The last ever episode of "Breaking Bad" is now out in the world. And the reactions seem to lean towards a positive consensus, rather than extreme polarization. We've rounded up a sampling of those early takes from critics, and from Twitter, for your perusal. But beware: while not quite as much of a spoiler as our recap of the ending, it gets a bit spoilery below as well.
The balance could shift as next-day reviews surface on Monday, but the early reactions are rather positive — reflecting the, well, conclusiveness of the series conclusion.
Variety/Brian Lowry: "In today’s hyper-caffeinated age, precious little lives up to its hype. But the “Breaking Bad” finale — perhaps appropriately — got the chemistry just right... as Sunday’s finale made eminently clear, this was a show whose narrative fearlessness was only matched by its boundless creativity and unpredictability."
Wall Street Journal/Marshall Cook "In truth, as I write this in the two minutes after the show ended, I realize that I’m struggling – as I am sure many are – with the ending for Walter White that played this past week in my head versus the one that played out on screen."
Fraizer Moore/Associated Press: "Any "Breaking Bad " fan could be forgiven for concluding that Sunday's finale held no major surprises.That's because this AMC drama series has delivered surprises, shock and OMG moments dependably since its premier five seasons ago. Just like it did on its final episode.
AV Club/Donna Bowman: "Tonight’s finale is quiet. It doesn’t try to impress. A legend has no need to do that...I don’t know if we’ll remember Walt’s fate with as much resonance as we remember the last shot of Vic Mackey in The Shield, still the gold standard for an antihero's dramatic catharsis. And “Felina” won’t be controversial the way the ambiguous last moments of Tony Soprano were. But Jesse survives. More than that—he’s alive, screaming with shock and joy as he drives away, the kind of alive Walt used to feel when he pulled off a victory. Those other shows didn’t have room for that kind of win, and so the best they could give us was vengeance or our own imagined possibilities."
Twitter was mixed, but heavily leaning positive.
On the one hand:
I guess what I mostly feel is pity. Pity for anyone else who ever has to write a TV finale after the conclusion of Breaking Bad. #iLikedIt— Dave Itzkoff (@ditzkoff) September 30, 2013
Take that Lost. #breakingbad— Jamie Kilstein (@jamiekilstein) September 30, 2013
That's how you end a series, bitch! #breakingbadfinalerocks— Eric Deggans (@Deggans) September 30, 2013
A perfect, beautiful, resonant ending to a great work of art. #BreakingBad— Xeni Jardin (@xeni) September 30, 2013
Ew, stop with your slatepitchy counterintuitive takes on the breaking bad finale. Let a thing be simple, satisfying, and good once ever.— Emily Gould (@EmilyGould) September 30, 2013
@chatlierose and Barkley and me LOVED the breakingbad finale tied it all up no loose ends ! http://t.co/SVHdTuLBM7— Gayle King (@GayleKing) September 30, 2013
(That's Charlie Rose King is referring to, by the way.)
On the other hand:
HOW DID THAT GO FROM SO AWESOME TO SO TERRIBLE IN THE SPACE OF ONE SONG CHOICE #breakingbad— Max Landis (@Uptomyknees) September 30, 2013
Breaking Bad opts for a Hollywood ending. Disappointing for an otherwise brilliant five years.— Keith Boag (@KeithBoag) September 30, 2013
Meh. #BreakingBad— Seyward Darby (@seywarddarby) September 30, 2013
Disappointed with the Breaking Bad ending. You can't be promoting snitching. How's the snitch gonna get away and all the real people die— Chi-Town Bear-Down (@ShowTime420) September 30, 2013
One thing everyone seemed to agree on, however, was that Jimmy Kimmel seemed out of place at the "Talking Bad" cast and crew post-series interview session that aired right after the show.
The biggest thing left unanswered on Breaking Bad is why Jimmy Kimmel is at this event— samir mezrahi (@samir) September 30, 2013
KIMMEL LET THE BREAKING BAD PEOPLE TALK— Molly Knefel (@mollyknefel) September 30, 2013
get jimmy kimmel off my beautiful breaking bad evening #ALLDISRESPECTTOJIMMYKIMMEL— gross (@youresogr8) September 30, 2013