Friday, November 01, 2013
Friday, October 04, 2013
Sunday, September 29, 2013
Sunday, September 01, 2013
Previously on Breaking Bad, Hank slugged Walt after realizing he was a monster, Walt advised Hank to tread lightly, Skyler threw a shit fit in the diner in front of Hank, Nervous Lydia pulled off a coup d'etat on Dec's operation, even though she didn't want to see the bloody aftermath, Jesse played Santa and was left awaiting a stare down in the interrogation room with his old buddy Agent Schrader.
Dim Bulb Todd stands outside a diner in the middle of nowhere, and rings up his old mentor Mr. White to give him the latest news re: the"difference of opinion" between him and Dec. Back inside with his Nazi buddies, he retells the amazing Train Heist story, in great detail but for the notable exception of that little flare up with Drew Sharp he was forced to deal with in the aftermath. When talking you can tell he has a great amount of respect for Mr. White, and also drops Jesse's name in for good measure. After the waitress delivers the check, they get down to brass tacks - Uncle Jack asks if Todd is ready to start cooking, and run his own lab. Todd is ready, and probably won't start a fire until at least his 5th or 6th cook, at least. That settled, Uncle Jack and his pal hit the head, where a telling conversation ensues about the Nanny State and how everyone is just too damn careful these days. As he laments the wussification of America, Uncle Jack casually wipes a blob of blood - likely from Dec - off his shoe. The three amigos had toward ABQ, towing the big ass barrel of chemical behind their pickup. This should end well.
Back in the police station, we see a hazy Jesse, then get his POV of the previous interrogation from Tweedledee and Dum, which goes by at lightning speed to indicate he didn't hear a damn thing they said. Too bad, those guys were using some of their "A" material there. Back to now, Hank is in the room and starts slowly, saying he can help Jesse. Mr. Pinkman gives no response until Hank drops the bomb that he knows Walt = Heisenberg. Offer time: tell Hank about the whole meth thing and maybe he can make this mess about the money storm go away. I didn't hear anything about immunity for working with Heisenberg, and wait until they connect the dots about who shot Gale. Moreover, Hank hints that given recent events, things aren't exactly copacetic between Jesse and Walt. "I'm right, aren't I?', he says. Jesse: "Eat me."
Hank does a nice job keeping his cool, even after Jesse suggests he beat the info out of him, alluding back to their last encounter. He stays at it, indicating that Walt must have really screwed up the kid, which is basically correct, and suggests a parallel between his being lied to by his own bro-in-law and also betraying Jesse. Looks like he might get him to open up, right? Help me out Jesse, I wanna nail this bastard. Don't you wanna talk? Jesse slowly glares at him and quietly says, "Not to you."
No time to process that, because in bursts Saul Goodman! He clears the room like only he can, dispatching Hank and the detectives with threats of multiple civil suits, etc. Once they're gone, he focuses on his client with a barrage of questions - why didn't he call Saul, why is he tossing his cash around, didja hear about Hank's discovery? Jesse eases the pain somewhat when he reveals that he told Hank nothing, but it's going to be a while before Saul can describe himself as "chill".
Walt's bedroom, where he is engaged in a call with Saul and implores him to do whatever he can to get Jesse sprung. Upon hanging up, he hears Flynn come home. Flynn wonders why Walt didn't go to work, and also remarks how late he was out last night (digging big holes). Let the lies begin - first, Walt starts to apply make up to cover the nice shiner Hank gave him. When he catches word that Flynn is heading over to Aunt Marie's to "fix a computer problem", he realizes he can't let that happen, and thinks quickly by removing the makeup he just applied. Summoning the boy before he leaves, they meet in the living room where Flynn asks about the eye, which allows Walt to sit him down and start the bullshit train. He passed out, hit the floor, and did this to his eye. He reveals the cancer has returned, and Flynn gets more and more concerned. This kid could use some breakfast, stat. Walt puts on the brave face and tells him that the family will just go on, and that he is ready to face this and beat it again, and it would really be super awesome if we all just stayed positive. Now, why don't you go on over to help Aunt Marie? "No, I'm staying" says the boy, and Walt smiles the smile of a guy who really understands how easily he can manipulate just about anyone at this point.
Casa Schrader, where a frantic Marie wonders where the hell Flynn is. She had a perfect ruse to get him to the house, where we can assume she would come up with more excuses to keep him there indefinitely as part of her Operation: Kid Grab plan. Hank's home and she, assuming that this would be the day he told the office about his bro-in-law, asks how it went. Well, it didn't Marie, since he spent the day getting diddly squat from Jesse. Not that he tells her that. Finally he shuts her down by telling her to stop telling him how to do his job.
Back in the White bedroom. Walt paces as we hear Skyler ask if he is "sure about this". He replies that this is the only way, and we see she is manning a video camera mounted on a tripod. As he begins to speak, we are reminded of the pilot episode where he also began to confess on video, only this time he's a lot calmer and not in his underwear. "My name is Walter Hartwell White, I live at 308 Negra Arroyo Lane, Albuquerque, New Mexico 87104. This is my confession......"
A crowded restaurant, where smack dab in the middle we see Walt and Skyler sitting at a table which has room for two more. They both look like they're dreading this, particularly Skyler, as Walt grabs her hand and tells here "they're here". Who? Why it's the Schraders! This should be fun. After an awkward pause, Walt thanks them for coming. More awkward pausing. Walt gets ready to start when the server shows up with all his "Welcome to Garduno's" enthusiasm, which is met with stone faces and no responses. Want some table side guacamole? Walt tells him they need more time and that gets rid of him for now.
