Tuesday, 6 March 2018

Breaking Bad, Season 5 (2012)

Ever since deciding to go into the methamphetamine business, Walter White has managed to stay one step ahead of his enemies on both sides of the law.  But the skein of lies he's built up to protect his double lies is beginning to look increasingly more fragile, particularly as the pressures of his illegal occupation wear more and more heavily on those closest to him.

In my recent review of season five of Burn Notice, I made the remark that most shows wear down a little over time, as their premises get stretched and their narrative patterns get more and more familiar.  Breaking Bad is a notable exception to this phenomenon.  It's one of the few shows I can think of where each season has been stronger than the last (Babylon 5 would be one of the few others, at least for the first three years - uncertainty over the show's future unfortunately had some pretty negative impacts to its final two seasons).  It's a credit to the writing team, as is the fact that they land the ending very solidly: there's no random lumberjack "what the heck?" moments here.

To be honest, the only reason I haven't given this season a full Recommended is that it really needs you to have watched the previous four seasons to get the full effect.  But rest assured, if you've started Breaking Bad and are at least on the fence about it, you should stick with it.  It really does just keep getting better and better.

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