Breaking Bad: Say My Name

Jesse: "How many more people are going to die because of us?"

I should have been shocked. Instead, I was just sad.

When Mike realized the cops were arriving and his granddaughter was right there, he actually looked upset. His two carefully separated worlds were colliding and you could practically see his heart pounding. It had to hurt terribly, leaving his granddaughter that way. There was no good reason not to let Mike take off with what was left of his money; he was too clever to get caught by the cops, and Walt knew it. I liked Mike, dammit. Yes, he was a killer, but he had a wry sense of humor and a line he wouldn't cross, and he loved his granddaughter so much.

I could feel all through the episode that Walt wanted to kill Mike; Walt kept fingering the burn on his wrist. (I'd often thought Mike would be the one to take out Walt.) Walt was actually having fun during most of this episode. He was enjoying himself, negotiating life and death terms with Declan like he was an actor in an action thriller. "I'm the man who killed Gus Fring." The way he said, as Mike was dying, that he'd just remembered he could get the names from Lydia was the perfect way to illustrate how pointless this particular murder was. Mike said a few episodes back that Walt was a time bomb and he didn't intend to be around for the explosion. Too late.

So who's next? The nine guys in prison? And then what? How long will it take until Walt kills Jesse? Or even Skyler? Are we full-out evil, yet? He is, isn't he?

So Walt wanted to keep Jesse around so that he could double down and do a hundred pounds a week. Did Walt actually believe that this was the best thing for Jesse? That whole lecture about hell and blood money was something Walt so obviously didn't believe; it was a diatribe of praise, ridicule and sarcasm, ending with threats. Walt doesn't care about Jesse, and I wonder if he ever really did. And now Walt is cooking with the evil child killer, Todd, who is a slow but determined learner. Of course this was why they introduced the character. I kept thinking, is Todd planning to carefully learn the entire cook process and then kill Walt?

The entire episode was, as usual, so well shot and acted that it was fun to watch, and I watched it twice. The scenes in the Cradock Marine Bank with the lawyer bringing bacon banana cookies to the clerk and filling up all the deposit boxes were terrific. (I guess Kaylee isn't going to get that million on her 18th birthday, after all.)

And Walt tied up the remaining loose end: the bugs in Hank's office. I absolutely loved that he went and cried in front of Hank again. Hank did a ring around his boss to get Mike; I wonder if that's going to come back to hurt him. I hope not, because Hank has been right every single time. Hank's been hurt enough by Walt's new career. He's still having difficulty walking.

Walt was eating the scabby microwave frozen food with Skyler, and when he started to talk about his new employee, Skyler got up and left the room. I think that by using the car wash as a hiding place, Walt really wants to involve Skyler in the actual production. Good luck with that, Walt.

Bits and pieces:

-- The opener showed the back view of three bald heads in a car: Mike and Jesse in the front, with Walt in the back, dominating everything.

-- Loved the music this time: "Going Down", and a jazz version of one of the pieces in "The Nutcracker". I always like the music on this show; just not enough to mention it every time.

-- Loved Saul's drawer full of phones. Such a wonderful illustration of the type of life he lives. Mike really should have called Saul.

-- The search warrant scene was great. Mike just sat there and watched an old crime movie while they searched. Note that the last moment we heard of the movie was the phrase, "He was dead." And the hole that Mike threw everything into? Foreshadow much?

-- Right before Walt killed him, Mike brought up how mad he still was at Walt about Gus Fring.

-- Walt told Todd he didn't expect him to be Antoine Lavoisier. Lavoisier was the "father of modern chemistry," according to the interwebz.

Quotes:

Mike: "Your play, Walter. You're on your own."

Walt: "So it's grade school t-ball versus the New York Yankees. Yours is just some tepid off-brand generic cola. What I'm making is classic Coke. ... Do you really want to live in a world without Coca Cola?"

Walt: "Say my name."
Declan: "Heisenberg."
Walt: "You're goddam right."

Jesse: (reading the name on the van) "Vamonos."
Skyler: "I wish."

Walt: "All the people that we've killed, Gale and the rest. If you believe that there's a Hell, I don't know if you're into that, we're already pretty much going there, right? But I'm not going to lie down till I get there."

Jesse: "He won't flip."
Walt: "But his nine guys will."

Mike: "Shut the fuck up, and let me die in peace."
As last words go, they weren't too bad. Shame he had to die in Walt's company.

Four out of four generic colas,

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

8 comments:

Devin said...

