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Breaking Bad 5.10 - "Buried"

When this week’s episode of ‘Breaking Bad’ kicked off, the only thing that was running through my mind was a comment I read somewhere last week: “Join us next time on ‘Breaking Bad’ when Walt breaks the uncomfortable silence and asks, ‘So, Hank, you, uh, gonna open the garage door?’” Before we reached that point, though, we had a quick pre-credits look at what happened in the wake of Jesse’s free-money spree. Last week, I wrote, “It’s only a matter of time before someone identifies the car and says, ‘Let’s see if he’s got any more,’” but that’s not exactly what happened, although someone end up following the trail back to where it began.

I was completely convinced we were going to follow the old man on his path of picking up packets of bills until he met up with someone else who was following the money trail from the other end, at which point things would go terribly wrong…but, no, the trail instead led straight to Jesse, literally going in circles on the playground merry-go-round. It’s a great overheard shot, and knowing this show, the whole going-in-circles thing is probably meant as a metaphor, since he’s clearly wracked with guilt and has no idea what the hell he’s supposed to do. We don’t actually see what happens after the old man stumbles upon him, but he clearly ends up in police custody at some point. (I’m just hoping the old guy ends up keeping a decent amount of cash for himself.)

After the credits, we finally get to see Walt leaving Hank’s garage, a moment in which the silence between both men speaks volumes, but the second Walt’s back in his car, he’s on the phone and desperately trying to get Skyler on the phone. The fact that Hank’s beaten Walt to the punch in contacting his own wife feels like a sneak preview of the battle that’s going to be going on between these two guys throughout the upcoming episodes. Walt might be a bad-ass when he’s in Heisenberg mode, but Hank’s a bad-ass 24/7, and if Walt can’t manage to maintain that level of intensity at all times, he’s going to find himself quickly outmatched.

For a moment, I was surprised that Skyler conceded to meet with Hank, but then it occurred to me that, really, what choice did she have? If he told her outright what he knew about Walt’s goings-on, with no indication that he knew how deep her involvement went, then meeting with him would be the best way to go, if only to try and further his presumption that she was stuck in her situation under duress. When Hank refers to Walt as a monster, however, there’s a look in Skyler’s eyes that’s hard to read: is it a sudden awareness that Hank’s right, or is it a momentary glimpse of Mrs. Walter White thinking, “Look, he might be a monster, but don’t get to call him that”?

Given her reaction to his comment about how she’s “done being the victim,” it seems most likely that it’s the side of Skyler we saw confronting Lydia last week, the one that’s enjoying her new life as a business owner and doesn’t want to give that up. When Hank tries to get her to go on the record about what Walt’s done over the past several months, she reasonably balks, probably unsure how much she really wants to give up about her husband’s activities, but when Hank reveals a piece of information that she didn’t know – that Walt’s cancer has returned – it’s clear that she’s turned a corner and made the decision to keep her mouth shut. (Mind you, if she hadn’t decided it at that moment,  then she certainly would’ve done it when Hank said, “It’s in your best interest to get out there and show the world that you have nothing to hide,” since lord knows she’s got to hide.)

The scene with Huell and Koby in the cash-filled storage locker may have ultimately served the same purpose as Badger and Skinny Pete’s “Star Trek” story last week, i.e. to provide a moment of light amidst an otherwise dark hour, but I thought it proved more effective at its task, possibly because I like Bill Burr, but most likely just because they worked a Scrooge McDuck reference into the proceedings. (I don’t know if anyone’s listening, but after Vince Gilligan gets this Saul Goodman spinoff green-lit, I’d be all about seeing someone move forward with “The Further Adventures of Huell and Koby.”) It seems pretty obvious from the knowing glances between the two guys when they’re briefing Walt on his barrels of bucks that they’d already taken a little bit off the top for themselves even before he’s told them to go ahead and take their cut, but he’s freaking out too much to really consider the possibility that they might’ve done so, and they’ve done enough dirty work for Saul over the course of the past season or two that they’ve clearly earned whatever they’ve managed to swipe, and then some.

