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April 24, 2014

BreakingBadSeason4

'Breaking Bad' Creator Vince Gilligan on What Walt Did and the Future of the Drama

by Maureen Ryan, posted Oct 9th 2011 11:35PM
As a storyteller, Vince Gilligan can't be accused of playing it safe.

The season 4 finale of 'Breaking Bad' contained several shocking developments bound to keep fans talking all week.

The creator of the AMC show addresses those events in depth below, and he also talks about the upcoming final season of the drama and whether it will air over one year or two. (By the way, my interview with 'Breaking Bad' actor Giancarlo Esposito -- a.k.a. Gus Fring -- is here, and my review of the finale is here.)

Spoilers ahead for 'Face Off,' the season 4 finale of 'Breaking Bad.'

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Gus Fring Speaks: Giancarlo Esposito on 'Breaking Bad's' Most Memorable Villain

by Maureen Ryan, posted Oct 9th 2011 11:30PM
Since he arrived on 'Breaking Bad,' Gustavo Fring has been a memorable foil for Walter White.

Walter White is often reactive and scrambling to keep up with events, but Gus Fring is cool, collected and composed. The yin and yang between the two men -- one chafing at authority, one effortlessly exuding an air of command -- has provided the AMC drama with some of its finest moments.

In the interview below, actor Giancarlo Esposito talks about playing one of television's most charismatic characters, and about the events of 'Breaking Bad's' season finale.

Don't read on unless you've seen 'Face Off,' the final episode of 'Breaking Bad's' stellar fourth season. And be sure to check out my review of the finale and my post-finale interview with 'Breaking Bad' creator Vince Gilligan.

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'Breaking Bad' Season 4 Finale Recap

by Maureen Ryan, posted Oct 9th 2011 11:20PM
['Breaking Bad' - 'Face Off']

Before I get into my review of the fourth-season finale of 'Breaking Bad,' I'd like to point you to some additional coverage of the AMC drama.

Click here for an interview with the show's creator, Vince Gilligan, and go here for an interview with Giancarlo Esposito, a.k.a. Gus Fring.

Ryan McGee and I have also recorded a special 'Breaking Bad' podcast with Time TV critic James Poniewozik; you can find that right now here or on iTunes.

As for the finale itself, well, it gave us a few things to talk about, didn't it?

Spoilers ahead for 'Face Off.' Don't read on unless you've seen the final episode of 'Breaking Bad's' fourth season.

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Talking TV Podcast Scrutinizes 'Doctor Who,' 'American Horror Story' and 'Breaking Bad'

by Maureen Ryan, posted Oct 5th 2011 3:00PM
This week's podcast focuses on a new show, a program that just had its season finale, and a drama that's heading toward the end of its season.

In the first part of the podcast, Ryan McGee and I talked about FX's 'American Horror Story,' which debuts Wednesday (I reviewed it here). In the second part of the podcast, we talked about the season finale of 'Doctor Who,' which I wrote about here.

Finally, we wrapped up with a chat about the penultimate episode of 'Breaking Bad's' gripping fourth season. Just a heads up: After it airs, we'll have extensive coverage of the 'Breaking Bad' season finale, including an interview with creator Vince Gilligan and a 'Bad' Talking TV podcast featuring a special guest.

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'End Times' Arrive in an Intense Episode of 'Breaking Bad' (VIDEO)

by Maureen Ryan, posted Oct 2nd 2011 11:00PM
'Breaking Bad' has done a spectacular job of making Walter White's journey from high school chemistry teacher to underworld player believable. Walt has done so very many bad things (though of course, in his mind, he's always had his reasons).

Redeeming or making up for the bad choices he's made isn't an option at this point, and hasn't been for a long time. But once in a while, Walt draws a line that makes you think he may not be truly evil. In doing his utmost to protect his family from the wrath of Gus Fring, Walt did the right thing.

Of course, it was really his only play, but when Walt said, "I alone should suffer the consequences of those choices," what could our reaction be but "Damn right you should!"

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Gus Threatens Walt's Family on 'Breaking Bad' (VIDEO)

by Catherine Lawson, posted Sep 26th 2011 8:30AM
'Breaking Bad' S04/E11High school chemistry teacher Walt got into the drugs business in the first place because he wanted to take care of his wife and kids. Last night on 'Breaking Bad' (Sun., 10PM ET on AMC), however, his illegal activities put their lives in danger.

Gus has finally had enough of Walt and his brother in law Hank. He drags Walt out into the desert with a bag over his head and fires him. He also says he'll take care of the errant Hank: "You have failed. Now it's left to me to deal with him."

