‘Breaking Bad’ Discussion: ‘Franch’

I don’t disagree with Vince Gilligan often, but the title of this episode clearly should have been “Franch” rather than Madrigal. Clearly. And LOL more high fructose corn syrup for the American Midwest. The German geniuses at Madrigal Electromotive know what we fat Americans want!

With that said, last night’s episode of Breaking Bad, particularly the last half of it, was riveting — it made last week’s magnets escapade look like an episode of Three’s Company in comparison. I’m honestly not sure if a television show has ever had me more on the edge of my seat than last night’s episode did.

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. (Also, don’t forget to check out Josh’s Breaking Bad Power Rankings.)

– First off, I love that this episode was Mike-centric. I mentioned last week how I love this character so hard — glad to see him become the centerpiece of a show, for once. Mike taking time out from killing people to play Hungry Hungry Hippos with his granddaughter was especially great.

– Was I the only one who almost leaped off their sofa when the ricin cig featured prominently in the episode preview that ran right before the show started? It’s obviously going to come back into play at some point — the question is who will Walt attempt to use it on. Jesse? Mike? Personally, my money’s on Hank. More on that in a minute.

– Props to Herr Schuler of Madrigal Electromotive for finding a new and innovative way to off oneself in the event of an emergency. Death by first aid kit defibrillator was definitely a first for me.

– Props also to whatever genius made this…

– Can we talk about “Gomie” for a moment? I’m torn between whether the actor who portrays him is just really bad or if the character’s just supposed to be an idiot. Because that character just strikes me as a bit of joke of a DEA agent. His slow mannerisms do make me laugh occasionally though. If I were a drug lord, he’s exactly the guy I’d want on my tail.

– Jesse’s Roomba deserves an Emmy nomination for that performance last night. Made me actually think about buying one. That’s some goddamn acting right there!

– Also, thanks for the new hiding place idea, Walter White! Behind electrical sockets is where I’m totally going to keep my ricin stash from now on!

– Walter Jr. eating breakfast! Drink!

– “You are a timebomb, tick-tick-ticking, and I have no intention of being around for the boom.” -Mike sees what’s coming with Walt, and we know he’s right based on the machine gun in the trunk scene we saw last week. Meanwhile, I’m starting to feel sorry for Jesse. Walt has mind-f*cked him to the point that he obviously owns his ass and I fear for how this will all end for him.

– I think without question that the most significant development in the episode was the light that seemed to go off in Hank’s head when his boss mentions how Gus Fring was “right under his nose” all that time. Throughout the course of the series, Walt has operated right under Hank’s nose without Hank seeming to have even a glimmer of recognition about what was going on. I have a feeling that is about to change. A seed has definitely been planted and a showdown is on the horizon. Enter the ricin when Walt feels Hank is getting too close?

– Speaking of Hank, I had a mild lump in my throat during the interrogation scene with Mike. Those two matching wits and butting heads was some pretty goddamn good television. And there’s obviously no doubt the revelation that the DEA had seized all offshore assets tied to Gus is the triggering mechanism that led Mike to accept Walt and Jesse’s partnership offer.

– Let’s pause for a moment to get Walter White’s take on Jesse Pinkman’s appearance on The Price Is Right


– “The Crystal Ship’s been pretty good to us.” — Jesse Pinkman. I, for one, miss the “crystal ship.” Any scene involving that Griswold-esque RV just added another layer of comedy for me. Of course, “Breaking Development” wasted no time jumping all over that line.

– Saul Goodman looks absolutely terrified of Walt. He’s completely neutered. I want the old, brash, swinging dick Saul Goodman back. Not feeling this pussified version of him. At all.

– I can’t believe I’m going to say this, but poor Skyler. She seemed to have a distinct “If I don’t f*ck him right now he may kill me” look on her face when Walt was comforting/romancing her in that final scene. Meanwhile Walt’s God complex seems to be spinning out of control. I liked him a lot better when he was a hapless, petty criminal and not an aspiring drug kingpin. I can feel myself actually looking forward to seeing him fall from grace, which is something I’ve never felt throughout the course of the show.

– I don’t know about you, but I miss the hell out of Gus Fring. So to scratch that itch, here’s a video, via a Reddit AMA he did a while back, of Giancarlo Esposito cackling like a chicken on a plane. (Please bring him back in flashback scenes Vince Gilligan PRETTY PLEASE!!!)

Your own thoughts and observations are of course welcome in the comments. On that note, I’ll leave you guys with this…

(GIFs via Topher Chris, Jest)