Breaking Bad

Top Ten Thursday: TV Characters

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In continuation from the previous TTT’s theme, characters, here’s a quick and short list of my favorite 10 TV series characters. Took me a while to narrow them down, but here they are.

10. Daryl Dixon (The Walking Dead)

If there was no Daryl, there would likely be no Walking Dead. Or otherwise it would have been a more boring show with less followers. Daryl started out in his brother’s shadow, and in a way he keeps living in the shadows. But he’s gone a long way, he’s bonded with the group and in some instances he leads it or helps Rick with that task. He’s an extraordinary tracker, somewhat bad-tempered, but otherwise fearless and he gets the job done. Needless to say Norman Reedus does a very skilful work of portraying the character.

9. Reginald ‘Red’ Forman (That ’70s Show)

If Red and Daryl share one thing, it’s their temper. Except Red tends to show it more often as he doesn’t live in the shadows and has a thing or two to say about everything. Kurtwood Smith was born to play the role, delivering all the sassy, ironic, and sarcastic comments with a passion. The show as a whole has fantastic writing and each character shines in its own way, but Red sort of still manages to steal the show.

8. Dana Scully (The X-Files)

Whenever someone says TV doesn’t have strong female leads, Gillian Anderson as Dana Scully is there to prove them wrong. With a background in science and medicine, the FBI saw her potential while she saw the chance to distinguish herself. She was still young when she attended the FBI Academy, but she was quickly assigned to the X-Files to assist Fox Mulder (David Duchovny) but they were pretty much equals in their work. While we’re on the topic of the X-Files, A 6-EPI REBOOT HAS BEEN CONFIRMED THIS WEEK!! Same cast, same story, same feelings!

7. Dexter Morgan (Dexter)

He’s the hero no one wanted, but the one they deserved. That’s obviously a poor play on words, as I don’t think Dexter’s anywhere near a hero. They guy was a sociopath and a serial killer. But he avoided murdering innocent citizens and instead he focused his “work of art” toward the criminals, mainly other killers. He worked as a forensic blood spatter analyst with the Miami Metro PD so he had access to all kinds of police things, including the ability to discover potential killers. I think it’s safe to say Michael C. Hall‘s Dexter Morgan was my favorite character, up till that moment where his character arc got screwed up. And we shall not speak about that series finale.

6. Leslie Knope (Parks and Recreation)

Leslie (portrayed by Amy Poehler) is a true refreshment to TV in every sense of the word. She doesn’t just show the standard strong female lead, but she shows how she’s flawed and human. She keeps working hard, usually fails, but never gets disappointed and keeps her spirit high and jolly. There are very few words which can describe Knope, but let’s just say she’s eccentric and extraordinary. If you ever need something done, Leslie has probably done it for you already, included several versions for you to choose from, and has made a scrapbook about it.

5. Xena (Xena: Warrior Princess)

Xena’s sort of the female version of Hercules, with a more interesting story arc. Also, Lucy Lawless.

4. Anthony ‘Tony’ Soprano (The Sopranos)

Tony Soprano through the portrayal of James Gandolfini is largely regarded as one of the best, if not the best, characters to ever appear on TV. All with due reason of course. While the character is an ill-tempered sociopath who for the most of the show tries to maintain his position as a street boss, he’s also shown as struggling with depression and experiences panic attacks. Anyway, maintaining one of the most powerful criminal organizations is obviously no small deal.

3. Tyrion Lannister (Game of Thrones)

I have a tender spot in my heart for cripples, bastards, and broken things. Peter Dinklage truly shines through the role of Tyrion Lannister, a witty dwarf-sized man born to the richest family in the whole seven kingdoms, which unfortunately is also the most elitist house. He gets hate and jokes on his account not only from the common-folk and the lords and ladies in the rest of Westeros, but from those around him, including his family. In fact, his family, with the exception of his brother, may hate him the most as they blame him for the death of his mother (who died while giving birth to him).

2. Walter White (Breaking Bad)

Some of the inspiration for Walter White actually came from Tony Soprano (see above at #4). You can see the similarities, Walter White (played by Bryan Cranston) struggles with an illness (though in this case it is cancer) while he aims to maintain his position as Heisenberg, the infamous king of the meth industry (would it be classified as an industry? Guess we can ring the bell ding-ding-ding a few times and ask Mr. Gustavo Fring, or whatever is left of him). Walter has trouble both with his health and his family, but it certainly is no easy task to hide a meth business not only from your wife and kids, but also from your brother-in-law who just happens to be a DEA agent.

