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Breaking Bad: Down

"I dreamt I owned an antique bicycle repair shop in Ireland."

Family trouble for both Jesse and Walt. They are completely dissimilar people, but they were again in the same situation.

I'm pretty much seeing both sides of the story. Jesse did love his aunt Jenny, and he took care of her while she was dying. If she wanted him to have her house, he should have it, no matter what he does with his life. But if she had really wanted him to have it, wouldn't she have left him the house directly? Was he underage when she died? Since the house still belongs to his parents, I completely understand why they would throw Jesse out, especially after they saw the crap in the basement, and especially since they gave up on him a long time ago. When did they give up on Jesse? Did they ever try to reach him at all?

Things got deeply bad for Jesse. He lost everything, including his car, his motorbike, and nearly all of his possessions. He literally hit bottom in a port-a-potty, a huge honking metaphor that his life is shit. Jesse was reduced to sleeping on the floor of that nasty RV while wearing a gas mask. I absolutely loved his trail of despair in the form of blue footprints.

Walt was a jerk to keep hanging up on Jesse, although again, I totally got that he was upset and frustrated, too. Skyler knows that Walt is lying. Walt cannot tell Skyler why he is lying. Impasse. The second time through the episode, I realized that if Walt told Skyler what was really going on, she would probably throw him out of his house -- which is exactly what Jesse's parents just did to Jesse. Walt making breakfast for his family, complete with fake smile, was a lie, an attempt at pretending everything was normal. In the end, after trying to strangle each other, Walt was making breakfast for Jesse, no fake smile. Jesse is the only person in Walt's life who knows who Walt really is and what's going on with him. And vice versa.

And we're back to the swimming pool. That is an incredibly stupid-looking stuffed animal, isn't it? I can't even tell what sort of animal it's supposed to be. And now we have a guy in a hazmat suit taking crap out of the pool and putting it in evidence bags. All kinds of objects, including makeup and what looks like Walt's glasses. (Since I've already seen this season, I know what is going on, so I'm not going to pretend to speculate. But feel free to speculate in the comments.)


-- "I dreamt I owned an antique bicycle repair shop in Ireland." Loved that. Yes, Walt's subconscious would like to be living on another continent doing something completely innocuous.

-- Walter Junior, who is also unhappy about what's going on with Walt, has adopted a nickname: Flynn. An obvious way, along with screwing up the driving lesson, to reject his father and show his displeasure.

-- When Walt was lying to Skyler, he brought up the possibility of the two of them going to a fiction writer's seminar. Jesse lied to his mother about attending business school. No, not parallel at all.

-- Walt and Jesse both took out their frustrations on telephones. Do you think maybe they're not communicating well?

-- The port-a-potty leaked artificially blue liquid. Walt put Jesse's share of the money in an artificially blue plastic diaper bag. That felt like another parallel to me. Maybe I'm reaching, though. (And of course, there is the infamous blue meth. Thanks for pointing that out, Patryk.)

And pieces:

-- The episode began and ended at the same convenience store, the Gas N' Go. Walt and Jesse met clandestinely in the opener, and in the last scene, Skyler was clandestinely lighting a forbidden cigarette.

-- If I were thinking of going out and doing something fun, it wouldn't involve teaching someone to drive. If you've never done it, trust me: it can make you homicidal.

-- Jesse's middle name is Bruce.

-- Gold acting stars for Aaron Paul. He was terrific. So was Anna Gunn, who did such a fabulous job portraying Skyler's passive aggressive mindset.


Walt: "Our son doesn't know who Boz Scaggs is. We have failed as parents."
Skyler: "Come to think of it, I don't even know who Boz Scaggs is."

Walt: "What is wrong with you? Why are you blue?"
Jesse: "I'm sorry. Let's just say it starts with my parents being greedy, kleptomaniac douchebags!"

Three out of four antique bicycle repair shops in Ireland,

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


  1. All the blue stuff is definately a symbol of their signature blue meth. :) And blue meth is probably a symbol of drugs not bringing any happyness in the end. Just popped into my head.

  2. You're absolutely right, Patryk. Good catch. I should add that to my review.

  3. Vince Gilligan said in an interview that Aunt Ginny is based off his own aunt, who he lost to lung cancer in 2007. He also said her voice remains on his uncle's voicemail...which I think might have inspired those scenes in season 3 where Jesse calls a certain number repeatedly.

  4. Aaron Pauls portrayal of Jesse dragging himself into his RV, collapsing weepingly on the floor with a gasmask over his face was...mindboggling.
    It could be the single most terrific acting I've ever seen.
    Aaron makes Jesse so insanely believable that you don't think he's actually acting.
    To be honest, I am at a loss for words about the acting in this show, and most of the time about the camerawork as well.
    Just...truly awesome.
    Not to mention the casting of all the extras.

  5. Oh, Jesse. He really has nothing left, does he? Whenever I'm having a bad day, I will dwell on this episode. Because things cannot possibly get worse for me than they did for Jesse here.

    I don't know if it's fair to say that Jesse's parents gave up on him. I think they've just realized that he's going to be the one who sparks change in his own life and that they can't fix him. If they had totally given up on him, wouldn't they just have handed him over to the cops?

    NOT COOL Skyler. Did you want some vodka and radiation to go with that cigarette?

    Not to be ableist, but should someone with cerebral palsy be driving?

  6. Sunbunny, you're speeding through these! (That's not judgment. It's glee that someone else is capable of watching television at embarrassingly fast speeds.)

    Not to be ableist, but should someone with cerebral palsy be driving?

    Sure, why not? His impairment doesn't seem to affect his ability to drive.


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