Thursday, June 28, 2012

Penny Thoughts ‘12—Breaking Bad, season 3 (2010) ****

TV-MA, 13 47-min. episodes
Creator: Vince Gilligan
Directors: Bryan Cranston, Adam Bernstein, Michelle MacLaren, Scott Winant, Johan Renck, John Shiban, Colin Bucksey, Michael Slovis, Rian Johnson
Writers: Vince Gilligan, Peter Gould, George Mastras, Sam Catlin, Moira Walley-Beckett, John Shiban, Thomas Schnauz, Gennifer Hutchison
Starring: Bryan Cranston, Anna Gunn, Aaron Paul, Dean Morris, Betsy Brandt, RJ Mitte, Giancarlo Esposito, John de Lance, Jere Burns, Carmen Serano, Luis Moncada, Daniel Moncada, Bob Odenkirk, Jonathan Banks, Tess Harper, Mark Margolis, Christopher Cousins, Steven Michael Quezada, Michael Bofshever, Danny Trejo, Julie Dretzin, Javier Grajeda, Michael Shamus Wiles, Charles Baker, David Costabile, Matt Jones, Jeremiah Bitsui, Krysten Ritter, Emily Rios, Julia Minesci

Season three of the cable television series “Breaking Bad” is a focusing season. Walt and Jesse are mostly done with their rookie flailing in the illegal drug manufacturing industry of Albuquerque, New Mexico. They are now established in their trade and working under a ruthless drug lord, but he’s their drug lord. Well, Walt’s anyway. Jesse still struggles with messing everything up, although he starts the season promisingly with a nice jab to his parents’ plans for his house. It isn’t long, however, until Jesse can’t seem to get out of his own way again.

One of my favorite characters is Walt’s brother-in-law, Hank. Dean Morris, who seems to have a contract that insists he play a cop in every role, plays Hank; and he goes through the ringer this season as his actions in the death of Tucco at the end of season one continue to haunt him in more ways than one. There is a moment this season when it seems like there is no way this DEA agent won’t discover Walt’s secret, how is works out has dire consequences for Hank. I hate and love the fact that these two will eventually have to realize they are on opposite sides.

The entire cast seems to tighten up this season, with more character recurrences and less new characters introduced overall. A number of the recurring characters get fleshed out this season, including the impenetrable Gus and his dirty work guy, Mike. Gale is an interesting new character. A nerdy chemist on the level of Walt’s intelligence and ingenuity, I can’t help but wonder if the season finale is a little misleading concerning Gale’s fate. After three seasons, I still don’t doubt this series’ ability to surprise me.

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