Well, it’s the one we’ve been both waiting for and dreading: The third-season finale of Breaking Bad. After the gasping conclusion of last week’s hour — Bryan Cranston’s Walter White ramming into two drug dealers with his car and then shooting the one still breathing — the series’ stakes have been raised.
Compared to the dramatic scope and cast-size of Lost, Breaking Bad is almost minimalist TV, a Samuel Beckett play for television drama: It can’t go on, it will go on.
The season was studded with memorable moments and lines. Among the ones I think of most fondly:
• In the season premiere, Walt’s wife Skyler spitting out the accusation, “You’re a drug dealer!” To which Walt replied, as though the nicety of language made a difference in their lives at that point, “I’m a manufacturer, not a dealer.”
• The moment when Walt angrily throws the pizza on top of the roof of his garage. (Cranston told my colleague Dalton Ross and me, “That was a nice accident, done in one take. We thought it would just kind of splatter against the house, but I held the pizza in my hand, testing its heft, and just gave it my best effort. Turned out nice, didn’t it?”)
• Bob Odenkirk’s magnificently oily attorney Saul looking from a disheveled-looking Jesse to Walter and saying to Walt, “You are now officially the cute one in the group. Paul, meet Ringo; Ringo, meet Paul.”
• Hank’s confrontation with the deadly cousins in the suburban parking lot in episode seven, “One Minute,” as amazing an action scene as any show has presented all year.
• In the uniquely-shot episode “Fly,” Jesse’s hilariously exasperated comment as Walt grows ever-more obsessed with cleaning their meth-making equipment: “We make poison for people who don’t care. We probably have the most un-picky customers in the world!”
I’ll be back here early tomorrow for a complete wrap-up, but in the meantime, I ask you:
What do you hope happens in the season finale, and how much are you going to miss this show?
And: what were some of your favorite moments of the past season?