There’s an interesting dynamic between Walt and Saul during their conversation in the latter’s office, due to the absence of the usual undercurrent of humor to the things Saul has to say. When he tells Walt to take the battery out of his phone because they could be using it to track his movements, adding, “I’m not being paranoid,” we know he’s right, which is strangely disconcerting. A few moments later, when he suggests that Walt may want to consider sending Hank “on a trip to Belize,” it’s the sort of line that could’ve earned a laugh in the past, but Bob Odenkirk – a man who knows comedic timing – delivers it in a way that isn’t funny…which is only appropriate, since we know that it really come down to that. (With that said, I did laugh out loud when Walt dismissed the suggestion, muttering, “‘Send him to Belize…’ I’ll send to Belize!”)

Walt’s decision to bury the money in the desert all by his lonesome may be one that comes back to haunt him, given how much energy he expended to accomplish the task (case and point, the way he passed out on the floor of the bathroom after he got home), but the deed’s done, and if things pan out the way he’s hoping, then if nothing else, at least he’ll have succeeded in the whole reason he got into the meth-manufacturing business in the first place: to provide for his family. Given the flash-forward that started last week’s episode, however, it’s clear that things have not, in fact, gone exactly how he’d hoped. We just have to wait and see whether or not the end result works out the same nonetheless.

As seen in the meeting between Hank and Skyler, Hank now comprehends that Skyler’s eccentricities were her way of dealing with what she knew about Walt’s activities, but it took the conversation between the two sisters before it became apparent to Mr. and Mrs. Schrader exactly how long Skyler had been aware of Walt’s shenanigans. The scene with Skyler and Marie battling back and forth over Holly was – somewhat surprisingly, given the competition – one of the most tension-filled moments of the episode, partially because both women felt they were doing the right thing, but predominantly (at least for me) because Marie is as much of a wild card as any of the folks in Heisenberg’s crew. I mean, I didn’t think she was going to suddenly snap the baby’s neck or anything, but we know she’s a little off-center. Because of that, I simply had no clue what her next move might have been. As such, I was totally white-knuckling it ‘til Hank finally got her to hand over Holly and end the stand-off.

It remains to be seen if the relationship between Skyler and Marie is reparable, but given Marie’s comments to her sister and her terse statement to Hank when she gets back in the car (“You have to get him”), it ain’t exactly looking good for both of them to be in attendance at the next family reunion. The bond between Hank and Marie, however, remains as strong as ever. Although he’s on the verge of falling down the same rabbit hole that’s tripped him up before, namely his tendency to always want to be the one who nails the son of a bitch, she talks him down a bit, and while he justifiably claims that his career in law enforcement is likely to be over no matter how things play out, he accepts her argument that he doesn’t have to do this thing all by himself.

Speaking of martial bonds, I don’t know that anyone else found it as darkly funny as I did, but my favorite exchange in the entire episode was probably the quiet one between Walt and Skyler when he confirms to her that his cancer’s return.

: “Does that make you happy?”

: “I can’t remember the last time I was happy.”

That’s as may be, but given the heartfelt conservation between husband and wife, the ties that bind Skyler and Walt together aren’t as weak as they were even as recently as last season. If they truly are going to be working together for the long haul, then Team White may yet prove to be a force to be reckoned with.

As for the whole Lydia & Todd storyline, I suppose it’s a necessary evil, since it was always inevitable that Walt’s attempt to distance himself from the meth manufacturing business would eventually lead to a “just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in” moment, but effective though it may have been, it was still probably my least favorite part of the episode. With that said, I freely admit that Lydia is proving to be a more faceted character than I’d previously suspected. With all due respect to Jesse Plemons, though, I’m hoping Todd gets taken out soon…and that Jesse gets to be the guy who does it. Not that Jesse needs to have any more blood on his hands, but, man, you just how good it’d make him feel.

And speaking of Jesse, to bring this whole thing full circle, being on the other side of the table from Hank is arguably one of the better directions in which Jesse’s life could go, given the way things have been going in his life. Mind you, this particular conversation has the potential to go terribly, terribly wrong, but in the long run, I see Jesse being willing to just say, “Fuck it, I’ll tell you everything I know, because I to suffer the repercussions for everything I’ve been involved in.”


In a small but notable case of the series steadfastly refusing to avoid predictability, I couldn’t help but admire the fact that Walt did run over the remote-controlled car outside Hank’s house.

