Breaking Bad: Sunset

Saul: "The starship Enterprise had a self-destruct button! I'm just saying..."

The title of this episode was apt. We had the death of a long-running (pun intended) character, the RV: a huge, shabby and difficult-to-ignore symbol of Walt's descent into the criminal underworld. And we had an opening scene with a cop being killed by the Twins, paired with an ending that had Gus meeting the Twins at sunset and aiming them at another cop: Hank, who was actually the one who pulled the trigger on Tuco.

I have been feeling so bad for poor Hank, whose quest for Heisenberg and the RV has started to resemble Ahab's for the whale. And what did it get him? Hank spent some time in this episode in a panic, believing that Marie was near death. And now the Twins are after him. Anything can happen in this show, and it just feels like we could lose pretty much anyone. Hank is a decent guy and a good cop, a fully realized character that I happen to like. I'd much rather see Walt die than Hank.

Instead, everything seemed to be going Walt's way. He rose at 6:00 a.m. (which made me think of Groundhog Day), donned a bright blue meth-colored shirt, made the perfect PB&J with the crusts cut off and put it in a brown paper bag with his name on it, just as if he was going off to a regular job. And he had a simply wonderful first day with his brand new assistant, Gale Boetticher.

Gale has an impressive resume, is unbelievably competent, and makes the best coffee Walt has ever tasted. Gale respects the chemistry, and more importantly, Walt's expertise and authority. He even plays chess and recites Walt Whitman. (Another Walt.) If Walt could create the perfect lab assistant for himself, it would undoubtedly be Gale. The guy is just too good to be true. Seriously.

To add to Walt's new and perfect life, he has just acquired a lovely model apartment with a view and perfectly coordinated, staged furniture. That says something about the artificiality of his life, as well as his mindset. I want this one, and I don't care if it's the model. Tough for you, realtor guy. Which was pretty much how he responded to Skyler. How are we going to tell Junior? I don't care. Tough for you. I wonder how Walt will feel about his decisions if it costs Hank his life?

Jesse was the only fly in Walt's ointment. Although the pursuit of the great white RV had its comical aspects, the tension as Hank closed in on the RV was pretty intense. Walt and Jesse cowering inside the RV as Hank stalked them outside was something to see. And now the RV is no more. (It was awesome that Badger's cousin knew someone who can make an RV disappear off the face of the earth and turn into patio furniture in China.)

Jesse no longer has a way to make a living, and Hank is onto him. What's Walt going to do about it? Of course, Walt has the perfect situation for himself now, so he probably doesn't care what happens to Jesse. Or Hank. Or Skyler.

Bits:

-- Isn't "Sunset" the brand name of an RV? That wasn't the same junkyard where they met Tuco, was it?

-- Hank pulled the tape off the door of the RV, and bullet holes of sunlight appeared on Walt's blue shirt.

-- Jesse added a couple of pieces of furniture to his minimalist house.

-- Walt was fascinated by the painting of a mountain in the model apartment, which is now his own. It was like the area in the opening scene where the cop died. I think.

And pieces:

-- Badger did River Dance. :)

-- Hank was about to break into the RV without a warrant. Not in character at all.

-- What was Saul doing on the floor of his office? Some sort of self-massage thingy?

-- The poem that Gale recited was a great character bit. It's called, "When I heard the learn'd astronomer." Entire poem here.

-- One of the Killer Twins mentioned the name Bolsa. Is Bolsa the head of the cartel?

Quotes:

Walt: "Name one thing in this world that is not negotiable."

Walt: "My god, that is the best coffee I've ever tasted. (later) Why the hell are we making meth?"

Walt: "The thing, the thing is, is, the size of a... it's RV size! Where do I go to make an RV disappear? I'm not David Copperfield!"

Jesse: (yelling from inside the RV) "This is my own private domicile and I will not be harassed! Bitch!"

Gus: "May his death satisfy you." Shudder.

Three out of four pieces of patio furniture,

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

4 comments:

Jess Lynde said...

Season 3 has some truly fantastic episodes, and this one is near the top of my list. The RV standoff in the junkyard was intense (and somehow hilarious)! And where they left things ... I was agonized having to wait a week for the next episode to air.

And I was positively terrified for Hank. I could see all the possible outcomes having dramatic potential, and I remember being sick with worry about his potentially impending death. Like you, Billie, by this point I had really grown to like Hank. He's so layered and "fully realized." And more than that, I really love the threat and conflict he presents for Walt.

The cooking montage for Walt and Gale was really delightful. Walt's situation has certainly changed, but he's still the same selfish egomaniac who manages to make everyone else pay for his sins.

Anonymous said...

Anyone know who the artist is for the mountain painting in Walts apartment?

Banastal said...

I for sure thought Hank would have put 2 and 2 together that only Walt could have been involved in this - clear as day but I guess the worry for Marie just screwed with this whole analysis.

Anne said...

Billie asked if there is an RV with the brand name of Sunset ...
http://www.wearervs.com/

I do not think that was the junkyard where they met Tuco. Tuco's junkyard was way out of town, more in the desert, I thought.