1. Edmund Blackadder (The Black Adder)

Lord Edmund Blackadder, latter Lord High Executioner and Minister of Religious Genocide, was a true master of the verbal insult. Rowan Atkinson has had some fantastic roles, but in my honest opinion none are even close to his portrayal of Edmund Blackadder. The man outshines those around him with his intelligence, his charm, with the ability to hide his fear and pretend he’s brave, and obviously with the amount of hate he gets from his rivals.

Honorable Mention

Barney Stinson (Neil Patrick Harris, How I Met Your Mother)

Buffy Summers (Sarah Michelle Gellar, Buffy the Vampire Slayer)

Chandler Muriel Bing (Matthew Perry, Friends)

Harvey Specter (Gabriel Macht, Suits)

Malcolm ‘Mal’ Reynolds (Nathan Fillion, Firefly)

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Top Ten Thursday: TV Series Finales

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[No worries, this is spoiler-free!] There are so many shows out there, yet so little time to watch all of them. We may choose to watch only popular or critically acclaimed ones, but the truth is regardless of whether a show has had a good or bad course, the last episode can always go the other way. There are bad shows with great endings, good shows with bad endings, and if I’m being honest I’m not sure which case is better. Here’s my list of favorite top 10 series endings till today (do note there are countless shows I haven’t seen).

  • 10 – Lost

I’m listing this here not because of its greatness but because it marked this show’s end. Okay, jokes aside, it wasn’t horrible. It was something and it was likely the best it could have been after everything that happened in the previous seasons. This show got so complex, with double and triple meanings and “it’s up to you to decide what that is” that I was expecting it’d have a joke of a finale. And while the finale doesn’t really reveal much, it was decently done and managed to wrap up a series that should have ended way sooner.

  • 9 – The Sopranos

I’ve previously mentioned (might not have been here on this blog but I’ve definitely expressed that previously) that this show wasn’t really my cup of tea — but I cannot deny that it was quality TV. Its finale was controversial, some people still aren’t over how it ended, but I believe it was a bold move and something unique. If you’ve watched it, whether you loved it or hated it, it’s definitely something you’ll remember.

  • 8 – House MD

To be upfront here, I started hating this series because it got so ridiculously repetitive and lost all signs of a plot in it. It was basically running season after season because of the main character and his responses to those around him. Except in their final season it improved significantly, and managed to deliver a satisfying end to what was becoming a tiresome song on repeat.

  • 7 – 30 Rock

I feel this show was starting to become slower as time went by, but it picked up the pace for its ending and it certainly delivered a quality finale. So many references, so many jokes, so many references to jokes, and yet it also provided a lot of sweet and touching moments. It was a refreshing episode that shows the spirit of the whole series.

  • 6 – Buffy the Vampire Slayer

A fantastic wrap up, a lot of highly emotional farewells, and overall a great ending for a great series. I

  • 5 – The Office

Small time jump, a reunion for all employees throughout the series, and a wedding. Maybe it’s all of those things that, maybe it’s the emotions, maybe it’s the humor, but the Office’s finale was a satisfying end to a very long (yet always funny and true to itself) series. I don’t believe it could have ended any better.

  • 4 – Friends

Another comedy, another very long series, and another fantastic ending. Everyone takes their separate way (except Ross with Rachel and Chandler with Monica), some sad farewells are said, a final cup of coffee is to be taken at the one and only place, and we have a final look at the now-empty apartments which look so sad.

  • 3 – Six Feet Under

I loved their series finale for two very simple reasons — it gave closure for all characters, but all of that was done by an episode completely different from how they ran the whole show. And it was the good kind of different. In many aspects I believe this show can teach every writer or producer a thing or two, because despite all their flaws it will go down in history as one of the best series.

  • 2 – Parks and Recreation

This one just took place but it has strongly placed itself near the top. After their previous season’s final episode I thought they will never manage to produce anything better for a finale. That episode in itself was better than most series finales, making anything as good as that was mission impossible. Yet, they managed to accomplish said impossible mission and delivered a finale which not only wraps up everything, but provides a lengthy and detailed view at the happenings of many characters from the series (both leading and supporting ones). Humor mixed with sadness, laughter mixed with tears. Ron Swanson would likely say “crying: accepted at funerals, the Grand Canyon, and the series finale of Parks and Recreation.”

