Tuesday, September 4th

Inertia

Man. Mike is still dead. I guess I have to face it. Before he gets dissolved in a barrel of chemicals, let’s take a moment to remember him.

Breaking Bad Mike

But life goes on and Walt must meet Lydia to get the names of Mike’s guys. She’s a nervous wreck and afraid that Walt is going to kill her right there in the coffee shop. He did bring his trademark poison but spared her life to get that list of prisoners. Oh, and now they are going into business together to sell meth in the Czech Republic, where one in 20 people are tweekers. Terrible statistic, but great for business.

Breaking Bad Lydia

Now about that prison list. In order to keep Mike’s guys from squealing, they must be dealt with. Walt wants them all killed in the three prisons they are held in…within two minutes time. So we are treated to a lovely montage of violent stabbings, beatings and one poor guy who got set on fire. Hank is bummed about this mass murder spree. His job is getting him down.

We are treated to another montage. This time it’s all about the business. Cooking, selling, planes flying, people getting their cut, money stacking up, houses being tented. Everything going like clockwork just like the old days, only bigger and with Todd in Jesse’s place.

Jesse Pinkman

Where is Jesse? Good question. He’s sitting on his couch futon falling asleep with a cigarette in his hand. Don’t burn down your house, yo. Walt drops by and they reminisce about the good ole days when they were cooking in the Bounder, their oft brokedown RV. It was tense and weird. Walt left Jesse a couple giant bags of money. Jesse thought Walt Mr. White was there to kill him. I think we can safely assume that their relationship will never be repaired. Especially when Jesse finds out what happened to Mike.

So where’d those bags of money come from? Just a small piece of Walt’s giant cash fortune.

Breaking Bad cash

Skyler rented a storage unit for all the cash that’s been coming in. It’s too much to launder or even hide. She shows Walt the money and wants to know when it will be enough. She wants her children and her life back. And damn, the stacks are staggering. So Walt agrees to stop. What?! Yes, he’s retiring. Maybe we’ll get our happy ending.

But wait!

Breaking Bad Hank

Taking time out from a happy family party at the White’s house, Hank finds a note from Gail to Walt. We flash back to Hank wondering who was working with Gus, someone with the initials W. W. In an instant, he knows it is Walt. SHIIIIIIT!!!!!!

And with that, the midseason finale is over. See you in a year.

Monday, August 27th

Say My Name

The first half of the season is winding down. It looks like we will be left with some resolution, although I anticipate some major cliff hangers, too.

Walt Jesse and Mike

Jesse and Mike still plan on taking their cuts and getting out of the meth business. Continuing his plan to build his empire, Walt attempts to get the Phoenix meth guys to join him. He offers them 35% if they will stop cooking and distribute for him, essentially taking Mike’s place. It will be lucrative for all of them, but they seem reluctant. It appears no one is crazy about Heisenberg’s massive ego.

Mike is steadily paying his guys, all of whom are still in prison. It’s interesting to watch the lawyer (not Saul Goodman) place stacks of money in multiple safety deposit boxes. The largest sum is reserved for Mike’s granddaughter’s box, with a note saying it’s for her 18th birthday. We don’t know how much is in that box, but it appears to be millions. That’s going to be a kickass birthday.

Walt pays Hank another visit and cries over Skyler again. This ruse is wearing thin on all of us, including Hank. But Walt manages to remove the office bugs and overhear a little useful info, too. That non-Saul-Goodman lawyer is about to flip and give them Mike. When tailing him and searching his home yielded nothing, Hank’s boss put the kibash on the DEA office spending another cent on this case. So this is a stroke of great luck. We see Mike toss his laptop and giant bag of guns into a well. I hope that isn’t someone’s drinking water.

Jesse is feeling the pressure. Mostly because Walt is not accepting his resignation. They finally have the battle that’s been building up. Accusations fly, words are said, and our boys break up. Jesse storms out without receiving his cut. Oh, Walter White. You are such a bastard. Walt replaces Jesse immediately. We are treated to a jazzy montage where he gives kid-killer-Todd a lengthy meth cooking lesson. Todd seems unsure of himself and you know this partnership is not going to last. The tarantula does not make an appearance and I am grateful.

