Downfall by Jeff Abbott

Panic, Fear, Collision, Trust Me and the Sam Capra series Adrenaline, The Last Minute and now Downfall

These 7 books writen by Jeff Abbott are some of my favorite books. I started we Panic and immediately became a fan of Abbott’s writen style and fantastic story telling filled with action and twists. 

When I first started Adrenaline I didn’t know it was the first of a series but I’m glad it worked out that way since Sam Capra’s adventures have been interesting and filled with twists from him joining Mila and The Round Table to fight The Nine Suns to his new opponent Belias.

Downfall starts some time after The Last Minute and immediately unfolds into an amazing story difficult to put down with great characters that above everything else feel real and a story that is fiction but could be real. 

I don’t want to spoil anything to those who haven’t read it yet but the last few chapters promise something amazing for the next book. 

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Here’s the plot from goodreads.com:

She is a good mother. She will do what she must to ensure that her daughter Diana has a perfect life, just as perfect as the one they’ve led for the past seven years.

No matter who has to die.

DOWNFALL

The simplest beginnings can unravel a life. For Sam Capra, it is the moment a beautiful young woman walks into his San Francisco bar.

Sam doesn’t want trouble. An ex-CIA agent, his only desire now is to build a quiet, peaceful home for himself and his infant son. But Diana Keene is no ordinary customer. She’s pursued by two gunmen, and when she finds Sam, she whispers an urgent, desperate plea: “Help me.”

And without any warning, Sam is thrust into a fight for his life. For Diana is being hunted by a deadly network-a shadowy alliance of select, influential men and women who use their connections, their authority, and their wealth to bend the world to their will. Now, this network aims its relentless fury against the man interfering with their plans to seize a new level of power: Sam Capra.

Threatened on all sides, Sam has only one hope to survive the network’s all-consuming attack and return to his life with his son….he must destroy the man who owns the people who run the world.

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The Walking Dead: Season 4

“Look at the flowers”

The Walking Dead has been one of my favorite shows since the begining but like most people I felt that season 2 was very slow and season 3 felt soft. 

Once again in The Walking Dead the show runner changed and Scott M. Gimple took control of the show giving us the best season yet. Gimple is going to continue as show runner for season 5 so my expectations are very high. 

One of the main changes that happen in season 4 is the way things happen without long needless dialogues and much more focus on the characters. 

Season 4 gave us 2 episodes of the Governor showing us a view of him that we hadn’t seen before and helped to understand he’s choices. Maybe if they done that in season 3 the confrontation at the end would have been more intense. 

Like the other season before season 4 was divided in 2 parts the first focusing on the prison and the Governor and the second part left the prison behind and scramble the characters away putting them into different groups: Rick, Carl and Michonne; Daryl and Beth; Tyreese, Carol, Mika, Lizzie and Judith; Bob, Sasha and Maggie; Glenn and Tara. These groups made for some unique episodes like “Still” and “The Grove” and allowed us to finally spend time with characters that we barely seen before. 

The actors in the show also had a oportunity to shine and we get some amazing interpretations like fan favorite Norman Reedus (Daryl), Melissa McBride (Carol), Danai Gurira (Mishonne) and newcomer (and already gone) Brighton Sharbino (Lizzie). 

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Here’s the plot for season 4 from Wikipedia:

The fourth season begins several months following the close of the third season, where life has become relatively peaceful for the growing number of survivors at the prison. Rick made the decision some time ago to renounce his role as the group’s leader, in which a council was formed as a replacement. The peaceful society is disrupted when a deadly influenza virus ravages the population, killing many of the survivors. A scavenging team eventually returns with the medicine needed to contain the outbreak.

Meanwhile, a flashback reveals that The Governor was abandoned by his remaining henchmen following the failed attack on the prison; it then depicts Woodbury burning at the hands of The Governor, before forwarding to the present where The Governor is shown disheveled and wandering aimlessly. He eventually runs into the Chambler family – Lilly, Tara, their terminally ill father David, and Lilly’s daughter Meghan. He adopts a false identity and commits numerous good deeds for the family in an effort to atone for his past. Soon after running into his former henchman Martinez, however, The Governor impulsively kills Martinez and takes over the group of survivors he was leading. He disguises the death as an accident and rallies the people behind his cause for revenge.

The Governor finds Michonne and Hershel outside of the prison and takes them hostage. He arrives at the gates with his new-found army and threatens to kill the hostages. Refusing to surrender, Rick proposes they coexist at the prison instead of fighting. Sensing that some of his group may be persuaded, The Governor decapitates Hershel with Michonne’s katana, provoking a firefight between the two camps. Rick confronts and fights The Governor, who nearly kills him, but Michonne saves Rick in time by mortally wounding The Governor with her sword. The Governor’s army is eventually defeated, but the defending survivors are scattered as the prison is overrun by walkers.

Following the battle, the survivors are split into different groups traveling separately; each encountering a variety of obstacles as they search for “Terminus”, a place described as a “sanctuary for all” by many signs posted along a series of railroads. Carol and Tyreese struggle with a dilemma involving Lizzie — a mentally disturbed child who murders her younger sister, Mika — which ends with Carol reluctantly killing her to protect Judith. Beth, who was traveling with Daryl and taking shelter in a funeral home, is kidnapped during a walker attack. Glenn and Tara are joined by three new survivors – Sgt. Abraham Ford, Rosita Espinosa, and Dr. Eugene Porter – who are on a mission to Washington, D.C. in search of what remains of the government. Dr. Porter reveals that he knows the cause of the walker outbreak but is unable to elaborate claiming the information is classified. On the way to Terminus, Glenn and Maggie’s groups reunite. They are the first group shown to arrive at Terminus, where they are met by a woman named Mary who welcomes them in and offers food.

Meanwhile, Daryl encounters a hostile group of men led by a man named Joe. He allows Daryl to join under the condition that he lives by their code; a strict set of rules punishable by beatings and even death if broken. The group eventually find Rick, Michonne and Carl and hold them hostage, seeking revenge for an earlier run-in with Rick that left one of their members strangled to death. Daryl arrives on the scene to stop the attack, and the bandits are eventually overwhelmed and killed. Reunited with Daryl, the group makes their way to Terminus where they run into the town’s inhabitants. Rick and the group are reassured that they are now safe, but a conflict breaks out after Rick notices Hershel’s watch, Glenn’s riot gear, and Maggie’s poncho being worn by several of the townspeople. Greatly outnumbered, Rick and the others are forced to surrender. Gareth, the leader of Terminus, orders them into a nearby railroad car, where they discover Glenn and Maggie’s group are also being held captive. The season ends with Rick claiming, “They’re gonna feel pretty stupid when they find out…they’re screwing with the wrong people.”

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My 3 favorite episodes were:

Episode 6 “Live Bait”:

In an extended flashback, The Governor recalls his massacre of the entire Woodbury army, and his henchmen Martinez and Shumpert abandon him while he is asleep. The Governor smashes a military truck through the Woodbury gates, and when he sees that the town has been abandoned by the remaining survivors and overrun by walkers, he burns the town to the ground. Months later, after wandering the roads alone, the bearded, tattered, weakened Governor sees a young girl in a window, who reminds him of his daughter Penny. He enters the building and encounters the Chamblers — two adult sisters, Lilly and Tara, their wheelchair-bound father, David, and the girl, Lilly’s daughter, Meghan. When asked his name, The Governor adopts a false identity, Brian (which he adopted randomly from a message spray-painted on the side of a barn). He tells them how Woodbury fell apart because of its leader — hiding from them the fact that he was the leader. The Chamblers remain holed up in their own apartment with sufficient food, waiting for the National Guard, and Tara threatens The Governor at gunpoint. However, they slowly warm up to him when he opens up and helps to care for their father. At David’s request, The Governor retrieves a backgammon set from an upstairs apartment for Meghan. Later, Lilly asks him to retrieve oxygen tanks for David, who has stage-4 lung cancer. The Governor begins to bond with Meghan over chess, but is forced to kill David in front of the family when the latter dies and reanimates. After digging a grave, burying David, burning his own family photo, and comforting Meghan, The Governor tries to sneak away and leave, but the remaining Chamblers decide to go with him. During their journey, Lilly and The Governor begin a serious relationship. After the catering truck they are riding in breaks down, they proceed on foot and encounter a horde of walkers approaching. They quickly flee on foot. Meghan and The Governor fall into a pit containing a few walkers, whom The Governor kills with his own hands to protect Meghan. As he assures her that he will always protect her, The Governor looks up to see a shocked Martinez standing above the pit. 