After Hank spits out the only question he would like Walt to answer - is he here to confess - Walt starts in, focusing on the children. Leave them out of this, and hey Marie, it would be wonderful if you could not try to kidnap or lure my kids to you house, mmkay? Hank again threatens to knock down Walt's door and arrest him, kids be damned. While Skyler says nothing, Walt reminds Hank that he has no hard evidence to support his claims, and why tear apart the family with this? Just then, waiter boy returns with the water, tries again to upsell the guac, then finally gets the mood of the table and leaves. Marie starts right in on Sky, wondering how she can sit there quietly through all this. The kids are in danger if they stay with this man, and after all, you sent them to our house yourself, remember? Sky gets her footing, firmly states that she took them back on her own terms and that all the issues on the table here are in the past. Move on, people. Marie, correctly, wonders how she can believe anything these two say anymore, and even brings up the affair with Ted. Walt steps in to remind them again that Junior has had a rough year, and just found out that Walt's cancer is back, so why pile more crap onto his plate. It's not right. At this, Hank starts to lose it, though since they're in the middle of the restaurant he spits all his words through clenched teeth. Was it right to run a meth empire? Walt balks at this and asks what does he have to do to make Hank believe him? Marie is all over this one: "You could kill yourself, Walt." Boom. The whole thing dies with him, sooooo whaddya say Walt? Skyler: "That is not a solution". Hank isn't down with that plan either, since it would deprive him of capturing the White Whale. You two are not walking away from this thing, or negotiate your way out, capice? Step up, be a man, and confess.
At this, Walt and Sky share a weary look, Walt gets up and slides a DVD case on the table toward Hank. The Whites depart. And they never had the damn guacamole.
We hear the intro Walt recorded earlier, and as the scene changes we are now watching what he and Skyler recorded, on the Schrader television. Hank and Marie are standing while watching, and it's amazing that neither on of them hit the floor after the opening line. Walt goes on to say that if you're watching this, then he is probably dead.......murdered by his brother-in-law Hank Schrader ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME!! Oh. My. God.. He goes on to basically implicate Hank as Heisenberg, peppering real facts (he took Walt on a ride along) interspersed with bullshit (Hank was working with Gus, Walt was forced to be the cook due to his chemistry knowledge, Hank forced Walt to build the bomb that killed Gus, etc). It is an amazing performance, and Marie is looking at Hank like "can you believe this shit?" When Walt drops that he ended up paying Hank's medical bills, it begins to unravel for her, since this is the first Hank has heard of that. The video finally ends with Walt choking back tears, and they turn it off. Han recognizes it for what it is, a threat, and is pretty sure nobody else will ever see it. Get out ahead of this, Marie says, it's all lies and if you show it to your boys at work you can expose them. All Hank can focus on is the $177,000 spent on his rehab - didn't our insurance cover that? Marie explains that it was gambling money, which she now knows is a lie, and tells him that without that money they never would have been able to get the treatment he needed. She knew he would refuse the money if he knew the truth, and Hank sinks as he realizes this is the final nail in their coffin as far as the investigation goes. Once the DEA knows that the dirty money payed for his rehab, he's got nothing. Checkmate, Agent Schrader.
Desert. Saul and Jesse are waiting, and we see a tarantula slowly crawl in the foreground. the reminders of Drew Sharp continue. Walt pulls up, gets out ans starts checking Saul's car (license plate: LWYRUP) for tracking devices. Paranoid, much? He starts right in on Jesse, quizzing him on what Hank knows. Jesse pretty much has it sussed out and tells him that though Hank knows Walt = Heisenberg and wants Jesse to spill his guts, he hasn't told anyone else since he seemed to be acting weird and on edge.
After getting Saul to go stand in the corner, Walt starts to work Jesse. He doesn't like to see him hurting like this, maybe a change is in order. Can;t really tell if Walt is being sincere. Jesse wonders what kind of change and Walt brings up Saul's pal who runs his own witness protection type deal. He waxes poetic about the chance for a new start, the chance to meet a girl, start a family, and after all what is left here for you anyway? All good points, but Jesse slowly begins to realize that him splitting benefits Walter above anyone else. He moves away from Walt and asks that he, for once, stop working him. Kid knows he's being played, though I'm still not sure. Jesse goes on, asking, no begging Walt to just ask him for a favor, tell him you need this. He knows that he has to go because if he doesn't Hank will not give up, and if he doesn't leave Walt will just kill him like he killed Mike. Jesse starts to break down as Walt, saying nothing, walks up a hugs him. Jesse breaks down further, but does not hug him back as we go to commercial. Very powerful scene, and I wanted to climb into my TV and hug Jesse myself....
Back at the car wash, Walt helps a customer then nervously checks his watch as he heads into the office. We see Skyler at her desk in the foreground with Walt shown in silhouette near the doorway. It worked, he tells her, we're fine. She lets out a sigh of relief.
Hank's in his office when Gomie comes in, but this ain't no social call. He finds out that two of his guys are staking our Saul's office keeping an eye on Jesse, which is a big no-no since that is APD's problem. Hank bitchily says he will pull the guys, then takes off for the day. Wonder where he's going?