Breaking Bad 5.9 - "Blood Money"

Breaking Bad 5.08: Gliding Over All

There's a ridiculous amount to discuss from "Gliding Over All," the midseason finale of "Breaking Bad," but for now we've just got to cut to it. What's it? The chase. The ending. The cliffhanger. The biggest revelation by a fictional character since "." That's right, Walter White is Heisenberg, and Hank finally knows it, only Walt doesn't know Hank knows. What else?

It was the single biggest  in a show full of seemingly nothing but. If you don't know what I'm talking about, click the link, or reread the quote up top. In any half decent piece of narrative art, there is no wasted space. When it comes to a show like "Breaking Bad," that means not a single element is simply thrown in. Not a scene, not a line of dialogue, not a single shot, not a single piece of character background. When it comes to "Breaking Bad" specifically, that means the country's best meth cook wasn't going to  be found out by his DEA agent brother in-law. There was never not going to be a final confrontation between the two.

In case you missed any part of it, let's recap: Just prior to the ending, Walt has more money than he knows what to do with and is finally out of the meth business. The family's having a nice barbecue when Hank decides to drop a deuce. Once on the porcelain throne, he absentmindedly reaches back for some reading material to find a collection of Walt Whitman poems. Boring. Except that Walt was given this particular collection by one Gale Boetticher, his former partner, a man whose obsession with him bordered on religious.

You see, after he was killed, Hank was given Gale's file to look over. What he found was enough to convince him that Gale was Heisenberg, a notion Walt helped back up with some insightful chemistry knowledge in the fourth episode of season four, "Bullet Points" (if you've got Netflix Instant, click link and skip to the 20:50 mark). There was just one problem, the notebook included a dedication to "W.W.," and for the life of him, Hank could not discern who it referred to. "Who do you figure that is," Hank asks Walt, "Woodrow Wilson? Willy Wonka?" before jokingly adding, "Walter White?" Walt flipped the pages and found a spot where Gale had written down a poem, and told Hank that its author, Walt Whitman, was his W.W.

Fast forward to the finale. Hank finds a book of Walt Whitman poems, with an inscription from "G.B." to "W.W." in a handwriting he recognizes. Everything comes back to him as he suddenly recalls Walt's response to his joking accusation, "You got me." Hank realizes that not only has Heisenberg been staring him in the face this whole time, he's made the same mistake his former boss did with Gus Fring. Recall what that supervisor had to say, "That whole night we were laughing, telling stories, drinking wine... and he's somebody else completely... Right in front of me... right under my nose."

This is heavy stuff, because for Hank, the "Heisenberg problem" is beyond personal. In "Bullet Points," when Hank thought Gale was his man, the fact that he was dead still wasn't enough. "God, I wanted to get this guy... I mean me, personally, you know?" he tells Walt. "I wanted to be the one to slap the handcuffs on him, that kind of shit. Popeye Doyle waving to Frog One." Walt points out that in the first "French Connection" movie, Popeye never catches the bad guy, to which Hank responds "Yeah, I guess, me and old Popeye, huh? A day late and a dollar short." Hank may have been a day late, but now his chance to come out more than a few dollars ahead, and we can be certain he's not going to make the same mistake as his supervisor, not twice, not now that he sees the problem's been hiding in plain sight this whole time. In so many words: Shit's. Gon'. Go. Down.

It took Walt a long time to finally get where he wanted: a place that could satisfy his terrible arrogance, one where he was in total control, answering to no one, and making more money than Skyler could count, let alone launder. After Walt spent the first half of "Gliding Over All" tying up what he thought were his final loose ends, the second half showed him occupying the position he'd wanted so badly. But Walt finds that the "empire business" is just another grind, a feeling made more poignant by his conversation with Hank regarding a summer job the latter had back in high school. So when Skyler shows Walt the pile of green paper on the storage room floor, he's ready to quit, and he returns to his original goals: family, security, stability.