  • 1 – Breaking Bad

There was a lot of talk about this one and it’s clear everyone didn’t enjoy it. But to me, it was perfect. It featured everything I think it needed to have, nothing less and nothing more. That’s how the whole series was, in my humble opinion, and I love that they stayed true to their goals. I had many scenarios in my head about which direction the show will take for the finale, but in the end I’m pleased with how things actually went down.

66th Primetime Emmy Awards Wishlist

On August 25th the 66th Emmy Awards will take place, honoring excellence in American primetime television programming. Or so the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences likes to say to make their awards sound important and grandiose. It was my initial intention to do a post with predictions about the winners, but unfortunately they’ve chosen to not even include some of my personal favorites in the Emmy Awards 2014 Nominees List.

So instead of doing a predictions post, I’m doing a wishlist post. Since they’ve decided to omit quite a number of quality TV shows and cast members in their categories, I decided to not care about their nominees. Not claiming to be a better TV expert than anyone else, but it’s a bit apparent they’re clinging to past strong contenders. Contenders which were strong in the past, that is, but they’d rather keep giving them nominations than to give a nod to something fresh and new.

I’ve been trying to keep my Current Top TV List up to date, but since I only include currently running shows that I’m following, it does not mention certain TV shows that ended this year (and there were some good ones — heck I still can’t get over Breaking Bad!). If you’re nosy and want a full list of what I’ve watched or where I’m at with current shows, you can always stalk my Episode Calendar Profile. Otherwise, keep reading for my full wishlist of winners.

  • Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or Movie

»» Allison Tolman as Deputy Molly Solverson on Fargo (FX)

  • Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or Movie

»» Martin Freeman as Dr. John Watson on Sherlock: “His Last Vow” (PBS)

  • Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series

»» Christine Baranski as Diane Lockhart on The Good Wife (CBS)

  • Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series

»» Aaron Paul as Jesse Pinkman on Breaking Bad (AMC)

  • Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series

»» Kate Mulgrew as Galina “Red” Reznikov on Orange Is the New Black (Netflix)

  • Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series

»» Ty Burrell as Phil Dunphy on Modern Family (ABC)

  • Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or Movie

»» Kristen Wiig as Cynthia Morehouse on The Spoils of Babylon (IFC)

  • Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or Movie

»» Billy Bob Thornton as Lorne Malvo on Fargo (FX)

  • Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series

»» Tatiana Maslany as Various Characters on Orphan Black (BBC America)

  • Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series

»» Matthew McConaughey as Detective Rustin Cohle on True Detective (HBO)

  • Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series

»» Amy Poehler as Leslie Knope on Parks and Recreation (NBC)

  • Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series

»» Louis C.K. as Louie on Louie (FX)

  • Outstanding Television Movie

»» The Normal Heart (HBO)

  • Outstanding Miniseries

»» Fargo (FX)

  • Outstanding Comedy Series

»» Orange Is the New Black (Netflix)

  • Outstanding Drama Series

»» Breaking Bad (AMC)

Granted, out of the full list I made above only Tatiana Maslany did not get an Emmy nomination. But if one looks at their full list of nominations, they can notice quite a number of splendid TV shows are missing that should have gotten some recognition. On the other hand, after reviewing my own list I see the only repeats are Orange Is the New Black with two awards (supporting comedy actress and comedy series), Breaking Bad with two awards (supporting drama actor and drama series) and Fargo with three awards (supporting miniseries actress, lead miniseries actor, and miniseries).

Still, it’s a list of winners that I would be very happy with, though I am aware it’s not happening. Doesn’t make it any less-worthy. Yet I really hope that Breaking Bad, Orange Is the New Black, and Fargo take home most of the awards. Out of the performances, I’d support the ones I’ve listed. Yet I wouldn’t mind Peter Dinklage for the supporting actor in drama series, Bryan Cranston for lead actor in drama series, or Robin Wright for lead actress in drama series.

Do you have any favorites? Who are you rooting for? And who are you sad about that did not get an Emmy nomination this year? Comments section is below this post!

TV Finales & Endings

Okay okay, I promise I’ll move beyond the TV show posts, just have to get down these thoughts that have been haunting my mind lately.

