Monday, October 7th

Final Thoughts on Breaking Bad

I’m having a hard time adjusting to Sunday nights without Breaking Bad. There’s no replacement right now, although I’m sure something good will come along eventually. I never thought I’d find shows to replace The Sopranos or Six Feet Under. I’ll be heartsick when Mad Men ends, too. But that’s the beauty of TV. There will always be some brilliance to cut through the garbage. We just have to wait.

So what did you think of the series finale of Breaking Bad?

Breaking Bad Walter White Dead

I thought it was the most satisfying end of any show I’ve ever watched. Loose ends were tied up. We feel good that Jesse lived and Walt’s family will receive some money in the end. The bad guys died in a brutally violent firestorm that was poetic in its execution. Todd dies by Jesse’s hand, and Lydia by Walt’s. YES!

Breaking Bad Jesse kills Todd

What I’m most pleased about is that the show never lost its integrity. They ended it before they ruined it, which so many shows cannot bear to do. (Remember almost an entire season of The Sopranos about Vito Spatafore?) While AMC dragged it out to squeeze every last dime possible out of the Sunday night time slot, Vince Gilligan never cheapened the story.

The part of the final episode that I found to be the most poignant was when Walt admitted to Skyler that he enjoyed his reign as Heisenberg. This confession was not only to her, but to himself, and to us. This was a big step for Walt. The simple act of humility turned him back into original Walter White. Just a man.

Breaking Bad Walter White

What made the show so compelling this last season is that our flawed hero became the villain. There was no shortage of deplorable characters, but after killing Gus Fring, Walt became the main force of evil on the show. The transformation was slow to build. So slow, in fact, that we just took it for granted that Walt was a monster. But in his tender moments towards his children and Jesse, we were reminded that he was human.

Breaking Bad Jesse Pinkman

Jesse’s transformation was just as subtle. He went from a light-hearted, immature kid to a heavily burdened man whose demons were too much to bear. It was through Jesse that we felt pain, remorse, and regret. Where many of the characters appeared to be unfeeling, Jesse was sensitive to everything. That’s why we all have a soft spot for Jesse.

Some might have felt disappointment at Hank’s failure to bring Walt to justice. His devotion to this case was single-minded and his breakthrough was exciting and terrifying. It was sad to see him get so close only to be ruthlessly killed in the end. But, alas, this was not Hank’s story. It was Walt’s.

Walt dying on the floor of a meth lab was the closure he deserved. After all, we did not want to see him taken away by the feds or killed by Lydia or Todd or the Evil Uncles. If Jesse had killed him, it would have been one more soul on his own conscience. Walt died at peace and as happy as the circumstances allowed. It was a good goodbye.

Monday mornings after Breaking Bad

Monday, September 30th

Breaking Bad Finale: Felina (Guest post by a Mexican)

As Kristin is enjoying the tropical paradise of Playa del Carmen and detoxing from social media, she invited (more like outsourced) fellow Twitter inhabitant Hector (@Mexicanity) to share his thoughts about the finale. She only asked for no awful puns.

I wrote a very detailed review of last night’s episode around midnight, still relishing the episode, but my brain seemed to be still in Breaking Bad mode, giving me strange dreams. I decided to erase it all. Here are my thoughts.

The last minutes of the previous episode promised, with the full show’s theme, a final confrontation out of a western movie. They didn’t disappoint.

meet

We see Walt at his best and Heisenberg at his worst. Walt shows some honesty for a change when he meets one final time with Skyler, confessing that he did all this because it made him feel alive. On the other hand, Heisenberg manifests himself as the coldblooded drive that will do anything to get what he wants: terrorizing his former Gray Matter associates to ensure his family’s financial stability, taking care of Todd’s relatives with an M60 machine gun attached to an automatic door opener and proudly confessing to Lidia that he poisoned her with the Stevia.

jesse

And Jesse. His future is so uncertain but two things occurred that it doesn’t matter what happens later in his life: he kills Todd (something that might seem natural after all the bad blood between them) and driving away, free. The confrontation with Walt is one of the best moments, in my Mexican opinion.

