Breaking Bad: Thirty-Eight Snub

Skyler: "If you're not willing to pull the trigger on this, I am more than happy to call Saul Goodman myself."

Interesting fall-out episode. As Walt made several friendly attempts to bump Gus off, Jesse was finding it difficult to live with himself.

As a scientist, Walt tends to attack problems methodically. Buy the perfect gun. Practice with the gun. Lay in wait for Gus at work, unsuccessfully. Try to get him at home, unsuccessfully. The next logical step was to approach Mike and try to turn him.

And for a moment, I thought it was going to work. In the bar, a troubled-looking Mike noticed a Victor blood stain on the sleeve of his jacket, an obvious indication that emotionally, this particular death is staying with him. Mike must have reservations about Gus, but he wasn't ready to turn on him. And hey, I get that. Gus is a powerful, frightening man and Walt does not inspire confidence. I kept expecting him to accidentally blow his nuts off. No wonder Mike decided to beat the crap out of him, instead.

On the other end of the scale, Jesse bought a huge new sound system and threw a three-day drug, booze and pizza party. He got Badger and Skinny Pete to drop the twelve steps and party with him, along with a bunch of strangers. Sad. (Especially that Jetsons line in the song, "Jane! Stop this crazy thing!") In the end, even the mooching strangers didn't want to hang around Jesse. He was left sitting alone in front of a cranked up speaker, trying to drown out his own thoughts and feelings.

This is the Jesse that I can't help but feel for. The house he cared so much about and spent all of his money to reacquire has been completely trashed, an obvious metaphor for how he feels about himself. And yet, he still made a point of leaving an anonymous chunk of cash in Andrea's mailbox as a way of making restitution for Tomas by helping Brock. (Although it wasn't anonymous for long, since Andrea put two and two together.)

Meanwhile, Skyler has had some less enjoyable plot lines, but I rather liked her determined entry into Walt's life of crime. The way she bearded Mister Eyebrows in his car wash den was fun, mostly because in any contest between Skyler and Eyebrows, I know Skyler is going to win. Be afraid, Eyebrows. Be very afraid. I also liked Skyler staking out the car wash and doing an analysis of the workflow before deciding on a price. It was very like her to do the homework.

The Schrader household wasn't doing well, though. Hank lashed out constantly at Marie, to the point of telling her to move to another bedroom. (Her response was to put her sleep mask back over her eyes. No, they're not big with the symbolism on this show, are they?) I still feel bad for Hank; he's feeling unmanned and helpless and he can't get his head around it. At least his expensive, Heisenberg-paid therapy appears to be working.

But it's totally unfair to Marie, who has been so positive and supportive. (She's been a rock. Ha ha.) I sort of want to hug her and tell her to just back off, move out of the bedroom, and give Hank some space. Let him stew for awhile. He'll eventually figure it out.

Bits:

I should probably start calling this the "use of color in Breaking Bad" section. Let's see.

-- Walt is now wearing blood red shirts. He's never worn them before. Jesse wore red, and then black. In the Schrader bedroom scene, Hank and Marie were both in meth blue. So was the sleep mask. And Hank was looking at a blue rock mineral.

-- Mike's leaky money green coffee cup was what made him notice the blood stain on his jacket. The shot of the car wash from inside the car made the water look green, too. I wonder if that means Walt will be acquiring the car wash and Mike?

-- Absolutely loved the use of the Roomba in Jesse's house, especially the camera on the Roomba as it weaved around the sleeping partiers trying desperately to pick up all the crud on the floor.

-- Is Gus's house in a T intersection like the White house? I didn't notice that before.

And pieces:

-- Jim Beaver from Supernatural, Deadwood and Justified played the gun salesman. He advised Walt to think about just getting a gun legally if it was for self-defense. Not that I think the guy has scruples. He was probably thinking Walt was just an average schmoe. Walt often does have that vibe.

-- Gus has a new, expressionless minion who is watching everything. We didn't get his name, but the wiki says it's Tyrus.

-- Jesse lives in a quiet, residential area. It seems unlikely to me that that party went on for three days and no one called the cops on him.

-- Loved the television commercial featuring Saul Goodman and the most garish, tactless class action lawsuit commercial ever. Awesome.

Quotes:

Badger: "Think on it, bro. They're not just zombies. They're Nazi zombies."
Skinny Pete: "Nazi zombies."
Badger: "Yeah, man. SS Waffen troopers, too, which are, like, the baddest ass Nazis of the whole Nazi family."
Skinny Pete: "Zombies are dead, man. What difference does it make what their job was when they were living?"
Badger: "Dude, you are so historically retarded! Nazi zombies don't want to eat you just 'cause they're craving the protein. They do it 'cause, they do it 'cause they hate Americans, man. Talibans. They're the Talibans of the zombie world."
(What game were they discussing? I had no idea.)

Walt: "I appreciate that, when you were going to kill me, you were simply following orders. I get that, completely. And I harbor no ill will."
Mike: "There's a load off my mind."

The story didn't advance a whole lot, but like every Breaking Bad episode, it had a point and was interesting to watch. Three out of four Roombas,

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

7 comments:

Roman said...

This is was one of my least favorite episodes, but even the worst of this show is still damn good. I gotta say, your on fire with these reviews Billie. I see your trying to get as many done before the July 15th premiere. Keep em coming!

Billie Doux said...

Thanks, Roman. You're right -- this isn't the best of episodes, but even a so so Breaking Bad episode is good. I am indeed trying to finish in time, although I don't know if I'll make it.

Jess Lynde said...

I really liked the stuff with Jesse and Hank/Marie in this one. The lingering consequences continue to spiral out ...

That shot of Jesse in front of the pounding speakers was heartbreaking. I hate that Walt drove him to this. It is likely true that they would both have died if Jesse hadn't killed Gale, but I still hate that he had to do it. I remember being strangely thrilled at the end of 'Full Measure' that Walt had got one over on Gus and Mike, and then immediately plunged into utter heartbreak at seeing Jesse in the doorway pulling the trigger on the gun. Devastating. And I'm so glad that the show is exploring just how devastating it is for him.

Anonymous said...

In Breaking Bad, I always notice the use of sounds that don't seem to be there in other television shows or movies. You could hear the whirring of Jesse's little cleaner upper thing. Last episode, the sound of the cart rolling was particularly noticeable. Not sure what this adds. Great review.

D said...

Working my way through all the episodes again to catch up with any bits I missed first time and accidentally found these reviews so read them after every episode and gotta say nice work! Anyway the game referred to is COD Nazi Zombies http://callofduty.wikia.com/wiki/Zombies_(mode)

Anne said...

I love Skinny Pete. The actor who plays him is awesome. Like, do we have, like, scissors to like cut the pizza? OMG, hilarious.

Anne said...

Anonymous above was so right with his comment about the sounds on this show. I have noticed that too from the beginning. I especially notice the million times a car door has closed - the sound seems to have a special resonance on this show, but no clue if that has any meaning.