Saul's office, where we see that Jesse has accepted the offer to get out of Dodge. Saul makes the call, humorously asking to fix a vacuum as some kind of code, and is told the exchange will happen in one hour. While he gathers up some cash for Jesse to take to start his new life, Jesse pulls out his weed and torches up a joint, which sets Saul off. After getting him to put the joint out, he demands the bag, at which Jesse scoffs and puts it in his pocket. Hmmmm.
Saul goes out to get a bag for the money, then comes back in with Huell, who will be escorting Jesse to the pickup spot. Saul goes over the details once more, and Jesse asks if he gets to choose his destination. Saul thinks he might have a say, and suggests Florida - get tan, meet the bikini team, etc. Jesse, still full of guilt and self-hatred, suggests Alaska instead. Damn, dude, don't punish yourself that much. As he leaves, Huell doesn;t really move out of the doorway, so as Jesse slides past him, we can subtly see him make a motion towards Jesse's jacket pocket, after which he exchanges a knowing glance with Saul. I'm not going to lie, I did not pick this up on the first viewing, and re-watched it several times on the DVR before catching it. It's obviously a huge thing based on what we see shortly...
Here's Jesse, waiting for his ride and a ticket to a new life. It was remarked upon by many that he is standing in front of what looks like rows of tombstones, perhaps foreshadowing his "death" and new life. See:
While standing there, Jesse fidgets a bit and eventually starts to look for his bag of weed. He checks every pocket, but it's not there. His search gets a bit more frantic before he pulls out his pack of cigarettes, and slowly the dots get connected - Huell picked his pocket to remove the ricin cigarette which somehow traces back to Mr. White poisoning Little Brock and holy shit now he knows and all hell is going to break loose. As the van pulls up, he doesn't get in, but checks the cigarettes once more before heading back, presumably toward Saul and/or Walt. The van pulls away, so Alaska will just have to wait.
Back at Saul's where Huell looks to be sleeping just outside the office door. Jesse storms in, blows right past the sleeping giant, and enters the office, where he proceeds to lock the door and kick the living shit out of the lawyer. Saul screams "CODE RED!" enough times before Huell eventually gets in, but not before Jesse gets the gun from Saul's drawer and keeps him at bay. He lays it out to Saul, how he had Huell steal the ricing cigarette to help "that asshole Mr. White" who then poisoned Brock, etc. Saul cops to it, but says he had no idea what was going to transpire and thought that he was helping Jesse. Jesse takes Saul's keys, leaves, gun drawn, and Huell rushes to help Saul. Saul's in no mood, and wonders why he pays the big lug. He can;t call the cops, obviously, but we have a pretty good idea who he dials when he says "it's me. We got a big problem!"
Car Wash, where Walt pulls in like his car is on fire, then casually enters to see Sky working the register. He comes up with some nonsense story about the soda machine not latching, and heads down to "fix" it. It's amazing that in an episode where he so convincingly lied to everyone else, he sounds like an absolute tool when telling smaller lies to his wife. Anyway, he gets the machine open, and feels around int he back to find a .38, loaded and frozen. He makes up another story about picking up a prescription, and leaves.
Negra Arroyo Lane, where a car come flying over the crest of the hill at a pretty good clip. It's Jesse, and he pulls into the White's driveway with such force that he smashes into the garage. He jumps out, pops the trunk, and pulls out a very large gas can. Smashing through the door since nobody is home, he begins to maniacally splash the liquid throughout the house, getting more and more crazed as he goes. Credits.
- Holy crap.
- The house doesn't burn, we know, but how the hell will this get resolved? The White's can;t go back now.
- Amazing that through three shows we only have one dead person, Dec. I don't count his associates.
Sunday, August 25, 2013
Previously on Breaking Bad, Nervous Lydia found herself having less than an A1 Day, what with the quality of the product slipping to an ugly 68%, Walt reiterated to her that he was out since he left all his know-how to Declean and his crew, got slugged by Hank, then dropped the bomb on him that the cancer was back, Jesse gave a mad stack to a homeless guy, then made it rain in the neighborhood.
We open in the middle of the night on a house which we have never seen. An older gentleman steps out, likely heading to work. Panning back, we can see that this looks a bit like the area where Jesse was tossing bundles of cash, and sure enough when Old Man starts up his trusty old truck and turns on the headlights, he pauses to get out and see what was in his driveway. Ain't no newspaper, but rather one of the Pinkman provided money bundles. He looks around to see if he's on Candid Camera, and slowly realizes that these stacks are all over the place, and starts collecting. Further along he sees a glowing, flashing light just over the crest of a hill in what looks like a park, and heads toward it. This is like the beginning of every space alien movie, so Old Man would then be the first one to die, right? Alas, as he comes over the hill he sees Jesse's car, with the hazards on. The big bag of cash, with plenty still left in it, sits on the front seat. He scans the area and hears a creaking sound, which is our boy Pinkman, on his back on one of those old school merry-go-rounds - the kind that would be banned today - just slowly going around. An overhead shot slowly zooms in on our detached, distant anti-hero, as we go to titles....
Cul-de-sac, where that damn remote controlled car keeps racing around the street, oblivious to what's just gone down in the Schrader garage. We're in the immediate aftermath of the whole "tread lightly" episode, and the door opens, and out comes Walt, in full Heisenberg attitude.He pauses to turn back as Hank walks toward the door, and the two have a staredown for what seems like an hour before Hank hits the clicker to shut the door. Posturing complete, Walt screeches out of the driveway, nearly crushing the RC car in the process, then jams on the brakes and whips out his cell. He's trying to reach Skyler, but he can't - she won't get off the phone. Sensing trouble, he checks his rear view just in time to see Hank opening the door and coming out, cell phone pressed to his ear. Walt asks Mariano (the car wash guy on the phone) who Skyler is on the phone with, but he probably has already figured that out. He peels out and makes a beeline for A1.