Walt is seriously wounded by his on weapon and spends his last moments at the compound’s meth lab. It almost seems happy to see all the equipment. He passed away next to what he loved.

walt

I would recommend everyone that enjoyed the series to revisit the first episode. It is a stark contrast to what everyone became at the end.

Also, I don’t understand why anyone would try chamomile tea with soy milk and Stevia.

Monday, September 23rd

Breaking Bad and the Identity Crisis

It’s a dark day when I have to admit to myself that there’s only one remaining episode of Breaking Bad. Sad to see another show I love end, but I’m glad they never gave it a chance to get stale. Nothing worse when a great show sticks around too long and starts to suck. Sons of Anarchy entered suck territory a couple years ago. End already!

Anyway, the other sad thing is that I’ll be missing the series finale on Sunday. I inadvertently scheduled an international vacation that begins the same day. I’ll be leaving my laptop behind and will be unable to blog while away. Here’s where you come in, dear readers. Would anyone like to watch the show and write a blog post for Monday morning? I know it’s a hard sell, asking someone to stay up late writing on a Sunday evening. But if you love the show and would like to expose your writing to thousands next week, leave me a comment and let me know you are interested.

Before we talk about the episode, I just wanted to make sure you saw the Jimmy Fallon spoof video, Joking Bad. This is hilarious!

Our episode begins in the vacuum repair store where both Walt and Saul are hiding out until their new identities kick in. Walt wants Saul to give him names of hit men to take out Evil Uncles. Turns out he isn’t cool with them stealing $70M of his hard-earned cash. But Saul wants no parts of it and goes to live his new life in Nebraska. Bye, Saul. We’ll see you in the spin-off.

Breaking Bad Walt and Saul

Walt accepts his own fate and rides in a propane tank all the way to New Hampshire. He’s to live in a tiny cabin in the middle of nowhere. Saul’s identity guy, Ed, set the whole thing up and will be Walt’s only contact, coming once a month to drop of supplies. Walt is lonely and misses his family, but his most pressing concern is that he’s dying. We watch him wasting away and it’s a dark, depressing scene. Ed brings him Ensure to help him gain weight and learns how to administer the IV Walt needs. A+ for customer service, Ed.

Breaking Bad Walter White

Breaking Bad Walter White

Breaking Bad Ed gives Walt IV

When Ed tells Walter how Skyler and the kids are doing, we can virtually hear Walt’s heart rip in half in his chest. He’s devastated at how they don’t have any money and she’s taken to working taxi dispatch to help make ends meet. He stuffs some cash in an Ensure box and takes the long walk in the snow to the little one-horse town. He calls Flynn at school from a pay phone and cries and tells him he’s sending cash. He expresses that his intentions were good, that he did all this to take care of them. Flynn freaks out and tells him to die already.

Breaking Bad Walt's cash

Breaking Bad Heisenberg

So what’s up with Jesse? He’s still in his cell and it looks like most of his visible wounds have healed. He steals a paperclip from the lab and uses it to open his handcuffs and shackles. He convinces Todd to leave the tarp off the top when he comes by to drop off some Ben & Jerry’s.

Breaking Bad Jesse

I should mention that Todd is crushing on Lydia pretty hard which makes me laugh. Never going to happen, Todd. I’m still unsure about how bad Todd really is. On one hand, he takes pity on Skyler and doesn’t kill her, even though Lydia wants her dead. On the other hand, he shoots Jesse’s innocent ex-girlfriend Andrea in the head just to punish Jesse for escaping out of his cell. Again we are treated to a fine acting moment by Aaron Paul. This guy is incredible, right?

But Todd needs to die. Like, yesterday.

Breaking Bad Walter White

Back to Walt. He calls the DEA so they can trace the call and come get him. Old Walter’s giving up the fight. He’s enjoying what will probably be his final drink ever and the bartender is flipping through the channels on the TV. Walt stops him when he sees his old partner discussing the company he helped found, Gray Matter. They give him no credit for helping start the company and try to distance themselves from the name Walter White. I guess he’s got one more score to settle, because when the feds show up to the bar, Walter is long gone.

Monday, September 16th

Breaking Bad and Wives with Knives

Why don’t you just kill us, AMC? HO. LY. SHIT. I can’t even…

This was the heaviest episode of the series. No question about it. I knew it would be crazy in the final countdown, but this storyline is so much harsher than I imagined. I want to curl up in a ball and rock back and forth, clutching my homemade meth doohickey. A pipe? Meth really isn’t part of the story anymore. I’m starting to forget how to do it. I guess I’ll just eat these blue crystals over here.

