Breaking Bad was one of the most critically acclaimed shows to ever air, and Lost was one of the most influential. Both shows’ finales received similar attention before they premiered but drew wildly different types of attention post-airing. Lost did not fare quite as well as Breaking Bad did.
After Breaking Bad ended in 2013, the internet was flooded with tweets about it. Many of these tweets were aimed directly at Damon Lindelof and Lost:
“Screw you @DamonLindelof for not giving us such a perfect ending for Lost like Vince Gilligan did for @BreakingBad_AMC!”
Here is the link to more examples and an article written about them: https://ew.com/article/2013/09/30/breaking-bad-lost-finale/
And here is Damon Lindelof’s take, co-writer of Lost:
I know it’s a small vocal minority, like most negative air on the internet, but in this case I don’t think they inaccurately portray a consensus that Breaking Bad outdid Lost with its ending.
Because Breaking Bad’s ending, unlike Lost’s, was satisfying.
And that’s what we want, right? After investing dozens of hours into a show we want to be satisfied!
But a satisfying ending doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a good one. It is always immensely satisfying to watch Rocky beat the Cold War out of Ivan Drago while simultaneously avenging his friend, but that doesn’t make it a good ending. Lost’s finale, “The End,” makes some mistakes and may not be as satisfying as Breaking Bad’s finale, “Felina,” but it stays truer to its show, resulting in a more appropriate finish to its series.
I’m going to break this comparison up into three parts of what I believe makes a good finale. These are not the only aspects of a series ender that impact its effectiveness, but they are some of the most important: Characters, Themes, and Reflection
I want to make clear right now that I believe Breaking Bad is a stronger series overall than Lost. I am strictly comparing the finales and how well each ending wraps up its respective show.
Spoilers for the entirety of both series ahead
Lost was adamant that it was always about its characters and not the mysteries. It was stated repeatedly by the writers that the mysteries that would be solved would be the mysteries that mattered to the characters. While characters are absolutely integral to any story, it is not true that Lost was not also about its mysteries. The mysteries were a major draw to the series and it is understandable that many viewers were left underwhelmed with some of the answers (the whispers, for example), but the history of the show proves that the mysteries were always secondary to the characters. It wasn’t that a man could suddenly walk again; it was that John Locke could walk again. Few of us had posters of the Island or the Statue of Taweret hanging on our walls; fans had pictures of Sawyer, Kate, and the large cast photos, because what made those mysteries so compelling was the characters behind them. Most of the following shows that attempted to be Lost failed because they put mysteries at the forefront. Lost and “The End” kept the focus on the characters.
In fact, one of my biggest complaints about the Lost finale is the lack of recognition the Island itself actually gets. Would it have been too much to ask for Sawyer to look back at the Island on his way to the plane and give us one last full wide shot of the location we spent six years in? Or a solid look at it when he looks out the window as they are flying away?
And yet, I’d much rather the Island get shafted than Sawyer himself. Instead, the focus is on Sawyer getting to that plane and finally leaving the Island. It’s on Kate saving Jack’s life at the last second. On Jack accepting his place in all the madness. And each action they take reflects who they have been and who they have become throughout the series. Jack, obsessed with fixing everything, is no longer a man of science and fixes the Island on faith. Kate, always running, retreats from the Island but refuses to run from the complications of her relationship with Claire and Aaron. Frank, who just wants to fly planes that don’t crash, flies his plane away.
Richard decides to live. Hurley decides to rule. Ben willingly accepts a place as a VP and stays behind to meddle out his sins. The Man in Black dies fighting to escape his prison. The survivors find each other in the afterlife because they found a way to live together on the Island, so now they don’t have to die alone.
Each character gets attention in “The End,” and despite having such a large breadth of characters to juggle, they all get an active role in the finale.
“Felina” doesn’t balance its much smaller cast nearly as well. The focus is heavily on Walt, as one would expect the focus to be, but what about the rest of the cast? Nearly every other character in the episode stays still and waits for Walt to do something to them, including Jesse.
Jesse has such a minimal, passive role in the finale that, frankly, he could have been killed off in “Ozymandias” and the ending, plot-wise, would have been exactly the same.
Walt was the clear protagonist of Breaking Bad, but Jesse was the heart. We felt for Jesse, rooted for Jesse, and cried for Jesse. It’s a much bigger mystery to me why Jesse wasn’t more prominent in “Felina” than why there was a magic cork plugging up magic on a magic island. It may have been satisfying to watch Jesse drive away screaming, free from the hell Mr. White dragged him into, but he had zero agency and didn’t relate to the final plotline at all.