Mike needs to leave town since the cops are up in his grill. Walt brings him his emergency getaway bag and they fight. Mike won’t turn over the names of his nine guys in jail and Walt knows that without their regular payments, their silence and loyalty will end.

And then Walt freaking shoots Mike! He makes his way to a grassy riverbank to die in peace.

Breaking Bad Mike

And once again, we’re down another cast member. Only one episode left before we break for a year. It’s barely enough time to grieve this loss. I imagine Jesse is going to lose his mind when he finds out. Maybe we’ll deal with that next week. And there are still those nine prisoners looming…

Monday, August 20th

Empire State of Mind

Ugh. Breaking Bad starts off in a very dark place this week. They have to dispose of the little boy Todd shot and killed last week. We watch as they dismantle his dirt bike and put it in a plastic drum to dissolve it in acid. Fortunately, we are spared seeing them stuff the little boy into the drum.

Breaking Bad dissolve dirt bike

Todd explains himself to the guys and does have solid reasons why he killed the kid. But still…he killed a kid. Jesse just can’t deal, but Walt and Mike vote to keep Todd on staff. The other options are to kill him or fire him. Firing him will be more trouble than it’s worth. I vote to kill Todd because he kept that tarantula in a jar.

Mike’s constantly being tailed by the DEA. Eventually he gets fed up and brings in everybody’s favorite lawyer, Saul, to intervene. At the mentions of stalking charges, the DEA agrees to back off…but only for a day.

Saul and Mike

Jesse and Walt are back to cooking in a tented house. When a news broadcast about the missing boy comes on, Jesse breaks down and Walt gives him a pep talk. He commiserates, telling him he hasn’t slept well since the incident happened and tells Jesse he will finish up alone and to go home. Jesse is disturbed to witness Walt happily whistling a merry tune the minute his back is turned. Not sleeping, my arse.

Mike and Jesse ambush Walt back at headquarters. They tell him they are both quitting the business and selling off their thirds of the big methylamine haul. They suggest he sell his third as well, since it will yield them each five million dollars. Walt knows that if they hold onto the methylamine and cook it themselves, it will be worth $300 million. So he’s not down with taking the $5M and walking away. And he’s not cool with the guys selling their shares off to his competitors, even if they are all the way in Phoenix.

Mike and Jesse meet the rival competitors and give them a free sample. The Phoenix guys are happy for the ingredient and even happier that the blue stuff will be off the market. When they realize Walt will still be cooking they pull the deal off the table. Once again, Walt holds all the cards.

Mike and Jesse

Jesse makes a personal plea to try to get Walt on board with the sale. He gets roped into having an awkward dinner with Walt and Skyler. Jesse tries to keep conversation afloat and Skyler tries to finish a bottle of wine in five minutes flat. She is more successful than he is. Watching Jesse flounder through the dinner was the highlight of the episode. Walt tells Jesse that their business is all he has left. He isn’t in the meth business or the money business. He’s in the empire business. He is power-hungry. I think he should run for POTUS.

Jesse Pinkman

Mike takes matters into his own hands and tells Walt they are going to sell his share anyway. He handcuffs Walt to a radiator, but Walt McGyver’s his way out. Before Mike kills him, Jesse says Walt has a new plan and it’s a good one. But we’ll have to wait till next week to hear what that plan is. Damn. 

Monday, August 13th

Blood on the Tracks

The episode begins with a kid we don’t know riding through the desert on his dirt bike. The kid jumps off his bike to pick up a tarantula and I die. For comfort I stare at my KitchenAid mixer and wait for Mr. Betty to tell me it’s safe to look back at the TV. I’m not going to elaborate on my arachnophobia. Shudder. Moving on.

Walt pays Hank a visit at work under the guise of talking about his marriage. When he breaks down and cries, Hank gets uncomfortable and quickly flees, giving Walt a chance to bug his office. It pays off and we later find out that the DEA placed the tracking devices on the barrels of methylamine. This scarce ingredient continues to be a problem for them, but Lydia’s seemingly endless sources save her from Mike’s wrath once again. I swear though, he’s itching to kill her.