Anyway, we start in the desert. Flashback time. It’s the good ole’ days when Walt and Jesse are cooking in an RV. Walt’s in his tighty whities and Jesse’s acting a fool. Walt calls pregnant Skyler and they chat about the possibility of “Holly” as a baby name. They are happy as clams and planning a little weekend getaway. Funny, I don’t remember them being that happy, but okay.

Back to the present, still in the desert. Last week’s shootout is coming to an end. Gomez is dead. Jesse’s escaped. Hank is surrounded by Evil Uncles and their gang of gunmen. Walt pleads with them to spare Hank, offering up the $80M he has buried. Whoa. This is a huge gesture. Hank is unmoved, as are the men. Hank gets in one Go fuck yourself before they shoot him. Oh my God. Hank is dead. HANK IS DEAD. If you think you’re taking it badly, Walt has turned to stone. He falls in the dirt, mouth agape, and stays like that while the thugs dig up all his money.

Breaking Bad Gomez is dead

Breaking Bad Hank

The kindly Evil Uncle gives a barrel to Walt. His men protest but he finds greed unattractive. (That’s the episode’s only ha ha moment.) So Walt walks away with $11 million. Surprisingly, after his huge gesture to try to save Hank, he turns into a monster again and demands they kill Jesse, who was hiding underneath the car. Gun to his head, OMG ARE THEY GOING TO KILL JESSE RIGHT NOW?!, he is saved by Todd, who wants to get some information out of him before killing him. Whew. Jesse lives. Walt twists the knife and lets him know he watched Jesse’s old girlfriend die of an overdose rather than help her. Remember Junkie Jane?

Breaking Bad Jane

I’m surprised everyone is able to drive away, since the cars were all shot up. Sure enough, Walt’s car leaks all the gas and he is stranded. We watch him roll the barrel through the desert (and a pair of his pants lost in the very first episode) and I just love this show. They take such ugly subject matter and shoot it so cinematically. It’s a thing of true beauty. Anyone who says television is not art is wrong. Walt eventually finds an elderly Native American man and hands over a stack of cash to buy his ancient truck.

Skyler and Flynn are chilling in the carwash when Marie storms in, demanding to talk. This pivotal moment sets off a series of unfortunate events. She tells Skyler that Walt is in custody and starts making all kinds of demands, one of which is that they tell Flynn the truth about his father. Understandably, Flynn just freaks out saying everything is bullshit. He’s flabbergasted by the amount of lies surrounding him. Poor Flynn. This sucks.

So where are our two heroes? Jesse is chained in a cell, bloodied, limping and swollen. The character Jesse Pinkman has reached an infinite amount of new lows. I keep thinking he’s hit the worst, but it keeps going another level down. But THIS. This is the lowest. Todd drags him into a meth lab on a dog line and there’s a photo of Andrea and Brock hanging. Just a subtle threat. I’m starting to think that he would have been better off buried in the desert with Hank and Gomez.

Breaking Bad Jesse

Breaking Bad Jesse

Walt is frantically packing suitcases for his family. Skyler and the kids come in, confused to see him since he’s supposed to be in custody. He repeatedly begs them to pack and leave but they don’t budge. Skyler immediately knows Hank is dead. He tries to reason with them, but Skyler instead grabs a knife and threatens him. She slashes his hand and the two struggle over the knife, rolling on the floor getting blood everywhere. It’s an intense scene and at one point, Flynn jumps in and tackles his dad. Skyler and Flynn cower from Walt on the floor and in that instant Walt sees it and we see it…he’s lost his family. Walter White is utterly alone.

Breaking Bad Skyler and Holly

Breaking Bad Walt and Flynn

Maybe it was that loneliness that made him grab Holly and take off with her. WHAT?! I’m already exhausted from this episode. I don’t know if I can deal with an abduction. Obviously Skyler and everyone are devastated/horrified/losing their minds. The house is full of cops, Marie, everyone. It’s a bad scene, man.

