One of British television’s greatest achievements was last year’s eight-part miniseries BROADCHURCH, which examined the agony of a small town after a child is found murdered. The series has been transplanted across the pond and reimagined for American audiences as the 10-part GRACEPOINT.
DOCTOR WHO’s David Tennant – who recreates his role from BROADCHURCH – and BREAKING BAD’s Anna Gunn star as the detectives charged with unmasking the killer before the town tears itself apart.
Chris Chibnall, who created and wrote BROADCHURCH, serves as an executive producer on GRACEPOINT and wrote the premiere episode, so he will be establishing the tone of the series. Hopefully he is allowed to keep things as intelligent and emotional as he was on the brilliant original. I’d hate to see that absolutely searing miniseries blunted and dumbed-down for Americans.
Congratulations, Vince Gilligan, you did it! As creator and executive producer of BREAKING BAD, you crafted a finale that totally lived up to the series, and you gave fans the ending they deserved.
In contrast to a lot of the high-tension episodes we’ve endured in the final run-up, this installment was almost elegiac as Walt shambled through town, tying up loose ends, settling grudges, healing wounds and saying goodbyes. It was a masterful way to end the series — leaving nothing ambiguous for viewers to fight over for years to come. BREAKING BAD was product of one vision — that of creator Vince Gilligan — and it was able to consistently confound and amaze viewers because it was true to Gilligan’s idea of the story, not network committees or viewer ratings. From first episode to last, Gilligan told his story the way he wanted to, now he has ended it his way. And that’s the way it always should have been.
Poor Walter White.
Honestly, I know he’s a retired meth kingpin who has killed and ordered people killed, but who can’t feel sorry for Walt, trapped in the wastes of New Hampshire with nothing but two copies of Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium to keep him company? He was so desperate that paid a vacuum-cleaner salesman $10,000 to spend an hour with him.
And when Walt Jr. rejected the money — the very reason that Walt did everything he did — it was heartbreaking to watch Walt blubbering on the phone how the money for his family was the only thing that ever mattered to him; that providing for them was what kept him going and kept driving him make decisions and do things he never intended to do. And, besides — he wants to hire a hit squad to wipe out the white supremacists. (The very same neo-Nazis he hired to whack Jesse.) That’s a good thing, right?
As we count down BREAKING BAD’s final few episodes, I’m not the only one who wants Walter White to get away with all this, am I? After all, this whole crystal meth empire thing was never his idea.
Walt’s first (and perhaps biggest) mistake was surviving the cancer; he was just supposed to cook up one batch of meth, secure a nest egg for his family and then die. But his cancer went into remission and his meth lab went into overdrive. And now Walt is right back he where he started — trying cut a deal so he can die and leave his family a big ol’ pile of drug money.
And I want him to get away with it. I’m rooting for Mr. White.
Watching BREAKING BAD is usually a much more visceral experience than viewing any other show; when it’s over, I often feel like I’ve been punched in the gut, and my lungs hurt because I didn’t realize I had been holding my breath so often. An hour of BB on Sunday night is like a week’s worth of cardio for me!
This week’s episode had me at a couple of points, as Walt (Bryan Cranston) celebrated his 51st birthday and Skyler (Anna Gunn) neared the end of her rope. Meanwhile, Hank (Dean Norris) was offered yet another promotion — at this rate, he’ll be speaker of the house by the end of the season — and Lydia (Laura Fraser) started to come unglued in Germany.
The birthday gave the episode its spine, with Walt using it as an excuse to try to prod Skyler back to life, and her using it as a method to passive-aggressively strike at him. Instead of the usual big party she invited only Hank and Marie, and instead of a fun dinner with friends and family, Skyler threw herself in the swimming pool.