Breaking Bad: Point of No Return

Breaking Bad S05E02: "Madrigal"

How. Creepy. Was. That? Walter White slurping on "sleeping" Skyler's shoulder at the end of "Madrigal" was a huge step. Not necessarily for Breaking Bad, but for my relationship with Walter White. See, I've been a staunch defender of Mr. White ever since the pilot, viewing the character as someone to admire for his intelligence and craftiness, willingness to do whatever it takes for his family, and ability to transform into a totally unexpected badass when he should be grading the chemistry exams of failing students.

There have been times I wasn't fully behind what he was doing (most notably letting Jane choke to death on her undigested heroin lunch), but the reasons behind his actions are always about protection. Protecting his family, protecting his business, and protecting his own life. These are all reasonable motivations for me.

We all know that Breaking Bad is about turning a normal guy into Scarface over the course of the series, as creator Vince Gilligan is fond of saying, and as of late, especially during my roundtable discussions at Comic-Con, the word "sociopath" has been thrown around to describe Walter, which I don't agree with. But as recently as this week, my friends and I have been discussing the possibility of hating Walter White. Perhaps some of you more straight-laced button-ups were already headed in that direction, but as wicked and evil Walter would become, I never thought I wouldn't like the guy or at least root for him as the anti-hero.

Then "Madrigal" happened, and I'm cowering in front of him. After last week's "Live Free Or Die," we talked about how Walter was becoming more Heisenberg than Walter White, even bringing Heisenberg home, where he was previously off limits. This continued in tonight's episode in smaller doses, but those bits were much harder to swallow than Walter telling Saul "We're done when I say we're done."

Jesse had been freaking out about the missing ricin cigarette and living with the guilt that it could kill an innocent bystander, so Walt took action and planted a dummy cigarette in Jesse's Roomba to get Jesse focused on the task at hand and put the question of what happened to the cigarette behind him. It was Jesse's teary reaction to finding the cigarette—another Emmy-worthy performance by Aaron Paul, what else is new?—that put Walter in such a horrible light. "You and I working together, having each other's back," Walter says. "It's what saved our lives. I want you to think about that as we go forward." Here's Walter, rubbing Jesse's shoulders and telling him it's okay and putting Jesse through this incredibly difficult set of emotions, when it's all lies designed to convince Jesse to bury his suspicions and start cooking again. It was so difficult to watch, and maybe it's because I heart Jesse so much, but I felt hatred toward Walter White.

Skyler has turned into a shut-in bed squatter with all the stress from the Gus situation and seeing Ted Beneke a prisoner of headgear. But mostly she's frightened of Walt, and the way director Michelle MacLaren and cinematographer Michael Clovis are visualizing her fear is something to behold. Though she was the centerpiece of two important scenes, Skyler only had one line of dialogue this week. And in those scenes, the camera framing actually cut off Walter's head until he was crawling all over, tongue flapping back and forth on her back like a Dothraki warlord come to claim his prize. Breaking Bad is painting Walter White in a different light, and the mostly innocent lines he says—"It gets easier. I promise you that it does. What you're feeling right now, about Ted, everything. It'll pass. So when we do what we do it's for good reasons. And we've got nothing to worry about. And there's no better reason than family."—come off just disgusting. And Walter throwing "family" around still? That's like Saul using the word "ethical." He still thinks he's crusading for his family, when he's actually out for himself.

But for me—and this is with regard to my personal journey through Breaking Bad—it's staggering to think that I do not like Walter right now. I was floored when I said, "Oh fuck you, Walt" at the end of the episode, my skin crawling from feeling betrayed. But that's the exact reaction the show wanted to elicit. The most painful part of this transformation from Walter to Heisenberg is the moment you realize that Walter has definitively stepped over the line, never to return. For some of you that may have already happened. For me, he's right on top of that line, foot raised and ready to cross it, and giving me a wry look while he does it. It's amazing series-long writing for one character, the likes of which I have never seen before.

