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Breaking Bad: The beginning of the end

Posted By GABRIELLE LEVY, UPI.com   |   Updated Aug. 12, 2013 at 9:32 AM
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Warning: The following post contains spoilers from Sunday's episode of "Breaking Bad."

The final episodes of one of television's most heralded shows aired Sunday, answering some lingering questions and uncovering still yet others.

With just eight episodes left to the series finale, "Breaking Bad" wasted no time in laying its cards out for both the characters and the audience.

When the show left off in September, Drug Enforcement Administration agent Hank (Dean Norris) had finally realized his brother in law Walt (Bryan Cranston) was the long-sought meth-making monster Heisenberg.

Now Walt knows that Hank knows, and the clock is ticking, not just for Walt and his empire, but for the series.

The stakes are almost impossibly high for series creator Vince Gilligan -- already comparisons have been drawn to the maddening finale of "The Sopranos," with its cut-to-black-heard-round-the-world: Would "Breaking Bad" live up to the heights it has established over its lauded run?

It seems clear the next seven episodes must deal finally with Walt's cancer, Hank's knowledge of Heisenberg's true identity, and get Walt, a year down the line, to his boarded up house, armed with a machine gun and a vial of ricin.

But how the show chooses to get there may determine how one of the decade's best shows gets remembered.

Above, flip through photos from the final eight episodes of "Breaking Bad;" below, watch a promo for next week's episode, "Buried."

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