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On ‘Mad Men,’ many bedrooms, one story

Torkelson’s making it with Clara, nightly. “That’s juicy,” says Joan. “He can have her!” says Ken.

Apr. 15, 2014


‘Breaking Bad,’ the final season: ‘Did you really think I’d do you wrong?’

The real triumph of "Breaking Bad" was that even while it tied up all its loose ends, it still left us so many options about how to remember it.

Oct. 2, 2013


‘Breaking Bad,’ the final season: No-names

We see him from the back, loading the pay phone with change, as though he’s playing the slots. It was so important to him that Uncle Jack know Hank’s name, but now he doesn’t know the name of man who is the new Hank. When asked who is making the call, he answers “Walter White?” unsure of the answer himself.

Sep. 24, 2013


‘Breaking Bad,’ the final season: Heisenberg’s principles

Jesse was so right when he told Hank that it didn’t make any difference what the plan was, the exact opposite would happen. It was all spelled out during their very first cook when Walt told Jesse, "the reaction has begun." Not even Walt can stop it. He tried to forfeit and still won. Hank ended up dead and he's alive.

Sep. 17, 2013


‘Breaking Bad,’ the final season: Desperados

After seeing Walt cycle through so many untruths, there’s a wonderful poetic justice in the lie that takes him down.

Sep. 10, 2013


‘Breaking Bad,’ the final season: Old Yeller

Jesse’s the wounded pet of "Breaking Bad" and whoever kills him is the one we will turn against for good.

Sep. 3, 2013


‘Breaking Bad,’ the final season: Reconstruction of the fable

What if "Breaking Bad" is actually a magical fable about a man who makes a wish for a bag of money? The wish comes true, except the money is cursed. As long as the money remains in the man’s home town, it can’t be spent on anything anyone actually wants. But whenever anyone tries to take the money elsewhere—to a place where it can be put to use—that person dies.

Aug. 27, 2013


‘Breaking Bad,’ the final season: Family time

When Hank tells Skyler that Walt’s cancer is back, he doesn’t care about how this might affect her. When she refuses to just fall in line, he switches tactics. He pulls the emotion card, says no one is more important to him then Marie. Skyler recognizes what’s happening immediately. It’s what Walt does all the time.

Aug. 19, 2013


Breaking Bad, the final season: Beginning at the end

This episode was a relief, in that a lot of what I was expecting to come at the end happened right at the beginning. The cancer comes back. Jesse figures out that Walt killed Mike. Hank and Walt square off.

Aug. 12, 2013


In the ‘Mad Men’ season finale, the penultimate move

In Don’s childhood whorehouse, johns paid to feel desire from women who felt unwanted, each side validating the other. Don used that same money to feel wanted too, scrounging up change from the men’s pockets in order to pay for a bit of sweetness for himself. Homesteading is both a lifestyle revolving around self-sufficiency and the act of making desirable what was previously unwanted. Peggy moved into an apartment on the Upper West Side, where in the '60s pretending to be a cop could get you killed. As soon as Stan has the idea of starting fresh and becoming his own boss on the west coast, Los Angeles goes from being “Detroit with palm trees” to a paradise that will make everyone’s problems disappear. It’s not the moon, says Cutler, but it’s being talked about like it is.

Jun. 25, 2013