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Breaking Bad is back and Walt is left to clean up the mess he created as the show creatively wipes out the fourth season’s biggest loose end; the super lab’s cameras.
But first, the cold open kicks off a mystery that we never return to in the episode. The scene is obviously set in the future, Walt has hair everywhere, we see Walt under the guise of Mr. Lambert and receiving a very powerful package. Walt picks up a drop for a very big gun and it is going to be intriguing to see if the cold opens operate as their own story, a la season 2’s crash aftermath. Besides the big question of what that gun is for, many more issues are raised in a short time, and I can’t wait to figure out how Walt has gotten to this point. Why did Walt change his name? Where is he at, why the need for the new look, where is Jesse, Mike, and the family, how far back out of remission does that little cough signal? So much intrigue in only a few short minutes.
After the opening titles we find ourselves back right before the fourth season concluded, getting to see the chilling “I won” line again, and then we follow Walt as he cleans up the mess at his house from his bomb making/poison creating that rocked last season final episodes. As Walter Jr. and Skyler return home, now that the apparent threat on Hank is over, we begin to see a new side of Walt that is the through line for this episode.
Heisenberg and Walt have finally merged.
Heisenberg was Walt’s dark side that came out as a front at times when he wanted to look tough. and as the seasons have gone on Heisenberg would manifest when he was necessary; becoming less and less voluntary and more just a part of who Walt is. If the episode was sending any message this week it is that Heisenberg is no longer needed, Walt is just Walt, and he is not one to be messed with.
Walt is above everyone now, Skyler is terrified of him and what he has done, Jesse has fallen in line again, he is able to outsmart the cops, Saul crumbles under an ounce of pressure and even Mike seems to notice this isn’t the same guy he once kicked the shit out of.
I’m jumping ahead of myself though, as a lot happened this week before that really settled in. Mike gets the news about Gus in the middle of nowhere and races towards civilization only to find Jesse and Walt heading for him. Gus’ laptop was taken in as evidence and that just so happens to be where the super lab’s cameras were routed to. Mike’s only idea is quickly a wash, but the solution we get instead is a little science that we haven’t seen from Mr. White in sometime.
Our old buddy at the junkyard, who destroyed the RV, is back and Walt needs to borrow his giant magnet that they move the cars around with. The idea is concocted from a crazy half thought from Jesse, but in principle it makes a lot of sense. Magnetize and wipe the computer's hard drive, and with any luck smash it up a bit as well. I love the moments where Walt takes one of Jesse’s crazy ideas and makes it practical and this is one of the best instances of that. Seeing the gang test it out, Mike busting Walt’s balls, it feels like a Breaking Bad heist film, and the actual job itself goes off with a hilarious hitch thanks to Walt’s arrogance to turn the magnet to 11.
It’s Walt’s interactions with Mike that really show how far Walt has come, as the hierarchy of bad asses on this show went no higher than Mike, save for Gus. Walt seems to have taken that top mantle now and by the end of the episode it seems like Mike might see his spot is below the man he once pushed around. In this episode Walt walks around with a confidence that he has always hoped to have, never once fearing Mike (or anyone else for that matter) and showing an arrogance/confidence that we have never seen come so naturally from Walter White.
The revelation that Ted is actually alive is an interesting one, but I am not really sure how that one is going to play out based on what we have gotten so far. I can’t imagine he is going to last all that long though, based on what he knows and his current state of health leaving him more than vulnerable. Ted is a slimy weasel so anything is possible.
Season 5 starts off exactly where it should, tying up season 4’s big loose end and teasing where the season might be heading over these all too brief eight episodes. Gus’ bank account (discovered in the evidence room aftermath) will prove to be a problem for sure, Walt’s newly heightened arrogance is sure to take us to some even darker places and the taste of what’s to come in the cold open signals some serious shit to come. The terrified look on Skyler’s face at the end of the episode is surely felt by this viewer, I don’t know if we want to know what Walt is now capable of.
Thoughts and ramblings while watching the episode:
-Mr. Lambert, eh?
-Walt has come a long ways, can clean up a crime scene as good as Mike now.
-That plant reminds us of the evil Walt has become.
-"Scared of what?" "You."
-Oh shit, here comes Mike, and he was enjoying those chickens so much.
-"Keys scumbag. It's the universal symbol for keys."
-"You know how they say it's been a pleasure, well it hasn't."
-This is still the fastest paced show on TV.
-"Yeah bitch, magnets, yo!"
-Whoa, Anna Gunn just killed that reaction to Ted; who is, damn, messed up.
-Walt is a cocky son of a bitch. "Because I say so."
-Gus's bank accounts, uh oh.
-"We're done, when I say we're done." Heisenberg and Walt have become one.
-"I forgive you." Skyler's face, I don't know if she is scared enough.
-Like the Godfather 2 vibe there with that hug.