‘Breaking Bad’ Discussion: SHUT UP, MARIE!

You just knew that Jesse wouldn’t be able to resist snatching one of those tortillas off of the assembly line, right? I mean, how could he resist? How could ANYONE resist?

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.

– Though I loved last night’s episode on the whole, I can’t remember one that was so devoid of heart-in-your-throat tension. Obviously, Vince Gilligan is putting puzzle pieces in place here, but I don’t think everything has ever gone as smoothly in a single episode as things went last night for Walter and the gang. The One Who Knocks was able to mindf*ck Jesse into breaking up with his girlfriend, he was able to mindf*ck Marie into believing that Skyler’s breakdown was all her own cheating fault — making himself a sympathetic character in Marie’s eyes in the process — and he’s back to making meth again. All perfectly according to plan. I agree with Alan Sepinwall in his assessment that Gilligan used the episode “to get as much out of the way as he could before moving into the part where things inevitably start going wrong.” This HAS to be the case.

– FYI, here’s a Flickr feed likely relevant to the interests of everyone reading this. A sample of its offerings…

– I don’t like episodes devoid of Hank. I demand, at the very least, a scene of him obsessing over minerals, if not inching closer to finding out about Walt’s secret life as a drug kingpin, each week.

– “Just because you shot Jesse James, don’t make you Jesse James.” — Mike

– Wow, Skyler is f*cking terrified of Walt, to the point that she’s losing it. I think it’s finally hit her that he’s capable of killing anyone, including herself, who gets in his way. Thankfully, her breakdown did produce the lovely “SHUT UP, MARIE!” scene, which the actress who plays Marie discussed here.

– Whenever Walter ran across that copy of Leaves of Grass I couldn’t help but remember how it’s the book of poetry Bill Clinton gifts to women whose pants he wants to get into. That will never not be funny to me.

– The brief stare-down between Mike and Huell as Mike entered Saul’s office made me irrationally happy. I also loved the scene where Mike gives the exterminators their marching orders. Even Walt and Jesse seemed impressed.

– “Yes, he handles the business. And I handle him.” -Walter White

– Vamonos Pest Control is the new Los Pollos Hermanos. Internet entrepreneurs are already on it

– Can I just say that the scheme to use a pest control company to hide a roving meth lab is kinda genius. I’d love to know if the show’s writers dreamed this up on their own or if it was something they borrowed from the headlines, ala Law & Order. At the same time, I see this potentially leading to disaster, as in the lab causing a fire to break out and burn someone’s house down.

– Good to see Badger and Skinny Pete back as meth lab roadies! I’d totally watch a spinoff centered around those two loveable idiots.

– Well that scene with Walt and Brock alone on the sofa wasn’t awkward at all, was it? Was I the only one who kept waiting for Brock to blurt out, “Mommy that’s the man who fed me the poison plant!”

– Walt and Jesse drinking beer while watching The Three Stooges made me happy.

– That exterminator dude who spoke to Walt after Mike gave he and the others clear instructions not to speak to Walt or Jesse is going to die soon, right? (UPDATE: the aforementioned chatty exterminator dude was “Landry” from Friday Night Lights)

– The scene near the end where Skyler walks in on Walt and Walter Jr. watching Scarface is obviously significant for a number of reasons. First off, do you think it’s a coincidence that this scene ran on the eve of AMC’s “Mob Week”? I doubt it. Secondly, I recall Vince Gillian saying the following on a Nerdist podcast a while back: “What I always wanted to do with this show was to take Mr. Chips and turn him into Scarface, and that’s what we’re going to do.” With that said, I think it’s important to note Walt saying, “Everyone dies in this movie.” Sklyer’s face tells me she might have seen similarities between what was happening on the screen to what could happen in her own life.

– Anyone have any idea what kind of message Walt was trying to send to Jesse with the Victor/Icarus/flying too close to the sun speech at the end? Was he alluding to Mike growing too big for his britches? Was that a direct, thinly veliled threat to Jesse? It left me kind of confused.

“Secrets create barriers between people.” — Walter White

-Finally, Dustin tipped me to this over the weekend: Vince Gilligan quietly introduced Madrigal Electromotive two seasons ago.

That might be the current question, but here’s one bit of trivia you likely don’t know: season five is not the first time Madrigal’s been mentioned. Actress Betsy Brandt, who stars on “Breaking Bad” as Walt’s sister-in-law Marie, asked Gilligan during the interview when he first planned to introduce a German element to the crystal meth saga.

“There is a [season three] Easter egg, in all seriousness, if you watch very closely,” Gilligan answered, referring to the episode “Kafkaesque.” “In the teaser, that first opening sequence of the episode, we created a Pollos Hermanos commercial. We created a commercial for Gus’ empire. If you look very closely at the end of the commercial, there’s a tiny bit of legalese that says ‘copyright Madrigal Electromotive GmbH.’ It’s there, going back two seasons.'”

Here’s the screengrab from the scene, which Dustin helpfully tracked down for me…

Mind. Blown.

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

(GIFs via Chet Manley)