Breaking Bad: Abiquiu

Skyler: "If you're going to launder money, Walt, at least do it right."

After wearing green shirts for a number of episodes now, signaling that the money was very much on her mind, Skyler has finally stepped up and taken over. If Walt is going to launder money, she's going to make sure that it's done right.

And she has a point that taking over the car wash where Walt labored thanklessly for so many years makes a lot more sense than laser tag. It is indeed a story people will believe. Walt appeared intrigued by the possibility of revenge against Mister Eyebrows. Plus, I liked how it brought us back full circle to what happened in the pilot. You can't tell me that Walt's misery at the car wash didn't have something to do with him breaking bad.

Would this episode be about the influence of significant others? We got a fun flashback to Jesse and Jane at an O'Keeffe exhibition. Getting Jesse to actually think about art (vagina comments aside) again made me sad that Jane is gone; if it hadn't been for her addiction, she and Jesse might have been good for each other. (Okay, that's a pretty big but.) Jesse asked Jane why anyone would paint a door over and over, and Jane said, why should we do anything more than once? That made me think about Jesse's obsession with Jane's voice mail message. At any rate, I really liked how they linked the flashback to the lipstick-stained cigarette butt. Gone, but not forgotten.

Maybe we got a flashback to Jane because Jesse found himself a new honey at group: Andrea, who had long, black hair and an addiction problem, like Jane. Fortunately, she also had a little boy named Brock, and Brock's presence immediately made Jesse change his mind about getting Andrea high. (I'm relieved that the selling-at-group-therapy plan isn't working out, because it's definitely a new low for Jesse. It's also way fun that Badger and Skinny Pete have actually started going through the steps, instead.)

It's a small, small drug world. Tomas, Andrea's little brother, was the boy who killed Combo in season two's "Mandala." This focus on children who have been affected by addiction is a constant reminder of the evil, destruction and the broken lives that are such a big part of how Walt and Jesse make their money.

Finally, and it really might be a final sort of thing, the real tension in this episode was Gus inviting Walt over for dinner. It was a fascinating glimpse of the private Gus: toys on the floor, mentions of his children who don't like the Chilean dish that Gus loved from his childhood. Gus appears to keep most of himself secret and private from his family; he's even more compartmentalized than Walt.

And the reason for the invitation was quite obvious: Gus wants Walt to get rid of Jesse, even though he wouldn't say it outright. Gee. No coincidence that Walt and Jesse were talking about stealing before the phone in the lab rang so very loudly. Big confirmation that Gus is watching everything that happens in the lab. Which Walt already guessed.

Walt has been loyal to Jesse through so much. What will Walt do now that his survival might depend on betraying Jesse?

Bits:

-- The title of the episode, "Abiquiu," is a small town in New Mexico where Georgia O'Keeffe lived. The painting was her "My Last Door." No, that doesn't evoke death at all, does it?

-- I don't have to point out the dirty water imagery in this one, do I? Plus we also had a view from the pot's perspective as Skyler put spaghetti into boiling water.

-- Walt saw his own reflection in Gus's knife.

-- Jesse liked O'Keefe's paintings of cow skulls. Skulls are definitely his favorite decoration. And I'm just now thinking of why. Is it fascination with death, with what lies beneath? Fear of death? Both?

And pieces:

-- Hank's expensive, non-insured physical therapy doesn't seem to be doing much for him. He's definitely angry, frightened and lashing out. I'm not getting any "he'll be fine" heartwarming vibes there.

-- Saul's waiting room is like the antechamber to Hell.

-- Skyler never got around to filing for divorce. That doesn't surprise me.

-- Junior, who will be sixteen in two months, wants his parents to buy him a Mustang. He's been nearly sixteen for a long time, hasn't he?

Quotes:

Jesse: "Not like any vagina I ever saw. This chick have medical issues?"
Jane: "This particular painting is of a door."
I like Jane. I missed Jane.

Badger: "It's not so easy selling to these people. They're here trying to better themselves."
Skinny Pete: "Yeah, there's like positivity and stuff going on here."

Saul: "I explicitly say 'no air freshener' and every time, I drive away smelling like an alpine whorehouse."

Saul: "Is that you talking, or Yoko Ono?"
It's interesting how Saul is incapable of conversing with an intelligent woman. You think maybe he's a bit misogynistic?

Walt: "What advice do you have for me?"
Gus: "Never make the same mistake twice."
And that mistake would be Jesse.

Three out of four doors,

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

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Just finished this episode. In the Jesse/Jane flashback I almost became ill when Jane made the common joke "I just threw up in my mouth." Cruel reminder of her tragic death. It still makes me sad to remember it.

sunbunny said...

Ugh I hate Kristen Ritter.

I think a lot of Jesse's hesitation after he saw Brock had to deal with the little kid he dealt with in the ATM machine episode.

Anne said...

If not for Billie, I would never have figured out in a million years that Walt, Jr.'s car of choice - a "Stang" - is actually a Mustang. (Another "horse with no name"?)