Note — This post/article/rant/younameit contains spoilers for the following TV shows: The Walking Dead, Hannibal, How I Met Your Mother, Dexter, Lost, Parks and Recreation, Suits, and Breaking Bad. If you’re not caught with them and you do not want spoilers, please locate the shiny red ‘x’ button and fly away somewhere safe.

It is my opinion that a TV show’s strongest potential lies within the finale episodes. Assuming that the first few, or even just the premiere episode of a season captures your interest, you’re likely to stick with the season hoping what you saw at the beginning will get even better. Taking Hannibal as an example, the season 2 premiere starts with a showdown between Hannibal Lecter and Jack Crawford, it can’t get better than that! Of course you soon realize this is just a glimpse of the future, we move back to previous events right after that scene. But the point is, you’re shown what you can expect by the end of the season, and you’re practically hooked for the rest of it. Not that I needed any more reasons to watch Hannibal, but it definitely works in their advantage.

However, whether or not I’m satisfied with the season would depend on that actual finale that features said scene I’ve been waiting for all that time. You’re showing me the candy you have in store, and I’ll gladly pay the price, but if that candy ain’t no good, you might not see me back for more. Hannibal’s season 2 finale takes place tomorrow, on the 23rd, so I can’t comment yet on whether or not it will be as fantastic as we all hope it will be, though the whole season has been great. But, again, if the end goal is not good, it would lower the value of the whole walk to said goal. The Walking Dead‘s finales, for example, are simply mind-blowing, and are probably the main reason I still watch the show. I find quite a few of the episodes to be rather boring with no progress whatsoever (and no, they’re not character development episodes, they’re simply filler material since those specific episodes do not contribute to the story or the characters at all — I still strongly believe the show could have less but stronger episodes if they just cut off some of the watching-grass-grow elements), but they keep doing these finales that ensure I come back next year for another season.

The finale of finales, the ending episode of a show, has that same impact multiplied by 10. I can still feel the disappointed some great shows have left me with their ending whenever I think of them. A rather recent example would be How I Met Your Mother‘s final episode. You know, where in the first half we got everything that the show was working toward through all their seasons, and then in the second half we see it all crumble down and we get the complete opposite. I keep seeing “it was logical” in defense of the ending, which makes no sense really. HIMYM was never logical, no episode was fully logical, it is a comedy and it had only one goal — to show how Ted met the mom. Somewhere along the way, they realized they’re making big bucks so they decided to have a full season leading to Robin and Barney’s wedding, in addition to showing the kids’ mom and having the fans become closer with her. And all that was undone in several minutes when the mom dies, the kids show absolutely no emotion regarding that, and they push Ted to go to Robin who divorced Barney (who went back to his old slutty ways but got a girl pregnant and he “fell in love” with his daughter) because her work was too important to make any sacrifice.

I’m well aware that they had this ending filmed back when the show started. However, that is no excuse for going along with it. The show went longer than planned, had a lot more content that initially planned, obviously, so that “old ending” no longer fit there. Ted and Robin kept going back and forth that them being together in the end is absolutely the last thing I wanted to see.

A similar case, but on a smaller level, took place with Dexter‘s finale. After realizing that he cannot change who he is and that those around him would always be in danger, he has Hannah and Harrison leave the country while he disappears with his boat. That would have been an average ending, leaving up to our imagination on what actually happens afterward. But they decided to show him working as a lumberjack, apparently living with the consequences his actions left him. The issue with this? Well, if he managed to become a peaceful Buddha lumberjack, that means he can go back to Hannah and Harrison. If he still posed danger to those around him, then why wasn’t he shown doing the oh so lovely deaths he used to do? Shake my head in disbelief.

A complete opposite of the Lost ending, which added more questions than resolving the plethora of mysteries we already had going. Yet I cannot decide which one was worse. It’s not about closure, giving us something that says “well, this show is over”, but rather about finalizing the story you told, the story the fans have so faithfully followed for years. You owe the audience at least that, a proper ending. It doesn’t have to be anything Disney-like (heck, I’m all for the harsh, cruel endings), but something that will truly complete the tale.

