Well, last night was the long-awaited night that some of us have been counting down the months, days and minutes to. Finally, Breaking Bad is back!
I’ll be doing these commentaries every week, along with some other in-depth topic explorations related to the show. Since this is episode commentary, there will be spoilers.
To me, the most intriguing part was the teaser. It’s a flashforward to Walt on his 52nd birthday. He has hair. He looks different. He drives a different car. He has a New Hampshire ID and license plate. He’s not wearing his wedding ring (thanks to Badger at the Scranton Branch aka freeforums for catching that). He’s using a new last name, Lambert, which (thanks to Huell over at the Home Office aka AMC forums for pointing out) is Skyler’s maiden name.
My first thought was Witness Protection of some sort. Or Saul’s vacuum/disappearing service. But in either case, what is he doing back in ABQ? And why would he be using a name, in either case, that could be easily linked to his real identity? My guess is that we will all be surprised, that we’re all making more assumptions than we really can about this teaser. Vince Gilligan and company have a reputation for surprising us in major ways.
Another big question in my mind is timing. People associated with the show have repeatedly said that about a year has passed in the time frame of the story since the pilot episode. Episode 504 is titled “Fifty-One” leading some to speculate (again thanks Badger) that this will refer to Walt’s 51st birthday. If that teaser is part of this 8 episode mini-season, which I doubt, that would mean it takes 50 episodes to get through one year…and then 4 to get through the next! That means either some really huge time jumps (which BrBa has never done except for at the end of Season 2 when Walt had his surgery and Jesse was in rehab) or that the teaser scene will occur later on, like in next year’s mini-season. That’s my guess. Still that would require some time jumps to get there that soon. Perhaps the cliffhanger at the end of these first 8 will be whatever sends him to New Hampshire.
It kinda makes you think that something really big and disastrous is going to go down. And what does Walt need that gun for? I bet, like with the teddy bear and debris we saw in season 2, it’s going to be impossible to guess where this leads.
I was honestly a bit surprised to see that Walt lives to see his 52nd birthday. But it does seem that the cancer is back. In the bathroom he’s coughing and taking some meds after the gun salesman guy leaves.
It also makes you wonder what’s going on with Skyler. I almost wonder if she’s the one who dies. There seems to be something mournful about Walt in that Denny’s. And the way he slowly rearranges his bacon into the number the way she did (a callback to the pilot, when Skyler arranged his veggie bacon into the number 50), added to the fact that he’s using her maiden name, seems like he could be missing her. Then again if she had died, maybe he’d still be wearing the ring. But then again, his wearing or not wearing of the ring could have more to do with his new identity than anything going on with Skyler. And maybe I just don’t want it to be Jesse who dies.
But there did seem to be some foreshadowing about it possibly being Skyler. The “previously on” section started with the scene where Gus threatens to kill Skyler and Holly (they didn’t show him threatening Walt Jr or Hank or anyone else). I could be reading into that but I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s some reason for how that was edited. And then after the teaser, she says she’s afraid of Walt. And then there’s that really ominous hug at the end between Walt and Skyler.
Commentary about more than just the cold open