Absolutely can’t wait until summer to see the second half of season five. What an amazing show. I was drawn to it from the minute I saw the promos for it. And to say it has not disappointed is a huge understatement. I feel very lucky to have discovered this show early on.
The premise of the show is outrageous, but the execution is phenomenal. Bryan Cranston is, simply put, brilliant at playing Walter White, who is leading an insane double life early in the series. Walt, a seemingly average high school chemistry teacher, is anything but that. After a diagnosis of lung cancer he is given eighteen months to live. In order to take care of his family after he’s gone, Walt decides to make use of his tremendous chemistry skills to concoct a recipe for the best crystal meth on the planet. He enlists a former student, Jesse Pinkman, as a partner, and they are off to the races.
Of course, the show isn’t all about premise and plot; it’s rich with fantastic characters. In my book, as far as television performances go, Cranston’s portrayal of Walter White is second only to Carroll O’Connor’s depiction of Archie Bunker. The family dynamic of Walter’s wife Skyler being the sister of a DEA agent, Hank, is ingenious and helps to create loads of delicious tension. It’s really fun to watch Hank slowly put things together as he tries to track down source of the meth, meanwhile, he’s regularly having a beer poolside with the real mastermind. And naturally, Walt’s relationship with Skyler becomes extremely complicated when she finds out what he is really up to.
Anybody out there not like Gus Fring? Is he not the personification of a wolf in sheep’s clothing? One moment he’s shaking hands and smiling from ear-to-ear at a police fundraiser, the next he’s solving “business” problems in an utterly ruthless fashion to protect his meth operation. And how about Mike Ehrmantraut? A pro’s pro. I could understand his frustrations with Walter. Those two were like oil and water. Saul Goodman is very believable as the slimy lawyer who knows his way around the edges of the law to help his clients. All while we watch Jess grow up before our very eyes.
I didn’t realize it when I was writing it, but Bill Ferguson, the main character in my novel, A Devious Plan, has some Walter White in him. Both are the quintessential everyman who suddenly face big problems. And both characters embrace extreme solutions. I guess I’m just drawn to stories that a little dark and unconventional.
Anyway, hurry up Season Five! I’m sure there will be a host of great new characters to help polish off this amazing series.