It's here, it's here, it's FINALLY (almost) HERE! After what seems like at least forty-seven billion months of waiting, Breaking Bad returns this evening with the first of the final eight episodes in its fifth and last season. I'm so excited about watching TV tonight I can barely stand it. In fact, I just went and arranged the couch cushions a little so I have the perfect ass-dent waiting for me.
If you're also planning to watch tonight, make sure to come back for my recap of the premiere, okay? (Update: it's now online.) In the meantime, let's take a look at what the critics are saying about the first episode (hint: THEY LOVE IT).
Warning: spoilers for last season ahead.
The big cliffhanger from the first half of season five, of course, was Hank finally realizing the drug lord he's been looking for is his own brother-in-law. Walt had told his wife Skyler he was quitting the meth business, that they had enough money and they'd just launder it via the car wash. Thanks to the murder of an innocent young boy, in addition to plenty of other other unsavory memories, Jesse Pinkman seemed poised to become consumed with guilt -- and maybe a burning rage towards Walt?
As for what's going to happen next, Anna Gunn, who plays White’s wife Skylar, says:
Every single character is feeling the ramification in such a dark way that the walls are crumbling down. The world is crumbling down. It’s really upsetting because you get so invested in these people and nobody is escaping unscathed. It’s a very dark, dark, dark world.
Aaron Paul, who plays Jesse:
They’re burning all their bridges. They are going out with a bang. This season blows everything that you’ve seen in the past completely out of the water.
Praise from the lucky bastard critics who got an early look at the premiere episode:
Everything -- every word, gesture, action, shot, scene and story idea -- combines to form an episode of uncommon power and forward momentum. The producers and writers had to make some critical choices, and they have -- audacious ones that also happen to be the absolutely right ones. Rather than methodically steer this classic to some sort of fateful showdown -- a TV version of "High Noon" -- "Bad" scrambles the formula, which demolishes any preset notion you may have of how this all might end. -- Newsday
It’s breathtaking stuff, providing tour-de-force moments for the key characters. Continuing to tease the outcome with out-of-context glimpses of future events, there’s no telling where Bad will wind up. But if this first hit is any indication, the audience is in very good hands. - Brian Lowry, Variety
Written by Peter Gould (who also wrote the penultimate episode), the return episode is riveting from start to finish and it concludes with an extended scene that is written, acted and shot with the kind of magnificence that is at the heart of why the series is so exalted. - Tim Goodman, Hollywood Reporter
I'm not going to spoil anything about the return of Breaking Bad, except this: it's as good as it's ever been. As good as any TV show has ever been. -- Tim Molloy, The Wrap
There are two scenes in Sunday's episode that that rank among the most powerful in the entire series. One spotlights a shattering moment in Norris' portrayal of Hank, and another does the same with Paul's portrayal of Jesse. -- David Wiegand, SFGate.com
And finally, the AMAZING teaser AMC released a week ago of Bryan Cranston reading "Ozymandias," a poem written by British poet Percy Bysshe Shelley:
Oh yeah. Bad things are coming, people, and I cannot wait.
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare,
The lone and level sands stretch far away.
Are you looking forward to the Breaking Bad premiere tonight?
Image via AMC