Breaking Bad: Cat's in the Bag...

Walt: "Best two out of three?"

This entire episode was like Abbott and Costello become drug dealers. Absolutely nuts, and horribly funny.

There is sometimes a moment in a television show or movie that just grabs you and won't let you go. For me, it was when the bottom of that bathtub crashed through Jesse's floor. It was a moment so utterly appalling that it was impossible to forget: acid dripping from the hole in the ceiling, chunks of bloody bone scattered about. Completely out of control.

Walt and Jess are such different people, but they reacted similarly to their impossible situation. Neither of them could face killing Krazy 8. When Jesse won the toss, Walt kept putting it off. Interestingly, they both got stoned, but separately -- and then they gave each other a hard time about it. They're not really working together yet, but this certainly counts as a bonding exercise. They're stuck with each other for now.

Skyler irritated the crap out of me. She invaded Walt's privacy to the point of confronting Jesse in the driveway of his house (as he nervously stood in front of a dead body; Skyler was so involved in her self-righteous ire that she didn't even notice the wrapped up feet sticking out past the car). Apparently, Walt is not permitted to have any foibles, interests, or friends of his own. And the ultrasound scene in the doctor's office again made me feel bad for Walt, who learned he was having a daughter and a moment later was hit in the face with the fact that he won't live to see her grow up. Skyler noticed that he withdrew emotionally, but didn't know why and felt threatened, so she went on the attack. He really should tell her that he's dying, shouldn't he?

Walt was losing control of his temper as he lost control of his life. Yelling at Skyler about climbing up his ass. Discussing teenage girls with cleavage at the breakfast table. (Junior loved that.) Walt was distracted and muttering to himself in class, too. I loved that he discovered that he really enjoyed smoking grass. It was probably the best he'd felt in days.

Some of the lines in this episode were very funny, but it was the site gags that blew me away. Krazy 8 was staggering down the street moaning, looking like an extra in a zombie movie when he saw Walt, turned, and ran directly into a tree. Walt using trial and error to roll a joint for the first time was hilarious. So was Jesse accidentally dropping the body and watching it thump slowly and noisily down the stairs. Another hard-to-forget, visually compelling scene was Krazy 8 sitting there locked to the pole in the basement as Walt slid objects across the floor to him. Water jugs. Sandwich. Bucket. Toilet paper. Hand sanitizer. Why hand sanitizer? What good will that do Krazy 8 when Walt knows he has to kill the guy?

This episode made me roar with laughter and shudder, often at the same time. Brilliant.

Bits:

-- Walt told his class that chemicals that are mirror images in composition may look alike at the molecular level, but behave in a radically different manner. Walt the high school teacher, Walt the criminal.

-- Jesse tried to jam his own body into the plastic tub. Yes, he was checking the size, but it could be taken as empathy, too. And probably that Jesse was aware that he could end up the same way as Emilio.

-- Jesse's eye was bruised and swollen, and he attempted unsuccessfully to cover it with make-up that instead made him look deformed.

-- Walt's student asked him, "Is this gonna be on the midterm?" Walt heard it as, "Is this gonna be on the murder?"

-- Krazy 8 had trouble breathing and was coughing. Walt was also coughing.

-- Jesse locked Krazy 8's head to a pole with a bicycle lock. Everyday object, horrible situation.

And pieces:

-- This episode began at the very moment the pilot left off, with Walt and Skyler having sex. Bryan Cranston did nude scenes, too. That's two episodes in a row with Walt naked.

-- "Baby, you knock me out" was playing when Krazy 8 knocked himself out on the tree. Good thing no one noticed him staggering down the street, huh?

-- I was thinking of Abbott and Costello when the Three Stooges clip appeared on TV.

-- If I ever need to dissolve a body in acid, I certainly won't do it in a bathtub. Who says you don't learn anything from television?

-- A child found one of their gas masks, left behind in the desert. Aren't Walt's pants out there somewhere, too?

-- Walt has killed a man, Emilio, in self-defense.

Quotes:

Jesse's answering machine: "Yo yo yo. One four eight three to the three to the six to the nine representing the ABQ. What up, biyotch? Leave at the tone."
I was going, "ABQ?" And Dan said, "Albuquerque." I'm dumb.

Skyler: "MILFs? What the hell is a MILF?"
Says the MILF.

Walt: "What is his reputation for violence?"
Jesse: "Well, um, he did try to kill us both yesterday, so there's that."
Snappy answer to a stupid question, part one.

Walt: "This is your responsibility!"
Jesse: "Yeah. Like I came to you, begging to cook meth. Oh, hey, nerdiest old dude I know, you wanna come cook crystal? Please! I'd ask my diaper-wearing old granny, but her wheelchair wouldn't fit in the RV."