Walt has a tender moment with Holly; she’s his only comfort. But she repeatedly calls out “Mama” and the pain on Walt’s face is evident. He knows he has to give her back. He leaves her in a fire truck at the Albuquerque fire station so she’s in safe hands. He calls Skyler and plays the part of the villain, effectively freeing his family from their attachment to him. It’s a hard conversation to watch because we know his family is his life.

Breaking Bad Walter White

The next time we see Walt he’s being picked up by Saul’s identity guy.

Breaking Bad Walter White

Two episodes left. You know, I was going to begin this post with a discussion about the Saul Goodman spinoff prequel. But I’m too shattered to think about it. We’ll talk about it later, okay?

Monday, September 9th

The Rat Patrol on Breaking Bad

Breaking Bad logo

Let’s jump right in. Todd and his Evil Uncles are cooking while uptight Lydia looks on. They improve the purity but don’t create that blue glass that the customers demand. That blue is their “brand” and all of a sudden I feel like I’m at work. There’s a discussion about using food coloring, but I’d like to think these Nazi, murdering meth cooks have more integrity than that.

Todd takes a phone call outside and it’s Walt ordering the hit on Jesse. I hate Todd’s stupid face.

Hank and Gomez are dealing with Jesse. They have no choice but to follow his lead on bringing Walt down. Jesse suggests they go after his money and hey, that’s a pretty good plan. The most disgusting moment of the episode is Lydia’s lipstick stain on a mug when Hank dumps some brains and blood in his kitchen floor. Where did he get? Oh, just the corner brain bodega. They pose Jesse next to it to make him look like he had his brains blown out and use the photo to fool Saul’s bodyguard. This episode had a bit more farce than I enjoy, but whatever. Saul’s bodyguard now thinks he’s going to be killed and gives him all the information he has about Walt’s money: Seven barrels, shipped in a white rental van, etc.

Walt meets with Evil Uncles to talk about the kill. He doesn’t want Jesse to suffer or be scared. He insists that Jesse’s not a rat, but that he won’t listen to reason and is angry. (If those were grounds for murder, everyone I know would be dead.) He says Jesse is like family and seems conflicted about killing him. But not so much that he won’t help flush Jesse out of his hiding place. He shows up at Andrea and Brock’s and has them call Jesse. He figures Jesse will rush over to ensure their safety and Evil Uncles will take him out right there. What he wasn’t counting on was Hank intercepting the call.

Breaking Bad Walt and Andrea

Saul shows up at the car wash. Skyler’s stink eye pales in comparison to Flynn’s glee at seeing the TV lawyer in real life. Saul tells him not to drink and drive, but to call him if he does. Ha. If I need a weird lawyer in Austin, I guess I’ll call the Lawyer that Rocks.

Breaking Bad Saul delights Flynn

Breaking Bad Saul and Hank

Saul’s wearing a bullet proof vest and is worried that his bodyguard is missing. He thinks Jesse’s on a killing spree but Walt defends him. “It’s me he wants. Just me.” While they are talking, Walt receives a text message from Jesse with a photo of a barrel full of money. Jesse calls and we are treated to a long, disembodied conversation where Jesse repeatedly says “bitch” and threatens to burn all of Walt’s money. The whole time Walt is driving like hell through the desert to meet him while stupidly confessing to killing Gus, poisoning Brock, and other crimes. Of course they didn’t find the money and this is a ploy to get some evidence and have Walt lead them to the money. I’m mad he fell for this shit.

Breaking Bad Walter White

Once he arrives at the desert and Jesse is not there, he realizes the truth and takes his anger out on his phone. Also, he is a vagillionaire. Why doesn’t he have an iPhone yet? He runs and hides from a car in the distance. He stealthily calls Evil Uncles and gives them his coordinates so they can come save him. But when Hank and Gomez get out of the car with Jesse, he cancels the instructions. We watch Hank handcuff Walt and read him his rights before putting him in the car. He and Gomez are all happy and congratulatory and Marie is on the phone and thrilled by the news, too. Hooray. They caught the bad guy.

Breaking Bad Walt runs

But wait!