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Episode 12 “Still”:

Beth grows tired of living in undesirable camps in the woods and on the run from walkers. She decides Daryl and she need a way to relax and wants to have her first drink of alcohol and wanders off alone. Daryl joins her to make sure she does not get attacked by walkers. They find a golf course country club and explore it. They encounter a group of walkers inside. Beth eventually finds a bottle of peach schnapps but can not find a clean glass. Daryl gets fed up and smashes the bottle and takes Beth to a house with a still with moonshine he discovered before the prison was overrun. The two drink moonshine and share personal information about each other (shedding light on Daryl’s background) while playing “Never Have I Ever” inside the house. Daryl loses his temper after one of Beth’s questions presumes he had been in jail before and he starts yelling and decides to take it upon himself to teach Beth how to shoot a crossbow on a walker outside. An upset Beth kills the walker with her knife after Daryl takes pleasure in tormenting the walker. Daryl breaks down and reflects on what transpired at the prison. That night they decide to burn down the house they were sheltering in as it reminded Daryl of who he was before the apocalypse. 

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Episode 14 “The Grove”:

Tyreese, Carol, Lizzie, Mika and Judith continue in the railroad tracks on their way to Terminus. Carol tells Tyreese about Lizzie’s sympathy for walkers and Mika’s lack of toughness, like her own deceased daughter Sophia. While Carol and Mika get supplies, Tyreese and Lizzie encounter a walker who gets trapped within the tracks; Lizzie pleads with Tyreese not to kill it, as it is not a threat to them. Carol tells Mika that she has to eventually learn how to fight instead of run, while Mika tells her she can kill walkers, who she views as a threat, unlike her sister. The two then stumble upon a house in a grove, where the group decides to take shelter. The next day, Lizzie plays tag with a walker, which Carol then kills; greatly upsetting Lizzie. Carol and Mika hunt for animals after witnessing a forest fire in the distance, but Mika is unable to kill a deer. Mika later finds Lizzie feeding the trapped walker in the railroad tracks and contemplating letting it bite her so she can join them, but the sisters later flee after a herd of charred walkers emerges from the woods near them. While Carol begins to warm up to the idea of staying at the grove, Tyreese admits he has nightmares about Karen and is not ready to be around other people. When the two return to the house, they discover that Lizzie has stabbed Mika to death, as Judith lay vulnerably nearby, because she wants her sister to return as a walker. After Tyreese, Lizzie and Judith enter the house, Carol secretly and tearfully prevents Mika’s reanimation. Tyreese and Carol debate what should be done with Lizzie, in which Tyreese tells Carol that Lizzie admitted that she had been feeding the walkers at the prison, leading him to believe she killed Karen, but he realizes Lizzie would not have the strength to move the bodies, and Carol points out Lizzie would have let Karen reanimate. Nevertheless, the two conclude that Lizzie cannot be around others. The next day, Carol executes Lizzie and admits to Tyreese that she murdered Karen and David. Tyreese forgives her but tells her he will not forget it. After burying the girls, Tyreese, Carol, and Judith then proceed to Terminus on the railroad tracks. 

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The season ended with Rick, Daryl, Michonne, Carl, Glenn, Maggie, Sasha, Bob, Tara, Abraham, Eugene and Rosita locked in a boxcar in Terminus, Beth still missing and Tyreese, Carol and Judith moving towards Terminus. 

The season ends with Rick saying the people of Terminus will feel “pretty stupid when they find out”, Abraham asks what, to which Rick answers, “They’re screwing with the wrong people”.

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Divergent

“You’re different. You don’t fit into a category. They can’t control you. They call it Divergent. You can’t let them find out about you.”

Divergent is another movie based on a Young-Adult novel like Harry Potter, The Hunger Games, Twilight and the soon to be released The Maze Runner, If I Stay and The Fault in Our Stars. 

When I first heard of the movie I went to buy the book writen by Veronica Roth but I was only able to read a few pages. I find the book to be poorly writen but that’s my opinion. 

The movie in the other hand is surprisingly good with great CGI and very good performances from most of the actors. I liked the pace of the movie and that they took some time setting up the movie in the begining and showing the ruins of Chicago. 

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Here’s the plot from Wikipedia:

In a futuristic dystopian Chicago, society is divided into five factions: Abnegation (selfless), Amity (peaceful), Candor (truthful), Erudite (intelligent) and Dauntless (brave), based on their personalities. Beatrice Prior (Shailene Woodley) is in Abnegation, the faction that looks after the poor and the factionless, as well as runs the government; though she has always been fascinated by Dauntless. Her father, Andrew (Tony Goldwyn) serves on the ruling council along with the head of Abnegation, Marcus Eaton (Ray Stevenson).

Young 16-year old citizens have undergone aptitude test using a serum to indicate which faction they would really fit and which they would need to choose on the Choosing Ceremony. Beatrice takes the aptitude test with Dauntless woman Tori (Maggie Q) as her proctor. Her test has resulted different attributes of several factions (Abnegation, Erudite and Dauntless), which means she is Divergent. Since Divergent people can think independently and government cannot conform their thinking, they are considered threats to the social orders. These are the reasons why Tori warns her to keep her true test results a secret.

The next day at the Choosing Ceremony, Beatrice’s brother Caleb (Ansel Elgort) chooses Erudite while Beatrice chooses Dauntless. Right after the ceremony, Beatrice meets Christina (Zoë Kravitz) and Al (Christian Madsen), two Candors who chose Dauntless, and Will (Ben Lloyd-Hughes), an Erudite who also chose Dauntless. Dauntless initiates were put to tests such as jumping off from a running train at full speed, and leaping of faith from a tall building into a large hole. During these tests, initiates meet Eric (Jai Courtney), a brutal and youngest leader of Dauntless, and Four (Theo James), initiates instructor. Beatrice is the first initiate who leaped from a building; this has branded her as First Jumper. After jumping, Four asks for her name, Beatrice shortens it to “Tris”.

Tris struggles in Dauntless training, but as it progresses she slowly improves. After being forced to fight with her enemy Peter (Miles Teller) and being hospitalized, Tris almost fails out of Dauntless, but rescues herself after playing a key role in winning a capture-the-flag game.

After the physical stage of Dauntless training, the initiates are put into simulations in order to face their fears. Tris’s divergence allows her to excel at these tests, but Four, who strikes up a relationship with Tris, warns her that she must conceal the true reason behind her success and solve the challenges using the methods a Dauntless candidate would.

The next day, Tris visits her brother in Erudite, who explains to her that Erudite is planning to overthrow Abnegation and become the ruling faction. On her return to Dauntless headquarters Tris is attacked due to her success in training, with Peter, Al, and Drew attempt to throw her into the chasm, but she is rescued by Four. The next day, Al pleads with Tris and begs for her forgiveness but Tris refuses calling him a “coward”, Al then kills himself by jumping into the chasm. In preparation for Tris’s final test, Four takes Tris into his fear simulations where she finds out his real name is Tobias, son of the leader of Abnegation and head of government, Marcus Eaton. After the simulation Four and Tris realize they have feelings for each other and share a kiss. When the day of the test comes, Tris passes without revealing she is Divergent. During the post-test celebration, the Dauntless are then injected with a serum which is to be administered as a tracking device.

