Breaking Bad seems to have done what I expect it to do again, which is one-up itself. No other show follows an episode with an even better one week to week with as much consistency as Breaking Bad. This week packed a season’s worth of action into an episode, and that’s all any viewer can ask for. When I think back to Breaking Bad seasons in the past I can’t help but realize the evolution this show has taken. If the final scene in this episode has taught me anything, it’s that this show is getting bigger and crazier as the months go by.
From the opening the tone is set in this episode. We see the Cousins hanging out with their Uncle Tio in a scene that seems drastically influenced by the film The Godfather (which I’ve compared the show to). The boys are younger, and we get to see one of the first steps on their journey into the darkness that is the underworld that they serve in present time on the show. This scene was great for multiple reasons, one of which is that it gave Mark Margolis something other than a little bell to work with. He’s a great television character actor, and I’ve enjoyed his work ever since I saw him on OZ all those years ago.
The Hank character seems like it’s going to evolve this season, but somehow it seems he’s always landing on his feet a little too perfectly. First he gets away with brutality on Jesse, which I thought would surely be his undoing in the law enforcement business. Next we see him take down two of what is supposed to be the most dangerous criminals on the continent, which I just don’t buy. I’ve never been a fan of a show/film that builds up an unstoppable killing force, only to have some mild mannered everyday character wipe them out. For these types of scenes to work the killer always has to become a terrible shot with their weapon all of a sudden, and/or they have to do something stupid and out of character with their no nonsense killing techniques. Hank still lives nonetheless.
Speaking of that showdown, was it not edge of your seat action? I know I didn’t particularly enjoy the outcome, but every single moment from the time Hank sat in his truck to the cousin’s brains staining the overhead camera was pretty epic stuff. I’m guessing Cleaner Mike was the fellow who called Hank to warn him about the oncoming attack that he was going to thwart. I also think it was great that the time on the clock that Hank kept looking at was 3:07, which is the episode number. Even when there is something I don’t like in Breaking Bad, there are ten other things that I enjoy to no end. For instance, the make up effects used to show the Cousin’s head explode. That McPoyle wasn’t lying about them hollow points.
Another great scene was the bullet proof vest purchasing scene, which was ultimately the moment that thwarted the Cousins’ plan. You get the McPoyle giving them the most dangerous bullet possible, gratis, and it ends up going through the back of one of their skulls. Karma came around the bend after they half-assaulted their friendly neighborhood weapons dealer.
I find it hard to feel bad for Jesse Pinkman, even if he’s lying in a hospital bed with apparatuses in his mouth, making him talk like Don Corleone. He claimed that Walt was the reason that everything he cared about was gone, and in some cases Walt did have very direct affects (Jesse’s last girlfriend for instance), but his actual family would have abandoned Jesse with or without Walt. Also, Jesse doesn’t even know that Walt killed his special lady friend, so he’s really just playing the blame game instead of looking in the mirror, like most real-life drug addicts.
I was not a fan of Walt’s decision to remove Gale from the lab, as I’m a big Flight of the Conchords fan, and David Costabile is great on there. Next week’s preview seems to show Gale will return for at least one more episode, so I can dig it.
This episode was not a family-oriented one. Skylar was a part, but not a very big one, and while Hank and Marie’s scene was pretty emotional, everything Hank said is kind of erased with the events that followed. I can’t wait to see where the rest of this season takes us, and I’m glad that this wasn’t the season finale, even though it felt like one.