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Posts tagged breaking bad

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hey, if you’re trying to sell me something, i’ve got four little words for you: “do not call list.” however, if you’re cool, leave it at the beep.

brb crying 4evr

hey, if you’re trying to sell me something, i’ve got four little words for you: “do not call list.” however, if you’re cool, leave it at the beep.

brb crying 4evr

(Source: oldtobegin)

Filed under breaking bad

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A lot of my favorite X-Files episodes are Vince Gilligan’s. “Bad Blood”, “Field Trip”, “Small Potatoes”, “Dreamland”, “Drive”, “Monday”, “Pusher”, “Unruhe”, “X-COPS”, etc., etc., etc.
I’m sure you’ve already heard this a million times, but you should watch Breaking Bad. It’s Vince Gilligan’s brainchild, and John Shiban writes a few episodes in seasons 2 and 3. It is just such a great, well-written show.

A lot of my favorite X-Files episodes are Vince Gilligan’s. “Bad Blood”, “Field Trip”, “Small Potatoes”, “Dreamland”, “Drive”, “Monday”, “Pusher”, “Unruhe”, “X-COPS”, etc., etc., etc.

I’m sure you’ve already heard this a million times, but you should watch Breaking Bad. It’s Vince Gilligan’s brainchild, and John Shiban writes a few episodes in seasons 2 and 3. It is just such a great, well-written show.

Filed under the x-files breaking bad vince gilligan

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Top 15 Breaking Bad Cold Opens
11. “…And the Bag’s in the River” (01x03)
At the end of the previous episode, the dissolved remains of Emilio’s corpse fell through the bathtub, through the floor, and into the main downstairs hallway. This cold open shows us the aftermath. This could have been simple: some gross shots of them wiping everything down, blood leaking into the basement, Krazy 8 tied up down there, gradually realizing what is happening, etc. We get all of that, but the way it is intercut with a flashback is what makes it so fun. A much younger Walt is seen flirting with a cute grad student (who we later find out is Gretchen Schwartz, probably not yet married to Elliot), going over the chemical components of the human body on a white board. Walt is charming, feigning surprise as Gretchen lists off the elements and their percentages in the human body. Turns out the vast majority of the matter that composes us is just 8 or 9 elements. Even calcium which makes up almost all of our skeletal system (past Walt notes, as present Walt inspects a piece of Emilio’s jaw bone) is only 0.25%! This innocuous, flirty little discussion of the human body in a purely scientific sense is juxtaposed with the grim reality of the human body broken down to its pure elements: a bucket of chunky red goop being poured into a toilet. It’s sickening, it’s bleak, but it’s also strangely funny in a way that most TV shows aren’t.

Top 15 Breaking Bad Cold Opens

11. “…And the Bag’s in the River” (01x03)

At the end of the previous episode, the dissolved remains of Emilio’s corpse fell through the bathtub, through the floor, and into the main downstairs hallway. This cold open shows us the aftermath. This could have been simple: some gross shots of them wiping everything down, blood leaking into the basement, Krazy 8 tied up down there, gradually realizing what is happening, etc. We get all of that, but the way it is intercut with a flashback is what makes it so fun. A much younger Walt is seen flirting with a cute grad student (who we later find out is Gretchen Schwartz, probably not yet married to Elliot), going over the chemical components of the human body on a white board. Walt is charming, feigning surprise as Gretchen lists off the elements and their percentages in the human body. Turns out the vast majority of the matter that composes us is just 8 or 9 elements. Even calcium which makes up almost all of our skeletal system (past Walt notes, as present Walt inspects a piece of Emilio’s jaw bone) is only 0.25%! This innocuous, flirty little discussion of the human body in a purely scientific sense is juxtaposed with the grim reality of the human body broken down to its pure elements: a bucket of chunky red goop being poured into a toilet. It’s sickening, it’s bleak, but it’s also strangely funny in a way that most TV shows aren’t.

Filed under breaking bad

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Top 15 Breaking Bad Cold Opens
12. “Ozymandias” (05x14)
This episode is very near the end of the series (so stop reading if you’re still not caught up!), but its cold open takes place mere hours before the one from the pilot. This teaser flashes back to a previously unseen moment from Walt and Jesse’s very first cook. Walt excuses himself to call his wife and make up some lie for why he’s not home. If we had seen this way back in season one, the significance of it would not have been clear. But now we are able to recognize this as the beginning of Walt’s dishonesty and the beginning of the deterioration of his family. In one of the most haunting moments in the entire series, Walt ends the phone call, and one by one Walter, Jesse, and the RV fade away, leaving us with a shot of the empty patch of desert where they once stood. Re-watching this episode, it’s hard to not think of this last shot as a flash forward, showing us the desolate unmarked grave of Hank Schrader. Without a sound or a change in location, Rian Johnson takes us from the moment of Walt’s first family deception, to the moment when Walt’s ongoing attempt at preserving his family ultimately failed. This whole episode is full of elegant and disquieting imagery, it’s really one of the best things Rian Johnson has ever done.

