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The Boston Globe

Television

critic’s notebook

‘Breaking Bad’ has remained thrilling to the end

The first miracle of AMC’s “Breaking Bad”? That the drama has survived all the scrutiny. It has triumphed over the endless micro-analysis that has turned even peripheral items – Lydia’s shoes, Saul’s shirts, Marie’s purple shag rug – into fan fetish objects.

As “Breaking Bad” heads into the finale on Sunday night at 9, it’s as if every critic, recapper, and viewer has been trying to earn an honorary PhD in “Bad”-ness. We’ve brought all of our interpretive and philosophical powers to bear on every scene in every episode of the series. Is Walter White, the dying chemistry teacher turned meth maker, an anti-hero or a villain? Can he be redeemed? What is redemption? You really can’t mention the show without an ensuing conversation that dips into issues of morality and evil, life and death.

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