Well last night was the finale to one of my all-time favorite dramas, Breaking Bad. It’s the only show I can remember that actually got better with age. Each season raised the stakes and built our expectations. Last night’s payoff was well worth the commitment (which is far more than I can say for Dexter).
Series finales are usually a tough maneuver to execute. When a story becomes so captivating and person, each viewer has their own version of the right way it should all end. Lucky for us, Vince Gilligan is no ordinary show runner. I heard some complaints about last night’s finale being a bit too predictable. That may be true to a degree, but I think the ending was far more satisfying than a cliffhanger or a “draw your own conclusion.”
Here are my favorite things about “Felina” :
- “I did it for me.” It took five seasons, but Walt finally admits that he did it all for himself. Its a powerful moment of clarity that really brings the whole series full circle.
- Uncle Jack gets a bullet to the face as he pleads for his life. Polar opposite of Hank, who died with honor. The blood spatter on the camera helped reinforce the power of that moment in a Django-kind-of-way.
- Glad that Walt gave up the coordinates so that Hank and Gomie can get a proper burial. I liked Gomez, and he didn’t deserve to die.
- Lydia gets the ricin in her tea cup. Drink up.
- Jesse got to kill Todd, which was rather cathartic to watch. Remind anyone of Walt and the bike lock from season one? The crunch at the end was a tasty little detail.
- I’d say the biggest surprise of the night was the scene involving Gretchen and Elliot. Vince really knows how to play with our expectations. Instead of murdering his ex-business partners, Walt blackmails them into laundering the money for his family. The icing on the cake is a fake sniper lasers. I was also really happy to see Skinny Pete and Badger one more time.
- Walt and Jesse share a final moment. It always felt that their father/son dynamic was always more important than Walt and Flynn.
- Jesse has a touching day dream about life as a carpenter. Despite all that he’s been through, Jesse still has something to live for. In a series full of darkness, Jesse has always been a small ray of hope.
- Love the camera angle as Walt dies. You can feel his soul leaving his body. Definitely feels like a callback to “Crawl Space.”
I could go on and on, but those are my highlights. I find it admirable that Breaking Bad is so elaborate, yet so concise. In only five seasons, Vince took us on ride of complete transformation. Although we’ve arrived at our destination, the journey will stay with us forever.
Also, Breaking Bad has helped me realize how much Dexter sucks. I’m sorry, but its true.
Yes, it’s Monday. Yes, Breaking Bad is done forever. But guess what? RAC‘s brand new EP, Don’t Talk To, is finally here…
The EP includes two tracks that we already knew about: the first single “Let Go (ft. Kele and MNDR)” which is shaping up to be a hit and his collaboration piece with Penguin Prison, “Hollywood.” The EP is rounded out by two more stellar offerings: the mellow “Tourist (ft. Tokyo Police Club)” and the poignant yet poppy “We Belong (ft. Katie Herzig).” Monday just got a whole lot better. Check out the EP below, or buy it on iTunes.
In a show of appreciation for their ever-growing fan base, hometown favorite Gentlemen Hall has been releasing a new song to stream every Wednesday for the past three weeks. Yesterday they debuted their new song, “In the Rearview (Lowlight).” Known for their light hearted and masterful synth play, they maintain and even expand on that standard. The song centers around the notion that sometimes it takes something as simple as a car ride to get out of yourself for a second and put everything aside that anchors you down. The structure of the song really mirrors that sentiment. A simple, yet driving verse that seems to be flying down the highway at 80 MPH. And a chorus that hits hard enough to feel like you just got shot out of a cannon and seemingly into space. Gentlemen Hall. I’m a fan. Stream “In the Rearview (Lowlight)” below and be on the lookout for new music from them in the coming weeks.
Youngblood Hawke has been stealing the hearts of indie fans everywhere since the release of their self-entitled EP last year (and for the hard core indie fans, since Iglu & Hartly). They continued their tour-de-force this spring with their first full album, Wake Up. Now the second single off that album, “Stars (Hold On),” gets a makeover from Brooklyn based DJ, Penguin Prison. He gives it the full funk treatment, offering a light and refreshing take on a composition that was otherwise pretty dramatic (heavy strings and super expressive percussion etc). Stream “Stars (Hold On) – Penguin Prison Remix” below, and check out the original too if you want a little comparison. Also, look for Penguin Prison in the next couple weeks, he’ll be featured on RAC’s EP, Don’t Talk To, set to be released September 30th.
P.S. Mind boggling: the plural of brussel sprout is brussels sprout. Like attorneys general, or culs-de-sac. Truly bonkers. Don’t ask where any of that came from.
EVERYBODY STOP WHAT YOU’RE DOING. I’M DECLARING AN EMERGENCY DANCE PARTY. Ok, now that that’s settled…familiarize yourself to Jessica Agombar real quick. Originally a member of an all-female outfit called PARADE, Agombar is kicking off her solo career with this spitfire of a single. And it’s catchy as a sock that just came out of the dryer (you know…because of static). Stream “Double” by Jessica Agombar below, and enjoy your Monday morning dance party.
P.S. This may be crazy, and I may be rushing things, but I’m fairly certain I’m in love with this girl. So Jessica, if you’re reading this and you happen to be in to American guys who don’t go to the gym nearly enough and tell super corny jokes…I’m your man.
Introducing Alexandre Cheatle. Just 19 years old (pause to reflect how little you’ve done with your life), Alex has her roots in singing and songwriting, and has won multiple awards across the UK. Now it looks like she’s proving her worth as a producer as well. Take her track “Sweet Loving” for example. Working with the King Midas’s in the industry of late: Flume, Star Slinger and Ta-ku, Cheatle’s tracks are the perfect matrimony between pop and production. Her crooning melodies paired with brilliantly composed mixes are a match that will make you put her on repeat all day.
P.S. Apparently I just need to move to the UK considering the amount of amazing music that is coming from across the pond. Maybe pick up an accent. Bitches love accents.
There isn’t much more I can say about Lorde. I wrote my first blog post about her a while back, but the creativity never seems to cease. “Team” is a testament to that. She has a knack for knowing where to place a great kick, and how to write choruses that can easily become anthems. Her introspective character is also something to be admired. Here’s what she included with the description of “Team” on YouTube:
i am in paris as i release this. every street we drive down makes my eyes pop with the most incredible things carved in stone, and gilded on pillars, and wrought with metal; the heroes and heroines of this city aren’t so hard to find. this song’s are a little more mismatched, less classic courtesans on their pedestals, but nonetheless brilliant. this song is kinda of that world, and at the same time, very much of this one. enjoy.
REMINDER: This girl is 16. She’s going to quickly emerge as a young hero in the pop world. Whether you’re young or old, like pop music or despise it; her talent is undeniable. Listen to “Team” below. The album entitled Pure Heroine, is set to release September 27th.