spoilers… the finale (title felina which is an anagram for finale and also references marty robbins’ “el paso” which was the basis for much of the season) was the best episode of the series and you can’t really say that about any other series off the top of my head. it was godfather-esque in its body count and final culling. the whole series is epic and wonderful. gilligan and his team (to which he gives a lot of credit) always did a good job with ratcheting up the tension, keeping the characters evolving, letting us figure things out, etc. it’s the gold standard for what dramatic tv should be like.
this series isn’t perfection, but it’s close. that final episode left me wanting to cry (and very close), jesse’s arc as a character, walt’s downward spiral, and even skyler’s struggle are all elements that would elevate any show towards the top of my list to watch. to have all of them in one series is unprecedented. as good as the wire, sopranos, etc. were, none of them had as many compelling characters as breaking bad.
lastly, i have to tip my hat to the creators’ use of music as the series progressed. the first four-ish seasons left me wanting music use like i had seen in the second half of the sopranos. the last couple seasons of breaking bad stepped it up. some mediocre songs were used, but elevated by the visuals and context of the show. bonfire, baby blue is perhaps the best example of this. i’m no badfinger fan and the song on its own isn’t great, but played in that final episode how it is makes both the show and song better. the whole is greater than the sum of the parts.Watched on TV