Everything I have written about Breaking Bad in the last 18 hours (SPOILERS)


Dimplepinch, in a pinch. Photo: Breaking Bad, AMC TV.

(I know there are typos here, but I seriously need a break from all things BB and am not combing through it right now… ❤ JM)



Tbh, I feel disappointed. I had 3 moments of cheering.



I want Lear. I want the KING of tragedies. I want everything he ever loved to suffer b/c of his choices.

The money??

I wanted him alone, in the desert, to die of a wound or cancer. For a show that is sooo cyclical to not end in the desert, is kinda shameful.

Jesse is broken. Busted. And I’m kinda anti-Jesse these days. I think the homeless person next to his car window when he gives away the money was more foreshadowing than anything. There is no happy ending for Jesse.

No. I want something worthy of Shelley. I want Shakespeare. They held that note for so long… And then pulled back on the throttle.

Oh i know. Reddit is with you. I’m sure the majority of fans are very, very happy. It was nice and tidy.

Reddit is as astounding as it is horrifying. The hive mind is the best of us, and the worst. That many brains going toward anything is pretty stunning. We knew from day 1 that Walt would die and Walt died. To pull back so far from the language that they created for so long was really depressing to me. It’s cool that everyone is pleased. I will take Tony Soprano’s end any day over this. Don’t set up a tragedy or a Western and give me a fairytale. His family is together, they will get the money, the law man got what he knew he signed up for, the conflicted son-figure has served his time physically and is done paying for the Father’s sins… yawn.

Lear is surrounded by the bodies of everyone and everything he loved, knowing it was his own doing and many of them tried to get him to stop and he couldn’t. Not even to say it was all “about him.” In Gilligan’s own words, Walt had his “Gollum/Precious moment” at the end surrounded by the thing he loves most and enveloped in it. Pure ecstasy. Not my bag. Not the show they taught me to read over 5 seasons. Gilligan even hinted at not wanting to leave any loose ends or questions for the viewer. Well, there’s still a lot. And he seemed to be directly hinting at Sopranos when he said it (along with the multiple references to it through the series). I would much rather be left with the emotion that Tony lived in, than WWs pure ecstasy of being surrounded by what he was best at and loved. I’m sure Skyler & Co. can work out their issues when that 10 million gets gifted to them. Too neat. Too tidy.

Also, for a show that would go to the lengths over the years of tying up its loose ends to the Nth, and even told us, seamlessly, in “Granite State” that Badger and Skinny Pete would come back and the body count would be 7, via a 15 years old college hockey game with one of the greatest comebacks in the history of the sport (Wisco. Badgers vs Denver {mascot: Pete}), suddenly we are instructed to not look very closely at things. Walt gets easily into the stolen white Volvo, in an otherwise empty bar parking lot, the cops (despite knowing he was calling from there/is in the area and a *nationwide manhunt for this supposed cop killer*) decide to ignore the car, then never bother looking for where it went or following the tracks in the snow, he is able to drive 8 miles back to his shack to get his money and medicine, and then has no problem at all *driving entirely across country* to New Mexico. In a stolen vehicle. While a nationwide man hunt is going on for him.* And* they know the most likely place he would go is New Mexico. And good thing the Nazi-nest had adobe walls and was on the ground floor and he could totally just pull up to it. And why would pesky Nazis that are casing his car before he enters their compound, bother to check his trunk? I mean, what could Heisenberg, a dying man with *nothing to lose* and the greatest chemist of his time with a thick trail of bodies in his wake possibly do at that point? The only portion of the show I was pleased with was the Gretchen and Elliott part, which e know from reading happened much at the urging of a dying 16 year old boy who asked Vince to show more of their relationship and why it was as it was. I wish the 16 year old had written the whole last episode.

Asking for suspension of disbelief in the *final episode* reads as deperate for me. With blowing up Tuco’s hang out, they said even before it aired, …we know this could never happen and have him live, sorry. Creating an explosion from chemicals and giving the Nazi-nest ground floor adobe walls and Walt a free pass to drive across country are very different things. One of them could actually happen, if you did it correctly and were willing to let your lead take some heavy damage. For such a well-written show to suddenly smear the lens in the last ep. and say, “Don’t look so closely, even though we have taught you that our show is built around you looking closely,” is just bad writing. Yeah the hockey game was an easter egg, like the thousands of easter eggs the show has utilized, teaching viewers to dig deep and turn over every stone… just not in the last episode.

