Episode Reviews (14)
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Looking fantastic, but feeling a bit like a step back, plot-wise
"Say My Name" does something pretty unlikely for Breaking Bad: starting directly with an awesome scene. Walt is Heisenberg once again and unknowingly makes for one of the most often used memes of the series with a bad-ass display of him being the boss as a meeting with another meth cook and contributor doesn't exactly run down the way this second party planned it to. Bryan Cranston shows multiple shades of the character he portrays in this episode and good God, was that a great pre-credits scene.
While the story can't be faulted, the best part about "Say My Name" is its astonishing look, whether it's in the Coppola-esque final shots of the episode, the newest instalment in the series' never-failing-to-impress meth making montages (though I'm not a fun of the new duo), or the way that cinematographer Michael Slovis shows Mike's lawyer distributing the hazard pay and thereby trying out every last camera angle possible to film the scene. Besides the predictable, but nevertheless outstanding final moments of the episode, there isn't that much going on with the plot and the exposition in dialogue is kept within limits as well (wouldn't have needed that much of Hank this time).
I did very much enjoy "Say My Name" and the visuals really did impress me, yet for the penultimate episode of a season or at least a part of it things were a bit too slow for me. Having seen the following episode already, this makes perfect sense; however, in terms of thrill, action, and drama, I can't help but view this one as a step back.
Season5 Episode7 review
Hank will clue into Walt. That, I think, will be the cliffhanger at the end of the first leg of season 5. There have been numerous things pointing to Walt since season one that Hank first handedly observed. They include:
1)The gas mask found in the desert which Hank traced back to Walt's classroom. Hank then looks at Walt's chemistry lab's inventory and finds various items missing.
2)Walt admits to having interaction with Jesse Pinkman, when Skyler traces Jesse's phone call to their house. Walt covers this up with his wife as Jesse sells him marijuana.
3)Walt's second cell phone, which is discovered by Skyler and Hank when Walt goes missing. Hank even says "Walt has a secret," as they are discussing it.
4)Walt's mysterious disappearance when he's kidnapped by Tucco. Hank, in searching for Walt, runs into Tucco and kills him.
5)Walt's large sum of money that he and Skyler use to pay for Hank's medical treatment after he is assaulted. Skyler says Walt obtained this money through secret underground gambling.
6)The fact that Walt is a brilliant chemist, and would certainly have the know-how to create the superb meth product that hit the streets ever since Hank discovered the gasmask and glassware missing from Walt's lab.
Hank is a very clever DEA agent, who is able to discover truths through subtle circumstantial clues that don't add up as we have seen through his ruthless investigation of Gus.
That's what I think will happen...Where all the other loose ends will end up could go anywhere. Skyler losing her mind and her talking with Marie. The nine people tied into the operation through Pollos Hermanos who will certainly be investigated now that their lawyer is busted. Walt's new lab partner, who doesn't know the full extent of what he's gotten himself into, and how he will respond when it hits him. Walt's not willing to get out of the operation as it gets more and more dangerous.moreless
The Man Who Would Be Heisenberg
In another masterful episode of Breaking Bad Walt gets taken to the meet with the Arizona crew. He pitches to them his need for distribution in exchange for 35% of his take. He says that the methalomine is work more being cooked for an alliance if they pool their resources than for the 15 million they would've paid for just the 1,000 gallons alone. Walt really put his pants on this morning seeing how coolly and poised he delivered his business pitch. Making another manufacturer say his name and fire their current cook was a great idea and the purity of his product and that junkies will pay more for it were really the main points that he had to make the pitch. 35% is a reasonable enough price especially since Mike wants out. When Walt doesn't leave Jesse out of the equation saying that the Arizona crew will have "two of the best cooks in America" instead of just one. Mike gives congratulations to Walter for his pitch and gives Jesse a warmer goodbye telling him to take care of himself. Walt had hidden the tank of methalomine in the Car Wash which he had Skyler close for the day cleverly and when she tries to grill him about what's in the tanker he "puts her in her place" which made me feel sad for Skyler being an accomplice with no real power or need to know anything. Mike's lawyer continues the "Legacy Cost" from his cut of the 5 million the Arizona crew gave him as a "finder's fee" for hooking them up with Walt. Walt's scene with Jesse where's he so sure he'll cave and come back even though he insists that he's out and telling Jesse he'll have nothing if he walks out was powerful, in a "Walt is totally alone now with his little empire" sort of way. Walt follows Mike's advice and removes the bug from Hank's office who, after a search of Mike's place (he had already dumped all of his guns and other tools in a well in the boonies) turned up nothing after his attempted restraining order didn't pan out. Hank gets a hunch, even after getting ordered to order surveillance off of Mike, to follow the lawyer he's using to deposit the money in the deposit boxes of the members of Gus's former crew. When Gomez catches the lawyer putting the money away he humorously says the only thing he can to a man with a badge catching him in that position "Hello." Now that the legacy cost is compromised they will flip and give the DEA Mike and Walt and Jesse. When in Hank's office Walt hears of them moving in on Mike since the lawyer flipped and is willing to give him to the DEA. Walt calls Mike, who's in the park with his granddaughter, and after a set-up call from