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Mixed Notes - July 15

By Rich Heldenfels Published: July 15, 2012


"Breaking Bad" returns tonight and it continues the transformation of Walt. I think a key moment in the fourth-season finale was Walt's explaining all that happened with "I won." So often, Walt's actions have involved his attempt to survive and to provide for his family; in that line, he shifted the deal to power and success, and to his triumphing over enemies as opposed to just getting around them. And it's clear by the end of tonight's episode that his priorities are very much changed.

The season premiere picks up where last season's finale left off, with Walt tying up loose ends. And there are some. One of the things I like about "Breaking Bad," while having mixed feelings about the show generally, is that Walt is not always the smartest person in the room. He makes mistakes. He is physically awkward. He, and the show, can seem funny, even in the grisliest moments, But Walt has clearly turned a corner in tonight's telecast, and there's a moment near the end which should have you thinking of the end of "The Godfather."

Also, "Leverage" returns tonight on TNT, with the gang still doing with the aftermath of its big moves last season -- and with a new case which, among other things, involves Howard Hughes's legendary Spruce Goose. It's a good episode of a show I quite enjoy, not only for the scams but for the characters. I care about all of them, worry about some and am always pleased to have them back in action. Of which there is plenty tonight.

Today's video column is here. In case you missed it, my Friday HeldenFiles (now relocated from Saturdays) is here with topics including the great Ernie Kovacs. In today's print editions of the Beacon Journal, I have a few thoughts about the new series "Political Animals."


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