August 24, 2013

Breaking Bad - Blood Money

It is amazing how much I forgot about this show after 9 months away. I forgot how tense it made me even when nothing was really happening on screen. I forgot how big of a jerk-face Walter is. I’d liked him and rooted for him for so long that I forgot I started hating him last season. I forgot how much different Jesse is now compared to the kid who started cooking meth with Walt a few years ago. Well, it feels like a few years, but that probably isn’t true in the Breaking Bad timeline. I’ve lost track of how long this whole thing has been going on at this point.

Just like last season, we start out in a flash forward that likely takes place around Walt’s 52nd birthday. This is after the diner scene from last year because we see the big gun in his trunk. He is sneaking back into his abandoned house to retrieve the ricin he hid behind the outlet plate. He has hair, which is significant because we see him later in the episode[1] undergoing more chemo therapy. Judging by his need for the ricin Walt is planning on killing someone. I have no clue who it might be. I wouldn’t put anybody outside the wrath of Heisenberg, but one has to think the obvious pick would be Hank. Speaking of Heisenberg, we see the name spray painted on an interior wall of his gutted-out house. It seems likely the police came in and looked for evidence[2] and then the house was left empty. We see neighborhood kids skating in the swimming pool, so they probably got in and painted the “Heisenberg”, meaning the neighborhood at large is aware of the name... like it made the news or something.

I really liked the imagery of the destroyed house. In a flash-back from an earlier season we see the Whites when they first bought the house and how much hope and excitement they had. The suburban house was the place where Walt took care of his family, and something he cared deeply about in the first season. Now it is destroyed. Walt has lost the battle. Whatever happens to him, whether he lives or dies when this whole thing is over, he has lost.

After the initial flash-forward is over we pick right up where we left off last year with Hank in the rest room. He sees the book and starts to realize what is going on, then immediately goes into panic attack mode. I’m not sure of exactly what is going through Hank's head but he has to be thinking about how this will make him look like a horrible cop when it comes out that his brother-in-law has been the criminal he’s been trying to catch for years. As he gets in the car to leave we see Walt greet his neighbor to parallel the freak-out moment she had in the flash-forward just a bit ago… I guess just so we know she didn’t always drop stuff when Walter said hello to her.

Through the rest of the episode there wasn’t a lot of other stuff going on. It was mostly showing us where the characters are emotionally. We see that Skylar seems to have forgiven Walt. At the end of last year it was an extremely fast switch from where she was at a few episodes prior, absolutely hating Walt. This season she continues to be friends with him, but gets pretty upset when Lydia makes a visit to the carwash.

Knowing that we only have 7 more episodes after “Blood Money” I felt like it had to get things moving pretty quickly. I wasn’t convinced that was happening until right at the very end. I did not expect Hank to put the whole thing together so quickly after finding the book on the potty. It seemed a little strange that he would be able to connect all the dots so clearly, but I guess he has spent the last year of his life on this case. I loved the showdown in the garage with Hank and Walt. Those are the moments that make the show so great and both Dean Norris and Brian Cranston put on amazing performances. I love how Walt can flip the switch and bust out some Heisenberg threats in his calm tone.

Overall I thought it was a great first episode back. I hate to see Jesse in such a funk, but I’m sure he will snap out of it when stuff starts going down. Speaking of… I’m not sure how long they are going to wait until everything starts hitting the fan. We don’t have much time left, so it has to be soon, and I can’t wait.

  1. Later, as in back in normal time.  ↩
  2. But it seems like they didn’t have the wherewithal to look behind the outlet plates.  ↩

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