Breaking Bad‘s terrific second season was tightly plotted ahead of time, with ample foreshadowing throughout. For the show’s third season, however, creator Vince Gilligan and his writers turned into expert jazz players, improvising every note, changing rhythm, and exploring all sorts of new grooves. Gilligan and Co. repeatedly force science-teacher-turned-methmaker Walt and his junkie partner Jesse into corners there’s seemingly no way they’ll get out of; and the creative team had no idea if they could either, until they started writing the next episode. An approach like this could easily have been disastrous, but instead makes for one of the all-time great seasons of television. The jagged, frayed chemistry between Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul makes for the best duo on TV, both giving fierce performances. Stand-out episodes in a stand-out season include “One Minute,” with an intense set piece for the ages; “Fly,” which takes place entirely in the lab, examining Walt and Jesse’s relationship; and “Full Measure,” the epic season finale. Extras include commentaries by Gilligan and the cast; and a number of featurettes.
Gobbledygeek episode 43, “Daytripping with Sweet-Toothed Nocturnal Orcs,” is available for listening or download right here. Paul had a very good “geek week,” as he puts it, and so discusses a bunch of the things he consumed in the past week: the TV series Archer and An Idiot Abroad; the comics Nocturnals: Black Planet, Sweet Tooth, Orc Stain, and Daytripper; and more. After that, the geeks take a look at upcoming DVD releases, offer pithy comments on the state of the US box office, and in another exciting installment of “Reel Picks,” AJ reviews The Expendables and Get Low before being joined by Paul to discuss All-Star Superman.
Next: our Oscars post-mortem.