Hey, this is a recap so there are spoilers for last night’s episode and past seasons of “Breaking Bad” so if you haven’t seen every episode, catch-up and come back.
With season premiere’s, particularly in the post-golden age of the medium, shows often hit the reset button which is frustrating with a show like “Breaking Bad” particularly after the last finale. “Nothing’s probably going to happen in this episode,” someone in our viewing party said with a disappointing realization. She was wrong. Vince Gilligan managed to fit everything we wanted from the season in one episode which can only make us more excited as we poke and prod at any minute detail to guess at what’s to come in the remaining seven episodes.
Flash-forward aside, it was nice to see the episode open right where the last season dropped-off, very much in the vein of early season premieres. The tension was thick when Hank came out of the bathroom. By shooting his first interaction with Walt with the camera in on Walt’s back set the tone that we are going to spend even more time with Hank, almost to the point where Walt might only be a vehicle to fill us in on other characters – primarily, Jesse.
Jesse being back in a funk (Mo’ money, Mo’ problems) is the result of the addition of story time given to Hank, who is the new audience surrogate. It’s a bold choice considering he’s the character we want to see make it through this at the end. His decision to drop the money might be the only way for anyone to come out alive at this point, i.e. winning by not playing. This probably means he’s Chekov in Badger’s “Star Trek,” spec script (Personally, I’d be fine if this is all just one of Badger’s drug induces TV pitches). Walt and now Hank are obsessed with winning but by giving up everything entirely, he puts himself in the best position to get out – maybe not in one piece but at least they will all be there. From what we’ve seen from the big showdown at the end of the episode and the flash-forward at the beginning, Hank and Walt might not be so lucky.
While Walt has been over the edge for a while now, it looks like Hank is well on his way. It might be just the shock but if my guesses about this week’s flash-forward are correct he’s getting there. The face-off was fantastic especially since it nailed the balance of giving us what we wanted right away while still leaving plenty of room to get excited for all that’s too come.
As far as the flash-forward, there only seems to be a few options for how
Hank Walt plans to use the Ricin. Hank is the obvious choice at this point but Gilligan has shown us that he never goes the easy route. That only leaves him to either fulfill the original season one trajectory for Jesse and thus cement him as being television’s new personification of evil or maybe on himself.
It’s pretty much the consensus that Walt will meet some type of end this season. Judging by his “I’m in the empire business,” speech last season and now all of that seems to be gone it looks to be the most likely outcome. Maybe Skylar’s planned trip to Europe that baffled Marie in her ill-fated ride home with Hank becomes an extended stay with Walt Jr. and Holly and any overseas travels would be a drastic change for the show. Gilligan has earned too much audience goodwill to make that change. It’s safe to say we’re in good hands with no sign of final season troubles on the horizon.
One down. Seven to go. Have an A1 Day.