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Breaking Bad: Cornered

Bogdan: "So you are the boss now. You think you're ready?"
Walt: "Yes, I think so."

Instead of being smart, quiet, and concealing himself, Walt told Skyler outright that he was powerful and evil, that he was important, the key figure in a million dollar enterprise. It was like telling Hank that Gale wasn't Heisenberg. Walt just couldn't stand keeping his super-clever, super-criminal self a secret a moment longer.

And it's funny, because it wasn't even the truth — except in Walt's mind. Walt is so not in control right now; Gus has him by the throat. But Walt refused to let Skyler see him as helpless any more. And Walt didn't want Junior to see him as weak, at the mercy of a gambling addiction. He told Junior outright that it wasn't weakness, it was the choices he, Walt, had made. And when Mike took Jesse away, Walt acted out and deliberately defied Gus by going out into the laundry and getting three innocent women to clean the lab for him. He knew it would get the women into trouble, and he really didn't care.

Reality shifted for Skyler. She knew Walt was in danger, and at first she thought that maybe Walt really did want Hank to catch him. But then she realized that she didn't even know her husband at all. That scene at the Four Corners Monument was definitely my top candidate for Most Obvious Symbolism. She tossed a coin twice, and both times, it landed in Colorado. She used her boot to drag the coin back to the New Mexico corner. Because New Mexico is where the money is.

And Skyler is going to stay in control of the money. The first thing she did was insist that Junior's new, bright red and expensive car be returned. She was right that it should be returned, and right that Junior will blame her, not Walt. It was like Skyler knew exactly where she stood for the first time. It's not a good place, but it's what it is.

It's funny how Jesse seems to be going in the opposite direction than Walt, and it's Mike and Gus who are taking him there. Jesse's self-esteem has improved so much. He figured out how to get the meth heads out of the house by psyching them out (and digging a hole in the yard), and I'm sure there was some deeper meaning to that one, but it was just awesome. Even Gus seems to be changing his mind about Jesse.

Not Walt, though. It wasn't enough that he scared Skyler so much that she took the baby and ran. Walt had to tell Jesse he was worthless. Walt was mostly freaking because he realized (correctly) that the foiled robbery was a setup and that Gus was driving a wedge between himself and Jesse, but did he have to make Jesse feel bad?

Mike advised Gus to go on the offensive against the cartel, but Gus decided on a meeting. That'll be interesting.


-- Again, an opener with blue smoke that turned out to be someone's breath inside a Pollos truck. Those guys weren't as smart and lucky as Mike, though.

-- Bogdan was sort of apologizing to Walt, saying you have to be tough when you're a boss, as if that explained the cruel way he treated an exhausted cashier with two jobs and cancer. Walt kept Bogdan's first dollar from the car wash, broke the glass, and used it to buy a soda.

-- Shovel-cam. That's not something you get on other shows. And it was the shovel Jesse once thought would be burying him.

And pieces:

-- Mike and Jesse shared two meals in this episode. The first time, Mike was sharing his own food with Jesse. I think Mike is starting to like Jesse. And at least it appears that Jesse isn't drugging any more because he wants Mike's approval.

-- The completely stoned stoner who kept saying "Tucker!" was played by Damon Herriman, better known as the idiotic Dewey Crowe on Justified.


Walt: "You clearly don't know who you're talking to, so let me clue you in. I am not in danger, Skyler. I am the danger. A guy opens his door and gets shot, and you think that of me? No. I am the one who knocks."

Junior: "I think if you're gonna buy me off, buy me off." It's sad. If Junior had just asked for a less flamboyant, less noticeable new car, he probably could have kept it.

Jesse: "You may know this whole P.I. sit-in-the-car business, but I know meth heads."

Skyler: "You know what, Walt? Someone has to protect this family from the man who protects this family." When she's right, she's right.

It's like Walt came out of the closet, and now we know what's really going on inside him. Four out of four shovels,

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


  1. I'm finding Skylar's journey very interesting this season. It parallels Walts early journey in a lot of ways. Like Walt, I don't think she's being completely honest with herself about her motivations, and she likes to pretend that she's protecting her family. But what it is really about is the money and the control.

    This was her chance. Like Walt with Elliot and Gretchen, this was her chance to get off the train, but she couldn't do it. Because she loves the sense of power she's gotten from all this. She knows deep down that the absolute best thing for her kids would be to get out now. She should go to the police, turn states evidence, and get into witness protection. But she defied the "will of the universe" and went back to New Mexico. So now she gets to start racking up her own collateral damage. So disappointing. Believable, but disappointing.

    And I'll just refer back to my previous comments re: Walt and Jesse. I'm not sure he really cares about what's best for Jesse at all. He just wants what's his, and he doesn't care who gets hurt in the process.

  2. This is the episode that led to me thinking about Walt in an entirely different way. It leads up to the season finale beautifully. From this moment on, Walt is a changed man. In fact, right after I saw this episode, I immediately started thinking of writing Breaking Bad fan fiction, something I had never considered before because I am generally not in favor of fan fiction. I just hate that there's only one more season. We all know how it HAS to end, but I'm not ready for the ride to be over yet.

  3. How has no one mentioned how adorable little Holly looked in her bunny hoodie?

  4. Billie,

    Thank you so much for pointing out the color of the clothing that they have on ...
    Has anyone speculated on the meaning of the colors?
    Here is mine:
    green -- symbolizes greed
    red -- danger (note, even buying the "red" car was dangerous)
    blue -- back to blue color, or working (it seems that they wear blue when they are making meth ... I think Hank has worn blue when going to work, so that is why I don't think it only symbolizes the meth, but more a product or work) ... I am probably wrong, lol
    yellow -- bright yellow, is manic and the brownish yellow means control (bright yellow, when Marie is in the open house, and brownish yellow -- many times both Gus and Walt wear)

    ... pink? innocence -- Jesse

    What do you all think? =)

  5. Miche, I think the green did symbolize green and money, the blue was meth, of course, and I thought red usually meant blood or violence. I don't recall where, but in a comment on a last season review, Jess posted a link to an article on color in Breaking Bad. Very good article.


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