Firewall & Iceberg Podcast, episode 204: The 'Breaking Bad' finale

Dan and Alan discuss the AMC drama's conclusion


We could have done a very long Firewall & Iceberg Podcast today in which we discussed all the mediocre-to-terrible new network shows that are debuting this week, before finally getting to the "Breaking Bad" series finale. But as Dan and I talked about it, we decided that today, "Breaking Bad" was the only thing worth discussing, and that nobody should have to sit through our discussions of "Super Fun Night" and "The Millers" to get there. If we have time tomorrow or the next day, we'll do a second podcast reviewing all the new shows, but for today, here's an abbreviated but entirely "BB"-focused installment.

And please note that this is not the all-"Breaking Bad" retrospective podcast we've discussed, and that we'll be doing later this fall when we've gotten clear of all the premieres and have had more time to reflect on the finale. So if you have questions you'd like answered in such a show, hit us at the email link below.

The rundown:

"Breaking Bad" finale (00:00:00 - 00:41:20)

As always, you can subscribe to The Firewall & Iceberg Podcast over at the iTunes Store, where you can also rate us and comment on us. Or you can always follow our RSS Feed, download the MP3 file or stream it on Dan's blog.

And as always, feel free to e-mail us questions for the podcast.


<p>Haven't you heard, Walt?&nbsp;The &quot;Breaking Bad&quot;&nbsp;finale was your most-watched episode ever!</p>

Haven't you heard, Walt? The "Breaking Bad" finale was your most-watched episode ever!

Credit: AMC

'Breaking Bad' finale sets ratings records

"Felina" more than tripled the ratings for last summer's finale

"Breaking Bad" went out with several bangs, story-wise (which I discussed in my review of the series finale), and some even bigger ones, business-wise, as the last episode drew a record 10.3 million viewers and more than tripled the demographic rating of last summer's finale.

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<p>Bryan Cranston as Walter White in the &quot;Breaking Bad&quot;&nbsp;series finale.</p>

Bryan Cranston as Walter White in the "Breaking Bad" series finale.

Credit: AMC

Series finale review: 'Breaking Bad' - 'Felina'

Walt returns to Albquerque to settle all family business

"Breaking Bad" has come to an end. A review of the series finale coming up just as soon as I compare pizza to Thai food...

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<p>Lizzy Caplan and Caitlin FitzGerald in &quot;Masters of Sex.&quot;</p>

Lizzy Caplan and Caitlin FitzGerald in "Masters of Sex."

Credit: Showtime

Series premiere talkback: 'Masters of Sex' - 'Pilot'

What did everybody think of the new Showtime drama series?

I published my initial review of "Masters of Sex" on Thursday (and an interview with Lizzy Caplan the day before that). Now it's your turn. For those of you who tuned in tonight (or who watched the streaming version Showtime made available over the last few weeks), what did you think? Did you buy Michael Sheen and Lizzy Caplan as people from the 1950s? How do you feel that the show handled all the sex and nudity in the pilot: with a snicker or with just enough restraint? Are you interested in the Masters/Johnson relationship (be it professional, personal, or both) as set up here? If you've been seeing lots of ads for "The Millers," was it strange to have both Beau Bridges and Margo Martindale in the pilot? And will you watch again? 

The plan, depending on how my health improves over the next few weeks, is to work this into a Sunday rotation with "Boardwalk Empire," "Homeland" and (eventually) "The Walking Dead." How much I write about any given Sunday drama will depend on time, emergy and how much I have to say about a given episode. But this show is very good and I want to keep the conversation going somehow over the course of this first season.

For tonight, though, have at it.

<p>Saul (Mandy Patinkin)&nbsp;testifies before Congress in the &quot;Homeland&quot;&nbsp;season premiere.</p>

Saul (Mandy Patinkin) testifies before Congress in the "Homeland" season premiere.

