Early that winter, I went on my first overnight Girl Scout camping trip. My mom was working more at the newspaper, so for once, she wasn’t one of the troop leaders. We arrived at a big cabin called Hammond House. The walls were the color of wood and little cots lined the walls. The cabin was a long rectangle. One of the girls had recently learned the “Light as a Feather” game and we played it incessantly. One girl would lie in the middle and we would all surround her, purring two fingers from each hand under her. The person at the head gave a fake eulogy and then we all intoned, “Dead as a doornail, stiff as a board, light as a feather” over and over slowly lifting the scout in the middle up off the floor and up, up, over our heads. There were a lot of us, girls and girls and girls lifting, and it felt magic. We even did it on our troop leaders. I only got to be in the middle once.
This was my favorite episode so far this summer. Holy shit. So much to discuss. But first:
I gotta do it. I TOLD YOU SO in last week’s predictions that Jesse would find out about Brock and the poisoning. Yeah bitch!
So, are we getting ourselves into a Chekhov’s Disappearer situation now? That’s the second time that someone on the show has tried to use Saul’s last resort and the second time it hasn’t worked out. Walt was going to do it back in 411 “Crawl Space” but then he went to the crawl space to get the money and Skyler had given it to Ted for his IRS fiasco.
Now Jesse gets even closer to using this “out.” Saul tells Jesse, “This is it. Once I make the call, no take-backs.” Saul makes the call and asks for “a new dust filter for a Hoover Max Extract Pressure Pro Model 60,” Jesse’s at the pickup site, it’s all good to go…and then he just wants to smoke a little pot and the whole plan goes up in smoke. (Much more on that coming up.) So a second attempt to use the disappearer is thwarted. Will the third time be the charm? Will Walt (and family?) end up using the guy later on? Is that how Walt ends up in New Hampshire? Will this “gun” ever go off?
“I was just, well the lock was stuck, so I—“
“I saw you climbing over the stalls,” she said.
“Fifth graders were doing it too!” I blurted.
She looked around swirling her head dramatically. “I don’t see any fifth graders.”
“Not now. They were here earlier. They told me to.”
She put one hand on her hip. “Who? What are their names?”
“I don’t know, fifth graders.”
And the question people didn’t even know they had was also answered. Yes, Saul’s office has a back door.
Seriously though. Lines in the sand.
This episode was all about laying out the loyalties. Everyone has chosen a side now. The only exception, the wild card, is Jesse. Jesse didn’t say a single word in the entire episode. We will have to wait and see if he starts talking once Hank enters the room. I have some theories about that, but predictions come at the end of the post. For now, Jesse’s just a money-tossing, depressed, guilty, scared Wild Card, the loyalest character whose loyalties are undetermined as yet.
Skyler chooses Walt. Walt actually assumes she wouldn’t. He knows on some level, more than he seemed to in the first half of Season Five, what a mess he’s made of his marriage. During last summer’s episodes, I was not on Team Walt at all, and I wouldn’t say that I’m on his side now, but a few things made me come around to his way of seeing things in this episode, made me feel for him, and in one instance, made me actually proud of him.
I started asking to go to the bathroom way too often in Mrs. Domaracki’s class, especially when she was about to check homework and I hadn’t done it. It wasn’t a good plan—she always checked mine when I got back—but it delayed things a bit. I got a good sense of when she was as about to check, raised my had and then wandered slowly to the girls bathroom with its pale green walls and three stalls with low walls. I sat on the toilet and read a chapter in a book or thought up what I wanted to write in my next “book “ about secret passages and baby-sitters. Or I did math problems or recited in my mind facts about the Solar System until I couldn’t anymore because it had been more than five minutes and I had to scurry back to class.
“I gotta say, I don’t like the way you’re looking at me right now.”
Oh. My. God. Breaking Bad is back!!!
And holy shit, in that flashforward teaser, the White house has seen some better days. I think it’s safe to say that this scene is supposed to follow directly after the flashforward we saw last summer, where Walt, coughing and taking meds and making a 52 with his bacon, buys an M60 in a Denny’s bathroom. Not exactly a sign that times are dandy for Walter White. Next stop is his trashed house to retrieve the ricin and drive off for whatever mission or “last stand” he’s about to make. But of course, Future Walt must of course first survey the damage done to his house and the yellow “Heisenberg” painted on the wall. And scare or shock the living crap out of his neighbor, Carol.
Such a great teaser. Gives us a little continuation, a little more story, but asks more questions than it answers. Why is the house in this state of disarray? Has it become public that Walter White is Heisenberg? Did the whole family leave in a hurry together? Are the others alive? Who’s the ricin (and the M60) for? Why is Carol so startled by Walt that she drops her grocery bag (which of course contains oranges)? Will Walt survive his mission?
I wonder if there will be anymore flashforwards (my guess is no) before we catch up to this point in the story, (I’m making an educated assumption) in episode 515. It’ll be awhile before all these questions are answered. Plenty of time to guess, theorize and speculate in the meantime.
Until then, back to the present with Hank on the pot.
At every indiscretion—a not perfect grade on a test, talking in class when I wasn’t supposed to, not coming in from the playground in a timely manner after recess, not doing my homework completely or on time (a bad habit I’d quickly slid back into), reading during lunch instead of socializing with kids who made fun of me—Mrs. Domaracki called my mom. Even if it was just one thing in a day, it always counted for two warnings.
Night after night, several nights a week, I was sent to bed at seven. I lay in bed, watching the sky still light out outside my windows. Sometimes I’d stare at the tree out my east-facing window by my bed. Or stand at the south-facing window across the room with no big trees outside it but way more sky. I listened to the fire siren as its moan ebbed and flowed. In my head, I talked to my Care Bears on the white shelves near the south-facing window, telling them why it, whatever it was that day, wasn’t my fault. Sometimes they believed me. Sometimes they sided with Mom and Mrs. Domaracki.
So I’m working on this new story, and I don’t even know whether to call it fiction or non-fiction, it’s something experimental in between the two. Most of the story is just a conversation between two people, and yet it’s intense and full of drama. I actually want the feeling that the story evokes, at times, to be uncomfortable, too close for comfort, because if such a conversation were to take place in real life, it’d be awkward and uncomfortable (and still intense and full of drama). Oh also, in the story, it’ll be a little unclear if this conversation ever happened or was just in the character(s)’ imaginations. Yeah, I’m weird.
To start this piece from the beginning, click here.
And at first, I tried to be good. All my dittos from class were filled out and filed neatly in my folders. I swept the floor even though I couldn’t see the dirt, going around the kitchen systematically until a dark pile formed in the epicenter. I scrubbed the bathroom sink and only complained silently to my favorite doll Jenny and my Care Bears in my room. I went to the Centerstream after school program with my seven-year-old brother Randy and didn’t cause any trouble.
One day early in the school year, my music class had a test. It wasn’t a real test, our teacher assured us. She just wanted to see what we already knew coming in. Up front she had about twenty-five big glossy photos of instruments lined up side by side, all seated in that little tray that’s supposed to hold chalk and erasers, and leaning back against the blackboard. The teacher told us to get out a piece of paper and number it one to twenty-six. Next to each number, we were supposed to write the name of the instrument in the matching picture.