Walt: "It seems to me that our best course of action is chemical disincorporation." (Jesse looks blank) "Dissolving in strong acid."

Walt: "Look. You skipped, clowned around or otherwise jerked off every lecture I ever gave. As far as I'm concerned, your chemistry education is over."
Jesse: "Okay, be a dick about it."

Walt: "So right now, what I need is for you to climb down out of my ass. Can you do that? Will you do that for me, honey? Will you please, just once, get off my ass? I'd appreciate it. I really would."
It's Walt's manic expression that makes this so funny.

Walt: (in front of the dissolved bathtub) "I'm sorry, what were you asking me? Oh, yes. That stupid plastic container I asked you to buy. You see, hydrofluoric acid won't eat through plastic. It will, however, dissolve metal, rock, glass, ceramic. So there's that."
Snappy answer to stupid question, part deux.

This episode is a wow. Four out of four plastic containers,

Billie
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Billie Doux loves good television and spends way too much time writing about it.

13 comments:

Patryk said...

If there is one thing I miss in the later seasons of BB is black comedy. Crazy Eight hittng that tree, acid burining through the roof. Hilarious disturbing at the same time.

Suzanne said...

I am so glad you are reviewing this show because after loving the pilot, I was having trouble getting through this one. The horrible breathing noises of the locked up bad guy bothered me so much that I was afraid to keep watching. I pushed through so I could read your review and couldn't stop laughing at the dark humor of the ending scene. That was priceless! What a great show. Thanks for the reviews.

Banastal said...

This was almost like true blood

Josie Kafka said...

This was definitely a darkly comic episode, although it sounds from Patryk's comment above that the show doesn't maintain that tone for too long. That's probably for the good: I'm not sure how much comedy there is in death and meth dealing.

Does Skylar work outside the home? Because if I had a teenager who was old enough to take care of himself, I would have a hard time justifying being a stay-at-home mom while my husband worked part-time at a car wash. Is that a horribly bitchy thing to say?

sunbunny said...

I really liked how out of control both Walt and Jesse's lives are. I feel like it's more realistic than the guys who know how to do everything criminal really well immediately and never make mistakes.

Knowing fans of the show tend to be anti-Skyler, I tried to sympathize with her on her during her rant to Walt, but going to Jesse's really crossed the line.

Last week, Walt took off his clothes to cook meth so he didn't smell when he got home. Was he not concerned about the pot smell this week? Also that seemed like a lot of pot to smoke and then be totally fine after to me. He seemed pretty damn lucid at the doctor's office.

I agree with Josie on Skyler's apparently not working. Maybe it's because she's pregnant but she's not so very far along and it seems really crappy that Walt has to work two really hard trying jobs while she doesn't have to do anything.

sunbunny said...

Oh, also, what kind of parents let their children run around the New Mexican desert unsupervised? They were pretty well dressed so it was clear they're not poor. So why are they playing there for the love of god?

PS. Is this filmed exclusively in New Mexico? The street Krazy 8 was zombie walking down seemed pretty LA to me.

Billie Doux said...

I think it's filmed exclusively in New Mexico, but I'm not positive.

Ren said...

I can't believe I'm just starting Breaking Bad now! Where have I been? At least I get the luxury of marathoning the whole series, and coming here for these excellent reviews (and comments) after every episode. Thanks, Billie and commenters!
It's funny that people get annoyed at Skyler. Sure, going to Jesse's house was a bit much, but all I could think of was "oh thank god she actually pays ATTENTION and notices when her husband is being weird and doesn't just accept it." You know, like every freaking character on Dexter... ;)
Super excited to see where this series goes.

Billie Doux said...

LOL, Ren. We got another one! :)

Billie Doux said...

Hi, Anne: I know the show is over, but because of the nature of the site, a lot of people read these reviews when they're watching the show for the first time. So we have a no-spoilers policy. And since what you mentioned hasn't happened yet, I'm going to have to delete your comment -- I'm sorry! Perhaps you could post it on the review for the episode in which it happens?

Anne said...

Billie, my bad. I got my episodes mixed up and posted here instead of the next episode. Sorry about that.

Your reviews are so awesome; I continually feel like a dummy for not seeing things that you see.

Billie Doux said...

Thank you so much, Anne -- that's so kind. I'm really enjoying your comments.

ChrisB said...

Like you, the scene with the tub crashing through was simply wretched to watch. But, then, Walter's explanation of why he wanted Jesse to buy the plastic made me laugh out loud. Interesting juxtaposition of horror and humor.