“If you don’t know who I am, then maybe your best course would be to tread lightly.”
Oh My Fucking GOD!
These and more were my reactions to last night’s explosive opening of the final eight episodes of Breaking Bad. It has been a long wait, but it was worth it with some truly stunning scenes and an ending that has been a long time coming.
But first, let’s start with a video recap of the show…
Oh come on! You have to admit that this was brilliant.
Anyway, here’s the recap…
All right. Now that we’ve caught up, let’s get to it…
- As much as we can praise Bryan Cranston’s acting in this show, his direction of this episode was pretty spot on. And in keeping with the show’s visual elán, some of Cranston’s shots were gorgeous.
- Again with the flash-forward to Walt, now with hair, returning to the decrepit White house and retrieving the Ricin cigarette. Remember, this scene happens after the first flash-forward from the start of this season, which was Walt’s 52nd Birthday. This site has a very convenient timeline of the show, which shockingly points out that the majority of the entire series has all happened within one year (it’s gets a little sketchy when you try and factor in the work with Lydia and the killing of Mike). And what an eerie shot it was with Walt looking at the graffiti tag of “HEISENBERG” in his own house.
- Meanwhile, everyone was puking this episode from Hank’s panic attack of DOOM, to Walt puking as a result of his cancer back in full force. Oh yes, Walt’s cancer is back people. Who wants to guess that Walt will try to start cooking again just to go out in a blaze of glory? Then again he might do it out of sheer boredom. Remember, Walt’s motivation is to be the smartest and best person in the room, and he can’t do that in the car wash that Skyler is now running.
- Especially since Skyler is Not Having It Anymore! Notice the way that she cooly and efficiently dealt with the return of Lydia. In two seconds, she managed to well and truly scare the piss out of Lydia (who’s basically a wimp but that’s beside the point). One of the things that people really haven’t mentioned in talking about this show is how Skyler has evolved from passive wife to active accomplice. In a way, Walt’s retirement from cooking has shifted the balance of power in the marriage back to her since she now has to keep going and keep laundering Walt’s money.
- Someone who is not feeling their power at all is poor Jesse, who wants nothing to do with the blood money he has made and is trying to get rid of it. The problem is that he’s still being pulled by Walt’s manipulations, up to and including the blatant lie about Mike being alive (on a side note, poor Mike! Taken out by a putz like Walter White!). The problem is that if Jesse isn’t brought to heel soon, it could get really ugly for Walt.
- And speaking of ugly, Hank’s entire world became ugly after figuring everything out. After a truly horrifying panic attack (that was brilliantly filmed), Hank regrouped and slowly put all the pieces of the puzzle back together and figured out what everyone knew; that his brother-in-law is a drug dealer!
- This led to one of the most shocking scenes in the entire show; Walt and Hank’s fight in the garage in a staggeringly played scene by Cranston and Dean Norris. As soon as the garage door closed, we were in for it, but again it showed why Walt has been able to survive the drug game; he outthought Hank at every turn. Another thought: Walt has always liked having a project, something for him to work on. Ever since he stopped cooking, he’s been going stir crazy because he missed the rush of being the top dog in town and being the smartest person in the room. Now he has to find a way to out-think his (admittedly) slower brother-in-law.
- Finally, we have a replacement line for the most badass line of the show; “If you don’t know who I am, then maybe your best course would be to tread lightly.” Stone. Cold.
So, what predictions do you have for the rest of these episodes? My guesses (and these are complete conjecture) are that either Hank or Jesse will kill Walt. Or maybe Jesse is brought in by Hank, spills everything, and then Hank puts out the manhunt for Walt. Or better yet, Walt takes the ricin and kills himself before Hank can catch him. And what of Skyler and everyone else? If a show makes you wonder about what’s going on with everyone, it’s doing something right.
Photo Credits: Ursula Coyote / AMC