The next morning Tris wakes up to realize the injection was actually a mind-control serum that Erudite is using to manipulate Dauntless into attacking Abnegation. As Divergent people are unaffected, Tris and Four have to blend in. At Abnegation, Eric figures out that Four is not under the simulation, which leads to both him and Tris being caught and separated. Tris’s mother Natalie (Ashley Judd) shows up and rescues Tris but dies in the process. To stop Erudite from killing Abnegation, Tris, her father, brother, and Marcus attempt to sneak into Dauntless headquarters. Tris sees that Peter is not under the serum and orders him to take them to where the Erudite set up their operations. Her father sacrifices himself in a shootout. Tris goes in alone and finds Four, whose mind control she is able to break. Jeanine (Kate Winslet), leader of Erudite, is about to start to execute the protocols that will make Dauntless kill Abnegation, but Tris stabs Jeanine through the hand with a throwing knife, then injects her with the serum and orders her to stop and delete the program. Tris, Caleb, Peter, Four, and Marcus then flee Dauntless on the train, intending to ride to the end of the tracks.

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The story is interesting but confusing at moments and for some parts it’s best not to overthink. The factions are the equivalent of the districts from The Hunger Games and like the HG the dystopia setting doesn’t make much sense on why would people tolerate this kind of living arrangements. I read that the whole faction thing is explained in the third book so maybe there’s a good reason for this behavior but for now I don’t see it. 

Comparing Divergent to The Hunger Games I like how Tris shows more emotions than Katniss even thought the movie doesn’t focus to much on love. I also think that the fact that there’s a bigger cast and we get to spend time watching more than just 3 or 4 characters is a good thing. 

The cast of this movie has to be the most impressive one among the others I mentioned earlier specially considering the first movie of the franchise. Jennifer Lawrence is still the biggest star in all of these since none other of the leads as an Oscar.

Some of the actors I recognised but couldn’t remember from where like Ray Stevenson who played Isaak Sirko on Dexter, Jai Courtney who played Varro in Spartacus and Mekhi Phifer who played Rex Matheson in Torchwood: Miracle Day. 

Cast:

Shailene Woodley as Beatrice “Tris” Prior (The Descendants, The Fault in Our Stars)
Theo James as Tobias “Four” Eaton (Underworld: Awakening)
Ansel Elgort as Caleb Prior (Carrie, The Fault in Our Stars)
Ray Stevenson as Marcus Eaton (Dexter, Thor)
Kate Winslet as Jeanine Matthews (Titanic, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind)
Zoë Kravitz as Christina (Californication, X-Men: First Class)
Maggie Q as Tori (Nikita, Live Free or Die Hard)
Mekhi Phifer as Max (8 Mile, Torchwood)
Jai Courtney as Eric (Spartacus, Terminator: Genesis)
Miles Teller as Peter (The Spectacular Now, The Fanstastic Four)
Ben Lamb as Edward 
Ben Lloyd-Hughes as Will (Skins)
Christian Madsen as Al
Tony Goldwyn as Andrew Prior (The Mechanic, The Last Samurai)
Ashley Judd as Natalie Prior (Missing, Olympus Has Fallen)

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Frozen

It took me a while but I finally checked Frozen. I didn’t went to see it in the theatre but I finally bought it on BluRay. 

When I first heard of the movie I wasn’t that interested since it was a Disney movie with princesses and singing but so there was so much talk about this movie that I decided to watch it. 

To be fair a movie that manages to win an Oscar for Best Animad Feature against Despicable Me 2 and The Wind Rises from Hayao Miyazaki and Toshio Suzuki and another for Best Original Song (Let It Go) against the super hit Happy from Pharrel Williams and Ordinary Love from U2 can’t be dismissed as just another princesses movie. 

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Here’s the plot from Wikipedia:

Elsa, princess of Arendelle, possesses the magical ability to create ice and snow. One night while playing, she accidentally injures her younger sister, Anna. The king and queen seek help from trolls, who heal Anna and remove her memories of Elsa’s magic. The royal couple isolates the children in their castle until Elsa learns to control her powers. Afraid of hurting Anna again, Elsa spends most of her time alone in her room, causing a rift between the girls as they grow up. When the girls are teenagers, their parents die at sea during a storm.

When Elsa comes of age, the kingdom prepares for her coronation. Among the guests is the Duke of Weselton, who seeks to exploit Arendelle for profit. Excited to be allowed out of the castle again, Anna explores the town and meets Prince Hans of the Southern Isles, and the two immediately develop a mutual attraction. Despite Elsa’s fear, her coronation goes off without incident. During the reception, Hans proposes and Anna hastily accepts. However, Elsa refuses to grant her blessing and forbids their sudden marriage. The sisters argue, culminating in the exposure of Elsa’s abilities during an emotional outburst.

Panicking, Elsa flees the castle, while inadvertently unleashing an eternal winter on the kingdom. High in the nearby mountains, she casts off restraint, building herself a solitary ice palace, and unknowingly brings to life her and Anna’s childhood snowman, Olaf. Meanwhile, Anna sets out in search of her sister, determined to return her to Arendelle, end the winter, and mend their relationship. While obtaining supplies, she meets mountain man Kristoff and his reindeer Sven. She convinces Kristoff to guide her up the North Mountain. The group then encounters Olaf, who leads them to Elsa’s hideaway.

Anna and Elsa reunite, but Elsa still fears hurting her sister. When Anna persists in persuading her sister to return, Elsa becomes agitated and accidentally strikes Anna in the heart with her powers. Horrified, Elsa creates a giant snow creature to drive Anna, Kristoff, and Olaf away. As they flee, Kristoff notices Anna’s hair is turning white, and deduces something is very wrong. He seeks help from the trolls, his adoptive family, who explain that Anna’s heart has been frozen. Unless it is thawed by an “act of true love”, she will become frozen solid forever. Believing that only Hans can save her, Kristoff races back with her to Arendelle.

Meanwhile, Hans, leading a search for Anna, reaches Elsa’s palace. In the ensuing battle against the Duke’s men, Elsa is knocked unconscious and imprisoned back at the kingdom. There, Hans pleads with her to undo the winter, but Elsa confesses she doesn’t know how. When Anna reunites with Hans and begs him to kiss her to break the curse, Hans refuses and reveals that his true intention in marrying her was to seize control of Arendelle’s throne. Leaving Anna to die, he charges Elsa with treason for her younger sister’s apparent death.

Elsa escapes and heads out into the blizzard on the fjord. Olaf finds Anna and reveals Kristoff is in love with her; they then escape onto the fjord to find him. Hans confronts Elsa and tells her Anna is dead because of her. In Elsa’s despair, the storm suddenly ceases, giving Kristoff and Anna the chance to reach each other. However Anna, seeing that Hans is about to kill Elsa, decides to throw herself between the two and subsequently freezes solid, blocking the blow.

As Elsa grieves for her sister, Anna begins to thaw, since her decision to sacrifice herself to save her sister constitutes an “act of true love.” Realizing love is the key to controlling her powers, Elsa is able to thaw the kingdom and even helps Olaf survive in summer. Hans is sent back to the Southern Isles to face punishment for his crimes against the royal family of Arendelle, and Elsa cuts off trade with Weselton. Anna and Kristoff share a kiss, and the two sisters reconcile; Elsa promises never to shut the castle gates again.

