If you’ve frequented any pop-culture website or picked up an entertainment-themed publication at any point in the past week or so, it’s highly unlikely that you’re ignorant of the impending return of AMC’s “Breaking Bad.” I’m not saying you’re necessarily a fan, but you’d be hard pressed to be unaware of the fact that the show’s coming back, since every TV critic and their brother wants to make sure they get in a story or three about the fact that this is the last season of the show…except it really isn’t, now that they’ve decided to split the 16-episode final season into two eight-episode seasons instead. But, hey, po-tay-to, po-tah-to, a story’s a story’s, whether it’s 100% accurate or not, am I right?
Regrettably, it’s unlikely that I’m going to be blogging each and every episode of this season I have over the course of the past couple of years, but that’s not to say that I won’t still be offering up the occasional piece about the show. I mean, after all, I meant it when I said – repeatedly – that it’s the best show on television, so I’m rarely without something to say about it. Indeed, having been fortunate enough to check out a screener of the Season 5 premiere, I thought I’d devote this week’s column to desperately avoiding saying too much about what goes on while still giving you as many reasons as possible to make you want to tune in.
But first, AMC’s official look at what’s ahead:
Now that you’ve watched that, prepare yourself for a list of 20 things that you probably won’t want to read if you want to go into the episode being as surprised as possible. Trust me, though: although arguably all 20 things qualify as spoilers on some level, I really haven’t told you much of anything…which you’ll realize after you’ve watched the Season 5 premiere on Sunday night. Once you have, I hope you’ll check back in. I’m curious to know what you think.
1. Walt spends the pre-credits teaser in a Denny’s, looking like he hasn’t had to deal with chemo in quite some time.
2. The only other familiar face in the pre-credits scene is someone we’ve only seen once before on “Breaking Bad,” but we’ve seen him plenty of times on other Bullz-Eye-friendly shows. Hint: during my chat with Cranston for the AV Club, I dropped this person’s name as someone who did outstanding work in Season 4, and Cranston admitted that we might be seeing him again in Season 5. I just didn’t expect it would be so fast!
3. Despite what our friend Mr. Cranston claims, the episode does not pick up right where we left off. Mostly it does, yes, but not entirely.
4. Walt, Jr. reflects on the death of Gus Fring.
5. At one point, Walt says, “Oh, shit.” And with good reason.
6. While exploring the rubble that once was the Super Lab, Gomez offers Hank the chance to say “I told you so.”
7. Mike probably isn’t completely back up to full strength after the season finale, but his reaction to the news of Gus’s death will absolutely have you believe otherwise.
8. Mike and Walt spend a fair amount of time arguing over semantics.
9. Jesse has a good idea.
10. We also see the return of a one-off guest star from Season 3.
11. The car wash is continuing to kick ass.
12. Saul gets Skyler riled up.
13. We find out Ted’s fate.
14. Walt executes Jesse’s aforementioned good idea with decidedly strong results.
15. There’s at least one moment where you will laugh even as your heart skips a beat…or, in another words, a good old-fashioned “holy shit” moment.
16. Jesse says, “Yeah, bitch!”
17. Gus might be gone, but his storyline nonetheless rages on.
18. At one point, Saul says to Walt, “I’m your Huckleberry.” He’s probably being sarcastic, though.
19. No, seriously, Walt really no longer needs the hat to channel Heisenberg.
20. Walt’s last line of the episode would’ve been poignant if he’d said it last season. Now it’ll just make you yell, “I can’t believe he just fucking said that!”