Tag Archive | Hank

Breaking Bad Episode 411 “Crawl Space”

411index“My brother-in-law doesn’t deserve to die because of this,” Walt says.

As with all the thirteen-episode seasons, episode eleven is the point when everything starts to boil, situations become untenable and all the cards get stacked for what follows. All the makings of the storms are in play. This is true as ever here in Season Four.

As mentioned in the previous episode post, despite all the terrible things that Walt and Jesse have done, they have also learned to stand up in the face of fear. In this season, they each get a moment where a younger Walt or Jesse would have crumbled and this time they don’t. Jesse got his moment in the last episode and Walt gets his here.

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Breaking Bad Episode 409 “Bug”

bug2-465x264I LOVE this episode. Maybe my favorite of the season actually. As with so many, so much happens. This is an episode where certain storylines, like Gus trying to pit Jesse and Walt against each other, come to a climax, and other storylines, like Ted and the IRS trouble, are just beginning.

We haven’t seen Ted in a long while, not since he came to visit Skyler in Season Three after Hank got shot. Tio came back in the last episode, Ted in this one. No one ever goes away for long on this show. But Ted’s not back for a romantic rendez-vous as Skyler first suspects. Oh no, he’s got much bigger troubles. The IRS. An audit. With Skyler’s name on record. Meaning she could get investigated as she’s laundering Walt’s drug money through the carwash. Bad news bears for sure.

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Breaking Bad Episode 408 “Hermanos”

408imagesI will say this. There is a perfect “That’s what she said!” moment in this episode. Go forth and find it.

So, this is Breaking Bad, and that means that there are no clear villains or heroes, as it should be, as it is in life. Characters are complex and have many layers. Gus is sort of the antagonist to our antiheroes Walt and Jesse, and I want to know what others thought before this episode. Did you hate Gus? Did you think he was evil?

I didn’t. I don’t know what it is because to just think about the bare facts, maybe hating Gus and thinking of him as evil makes logical sense. He slit a guy’s throat in a brutal silent scene in front of Walt and Jesse, and anyone reading these posts knows I had a thing for Victor. Gus has also intended to kill both Walt and Jesse. He’s done a lot of bad things and he’s been a threat to the dynamic duo, but Gus is somehow….so likable anyway.

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Breaking Bad Episode 407 “Problem Dog”

407imagesThis episode is the halfway point for Season Four–six episodes came before, six will come after–and it feels like a tipping point of sorts. Skyler, Walt and Jesse all wrestle with decisions, and a lot of plot turns happen in this episode.

But before we get to any of that, how freakin’ AMAZING is Jesse’s monologue at his rehab meeting? One of the best moments in the entire series, in my opinion. So tortured. So moving. So raw. You’re right there with him, in that intensity. To me, this speech is a bit like Walt in “Fly” last season. Jesse’s reckoning with what he did at the end of the last season, and it’s an outburst filled with guilt and it doesn’t happen right away. The fallout takes time, which is so real. It also feels true to Jesse’s character that he’d still be in turmoil this long after. He’s also newly sober, four days, so perfect time to be wrestling with his soul, especially now as Walt’s asked him to murder again.

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Breaking Bad Episode 402 “Thirty-Eight Snub”

402index“You won, Walter,” Mike says. “You got the job. Learn to take yes for an answer.” These quotes will resonate, one at the end of this season, one in the next.

In the season premiere, Marie mentions to Hank that she really likes the new PT guy, and it’s easy to see why. The guy is encouraging but not overly so. He seems to really be helping not just with Hank’s body but also with his emotional state. Hank puts on a good face around the guy. So much so that Marie wants him to move in. Marie is really overdoing the cheeriness here, which understandably irritates Hank. Both of their dispositions–Marie’s over-the-top optimism (bordering on patronizing at times) and Hank’s gruffness and grouchiness–have amped up since the premiere. I still really feel for both of them.

They have a strong marriage, despite little blips here and there, but now Hank is in a place Marie has never seen him, that we the viewers have never seen him. His PT is going, but it’s so slow and he’s in so much pain and he has this new mineral obsession and there’s no DEA or detective work to speak of. He takes some of it out on Marie but he also tries to pull back some. I think that neither of them know what to do with this new Hank, with the fear that the old Hank, in body and in mind, may not return.

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Breaking Bad Episode 307 “One Minute”

tumblr_mgzmcoJ6741qjgv9ro1_500Well, this sure is one drama-filled hour of television.

Walter, Jesse and Hank all face some big decisions in this episode. A lot of it is about loyalty, and trying to do the right thing and deciding what they value most.