Evil Uncles, Todd, and some other gnarly dudes show up and everyone pulls out guns. There’s a standoff while they talk about police badges and such. Jesse and Walt are both in separate cars. Walt is locked in his car with handcuffs on, so we don’t know if anyone besides us can hear his screams to not shoot. But everyone opens fire anyway. The scene is intense and loud and violent. Hank and Gomez are grossly overpowered. The cars are all shot up. Gomez gets hit. And, while I can’t be certain about this, I think Walt gets shot, too. End of episode!

Three to go.

Tuesday, September 3rd

Paranoia and Lies on Breaking Bad

We’re halfway through the last episodes of Breaking Bad and there’s still plenty to wrap up. Namely, what’s going to happen to Walt? I thought we might see a time jump of a few months but so far I’ve been wrong. We picked up where we left off at the White house and learned why Jesse didn’t burn that mother down. Hank stopped him and took him out just moments before Walt showed up with a gun.

Breaking Bad Saul and Walt

Saul didn’t take being beaten up by Jesse too kindly. He suggests that Walt kill him. Like Old Yeller, who was once loyal and obedient, he’s now rabid and needs to be shot. Walt is unhappy with that suggestion. He does not want to kill Jesse. Awe…touching.

When the cleaning company cannot get all the gasoline out of the carpet, Walt devises an elaborate lie for his family’s sake. For someone who’s spent the last year lying for a living, he does a crappy job. No one buys his “malfunctioned gas hose” story. Flynn suspects he fainted at the pump. Skyler knows it’s something more nefarious. Either way, the family gets to spend some time in a nice hotel while their home steeps in gasoline smell.

Breaking Bad Skyler and Walt

Skyler drinks and nags and drinks and nags. Walt tells her the truth and she suggests he kill Jesse. So we have a little theme going here. The conversation is long and boring. We don’t have time for this! Our Breaking Bad moments are few and precious. I am annoyed. Also, Marie has a therapy session that does nothing to further the story. Stop wasting time, writers. Later, by the pool, Walt and Flynn have a moment. Flynn is worried about Walt’s health. I hope we never have to see the look of disappointment on this kid’s face when the truth comes out.

Breaking Bad Walt and Flynn

So where’s Jesse? Oh, just sleeping off his most recent drug hysteria and almost arson at Hank and Marie’s. My favorite moment of the episode is when Jesse scream pleads at Hank, HE CAN’T KEEP GETTING AWAY WITH IT! He agrees to be Hank’s witness and share everything he knows. Agent Gomez is there, too, so we know Hank has finally let the cat out of the bag.

Breaking Bad Jesse

Breaking Bad Hank

Jesse gives a long, videoed recount of Walt’s crimes. Hank and Gomez believe him, but know it’s still not enough to take Walt down. There’s no proof. Walt operated in a net of secrecy and Hank can’t seem to find a way in. But there’s one lead. Walt wants to meet Jesse at a public place and talk things over. As Hank states, Walt cares for Jesse. I believe this is true. But Jesse doesn’t buy it and sarcastically says, Yeah, Mr. White’s gay for me. Oh, Jesse. Even sullen with rage and paranoia, he cracks me up.

Breaking Bad Jesse

At the time of the meeting, Jesse backs out, calling Walt from a pay phone and threatening him. He’s certain Walt is going to have him killed him right there in the public plaza. Hank is pissed, as Jesse was wearing a wire. This was supposed to be what broke the case open for ole’ Hanky.

Walt wasn’t going to kill Jesse, but now thinks he may have no other recourse. He calls Todd and tells him he may have another job for his uncle. End of episode.

Wednesday, August 28th

The Confession on Breaking Bad

Wow, this is the best episode of Breaking Bad so far, right? I just can’t get over how they are building this, letting the story unravel, and racing up to the series finale. I almost can’t take it.

The episode starts with Todd bragging about the train heist to a couple swastika-tattooed guys in a diner. Looks like he’ll be taking over their lab. Is anyone else surprised that Todd is still part of this show? I mean, how is he still alive? Is he really the person to carry on Walt’s cooking legacy? I feel like…just, no.

Jesse’s still in custody and Hank tells him he knows that Walt is Heisenberg and promises Jesse will walk away scott free if he shares what he knows. Jesse doesn’t take the bait and then Saul comes in and shuts down the interrogation. We should all have such a good lawyer.

