‘Breaking Bad’ Discussion: Tread Lightly

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…

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

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?