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.
Well, after a few frustrating delays, Gobbledygeek episode 45, “Secret Origins,” is finally available for listening or download right here. To celebrate the show’s one-year anniversary, Paul and AJ decide to reach back into the dusty, cobweb-laced corners of their minds to bring us their Secret Origins: their first geek experiences, what led them to becoming full-fledged geeks, what made them into who they are today. Such memories as paper-and-dice role-playing, live-action role-playing, and chat room role-playing are brought up…wow, that’s a lot of role-playing. Never again question their geek credentials. Also, things like comic books, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, computers, and more. Plus you’ve got news; upcoming DVD releases; AJ’s takes on The Troll Hunter, Another Year, and How Do You Know; and Paul and AJ’s joint reviews of The Adjustment Bureau and Rango.
Next: we know we’ve got some listeners who don’t really “get” the comics portions of our show, so we shall endeavor to offer a comic book primer.