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The story is simple but interesting and the CGI are some of the best I’ve seen but the songs could have been better and in less number. That’s not to say I didn’t like some of them like Let It Go that is beautifully singed. On the other hand the one with Olaf and the one with the Trolls were really anoying. 

In the characters department Olaf is the most anoying one but I really liked Sven. Both Anna and Elsa are interesting. I liked when Elsa used her powers to defend from the 2 Weselton guards at the tower. 

It’s interesting to see that this animated movie made me laugh more than some comedies I’ve seen over the last year and it’s refreshing to see a simple story with no deaths and big explosions and filled with plot holes.

Frozen reminded me of the Disney movies I used to watch as a kid like The Lion King that was another movie with songs that I rewatched again last year and is still one of my favorite movies. 

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Captain America: The Winter Soldier

The first Captain America movie seemed to be the worse of the Phase 1 movies and I ended up not watching the movie in the theatres. I downloaded it later. 

This time around the movie seemed much better and the fact that Nick Fury and Natasha Romanoff are there with the Captain only increased my interest. 

The Winter Soldier is a better movie than it’s predecessor in every level. Better story, better actors and better CGI. The movie is not perfect but it sure is a step forward for the Marvel Universe. 

My biggest complaint has to be the 3D. I don’t know if it’s just me but the 3D doesn’t work well specially in the fighting scenes. I remember when watching Avatar thinking the 3D was the future and now I’m more inclined never to watch another movie in 3D. Another thing that bothers me is the glasses. Since I now have to wear glasses it means that I have to wear the 3D glasses over the regular ones wich is not the ideal situation. 

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Here’s the plot from Wikipedia:

Two years after the events of The Avengers, Steve Rogers lives in Washington, D.C.and continues to work for espionage agency S.H.I.E.L.D., but struggles to adapt to contemporary society. After meeting and befriending war veteran and PTSD counsellor Sam Wilson on a morning jog, Rogers is called to help save a S.H.I.E.L.D. vessel from Algerian pirates led by Georges Batroc. Aboard, he discovers fellow agent Natasha Romanoff extracting data from the ship’s computers, making him question whether he should trust S.H.I.E.L.D. At S.H.I.E.L.D.’s headquarters, the Triskelion, Nick Fury introduces Rogers to Operation: Insight, three Helicarriers linked to spy satellites and designed to pre-emptively eliminate threats. Rogers later visits the elderly Peggy Carter at a nursing home.

Later, Fury is denied access to information on Operation: Insight, and on his way to rendezvous with Maria Hill he is ambushed by assailants disguised as police officers. A mysterious assassin called the Winter Soldier blows up Fury’s SUV. Fury escapes and sneaks into Rogers’ apartment, but after handing Rogers a USB flash drive he is gunned down by the Winter Soldier. Rogers gives chase, and his neighbor reveals herself as S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Sharon Carter. Fury appears to die in surgery, and Hill recovers the body.

The next day, Rogers is summoned by senior S.H.I.E.L.D. official Alexander Pierce. When Rogers withholds Fury’s information, Pierce brands him a fugitive. Hunted by the agency, Rogers meets with Romanoff, and using data in the flash drive they discover an old S.H.I.E.L.D. underground base within an abandoned U.S. Army base in New Jersey. They activate a supercomputer containing the preserved consciousness of Arnim Zola, who reveals that when S.H.I.E.L.D. was founded after World War II, HYDRA secretly operated within their ranks, and plan to use Operation: Insight to establish their new world order by killing 20 million people on the East Coast. Rogers and Romanoff narrowly escape death when a S.H.I.E.L.D. missile hits the bunker and destroys the supercomputer.

They enlist the help of Wilson, and subsequently acquire the classified “Falcon” flight-exoskeleton he once harnessed. Ambushed by the Winter Soldier — whom Rogers believes is James “Bucky” Barnes, his best friend who was presumed KIA during WWII — they are captured by S.H.I.E.L.D. but rescued by a disguised Hill. She leads them to a hideout where they discover Fury is alive and planning a mission to prevent Pierce from launching Operation: Insight. The mission involves replacing the controller chip contained within each Helicarrier to override their satellite control.

At the Triskelion, Pierce invites the members of the World Security Council to the launch of the Helicarriers, only to hold them hostage and reveal HYDRA’s true motives. Rogers and Wilson storm the premises and replace the controllers on the first two Helicarriers, but encounter the Winter Soldier at the third. After destroying Wilson’s wings and forcing him to parachute out of the Helicarrier, the Winter Soldier fights Rogers, with Rogers trying to revive Bucky’s memories. Meanwhile, Fury and Romanoff confront Pierce and force him to unlock access to S.H.I.E.L.D’s database so Romanoff can expose HYDRA’s motives to the public. After a brief conflict, Fury shoots Pierce dead. On the Helicarrier, a wounded Rogers replaces the final controller, allowing Hill to override the satellite operation and have all three vessels destroy one another. The Helicarrier carrying Rogers and the Winter Soldier crashes into the side of the Triskelion, where Wilson battles compromised agent Rumlow, who had earlier tried to capture Rogers.

Rogers falls off the vessel into the river. Slowly remembering his past, the Winter Soldier pulls Rogers from the water before disappearing. Afterward, with S.H.I.E.L.D. in disarray, Nick Fury destroys the last traces of his identity before heading to Europe in pursuit of HYDRA’s remaining cells under the cover of his apparent death. Romanoff appears before a Senate subcommittee and later gives Rogers a dossier on Bucky and the Winter Soldier program.

In a mid-credits scene, Baron von Strucker discusses HYDRA plans with subordinates. He holds Loki’s sceptre, and observes two prisoners in their cells: one with superhuman speed, the other with telekinetic powers. In a post-credits scene, a hooded Winter Soldier visits the Smithsonian Institution and looks at a mural depicting him fighting alongside Captain America.

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The story is interesting and will most likely affect the other Phase 2 movie Avengers 2: Age of Ultron (Guardians of the Galaxy seems to be more of a standalone movie for now). 

I liked the idea of a corrupt S.H.I.E.L.D. and the implications it has for Captain America who struggles with the though of working for a corrupt organisation who likes to keep secrets. 

As usual in the Marvel movies there was a post credit scene wich shows the twins Pietro and Wands Maximoff also knowened as Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch. This is one of the best post scenes in the Marvel Universe. 

A third Captain America movie as already been green lightened and will have the same directors and writing staff. It’s scheduled for May 6, 2016.

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If I Stay by Gayle Forman

This is yet another book that I only learned existed because of the movie that is based on it and will be released later this year. 

The book is interesting but I was expecting something better. It’s too light and Mia too childish for a 17 year old. 

The story keeps going back to show moments days or years before the accident breaking the flow of the events but it helps to show some characteristics of the characters even if those flashbacks are not presented in order.

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Here’s the plot from teenreads.com:

When 17-year-old Mia wakes up on a snowy morning, her family celebrates their unexpected holiday with chocolate chip pancakes. As her mother, father and little brother Teddy plan what to do with their time off from work and school, Mia looks in the newspaper for news about her boyfriend Adam’s band. She is planning to go to their concert that night, but she also wants to practice her cello with a pianist. Mia is a passionate and gifted cellist who is fairly confident that her recent audition has gained her an acceptance from Juilliard, based on comments from one of the judges. But today, with her cello at school and unavailable, she has some time on her hands.

Mia’s family decides to go for a ride. They can visit old family friends, stop by an enormous bookstore, and then swing by to eat dinner with Mia’s grandparents. In the car, each family member battles for his or her favorite music to play on the stereo. Their tastes reflect their personalities, with mom requesting NPR, bow-tied dad wanting Frank Sinatra, and Teddy asking for SpongeBob. Mia, as always, wants to listen to the classical music station. Beethoven’s Cello Sonata No. 3 is playing when Mia closes her eyes — and her life is abruptly and forever changed.