Walt breaks it to Walter Junior Flynn that his cancer has returned. Poor Flynn. The heartbreak in his eyes just kills me. (Did you know that actor RJ Mitte has Cerebral Palsy in real life?) Marie will do whatever she can to get her hands on these kids, but it’s clear that Walt very much loves his son. It’s these human moments in Walt that makes it hard to root against him.

Breaking Bad meeting

When we see Walt sit down with a video camera and begin to film his confession it seems that he might be giving in for the sake of his children. He and Skyler hit a local Mexican joint with Hank and Marie for a rational discussion. Walt asks them to leave the kids out of it and states that there’s just no proof to bring him down. Skyler states that any wrongdoings are in the past and they should let it go. Hank was all like, you must be crazy bitches. He’s not letting this drop. Marie, ever the voice of reason, suggests that Walt kill himself. It was really a buzz kill and they didn’t even get the table side guacamole.

Marie

Once they are home, Hank and Marie watch Walt’s taped confession…where he elaborately pins the drug empire on Hank! This elicits the first of three screams from me. It’s so brilliant. So devious. I am horrified.

Breaking Bad Walt and Jesse

Walt’s next order of business is to take care of Jesse. Saul drives Jesse into the desert and a monstrous tarantula walks by. (Scream #2.) Walt shows nothing but kindness to Jesse, suggesting he start a new life with a new identity. There’s a momentary look of hope in Jesse’s eyes when Walt says he has his whole life ahead of him. He can live a normal life with a wife, kids, and a job. He can start fresh.

Breaking Bad Walt and Jesse

But Jesse’s eyes darken and he demands honesty from Walt. He knows Walt needs him to leave for his own safety, not out of any consideration for Jesse. He knows that this meeting is taking place in the desert so that Walt can kill him if he doesn’t agree to leave. And he knows Walt killed Mike. This is one of Jesse’s most emotional scenes in the whole series and the raw pain is palpable. Walt hugs him because he knows Jesse is right. And in that moment he can finally be a father. An honest father, which he can never do with Flynn. And it’s their goodbye. This is so heavy. And where the eff is that tarantula?

Saul calls his identity guy and gives Jesse a giant bag of money from Walt. And a Hello Kitty cell phone. He’s to wait at the meeting place, hand over his ID and accept a new one, never to look back. He requests Alaska as his new location.

Breaking Bad Jesse

He pulls out his cigarettes and the pack triggers something in him. All of a sudden…he knows. He knows Walt poisoned his girlfriend’s son with ricin. And right then, Jesse SNAPS. He holds Saul up at gunpoint and demands to know the truth. He’s a raving lunatic and this much rage and anger is simply wonderful to watch. His steals Saul’s car and drives to Walt’s house, which he douses with gasoline. My final scream. Roll credits. 

So, yeah. Holy shit. Thoughts?

Monday, August 19th

Breaking Bad and All That Cash

Remember this?

Skyler and Walt look at a huge stack of cash

All that money is proving to be kind of tough to carry. Too bad there’s no debit card for this kind of thing. Seems a shame to lock up all these pretty stacks. Jesse’s cash on the other hand is free as a bird, literally flying out the windows. He’s discovered in a neighborhood playground, his money all over the place. Poor Jesse is cracking up and is catatonic on the merry-go-round. He ends up in custody.

Meanwhile, Walt and Hank race to get to Skyler first. Hank wins. He meets Skyler in a diner where he expresses empathy and understanding to her situation before immediately grilling her. He wants to get his evidence locked down and bust Walt immediately. He rants about Walt and his cancer returning, which comes as a surprise to Skyler. Walt never told her! Skyler insists she wants a lawyer and their little meeting culminates in her freaking out and asking if she’s under arrest over and over. Am I under arrest? Am I under arrest?!

Skyler asks if she's under arrest

She’s not under arrest, by the way.

Walt does what any sensible man in his position does; he visits his lawyer. Saul suggests that Walt kill Hank, as murder has worked so well for him in the past. Walt balks at the idea of killing family. He has standards, you see. Saul’s thugs fetch Walt’s stack of money for him after a dreamy moment of laying on the money and debating stealing it and running away to Mexico together. (Spin-off idea: The thugs move to a little town in Mexico and use the money to open a world-class ice skating rink. They live in a mansion with a bunch of orphans who are training to be Olympic skaters. It’s called 50 Blades of Love.)

