Breaking Bad Open Thread (Spoiler Alert)

Ok, in some ways that episode felt a tad slow, given that it represents 1/8th of the total remaining tale.  However, the truth is that it furthered things along pretty well, addressed key issues, and set up the remaining story.

Some bullet-point thoughts:

  • The trailer was epic.  Loved the continuation of the flash-forward we saw at the start of the season and was a bit shocked to see the reveal of the house.  Glad to see that Chekhov’s ricin remains in play.  Loved the “Heisenberg” graffiti, the shot of Walt in the broken mirror, and the encounter with Carol.
  • Nice to start the main episode with a continuation of the last episode and seeing Hank first have a panic attack and then head into Captain Ahab mode.
  • I liked the file box montage (and quite a contrast to the meth cooking ones).
  • Loved the Star Trek script.  I can’t help but think that the fact that Chekov was so prominent in the scenario was a nod to the fact that Vince Gilligan has often referred to the ricin as (as noted above) “Chekov’s ricin.”   Great to see Badger and Skinny Pete in any event.
  • Could Jesse have looked more tortured?
  • The juxtaposition of Walt and his belief he can just move on and Jesse’s guilt over what they had done was well played.
  • I was pleased that Jesse was smart enough to have a theory on what happened to Mike.
  • How true was this:   “I need you to believe me”?
  • I was pleased, albeit a bit surprised, that Walt confronted Hank about the GPS device.
  • I liked how Hank rattled off the connections between Walt’s behavior and the case.
  • “If you really don’t know who I am, perhaps your best course is to tread lightly.”
  • Man, Hank looked haggard.
  • Minor point:  loved the call-back to the RC car (and half expected it to get run-over again).
  • Glad all the major characters (and some minor) checked in.

The only thing I would complain about is that I still do not fully buy the Walt-Skyler reconciliation.


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Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is a Professor of Political Science and a College of Arts and Sciences Dean. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter


  1. I had to admit that the homage to the Godfather series was well placed too.

  2. mistermix says:

    I thought the whole Skyler/Walt interaction at the car wash showed all the tension in that relationship.Walt is controlling (the air fresheners), unsatisfied and ambitious (another car wash) Skyler is looking uncomfortable the whole time. Her unleashing on Lydia is also a bit like an alcoholic’s wife going to the bar and yelling at the bartender.

  3. @mistermix: Agreed on the interaction at the car wash. I am more perplexed, to be honest, by the interaction at the house at the end of the mid-season finale into the start of this episode (and Marie talking to Hank about how well Walt and Skyler are doing just before Hank crashes the car).

  4. Dustin says:

    Skyler has repeatedly been shown to put up fronts to protect her family from the larger lie. I agree with mistermix that she’s emotionally not invested in Walt, but has chosen to sacrifice herself to the situation.

    I thought the episode was fantastic. Walt’s attempted manipulation of Hank in the garage was spot on good. I was surprised they went right to the confrontation in the first episode, but I’m glad they did, it really setup the end well.

  5. HelloWorld! says:

    If I have to watch 1 more episode that digs into Jessie’s guilt and has him crying I’m gonna puke. First episode of this season was a series of dumb scenes followed by some good scenes.

  6. Franklin says:

    So is this a show I should be watching? I typically don’t watch any TV except a few sports. Should I wait for the DVD collection?

  7. dazedandconfused says:

    I took her unleashing on Lydia as a demonstration of knowledge of her own complicity and her own budding fascination with the power of The Dark Side. She’s on the hook, has used muscle, tasted the thrill, and could not resist that opportunity to flex. How far gone she is remains one of the most interesting open questions.