Cut to Skyler, in her office, on the phone and looking very, very upset as she keeps saying "ok, ok, ok" to who we've figured out is Hank. Her cell phone vibrates on the desk, unanswered. Ruh roh.
Walt reaches the car wash and flies in to Skyler's office, but she is gone. He asks the man at the desk where Skyler is, and he replies that she "just kinda left" and didn't say where she was going. Walt's panic begins to set in as he realizes that he has no idea where she went, but knows exactly who she went to see.
Skyler cautiously enters what looks like a diner type restaurant, and stops when she sees Hank at a booth in the far corner. He gets up to greet her with a tentative wave as she takes a breath and makes her way over, and he says nothing as he gives her a long hug. He does all the talking as Skyler looks downward, a million things racing through her head. From the way he tells it, and it's clear he's not using cop tactics just yet, he's pretty sure that she is a victim here. Nothing more than a pawn in the Monster Walt's game. He's not even sure the extent of her knowledge of the whole thing. He lays it out for her: you and the kids move back in with the Schrader's, where they will be safe. Skyler interjects to ask if Marie knows and Hank says they'll get to that soon enough. Then he shows his hand by pulling out a recorder, asking Skyler to make a statement. Insert needle scratch sound effect here. Here? Now? she wonders. Hank suggests that her doing so would go a long way toward her being shown a degree of leniency when the courts get involved, and also worries that Walt will "run out the clock" before justice can be served. This perks Sky right up - what does Hank mean by that? He reveals that the cancer has returned, as if Skyler didn't have enough shit to worry about this morning. Hank goes on to say that maybe the cancer stuff isn't even true, and besides, he's got lots of bits of evidence floating around, but needs Skyler to help fill in the gaps which will allow him to have Walt in lockup by sundown. Sensing trouble, Sky haltingly suggests that she should get a lawyer, and Hank is all "no, no", since lawyers would put up roadblocks which would prevent him from controlling the situation. He wants to bring in the white whale on his own, you see, and Sky pretty much tells him so. Busted, Hank changes tack a bit, slows it down, and lays out what "we're gonna do": gather the kids and bring them to Casa Schrader, talk to a lawyer at some future unspecified time, then help each other "put that animal away". Sky isn't down with that, and as Hank gets up to start the action, she quietly asks if she is under arrest. Hank has no idea why she would ask such a thing, and doesn't respond, so she asks again, this time a bit more urgently. He's shaken up, tells her she's not thinking straight, but Sky get louder as she continues to press the point, screams it one last time and then leaves the diner in tears. So much for subtlety. Hank: "D'oh!"
Back at the storage facility, it's Saul's guys, Huell and Kuby. They get a first hand look at the hot tub sized pile of cash we first saw back at the end of last season. Huell takes a look and decides he "has to do it", "it" being laying on the pile like Scrooge McDuck. Kuby joins him after a bit of hesitation, and as they lay there Huell says "Mexico. That's all I'm saying", e.g. let's take a bit of this booty and high tail it out of here. Kuby reminds him that the owner of this pile had ten people in two prisons killed within a two minute window, and that idea is officially squashed.
Better Call Saul, who is in his office with Walt while leaving yet another voice mail for Jesse re: the bags of cash. Walt's cell rings and it's Sky, but Saul (wisely) tells him not only to not answer since it might be tapped by Hank, but to pull the damn battery out in the event he's setup a triangulation of some kind. Walt is then left with the mistaken impression that Sky ran right to Hank and blabbed, but Saul reminds him that she really only has hearsay type evidence other than the money, which is being taken care of as they speak. Yeah, but what about the little fact that Hank Knows. He's not exactly going to turn the other cheek. Quietly, Saul suggests a possible solution to the Hank problem, by indicating he could perhaps, maybe, oh you know, take a "trip to Belize".....where Mike went. Gotta hand it to him, that option has worked out pretty well for Walt in the past. Walt turns even more stone cold serious at this - Hank is family and that is off limits. He's ready to send Saul to Belize when there is a knock at the door - it's Huell and Kuby, and they're come back with the cash, which is now in big barrels in the back of a van. They may have skimmed a bit off the top, but Walt isn't about to quibble about a few lost bucks. He grabs a bag to pay the three of them, orders Saul to find Jesse, and speeds off. Where? To the desert, to a spot which looks a lot like where he and Jesse first cooked in the Crystal Ship way back when. He pulls out a pick axe and shovel and starts digging.
Casa White, where Sky is trying to reach Saul and by extension, Walter. Getting no love there, which doesn't matter because Marie is knocking st the door and says she ain't leaving. Great, now she knows. Deep breaths, people, this is going to be big. She begs Sky to tell her that Hank is loony tunes, but the lack of response tells her that he's not. Now the bigger question: how long have you known? Speculation by Hank says it was right about the time Sky went for he dip in the pool, but Skyler's subtle head shake says, "go back further". Since Gus Fring? Noope. The gambling story was bullshit? Yep. Now, the biggie - did you know before Hank was shot? More sobs from Sky which lead to a "I'm so sorry" finally cause Marie to lose it, and she smacks her right in the face. Before storming off, she flat out tells her that she won't talk since she thinks Walt is going to get away with this. But wait, she's not done, and the recovering klepto makes her biggest attempted heist yet - Baby Holly. They go back and forth, Marie summons Hank, before he finally has to yell at Marie to give the kid back and go. Sky tries to sooth the kid as Hank leaves. Back in the car, Marie stares straight ahead and says "We have to get him". The battle lines have been drawn, people.