As that first half rolled along, we all waited patiently for something to go wrong, for that arrogance to be Walt's ultimate undoing. What we got was, well, nothing. It seemed Walt really was as good at running a criminal empire as he though he'd be. Lydia's offer to make Walt the foremost methamphetamine supplier of the Czech Republic makes him a boatload of cash and allows him to put aside his plan to use ricin to poison her. He engineers a prison massacre, as the ten people with enough knowledge to put him behind bars are killed within two minutes. Walt even pays Jesse the $5 million he owes and stays a while to reminisce. Jesse is surprised as we are to find nothing but cash in the duffel bags left outside his door. A discovery which causes him to toss his gun and fall back against a wall, almost in tears. All the stars align and everything is right in the universe. Walt's going to get out , arrogance in tow.

But he doesn't. He can't. As the Whites and the Schraders sat around the table in the backyard, we still knew that was going to happen. It had to. The fucked-up mind this show has given me had me searching everywhere, would Walt Jr. slip and knock the baby in the pool? Was there poison in that sunscreen that Walt had forgotten about?

Nope. In the end, it wasn't anything like the first half's enormous displays of hubris that were Walt's undoing. Instead, it was another, smaller event that occurred in the third episode of this season: As Walt unpacked his things after moving back into the house, he finds a Walt Whitman book, his lips curl into the tiniest of smiles, and he places it on his bedside table. After all that's occurred, everything Walt's done over the past four and a half seasons, it was this casual act that will lead to his downfall. As of yet, it seems the biggest tragedy of Walter White's life has not been "flying to close to the sun and getting his throat cut," but returning to Earth and realizing that he was his own loose end, that he couldn't stick the comfortable landing he'd worked so hard to create, and that the lower you are, the harder you fall.

So that's it, another ten months without "Breaking Bad" are before us. Since you've got all that time to spare, you might want to go back and watch the first four and a half seasons before returning to this last episode. "Gliding Over All" contained so much imagery and so many parallels that I couldn't begin to list them here (let alone launder them). I also recommend checking out FX's "Sons of Anarchy" (the first three seasons are on Netflix Instant if you need to catch up). Check back here on September 12, the day after the show's fifth season premier, and you'll find a post just like this one discussing it. "Sons" is no "Breaking Bad," that much is certain, but it'll help kill the time.

Breaking Bad 5.07: Say My Name

Breaking Bad 5.06: Buyout

Alright, we've got to talk about the cold open, again. Everything about it was fantastic: the near complete lack of dialogue paired with that ominous music, the methodical way Walter, Todd, and Mike, go about decomposing the bike (and the body), all of it. But that's not really what I want to discuss.

Rather, let's think about what it says about the quality of the show and the way it has shaped the thinking of its viewers that we don't dialogue explaining what's going on. This week's "" tells us that the young boy's body is the fifth dissolved in hydrofluoric acid thus far. The first time Walt and Jesse did it, after Walt strangled Krazy-8 way back in the first season, they spent nearly a whole episode weighing their options and ultimately completing their task. At that point, killing and disposing of a human being was still something of a big deal for Walter, and as a result, the viewer. Now, not so much. The guys weren't so adept at the task back then either, recall Jesse making the mistake of putting aside the plastic bins because he had a perfectly good bathtub. We all know how that ended.

Now, in much the same way the gang (minus Jesse) efficiently and meticulously go about the process of permanent evidence disposal, almost as if it's routine, we watch them fully expecting and understanding their actions. There is no need for explanation. The fact is at this point, it routine. That is just what they have to do. They know it, so we know it. They have no qualms with it, so neither do we.

Moving on. When Todd attempts to justify his actions, he says, "It was him or us, and I chose us." The line was eerily and intentionally reminiscent of what Walt said to justify killing Gale: "When it comes down to you and me versus him... it's gonna be him."

Walter, Mike, and Jesse then vote on what to do with Todd. For perhaps the first time ever, Walt and Mike agree on something, and it's Jesse who's left out in the cold. It's decided that the man who will now be forever known as "Ricky Hitler" will be kept close, because they don't want to pour acid over yet another body nor pay him off and hope he keeps everything to himself. That's probably a good decision given that when Todd gets in his car, we see he's held onto a creepy souvenir.