I feel like Parks and Recreation just schooled every other show on that front with their season 6 finale. Yes, it wasn’t even the actual last episode of the show, but I can guarantee you if that was in fact the last episode, 99% of the fans would have been satisfied. Leslie met Michelle Obama, the Mouse Rats reunited for the Unity Concert which also featured a Lil Sebastian hologram, Tom finally has a good business going thanks to all his friends, Leslie accepted the National Parks job but managed to find a way to work in Pawnee thanks to Ron who was fixing the third floor throughout the season, and we fast-forward in time to actually see this. If that wasn’t enough, we see Leslie’s triplets, and a cameo from Jon Hamm (Mad Men) being fired by Leslie because he was apparently worse than Garry, Jerry, Larry, Terry. Seriously, the episode had everything (with the exception of Ann and Chris) that a fan would want from the actual ending, it was that good!

They might yet screw up the actual ending, but the writing is so brilliant I doubt that’s possible. Let’s move to something that’s already over though — Breaking Bad. It kept going better and better and I was rather worried that moving up the ladder all the time would lead to an inevitable downfall with the ending. Oh boy, was I wrong. And I’ve never been that glad to be wrong. The highlight, and likely the best episode on TV ever was definitely S5E14 – Ozymandias, but the two following afterward, Granite State and Felina, provided a rather bittersweet yet satisfying ending. I kept imagining possible scenarios for the end and I didn’t like any of them, so thank you Vince Gilligan for providing that unique one that felt just right. Heisenberg manages to pull a final mastermind act to save Jesse, while losing his own life. But obviously ensures that the money he worked so hard to obtain will eventually be given to his family. There’s a reason why everyone was, is, and likely will still be talking about Breaking Bad for a while.

Last, but not least, I’d like to give some credit to Suits. I feel like it’s this baby show that no many are aware of but it will eventually have its BOOM because they deserves it with the outstanding writing and acting. Its finales never disappoint, are full of twists and misleading plots, and they make the impossible quite possible — I don’t believe I can ever sit down and watch full seasons of any other lawyer show. Might be because it is not your typical courtroom lawyers, but still, season after season even when I think the show might start losing its juice and will likely end soon, they spin things around and bring enough freshness for me to crave at least a few more seasons. These lawyers have some tricks up their sleeves, and they know how to use them.

So, to sum up, if you’re going to do a finale for a season or for the end of a show, make it bloody count. Because it will have an impact on who continues to watch your show, and who praises or curses your show after it’s all done.

Top 5 TV Episodes, August 19th-1st

Due to the fact that I’ve been busy and will remain busy for about two more weeks, I decided to head for the impossible and try to combine two weeks worth of TV Show Episodes in two consecutive posts. By that, I mean instead of doing 4 posts, one for each week of a month’s time, I’d instead do just 2 posts and they would each cover two weeks of that same time period. By impossible, I mean placing TV Episodes of the same Show against each other. This post covers the TV Episodes I’ve seen during the period of August 19th and the 1st of September. On my cut-off position I’d like to place Dexter’s S08E09 Make Your Own Kind of Music episode. With a single episode during this 2-weeks period, it was definitely the weakest link in the pile. Now just 3 more episodes left till the Show’s end, and no sign of a big  finish.

#5 – Under the Dome: S01E10 – Let the Games Begin

This episode was full of revelations and general information discovery in many directions. Linda finding a key in Duke’s sheriff hat that leads to a safety-deposit box in Chester Mill’s bank, which reveals quite a bit of the bad work in the city to both her and Julia, who additionally opens a safety-deposit box of her own which tells her of the whereabouts of her husband. Maxine opens a bar where people gamble possessions on bare-knuckled fights and the star of the fight is the town’s new hero. Big Jim pays a visit to a lake house in hope to find information regarding Maxine and Barbie’s relationship, but might find a bit more than he’s hoping for. Dodee sets on a mission to discover what Joe and Norrie are up to and comes across the mini-dome which apparently is a character of its own now. Meanwhile, Angie realizes she knows the identity of the person whom the mini-dome’s fourth handprint belongs to.

#4 – Breaking Bad: S05E12 – Rabid Dog

This was not a weak episode for Breaking Bad, not at all, the only reason it’s placed lower than the preceding episode is because this one has less action. It was obviously there to get things rolling for the next episode. We see Jesse’s loyalties changing now that he realized Walter poisoned Brock, and we see Skyler that she’s no longer the whiny witch from the previous seasons, she’s ready to ride in Heisenberg’s car (in fact, she’d prefer to drive!). It was a good episode, I cannot imagine Breaking Bad having a weak episode at this point, but an obvious slightly slowing down with so the plot can get ready for the final race.

