Breaking Bad: A No-Rough-Stuff-Type Deal

"Sometimes forbidden fruit tastes the sweetest, doesn't it?"

It was Abbott and Costello again with the laugh out loud funny. And then we got to the end, and it went back to deadly serious.

Tuco isn't just scary. He's completely unpredictable in the most dangerous sort of way. (Jesse quite aptly called him an "insane ass-clown dead-eyed killer". Did Tuco just beat one of his own minions to death for saying something supportive? Is it possible that the purity of Walt's product made Tuco even crazier?

Anyway, for a moment, let's return to the funny, because the robbery was hilarious. Thermite from an Etch-a-Sketch, ski masks, tying up the the port-a-potty like a fraternity prank or an inappropriate gift. (Hey! parallel to the baby shower!) Walt and Jesse sporting pom poms as they clumsily carried the barrel past the rocking port-a-potty was practically slapstick. The open house was a hoot, too. Absolutely ridiculous, the two of them cooking in Jesse's basement with a houseful of prospective buyers tramping around the property.

At least Walt and Jesse were finally functioning as partners. Except Walt wasn't listening to Jesse and didn't even know what "smurfs" were, and Jesse kept looking at Walt as if he was crazy. Jesse was ready to pack it in and take off. Maybe he should have.

You'd think a baby shower at the White home would be a breath of normality, but no. Who gives a tiara to an infant? I mean, maybe Paris Hilton got one when she was an infant, but I'd expect her to be the exception, not the rule. And the baby shower video was again a reminder that Walt probably won't live to see his daughter grow up. While everyone else was clowning for the camera, Walt used it as an opportunity to communicate with the daughter he probably will never get to know. Quite sad.

The best part of the baby shower was the private conversation Walt and Hank had by the pool. Hank is a smart guy. As they were back and forthing about the illegality of pot and meth being arbitrary, Hank correctly noted that Walt was arguing the position that criminals usually take. And yet, they had the discussion while smoking illegal Cuban cigars that Hank brought to the party. Not to mention that Hank is still unaware that Marie is shoplifting tiaras.

The ultimate message of the brief first season is that cooking and selling meth is not, and will never be, a romp. Meth really does = Death. The final moments were of Walt and Jesse watching Tuco drive off, to the tune of "Who's gonna save my soul now?" Fitting and poignant, a perfect contrast to the comic aspects of this episode. Who, indeed. (Or is that "whom"?)

Bits:

-- I just loved the visual of Walt and Jesse, in disguise (hats and sunglasses) standing in front of a mountainous wall of wrecked automobiles. Definitely this episode's Most Obvious Symbolism. (If Marie is going to continue her klepto career, maybe she should consider a disguise, too.)

-- Sitting in a school meeting while everyone was talking about his crimes actually turned Walt on. Now that he's committed to a life of crime, he's getting off on it. So to speak. He and Skyler even had sex right in front of an empty cop car.

-- It was oddly appropriate that they were cooking right by the spot where Walt killed Krazy 8.

And pieces:

-- Loved Walt's hat. It made him look even more like a Heisenberg, somehow.

-- Skyler told the doctor that Walt was frisky. Can you say "overshare"? If I were Walt, I'd find it humiliating. Like, hey doctor, isn't my terminally ill husband so cute? Isn't it Walt's prerogative to share something like that with his doctor?

-- I'm surprised that Skyler didn't check that Walt really did go to the Navajo sweat lodge.

-- Jesse called the guys who go from store to store getting pseudo "smurfs." I don't know why, but it really struck me funny.

-- Long list of impossible ingredients, and Jesse got all of them. Like I said, Jesse is not as stupid as he first appeared to be.

Quotes:

Skyler: "Where did that come from? And why was it so damn good?"
Walt: "Because it was illegal."

Prospective buyer: (pointing at the ceiling) "What happened there?"
Realtor: "Bit of a fixer. But this house has great bones."
This was such a bad joke that I didn't get it the first time I saw this episode. OMG.

Jesse: "You look like Lex Luthor."
He does, doesn't he? How appropriate for a brand new criminal mastermind.

Tuco: "Mister Clean and his boy."

Skyler: "Believe it or not, Esmerelda, right after the party, your name was changed to Holly. And I believe, Hank, that that was around the time we took Aunt Marie to the insane asylum."

Jesse: "It may be blue, but it's the bomb."

This finale had just as much kick as 'A Crazy Handful of Nothin', but in an entirely different way. Four out of four unbelievably inappropriate baby tiaras,

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

7 comments:

Patryk said...

The 1st season was wonderfull and I loved how almost every episode ends with a remarkable song that goes into the ending credits. The latter seasons got rid of that sadly. But when changing the soundtrack is the beiggest issue with a show then it's really a masterpiece. :)

The barrel heist was by far the funniest thing they did on the show.

Suzanne said...

I really enjoyed the first season, too. Thanks for the great reviews. I have begun Season 2, so I will look forward to those, too. I keep wondering how long Jesse and Walt can keep it up.

Laslo Losla said...

Question and a comment...

What is the symbolism mentioned in your first "bit"? I don't get it.

I guess the term "pseudo smurfs" it's a kind of parody refering to actual smurfs who colected amarita muscaria (I mean, they lived inside those mushrooms, so I guess they also colected some to eat).

Billie Doux said...

Laslo, It was about Walt destroying his life while standing in front of a huge pile of destroyed cars.

Josie Kafka said...

Do I remember reading a comment on one of your Breaking Bad reviews about the symbolism of the color green? Because both Esmeralda and Holly would fit with that symbolism, whatever it is. (I certainly haven't figured it out yet, but then again I might be imagining the comment.)

I love the way this season ended: cancer is no longer the Big Bad, if it ever was. Instead, Tuco and salvation are the two Big Bads. Tuco is frightening, and clearly should stay away from the meth, since it seems to make him into a psychotic violent freak.

sunbunny said...

I could not believe what Marie chose to wear to the baby shower. Can you say 'desperate plea for attention?' geez

ChrisB said...

I can't believe I just zapped through the entire first season in an afternoon. Guess I managed to get past my initial reluctance.

Loved this episode, my favorite so far. From the theft, which was hilarious, to the final scene, which was terrifying, this ran the gamut of emotions. Not to mention levels of crime.

I'm beginning to understand why people are so passionate about this show. It is smart; it is beautifully written; the acting is among the best around. Truly, kudos all around.