I found it more satisfying watching Jesse team up with Hank to bring Walt to his knees a few episodes prior. Jesse took an active role by making a decision to turn on Walt. It felt as though he was growing and learning as a person, finally taking action against Walt and pushing his character to a new place. If Jesse could have freed himself from Walt’s world through his own actions, instead of Walt deciding, “Now you can go,” it would have fit better with Jesse’s arc over the course of the series and brought his character to an even more thrilling conclusion.
Is it in character for Jesse to be excited to escape? Obviously. Were the circumstances of his release as powerful as they could have been? No.
“The End” took its protagonist, as well as all the other main characters, and allowed them each to make decisions based on all they had learned to accomplish or fail their goals. Each major character had an active role in the final outcome of the story. “Felina” pushed its protagonist to the forefront and made the beating heart of the show a side player.
Lost and Breaking Bad were both shows with themes and ideas they explored. Each was consistent in the exploration of their themes, maintaining thematic consistency all the way through their respective series. From the beginning of Lost, even before it was outright stated, we saw that these people were going to need to work together, to live together, or die alone. Breaking Bad explored the idea of chain reactions and consequences from its first episode forward.
One of the most important aspects a finale has to nail is a reinforcement of the themes of the show. This is what this show is about, and it’s time to make a final statement, or, at least, raise a final relevant question to the themes that have been prominent throughout the show.
Most often these themes will be displayed or questioned through the characters and their actions. All of the actions by the characters in “The End” aren’t just true to the characters themselves but to the themes of redemption, loss, and faith running throughout the entire series. They reinforce an ethos – “Live together, die alone.”
Say what you will about the flash-sideways afterlife concept (I didn’t like it), but it is a true reflection of the idea that because the survivors learned to live together they didn’t die alone. It may be a bit too spiritual for some and lack the weight of the on-island story, but it provides an adequate vehicle to reinforce the idea that the survivors needed each other and that they became a family. They helped each other grow and move on in life, and therefore they move on together in the afterlife.
The finale also circles back to other prescient themes, such as Man of Science VS Man of Faith. Jack puts his faith in the Island, Jacob, and John Locke. No, we never learn for certain what would have happened if the Man in Black left the Island, but neither does Jack. If we did know, then Jack wouldn’t be acting on faith. In the flash-sideways, Jack gets his memories back from his father – appropriate considering how heavily fathers figured into the series.
“Felina” gives Walt the perfect conclusion to his saga. It’s riveting to watch him enact revenge on everyone who screwed him over, and even more satisfying to watch him admit to Skylar that he did it all for himself.
But this particular brand of satisfaction comes at a cost. His actions did not reinforce the themes the series presented us with. Was taking revenge in character for Walt? Absolutely. He was always a petty, egotistical man. But allowing this type of revenge goes against the ethos of Breaking Bad as a series. Breaking Bad never allowed for easy decisions and always forced major consequences against its characters with each decision they made. There was always a follow through, a reckoning. “Ozymandias” is a perfect example of everything the show was about coming together – the consequences to one man’s actions for illicit power created a chain reaction that finally caught up with him, destroying everything in his life. Being a badass drug dealer has its price. It isn’t glorious and it isn’t fist-pumping awesome.
If the show would have ended right there, that would have been a stronger conclusion to the saga because what follows goes against all this. “Felina” gives Walt the happiest ending he could have. He gets to “redeem” himself, in a sense, by getting the money to his son, explaining himself to his wife, and saving Jesse. Then, due to his death, he doesn’t need to live with or experience any of the consequences of these actions.
Perhaps some would argue that Walt himself is the reckoning and that all these people are getting what is coming to them based on their actions. But giving Walt this level of control and power goes against the themes of power from the previous five seasons. It also allows him to go out with pride, something that by all intents of the rest of the series was his downfall.
Even if we overlook the circumstances above, Walt’s means of revenge goes against the themes of the show as well. Breaking Bad’s pilot has a scene where Walt teaches his class about chemistry. He says that everything has a reaction, providing the first basis of chemistry themes in the series. Through the journey, we witness Walt use his chemical knowledge to outsmart drug dealers, create poisons, and (obviously) cook meth. And yet in “Felina” Walt takes down Jack’s drug crew through an impressive feat of mechanical engineering. Why not have him enact revenge on the group with an impressive feat of chemical engineering? This would reinforce the idea that all actions have a reaction, and give us a final look at one of the major themes presented in the show.
“The End” reinforces the major themes of Lost through the actions of its characters and the environment they find themselves in (even if that environment is a bit weak). “Felina” trades its thematic relevance for a revenge plot that, while satisfying, does little to further the themes of the series.
