TV

Breaking Bad Discussion: ‘My Name Is ASAC Schrader. And You Can Go F*ck Yourself’

Yesterday I spent the afternoon participating in one of my favorite things in life: watching football with friends. Specifically, my New Orleans Saints played the Tampa Bay Bucs in a game that was interrupted for a significant time by a bad storm, so it wound up ending much later than normal, and since the Saints won by a field goal as the clock ran out — in dramatic fashion, in other words — there was a significant amount of celebrating that took place afterwards. When I finally returned home, Breaking Bad was about a half hour in and I was a little tipsy, so I decided to just go to bed and set the alarm for the ungodly hour of 5:30am so I could get up and watch it with a clear head for proper processing in the morning. (I was also a little afraid that if I watched it before going to bed that I wouldn’t be able to sleep.) And, well, as anyone who’s seen last night’s episode knows, that was probably a good decision.

Still, writing this today isn’t easy. A typical episode of Breaking Bad is hard enough to process — this one may take days to fully sink in. I feel like my head is still spinning as I type this. So please accept my apologies in advance if this recap/discussion sucks more than it normally does. I feel a bit numb and at a loss for words.

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 don’t quite know where to even start, but a thought that has stayed with me since the screen went black is this: one of the things I and many others have said about Breaking Bad is that the time seems to fly by when you’re watching it — it often doesn’t feel like you’ve just watched an hour of television, commercials and all, when an episode ends. With that said, when the show broke for commercial after the knife fight scene at the house that ended with Walt taking Holly, I thought the show was over. It felt, at that point, like more than hour had passed. Looking back on it, I think that was wishful thinking on my part. I lost it when Walter Jr. jumped in to protect his mom. I absolutely lost it.

I, for the first time ever as a Breaking Bad viewer, wanted the episode to be over before it was time for it to end. I didn’t feel like I could take any more. I didn’t have a mirror handy to see, but I’m pretty sure my face looked just like Walt’s did after the shootout in the desert.

– As I noted last week, there was just no way Hank and Gomie could have survived the shootout. I thought Gilligan and his writers scripted how things picked up after last week perfectly, with Gomie being dead as a doornail and Hank wounded but alive in order for him to go out with one final heaping helping of badassery, telling Uncle Jack to go f*ck himself. RIP Gomie. RIP Hank.

– In case you were wondering, no, Hank’s real first name isn’t “Asack.” (I will admit to wondering this for a moment this morning.) ASAC stands for “Assistant Special Agent in Charge.”

– Hank and Gomie being buried in the same hole in the desert where Walt buried his barrels of cash was one of the saddest bits of irony I’ve ever seen or heard of.

– “I’m sorry for your loss.” — Todd

– So Jesse was hiding under the car the whole time and Walt, who desperately wanted Hank’s life sparred, gave up Jesse and gave the green light to the Nazis to kill him. But not before he spends some time being Todd’s meth gimp, of course.

– I’m not sure how it’s going to happen, but I’d wager that not finishing Jesse off in the desert is a decision that Walt, Todd and Uncle Jack are going to come to regret. Especially now that he knows that Walt could have saved Jane and did nothing.

– I have to admit, I was initially confused when Walt called the house to talk to Skyler in the show’s closing moments. “Why is he telling her all this…doesn’t he know that the cops are probably listening and tracing the call?”, I wondered. But then I began to wonder if the reason for the call was specifically because he knew the police would be listening in. He knew it was his chance to exonerate Skyler to some degree, to put all the blame on himself and save her for being implicated in his crimes. Or maybe this is just wishful thinking on my part, the part of me that wants desperately to believe that there is some good left in Walter White’s soul.

– Here’s what Walt said to Skyler, btw. Was he trying to help her, as I think he was after having some time to calm down and think, or was this more of the unhinged, rage-filled Walter White we saw at the house?

“What the hell is wrong with you? Why can’t you do one thing I say? This is your fault! This is what comes with your disrespect! I told you Skyler, I warned you for a solid year, you crossed me there will be consequences. What part of that didn’t you understand?…Maybe now you’ll listen. Maybe now you’ll use your damn head. You know, you never believed in me. You were never grateful for anything I did for this family. ‘Oh no! Walt! Walt! You have to stop! You have to stop this! It’s immoral! It’s illegal! Someone might get hurt!’ You’re always whining and complaining about how I make my money, dragging me down while I do everything. And now, now you tell my son what I do? After I’ve told you and told you to keep your damn mouth shut? You stupid bitch. How dare you.

– How the hell does anyone have a decent cell signal out in the middle of that desert when I can barely get one when I drive 15 miles outside of just about any major city. Is this just because I have Sprint as my service provider?

– I’ll have to go back and look at the pilot episode, but it seemed to me that Walt’s mustache in the opening flashback scene in the desert was thicker than I recall it being. If so, that’d be a startling continuity fail for a production crew that’s arguably the most cinematic crew going on television right now.

– Good to see that the internet found a way to mourn hank’s death with a minerals joke…

– Mike, Gale, Jane, Krazy-8, and Tuco obviously did not return, sadly. Vince Gilligan was just fucking with us, apparently. (Or maybe they did and the scene ended up on the cutting room floor?)

– I was beginning to think that Walt. Jr. would never find out about his dad being the meth king of the Southwest, that maybe Walt, freaked out by the walls closing in all around him, would hand Jr. a wad of cash and say, “Hey kid…why not go backpacking through Europe for the next six months or so? There are quality whores in Amsterdam!”

– Nice to see Walt’s flying pants from the pilot episode make a cameo!

– The internet has been buzzing a bit this morning over the similarities between Jesse’s face, Gus’ face and the infamous pink teddy bear’s face.

– I’m sure the ghosts of Hank and Gomie were relieved to see that Walt finally learned how to roll a barrel.

– How great was the acting by the baby who played Holly? I’m not sure I’ve ever been as moved by a baby actress as I was by her last night.

– Finally, here’s the poem last night’s episode was named for…

And here’s an ominous reading of it by Bryan Cranston…

UPDATE: As commenter Jessolido noted below, check out how Walt’s reflection aligns with the bullet hole in the car. Is this foreshadowing a future bullet to the head?

(GIFs via Chet Manley. Still and memes via Daily Breaking Bad.)

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