American critics are largely impressed with the final episode of ‘Breaking Bad’, ‘Felina’. Here’s a spoiler-free guide to the US reviews.
The final episode of ‘Breaking Bad’, ‘Felina’ will air in the UK this morning via Netflix, but for those who can’t wait that long, here are the best of the reviews from the United States.
“The final episode of ‘Breaking Bad’ had a lot of business to take care of in a short time… ‘Felina,’ the last episode ever of the magnificent series ‘Breaking Bad’, was a kind of machine gun of narrative, knocking down all of those questions with auto-fire efficiency.
‘Felina’ was – as effective, satisfying series finales are – true. It was true to the five seasons that preceded it, true to Walter White’s obsessions and pride, and true to what ‘Breaking Bad’ is at heart: a Western.”
“Gilligan and his writers spent the last two episodes pulling Walt up from ‘Ozymandias’s’ rock bottom… And this is where the finale is not quite so satisfying: After everything, after five seasons in which the writers were clocking Walt’s every misdeed, at the very end, they turned out to be Team Walt.”
“There was a lot of closure in ‘Breaking Bad’. You can say that Gilligan gave most of the viewers what they wanted (and, impressively, he did that by staying true to himself and the story without selling out or becoming unrecognizably saccharine as he tied the bow).”
“There just isn’t a weak season of ‘Breaking Bad.’ There’s just superior work, a sprint toward evil that turned into a marathon. But like all big-talker shows that bring their heavy cargo in for a rough and breathlessly observed landing, ‘Breaking Bad’ didn’t quite leave itself enough runway to satisfactorily end some of its better story lines, especially once the chronology gap closed up between the flash-forwards from last year’s episodes and Sunday night’s conclusion. One could easily argue that there was just too much left to do in this one episode.”
“Perhaps the best thing about the finale of ‘Breaking Bad’ is that it actually ended. So many shows, notably ‘The Sopranos’ and ‘Lost,’ have gone dark without anything approaching finality. Here, the writers were so determined to not leave unfinished business that the last episode was called ‘Felina,’ an anagram of finale. And almost every loose end was tied. In some cases, a little too tightly, and in others, not quite as much.”
“After the heart-in-the-throat violence and suspense of the last few episodes, tonight’s finale is quiet. It doesn’t try to impress… Over and over again in this last appearance, Walt remains in the background while his legend does the work for him.”
“In what may be the first recorded (and distinctly over-tweeted) perfect finale in television history, AMC’s ‘Breaking Bad’ came to a close Sunday night. Not only did Vince Gilligan’s five-season, hyper-violent prose poem to midlife male frustration tie up virtually every loose end in sight, it contained the Holy Grail of all storytelling: an Actual Moment of Truth.”
“Tense, witty, violent, oddly tender and, in its own strange way, as close to a ‘happy’ ending as a story this dark could hope, this last episode brought the story to a straightforward, definitive conclusion, without the spirituality of ‘Lost’ or the ambiguity of ‘Sopranos’.”
From the first frame to the last on a series that absolutely belongs in the conversation of the best ever, Vince Gilligan knew what he was doing. The plan wasn’t always evident — indeed, ‘Breaking Bad’ consistently wrote itself into corners with no apparent exit, before devising an ingenious one — but as Sunday’s finale made eminently clear, this was a show whose narrative fearlessness was only matched by its boundless creativity and unpredictability… The only real error Gilligan made was in his ‘Mr. Chips becomes Scarface’ analogy. Actually, Michael Corleone is a much better point of reference. Because like the end of ‘The Godfather,’ all accounts were squared, all debts settled.”
“For the finale, ‘Breaking Bad’ let viewers feast on a particular ingredient show’s appeal: Seeing one frail man subvert expectations and get out of impossible situations through cunning and know-how. It was a parade of ‘Yeah, science!’ moments, though that science was sometimes a mere understanding of human nature”.
“Maybe one of the finer parts of this series is how Walt is the only character that changed so directly in personality traits from start to finish. It was his journey all along…And yet, in the end, Walt was as humanising as he was in the beginning of the series.”
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