Lydia and Mike

Lydia tells the guys about a train that passes through that carries a buttload of their precious methylamine. Rather than dealing with mere barrels of the stuff, this would be enough to fill a swimming pool. But the stakes are higher and the likely hood of getting caught is too risky for Mike. Walt, of course, wants to do it. The two fight. Then Jesse’s all like, Yo, bitch, let’s compromise. Seriously, when did Jesse become the voice of reason?

Sklyer

Skyler is holding her ground and making the kids stay with Hank and Marie. Junior is very angry and wants answers, which his parents won’t give him. The baby charms Hank and I think this might make for a good kidnap spinoff. (Note to AMC: I’m offering to write Hank and Holly on the Run for a modest salary and a meeting with Jon Hamm. Call me.)

So they get the tools together and recruit a couple guys, including Todd the friendly exterminator, to help out.

Walter White, Jesse and Todd

In order to not get caught they are only going to steal ten thousand gallons from the train, replacing it with the equivalent volume of water. Walt gets a little science-geeky talking about chemical volume verses water and I can’t help but think he’s still the same science teacher underneath the monster he’s become.

In a carefully-timed plan of stopping the train, unhooking giant bolts and attaching hoses, they pull off the theft. It’s a close call that requires Jesse laying on the tracks as the train rushes over him, and Todd jumping from the speeding train to the ground. They take a moment to congratulate each other and revel in the glow of a successful heist. And then they see Tarantula Boy standing on the other side of the tracks. As they stare in shock, he gives a little wave. Todd waves back then quickly shoots him. What. The. HELL?!

Todd shoots kid

Monday, August 6th

Skyler Goes for a Swim

On this episode of Breaking Bad we find Walt in a great mood. He’s happy to be making money again and leases new cars for himself and Walter, Jr. They act all macho and we have to suffer through a moment of weird dubstep car pornography. Plus, Walt’s Heisenberg hat is back.

Walter White

Lydia is still annoying and freaked out. Mike calls her at Madrigal to give her a 30-second warning that the DEA agents are paying a visit.

Breaking Bad DEA

She also needs a new guy to pick up their methylamine, who turns out to be Jesse. When he shows up to get it they notice that the barrel has a tracking device glued to it. Mike later points out that it was probably Lydia who put it there in the hopes that they will leave her alone. Mike wants to kill her, but Jesse and Walt vote to keep her alive. Walt wants to make sure they keep the product moving and Jesse is an actual human being. Either way, Lydia gets to live a little longer.

Breaking Bad Jesse and Lydia

Hank is getting lots of credit for a job well done. He is offered a promotion, meaning he gets to head up the department. But he has to leave the field work behind and he is bummed out.

Walt's birthday dinner

We get to celebrate Walt’s 51st birthday, and the poor idiot thinks he’s getting a decent party. Um, Walt? Everyone hates you. You are getting a terrible family party. It’s just Walter Jr. talking about cars again, silent Skyler, and Hank and Marie. They have a tense dinner out by the pool. Walt goes off about the last year and how he beat cancer with the support of his family, yada, yada, yada. It’s only been ONE YEAR since he was diagnosed?! Talk about the craziest year ever. This meth business escalated quicker than I realized. Plus, it’s been about four years for us.

As Walt reminisces about chemotherapy and Hank getting shot, Skyler stares off into the distance at the edge of the pool. She silently walks in and submerges herself while they rest of them worry and call out to her. Eventually Walt jumps in to save her and while it’s not exactly The Graduate pool scene, it’s damn good.

Walt Skyler Pool

Hank and Walt discuss Skyler’s affair with Ted, and Hank suggests she go see a therapist. He even offers to get them in touch with Crazy Marie’s guy, because she’s the model of perfect sanity. Ha ha…riiight. Marie says they will take the kids to give them space to work on their problems.

It seems like Skyler is cracking up, but it’s actually a calculated move on her part. She wants her kids out of the house and away from Walt. She says she will stop at nothing to keep them safe. She will hurt herself to make it appear she is getting worse. Walt says he will have her committed. Skyler counters that she will bruise her neck and say that Walt is beating her. This is getting ugly. Especially when Skyler says she’s just waiting for his cancer to come back.