The car is decimated after the accident, but the radio continues to play Beethoven. At first Mia is reassured and decides everything will be okay. After all, she’s standing by the vehicle, hearing the music. But then she sees her father. He is dead. Next, she finds her mother, who has also died in the collision. Now Mia is desperate to find her little brother. She spies a hand in a ditch and runs toward it, calling his name. When she reaches the person in the ditch, she realizes she is looking at her own mangled, bleeding body.

As Mia reels in disbelief, wondering if she is actually dead, the paramedics arrive on the scene. She watches them attend to her body, frantically performing emergency medical care, and then transporting her speedily to the emergency room. There, she hears a paramedic report that her parents are dead, but her brother is also being rushed to the ER. Eventually, Mia follows her body as it is transported to an intensive care unit in a big city hospital, all the while reflecting on her first date with Adam and how their musical passions are completely different and yet unite them.

Mia — the one lying in a coma in an ICU bed — is in serious condition, with a collapsed lung, ruptured spleen, internal bleeding, and damage to her brain. As the doctors work to repair her shattered body, the conscious Mia reminisces about her life and watches her grandparents and other relatives visit her. Mia learns further devastating news about the consequences of the car accident. She also realizes that she has a pivotal decision to make — her own life or death choice. With so many overwhelming tragedies and tremendous setbacks, her life will never be remotely the same. Is it worth struggling to re-enter life and live it? Should she stay…or should she go?

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The story has its moments and it made me laugh a few times but not cry. Maybe because I’m not a teenage girl.

I’m interesting in seeing how they are going to turn this book into a movie. Are they going to go with the random flashbacks or simply change the story in a way where the accident happens at the begining and then go back 6 months and build up to the accident eventually showing the moments after the crash?

At least they have a great lead actress. I believe Chloe Grace Moretz from Kick-Ass and Carrie is capable of showing the emotional depths required for the role. 

Characters:

Mia Hall: the protagonist of the story. Mia is quiet, kind and very musically gifted. Above all things, she loves her family, her cello and her friends. Mia struggles with belonging, often feeling like she is out of place next to her rock and roll, rebellious family and boyfriend. She recently begins to view her heritage with a tiny degree of doubt, pertaining to the lack of similarities in character and demeanor.

Adam Wilde: Adam is Mia’s boyfriend. He is said to be very handsome, and loves music. He plays guitar and sings for his band “Shooting Star”. Adam adores Mia and Mia’s family and goes through a considerable amount of grief after the accident. Adam was from Oregon.

Kim Schein: Kim is Mia’s best friend. They are said to be very alike and are perceived as “dark and studious”—assumptions that often work to their advantage. Kim is sarcastic, and obedient to her emotional mother. She and Mia are inseparable, which becomes apparent by the amount of devotion she shows to getting Adam in to see Mia, though they have never liked each other, as is seen countless times in flashbacks.

Teddy Hall: Teddy is Mia’s little brother. Mia is extremely fond of Teddy, saying he is like her own kid. Teddy admires Mia and the two are very close. Throughout the book, Mia worries the most about Teddy, as it is unclear at first to whether or not he has died alongside her parents in the accident.

Kat Hall: Mia’s mother is a “tough as nails, tender as kittens.” She loves rock and her family. She is sometimes protective and is fiercely loyal. She has previously had issues with Mia’s love for classical music, but accepts it as part of Mia’s life. She is not the cook of the family.

Denny Hall: Mia’s father is quite rebellious but is also mature. He steps up to be father and eventually gives up his band in favor of teaching. He is hesitant to admit that he still likes the thought of the band. Both of Mia’s parents approve and even love Mia’s boyfriend Adam.

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Breaking Bad

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Breaking Bad is one of the best shows in the history of television. 

Breaking Bad is the two-year-long story of Walter White (Bryan Cranston), a struggling high school chemistry teacher who is diagnosed with inoperable lung cancer at the beginning of the series. He turns to a life of crime, producing and selling methamphetamine, in order to secure his family’s financial future before he dies, teaming with his former student, Jesse Pinkman (Aaron Paul).

The show was created by Vince Gilligan and had some amazing performances by its entire cast were Bryan Cranston who was former know by his role as Hal from Malcolm in the Middle definitely shined more than everyone else. Aaron Paul, Anna Gunn, Dean Norris, Bob Odenkirk and Jesse Plemons (from Friday Night Lights) are my favourite actors.

I leave here the plot and characters for the 5 seasons but the best thing to do is watch this masterpiece. 

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Season 1

Walter “Walt” White leads a mundane, timid life as a high school chemistry teacher. He lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico, with his pregnant wife, Skyler, and his son, Walter Jr., who has cerebral palsy. Walter’s life is further complicated when, on the day after his 50th birthday, he is diagnosed with stage-three terminal lung cancer. Walter decides to enter the illegal drug trade to develop a sufficient inheritance for his family before he succumbs to his cancer. He uses his chemistry knowledge to cook remarkably potent methamphetamine, enlisting one of his former students, Jesse Pinkman.

The two attempt to sell their product to a drug distributor, “Krazy-8″, who believes that Walter is an undercover cop and attempts to kill him. Walter manages to defend himself, killing Krazy-8 and his accomplice. Walter, deeply disturbed by the ordeal, breaks his ties with Jesse. Upon returning home, Walter and his family discuss long-term plans towards dealing with his cancer. While Walter originally wishes to slowly succumb to his cancer rather than suffering the side-effects of chemotherapy, his family eventually convince him to undergo treatment.

Walter is offered financial assistance from his brother-in-law, Hank, who is a DEA agent, and from his wealthy former business partner Elliott, but turns down both offers. Instead, Walter decides to return to producing meth, and tells his family that the money he earns is actually from Elliott. Walter then convinces Jesse that they should start selling their product to Tuco, a powerful but psychopathic drug distributor. The two begin to expand their operations by stealing a large drum of methylamine, thereby allowing them to produce large quantities of meth for Tuco. Walter begins to come to terms with his secret lifestyle, and creates the pseudonym “Heisenberg” to conceal his identity.

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Season 2

Walter and Jesse are kidnapped by Tuco after the DEA raids Tuco’s Albuquerque operation. Tuco brings them to the dilapidated home of his uncle, Hector, with the intent of moving them to Mexico. After an unsuccessful attempt to poison Tuco, the two manage to incapacitate him and escape. Hank (Dean Norris), in his search for Walt, comes across a wounded Tuco and kills him in a shootout. Walt manages to return home, claiming to have been in a fugue state, but this excuse has numerous holes and creates distrust with Skyler. The DEA seizes Jesse’s “drug” money, straining his partnership with Walter after he demands half of Walt’s meth profit to sustain himself.

Jesse rents a new place and becomes romantically involved with his landlord’s daughter, Jane, a recovering heroin addict. With Tuco dead, Walt and Jesse decide to move their business into new territory, but more problems arise as their enterprise expands with dealers working for them. One of them, Skinny Pete, is mugged, and Walt forces Jesse to confront the perpetrators, a man and his wife. The man is killed by his wife, but Jesse receives the credit, earning him fear and respect and further solidifying “Heisenberg’s” reputation in the area. Another dealer, Badger, is arrested by the APD, forcing Walt to deal with Saul Goodman, a crooked lawyer who offers a solution to keep Badger from snitching while also keeping him out of prison. Walt and Jesse attempt to intimidate Saul, but Saul makes a deal with Walt for a cut of the profit in return for being Walt and Jesse’s legal advisor in their drug operation.