#3 – Suits: S03E07 – She’s Mine

Slightly behind its preceding episode, but only because I greatly missed the flashbacks we had in that one. This was a fun and witty episode, as always. I enjoyed the mock trial between Louis and Nigel as to who should get custody over Nigel’s cat. While they are very few, I’m definitely a fan of the mock trials in this TV Show. Mike heading head to head with Jessica, I think it’s safe to say he feels part of the family (Pearson Specter) when we see him just walking in Jessica’s office as he does in Harvey’s office. Then we have Donna standing up against Huntley because he screwed up Harvey, obviously proving she still loves him. And finally, that was that ending scene where Harvey delivered the beating up he promised to Huntley. Might just be one of Suits’ best endings so far.

#2 – Suits: S03E06 – The Other Time

A fantastic episode spiced up with flashbacks from 10 years ago! Suits could not have had a better scenario than this one. There is not much left to discuss here, seeing the early days of Donna, Harvey, Donna & Harvey, Jessica, Trevor, etc. The present and 10 years ago versions were mixed up together in a great fashion, capturing messages that still haunt our characters even 10 years after. We also finally found out why Mike couldn’t have went to Harvard after coming to work with Harvey (it always bugged me why no one even mentioned this, so thank goodness that possible plot hole has been filled). A look back on its own would have been great for Suits, but to add to the level of quality, it was executed brilliantly. A must-watch.

#1 – Breaking Bad: S05E11 – Confessions

Skyler, Walter, Marie, and Hank, are out for dinner which turns out to be one of the several unbearably tense dinners the show has seen in its existence. Obviously telling someone “Just kill yourself” is a bad thing to do at dinner, Marie. Could have at least waited after you finished eating. The waiter offering margaritas and tableside guacamole did not help at all. But, Heisenberg is Heisenberg and he will not let some crazy Marie who cannot differentiate between rocks and minerals have the last word. He had videotaped his confessions as a meth cook, which he made sure Marie and Hank had a copy of before leaving dinner. Your reaction was probably close to mine – WHAT?! But, as it happens, the confessions are false and point toward Hank as the muscle behind the whole operation, obviously putting the Schrader family in a tight position. Jesse on the other hand, has no idea what he’s doing but on Walter’s suggestion he decides to leave town. Except just as he’s about to pop in the getaway car, he realizes the truth behind poor little Brock’s death.

BreakingBadS05E11

Breaking Bad S05E11: Confessions

Top 5 TV Episodes, August 12th-18th

That was one heck of a week, so let’s get down to the quick reviews right away!

#5 – True Blood: S06E10 – Radioactive

 Out of all the possible ways to end the season, they chose the worst — fast forwarding things to 6 months in advance and showing completely new settings in the town of Bon Temps. After all the vampires drank away Bill’s blood, he has returned to his normal self — but with Lilith no longer being part of him, he is also mortal again (well, as mortal as a vampire can be, the thought is he is no longer a god). Warlow tells Sookie the painful truth (that’s she’s a danger whore who believes she can achieve anything because she thinks she is special) and is decided to marry her at all costs, but there comes Bill again to save her. Granted, I’d say the episode had a good start, but when the fast forward of 6 months came in after the first half of the episode, I knew this was not headed in any good direction. Some weird reunion between Tara and her mother, Sookie leading a life with Alcide as her husband, Jason satisfying Violet and the mention that she hasn’t let him have sex with her during those 6 months, a Church meeting where the folks of Bon Temps are told to keep together as well as asked to be checked for Hep V and all negative, all those negative for Hep V being asked to make a deal with a vampire to feed them and in return receive protection, and many more weird scenes crammed together with no specific link is what was delivered to us in this flash part of the episode. Overall, the episode was nothing fitting for a season finale.

#4 – Dexter: S08E08 – Are We There Yet?