First of all, though, poor Gale. Gale is just so earnest, so hopeful, so ass-kissy but well-meaning. Gale dressing more like Walt is the perfect detail. It shows so much about his character, and about the power dynamic. Walt is in charge, Gale is the supplicant. But it annoys Walt. And I totally get that. Gale just has to top it off with “This could be the start of a beautiful friendship.” Oh it’s just too much for Walt, who needs to find a way to appease Jesse, as a way to appease Skyler. I don’t think Gale actually messed up the batch. He’s too meticulous, too ready to attune the lab setup, and himself, to Walt’s every whim, that I just don’t believe he screwed up the temperature. Walt just wants to make him feel bad so that he can have an excuse to fire him. I think it’s one step more than that though. I think Gale is a little too smart for Walt. Making Gale feel like crap, like he turned a badge into ruined sludge, makes Walt feel better, the superior alpha chemist.

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Breaking Bad Episode 306 “Sunset”

breaking_bad_print_306_535x320“This is my own private domicile and I will not be harassed…bitch!”

What an episode. Such good, classic, edge-of-your-seat drama. Walt and Jesse are about to be caught. There’s no escape. Crouching around the RV. It’s kind of nice to see Walt and Jesse thrown into a situation where they have to be on the same side. They might not be thrilled with each other but this is a situation where they’re forced to work together. Of course, Walter White comes up with a solution. As Badger would say, it’s kinda dickish of him. He feels bad, but what else can he do? Another little piece of his soul.

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Breaking Bad Episode 304 “Green Light”

304imagesHoly crap, Hank knows about the RV!

Jesse is using the RV to cook again. The teaser for this episode is a perfect example of Jesse taking the “I’m the bad guy” and his no-nonsense acceptance of that fact too far. Jesse has never been a pusher before, using his charm to get a girl to trade him free gas for a baggie of meth. Maybe he’s resigned to the bad guy role. Maybe he believes that’s who he is. It seriously makes me question the philosophy at that rehab place with those amazing plush green robes and shirts. Jesse’s not using anymore but something’s off and Jesse’s actually more of a bad guy since accepting this “fact” about himself than he ever was before.

Walt is, as Mike puts it, a disaster over this thing with his wife. Man, Mike is sooo deadpan. When Saul asks is this a good thing or a bad thing, Mike plays a bit more of the recording and then says, “It’s a bad thing.” It’s kind of hilarious. Gotta love Mike. He’s just as good later when he tells Walt the reasons he’s definitely removing all the bugs from Walt’s house.

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Breaking Bad Episode 205 “Breakage”

205imagesTime for the boys to get cookin’ again.

So this is essentially their third go of it. Walt and Jesse are in a pattern here. They cook up some shards, as Jesse would say, try to sell it, go to a distributor who inevitably threatens their lives–first Krazy-8, then Tuco–and then have to spend a lot of time cleaning up whatever mess their nemesis made, or the mess they made in defeating him. Their stint with Tuco lasted a bit longer than Krazy-8 so overall, they may be on an upswing. After all, Walt’s time is ticking away, their last mess is behind them, and they are ready to cook.

But other things are bubbling up from under the surface in other parts of their world. Hank is having some pretty serious PTSD after his shootout with Tuco. And this is sorta what I mean when I say Walt doesn’t seem to be affected to the same degree as the others, after going through violence and trauma and murder. Of course, Walt also really believes that this time will be different, just like he did back in Season One before they started working with Tuco. With Jesse, it’s a little hard to tell. He was definitely shocked when Walt said he wanted to start up again. But they’re moving forward.

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Breaking Bad Episode 202 “Grilled”

202imagesThis has to be one of the most dramatic and sit-on-edge-of-seat-biting-nails episode of Breaking Bad, although there is hot competition for that category. There’s just such high drama here. Walt and Jesse have been kidnapped by the crazy enigmatic Tuco.

And the writers make us wait. Walt and Jesse and Tuco don’t even appear until more than ten minutes into the episode. How genius is that? We’re dying to know what happens, and they just draw it out, slow, a little like torture, but in a beautiful way.

Even the scenes that do involve our dynamic duo are drawn out at the start. In the teaser, where all we really get to see is Jesse’s bouncing Monte Carlo and some blood and bullet casings, the scene opens on a wide view of the landscape with its low greenery, then moves onto other odd things, including that creepy smiley face, before focusing on the car. This is another teaser that plays with time, a flash-forward to the end of the episode, but this time there’s no lingering mystery.

Then later, when we finally get back to our boys in the desert, the opening shot is the sky. Finally we see Tuco, and then realize that Walt and Jesse are in the trunk. Even in the movement when they transition from car to inside Tuco’s place, there are a lot of wide shots, then the TV, then Hector Salamanca’s face before it gets to Walt and Jesse sitting on the couch. This lingering, building the tension slowly, making us wait? It’s very effective. Tension: Threat Level Midnight.

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