XV Reviews Breaking Bad: Season 5, Episode 1

XV is a pop culture buff. Need evidence? Just watch his tweets or hold a conversation with him. Or, you could listen to his music, like his recent mixtape, Popular Culture, which—you guessed—is rife with pop culture references. Movies, video games, TV shows—you name it, he’s into it, and finds a way to incorporate it creatively and naturally into his tracks.

Last night, AMC’s hit show Breaking Bad returned to the air for its fifth and final season, and XXLMag.com linked up with Vizzy for a recap of the premiere. Check back every Monday for the Warner Bros. signee’s weekly BB recaps, download Popular Culture here, and listen to “Breaking Bad,” from the June mixtape, below.

When you see people signing off of Twitter so that they can focus on a show, then you know it must be something to see. Last night, the Season 5 premiere of AMC’s Breaking Bad was that something to see. If you’re just now getting into the awesomeness of this show, I suggest you dedicate this week to Netflix and watch Seasons 1-4 ASAP!!!! But, if you’re lazy or too broke to Netflix it on a bitty’s couch, then I’ll let Walter White sum up the season for you:

Skyler: “What happened?”
Walter: “I won.”

Now, let’s Break Down Breaking Bad. Periodic Table of Elements style.

SEASON 5. EPISODE I:
“Live Free Or Die”


The show starts with a flashforward sequence, as we see Walter White with hair on his head, a long scruffy beard, and celebrating his 52nd birthday. This is an element that I sort of missed in the last season of Breaking Bad. They throw some Denny’s sponsorship in there, as that might be the only reference to the meth culture the entire episode. Lol.

The story was paced amazingly for fans of the show and for brand new viewers, as I got to watch the premiere in a room full of both. Breaking Bad is big on dialogue and story, so sometimes they sacrifice action and slow the show down in order to let their characters monologue, but I feel this episode moved incredibly. The show’s characters dropped in great. The first scene we get with my main man Mike was incredible!! And the interaction we get between Skyler and Ted in the hospital is almost as intense as Joker and Two Face (Batman reference, sorry, big week!).

This episode was packed with surprises, intensity and of course the occasional debacle that reminds you that Walt and Jesse are not underworld drug lords. Even though the ending doesn’t leave you with some big cliffhanger, the story flowed well enough to get all of us back in cooking mode since the Based God is slacking.


The dialogue of Breaking Bad is personally my favorite element of the show. It’s filled with quotables, extremely clever dialogue and great monologues from some incredible, Emmy Award-winning actors. Each interaction reminds you where the characters stand in the story. Here were some of my favorites from the episode:

“We’re done when I say we’re done.” -Walter to Saul
“If you kill him, you’re gonna have to kill me!” – Jesse to Mike
“Is there a manual? Like an instruction manual?” -Walter to Lawson
“Well…good luck I guess.” -Lawson to Walter
“Keys. It’s the universal symbol for keys.” -My main man Mike


The direction in this episode was motion picture-like. Which is what I enjoy most in this show, and a good season premiere. I’m also a gangster movie fanatic. From film noir joints like, Little Caesar, to hood classics like, Paid in Full. This SQUARIAN is a gangster movie buff! So, I’ve always enjoyed the film noir feeling you get when Hank is on the hunt. Every season he’s in full detective mode, and the feeling is so different when he’s around, you forget that we’re actually on Walt’s side (are we?). There are also some great cinematic moments from the eggs and bacon “52″ shot at the beginning, to the “Live Free Or Die” license plate before Walt opens a trunk full of bullets and an M60. The final scenes are shot brilliantly, showing Walt transitioning to a state of power.


Compared to the Cartel wars in the past couple of seasons, this episode wasn’t exactly bullet-riddled. But, Breaking Bad isn’t all about the violent side of the drug world. It’s about the nerdy side of the drug world. Walter White went from high school science teacher to Heisenberg! If that ain’t a #SQUARIAN, I don’t know what is. So, when we get action in this season premiere, it’s in the form of a huge truck filled with powerful magnets, set up next to the evidence room of a police station. Haha! Simply reminding the youth, Science is fuqqin’ awesome!

RATING: XL