At first, I couldn't figure out the significance of showing Todd looking at the tarantula in the jar. My first thought was it was meant to show that despite his seemingly nonchalant attitude, Todd really does feel sorry for killing the boy. Perhaps that is part of it, but a show like "Breaking Bad" doesn't waste a single moment of screen time, and Todd already voiced what I believed to be genuine regret (not necessarily for the murder itself, but for being put in that unfortunate but necessary position). Then it hit me. In a missing person investigation, one of the first things the authorities will do is collect the boy's prints (likely from his home), so they have something to work with. The old jar o' spider has the victim's prints as well as Todd's, and maybe even another member of the crew as well. That's my guess anyway. There's a reason for using a method of complete destruction of any and all evidence. But this time it wasn't mthe evidence, and that's got to have some kind of significance later on.

This whole season, well, the whole series really, has been about the transformation of "mild-mannered" Walter White into the meth kingpin Heisenberg. This week, we got another piece of a puzzle we didn't even know we were building, or a glimpse into the psyche of what really drives Walter White.

When Jesse comes to his home, Walter tells him (and us) a bit about his past at Grey Matter. It seems he took a $5000 buyout from the company he named and co-founded, which is now worth "billions, with a b." Walter now checks Grey Matter's stock value weekly, still haunted by the decision he made to "sell his childrens' birthright."

Part of what made us root for Walter in the beginning was the feeling that despite all the horrible things he was doing, it was for a good cause, or at least out of self-preservation. He was a good man who got a bad rap. Then he got cancer, and as Jesse points out, he wanted to cook meth in order to secure $737,000, which would set up his family for life.

But this new information puts things in a different light and helps explain why Walt tries "so hard to not make five million dollars." As well his describing that amount as "nothing" and "pennies on the dollar." And, of course, why he works with an almost animal instinct to burn off his handcuff, steal the methylamine, and calmly tell Mike that everybody can win, you know, with a gun to his head.

At the very least, Heisenberg is no longer working for the well-being of his family, and it puts into question if Walter White ever was. This is a man driven primarily by arrogance and jealousy. Where before he could hide it, it has now consumed every facet of his life. As he tells Jesse at the dinner table, his children are gone and his wife is counting down the days until his cancer returns, "This business is all I have let now. And you want to take it away from me."

By taking the Grey Matter buyout, Walter gave up the opportunity to prove to the world what he's known all along: that he's just plain better than the rest of us. In the pilot, Walt saw the tremendous amount of money to be made by cooking meth during the news report on Hank's bust. With his introduction to Gus Fring, he saw just how far one can go in the meth business, and learned some lessons about how to get there. There's no way Walter will take the buyout, to make that same mistake twice. While it seems Mike has forgotten his own advice about "half measures" (how many times has he had a gun to Walt's head now?), Walt has not. He's going to make himself forget Grey Matter ever existed. He's going to make all the money there is to be made. But I believe he has simply come too far. All the money in the world wouldn't satisfy Heisenberg, and that's why he'll go out with the bang that was hinted at in this season's first scene.

I can't say I'm certain what Walt's plan is going to be. How can everybody win? He'll cook by himself and then pay off his partners? But they want their money and they want out. Now. There's no time for such things. Based on some small hints in this episode, listed below, I'm thinking the plan might have something to do with putting out fake blue meth.

-Over the wire, Mike overhears Hank going about his new responsibilities at the DEA. One of his conversations is about the difference between mayonnaise and its imitation, Miracle Whip.

-The TV report just prior to the one about the boy Todd shot was about a caviar knock-off made of kelp.

-Jesse's lines about frozen lasagna during the (hilariously uncomfortable) dinner scene. The food never looks like it does on the box. “It’s like yo, whatever happened to truth in advertising?”

One last thing: after that news report, Walt tells Jesse that he's lost sleep over the boy's death and tells Jesse to go home, saying he will finish the cook on his own. When Jesse returns downstairs Walt is whistling a startlingly upbeat tune, and you can almost see the gears in Jesse's head start turning. Walt doesn't care about the dead child. What else has he lied about? Maybe his mind even goes back to his original (and ultimately correct) suspicions that Walt poisoned Brock. Then there's the imagery, standing outside of the tent listening to Walt whistle, Jesse is quite literally on the outside looking in.

Breaking Bad 5.05: Dead Freight

Breaking Bad 5.04: Fifty-One

Gus Fring is dead and there's a new sheriff in town, the one and only Heisenberg. But as Mike told Walt, "just because you shot Jesse James, doesn't make you Jesse James." This message doesn't seem to have reached Walt however, and he's bought into the Heisenberg myth perhaps more than anyone else.

