Monday, July 16, 2012

Breaking Bad: Live Free or Die

Breaking Bad is back for the first half of its final season Sunday nights at 10pm ET on AMC and I will be trying to do some kind of recap every Monday. 

Watching 'Live Free or Die', the premiere of 'Breaking Bad's final season with my dad made me realize what a long way this show has gone. Now, my dad watched the first two seasons of 'Breaking Bad' and was more than confused and uninterested while watching the premiere. This wasn't the show he watched a couple years ago and at the same time, it really was.

The central premise of 'Live Free or Die' is that Walt and Jesse have to make up a way to destroy the laptop that holds the evidence that would link them to deceased drug-lord Gus Fring. So they team up with Mike and come up with a convoluted plan that involves a giant magnet. This was the part of the episode that my dad was actually interested in, because it was something that didn't need that much knowledge of previous seasons to understand and something that was easy to recognize as the 'Breaking Bad' of early years.

After a very climatic and powerful season finale last year, we come back with the premise of Walt and Jesse get into a mess and have to get out of it at the center of the episode. A throwback to the early years that does and doesn't feel like them. The premise might be similar to their previous antics, but the characters around it -particularly Walt- are very different.

I think you can sum it up with Walt's attitude. Having defeated Gus Fring he feels more powerful than ever. Now, Walt was always a very narcissistic guy to begin with, but I think we have never seen him be as arrogant as when he's riding in the back of Mike's car. Mike asks how could they be sure the plan involving the magnet worked. Walt's response: "Because I say so." Add that to the scene in which he scares the shit out of Saul, the scene in which Skyler admits to being afraid of him and most of all the scene in which he "forgives" Skyler for her time with Ted and you have a very different Mr. White. One that I would dare to say has reached a peak in the megalomaniac department. 

It seems fitting that the final season of 'Breaking Bad' has Walt being more powerful than ever. The coast is clear for him to be the new Gus Fring and he won't let that chance go. We will just have to wait and see if this new almighty Walt can become king of the hill before has actions make things come crumbling down around him.

Also: We begin the season, like many before it, with a somewhat intriguing scene. It's in the future. Is Walt's 52nd birthday. He's pretending to be from New Hampshire. Is carrying a shotgun in his truck and sporting a head full of hair. Now that scene has me intrigued to see what will become of Walt, but my dad's 52nd birthday was a couple days ago, so it played sort of creepy when we watched it.

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