Note: This recap of the Sept. 29 series finale of AMC's "Breaking Bad" includes spoilers ...
All of Walter White's Mr. Peabody-like scheming up until "Felina" has been for the betterment of one Walter White. It's something he readily admits to when he sneaks into Skyler's new home midway through the series finale. As he stands in his estranged wife's kitchen, pallid and shrunken, he begins his all too familiar, backtracking soft-shoe.
Grovelling and scraping has been sort of a Walt signature, the weight of which has taken a physical toll on those around him. You can see it in the plumes of smoke billowing from Skyler's ashtray; a graveyard of butts that would put Tom Waits to shame. Even Mike Ehrmantraut's death wish was just for his executioner to stop babbling.
But this is a different Walt. One who doesn't exhale lies like carbon dioxide.
Just when you think he's going to resume his usual sob story about raising money for the family, he has a redemptive moment. "I did it for me," Walt says to his slack-jawed spouse. "I like it. I was good at it. And I was really...I was alive."
Walt rolls his eyes back and savors the truth as if it were Beluga caviar topped with foie gras. After the ride he's been on, it has to feel good.FULL ENTRY
It's come down to this: The New England Patriots against the series finale of AMC's Emmy Award-winning show "Breaking Bad." OK, so they're not opposing each other on the field, but they are playing on opposing channels Sunday night (The Pats game begins at 8:30 p.m. and "Breaking Bad" starts at 9 p.m.).
So where do your loyalties lie?
If you watched last night's finale, you're probably eager to discuss all that happens in the episode and want to share your thoughts on the sixth season of the show. Don't forget to read the recap here.
Join us at 1 p.m. to dish about everything "Mad Men."
Alert: Spoilers ahead.
Read the transcript of the chat we held about the show.
After 12 episodes of darkness, we saw the light. Or at least, trickles of light.
Yes, Don is ousted from a company he helped build. Yes, Megan may have left him. These things were coming to him. But, for the first time, we saw Don Draper reveal Dick Whitman. Not to his soon-to-be-wife, not out of pressure, not in a drug-induced state, but we saw him wholeheartedly come clean to colleagues and clients about his past, and then to the three people he loves (and struggles with) the most: his children.
There were so many moments when I feared this episode would be more of the same. Don in a bar; Ted and Peggy continuing their games; Sally causing trouble. I had a sinking feeling Don would attempt to escape his problems and move to California. Isn’t that what he did with Megan? He was miserable, so he found a way to start his life over by marrying a woman he spent a few days with in (of course) California. His affair with his neighbor Sylvia was also an escape. Most recently, he used alcohol to do the trick.
Yes, I was still recovering from the Red Wedding. Luckily, "GOT" kills one storyline, and there are about 50 others to choose from in this complicated, wonderful, confusing, heart breaking show we love. (And hate. And love to hate.)
Somehow, after an episode with one of the bloodiest, most gruesome, and of course widely discussed television scenes I can remember, "Game of Thrones" ended its season with something completely unexpected: Hope.
Although Cambridge’s Mindy Kaling is no longer on “The Office,” her one-liners as Kelly Kapoor remain totally, awesomely memorable (that’s Kelly-speak).
With the show airing its final episode on Thursday, here is our ode to the writer and occasional director, but most importantly, to Kelly Kapoor.
1. She may be the best cheerleader ... ever?
2. She goes to any means to keep her man ... even if it’s telling him she’s pregnant.
3. She does all she can to get what she wants. (In this case, to fit into a size 2 bikini.)
Even if it means swallowing a tape worm.
4. She’ll insert herself in every situation, because, why not? (1 minute and 23 seconds in)
“Ryan used me as an object.”
5. She knows how to be a mean girl.
Even to teenagers.
This girl was really rude to me at the mall, so I created a fake IM account from a hot guy at her high school, and now I'm trying to make her anorexic.
6. And knows how to trash talk. Oh, sorry -- smack talk.
7. And loves rivalries.
I love rivalries. Michael or Jim. Paris or Nicole. Heidi or LC. It's so much fun. But, I guess if I'm really thinking about it and answering your question honestly, I'd have to go with LC. Heidi's a bad friend. And her skin is terrible.
8. Just don’t cross her.
And that's how it's done. After a weak beginning, "The Mindy Project" showed us how off-beat, smart comedies can deliver. "Mindy" sure did. (Both literally and figuratively. The main characters are gynecologists!)
After watching a sub-par "New Girl" finale, I didn't know if "The Mindy Project," although steadily rising in quality unlike its lead-in show, would be able to keep up with the momentum it has gained as the season progressed. And it sure did. There were the trademark Kaling one-liners, smart dialogue, hilarious side characters, recurring cameos of our favorite characters (Mark Duplass, B.J. Novak!), and even a proposal.