The episode’s title seems to describe my feeling with this Dexter season perfectly. We’re just four episodes away from the grand finale, yet it seems like the series is progressing like any previous season. Filler in scenes, lots of distractions from the main plot, and too much hopping from one place to another. The high-point of this episode was the dinner at Dr. Vogel’s with Dexter, Hannah, and Zach. So much psycho in the same room! Poor Zach’s purpose in the series ended with this episode as Dexter found him at home with half his head cut off and missing a specific brain part — it would seem the brain surgeon is alive and operating again, as we saw a glimpse of Dr. Vogel looking at a container of water and what seemed to be like the missing brain part. Another gift left at her house, but by who, who could the brain surgeon be? A bit obvious at this point that it is Cassie’s boyfriend. He showed almost no compassion for her death, and he saw Zach with Dexter. There was also Dr. Vogel refusing to say why she’s so interested into serial killers at the previously mentioned dinner, so we can assume that Cassie’s boyfriend is actually her psycho son. Wrong or not? Only one way to find out.

#3 – Suits: S03E05 – Shadow of a Doubt

Business continues as usual at Pearson Darby, except it might actually turn into Pearson Darby Specter. In the final moments of the episode we see Jessica in Harvey’s office, offering to make him a name partner because now that she saw how Darby is treating her she understands she’s been treating him the same way and would prefer if they’re on the same side. Will the two of them be reunited or will Harvey take Darby’s side? Louis is having a bromance with Nigel’s cat after agreeing to take care of her while Nigel’s on a work trip. Rachel and Mike’s days of romance might be turning short as the number of their fights increases. We see Mike at dinner with Rachel and her parents, and though he’ll pass that with flying colors, the truth he learns will sting him quite a bit. Donna and Huntley’s relationship started out great, but things took the wrong turn when Harvey poked his nose in there. All in all, a pleasant episode, despite the ongoing romances and whatnot.

#2 – Under the Dome: S01E08 – Thicker Than Water

That was one blast of an episode. If Under the Dome ever make it to the right path, it would be this episode. Norrie’s grieving for her month and blames Joe for her death because he took her to the center of the dome. Meanwhile, Joe takes Julia to see the black egg as she ponders over the idea of life and death happening under the dome, in one house, at the same time. Except, when she touches the egg’s mini-dome it does not show her Norrie’s mother, it shows her a double of Joe who also has a message for her “The Monarch will be crowned.” Ollie Dinsmore wants to be the sheriff in town or so-to-speak, but Big Jim has help on his side as well, and apparently Barbie’s good with home-made explosives as well because we see him blowing up the well at Ollie’s house. By doing that, Barbie let the water back into town through the other underground sources and thus helped the town of Chester’s Mill once again. Big Jim was not pleased that Barbie did not follow his command though, as Barbie was not pleased that his advice was not heard. Junior, after being verbally slapped by both his father and the sheriff, joins Ollie’s side and almost kills his father after learning that his mother committed suicide because of him. In the ending scene we see Angie having a monarch tattoo on her back, but we’re not sure what that means yet.

#1 – Breaking Bad: S05E10 – Blood Money

Two weeks since the TV show’s final episodes started airing, and two weeks on the top spot. Obviously Breaking Bad directors and cast know what they’re doing. The episode starts with an old man seeing some of the cash that Jesse threw away, and after following the trail of money, he finds Jesse. By the fact that Jesse’s later in the police station and being questioned, we can assume he was reported. To make matters worse, in the ending scene we see Hank walking in the questioning room where Jesse is. Before that, we have Hank getting a hold of Skyler before Walt does. But, it would appear Skyler stays true to Walt and does not agree to cooperate — not then, and certainly not after Walt visits her at home with Marie. Her advice to Walt is because it seems to her that Hank has no case, to stay quiet for the time being. On the other hand, Marie tells Hank that she should take whatever he has to the office so he isn’t flagged for cooperation if his team finds out about Walt on their own. We do see Hank asking Gomez to set up a conference call with Ramey. Lydia had her own role to play in this episode, visiting Declan’s meth operation and ordering (through her cell phone) for Declan’s men to be killed after Declan refused to return Todd as the cook even though he made better-quality meth (apparently trust beats work quality in Declan’s head, which sounds like the most reasonable thinking in this meth business so far). I’ll skip all the theories of what might come in the final episodes as obviously their place is not here. If you’re interested, visit this article:

http://www.uproxx.com/tv/2013/08/breaking-bad-blood-money-rewatch-color-schemes-theories-and-foreshadowing/

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Breaking Bad S05E10: Buried

Top 5 TV Episodes, August 5th-11th

 Another week, another ones of these short TV episode reviews. This time, surprisingly enough, I’m on time. Go me! Once again Skins finds itself here with its Season 7 finale (E06, Rise: Part 2), which ends Cook’s story. I don’t see how “rise” fits in this as he managed to get the loveliest girl ever killed along with her family, ends up separated with the girl he got in all that trouble for, and he’ still the same old douche he always was. Maybe because he decides to not kill Louie? Not good enough for me, sorry.