But Walter believes that things will turn around. After all, Jesse wanted to kill him a mere few weeks ago and now bought him a watch for his birthday. We see the watch ominously ticking away as the screen goes black.

And just like that, we are halfway done with the season.

Monday, July 30th

Vamonos Pest

It’s the first week our gentlemen Walt, Jesse and Mike are in business together. Let’s see how they do.

The honorable man that Mike is, he visits his guys in their various prisons to let them know that their loyalty and silence are appreciated. Although the FBI seized what was to be their hazard pay, Mike promises to make good on the money. What a good boss.

The other boss, Walt, moves back in with Skyler, much to her chagrin. She responds by having a nervous breakdown in front of her sister at the carwash, complete with smoking cigarettes and screaming her head off. Walt explains it away, blaming her affair with Ted. He’s a master at shifting the blame, isn’t he? Skyler looks like the bad guy while he is the forgiving husband. He’s also the model father, watching Scarface with his kids. My dad used to watch Karate Kid with me, but I get the sentiment.

Walter White and Kids

Walt also manipulates Jesse, telling him how much he trusts him and wants him to be happy. He suggests that if Jesse foresees a real future with his girlfriend, Andrea, he’ll have to decide whether or not to be honest with her about his job. Although we’ve never seen Jesse happier or more at peace, he breaks up with her. Just like Walt wanted.

Have I told you lately that I love you, Saul Goodman? Kids, this is why you should go to law school. To make lots of money and friends and have a fat bodyguard that mouth-breathes like Tony Soprano. Anyway, Saul expresses his displeasure at Mike joining the business, which goes ignored. Moving forward, he takes the guys on a tour of the businesses he vets as a cover for their new lab. But the guys are picky like Goldilocks. One is too steamy, one will make pee-scented tortillas, one is a lazer tag place for kids. Picky, picky. But then Walter has a crazy an inspired idea when Saul shows them an exterminator shop.

The plan is that they will set up in houses that are tented for extermination, moving locations every week. They’ll cook for a couple days before the house is bombed for bugs. The exterminators are thieves and will help provide the perfect cover and move in the massive amount of meth cooking equipment. (Add this to the list of reasons why I hope to never have a bug problem.)

The equipment is hidden in roadie cases procured by Badger and Skinny Pete. Skinny Pete surprises us all with his beautiful piano playing. Badger is still dumb as a rock…surprising no one.

Walter and Jesse

Walt and Jesse get to work and it’s just like old times. Meth is cooking, they have their yellow garb on, it’s all very cozy.

Walt and Jesse cooking

The first batch of meth comes out beautifully and the tented house worked out according to plan. The only problem we encounter is when the money rolls in. The staggering amount of money on the table gets smaller and smaller as Mike keeps subtracting the huge cuts for everyone and their mother. Walt is not used to sharing with so many other people and really loses it when Mike insists they start paying his guys the seized money they are owed. Jesse points out that they are getting a bigger piece of the pie than when they were with Gus and the pie just happens to be smaller. Walt suggests that maybe Gus wasn’t so wrong in slitting that guys throat. Uh oh.

Monday, July 23rd

Breaking Bad and a Side of Franch

The 2012 Emmy nominations have been announced and Breaking Bad scored multiple nods. Bryan Cranston earned a nomination as well as Aaron Paul (Jesse), Giancarlo Esposito (Gus) and Ana Gunn (Skyler) in addition to the show’s nomination for Outstanding Drama Series. Sweet! I’d love to see Aaron Paul win again.

Now to discuss the latest episode. We start our pretty weird. We’re in a German test kitchen and a team of food scientists are unveiling some new sauces to an executive, Mr. Schuler. He dips into each sauce with no expression. We quickly learn that we are inside the massive conglomerate (Madrigal) that owns Los Pollos Hermanos, along with many other restaurants. Rather than face the three men there to see him, presumably the cops wanting to link him to Gus and the meth lab, he kills himself with a defibrillator in the bathroom. When he crashes off the red toilet face first onto the floor, I am reminded why I love this show so much: the camera work. It is genius.

Later, Hank and his partner attend a big meeting with Madrigal who agree to cooperate with the investigation. Also, Hank’s boss apologizes to him for not listening to his suspicions about Gus. He ended up getting fired. Bye, bossy boss.