Reflection is important at the end of any story. It is always of benefit to remind viewers just how far the characters have come and remind them of how much has changed and how much has remained the same. This gives an ending a feeling of completeness and allows viewers an opportunity to say “good-bye.”
“The End” has several callbacks and lines to earlier moments in the series. The shot of Jack and Locke looking down the hatch is recreated. Famous lines such as “I’ll see ya in another life, brother” are spoken (and also another great relation to the thematic resonance of “live together die alone”).
The most obvious callbacks are the “reawakening” memories of so many of the characters. While they advance the story in regards to the survivors “waking up” in the sideways universe, I don’t feel they are quite as effective as the rest of the homages paid to the series in real time. They have a scent of clip reel, which is a cheap way to drum up nostalgia. I find it much more effective when Jack dies in the same place he woke up on the Island.
“The End” also misses an opportunity to allow us to reflect on the Island itself. We don’t have a chance to take in the full scope of the Island one last time, and it doesn’t use its environment as well as it could to reflect.
“Felina,” on the other hand, excels at these callbacks, even if I don’t feel the plot itself is up to the task. Skinny Pete and Badger have a fantastic cameo in the finale, allowing us one last look at the goofy duo. We finally get to see where the ricin ends up, which ties up a seasons long thread. Walt gets to say his goodbyes, allowing the audience to say goodbye with him.
A flashback memory plays within the episode in a similar fashion to how “The End” uses memories. Again, it feels a bit cheap, but Walt standing in his abandoned, vandalized home is an amazing visual representation of how far he has fallen.
I don’t feel there is any more effective callback than Walt’s emotional look at the meth lab. All that we need to understand about his view of himself is written on his face, and we get a long look at the environment Walt’s journey took place in. As I stated earlier, “The End” doesn’t afford us a chance to say goodbye to the Island properly, but “Felina” nails this aspect.
And then Walt dies, and the series uses its last shot to pay homage to another finale.
Neither finale is perfect. Your mileage will vary based on what is most important to you, and there are more aspects that go into an effective finale than the three that I highlighted above.
“Felina” is a fine finale. Damon Lindelof thought it was great. I think it is fair to say most viewers found it satisfying. “Felina” learned from “The End,” understood that viewers felt mislead, cheated, and like there were too many loose ends floating around, and adapted. Breaking Bad left no stone unturned and finally gave in to the power fantasy it had been avoiding before, leaving many viewers with a feeling of triumph that Walt proved you don’t mess with Heisenberg.
That wasn’t what Breaking Bad was about, though. It wasn’t a tale about learning not to mess with Heisenberg, and that’s why I don’t feel its finale truly lives up to what preceded it. One of its lead characters is rendered ineffective and the themes of the show don’t shine very brightly (if at all). There are some great callbacks and scenes of reflection providing us a good opportunity to say goodbye, but ideally that would be within a plot that reinforces those first two areas (character and themes). I don’t believe that “Felina” does this.
As a single piece of media and as a singular episode, I would probably agree that “Felina” is a stronger piece of work. It’s exciting, clean, and effective in its simplicity. But as the end to a series it doesn’t reflect the show it represents.
“The End” on the other hand, pushes its characters and themes to the forefront. “Felina” may be more satisfying than mystifying, but “The End” effectively wraps up its story in a way that is true to the characters and themes of the series. On that level, satisfaction be damned, it makes for a better cap to its respective show, wrapping itself in everything that made Lost Lost, which is why I believe “The End” > “Felina.”
Even though the flash-sideways was kinda lame.
‘Lucifer’ Season 5 on Netflix – Everything We Know About Season 5 on Netlix
The wait for Lucifer Season 5 is almost over and we’ve got all your juicy details!
Here’s everything you need and may want to know about the upcoming season:
Where Did We Leave Off?
Season 4 saw Lucifer dealing with a priest who gave Chloe a prophecy along with the return of his very first girlfriend, Eve. By the finale, he made a big return to Hell to serve as king, but he didn’t abandon all the good qualities he’d picked up on Earth. He also revealed his true self to Chloe and she accepted him wholeheartedly.
When Will Season 5 Premiere?
The first half of season 5 will debut on Friday, August 21. There is no release date for the second half of season 5.
What’s the Official Description?
“In the stunning fifth season, the stakes are higher than ever. Secret will be revealed, beloved characters will die, and we’ll finally get an answer to the question, ‘Will they or won’t they?’”
How Many Episodes Will There Be?