And of course, there was the possibility of the kiss between the Ross and Rachel of the show. Danny and Kelly's chemistry and near kiss was so perfectly captured, that as someone weary of the on-again-off-again nature of these sitcom relationships, I'm actually looking forward to the tension between these two characters continuing in the next season.
Another success: I liked that the side characters that are irritating (most of the clerical staff, except Morgan) were sidelined. One thing "New Girl" had that "The Mindy Project" didn't was a strong supporting cast. That criticism wasn't there to make in this finale.
Most of all, the writing was incredibly strong. I laughed out loud. I gasped. And it was awesome.
Here are my favorite moments from the episode:
-- Of course, one of the climatic moments of the finale was a Mindy with short hair. I loved everything about that.
-- There was an allusion to the pilot episode, with a return to a doctors-getting-ready-for-surgery montage with M.I.A.'s "Bad Girls" in the background. A nice shoutout to how it all started.
-- Mindy jokingly lied about getting pregnant. It reminded me of Kelly Kapoor, and since "The Office" is ending, had to throw this in here.
My favorite quotes from the episode:
-- "i just had a rap sesh with notorious G.O.D."-- Casey, the minister.
-- "“You are the last person i dated before i found my true love.” -- Jaime, the ex.
And from Mindy:
-- "I would be a fantastic sex slave.”
--“I am so the kind of person that a gypsey gets a vendetta against.”
For those of you on the fence, it's time to give "Mindy" a chance. It may have been the show's best episode this season, and it makes me antsy for the next season to start. If that's the point of a season finale, it did not disappoint.
What were your thoughts on the episode? Any surprises? Leave your thoughts in the comments.
Finally: Cece's wedding is here. Would her wedding take place? Would she and Schmidt get back together? What of Jess and Nick?
After some amazing episodes this season, (the return of True American, their made-up game show, and the first Jess-Nick kiss as the peak), this show has lost some of its spark. It's still fun and enjoyable, but I'm getting a little tired of Nick and Jess's Daddy issues, and Cece and Nick's back and forth. This show was at once a breath of fresh air. Now, with a love triangle, a wedding finale, and a big guest appearance, it feels more of the same.
-- Winston. He was awesome. His love for pranks is hilarious.
-- Cece and Shivrang drama finally ending.
-- Nick and Jess together (well, we'll see).
-- Nick and Jess's chemistry. It's uncanny how good it is.
-- "Cotton Eyed Joe."
-- Taylor Swift mocking her own songs. Cool.
-- Indian weddings are full of traditions, music, dancing, and fun. Trust me, I've been to many. After hyping up Cece's Indian heritage this season, the event could have been a great spectacle. Sadly, it was the opposite.
-- Schmidt not being able to make up his mind. Pick a girl. Stop being annoying.
-- The reemergence of NIck and Jess doubts, hours after they proclaimed their fondness for each other. Their waffling is getting old.
The finale wasn't horrible, but it wasn't even one of the top five best episodes this season. Still, "New Girl" is a great show, and I'm hoping it will bring back more of its original charm next season.
What did you think of the finale? Were you surprised? Did you enjoy it? Leave your thoughts in the comments.
AMC airs its final episode of "Breaking Bad" in 2012 Sunday at 10 p.m., before the show picks back up next year for the second half of the last season. Before the mid-season finale, check out this extended peek at Sunday's episode and tell us whether you're looking forward to it.
What are you looking forward to in the episode?
On the season finale of "The Bachelorette," single mom Emily Maynard finally picked a suitor.FULL ENTRY
The fifth-season finale of "Mad Men" appeared to come full circle for ol' Dick Whitman, er, Don Draper.
Note: Spoilers below.FULL ENTRY
From 11 a.m. to 11:45, come chat about all things "American Idol." Did the right person win? Did Steven Tyler call anything beautiful? Did JLo get "goosies"? Will you watch next year?
And then from 11:45-12:30 we'll switch to our usual TV free-skate, wherein we talk about whatever you like from the "Revenge" finale to the upcoming summer shows. It's not a chat sprint, it's a chat marathon! Be sure to carbo-load.
About Viewer Discretion
ContributorsKatie McLeod is Boston.com's features editor.
Rachel Raczka is a producer for Lifestyle and Arts & Entertainment at Boston.com.
Emily Wright is an Arts & Entertainment producer at Boston.com.
Sarah Rodman is a TV and music critic for the Boston Globe.
Meghan Colloton is a Things to Do and Arts & Entertainment producer at Boston.com.
Michael Brodeur is the assistant arts editor for the Boston Globe, covering pop music, TV, and nightlife.