Considered a hero for killing Tuco, Hank is promoted and sent to El Paso. In private, he suffers panic attacks due to the unexpected shootout with Tuco. The El Paso job further unsettles Hank after he witnesses the death of a Federale and the wounding of fellow DEA officers by an IED attack. Hank is immediately sent back to Albuquerque by his superiors. Gretchen, Walt’s former lover and Elliot’s wife, discovers Walt has been lying to his family about receiving money from them. She is taken aback when a bitter Walt blames her and Elliott for profiting from his research, although she doesn’t disclose Walt’s secrets for his family’s sake. Skyler goes back to work for Ted Beneke, a former boss who once drunkenly groped her and caused her to quit her bookkeeper job as a result. She increasingly relies on Ted for emotional support due to Walt’s frequent absences and unexplained behavior.

Walt becomes worried when he sees a bright white patch within the generally dark hues on the latest PET/CT scan of his lungs. With only $16,000 remaining of the meth money after the numerous setbacks, he and Jesse spend several days in the desert cooking 38 pounds of meth to sell off before Walt dies. Later, at the doctor’s office, Walt discovers his cancer has not spread and his tumor has actually shrunk by 80%; the bright area on his scan was only inflammation. Walt plans to end the meth operation after the 38 pounds are sold, but soon finds normality boring.

When one of Walt and Jesse’s dealers, Combo, is killed by rivals, Jesse is sent spiraling into a drug addiction which also drags Jane out of her sobriety. With their remaining dealers backing out, Walt and Jesse turn to Saul for help. Saul uses his connections to arrange a meeting at a fast food restaurant with Gus Fring, a discreet, cautious, yet successful drug distributor. Gus owns and manages a number of fast food restaurants and has purposely scheduled the meeting at one of them in order to observe Walt and Jesse. Gus reluctantly offers to buy Walt’s product for $1.2 million and offers him only one hour to deliver the drugs. Walt frantically attempts to contact Jesse to complete the exchange, but Jesse and Jane are incapacitated after injecting heroin. Walt breaks into Jesse’s house and collects the stash, choosing to complete the deal rather than be with Skyler as she goes into labor.

Walt loses trust in Jesse and promises to give him his share of the payout only if he agrees to get sober. Upon learning of the money and Jesse’s relationship with Walt, Jane blackmails Walt into giving Jesse his share of the money. Walt reluctantly complies and the two agree to go their separate ways, but Walt returns to Jesse, only to discover that he and Jane have taken heroin again. During an attempt to awaken Jesse, Walt accidentally moves Jane out of the recovery position and onto her back, and witnesses her choking on her own vomit. Walt lets Jane suffocate and leaves. When Jesse wakes up, he tries to revive Jane without success. Unaware of Walt’s visit, Jesse believes he is responsible for her death and spirals into a depression. Walt attempts to help Jesse by taking him to rehab. Meanwhile, Gus discovers that Hank is Walt’s brother-in-law and that Walt has cancer.

As Walt undergoes anesthesia for surgery, he accidentally confirms to Skyler the existence of his secret second cell phone. This prompts her to leave him several weeks later, after she systematically investigates and uncovers his lies. Walt offers to explain everything to Skyler, but she responds that she is too afraid to know the truth. After Skyler leaves, Walt sees an explosion in the skies above his home. Jane’s father Donald, an air traffic controller, overcome with grief at the loss of his daughter, has accidentally directed two airplanes into each other in the sky above Albuquerque. In an image foreshadowed throughout the season, a charred pink teddy bear lands in the Whites’ pool and floats there until it is collected as evidence by NTSB agents.

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Season 3

Albuquerque and the rest of the country is in shock after the mid-air 737 collision at the end of the second season. Walter tells Skyler about his involvement in the meth business, further increasing tension in their marriage. Walt is initially hesitant to take up Gus on a lucrative offer to continue cooking meth in a high-tech “superlab”, but later discovers that Jesse, out of rehab, has cooked a batch of the blue meth himself using Walt’s techniques; Walt, furious, accepts Gus’ offer, while leaving Skyler with signed divorce papers that still list him as the financial provider for the family. Skyler refuses to sign the papers, as she herself is in far too deep. However, she begins to work with Saul Goodman to find a legitimate business to funnel Walt’s drug money through to keep the family’s take clean. Skyler also begins a sexual relationship with her boss Ted.

Hank, despite orders to go to El Paso, follows a tenuous lead on the “Heisenberg” case, and ends up linking Jesse and his RV to the blue meth. Walt quickly races to warn Jesse, but as they are preparing to destroy the RV, Hank arrives at the junkyard where it is being kept. Walt, with Saul’s help, has Jesse claim rights against illegal searches and draws Hank’s attention away with a feigned emergency call regarding his wife, giving them time to crush the RV. Hank is furious and assaults Jesse at his home, leading to his temporary suspension from the DEA while investigation on his behavior continues.

Meanwhile, two Cartel assassins arrive in Albuquerque to avenge the death of their cousin, Tuco Salamanca. The semi-invalid Hector Salamanca directs his two nephews to Walt, but Gus calls them off just outside of Walt’s shower. Gus asserts that Walt works for him and is essential to his current operation. In compromise, Gus gives the assassins the name of Tuco’s actual killer, DEA agent Hank Schrader.

Leaving his disciplinary meeting, now on suspension with no badge or firearm, Hank is warned anonymously (by Gus) minutes before the axe-wielding assassins arrive. Hank uses his SUV to pin and crush the legs of one but then he is shot, although not fatally, by the other. Moments before the shooter would have driven a fire axe through Hank’s skull, Hank uses the injured cousin’s gun to shoot the axe-wielding cousin.

As the authorities investigate Hank’s attackers, Gus uses the situation as a pretense to have killed Cartel leader Juan Bolsa, thus ending the Mexican meth pipeline into the area, now putting him in complete control of all operations there. Walt realizes that the assassins were meant for him and the end goal of Gus’ involvement.

Walt is initially very pleased with Gale, the assistant he is given to operate the superlab. However, when Walt realizes he needs Jesse back under his control, he claims dissatisfaction with Gale, and is able to negotiate for Jesse to replace Gale. When Gus successfully blocks the Cartel’s drug trade, he offers Walt $15 million annually to continue cooking, an offer not extended to Jesse. Jesse skims a small portion of the meth to sell on his own, an action that both Gus and Walt are aware of but do not discuss. Jesse has been seeing Andrea through his rehab sessions, but soon discovers that her younger brother Tomas killed Combo on orders of Gus’ street-level dealers. Walt is able to convince Gus to end the involvement of children in drug trafficking to assure his continued participation. However, Tomas is soon found dead and Jesse surmises that Gus’s agents are responsible. Morally outraged, he plans a reckless revenge. Milliseconds before a potentially fatal shoot-out ensues on a dimly-lit, barrio street-corner, Walt slams his green Aztec into both street-thugs and then point-blank executes the surviving, injured thug. A now terrified, yet stoic, Walter warns the now incredulous, open-jawed Jesse to “run”.

Gus secures the lab, reinstates Gale as Walt’s assistant, and puts his henchman, Victor, into overseeing all lab activities. From Gale’s questions about the meth cooking process, Walt surmises Gus has plans to kill him once he has outlived his usefulness. Meeting Jesse in secret, Walt believes they need to kill Gale to assure Walt’s usefulness to Gus as a meth cook, and has Jesse locate Gale’s residence. Some nights later as Walt prepares to kill Gale, he is instead brought to the lab by Victor on the pretense of a chemical spill. When Walt sees Mike, Gus’ “cleaner” there, he realizes his time is up, and offers Jesse’s current location to save himself. He calls Jesse under the pretense of luring him in, but instead tells Jesse to kill Gale, knowing that Gus’s men will not be able to arrive in time to stop it. Jesse goes to Gale’s apartment and the season ends with Gale’s pleas and a gun-shot.

