Monday, August 6, 2012

Breaking Bad: "Fifty-One"


This must have been one of the best Breaking Bads ever. Now let's try and say some things about this outstanding episode. 
I thought you were the danger. - Skyler
So here we are. The episode that shows us really how far into despair Skyler has fallen. She apparently tries to kill herself in the pool and comes up with ridiculously high-minded plans to keep Walt Jr. and Holly safe from their drug-dealing father. Walt confronts her in the bedroom and we get, what I can only describe as Breaking Bad's version of Whitecaps. If you've watched the scene, then you are now pretty sure how Skyler feels about Walt and the meth business. After a couple of weeks of watching her in this zombie-like state of mind she finally makes it clear to Walt and to us she is desperate and wants out in any possible way, which pretty much is Walt dying. A tremendous scene of television and amazing performances by Bryan Cranston and specially Anna Gunn.
Nothing stops this operation. Nothing. - Walt
Of course, no matter what Skyler tells Walt. He is now in such a self-centered and victorious moment in his drug-dealing career that he is not willing to let anything or anyone stop his rise to the top. He tells the above quote to Mike in regard to Lydia, their meth supplier, but coming shortly after the scene with Skyler in the bedroom, we know that's where his mind is set primarily in. For a moment there, I thought he had killed Skyler. But no, he is just going to keep making her life miserable. 

So far this season there's been a lot of Walt mistreating those who care about him and a lot of foreshadowing of the way he's mistreated Jesse. This week we get the scene in which Jesse gives him a present for his birthday, which is just heartbreaking enough considered what he's done to the poor guy without him even knowing, but what makes it unbearable is that he later uses his relationship with Jesse as an example of how he can make Skyler change her mind. Basically, he will make everything he can to make her do what he wants her to do and keep quiet about it. 

And then, of course, we end up with a close-up of the watch Jesse gives to Walt looking like a ticking bomb, probably announcing Walt's world crumbling around him. Skyler is already there and everything else could follow. 

Also: There's the story-line about Lydia wanting to bail out of the job as meth-supplier for Walt, Jesse and Mike's operation. Not as compelling as the Skyler-Walt confrontation, but something that I bet will have a part to play in future episodes as we get close to the end of this show's terrific run. 

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