This week's episode began with Walter getting  his Pontiac Aztek, the same dinky used car he's been driving since the pilot, back from the shop. Very quickly however, he decides to sell the car for a mere $50 before buying a muscle car for himself and then one to match for his son. This decision serves as an "up yours" to a number of people. The first and most important being Skyler. We all remember way back when Walt tried to buy his son's love with a pretty new Dodge Challenger. Skyler quickly put an end to that. The Challenger was returned for something safer and more sensible and Walt was forced to get his "silent" revenge by doing donuts in a parking lot before blowing the car to pieces (which he made reference to in this episode, well the donuts anyway). Nowadays, Skyler can't keep Walt out of her bed, or their house, let alone tell him what he can and can't do with his money.

Secondly, Walt was telling Gustavo Fring to shove it up his very dead you know where. It's clear that Walt is sick of the carefully maintained upstanding citizen routine that characterized Gus's reign. Walt is in charge now and he wants to make sure everyone knows it, even his neighbors or anyone who happens to walk past his driveway.

Remember another thing Mike said about Walt, that "he's a ticking time bomb, and I don't want to be around for the bang." How did this episode end again? With that new Rolex Jesse bought Walt going tick...tick...tick...

Last week's episode was about Walt's cold war with Mike, the competition for head honcho in their little business venture. This week, Walt's got a new enemy, one that's closer and more intimate than he ever expected—Skyler. Her actions last week amounted to being uncomfortably numb, looking dazed and confused, completely unable to handle what's going on around her. Things changed in "Fifty One" as Skyler began to fight back against her controlling, manipulative husband in what small ways she can manage.

Things began much as they did last week. Skyler sat silent at the dinner table, saying nothing about the new cars. Next, we saw her tying floss tightly around her finger, which is either foreshadowing her hanging herself, being strangled, or strangling someone. That or it's an enormous red herring. Skyler's last move that was in any way reminiscent of what we've seen from her so far this season was quietly asking Walt what he thought about sending Walter Jr. to boarding school to put him in a "new environment." Big bad Heisenberg quickly shut that notion down.

It's at Walt's birthday party that Skyler changes up her plan, recognizing that she will not be able to beat Walt at his own game. If she wants to get the kids out of the house, she's got to play into the "I'm the victim" image that her husband has created. As Walt describes (and perhaps embellishes) a story about his struggle with cancer, Skyler walks into the pool. It's the one thing she can think of that will both give her a moment of silence, a break from Walt's endless plays at martyrdom, and make it clear to Hank and Marie that their home is not a safe environment for the children. Wearing a bright blue skirt she slowly walks to the deep end of the family's bright blue pool—a symbol of Walt's product and her descent into the chaos that it creates. Skyler finally recognizes that without telling the truth, which she cannot do given her own part in the criminal empire, the fact that it's Walt who endangers the children will never be revealed. Instead, she will have to take the blame by making her mental struggles and the uncertain state of their marriage (seemingly as a consequence of her actions) the reason the kids need to be somewhere else.

After Hank and Marie leave and the decision is made that the kids will stay with them for a while, Walt and Skyler begin the conversation that makes Walt positive that his wife is now his biggest obstacle. Stalking around the bedroom, Walt decimates each and every argument Skyler puts forward. In his mind, he's the kingpin who beat Gustavo Fring, there's no chance in hell that he'll be undone by someone as devoid of "power" as Skyler. She tries to hurt herself, he'll have her committed. She makes it look like Walt beat her, he'll tell the police about her involvement in Ted Benake's tax schemes. "What's the plan," Walt screams, before Skyler finally admits surrender. She has no plan, no power, but she "will count every minute that the kids are out of the house as a victory." All she can do is wait. For what exactly? "For the cancer to come back." Later, Walt returns from a cook to find Skyler chain smoking. Is she succumbing to the one vice that helps calms her nerves, or is she passively-aggressively trying to bring Walt's cancer back? Even after everything that Walt has done, that was a cold reminder that even if no one else can stop him, his own body just might, and that his home, the one place that he's tried to make safe no matter what, is now where his greatest enemy resides.