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Season 4

Following Jesse Pinkman’s murder of Gale, the chemist with whom Gus had planned on replacing Walt, Gus responds by killing one of his own men and taking steps to secure the lab, including installing cameras to monitor the lab at all times. Upon searching Gale’s apartment, the police find two clues: refuse linking the vegan Gale to Gus’ chain of fast food chicken restaurants, and a lab notebook with detailed steps for cooking meth with an inscription “To W.W.” The police give Hank copies of this evidence, and Hank starts to suspect that Gus is a major player in the meth operation, and though still recovering and off-duty, tries to investigate on his own. Gus’ background as a Chilean national is sketchy at best, leading Hank to further suspicions, eventually connecting the industrial laundry service that fronts the laboratory to the meth trade. Meanwhile, Skyler tries to convince Walt to avoid excess spending in order to reduce the risk of exposing their money laundering scheme: the car wash at which Walt was formerly employed, while he was still a high school chemistry teacher and before his cancer diagnosis. When Walt splurges on a new car for Walt Jr. against her warnings, Skyler tries to leave but ends up returning to help her family. As the season unfolds, Skyler learns that her former boss Ted had concealed business revenue in earlier tax returns, and would face an audit that would likely reveal Skyler and Walt’s illicit wealth. Skyler convinces Saul Goodman to fake an estate inheritance from a fictitious Aunt, which she uses to divert more than $600,000 to Ted to pay for the fine to the IRS to end the investigation.

Jesse cleans up his act and is surprised when Mike takes him as protection for picking up several dead-drops. One attack is staged (unknown to Jesse), and Jesse is able to thwart it, giving him confidence in supporting Mike and Gus. They learn that the Mexican cartel has been attacking Gus’ trucks as a message, and after they attempt to attack Gus directly, Gus agrees to meet with them. Walt, learning of this meeting, gives Jesse a capsule of ricin, a deadly poison, to use to kill Gus. Jesse hesitates and doesn’t follow through, infuriating Walt. Jesse is invited by Gus to join him and Mike in traveling to Mexico, where they have Jesse teach the cartel scientists how to cook the blue meth. A flashback reveals that Gus has a long-standing feud with the head of the Cartel, Don Eladio, as he had ordered Hector to kill his partner, Max, while trying to arrange for an amicable meth trade. Gus is able to poison Don Eladio and the heads of the cartel, while Jesse helps him and Mike to escape the few guards that survived. On Jesse’s return, Walt finds himself again being rendered useless, and later is tasered and taken to the outskirts of town where Gus tells him that he is fired, and that he will take care of Hank. He tells Walt that if he tries to interfere, he will kill Walt’s wife and children. Walt tips off the DEA to an imminent attack on Hank while trying to arrange to get his family relocated, but finds without the $600,000 that Skyler gave to Ted, he cannot pay the fee.

Hank and his family, as well as Skyler and Walt Jr., are placed in protective custody; Walt refuses, trying to deal with the situation himself, realizing that Jesse is the key piece. Sometime later, Jesse learns that his girlfriend Andrea’s son has suddenly fallen ill; he discovers the cigarette containing the ricin capsule missing and immediately assumes the boy had been purposely poisoned. Jesse confronts Walt, ready to kill him but Walt insists he couldn’t have done it, and that it was likely Gus’ fault. Jesse trusts Walt and returns to the hospital, refusing to return to work. Gus comes to the hospital to learn of this from Jesse, but agrees to allow Jesse to remain and come back to work in the week. This meeting has given time for Walt to plant a bomb on Gus’ car, but as Gus returns, he appears uneasy, and simply walks away from the car. Walt learns from Jesse that the only place where Gus is vulnerable is when he is visiting the wheelchair-bound Hector at a local nursing home. Walt talks to Hector; and then Hector asks to be taken to the DEA. Gus decides to kill Hector for ratting out to the DEA, but Hector is ready to sacrifice himself; he detonates Walt’s bomb, killing himself, Gus, and Tyrus. Walt returns to the lab, kills the guards, and informs Jesse that Gus is dead. They torch the lab and walk away, and Walt calls Skyler, letting her know that he “won.” The final scene reveals that Walt used berries from the Lily of the Valley at his home to poison Andrea’s son, and thus goad Jesse into action.

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Season 5

Walter White resumes cooking meth. Mike Ehrmantraut joins Walt and Jesse as a distributor but distrusts their methylamine supplier Lydia Rodarte-Quayle, a shipping executive with Madrigal Electromotive GmbH, the parent company of Gus Fring’s Los Pollos Hermanos. Saul Goodman arranges for Walt and Jesse to go into business with burglars posing as a pest control company known as Vamonos Pest, using the business’ fumigation tent on random houses as a mobile laboratory. Skyler removes the children from the house as she realizes that Walt is not free from his meth-making past.

Walt, Jesse, and Mike rob a train carrying methylamine, assisted by Todd, an employee of Vamonos Pest. A child spots them, but Todd shoots the boy on the spot. Jesse, horrified by the shooting, and Mike, who is being followed by the DEA, decide to exit the business by selling their shares of the methylamine for $5 million each to Declan, a Phoenix-based meth producer and distributor. Walt refuses to sell his share of the methylamine and cuts a distribution deal with Declan, negotiating the $5 million severance for Mike. Walt then hires Todd as his assistant cook. When Mike refuses to give Walt the names of Gus’s former employees who receive hush money, Walt impulsively shoots and kills him.

Walt gets the names from Lydia and has Todd’s uncle, a former convict with ties to the Aryan Brotherhood, arrange their deaths. Lydia distributes Walt’s meth to the Czech Republic, making Walt an extraordinary amount of money. Skyler is overwhelmed by the profit and convinces Walt to retire. During a family cookout, Hank flips through Leaves of Grass in Walt’s bathroom and discovers that it is dedicated to “W.W.” by “G.B.” As Hank recalls a conversation with Walt regarding the initials from his earlier investigation, surmising that “G.B.” is Gale Boetticher, he realizes that Walt is Heisenberg. Hank begins to secretly investigate Walt, but Walt discovers a tracking device on his car, leading him to realize Hank knows he is Heisenberg.

Hank meets with Skyler and asks her to go on record with a confession, but Skyler refuses. Marie learns the depth of Skyler’s involvement with Walt’s operation. Walt buries his money in the desert. Jesse, overwhelmed with remorse over the deaths that have earned him $5 million, attempts to dispose of the money by throwing it in people’s front lawns. Police bring him in for questioning, but Jesse refuses to give up Walt to Hank.

Declan supplies methamphetamine for Lydia’s Czech connections, but she is dissatisfied with the quality of the product. When Walt rebuffs her attempts to lure him out of retirement, she arranges to have Declan and his associates killed in an ambush and reinstates Todd as cook. She remains dissatisfied with Todd’s product, but he promises to improve.

Walt meets Jesse and Saul in the desert and offers Jesse money to leave town and assume a new identity. Jesse agrees to leave town, but then he realizes that Walt poisoned Brock and framed Gus. Jesse agrees to help Hank catch Walt. Walt contracts with Todd’s uncle Jack to order a hit on Jesse, in exchange for one more cook, to teach Todd how to improve his product.