Top 15 Breaking Bad Cold Opens

12. “Ozymandias” (05x14)

This episode is very near the end of the series (so stop reading if you’re still not caught up!), but its cold open takes place mere hours before the one from the pilot. This teaser flashes back to a previously unseen moment from Walt and Jesse’s very first cook. Walt excuses himself to call his wife and make up some lie for why he’s not home. If we had seen this way back in season one, the significance of it would not have been clear. But now we are able to recognize this as the beginning of Walt’s dishonesty and the beginning of the deterioration of his family. In one of the most haunting moments in the entire series, Walt ends the phone call, and one by one Walter, Jesse, and the RV fade away, leaving us with a shot of the empty patch of desert where they once stood. Re-watching this episode, it’s hard to not think of this last shot as a flash forward, showing us the desolate unmarked grave of Hank Schrader. Without a sound or a change in location, Rian Johnson takes us from the moment of Walt’s first family deception, to the moment when Walt’s ongoing attempt at preserving his family ultimately failed. This whole episode is full of elegant and disquieting imagery, it’s really one of the best things Rian Johnson has ever done.

Filed under breaking bad

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Top 15 Breaking Bad Cold Opens
13. “Pilot” (01x01)
The quintessential in medias res action prologue. Opening on a shot of a pair of pants majestically floating through the sky, we’re introduced to a desperate pantsless man, speeding through the desert in a Fleetwood Bounder with two dead bodies in the back. He and his unconscious partner are wearing gas masks. He crashes, hears sirens coming, and decides to record a video message for his yet unseen family. Then he walks into the road and points his gun at the oncoming sirens, apparently preparing to commit suicide by cop. 
Often I think starting a TV episode with a flash forward is just a lazy excuse to start with some action so viewers don’t get bored right away. But this scene is significant. This is the moment when Walt is really in over his head, when he’s at the point of no return. It’s a stark contrast to the scene that immediately follows it, the innocent morning of Walt’s 50th birthday. It really hammers home the point that this show is about change, seeing a guy with a very average life get into a situation he could never even imagine. How does this guy go from eating turkey bacon with his wife and son to the situation we see him in during the opening scene? What can bring a person to that breaking point? This intriguing cold open and its unforgettable imagery bring that question to the front of your mind, and you find yourself hungrily watching to find the answer.

Top 15 Breaking Bad Cold Opens

13. “Pilot” (01x01)

The quintessential in medias res action prologue. Opening on a shot of a pair of pants majestically floating through the sky, we’re introduced to a desperate pantsless man, speeding through the desert in a Fleetwood Bounder with two dead bodies in the back. He and his unconscious partner are wearing gas masks. He crashes, hears sirens coming, and decides to record a video message for his yet unseen family. Then he walks into the road and points his gun at the oncoming sirens, apparently preparing to commit suicide by cop. 

Often I think starting a TV episode with a flash forward is just a lazy excuse to start with some action so viewers don’t get bored right away. But this scene is significant. This is the moment when Walt is really in over his head, when he’s at the point of no return. It’s a stark contrast to the scene that immediately follows it, the innocent morning of Walt’s 50th birthday. It really hammers home the point that this show is about change, seeing a guy with a very average life get into a situation he could never even imagine. How does this guy go from eating turkey bacon with his wife and son to the situation we see him in during the opening scene? What can bring a person to that breaking point? This intriguing cold open and its unforgettable imagery bring that question to the front of your mind, and you find yourself hungrily watching to find the answer.

Filed under breaking bad

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Top 15 Breaking Bad Cold Opens
15. “Caballo Sin Nombre” (03x02)
Season 3 is when Breaking Bad really stepped up their opening teasers game. The cold open for “Caballo Sin Nombre” doesn’t divulge much about plot, but it gives us a great look into Walt’s state of mind. It sets up one of the big themes for the episode: Walt’s desperate need (and complete inability) to take back control of his life. This is the same episode with Walt’s beautifully inept attempt to restore his relationship with his wife by plying her with pizza and dipping sticks. The rage he feels at her rejection, throwing the pizza onto the garage roof, is an extension of the rage he takes out on the police officer in this opening scene. At first, Walt tries to talk himself out of getting a traffic ticket by playing to the officer’s sympathies, having the audacity to paint himself as a victim of the Wayfarer 515 disaster. When that fails, Walt explodes, getting out of his car, yelling, playing ego games (“It’s time for YOU to listen to ME!”), and making threatening gestures. Of course, this is a cop, not Jesse or a member of his family. Intimidation and condescension were doomed to fail from the beginning. The cut from Walt daring the cop to pepper spray him, to Walt being violently shoved into the back of the squad car having clearly just been pepper sprayed, is one of the funnier moments in the series. Walt goes from his most arrogant to his most defeated and impotent in a split second.

Top 15 Breaking Bad Cold Opens

15. “Caballo Sin Nombre” (03x02)

Season 3 is when Breaking Bad really stepped up their opening teasers game. The cold open for “Caballo Sin Nombre” doesn’t divulge much about plot, but it gives us a great look into Walt’s state of mind. It sets up one of the big themes for the episode: Walt’s desperate need (and complete inability) to take back control of his life. This is the same episode with Walt’s beautifully inept attempt to restore his relationship with his wife by plying her with pizza and dipping sticks. The rage he feels at her rejection, throwing the pizza onto the garage roof, is an extension of the rage he takes out on the police officer in this opening scene. At first, Walt tries to talk himself out of getting a traffic ticket by playing to the officer’s sympathies, having the audacity to paint himself as a victim of the Wayfarer 515 disaster. When that fails, Walt explodes, getting out of his car, yelling, playing ego games (“It’s time for YOU to listen to ME!”), and making threatening gestures. Of course, this is a cop, not Jesse or a member of his family. Intimidation and condescension were doomed to fail from the beginning. The cut from Walt daring the cop to pepper spray him, to Walt being violently shoved into the back of the squad car having clearly just been pepper sprayed, is one of the funnier moments in the series. Walt goes from his most arrogant to his most defeated and impotent in a split second.

Filed under breaking bad