Yeah, as a writer I can’t squint my eyes at it and say: “Yeah. That’s good enough.” They shouldn’t work on the level of constant, thick sub-text and then pull that out suddenly and say, “Okay, turn that off now, stop veiwing along those lines…” They can, but it souldn’t be in the last episode. I would have had Todd go after Skyler and kids, since Lydia told him to finish the job in Granite State. And Skyler would have struggled with him (and died) while Flynn and Holly got away. Thus, Skyler would have sacrificed herself for her kids. Flynn takes Holly and drives madly towards the police presumably, but his bad driving has been talked about for 3 seasons and he would have gotten into a car accident enough to put them both in the hospital. We see Marie visit them and get the idea they will live with her now. This gives Marie something good. I love the Gretchen and Elliott thing. Jesse, after watching his second lover get shot in the head and die and realizing everything has gone too far and he has nothing (and is broken) ties up the loose thread starting in season 1 of “Don’t smoke around the cook site,” and causes anexplosion in the lab when Todd and Uncle jack are there (since Jack has been told repeatedly to not smoke where they cook… Red Phosphorus), knowing it will probably take him out too. Jesse gets harmed but doesn’t die/is dying. Walt shows up and takes out rest of Nazis, has moment of connection with Jesse who dies, and then drives himself out to the desert, returning it to the first scene in the whole show, since up until Felina the show worked cyclically, and plays out the poem Ozymandias by dying of cancer in the desert, alone, with nothing he loves, and having lost it all for his pride and ego’s sake.

Yes, the ending they gave was in service to the viewer, for a show that never was in the first place. Jesse’s life now… and the Hallmark box-making moment. Oh man. Jesse was emotionally done after shooting Gael in the face. I can’t for one second think that after Gael, Jane, Andrea, he is going to have a good life at this point. Why keep him alive and suffering? He has no money, he is wanted in every state, and Badger wants to cook again, per the car scene with WW last night. So why give him/viewers that moment of false hope? He’s a junkie that has made terrible decisions over and over. He’s lovable, but that doesn’t mean he is going to have a good turn out. That was entirely in service to the viewer. And short-sighted.

I thought about the “Need for Speed” too. Ugh.

And the star Trek screenplay stands and played out, which is good because if it hadn’t, they would have wasted 6 minutes at the beginning of this season to it. The “Tolarberry/blueberry pie (meth)” contest first kills Kirk (the captain, Hank, in his Golden colors). It then kills the brainy one — Spock, one often dressed in/represented by blue (Walt), the one in red (Jesse) Chekov (Chekov’s gun) lives because he has help to do so. But, the way the screen play ends also foreshadows a not-happy ending for Jesse, because though well-intended, Scotty (his friend) ends up killing him and we know Badger wants in on the meth action still. And Jesse still needs money.”

Meanwhile, this was going on elsewhere: 

“BB ends for me at Granite State.

In the end, they weren’t true to the writing and the show they had created, they skewed it for the viewer… Heaven forbid they have a Sopranos ending (which is in recent years starting to be cited as a perfect ending and has always delighted me, personally), BB, this show that played elegant-slop for so long and used easter eggs to create multiple sub-texts every episode, suddenly pulled back on the throttle; eschewed all of that good work so VG could give the viewer exactly what he thought they wanted. Wrapped neatly. Tidily. For a show that was never, ever emotionally neat and tidy. Yawn.

It’s one thing for me to have to suspend disbelief to allow the Tuco/office explosion to be cool. Chemicals in the right combination are deadly = true. It’s another thing for in the last episode, WW to drive across country in a known stolen car while a nationwide manhunt is going on for the presumed cop-killer who takes the time to steal the only car in the parking lot (while cops are already there), drive it 8 miles back to his shack (apparently cops have stopped searching surrounding areas), load it up, and then tool along to New Mexico in broad daylight, where authorities know all of his ties are and is where he will likely head. And then, conveniently the Nazi “club house” has adobe walls and is on the ground floor and he can pull up directly next to it. And Nazis, when inspecting cars, never inspect the trunk, even though Heisenberg has nothing to live for and nothing to lose. And that doesn’t even get into the actual plot writing and mechanics. I’m glad so many are happy. That’s honestly really cool and what VG wanted. It ends for me at Granite State, with the phone dangling and him walking back to his seat.