Walt spends hours driving into the desert, digging a giant hole, and burying his huge barrels of cash. He memorizes the coordinates of where it’s buried before destroying the GPS. Later he puts the numbers on a lottery ticket. Clever.

Breaking Bad Hank

Hank is still trying to find the evidence he needs to take down Walt. He and Marie show up at Sklyer’s. Marie completely freaks out. She slaps Skyler across the face and tries to steal Baby Holly. Hank steps in and prevents the kidnapping, but the division between the two couples is palpable. This family has been torn apart.

When Walt and Skyler finally reconnect, Walt is looking pretty rough. He’s filthy from digging in the desert and passes out cold on the bathroom floor before he can shower. He wakes up five hours later, clean and bandaged…but still on the bathroom floor. Skyler tells him she knows the cancer is back. He says he’ll turn himself in if she promises to keep the money and pass it on to their children. “Please don’t let me have done all this for nothing.”

But Sklyer wants to keep quiet, knowing that Hank doesn’t have what he needs to make an arrest yet. Meanwhile, Hank knows that the moment he admits that the man he’s been searching for all year was his brother-in-law, his career will be over. So this plotline is going to take some time to shake out. In the meantime, Hank has Jesse in custody and we see him about to question him.

In the big surprise of the week, Lydia heads out to the new meth lab, a creepy underground bus in the middle of the desert. She wants to talk to the new cook, because his product stinks and they’ve already lost $50M. But it turns out to be an ambush. Lydia and her men (including Todd) kill everyone on site. Looks like they are taking back the meth business. I wonder if she’ll be able to rope Walt back in for a last cooking session.

What did you think of last night’s episode?

Monday, August 12th

Tread Lightly

Was the wait between season halves worth it? Did Breaking Bad come back with a bang?  Oh, yes. Yes it did.

After a flash forward of Walt breaking into the shambles of his former home to fetch some hidden poison, we are treated to a quick reminder of where we left off. Cause that’s what we wanna see: more Hank on the toilet.

Breaking Bad Hank on the toilet

Hank feigns illness to leave the party and drives home in a blind rage. He gets himself so worked up that he crashes through someone’s picket fence. Eventually he recovers and gets busy working. He scours his old Fring files and finds some damning evidence against Walt. After all these years, he’s finally cracked the case.

Meanwhile, Walt is happily living the carefree life of a humble carwash owner. He ponders air freshener merchandising with the same gusto formerly reserved for bombing nursing homes. He suggests that they buy a second carwash for appearances sake and to expedite money laundering, which they will be doing for the rest of their lives. When Lydia shows up to ask Walt to come back and train the new cooks, Skyler kicks her out so fast her head spins.

Breaking Bad Jesse

Jesse isn’t as carefree as Walt. He is catatonic with guilt and even the antics of Skinny Pete and Badger (who we learn are Trekkies) can’t pull him out of his funk. He visits Saul Goodman and asks him to split his $5M between Mike’s granddaughter and the parents of the little boy they killed. Saul tries to talk some sense into him, but Jesse won’t hear no reason, bitch. He smoked a joint in Saul’s waiting room to get bumped to the front of the line. Mental note: try this at the DMV.

Breaking Bad Saul and Jesse

Breaking Bad Jesse Pinkman

Walt returns the cash to Jesse and tells him that he needs to move on from the darkness of their past. I’m pretty bummed that Jesse still has a futon. I mean, he has five million bucks in duffel bags. Buy a couch! Jesse tells Walt he knows Mike is dead, but Walt denies it wholeheartedly. Later, Jesse drives around and starts throwing stacks of cash out the windows. I can imagine how happy everyone will be tomorrow morning when they wake up to get the paper and find that the money fairy paid a visit. Jesse is really cracking up. I hate seeing him this way.

Breaking Bad Jesse and Walt

Breaking Bad Jesse Pinkman

We learn Walt’s cancer is back when we see him getting chemo. Later he’s getting sick in the bathroom and notices his copy of Leaves of Grass is missing. He starts to put two and two together and realizes Hank probably took it. When he finds a tracking device on his car, his suspicions are confirmed.

