‘Breaking Bad’ Discussion: Tread Lightly

By: 08.12.13  •  366 Comments

Last night, just shortly after 9pm central time, I sat alone on my sofa in the dark, my DVR paused on AMC just as Low Winter Sun was starting, staring blankly at the TV. And then, after a few seconds, I said one word aloud for no one but my dog: “Wow.” I don’t smoke, but I felt like I needed a cigarette in that moment. Good lord that was AMAZING.

So after waiting impatiently all these months, let’s get right to it, shall we? Here are a few notes I made during last night’s Breaking Bad about characters, scenes, etc. I found interesting for one reason or another.

– The two scenes that will be most analyzed and discussed in the coming days are the opening and closing scenes from last night’s episode, so let’s start with those. First, the opener, still frames of which I’m sure are being looked at under a microscope by Breaking Bad obsessives searching for clues as we speak.

In this scene we see the Walter White we saw in the season five opener — the future Walter White who has obviously been in hiding and on the run — returning to the family home, possession of which has been taken by the city, to retrieve the ricin he hid inside an electrical socket.

Presumably, this scene is taking place at least six months ahead of time from the rest of the episode. Remember, Walt’s 51st birthday came in the first half of season five, and his 52nd was celebrated at Denny’s in the aforementioned season five opening scene. So here he is, the heavy weaponry he purchased at Denny’s that day in tow, brazenly returning to his home in broad daylight. The house is abandoned, it’s been ransacked, it’s boarded up and covered with leaves, and skateboarders have taken over the family pool…

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And it’s no longer a secret that the man who once owned the house was once the meth kingpin of the Southwest…

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So we’re left to wonder: who is Walt so eager to kill that he would risk returning to his former home under the light of day to retrieve his precious vial of ricin? Hank?

– Also, over the weekend a new Breaking Bad theory was floated, one in which it’s noted that Walt’s penchant for adopting things from people he kills could point to him killing Skyler. Taking this into consideration, could Walt’s choice of jacket in this scene point to Walt murdering Jesse?

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– One last thing about this scene: is it just me or does Carol seem like she’s looking at a man she thought was dead prior to this moment?

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– Now, let’s fast forward to the final scene, the showdown in the garage between Hank and Walt that the series has been leading to and that we’ve all been waiting for. A couple of things: first, I was pleasantly surprised that Vince Gilligan and his writing staff wasted no time getting right to this. I’m not surprised that they did — seeing as how they only have seven episodes after this one to finish telling their story — but still, they could have easily dragged out the tension a little longer, leaving us all in suspense the entire time. They obviously chose not to, and we are all better for it.

Further, I’m a little surprised last night’s episode didn’t end when Hank closed the garage door, fading to black after it slammed shut with Walt and Hank staring intensely at each other. (I would have had no beef with that, btw.) But Gilligan and crew took it a step further and gave us the full-blown Walt/Hank confrontation we’ve all been waiting for, culminating in Walt’s thinly veiled threat, one that clearly translates to, “YOU DON’T KNOW ME MOTHERF*CKER!”

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This, of course, has led to some hilarious meme-ing like this…

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And this…

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– One more thing about this scene: can we just go ahead and give Brian Cranston and our buddy Dean Norris Emmys now for their work in this scene? Good lord were they f*cking awesome! How great must it have been to be on set to watch these two act this scene out. Holy sh*t.

Okay, moving on to the rest of the show…

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