I think the notes Todd was taking will come back and bite Walter in the ass. Great episode!! Walter was in Heisenberg mode all through the episode except after he shot Mike. Then he had that panic look on his face and he was back to being Walter White. He was acting on emotions and not using his brain. RIP Mike, you were a great character. Cannot wait until next Sunday.

Jess Lynde said...

I think that between what he did to Jesse in this episode and what he did to Mike, Walt really is "full-out evil" at this point. All the other murders and the poisoning of Brock, you could rationalize as self-defense. Krazy 8, Jane, Gus's street dealers, and Gus were all direct threats to Walt, Jesse, or Walt's family (remember, Gus was going to have Hank killed).

But the murder of Mike was strictly cold-blooded. He just did it because he was pissed that Mike had Jesse's loyalty and because Mike called him out on screwing up a good thing with Fring. Walt's pride just couldn't stand the challenge, so he murdered Mike. Even though he quickly reverted to "Walt" mode in the aftermath, I think he's gone past the point of no return now. And I'm eager to see where it takes him and everyone around him next.

Man, I'm gonna miss Mike.

Anonymous said...

Where is Walter White? Walt really is in Heisenberg mode all the time. He really believes he is Heisenberg. It´s not longer just a name or an alter ego. It´s really him and Walter White is the disliked alter ego he has to use because of the DEA.

I love Skyler for showing Walt the cold shoulder. He deserves it.

I hate to see Mike go. From all the bad guys, he was the good guy. I hope Jesse can stay away from Walt. The way he treated Jesse was disgusting in every sense of the word. And Jesse saw behind Walt´s nice facade. He and Todd are a match made in hell.

Amy Ennis said...

I just couldn't take the "same my name" scene seriously. I kept giggling and whispering "vampire" even though I know they were not going for funny.

Banastal said...

I have agreed with so many Mike's assessments. I so agree with him about Gus Fring. With Gus it was pretty much a perfect world for this kind of activity if you are willing to play your role, make what you are given and shut up - then you'll be safe with everything taken care of (does this sound too socialistic? (old Russian upbringing :)). I think Walt wants classical capitalism here - be the master of his destiny and risk safety for the opportunity of his individual world dominance. I wish now that Mike killed Walter but I knew it was not going to happen.

Henrik Bennetter said...

What all of you said above.
Plus - I keep thinking now that they're turning Walt into such a massive monster, how will they flip that around. 'Cause you just KNOW they'll flip it around, don't you?

TJ said...

As Jesse now has met Skyler a couple of times, I'm hoping he sees that she is just as trapped with Walt as he is. Jesse and Skyler working together to take down Walt is what I'm rooting for now. But that's not gonna happen I guess...

Azalea Bradley said...

Walt is utter chaos. Everything he touches turns to ash, rubble, and sh*t. And everyone could see this coming. Fring could see Walt's poor judgment from the moment he met him. Mike knew Walt was a time bomb. Walt sees himself as level-headed and professional, but aside from his chemistry skills, he's a complete liability: a hotheaded, unstable megalomaniac.

Mike was the "good" bad guy. I always loved his character for how professional, detached, and (usually) unflappable he was. He was ruthless, but he had his own clear set of ethics. I'm sad to see him die, but I should have known it would happen sooner or later.

Watching Jesse's and Skyler's scenes together, I kind of really hope they form some sort of interesting relationship. Like maybe Skyler realizes that Jesse was the good-hearted one all along and that he didn't corrupt Walt, Walt corrupted him, and she starts to feel sympathetic for him, or even commiserate with him! I can hope. I really hope Skyler gets some kind of recompense. She's not spotless, but she's been victimized by Walt so deeply that I want to see that addressed or made up for somehow.

Another thing that occurred to me watching Saul in this episode is how savvy and experienced Saul has to be. He has this two-bit hack persona (which may be an act), but something tells me that if Saul had been the one overseeing the hazard pay distribution, the DEA wouldn't have found it. He's managed to stay ahead of the game and out of trouble most this whole time. Saul is truly a "criminal lawyer", as Jesse called him back in season 2. It makes me want to go watch his show (and see more of Mike!).

Last thing: This episode it occurred to me that the show really lives up to its name. At first I thought "bad" just referred to Walt doing something illegal. But they meant bad. Like actually becoming a bad person. Walt goes from seeming gentle family man to the biggest, most evil villain in the whole series. And yet somehow I still find myself rooting for him, like when he was removing the bugs from Hank's office. I thought he was about to get caught, which was also hinted at by the weird security-camera angle showing Gomez coming in. How is it that I felt relieved that he didn't get caught! You gotta be kidding me!