Keep in mind that Walt's original justification for getting into the meth business was so that he could leave some money behind for his family. At least that's what he claimed. I believe it's more accurate that the ever-prideful Walt wanted his family to hold him in high esteem, to love him more than anything from beyond the grave. To accomplish his goal, he set out to buy that love. He wanted Jr. to remember his Dad as the guy who bought him an awesome muscle car. He wanted his daughter to know that he made sure her college education was paid for almost 20 years before she started filling out applications. And he wanted Skyler to be able to live comfortably for the rest of her days. When Skyler tries to take away his children and alter the way they see him, it is the one thing he cannot abide. At the end of the episode, he shows Skyler the watch Jesse bought him, and explains that the man who gave it to him had a gun to his head not too long ago, but "He changed his mind about me, Skyler, and so will you."


Breaking Bad 5.03: Hazard Pay

The Light from the TV Shows: "Breaking Bad" is about to do some more bad-breaking

If you've frequented any pop-culture website or picked up an entertainment-themed publication at any point in the past week or so, it's highly unlikely that you're ignorant of the impending return of AMC's "Breaking Bad." I'm not saying you're necessarily a fan, but you'd be hard pressed to be unaware of the fact that the show's coming back, since every TV critic and their brother wants to make sure they get in a story or three about the fact that this is the last season of the show...except it really isn't, now that they've decided to split the 16-episode final season into two eight-episode seasons instead. But, hey, po--to, po--to, a story's a story's, whether it's 100% accurate or not, am I right?

Regrettably, it's unlikely that I'm going to be blogging each and every episode of this season I have over the course of the past couple of years, but that's not to say that I won't still be offering up the occasional piece about the show. I mean, after all, I meant it when I said - repeatedly - that it's the best show on television, so I'm rarely without something to say about it. Indeed, having been fortunate enough to check out a screener of the Season 5 premiere, I thought I'd devote this week's column to desperately avoiding saying too much about what goes on while still giving you as many reasons as possible to make you want to tune in.

But first, AMC's official look at what's ahead:

Now that you've watched that, prepare yourself for a list of 20 things that you probably won't want to read if you want to go into the episode being as surprised as possible. Trust me, though: although arguably all 20 things qualify as spoilers on some level, I really haven't told you much of anything...which you'll realize after you've watched the Season 5 premiere on Sunday night. Once you have, I hope you'll check back in. I'm curious to know what you think.

Walt spends the pre-credits teaser in a Denny’s, looking like he hasn’t had to deal with chemo in quite some time.

The only other familiar face in the pre-credits scene is someone we’ve only seen once before on “Breaking Bad,” but we’ve seen him plenty of times on other Bullz-Eye-friendly shows. Hint: during , I dropped this person’s name as someone who did outstanding work in Season 4, and Cranston admitted that we might be seeing him again in Season 5. I just didn’t expect it would be so fast!

Despite what our friend Mr. Cranston claims, the episode does pick up right where we left off. Mostly it does, yes, but not entirely.

Walt, Jr. reflects on the death of Gus Fring.

At one point, Walt says, “Oh, .” And with good reason.

While exploring the rubble that once was the Super Lab, Gomez offers Hank the chance to say “I told you so.”

Mike probably isn’t completely back up to full strength after the season finale, but his reaction to the news of Gus’s death will absolutely have you believe otherwise.

Mike and Walt spend a fair amount of time arguing over semantics.

Jesse has a good idea.

We also see the return of a one-off guest star from Season 3.

The car wash is continuing to kick ass.

Saul gets Skyler riled up.

We find out Ted’s fate.

Walt executes Jesse’s aforementioned good idea with decidedly strong results.

There’s at least one moment where you will laugh even as your heart skips a beat…or, in another words, a good old-fashioned “holy shit” moment.

Jesse says, “Yeah, bitch!”

Gus might be gone, but his storyline nonetheless rages on.

At one point, Saul says to Walt, “I’m your Huckleberry.” He’s probably being sarcastic, though.

No, seriously, Walt no longer needs the hat to channel Heisenberg.

Walt's last line of the episode would've been poignant if he'd said it last season. Now it'll just make you yell, "I can't believe he just fucking that!"

Breaking Bad 4.13 - Lily of the Valley

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