Back to the desert, where a weary Walt works until darkness falls, after which he has to unload the heavy barrels of cash int the hole. He finally manages to get all of them buried and cover his work nicely before making sure to capture the GPS coordinates, memorize then, and destroy the device.
Cut to him pinning a fresh lottery ticket to the fridge, showing that he has played those numbers not cause he feels lucky, but to have them hidden in plain sight for future reference. Skyler hears him and has sooo much to say to him, but he's not really in any condition to respond. As he prepares to shower, wearily shedding his clothes, she stresses that she didn't tell Hank anything, and after imploring Walt to respond, gasps as he collapses to the floor in exhaustion.
Time passes, and we see a close of of Walt as he starts to wake up. She's propped his head under a pillow and covered him with a blanket on the bathroom floor. Her only question is about the return of the cancer, to which Walt asks if that would make her happy. He has no memory of what happened just before he fell, and figures she made a deal with Hank to save herself. He offers to give himself up in order to save the kids and allow them to eventually get the money he just buried. Don't let him have done all of this for nothing. Sky wonders how Hank found out, and Walt cops to it without providing any details. She then reasons that Hank has suspicions, but no real solid evidence without the money, and suggests that their best course of action is to just stay quiet. It's a nice parallel to the whole "tread lightly" speech from last week.
Middle of nowhere, with a few junk cars strewn about. A pickup trunk pulls in to the heavily guarded compound, and as it comes to a stop the driver instructs the passenger to take off the blindfold. It's Nervous Lydia, of course, in the passenger seat, and she has come to what is now the cook site. She's greeted, less than warmly, by Declean, who wonders what was so important that she has to pay them a visit. She's bringing in lots of dough, and wants to see up close what is going so wrong re: the diminishing quality of the product. Where is Dim Bulb Todd? Isn't he the new Master Cook in this outfit? They dispense with the pleasantries and bring her to the lab, which is nothing mire than a bus, buried in the ground. Walt would go ape shit if he saw this place, and Nervous Lydia invokes him indirectly while giving this dump the white glove test. Why not use Todd, she suggests, and we find out why that isn't such a good idea. Seems that our boy, even though his first two cooks were at 74% purity, nearly burned the whole place to the ground on Cook #3, thus was relieved of his duties. No deal, says Dec, since he doesn't trust Todd and wants to stay with his guys. At this, Lydia sighs and turns away, says she wished Dec would have given Todd another chance as she presses a button on her watch. What's that. Well, it must be some kind of bat signal because right away the boys above indicate that there is a developing situation. Dec leaves and tells Lydia to stay put while he checks it out, and within seconds we hear an exchange of several rounds of gunfire. The hatch opens and down comes none other than Dim Bulb Todd, who escorts Lydia out of the hole and walks her through the carnage she just orchestrated, which she simply can't bear to look at. She's sensitive, you know.
We see what went down: Dec and his men are down, and Todd's White Supremacist uncle and his crew are the folks responsible. Scratch that, Dec wasn't dead just yet, so Uncle Jack pumps another one into him to finish the job. Once confirmed, Jack tells the boys to take it all. So, Lydia doesn't need to try and recruit Walt now that she has her boy Todd back on the job, right? Whew, glad that's taken care of.
Back to Hank, who is working through more piles of old evidence, searching for anything that will help tie things back to Walter. Marie comes out, and implores Hank to tell his colleagues what he knows. Tell Gomie, at least, but tell somebody. Nope, says Hank. The day he goes in with this is the say his career is over, done, caput. Imagine, going in, looking these guys in the eye and admitting that the person he has been chasing for the better part of a year has been right under his nose the entire time? It's as much about pride and ego for Hank as it is about justice, maybe more so. He cannot go in there without concrete proof, nothing less. Yes, but...Marie counters, what if they find out anyway and then realize you were sitting on all this evidence? No answer, but instead a scene transition....
....to the DEA, where Hank, dressed in a suit, returns to work. Gomie comes in, and the two exchange some typical macho crap before working out some office details. Gomie goes to leave and provides an oh-by-the-way, did you hear about that money thing with our boy Jesse Pinkman?
Smash cut to an interrogation room, where TweedleDee and Dum are amusing each other, speculating how and why Jesse would 1) have millions of dollars to toss around and 2) toss it out at all. Hank shows up and convinces the cops to let him have a minute or two, since he and Jesse have a long, rich history together. Maybe he can soften the kid up and if anything of value comes out he would be more than happy to share it. Deal? The cops come up with a flimsy reason to abandon their detail and allow Hank to have at Jesse. He opens the door, it closes behind him, and we're out.
- Aaron Paul did not have one line of dialogue this entire episode.
- Emmy reels for all - Anna Gunn, Betsy Brandt, Dean Norris. Submit this one, and you'll all win.
- Is Jesse the missing link Hank needs to tie everything back to Walt?
- The body count is underway: Declean, though a minor character, is the first one down. More to come.
