For five seasons of wickedness this AMC drama has set viewers face-to-face with the repellant but irresistible Walter White and the dark world he embraced as he spiraled into evil.
With the end imminent (Sunday at 9 p.m.), who can say what fate awaits this teacher-turned-drug-lord for the havoc he has wreaked on everyone around him.
Up through the penultimate episode, "Breaking Bad" has been as potent and pure as the "blue sky" crystal meth Walter cooked with such skill.
Judging from that consistency in storytelling and in performances by such stars as Bryan Cranston (Walter White), Aaron Paul (his sidekick Jesse Pinkman), Anna Gunn (who just won an Emmy as Walt's wife) and Betsy Brandt, the end will likely pack unforgiving potency.
But one thing is dead sure: It will be beautiful.
"Breaking Bad" has often been described as addictive, and if that's so, the look of the show is its own habit-forming drug.
Michael Slovis, the series' four-times-Emmy-nominated director of photography, has been cooking that look since the sophomore season.
The action is centered in Albuquerque, N.M., which invites sprawling desert shots and tidy manicured neighborhoods; washes of light and jagged sun-drenched expanses.
Slovis hails pioneering exceptions such as "Twin Peaks," "Law & Order" and "The X-Files," and credits "CSI" as "one of the first times that cinematography became a real character on a show.
The finale of "Breaking Bad" airs at 9 p.m. Sunday on AMC.
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