Breaking Bad Discussion: Robbing A Train

It’s been repeatedly mentioned in some of our past Breaking Bad discussions that episode five of this season — the one that aired last night — would be a heart-in-your-throat one, based on word leaked by members of the cast and Vince Gilligan himself. It did not disappoint.

Over the past few days commenters have speculated wildly about what was possibly to come. Example: “My guess Walt gives Holly the ricin” and “(Walt’s) going to wake up with Skylar pointing a gun to his head (mirroring what he said Jesse had done before he wnet to bed) and he’s going to strangle her to death”, etc. Well now we know exactly what went down.

So 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.

– I kinda of had a feeling something bad was going to happen involving that kid as soon as I heard the train horns off in the distance during the opening scene. We all knew that the episode would involve a train heist — the previews shown after last week’s episode tipped us off to that — so I figured that he’d somehow wind up witnessing it. The question then was whether or not Walt and the gang would know that he’d witnessed it. Still, I never would have guessed that Landry from Friday Night Lights “Todd” would put a bullet in him. Such a Todd move.

– I will be disappointed if this episode doesn’t inspire an “Overeager Todd” meme.

– I don’t know about you guys, but this episode to me felt more like an action/heist movie than it did an episode of Breaking Bad and I, for one, LOVED IT. I could feel a mild lump in my throat and an uncomfortableness in my stomach as soon as that action movie-esque soundtrack started kicking in.

– When Walt began crying in Hank’s office the only thing I could think was, “Okay, what the hell is he up to?” I’d never have guessed he was there to bug it. Holy sh*t that was balls!

– Also, the bug Walt placed in Hank’s office behind the photo on his desk has to come back into play, right? Hanks going to find it at some point. He has to. Also, what the hell did Walt attach to Hank’s computer? Was that some sort of hacking aid?

– Once again, Jesse — the guy who I was sure would accidentally burn himself to death cooking meth early in the series — turns out to be the man with the plan, finding inspiration again while Walt and Mike squabble about how to work something out. Also, Jesse’s moment of revelation was framed in much the same way that it was in the magnets episode.

– Speaking of Jesse, I have a feeling that the well-put-together Jesse of this season may begin to unravel mentally and emotionally after witnessing the murder of the kid on the dirt bike. There’s no way he’s going to take this any way but unwell.

— “I am not your wife. I am your hostage.” — Skyler

– Actress Laura Fraser, who plays Lydia Rodarte-Quayle on the show, told Vulture last week that she still hasn’t met Vince Gilligan: “The episodes that he was there for, I’d just left or I wasn’t in the episode. So he’s like this majestic phantom that everyone talks about every day, all the time, that’s invented this whole crazy world — but I actually haven’t met him.”

– Speaking of Lydia, I LOLed hard when she hissed “asshole” at Mike after she’d been vindicated by the Hank bug.

– I imagine Walt must have felt like John Wayne when he was out in the desert wearing his Heisenberg hat preparing to rob a train.

– Skyler: “Out burying bodies?” Walt: “Robbing a train.” The nonchalance in Walt’s reply to his awful wife was kind of awesome, wasn’t it?

– “Everyone sounds like Meryl Streep with a gun to their head.” — Mike

– So I guess that “Flynn” is back now? Long live Flynn! WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?!

– I kinda love Jesse, Walt and Mike working together as a team. I was genuinely excited when they pulled off the train robbery — a train robbery — successfully. Too bad Buzzkill Todd had to come along and f*ck it all up.

– While I obviously found last night’s episode to be entertaining as hell, I think it’s safe to say that we’ve entered a phase in Breaking Bad history where plausibility has essentially been tossed out of the window. If destroying evidence held in a police station with a giant magnet didn’t do it, then robbing a train in the middle of the desert certainly did. However, I, for one, am fine with this. Others, like Vulture’s Breaking Bad recapper, not so much.

I’ve been willing to buy pretty much every violent event that Breaking Bad has presented thus far, because even if the action was spectacular (the midair collision, which was more an example of chaos theory than a direct result of Walt’s shenanigans; Hank’s nasty shoot-out with the cousins; Walt blowing up Tuco’s office and the nursing home and Gus’s lab) the circumstances were somewhat intimate. When I watched Walt, Jesse, Mike, and the gang digging holes in the desert with a steam shovel and somehow getting a freight train to stop exactly where they needed it to stop in order to siphon the chemicals and replace them with water delivered via tanker truck into the middle of friggin’ nowhere … I’m sorry, the more details I list, the sillier the whole thing seems.

– Once again, a Pacino gangster movie gets featured in the show. Didn’t everyone die at the end of Heat as well?

Your own thoughts and observations are of course welcome in the comments.

(GIFs via Chet Manley, KK Jordan, )