Jesse calls Walt to tell him that he will get him “where [Walt] really lives”. Walt receives a picture on his phone from Jesse, showing an opened barrel of money, identical to the ones that Walt had buried in To’hajilee. Jesse then calls Walt and offers him an ultimatum: meet Jesse at the site of the buried money, or Jesse will burn every barrel. Walt frantically drives to the reservation. Realizing he was set up, Walt hides, calls Jack, and tells Jack to bring his men over as soon as possible. When Hank and Gomez arrive with Jesse, Walt tells Jack not to come and surrenders to Hank. As Walt waits handcuffed in the back of the SUV, Jack and his crew pull up to the site and take cover, drawing their weapons at Hank and Gomez. Helplessly, Walt watches as the gang kills Gomez, and he pleads for them to spare Hank. To support that plea, Walt admits to Jack that the specific location he gave them referred to the location where he buried $80 million. Hank tells Walt that Jack made up his mind before the confrontation even started and Jack shoots and kills Hank. Jack steals almost all of Walt’s $80 million leaving Walt only a barrel. He then readies to execute Jesse (with Walt’s blessing), but Todd convinces Jack that they may need Jesse alive, to advise them what Jesse told the DEA.

Marie confronts Skyler, telling her that Walt is in custody. She offers her and Hank’s support, provided Skyler turns over all of Walt’s false confession tapes implicating Hank and tells Walt Jr. the truth about his father. Skyler agrees, and tells Walt Jr. the truth about his father. They return home only to find Walt hastily packing their bags; he explains that they need to go. Skyler deduces that Hank has been killed and pulls a kitchen knife on Walt. They fight, Walt Jr. calls the police on his father, and Walt Sr. flees. He uses a contact of Saul’s to assume a new identity, moving to a secluded cabin in New Hampshire.

Todd and his gang threaten Skyler, and they demand that she not mention Lydia to the DEA agents. Jesse cooks for Todd, under duress, and tries to escape his captivity. However, he is caught, and as a punishment Todd kills Andrea in front of him. Walt decides to call Walter Jr., who hangs up on him after accusing Walt of killing Hank. Walt then calls the Albuquerque DEA office in order to surrender, but afterward sees Elliott and Gretchen on a Charlie Rose interview, in which they both deny Walt made any major contribution to Gray Matter besides the name. The police arrive at the bar to find no trace of Walt.

Walt steals a car and returns to New Mexico. He coerces Elliott and Gretchen to use his drug money to create an irrevocable trust in favor of Walter Jr. on his 18th birthday, and they will indicate it is their donation to Walt’s innocent children who had a monstrous father. He proceeds to purchase an M60 machine gun and recover the vial of ricin from his now abandoned house. He constructs a remote-activated machine that allows the M60 to fire unmanned. Walt then visits Skyler and Holly and bids them farewell. Walt meets Lydia and Todd at a coffee shop to discuss a new business proposition. He previously laced the only packet of stevia sweetener in the container on her table with the ricin. Lydia dismisses Walt as she adds the ricin to her tea, while asking the waiter for more stevia. Walt later confronts Jack and his gang at the compound. Walt triggers the M60 mounted in the trunk of his car, which shoots through the wall and kills all the gang members, however Todd survives and Jack is mortally wounded. Once the gunfire stops, Jesse strangles Todd with the chain of his handcuffs, finally breaking Todd’s neck. Jack tries to dissuade Walt from finishing him off, but is promptly shot and executed mid-sentence. Walt was hit by a stray shot from the machine gun and begins to bleed. He requests that Jesse kill him, as he now truly wants to die, but Jesse refuses. Jesse drives away from the compound, cheering and crying with joy. Walt walks to the lab, and smiles nostalgically as he takes a final look around. He leaves a bloody handprint on a chemical tank, then falls onto his back with a smile, dead. Police enter the lab moments after he collapses.

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Main characters:

Bryan Cranston as Walter White – a chemistry teacher diagnosed with Stage IIIA lung cancer who turns to making meth to secure his family’s finances. As his shady businesses progress, Walter gains a notorious reputation under the name of Heisenberg. 

Anna Gunn as Skyler White – Walter’s wife who was pregnant with their second child prior to his diagnosis, and who becomes increasingly suspicious of her husband after he begins behaving in unfamiliar ways.

Aaron Paul as Jesse Pinkman – Walter’s former student, Pinkman, is a drug dealer who partners up with Walt and makes high-level meth. 

Dean Norris as Hank Schrader – Walter’s brother-in-law and a DEA agent. At the beginning of the series, Hank was intended to be the “comic relief.”

Betsy Brandt as Marie Schrader – Hank’s wife and Skyler’s kleptomaniac sister. 

RJ Mitte as Walter White, Jr. – Walter and Skyler’s son, who has cerebral palsy. He begins lashing out after Walter’s cancer announcement. Like Walter Jr., Mitte has cerebral palsy, although his is a milder form.

Bob Odenkirk as Saul Goodman (recurring season 2, main cast season 3–5: part 2) – a crooked strip mall lawyer who represents Walt and Jesse.

Giancarlo Esposito as Gustavo “Gus” Fring (recurring season 2, main cast season 3–4) – a high level drug distributor who has a cover as a fast food chain owner. 

Jonathan Banks as Mike Ehrmantraut (guest star season 2, main cast season 3–5: part 1) – works for Gus as an all-purpose cleaner and hitman, and also works for Saul as a private investigator. 

Laura Fraser as Lydia Rodarte-Quayle (recurring season 5: part 1, main cast season 5: part 2) – a high-ranking employee of Madrigal Electromotive and a former associate of Gus Fring. She reluctantly begins supplying Walt and Jesse with methylamine. After Mike’s death, she helps Walt expand his operation overseas.

Jesse Plemons as Todd Alquist (recurring season 5: part 1, main cast season 5: part 2) – an employee of Vamonos Pest Control who becomes an associate of Walt and Jesse. He assists in their train heist but compromises their alliance when he shoots a child. Todd uses his prison connections to help Walt kill Gus’s former employees, and becomes his new meth-cooking assistant after Jesse quits the business.

Recurring characters:

Steven Michael Quezada as Steven Gomez – Hank’s DEA partner and friend who assists in tracking down and learning the identity of Heisenberg.
Matt L. Jones as Badger – Jesse’s dimwitted friend and junkie.
Charles Baker as Skinny Pete – Jesse’s more intelligent friend and fellow dealer.
Lavell Crawford as Huell – Saul’s bodyguard who also handles problems Walter needs fixing.
Bill Burr as Kuby – A hired hand of Saul’s who is sent to take care of an issue involving Ted Beneke.
Christopher Cousins as Ted Beneke – Skyler’s boss and president of Beneke Fabricators who begins developing financial issues, resulting in an intervention from Skyler.
David Costabile as Gale Boetticher – a chemist hired by Gus Fring to work alongside Walter.
Krysten Ritter as Jane Margolis – Jesse’s doomed landlord and girlfriend, who was a recovering addict.
Emily Rios as Andrea Cantillo – Jesse’s second girlfriend, who is also a recovering addict. She has a young son named Brock.
Jessica Hecht and Adam Godley as Gretchen and Elliot Schwartz – Co-owners of Gray Matter, a company that was co-founded alongside Walter, who left the business prior to its major success. Gretchen was a former flame of Walt’s and partial reason why he left.
Mark Margolis as Hector Salamanca – A former high-ranking member of the Juarez Cartel who is now unable to walk or speak because of a stroke. He now communicates by ringing a bell. He is the uncle of Tuco, Marco and Leonel Salamanca.
Raymond Cruz as Tuco Salamanca – A sociopathic Mexican drug kingpin who becomes Walt and Jesse’s meth distributor.
Michael Bowen as Jack Welker – Todd’s uncle and the leader of a white supremacist gang.

Special guest characters:

Danny Trejo as Tortuga – A Mexican cartel member and DEA informant.
DJ Qualls as Getz – An Albuquerque police officer who briefly teams with Hank to track down Heisenberg.
Robert Forster as Ed – A vacuum repairman whose undercover business is new identity specialist.

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