Walter White

We hear a conversation where Jesse is freaking out that he lost the poison cigarette Walt gave him. Walt calms him down and says he’ll help Jesse search his house for it. Of course, Walt is lying and has the cigarette. He hides the poison in his wall and makes a duplicate cigarette filled with salt. We don’t see him drop it in Jesse’s apartment, but at some point he does and DJ Roomba picks it up. Jesse cries with relief and regret. He almost shot Walt over that storyline. Walt is comforting and reassures Jesse that they are still BFF.

Mike

Walt and Jesse approach Mike and ask if he’d like to be a partner with them. They want to start cooking again ASAP and know Mike would be great at helping their distribution. Without Gus running the show, they can all share larger chunks of the profit, but Mike isn’t interested because Walt is trouble. He is right.

Always busy, Mike meets new character Lydia at a diner. She is nervous and uptight, and afraid that Gus’ dealings will lead back to her. She gives Mike a list of eleven people who she feels threaten her, in the hopes that Mike will deal with kill them. The list of people are Gus’ guys, and he assures her that they are safe and will keep their mouths shut. That doesn’t satisfy Lydia and she commissions one of the guys to kill the others, including Mike. Damn, lady.

Mike and Lydia

In a moment of humanity, Gus lets Lydia live in exchange for her methylamine connections. It looks like he’s going to be doing business with ole’ Walter White after all.

Mike is really a tough dude. He is equally cool playing Hungry, Hungry Hippos with his granddaughter, in the hot seat with the cops, or shooting his friends in the head. I am liking him more and more. Even though Gus’ laptop was destroyed by the magnet, the cops attained some valuable banking information leading them to Mike and his cronies. So there’s plenty of danger ahead.

I’m hoping next week is a Jesse-heavy episode. More Jesse Pinkman, yo!

Monday, July 16th

So Magnetic

Ah, the darkness is back. The season five premiere of Breaking Bad opened with Walter White at a diner. And he has HAIR! I’ve been waiting for this moment because I do not dig the baldness, but he could not look worse.

Walter White

A quick bathroom transaction leaves Walt with a machine gun in his trunk. Hmmm, watcha gonna do with that? He tips his waitress $100 and bolts. Classy.

Now we flash back to right after Gus is killed. Good. I wanted to see the aftermath. To remind you, this happened:

Gus Fring

And also, Walt blew up their lab. So we see Hank and his cop cronies walking through the creepy remnants of the lab in hazmat suits. We learn that two people died in there and that teeth “do a popcorn thing” when they get too hot. Eww. And the surveillance cameras may have survived.

Breaking Bad Hank

Walt busies himself by disposing of the bomb-building equipment and poisonous lily of the valley. He gloats to Skyler that he won. One thing we can say about Walt is that any trace of humility is gone. He is pretty proud of himself and feeling mighty powerful. Remember in Heathers when the queen bee would die and the next in line would take her scrunchie, signifying her rise to the top? Well Walt just grabbed the red scrunchie.

Walt and Jesse

Jesse and Walt are getting along…for now. Jesse stops Mike from shooting Walt when he finds out about Gus’ death. Mike is such a cold-blooded killer that I’m delighted to see him chatting with some chickens in his bathrobe.

Breaking Bad Mike

For the time being, Mike will hold back his killer instincts in the mutual interest of destroying evidence, namely Gus’ laptop which contains video footage of all of them. In a comical moment with Mike and Walt fighting about creating a bomb device to blow up the evidence room at the police station, Jesse suggests using a magnet. Seems ridiculous enough to work, so they go to a junkyard and get a safety lesson on a giant electronic magnet. I love the checklist they have to go through to use the magnet: no metal head plates, artificial hips, genital piercings. Very funny.

Breaking Bad Magnet

The idea is to get the magnet close enough to the evidence room to erase Gus’ computer. In their trial run, the magnet pulls a laptop out of Jesse’s hands and it’s smashed to pieces against a truck. Awesome. Walt decides to double the power of the battery. In my favorite part of the episode, we watch Walt turn the magnet too high and everything flies off the shelves in the evidence room, completely freaking the out the cops. The magnet is so strong, the rental truck turns on its side. Mike helps them make a quick getaway.

