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Breaking Bad has another episode of “set up” this week, but the interesting thing is they might be setting up Skyler as the “villain” of this half-season.
Now when I use the word villain here you have to remember that it is in the context of the villain from Walt’s perspective. Walt isn’t a hero. In fact the scene between him and Skyler, going back and forth about how they will protect/get back their children, was one of the saddest and most disgusting arguments ever put on television. Walt just keeps getting worse and just when you think you might be able to chalk it up to him just being oblivious he rattles off these coldly calculated ways he could hurt his wife and family. Bryan Cranston’s tone in this scene was just unnerving as he acted like his kids were just simple pawns in his game, and the lengths he will go to feel like a big man makes him more dangerous at every turn.
Skyler may be weak, but she is going to go down fighting. Skyler “drowning” herself in front of Hank and Marie turns out to be a brilliant play to get the kids out of the house, but as mentioned above, Walt is already scheming to get them back. Anna Gunn continues to be terrific this season. This is just the first battle of a long war and that ticking clock to end the episode does not bode well.
Lydia is also back in the picture and she isn’t making Mike happy. We don’t really get to see Mike until the end of the episode, but he is ready to kill her again. When their methylamine guy gets picked up by Hank and his DEA buddies, Jesse gets sent to Texas to pick up the new can of goods. Lydia “discovers” a tracking device on the bottom of the barrel Jesse was supposed to take, but a quick inspection of the item leads Mike to believe Lydia planted it to get her out of the business; hence Mike wanting to kill her again. Lydia is a nervous wreck and played beautifully, again, by Laura Fraser. Jonathan Banks also kills the five minutes he is on screen and fires off a series of one liners that had me rolling as he tries to rush out and kill Lydia. Jesse ultimately saves her by setting straight the facts that getting any more methylamine is going to be a serious problem, but I can’t image they are going to let her get away with any more shenanigans; Mike won’t at least.
Over at the DEA, Hank gets that promotion as the new District Officer, making his fall even higher than it would have been once the cover is blown off on Walt. Hank is also stuck at a crossroads with the Fring case and he will no longer be able to stay on the day to day beat of the search for Heisenberg in his new position. It will be interesting to see how Hank takes these new developments after he has come so far, but I can only imagine it is going to be a hurtful distraction in the long run.
More moving the pieces this week, but it was still quite an entertaining episode. Great performances all around, Walt and Skyler’s relationship got a lot more interesting, and Lydia is going to prove to be quite the hassle in the coming weeks. Jesse’s present to Walt for his 51st birthday celebrated this week (A lot has happened in a year!) is beautifully framed to end the episode; the clock is ticking and plenty is going ready to burst.
-Jesus Christ Walt, two cars?
-Rian Johnson is bringing some magic to this ep early.
-Lydia still hasn't sorted things out quite yet.
-Skyler is going to be pissed!
-Walt certainly is much cooler when he is cocky as hell.
-"Life is good, Skyler."
-Walt Jr. doesn't know how big of a pain in the ass he is lately.
-Cool shot "through" the bulletin board.
-Good thing that first house cook looked so cool, doubt we will get to see another.
-Store bought chicken? Walt isn’t going to be happy.
-Is this going to lead Hank to Beneke?
-Marie, you're blowing it.
-What is Skyler doing back there?
-Has anyone ever been so sincerely oblivious as Walt?
-Will Jesse hook up with Lydia?
-Who is GPS tracking these? Hank?
-"For the cancer to come back." Damn.
-"Like unicorn rare."
-"OK, she's dead."
-"Right after I leave her alone in a ditch."
-"That's what I get for being sexist."
-"Nothing stops this train, nothing."
-Jesse, so sweet, yet he doesn't even realize he created a monster.
-Is Skyler the new season's "villain?"