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This week we get a quick transitional episode after last week’s game changer and it is about as thrilling as set up can be on television.
The focus this week is mostly on Walt, Jesse, and Mike after the murder of a young boy who just so happened to be at the wrong place at the wrong time after last week’s great train robbery. Todd, the boy’s murderer, is trying to save face and goes as far as to say that he would, “do it again,” with no remorse in him whatsoever. The opening sequence was a chilling and firm reminder of what happened out in the desert and was probably the most solemn cold open the show has put out. Those plastic barrels are just terrifying to see roll out there, but I would be lying if I didn’t say I can’t wait until Todd walks into a room with Mike standing there with an open empty barrel too his side. I might not like Todd, but Jesse Plemons has played him wonderfully in his brief appearances on the show.
As the group tries to move on from the incident with the kid, the trio is having very different reactions. Walt is clearly hurt, but he finds himself getting over the incident rather quickly; even rationalizing the methylamine they got in return for this kids death was worthwhile. Walt just keeps sinking lower. Mike is also saddened, it could have been his granddaughter had to have crossed his mind, but he is distracted by the endless tales the DEA is throwing out after him. He is able to shake them, but it leads him to a decision about their little operation that Jesse also shares; it’s time to get out. The murder of this child has obviously affected Jesse the most and he finally can’t see the value of this business and the damage it is causing to those around him. I couldn’t agree more. Though, he and Mike still want to get paid.
Walt isn’t happy with his partners’ decision, but Jesse and Mike are ready to take their share of the methylamine and sell it to someone Mike knows from the Gus’ days. Problem is, the buyer won’t buy unless he can have it all and get “the Blue,” off the streets. This leads to Jesse trying to use reason (more on that in a sec) and Mike having to resort to force with Walt to try and get his share of the methylamine. The build up over the final three or four scenes is wonderfully realized and we get to get into the heads of these guys. The episode was a great character piece as a whole and it is almost frustrating to watch as Walt keeps sucking them all back in after we see just how much Mike and Jesse want out. Walt uses science, and incredible pain tolerance, to escape Mike’s restraint and does something with the methylamine that we will find out about next week as Walt assures us, “Everybody wins.”
The scene I mentioned earlier between Jesse and Walt is the highlight of the episode as we get to really see who Walt has become, “I’m in the empire business.” That says it all. Scorned by his time at Gray Matter, and the billions he lost out on, Walt wants to be at the top of something big and if that is the meth business, so be it. Walt’s thirst for power seemingly has no end, and he is no longer ashamed about the things that once made him weak. His failure and loss with Gray Matter had always been something that kept him down, but the 300 million dollars of profit this methylamine stands to bring them is only the stepping stone to him surpassing the wealth of he lost at Gray Matter.
This deadly serious moment, and episode as a whole, interludes into a much needed and brilliant moment of levity as Walt’s new family of Jesse, Skyler, and himself share the most awkward dinner I have seen in some time. Aaron Paul is phenomenal in this scene as he tries to create conversation between the dueling couple, but somehow tops himself when Skyler drops the bombshell that she knows Walt has been telling people she slept with Ted. There has to be a GIF of Jesse drinking that water somewhere on the internet by now as it was one of the funniest scenes yet this season on Breaking Bad. The last bit of the scene sees Walt playing Jesse yet again though as he gains what might be his last shred of sympathy out of his old student as Walt uses his meth business as, “all I have left.” Can’t wait to see what Walt’s plan is next week.
A great episode of Breaking Bad this week and we didn’t need a train robbery to get it. The characters are so deep and interesting that I could watch them talk around tables like this for hours and not complain for a second. The stage is set for a big finale to the first half of this season of the next two weeks, I just hope that my gut doesn’t prove right and that Walt, Jesse and Mike are left standing when it’s all said and done for this half season.
-That was, unsettling, those barrels just get more and more ominous with each one they use.
-At least Mike and Walt aren’t unfazed by this.
-Landry (Todd) is an idiot.
-Don’t try to rationalize this Walt; why am I still supporting him.
-“Ricky Hitler,” I’d laugh if this wasn’t so serious.
-“Dispose,” such a cold word.
-Mike’s note better say, “Fuck you.”
-Guess they are keeping that bug in Hank’s office.
-Do not, tell, Marie, Skyler.
-Don’t do it.
-Marie is a such a sad character, she is just more and more oblivious, though it’s not her fault.
-Get out of the game, Jesse.
-Walt’s whistle even sounds evil.
-Please get out, Jesse.
-It all comes back to Gray Matter.
-“I’m in the empire business.”
-Awkward, “These are great green beans, Mrs. White.”
-A little much needed comedy.
-Walt showing too much behind the curtain?
-Scabby lasagna, mmmm.
-Aaron Paul is killing it in this scene.
-Has anyone drank a glass of water so hilariously.
-“And your trying to take it away from me,” that’s not fair Walt.
-Holy shit, Walt.
-Not enough Saul this season.
-“Sorry.” Hilarious twice this episode.
Watch the preview next Sunday's episode here