In a surprising turn of events, we find out Skyler’s former lover/blackmailing jerk/Ted is still alive and has just woken up from a coma. We thought he broke his neck and died. Surprise! Skyler has to come clean to Walt about her financial ties and secrets with Ted, assuring him that Ted will not be a problem. Actually, Saul Goodman is the lucky duck who breaks this news to Walt. Then he tried to dump him as a client. Walt intimidates both Saul and Skyler. She is obviously terrified of Walt now. I have to say, he really does seem to be infused with evil in a whole new way. When he hugs her and says, “I forgive you” I get shivers.

 Did you watch? What did you think?

Monday, July 9th

Catch up on Breaking Bad

At long last Breaking Bad is returning. I can’t wait for Sunday night and the premiere of the final season. In case you haven’t heard, they are splitting this final season over two years. So we’ll get eight episodes this summer and eight episodes next summer. This is total bullshit, but whatever.

So where were we? Walt still holds the title of Top Meth Chef. But it’s tenuous and the danger grows every season. As does the violence. Let me remind you that last season’s premiere featured Gus slitting a guy’s throat with a box cutter and jerking his head back to make the blood gush out. So ready yourself for some blood and guts, just in case they plan on shocking the hell out of us again.

Anyway, we watched as Gus becomes increasingly scary while maintaining his high standing in the community. Only Hank is suspicious, but he’s a depressed gem collector these days and doesn’t have much credibility. Anyway, Walt kills Gus in the most horrifically awesome way ever.

Gus Fring death

Ugh. Sorry about the photo. But if you’re reading this you are a fan of the show and have a strong stomach for violence, right?

Hard as I try, I can’t wish Skylar away.

Skyler Breaking Bad

Holy crap, she is so annoying. She’s sticking around like a bad cold, weighing down the storyline with a car wash, her former coworker, and all the glory a bland accountant brings to the table. Anyway, she’s well aware of how her estranged husband earns a living. I’m hoping Jesse kills her in revenge against Walt.

Walt and Jesse

Walt and Jesse’s relationship has had plenty of ups and downs over the years. But things are at an all-time low. They beat the crap out of each other and just don’t trust each other anymore. Plus, Walt poisoned a freaking kid to make Jesse think Gus was pure evil. You know, I always find myself defending Walt. Like he’s a good guy who just got swept up in it all and he’d probably be a pretty cool chemistry teacher. (That is, if chemistry wasn’t the worst thing ever.) But he’s capable of truly unconscionable things.

Jesse Pinkman

I expect lots more turmoil between Walt and Jesse, but I hope they make peace soon. (Yes, I think Jesse should kill Skyler and then they can celebrate at one of Jesse’s drug parties.) There’s sure to be fallout from killing Gus and they are going to need each other to stay alive. Henchman Mike is sure to go ballistic in his quiet, lethal way.

Mike Breaking Bad

Let’s see, what else? Hank’s wife is still crazy. Hank is still gross, although he’s a good cop and a nice person. Walt’s son is still heartbreaking in his disability and pure goodness. Maybe we’ll see more of the baby this season…

A fan made this video recapping the last four seasons in nine minutes. It’s pretty good if you are really needing a refresher. And I’ll be posting a recap of each episode as it airs.

 

Thursday, September 29th

Breaking Bad…So Good!

My love for Bryan Cranston knows no bounds. He was hilariously funny in Malcolm in the Middle and his improv is brilliant. He is a funny, funny man indeed. I can’t stop laughing at this:

But anyone who watches Breaking Bad knows that Cranston’s range is far behind the comedic. Holy crap, that show is dark! I’ve seen people shot, throats slit, violent drug overdoses, and more bodies decomposing in acid than I care to remember. Here’s an especially disturbing scene:

Bryan Cranston won Emmys all three years he was nominated, and he’ll probably get the next one, too. But let’s not forget about Jesse, yo. He’s the bad boy we love to love. He’s scary and a little mean, but we don’t want to see anything bad happen to him.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Only two episodes left this season. Who is going to get killed? Leave your guesses in the comments section.