Originally, season 5 was supposed to have 10 episodes just like season 4, which was saved by Netflix. However, shortly after, season 5 was announced to be the “final” season with the idea that it would be broken up into two halves. The first half will have 8 episodes and the second half will have 8 more episodes.
Can I Get the Episode Titles?
“Really Sad Devil Guy”
“Lucifer! Lucifer! Lucifer!”
“It Never Ends Well for the Chicken”
“Spoiler Alert” (midseason finale)
“Resting Devil Face”
“Bloody Celestial Karaoke Jam”
“Daniel Espinoza: Naked and Afraid”
“A Little Harmless Stalking”
“Nothing Lasts Forever”
“Is This Really How It’s Going to End?”
“A Chance at a Happy Ending” (season finale)
Who Will Appear?
God is making an appearance, and he’s played by Dennis Haysbert.
— 📎Lesley-Ann Brandt (@LesleyAnnBrandt) January 16, 2020
Tricia Helfer, who previously appeared as Charlotte aka Mom towards the end of season 3, will make an appearance.
The trailer also introduces Lucifer’s twin brother, the archangel, Michael. This is one showdown we’re excited to see.
The regular cast is also set to appear: Tom Ellis as Lucifer, Lauren German as Detective Chloe Decker, Kevin Alejandro as Detective Dan Espinoza, DB Woodside as Amenadiel, Lesley-Ann Brandt as Mazikeen, Scarlett Estevez as Trixie Espinoza, Rachael Harris as Dr Linda Martin, and Aimee Garcia as Ella Lopez.
Any Special Episodes?
Lucifer will air a black-an-white noir episode set in “an alternate universe in the 1940s.” The sixth episode of the season will include another girls night. And while episode 4 features a mini-musical moment, the 10th episode called “Bloody Celestial Karaoke Jam” is a whole musical-episode with the cast belting their hearts out.
Almost. As you know, COVID put a wrench in a lot of plans. The series was one episode shy of wrapping up production on season 5 when they were forced to shut down. However, since the episode is set to debut in the latter half of season 5, it doesn’t affect the debut of part one of season 5.
Will There Be a Season 6?
The devil is a sneaky man and somehow convinced Netflix to renew the series for a sixth season despite the streamer previously announcing that season 5 would be the final one. We don’t know what changed their minds, but we’ll take it!
Can I See The Trailer?
We thought you’d never ask!
See you in hell!
Is ‘The Haunting of Bly Manor’ Debuting October 2020 on Netflix?
Halloween may just be saved thanks to Netflix and a fan-favorite horror anthology.
With COVID cancelling Halloween festivities left and right (Salem, Massachusetts cancelled most of their celebrations and a number of upcoming horror films including Halloween, Candy Man, and The Forever Purge postponed indefinitely), fans of the spooky season need something, anything to look forward to.
And it seems like that may just Netflix’s sequel to The Haunting of Hill House titled The Haunting of Bly Manor.
The series was originally set to premiere in 2020, but things became uncertain when COVID halted production nationwide.
However, in a July podcast episode on ReelBlend, creator Mike Flanagan revealed that the series wrapped production before pandemic-related shutdown. He also added that his production team was working to complete the season virtually.
How eager are you to see 'The Haunting of Bly Manor'? pic.twitter.com/B9pe9Xy2VF
— MoviesMatrix 🍿 (@MoviesMatrix) August 6, 2020
“I don’t expect to be delayed one bit. We didn’t really miss a step,” Flanagan said. “We’ve been jamming through [post-production]. It’s been going great. It’s definitely later this year. It’s not going to get kicked off until 2021 or anything.”
That’s a wrap on THE HAUNTING OF BLY MANOR. Congratulations to the cast and crew, the familiar faces and the new, and congratulations to the filmmakers who came on board to make this season their own.
— Mike Flanagan (@flanaganfilm) February 21, 2020
There is no set premiere date as of yet, but it’s looking like Bly Manor will take from the original and potentially debut as part of the October lineup.
The upcoming season of the anthology looks to another classic ghost story drawing inspiration from Henry James’ classic 1898 horror novella The Turn of the Screw.
Here’s the official plot for the novel:
On a Christmas Eve night during a gathering a friends, ghost stories are being shared. One of the guests, Douglas, begins to tell the tale of two children (Flora and Miles) and his sister’s governess. A handsome bachelor hired the governess to take care of his niece and nephew at his country home in Bly. When strange events transpire on within the manor and the grounds the governess soon becomes convinced the estate is haunted.
Of course, it will be loosely based on the novel because Flanagan hopes to incorporate parts of several other of James’ stories.