I don’t know what that means… for me? Regarding the magnet, I liked that Vince and co. went to the trouble of saying right away, “Yeah, we know this magnet thing would never work at all, it was just cool.” It’s an incident that develops Jesse’s character and shows how far gone Walt is (sticking the truck to the building and then abandoning it). Very different than, “this is the last episode and we just have to get him to NM, so don’t think about the authorities that have been hunting him for close to a year and the fact that they think he killed two cops, …we just wanna give you guys he ending you want!” That’s not the show that was written up to that point. I wanted them to be true to the writing and show, not the viewer, but I understand why VG wanted everyone to be happy.

I didn’t feel due a different outcome. I hoped for more from writers that have always shown they were capable of more. That’s all. Felina, for me, was BB shitting the bed.

 I don’t understand why it would, it’s just my experience. They taught me to read that show so closely and in very specific ways. Using those exact tools they gave me, Felina fell apart. For me.

I am!! It’s a great show!! Through Granite State!

I didn’t think you were, I just wanted to be clear on that point myself. I don’t want to sound like I’m griping to gripe so I hope it doesn’t come off that way.

It’s too bad we didn’t end up watching all together; we had a serious breakdown session with our BB View Crew after the ep. and it would have been fantastic to have your views included. Also, we had hot spiced vanilla cider and local rum to fuel the fires of discussion.”

And then finally,

“The weirdest thing I have ever seen, of any show ending, is the need for those that are pleased with the ending to over-explain why, to those that didn’t share their positive experience. And then, try to prove why they are right for thinking it’s fantastic. I’ve never seen anything like it. It’s been very, very odd to me that anyone cares that I didn’t like it past, “Ah, I can see how you might see it that way, here’s what I saw…” Not since The Sopranos, has an ending been so controversial, and the interwebs were still too wobbly-legged then to see this kind of result occur. It’s somewhat fascinating” …and it’s depressing.

Letter grade: Meh.

Winged: New Writing on Bees

I’m co-editing a literary anthology: Winged: New Writing on Bees. The submission window is open. We are calling for essays, fiction, poetry, and cross-genre work speaking to bees, pollinators, the relationship between artists and bees, the human/pollinator relationship… Please follow the link to learn more, and share with your friends and fellow writers. A portion of proceeds from sale will be donated to pollinator conservation non-profits.


Aside from that, Autumn-busy-time. Just returned from Pennsylvania and the Mother Earth News Fair for the business, Bee Thinking. It was a huge event. Matt spoke to a very large audience on Saturday about beginning beekeeping & top bar hives.



A torrential downpour wiped us out for a few hours. All of us were wet for the whole day, and a small river spawned and flowed through our booth. Standing in small ponds and trying to save everything from being ruined was exciting. My phone was one casualty. The  most vivid memory was of trying to get our tent walls put up, and the water from the roof running up my sleeves and all the way down my body inside my clothes, into my boots and puddling.

This was my second visit to Pittsburgh and I must say, I find it altogether fantastic. It’s lovely and livable and the right mix of East Coast zero-tolerance for BS, and Midwest down-to-earth folks. Plus, gorgeous architecture, history, and the Penguins.

In October we go to Lawrence, KS. Same event, different town. Hopefully with less rain and better food.

I keep trying to edit and post a long entry I have about miscarriage to share here, but it just sits there, driving home part of the point of the whole thing: that no one talks about miscarriage.

Regarding Breaking Bad, which consumes a great deal of my thoughts these days, I am constantly picking at threads regarding King Lear (as its themes and plot corresponds to BB), Hamlet (with regard to Jesse), the idea of Shakespearean tragedy and / vs. Greek tragedy, what each of Walt’s “sons / creations” say about his devolution (Walt Jr./Flynn, Jesse, Todd), and of course obsessing about color theory and symbolism (Holly in a yellow hat!!). In one way, I can’t wait until the whole thing is over so that I can look at the entire thing and analyze it as a whole, versus picking the bones of each episode, weekly.