That's a lot of talk about a guy who wasn't even the centerpiece of tonight's episode. This week it was good old Mike the Cleaner who got the bulk of the story. In fact, "Madrigal" was some sick take on getting the band back together, except instead of a bass player there was a degenerate meth cook, and instead of a drummer there was a guy who is really good at killing people. It was obviously going to be a challenge for the writers to get Mike to team up with Walt and Jesse given Mike's past with both of them, especially given the beatdown he put on Walter in the bar and the fact that Walter killed his boss. Mike is the most practical character on this show; he's not going to agree to any endeavor unless it's a sure thing or he has to. Last week he helped Walt and Jesse out because the alternative was getting busted by the police. This week he grudgingly signed into the partnership because he had no other choice. He needs the money to keep Gus's other employees quiet and provide a cushy life for his granddaughter.

And adding Mike to the team means adding Mike's connections. Funny how having a solid connect to some methylamine will forgive an assassination attempt, but that's exactly how Lydia, the paranoid ex-work associate of Gus, avoided taking one between the eyes from Mike. All the pieces for a business are coming together, but I don't think any business school teaches the rule that great organizations are founded on fear. With each new employee added the chances of failure increase, and having the skittish Lydia on the payroll doesn't look good.

And in fact, nothing Walter is doing feels rock solid. He's building an empire all right, but he's doing it with a dangerous sense of overconfidence. He wants a lab in the city because he doesn't want to drive 50 miles outside of town? Laziness gets you visits from the cops, Walter! We're just two episodes into Walter's big breakout season as a bad dude, and already there's a feeling that so many things are about to go wrong. Adding the skittish Lydia and her direct ties to Gus is just more trouble waiting to happen.



LAB NOTES

– How awesome was the opening sequence? Just a gorgeous, self-electrocuting opening. Great work all around visually in this episode.

Steven Spielberg was able to make a statement about the power of nerds in Jaws by making the heroes bespectacled old guys who weren't in the mold of the typical cinema hero. Vince Gilligan appears to be doing something similar with older, balding men in Breaking Bad. Walter, Hank, and Mike are all bald badasses. Let that chrome dome shine, people!

– Do you think Hank took his boss's words to heart when he said, "It was somebody else completely. Right in front of me. Right under my nose..." They focused on Hank in thought, but he couldn't have possibly been thinking about Walter, could he?

– Now we know that Gus's operation was globally funded all the way from Germany! So it seems like a good time to cut all ties with Gus's former associates. Ahem, Lydia.

– Though Lydia may be untrustworthy and more likely to do harm than good, she was damn funny in the scene with Mike at the diner.

– I'm guessing Jesse Plemons, who is joining the cast this season, is Lydia's connection to methylamine. Vince Gilligan said he would be "the weak link."

– R.I.P. Chow. You were one of the good ones.


Follow TV.com writer Tim Surette on Twitter: @TimAtTVDotCom

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Really?! You were able to resist the urge and not hate Walt to the bone up until now?

Mr. White crossed the line long time ago - when Jane died - putting aside what it did to Jesse; his actions led to the death of so many innocent people, it was to much he became a murderer, a selfish-cold-blooded murderer.



PS. does anyone else hates Hank or is it just me?
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I stopped cheering for Walter when he poisoned the kid. That was a bit over the top; that was when I started to wish him dead (or something worse). I mean, he had done it before in order to manipulate Jesse, but it's one thing to let a junkie die (don't misunderstand me - I don't think junkies should die); poison a child on purpose is something else entirely. That's why it hurt me so much to watch Jesse cry, remorseful. Great story-telling; it's wonderful to see how the characters/actors have evolved. These guys should be really proud of what they've created!
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GREAT review Tim.