#5 – Under the Dome: S01E07 – Imperfect Circles

 I’m a little disappointed that all we got from Norrie and Joe touching the mysterious black egg who has its mini-dome and is located at the center of the Chester’s Mill Dome was a flash/hallucination of Norrie’s mother. Yet on the other hand, she (gasp) dies in that same episode. Could the two things be related? We also see a medium-pregnant (it’s not like we got to know which month she was in so we’re going with that measurement, yep) woman seeing her own husband at the other side of the dome (hallucination). Additionally, when she touches the dome the hallucinations stop, her water brakes, and Norrie’s mother gets to give birth (Barbie helps too, as he does with everything else in the city?) to the baby even though it’s early. One life lost, one life given. In general, not UtD’s best episode, but since I already watched the one from last night as well, I can tell you they’re gonna blow up the place next week. Pun intended, for those who saw last week’s episode as well.

#4 – True Blood: S06E09 – Life Matters

 And we finally get to see how all the vampires that met the true death in the compounds in Bill’s vision are saved. Obviously fairy blood is involved, which Bill has excess of so he lets everyone feed off him. A small puzzle is how Eric who had a huge head-start arrived later than Bill who was there to save them first. Not a puzzle but the most annoying this is that Sara got away, but I guess we wanted to see Jason let her go rather than kill her? I’m not sure about you, but I wanted her dead, just like Newlin died. So, now we have these vampires who are free and can walk under daylight and are also pissed off at humankind. Do I sense a blood-thirsty season finale next week?

#3 – Dexter: S08E07 – Dress Code

 A drop of two positions for our former two weeks crown-wearer. While I liked Hannah’s previous appearance on the show, this time around it seemed like too much of a soap opera. She comes back to Dexter with a husband who’s treating her bad, and she cannot get rid of him because his family will be suspicious, but Dexter can get rid of him for her and they won’t be suspicious? Sort of a hole in the plot there, as I don’t see how a person disappearing vs. dying will make the family less suspicious if Hannah gave them off bad vibes in the first place. But, all that aside, I do like the feel of domestic chaos around Dexter that seems to be this season’s point so far. He’s this cold blooded serial killer yet there’s his sister, the doctor who helped create him, the lovely neighbor, a new psycho he might be able to turn into a mini-Dexter, and his son follow in his footsteps (not the killing part, but the lying and the not being very social parts). I’m actually quite curious as to how it all wraps up seeing how the end is getting nearer and the plot seems to be getting bigger.

#2 – Suits: S03E04 – Conflict of Interest

 Firmly placed at spot #2, Suits just does not want to let go. The episode title gives it all away, I think this episode was mostly showing how people at Pearson-Darby have different interests and they’re all ready to do everything in their power to ensure theirs and not another party’s interests win. It’s also refreshing to not just have Harvey & Mike, but see some interaction between Donna & Rachel, Donna & Huntley, Louis & Jessica, Jessica & Darby, etc. In fact, Jessica vs. Darby I believe delivered the best parts of this episode. Classy and witty as always stays Suits.

#1 – Breaking Bad: S05E09 – Blood Money

A new episode for Breaking Bad, and it steals the crown right away. In fact the episode was perfectly done as a way to bring back Season 5 of the show with its additional and last eight episodes that the only thing I would change is its name. Whatever the current name is, from now on this will be known as The Tread Lightly Episode. For those who have not yet watched the episode (who hasn’t?!) that is from Walter’s reply to Hank after he tells him he no longer knows who he is — “If that’s true, if you don’t know who I am, then maybe your best course would be to tread lightly.” There are no means to describe the fierceness of this episode. There was very little of Walt Jr., Holly, and Marie (which is good). Jesse no longer trusts Walt. There was also Hank’s powerful realization scene of who Heisenberg is which was stronger than Linden’s realization of who the Pied Piper is in The Killing, yet they were of similar nature. And let’s not forget that final scene where Walt confronts Hank in his garage about the tracking device he found on his car and Hank’s reaction involves no movement at all, but simply closing the garage door. One just knows sh*t is going to hit the fan at that point!

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Breaking Bad S05E09: Blood Money