Sunday, August 18, 2013
Previously on Breaking Bad, Walt hid the ricin vial in the wall outlet, shot and killed Mike, and was ready to take out Nervous Lydia before her Czech Republic plan, Hank got promoted, Walt left Jesse his big bag o' cash, then told Skyler he was "out"of the meth biz, which tied things into a nice pretty bow until Hank decided to drop the kids off at the pool and connected the "W.W." dots......
We open with skate punks working what appears to be a cement half pipe of some kind, but since we are in extreme close-up it's hard to tell. As the shots get wider we see exactly where we are - it's Casa White, and it looks like it's gone completely to shit - abandoned, boarded up and tagged. Clearly, we are back to the Flash Forward zone as in the first episode of last season. Right on cue, the old junker pulls up to the front of the house, and out steps bearded, bedraggled Walter White. He pops the trunk where we see the (recently) purchased M60, but that's not what he's after this time - it's just a crowbar, which he doesn't really need to get past the fence, which has No Trespassing signs all over the place, surrounding the house. He does use said crowbar to bust open the front door, and we see the interior is, not surprisingly, a huge mess. What is surprising, even to Walt, is that someone sprayed HEISENBERG in big letters on the wall, so that cat apparently gets waaaaay out of the bag pretty soon. I was surprised that some random tagger spelled it right, but maybe there is more to it than we know. He slowly walks through the place, noticing the skate punks in the back yard, before heading down the hallway. We quickly realize what he's after - the infamous, often accessed but never used as yet vial of Ricin, which has managed to survive all of whatever the hell went down at this house. Vial secured, he heads out, but not before catching a glimpse of himself in the mirror, and perhaps for the first time realizing that he looks like crap. Dying slowly will do that to you I suppose. He closes the trunk to the junker and the camera pulls back to see his neighbor frozen in stunned disbelief, like she's seeing a ghost. Walt looks for a moment before saying "Hello, Carol" at which point Carol drops her grocery bag, spilling the oranges into the road. Titles.....
Back to where we left off, in the White's master bedroom, we slowly zoom towards the bathroom door where Hank has just made his stunning discovery: not that people actually read poetry while dumping, though that is rather odd, but that W.W. is actually his nebbish of a brother-in-law. Hank emerges, book in hand, and slowly ambles down the hallway. Dean Norris really does a nice job here - all of what we've come to know about Hank is not evident anymore, the swagger, the cockiness - all of it, gone. He slips the book into Marie's purple (naturally) bag and peeks out at Walt through the blinds. With Holly on his lap, he's engaged in conversation with Marie, who lets out a perfectly timed "Walt, you are the Devil" just as Hank slides open the door. When offered a beer by Walt, Hank declines, feigns a stomach ailment and tells everyone that he and Marie need to shove off. Hank can't wait to get the hell out of there, but obviously doesn't want to raise any suspicions - he's stunned momentarily after getting into the driver's seat by Walt, who sincerely asks if Hank is okay to drive. This sincere, nice Walt is going to take some getting used to, but something tells me he won't be this way for very much longer. On the way back inside, while Flynn and Sky have a mock argument about who will do the dishes, Walt throws his hand up and gives a cheerful "Hello Carol!" to his neighbor, who is the same woman from the open, minus the soiled pants.
Cut to the Schrader mobile, where Marie is incredulously talking about Walt and Sky's planned trip to Europe. Being Marie, she goes on and on, while Hank throws her a terse "yeah" every few seconds. He's not really invested in this convo, as you might guess, and the tense music builds while Marie becomes background noise. The shot gets tighter on Hank and the tension builds, his breathing gets heavier, and he doesn't answer when Marie finally realizes something is wrong. The car veers as she yells "HANK!" but by the time he tries to correct the turn he's already in someone's front yard. He practically falls out of the car, eyes wide and breathing labored, looking like he's about to either collapse or explode. As the owner of the house comes out, Marie tells him to call for help as Hank slowly begins to come around.
Three hours later, the Schrader's have returned home. As Hank cuts off his hospital bracelet, Marie is still quite concerned that although they have ruled out that it was a heart attack, there is no guarantee it won't recur. Hank is all "don't worry, it's under control" as he pulls the book from the bag. He's got that bug in his ear now and won't stop until he can start putting the pieces together. Oh, and he tells her not to say anything about this episode to Skyler.
In his garage, Hank pulls down the Gale file, which you just knew he wasn't ever going to get rid of. Going through the contents is like a trip through the past 4 1/2 seasons in pictures, and he spends considerable time comparing the handwriting from Gale's notebook and the Leaves of Grass inscription.
At the car wash, the doors open to begin a new business day. Right there to greet each of his employees by name is Happy Walter - he even remembered that it was Enrique's birthday! I bet Ol' Caterpillar Eyebrows Bagdhan never did that. Skyler comes in and she is all business, leaving us with the impression that she is the one really running this place. In a great scene to show just how much Walt has distanced himself from his former life, he engages her in a discussion about Air Fresheners, their margin, and how best to display them. He then pulls her aside to sell the idea on expanding the car wash empire in order to make their cover story more plausible, given how much money they are in the process of laundering. Sky will think about it, Walt leaves and who should arrive but Nervous Lydia, looking as jittery as ever while she refuses Sky's attempt at upselling. Skyler takes the keys and lingers over the vehicle for juuuust a extra second as Lydia heads inside......
