Walter White and Jesse Pinkman survived their first cook, their first drug deal (barely), and are escaping with their lives intact and two dead bodies in the back. So they think at first.
This episode is all about aftermath, about the natural and unnatural consequences of what comes next and cleaning up the mess.
And let’s talk about that for a moment, because Breaking Bad takes a turn here that a lot of shows wouldn’t. The pilot episode was fast-paced with lots of dramatic action. It had pants falling from the sky, a fire, a cancer diagnosis, a meth lab bust, blackmail, a meth cook in an RV, a drug deal, two “bad guys” coming after our “heroes,” Jesse getting knocked unconscious, Walt’s ingenuous plot to kill those bad guys with some chemistry, and then a near-miss almost getting caught (not to mention Walt’s almost suicide in the process). And then we get a nice conclusive ending with Walt and Skyler in bed together.
And I think a lot of shows would’ve left it there. The next episode would go on to the next drama of the next cook and the next drug deal. The fact that Breaking Bad doesn’t do that and instead goes back to look at how they deal with getting the RV towed, and how they deal with the two bodies (and later with the fact that Krazy-8 is still alive), shows that it’s going to be a different kind of show. It’s going to hyperserialized, for one thing, novelistic. And the aftermaths of events won’t be swept under the rug or ignored, but rather explored in detail. This is a world of cause and effect. This is a show that’s going to take it’s time and deal with the high dramatics and the internal struggles.
This episode is slower than the pilot, for sure. It’s a different type of episode, and the balance and play of all these aspects is one of the things that makes BrBa so good. I mean, this episode isn’t so much high drama as it is phone calls and coin flips and ultrasounds.