You guessed it. The HAUNTING OF BLY MANOR, a new chapter in the Haunting series based on the works of Henry James, is coming in 2020. pic.twitter.com/nvhRBEfH2E
— The Haunting of Hill House (@haunting) February 21, 2019
“I think of The Turn of the Screw as the backbone of this season — the through line that carries us from beginning to end. But we get to go off into The Jolly Corner and The Romance of Certain Old Clothes, and so many other of these wonderful ghost stories that people haven’t seen adapted before,” he told Games Radar. “It’s all wrapped up in what seems to be familiar, but that familiarity goes away really early in the first episode. It says, ‘We’re off on a whole other road.'”
Come fall 2020, fans can expect to see creepy scenes that are bound to leave you afraid of the dark and hiding under the covers, especially since Flanagan is teasing that it will be somehow scarier than Hill House!
23 Times Pop Stars and Musicians Guest-Starred on Your Favorite TV Shows
It’s always exciting to see your favorite pop stars and musicians in a cameo on your favorite TV show.
It’s an unexpected blend of your two worlds coming together in a fantastic way that you never thought was possible.
Sometimes, these A-list celebrities play themselves, while other times, they tap into another persona and character entirely.
Oftentimes, they even appear on shows because they’re huge fans, too!
We’ve rounded up our favorite celebrity musical guest stars over the years!
Check them out below and let us know who you’d add to the list.
Britney Spears on How I Met Your Mother
The Princess of pop appeared in the episode “Ten Sessions” as Abby, the receptionist at Stella Zinman’s dermatology clinic where Ted goes to have his tattoo removed. It was some of Britney’s best work, to be honest.
Britney also gets an honorary mention for her appearance on Sabrina the Teenage Witch as herself.
And in another award-worthy role, Britney appears as Rogelio’s nemesis on Jane the Virgin.
And finally, Britney on Glee! It was a tribute episode to the pop star and she appeared in the student’s dream sequences while at the dentist office!
Demi Lovato on Will & Grace
Lady Gaga on American Horror Story
The award-winning singer appeared as a main character on the fifth season of the anthology thriller themed “Hotel.” She played Elizabeth, a vampiric Countess and carrier of a blood virus who built the hotel and continues to haunt it. She also appeared as a witch in season 6 themed “Roanoke.” She won a Golden Globe for her performance in “Hotel.”
Kelly Clarkson on Nashville
Despite the show’s country vibe, the pop star guest starred as herself and performed “Fade Into You” by Mazzy Star along with the show’s stars Sam Palladio and Clare Bowen.
One Direction on iCarly
Jennifer Lopez on Will & Grace
Lance Bass on 7th Heaven
Backstreet Boys on Sabrina the Teenage Witch
Madonna on Will & Grace
Justin Bieber on CSI
Adam Lambert on Pretty Little Liars
Destiny’s Child on Smart Guy
Prince on New Girl
The dearly departed music icon was a huge fan on the Fox comedy and reached out to the series about a cameo in 2014. Jess and Cece are invited to a once-in-a-lifetime party thrown by Prince in the episode.
Bruno Mars on Jane the Virgin
Taylor Swift on CSI
Pete Wentz on One Tree Hill
Ed Sheeran on Game of Thrones
The singer made a cameo appearance on the season 7 premiere of HBO’s hit series as a young Lannister soldier who sings a tune that Arya hears from a bit away. The show runner admitted they gave him the role because Maisie Williams is a huge fan, and in turn, Ed is a huge fan of the show. In the premiere of season 8, fans finally learn that Eddie was a victim of dragon fire.
Nick Lachey on Hawaii Five-O
The former 98 degrees singer portrayed Tyler on the NBC series, who held a group of college students hostage while trying to to get money from their parents in exchange for their lives. It turns out Tyler is engaged to Susan, a worker on the cruise ship where the kids are kidnapped from. Susan is played by Lachey’s real-life wife, Vanessa Lachey.
Janet Jackson Will & Grace
Kesha on Jane the Virgin
We’ve all dealt with noisy neighbors… and Kesha’s character is no different! The artist appears on The CW drama as a colorful musician and Jane’s new neighbor, and let’s just say, she’s not a baby person, which makes it a bit difficult for Jane, a new mom!
Jesse McCartney on Young & Hungry
Cher on Will & Grace
Jack meets the real Cher while out at lunch with the doll-version of the artist, but he’s convinced the person standing in front of him is a drag queen imitator. Even a “Cher-off” with the musical icon isn’t enough to convince him.
Nick Jonas on Hawaii Five-O
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