the lawyer that's he's going to come meet him Mike hesitates but hauls ass out of there. He makes Walt go to the airport where he has a "care-bag" with cash and passports and a gun in it in long-term parking at the airport. When Walt takes him the bag Mike chews Walt out for ruining the great business arrangement they had with Gus and curses Walt's ego. Walt almost takes it lying down, but having taken the gun out of the bag he goes to Mike's window and shoots him sloppily causing the car to swerve into the desert brush. When Walt puts himself back together and finds Mike's driver door open and blood leading away it proves how much of a bad-ass Mike is even when caught off guard he was a certified fighter. Walt trying to apologize for simply being able to get the names of the cons from Lydia instead of sweating Mike for them leads Mike to tell him to "Shut the F**k up and let me die in peace." So ends Mike's life. Heisenberg is now front and center and expanding business further than ever before. In closing Mike got a good go out of the series having lasted for a long time on the show. I only hope that his daughter gets to keep the money that the lawyer put in the safety deposit box and they didn't find out about and seize the money from it and that she doesn't learn the hard way about what her grandfather did for a living. Walt will have to run next week since we saw the future Walt at his 52nd birthday in the season opener and buying an assault rifle for some reason. Acting as a bridge of Hank finally finding out about the real "Heisenberg" next week should be a good handle for Dean Norris to finally sink his teeth into after all of this time since it's always been about how close and unseeing he is about what Walt really does.moreless
Say My Name
Anyway get a weird Michelle from American Pie flashback when Walt kept telling them to say his name?
I guess this was an okay episode, but the watered down Jesse I don't like, and killing off Mike was not a wise decision as he has probably been the most intriguing character on the show for some time now. How did he get out of the car so quickly too? Kind of unrealistic there.
It was a good episode, but again nothing this season has been "Breaking Bad quality."moreless
I was practically clutching my chest after that last scene. My heart was pounding. Please not Mike, anyone but Mike. Walter has left such a path of destruction and ruined lives (for the few still living) that I think it'll be very satisfying to see him finally get his in the end. What other show has transformed it's hero into a villain of such psychotic menace? Truly remarkable. Can't wait to see that inevitable shoot out!
Losing my religion
The fact this season is so obsessed with the downward spiral of WW, i believe has reduced the other characters in the show as plain simpletons which in turn has reduced the show's realism.
Where is the intellect of Skyler to get out of a jam as in previous seasons. They've reduced her into a battered wife character that came out of nowhere, flip a switch and now she's a woman with no options. Not totally believable IMO. Her character was a person who could think on her feet and get what she wanted. If she really wanted Walt to go away, then she could easily salvage her life by turning to the DEA/bro-in-law and give Walt up. She may not be forgiven by her sister but at least her kids can grow up in a drug free household. She's not thinking logically because if she waits and does nothing, Walt can be nabbed by authorities which in turn will make her an accomplice to the crime, and she will lose everything. If she does gives him up, she may save herself and possibly her family. She can play the heroine and kill the monster herself.
Jesse character has been reduced significantly as well. They've reduced him into a zombie walking a constant fog. He goes about his days crying about fallen kids from previous shows. Its getting to be pathetic and the fact that he walked out on Walter in the last episode breathed a little life into him. He could easily give up Walter as well.
So far this season has been a bit of a downer IMO. There's been a lot more scenes that have been a bit of a reach in believability i.e. the Super magnet caper, the train heist, and the Pest fumigation cooking stations are a bit outrageous and hard to swallow.
Hopefully the future episodes will return a bit of realism back in the show and restore some of the characters that were so wonderfully developed in past seasons.moreless
Say My Name
Say My Name was a series classic! The episode was perfectly entertaining and I really enjoyed the character and plot development. It was intriguing to see the story go from Walt solidifying his business venture in the beginning to every thing seemingly falling apart by the end. The Say My Name scene was awesome. It was cool how Hank worked around his bosses instructions and my heart was racing as Mike discovered he was about to be caught. Walt and Jesse's scenes were good and it was fun watching Walt teach Todd how to cook. The scene where Walt confronts Mike for the names of his guys in prison was very realistic. The last scene was sad, peaceful, beautiful, and had me gasping for more! I look forward to the next episode!!!!!!!!!moreless
That last scene...
(Spoilers of course)
...was so well done.
As always there was a slow build throughout that made it feel inevitable. With Jesse waffling and Skyler unwilling to even chat at dinner, Walt has no support system.
In the final moments, the writers took everything into consideration in crafting the action - that Walt would attempt to chat through the issue with Mike first and foremost. That it would take Mike angering him for him to turn back with the intent to kill. That Mike would not give up easily, getting as far as to exit the car before giving in. And that Walt would realize after the fact that he didn't need to hurt Mike when Lydia was still available to shake down. That line made the whole thing heartbreaking (and neatly avoided a plot hole). All of it was extremely faithful to the character they've been building for five seasons and I won't be surprised when this death does not stop Walt's pursuit of an empire.moreless