......where Walt is fresh off of wishing a customer to "Have an A-1 Day" when he turns and sees Lydia come through the door. His expression turns immediately to a mixture of anger and disgust, all the while doing his best job of trying to conceal both emotions. She starts right in - "68 percent" - we figure that is the purity level of the product as currently produced, which is a far cry from the Heisenberg standard of 98%. Wait, you mean to tell me that Dim Bulb Todd isn't producing the same quality product? Shocker. While she expected a slight drop in quality, she never figured it would be this drastic. Walt replies that he left a viable operation in place, and reiterates that he is, in fact, out. Lydia only wants a few days of his time to help get things back on track, but Walt ain't buying, and he keeps up with her car wash transaction. Lydia gets progressively more urgent in tone, and tells Walt that she is being put inside a box. By whom, we still do not know. Skyler catches the end of the exchange and comes over after Walt moves Lydia through (while wishing her an "A1 Day"). Not being a dummy, she wonders aloud who would bother to wash a rental car, then asks Walt directly who the customer was. To his credit, he doesn't try to bullshit her, and spills it: "She is a former business associate who wants me to go back.....and I won't."
Lydia's car rolls off the line, but here comes a very determined Skyler, who tells Enrique that she will handle the towel dry on this one. Happy Birthday, Enrique! She confronts Lydia directly - tells her to get out, now, and never come back. Lydia, who never needs a lot of help to reach peak jittery, quickly hops in the car a speeds away. Sky fires eye lasers at her the whole time as Walt emerges from the building just in time to see Lydia bolt.
Back at the Schrader's, Marie meets Hank out on the terrace and asks if he's going to work, to whihc he replies "no". He's barely making eye contact, which Marie is probably chalking up to the panic attack. She pecks him on the cheek and heads off as we hear the doorbell ring. It's a couple of Hank's underlings from the DEA, and they come bearing box after box of items relating to the Heisenberg case, which were probably retrieved from cold storage. He shuts the door and dives in, and it's a trpi[ down memory lane: a smiling Gus Fring headshot, a Pollos Hermanos napkin, Gale's death scene photos, dead Combo, Cartel guys, etc. Nothing which could implicate Walt, until he pulls that famous Heisenberg sketch, which is unmistakably Mr. White. Dots, they are now connected.
Jesse's house, where Badger and Skinny Pete are hanging out. Jesse is in a chair looking like he would rather be anywhere but where he is while the other two debate the functionality of the transport system. It's amazing and I would probably have enjoyed it even more if I were a big Trek fan. This leads to Badger's story pitch - which centers on a pie-eating contest on the Enterprise and is pretty awesome. Jesse is not at all invested in this and walks out mid-story, returning a moment later with the aforementioned bags of cash, which he takes with him as he leaves.
Saul's waiting room, where a collection of damage seeking hopefuls wait to meet with the Great Saul Goodman. Jesse can't get any special treatment despite his intimate history with Saul, so he pulls out his pack if cigs and torches up a bone. This draws a quick reprimand from Huell, but does get the desired result, and gets Jesse and his bags in to see Saul. After a quick crack calling Jesse "Woddy Harrleson", he asks about Walt, and Jesse replies he hasn't seen him. It's been All Quiet on the Meth Front, apparently. Mr. Pinkman has a simple request: one of his bags is to go to Kaylee Ermantraut, the other to the parents of Drew Sharp - who you might recall as the nice kid on the motorbike who was gunned down by Dim Bulb Todd after the train heist. Saul realizes that these bags are full of cash ($2.5 million each, to be exact) and promptly locks the door. He doesn't immediately realize who the Sharp's are, and after a few seconds makes it known that he doesn't want to know why Jesse would suddenly want to bestow this gift upon them. However, he correctly assumes that the parents want answers as to their boy's whereabouts, and a big pile of cash would create more questions that it would answer.As for Kaylee, Jesse wants to give her this money, which he affirms is his, not Mike's, since that is what Mike wanted. Saul has no idea what became of Mike, and asks if Jesse has seen him. Nope. Well, since the feds have already seized money earmarked for Kaylee twice, Saul tells Jesse that this would be no different. Jesse is tired of the bullshit, and implores Saul to just get it done, and leaves. Saul goes into the drawer full of cell phones, picks out the one he wants, and punches in a number. After imploring the other party not to hangup, he confirms that yes, there are problems. About five million of them.
We see the other end of the call, and it's Walter, of course, who tells him not to deliver the cash as instructed, and to calm down. He will handle it. We pull back to see that Walt is getting chemo again, so we have confirmed that the cancer is back. Yikes.
Jesse is home, under his glass coffee table contentedly watching a roach crawl across the top, when he hears a knock. It's Walt, bags in hand, who asks him to talk him through what he was thinking with his request of Saul. Mumbly Jesse mumbles that, like Walt said, this is blood money. He says he only said that because he was trying to win an argument, and that he was wrong. He even tries a "Buck up little camper" gesture to Jesse, patting him on the shoulder while telling him that it's his money, he earned it! He mentions Drew Sharp, and says it was perhaps the worst part of everything that happened, but somehow we can;t shake the memory of him whistling while he worked shortly after wards. He presses on: don;t live in the past, what's done is done, you're out, I'm out too. At this, Jesse gives him a look of "For real?" Yes, Walt tells him, he's been out for about a month, and it's all good. Walt then asks why Kaylee for the other bag, and Jesse tears up while he tells him that she needs someone looking out for her. Walt bullshits that Mike is capable of handling that. Jesse didn't just fall off of the turnip truck, and pieces together that after Walt did what he did - offing all of Mike's guys, Walt would have to constantly be looking over his shoulder, as you know Mike would have quickly dealt with that. Knowing how Walt operates, Jesse continues, that would not be a loose end that would be allowed to fester. He's dead, Jesse figures, and Walt knows exactly what happened to him. Walt lies right through his teeth that he doesn't know what happened, he certainly didn't kill him, and will be ready to confront Mike and accept responsibility if and when he comes back. "I need you to believe me", he tells him, which is very true but for different reasons. He tells him the same thing again, and they both state that Mike is alive, though there is no way Pinkman is buying it.