The episode ends with a confrontation between Walt and Hank. I love that they didn’t drag this out. Boom! Instant gratification for the fans. Hank punches Walt in the face. Walt says there’s no point in trying to bring him to justice as he’ll be dead in six months and he’ll never make it to prison. Hank states that he doesn’t even know who Walt is, and Walt suggests that maybe his next course is to tread very lightly. A pretty direct threat. Heavy!

What did you think of the episode? Any guesses on how it’ll all end? I have laid out how I think the story will play out. But I’m sure we’ll be in for some surprises.

Friday, August 9th

Breaking Bad Gives Us One More Season

Sunday’s the big day. Breaking Bad will come to a close with the final eight episodes. While I’m sad to see it go, it’s better to go out on a high note, while the writing is still good.

So are you all caught up? Do you remember where we left off? Let me jog your memory. If you need a little backstory, here’s last year’s recap.

Breaking Bad Walt and Jesse

We started off the season with Walt acting like a monster, intimidating everyone in his path. He destroys all traces of Gus Fring through explosions and giant magnets. People die. Laptops die. He and Mike are not getting along, which remains a theme all season. But Mike agrees to partner with Walt and Jesse and be the distributing arm of their business.

Breaking Bad Mike

Mike leverages a huge methylamine connection and the guys are bigger than ever. They need a new place to cook and decide to set up temporary labs in people’s homes while they are being fumigated for bugs. Gross.

Breaking Bad Walt and Jesse

Despite all the money rolling in, large cuts of it are being taken out to pay all of Mike’s prison cronies. Walt doesn’t like it, but Jesse’s like chill, bitch. Jesse’s trying to live a somewhat normal life, but Walt manipulates him into breaking up with his girlfriend. And Walt moves back home causing Skyler to have a nervous breakdown. At least she’s doing something interesting for once. She keeps getting more interesting, actually. Especially when she takes a weird night swim. She convinces Hank and Marie that she’s losing it, so they keep their kids. Skyler just doesn’t want her kids around Walt.

Breaking Bad Skyler

Hank gets promoted at work. Guess he won’t have a anymore time for gem collecting. (There goes my brilliant spinoff idea, Hank’s Rough Gems.) The DEA are getting closer though, and the guys have to work a little harder to secure their methylamine. A hot tip leads them to pull off an incredible train heist, stealing a ton of the stuff and replacing it with water. They have to recruit an extra set of hands, and unfortunately choose Todd, local idiot. When their actions are witnessed by a young boy, Todd kills him without thought. This is the heaviest moment of the season.

Breaking Bad Todd and Jesse

They deal with the dead kid honorably and bring him home to his family. No, of course not. They disintegrate the kid and his bike in a vat of chemicals. The weight of this is killing Jesse, but Walt is quite comfortable being a kid-killer.

Breaking Bad Walt, Jesse, and Mike

Both Jesse and Mike want out of the business for good. They try to convince Walt to sell his third of the methylamine to some Phoenix cooks so they can each walk away with a cool $5M. But Walt knows if they cook it, it’ll be worth $300M and he ruins the deal for all of them.

Mike continues to pay all his jail guys and also socks away some big cash for his granddaughter. Jesse officially quits on Walt in a big blowout scene. Mike spends an episode covering his tracks until Walt finally kills him. Walt’s power trip is endless. Bye, Mike.

Breaking Bad Mike

Once Mike is dead, Walt takes care of his prison friends, orchestrating a violent murder rampage. All of them are dead within two minutes time. Walt takes his business to the Czech Republic and is making more money than ever. He’s cooking up a storm with idiot Todd, since Jesse quit.

Breaking Bad Walt and Skyler money

Walt and Jesse have a little reminiscing about the good old days and Walt gives him some money. Speaking of money, there’s so much that they have nowhere left to put it. Skyler rents a storage unit for the sheer volume of bills. Walt agrees that, yes, this is finally enough. He’s going to get out of the meth business. Happy ending!

But wait! Hank finds a book inscribed by Gus Fring Gale on the back of Walt’s toilet and makes the connection that Walt is the guy he’s been looking for all this time.

Breaking Bad Hank

And that’s where we left off…