Apple has begun to issue refunds to customers who purchased the second half of Breaking Bad's fifth season, which is set to wrap up on Sunday. Although the eight-episode run that aired in 2012 and the one airing currently are awkwardly being billed as two halves of the same television season. (To put it another way, half a television season won Outstanding Drama at the Emmys, meaning that Breaking Bad is really good, everything else paled in comparison, or both.)
The refunds come on the tale of a lawsuit in which an Ohio man argued that digital distributors like Apple, who charged for the fifth season a year ago, were unfairly trying to charge the same price for a product that customers felt they had already purchased. "When a consumer buys a ticket to a football game, he does not have to leave at halftime," the claim argued.
Apple's iTunes Store had billed the first half of the season as "Season 5" and the second half as "The Final Season." Apple's refund notification stated, "While the names of the seasons and episodes associated with them were not chosen by iTunes, we'd like to offer you 'The Final Season' on us by providing you with the iTunes code below in the amount of $22.99." It's unclear from the language whether or not that statement was meant to lay the blame for the pricing scheme squarely on AMC's shoulders.
AMC plans on pulling a similar King Solomon tactic for the upcoming final season of Mad Men, airing the first half in 2014 and the second half in 2015, and confounding IMDb editors everywhere as to why they can't just call them two different seasons.