Breaking Bad finale review round-up
What are US critics saying about Breaking Bad's final bow, Felina? Find out here...
If you're not amongst the sizeable group spending today with your head in a bowl of custard to avoid having the ending of Breaking Bad accidentally spoiled, then you're most likely amongst the even more sizeable group who've already watched season five finale, Felina.
If that's you, then you're going to want to talk about it. You can do just that in the comments section of our own in-depth Breaking Bad finale review (arriving shortly) but in the meantime, see if you agree with a few salient chunks of opinion from US critics...
Alan Sepinwall, Hitfix
“…all our questions were answered, all our plot threads tied up neatly […] This was cathartic, this was definitive, this was as gorgeously-acted as Breaking Bad has always been. […] "Felina" doesn't feel like a cheat, or a massive misstep, or an overreach. This is one of the greatest shows of my lifetime, and nothing in this concluding chapter changes that […] But given everything that Walt had been through, and put us through, over these 62 episodes, I think I might have preferred the whole package be wrapped in a bow that wasn't so tight.”
Brian Lowry, Variety
“The 75-minute finale written and directed by Gilligan perfectly capped a final arc that was all forward momentum, with barely an ounce of fat on it, and almost nary a false note. […] This is where you get to make it right,” Walter tells his former business partners early in the episode. And that, too, was a harbinger of things to come, on a show that managed to get it right not just in this run up to the finish line, but time and time again.”
Robert Bianco, USA Today
“Tense, witty, violent, oddly tender and, in its own strange way, as close to a "happy" ending as a story this dark could hope, this last episode brought the story to a straightforward, definitive conclusion, without the spirituality of Lost or the ambiguity of The Sopranos.”
Willa Paskin at Slate
And this is where the finale is not quite so satisfying: After everything, after five seasons in which the writers were clocking Walt’s every misdeed, at the very end, they turned out to be Team Walt. Despite everything he did, Walt was rewarded. The finale made the real bad guy of Breaking Bad a bunch of neo-Nazis, as if we needed Breaking Bad to tell us Nazis are the worst. [...] In the end, Breaking Bad protected Walt from the worst possible death and us from having to watch it. But as Breaking Bad demonstrated so memorably with Skyler’s remark that “Someone needs to protect this family from the man who protects this family,” sometimes protection is overrated."
James Poniewozik at Time
Felina, the last episode ever of the magnificent series Breaking Bad, was a kind of machine gun of narrative, knocking down all of those questions with auto-fire efficiency. [...] It was not flashy. It wasn’t structurally ambitious, in the way other Breaking Bad episodes have been. It was not, in most respects, surprising. […] It was true to the five seasons that preceded it, true to Walter White’s obsessions and pride, and true to what Breaking Bad is at heart: a Western.
Hank Stuever at The Washington Post
There was never a dull episode in the five seasons that Breaking Bad ran on AMC, including Sunday night’s heart-poundingly satisfying finale. [...] when trying to figure out why this show worked so well, so deeply for me, I keep coming back to one simple and not terribly profound idea: Breaking Bad was original."
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