. In the story that plays out in the third and fourth episodes of the new season, DEA Agent Hank Schrader (Dean Norris) and Steven Gomez (Steven Michael Quezada) will reunite. And given the complicated relationship that formed in Season 4 between drug kingpin-in-the-making, Gus Fring, and Nacho Varga (Michael Mando), one can only deduce there'll be some meth-y stuff for Hank and Gomie to investigate.

As with previous seasons of Better Call Saul, each episode begins with a flashforward, giving us a peek into Jimmy's new persona: mild-mannered Cinnabon manager Gene Takovic. The black-and-white tone of these scenes offers a starkly depressing contrast to the boisterous, colorful, brash aesthetic that simply is Saul Goodman.

Viewers of the season 5 premiere episode of Breaking Bad Sunday night may have noted in the closing credits that the show was dedicated to Kevin Cordasco, the Calabasas resident who lost his battle with neuroblastoma at the age of 16 in March.The screen credit read: "Dedicated to our friend: Kevin Cordasco."It turns out that Kevin had a poignant relationship with the cast and crew of the hit AMC series, according to his mother, Melodie Cordasco."Earlier in the year, a friend of ours asked Kevin what she could do to make him feel better," Melodie said. "He told her that he'd love to meet the stars of 'Breaking Bad' which was his favorite show."Through a fluke connection at AMC, the friend was able to hook Kevin up with the show. Shortly thereafter, Bryan Cranston, the series' star, paid Kevin a visit in the hospital."He came over on a Saturday night [last September] and stayed for three hours," Melodie said. "Kevin was just so thrilled."Following Cranston's initial visit, the show's producer, Vince Gilligan, as well as several other cast members, came to meet the teenager at his home."It was so amazing that they came," said Melodie. "They all sat around my kitchen table for almost two-and-a-half hours."In early March, Kevin had an opportunity to meet with the show's writers. He was even invited to travel to Albuquerque, New Mexico, where the show is shot, to be written into an episode."Unfortunately, he became to sick to travel and couldn't make it," Melodie said.About a week after Kevin's death, Melody received a letter from Gilligan informing her that he would dedicate a show to her son. "We do very few dedications," said Melissa Bernstein, Breaking Bad's co-executive producer. "Kevin was just one of those people who meant a lot to the show."Kevin was considered a very intelligent and insightful young man by everyone he met, Bernstein said."He actually lifted the spirits of both Bryan and Vince when they met," she said. "Vince even offered to tell Kevin how the show ends, but Kevin said he wanted to watch the show and find out like everyone else, which really touched Vince."The producers decided that it was only fitting to dedicate the first episode of the show's final season."It was the best of the last chapter," Bernstein said.Melodie said she is "honored" that the producers thought so highly of Kevin and that the dedication meant so much to her and her family."I'll bet Kevin is looking down right now and saying, "Look, Mom, I made it,'" she said.Kevin, who had been diagnosed with the disease at the age of 9, was a well-known activist for cancer fundraising and research and often spoke on behalf of the American Cancer Society, Relay for Life and the St. Baldrick's Foundation. 041b061a72


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