Dinner at Casa White, where the conversation is centered on Flynn's buddy Lewis, and college. Walter is clearly preoccupied with recent events, and excuses himself. In the bathroom, he goes under the sink to retrieve his meds, so we can confirm that he hasn't told anyone about the recurrence of the cancer. He can't get the bottle open before he has to quickly head for the toilet to throw up. He grabs a towel, a la Gus, and places it under his knees since he might be there awhile. A POV shot from the top of the toilet shows what we already know - Leaves of Grass is missing. Later, in the bedroom, he asks if Skyler knows where the book is, and she wasn't even aware of its existence. After eliminating Junior as the culprit, his thoughts turn to Hank. Sky tells him that Hank still has some kind of stomach bug, and hasn't been to work all week. Walt's paranoia begins to build as he heads outside, slowly starting to put things together. Just before heading back inside, he stops and heads toward his car. Checking the wheel wells, he strikes gold on the rear right side, pulling out what looks like the very same tracking device Hank once asked him to put on Gus' car. It's Walter's Oh Shit! moment, and the wheels are now in motion.
Garbage can, where a homeless gentleman pulls out a few cans and bottles. He sees a car nearby and taps on the window asking for some help. It's Jesse, sleeping in the driver's seat, and he doesn't respond so the man moves along. Jesse waves him back and hands him a nice, fat stack of bills. The dude is a little gobsmacked, to say the least, and Jesse has to tell him to take it several times before the man finally does. Feeling cathartic, Jesse starts driving through a very depressed neighborhood, tossing a stack into every yard he drives by. Charity, bitches.
Back to Hank's, where his boys are dropping off more boxes of stuff. He's got tables of items spread out all over, when who should arrive in the driveway but Walt. Ruh roh. Hank starts hastily putting things away as Walt warmly greets the men in the driveway, which buys Hank a few extra precious seconds. Once ready, Hank yells at the guys to get lost and Walt enters the garage. Small talk ensues re: Hank's "stomach thing", work, and the car wash. Awkward glances by both guys preface Walt turning to leave with a pat on the arm and a "feel better". He gets just about to the door when he pauses, and it's time to address the elephant in the room. He starts by framing it as a big misunderstanding, but you can see his tone and demeanor change as he starts describing finding the GPS tracker on his car, and mentioning that it looks a lot like the one they used back in the day on Fring. Look familiar, Agent Schrader? He shuts the door with the automatic door thingy. Walt, not scared, says "You okay? I gotta say I don't like the way you're looking at me right now." The door shuts, the two men eye each other, and Hank absolutely cold cocks Walt with a right cross, knocking him to the ground. Emboldened, and pissed, Hank brings Walt to his feet, grabs his coat while pinning him to the door, and lets it all out. It was you, the whole time. The fake car crash to avoid the laundry super lab, Marie in the hospital, the killing of Mike's guys, the bombing of the nursing home, all of it. You are Heisenberg! Walt, still not copping to it, asks Hank to think about what these "wild accusations" will do to our family, and Hank spits back, literally, that Walt doesn't give a shit about family, and that he will put him under the damn jail. Seriously, I re-watched it 5 times and Hank has a big wad of spittle fly out of his moth when he delivers that line. Walt calms down and tells Hank that the cancer is back, and that news does give Hank a slight pause, but he recovers quickly to tell him to "rot". Walt continues that he will try like hell to beat this, but the truth is he will probably be dead within six months, leaving Hank with nobody to prosecute. You can see the glint return to his eye as he goes on to say that even if Hank were able to convince anyone that all of this is true, Walt will play the dying guy who runs a car wash card. Hank insists that Walt have Sky bring the kids to Casa Schrader, and then they can start negotiating. He is stunned by Walt's balls when he replies that there is no way that will happen, which sets up the best exchange of the episode. Hank barely audibly says "I don't know who you are. I don't know who I'm talking to." Walt replies with the not so thinly veiled threat that if that is so, then "maybe your best course would be to tread lightly...".
- "Hello Carol" Perfect.
- Oranges rolling on the ground, another homage to The Godfather
- I'm guessing the opening scene takes place right after the flash forward from last season, showing Walt gathering supplies for what promises to be a deadly final showdown.
- Walt trying to tell Jesse that he has no idea about Mike is the moment where Walt re-broke bad.
- Kudos to Vince Gilligan and everyone responsible for putting the Hank/Walt confrontation in the first episode - I was certain we would build up and not see that until much later.
- I'll forego the speculation on this one, since this is being posted while the second episode is airing.
- "Tread lightly". Wow.
Saturday, June 29, 2013
Join your host as he explains why you should be careful to where you travel, plays another round of Get Off My Lawn, lobbies for a Stupid Tax, starts a conversation we should have had a long time ago, and pays tribute to a musical legend in the Parting Shot. Subscribe via iTunes!