Credit: Showtime

Season premiere review: 'Homeland' - 'Tin Man is Down'

Carrie and the CIA are put on trial in the wake of Nazir's bombing

"Homeland" is back for a third season, and I have a review of the premiere coming up just as soon as I have immunity for overdue parking tickets...

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<p>On &quot;Boardwalk Empire,&quot;&nbsp;Arnold Rothstein (Michael Stuhlbarg)&nbsp;enjoys a card game.</p>

On "Boardwalk Empire," Arnold Rothstein (Michael Stuhlbarg) enjoys a card game.

Credit: HBO

Review: 'Boardwalk Empire' - 'All In'

Rothstein loses big at the card tables, Van Alden works with the Capones and Dunn takes a trip to Harlem

A quick review of tonight's "Boardwalk Empire" — which HBO renewed earlier this week — coming up just as soon as I don't like pie...

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<p>&quot;Boardwalk Empire,&quot;&nbsp;&quot;The Good Wife,&quot;&nbsp;&quot;Breaking Bad,&quot;&nbsp;&quot;Revenge,&quot;&nbsp;&quot;Masters of Sex&quot;&nbsp;and &quot;Homeland&quot;&nbsp;will be part of the many conflicts of Dramageddon.</p>

"Boardwalk Empire," "The Good Wife," "Breaking Bad," "Revenge," "Masters of Sex" and "Homeland" will be part of the many conflicts of Dramageddon.

Are you ready for TV Dramageddon 2013?

What will you choose to watch on the busiest TV night in forever?

Welcome to the most insane night of television that I can ever remember, in what I've dubbed Dramageddon 2013.

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<p>Stephen Merchant in &quot;Hello Ladies.&quot;</p>

Stephen Merchant in "Hello Ladies."

Credit: HBO

Review: Stephen Merchant flies solo with HBO's 'Hello Ladies'

'The Office' co-creator's new show is funnier than Ricky Gervais', but unpleasant

When you work with the right partner — especially one whose skills and interests don't completely overlap with yours — you can do more than make yourself twice as good. If it's the right match, you can be exponentially as good as you'd be on your own. The problem, of course, in working with a partner who likes to do different things than you is that the partnership may not last, and then you see how the sum of your individual parts matches up with the former whole.

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<p>Max Burkholder and Ray Romano in the &quot;Parenthood&quot;&nbsp;season premiere.</p>

Max Burkholder and Ray Romano in the "Parenthood" season premiere.

Credit: NBC

Season premiere review: 'Parenthood' - 'It Has To Be Now'

Jasmine's baby is born, and many exciting new opportunities open up for the Bravermans

A review of tonight's "Parenthood" season premiere coming up just as soon as you're in my radius...

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<p>Ana Nogueira, Michael J. Fox and Wendell Pierce in &quot;The Michael J. Fox Show.&quot;</p>

Ana Nogueira, Michael J. Fox and Wendell Pierce in "The Michael J. Fox Show."

Credit: NBC

Series premiere talkback: 'The Michael J. Fox Show' & 'The Crazy Ones'

What did everybody think of Fox and Robin Williams' new sitcoms?

I've already published my review of "The Michael J. Fox Show" and "The Crazy Ones." Now it's your turn. For those who tuned into either show tonight, what did you think? 

With "Michael J. Fox," did all the Parkinson's jokes feel necessary, or too self-conscious after a point? Did you prefer the scenes with Mike's family (and, if so, which parts) or at work with Wendell Pierce? In the second episode, was it distracting or funny to have Tracy Pollan playing Mike's hot neighbor? And do you think that, after all his medical problems and his time in semi-retirement, Fox has still got what it takes to carry a show?

With "The Crazy Ones," do you still find these particular Robin Williams voices funny, or will you be glad if you never hear his Brando again? Were you impressed by James Wolk as a funnier Bob Benson? Did you like Sarah Michelle Gellar, or are you sad by her character's wet blanket-hood? Would you rather this was a show about Kelly Clarkson? 

And in both cases, will you watch again?

Have at it.