When Walt protests, Gus delivers this chilling threat: "If you try to interfere, this becomes a much simpler matter. I will kill your wife. I will kill your son. I will kill your infant daughter."

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Gus Meets With the Cartel to Avoid War on 'Breaking Bad' (VIDEO)

by Jason Hughes, posted Sep 19th 2011 4:45AM
'Breaking Bad'With the cartel breathing down his neck and interfering with his operation, Gus coordinated a meet and greet with them so he can try and reach an amicable peace on 'Breaking Bad' (Sun., 10PM ET on AMC), bringing Jesse and Mike along.

After some hesitation and posturing, the cartel warmed up to Gus and even agreed to share in a drink with him. Appropriately cautious, though, they waited until he drank first before partaking themselves.

But when Gus disappeared to purge the contents of his stomach, the various members of the cartel started dropping like flies. It may not have been a peaceful settlement of differences in the traditional sense, but it was certainly one way to address the impasse.

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The Cartel Sends a Strong Message to Gus on 'Breaking Bad' (VIDEO)

by Jason Hughes, posted Sep 12th 2011 6:22AM
'Breaking Bad' - 'Bug'Last week, it was curious that the writers were suddenly peeling back some of the layers to Gus' character on 'Breaking Bad' (Sun., 10PM ET on AMC). An extended flashback scene showed what happened when he tried to get into business with the drug cartel in Mexico.

This week, it became clear as that background information made the current situation not only more clear, but more intense for us as well. Gus is still a very gutsy and bold player, as evidenced by his walking out into a storm of gunfire when the cartel tried to send a message to his distribution center by shooting one of his men.

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Jesse Continues to Spiral Downward on 'Breaking Bad' (VIDEO)

by Catherine Lawson, posted Aug 8th 2011 9:20AM
Could this be the beginning of the end for Jesse on 'Breaking Bad' (Sun., 10PM ET on AMC)?

He's living in squalor, surrounded by addicts and homeless hangers-on, and he seems to have lost his grip on reality.

Unfortunately for him, his bad behavior caught the attention of the hard-as-nails Mike who sees him as a liability and who thinks he should be taken down.

As a test, Mike confronted Jesse with a bloodied, trussed-up man lying on his basement floor, saying that the guy had stolen Jesse's money. Jesse didn't even blink. He just picked up the money and stumbled to the stairs. When Mike hinted that he was going to kill the guy, Jesse just shrugged.

He then taunted Mike, saying "Is the point where I'm supposed to beg you not to do it? ... I'm supposed to promise, cross my heart, and straighten up?"

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Walter Tries to Pull Mike to His Side Against Gus on 'Breaking Bad' (VIDEO)

by Jason Hughes, posted Jul 25th 2011 3:05AM
'Breaking Bad' - 'Thirty-Eight-Snub'Here's the deal on 'Breaking Bad' (Sun., 10PM ET on AMC). Mike is one scary dude. Gus is something even beyond that. Walter White? He's on his way to being a bad***, but he's just not there yet. He has the will. He even has a gun now. But he's just not intimidating enough yet. At least not to these people.

Not that we think he was going for intimidation when he approached Mike in a bar and essentially begged him to put him in a room with Gus. Instead, he tried to play on Mike's human, compassionate side, which is a side none of us have seen. He also tried to use what Gus did to Vince to equate his and Mike's situation.

But Mike is a loyal man, and apparently that loyalty does not know an end. We're sure there's more lurking under the surface, but we haven't been privy to it yet. We have a feeling, however, that Mr. White isn't going to "learn to take yes for an answer," as Mike suggested.

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Review: 'Breaking Bad' Returns at the Top of Its Game

by Maureen Ryan, posted Jul 14th 2011 4:00PM
[A quick pre-review note for 'Breaking Bad' fans: Ryan McGee and I talk about the AMC show for an hour in this week's Talking TV with Ryan and Ryan podcast. Find it here or here.]

I'll never claim to be one of those people who lavishly praised 'Breaking Bad' (10PM Sunday, AMC) from the start. As I chronicled in a few 2010 posts (here, here and here), it took me a long time to come to terms with the show's darkness and the characters' bleak journeys, and though there were always elements of the drama I appreciated, I'm of the opinion that 'Breaking Bad' didn't truly hit its creative stride until about a third of the way into its third season.

The evolution of my reaction to the show continues, mainly because the show itself has become more rigorous, more exciting and more fascinating over time. As it has grown increasingly confident, complex and aesthetically ambitious, it has also paid close attention to crucial building blocks like suspense and characterization.

The end result is a season 4 premiere that is not just flawless, but one of the most impressive season premieres I've ever seen.

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