I am in the same place with you on the topic of Walter. This was the first episode where he really made me angry and when he was with Skylar at the very end I was sick to my stomach. It was also really hard to watch him in the scene with Jesse and the roomba. Walt has always been manipulative, but you are right, his actions have flown past the point of protecting his family and moved on to it being all about him. Yes, he took Gus out and that was awesome, but if Walter is really stupid enough to start ignoring common sense just because he believes he is top dog he is in for some real trouble. Yes, Gus had his meth lab in the city, BUT he had funding to hide it well. Walter is currently low on cash and shouldn't be so gutsy especially with the DEA poking around. Lastly, I also noted that during the scene with Hank and his boss and the camera focused on him... I saw it as sort of foreshadowing. I don't think he was thinking about Walter in the moment, I viewed that as more of a tease for the audience to remember that the possibility of a Hank and Walter showdown is very likely in the works.
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Great review, Tim, and with the comments below... I really don't know what to add. This show is superbly written and executed.



Was is just me or were the camera shots strangely different in that episode? It reminded me very much of David Lynch's work at times...
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Tim, Walt stepped over the line a long time ago, the moment he let Jane die. Until that point he was no killer, he retained a sense of right and wrong, he wouldn't have dreamed of doing anyone in. But at that point expedience -- getting Jesse back so he'd keep cooking -- took over. That was the moment Walt sold his soul to doing what was "necessary," the point of no return. Since that flashpoint "Breaking Bad" has been a shivery chronicle of Walt further losing his humanity bit by bit by bit. The spoilage never stops.
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It seems that Hank may know more than he is letting on....he may have seen Walter on the Lap Top before it was destroyed....encryption may not have stopped Hank....he seems to be putting the pieces together.....
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" It's amazing series-long writing for one character, the likes of which I have never seen before."

Even the two people who know what you've seen don't care.



Lydia did not live because she agreed to provide methylamine (she didn't). She lived because Mike didn't kill her.



A nice reference to Half Measures to help tie up the Lydia analysis. Oh wait. nvm.

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I loved the way Walter handled the whole missing cigarette thing. He gave his friend Jesse the peace of mind he deserved, while that also served his purpose of getting Jesse back into the cooking business. Nothing like killing two birds with one stroke.



The initial scene with the Germans was hilarious and dramatic at the same time. I loved the way the German lab tech was awkward describing the wonders of the sauces his team had developed, while finally being totally confused when his boss apparently preferred plain ketchup, and then cookies with no sauce at all. And they say Germans have no sense of humor.



Loved the addition of Lydia, a sexy, neurotic, fatal female.
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I was surprised with Skyler this episode. She has always been a strong female lead. Now, she is terrified and seems rather depressed. I think she is going to surprise everyone in a future episode, whether it be in this 8 episode stretch or the next.
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Walter's gone.
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Yes, that last scene was creepy - for us the audience, because we could see Skylars face. But if you try to imagine the scene from Walters perspective, you just have a husband in bed with his wife, only seeing her back and caressing her. And that actually gives us a little more inside into Walter White - he still thinks he is the 'provider' for the family and he still thinks his wife loves him and is, while a bit distraught, still ok with all that. He doesn't even consider the possibility that his personality change might affect the relationship with his loved ones (I assume he still loves his family, even though he often uses it as a front to cover up [from himself] that he is extremely power hungry).



All in all a really great episode. As a german I especially loved the opening scene with all its klichees. And a big kudos to the producers, they actually managed to get the german right. Yes it was still obvious that the dialogues weren't written by a native speaker and you could hear the accents but still, the actors did a very good job; too often in TV shows someone just reads out a line of near gibberish and doesn't even bother to look at the helpful phonetics which every dictionary should have.



I'm actually quite happy that Breaking Bad will end after this season, because it's an amazing show and it's still getting better and better and I couldn't stand the thought of it getting worse over time just because some network executive wants to milk it for cash. This way it can be a masterpiece.
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To Res_Dog:

Maybe you haven't heard the news, but "Breaking Bad" is NOT ending this season. Its episodes have been divided in two -- 8 now, 8 more a year from now. Why? Because some network executive(s) want to milk it for cash. Sorry, but you WILL have to stand the thought of it getting worse over time. Talk to you in September '013.
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By the end I was thinking: " If Walter kisses Skylar's shoulder and forehead again I will barf on the floor!" And I did once, twice, ...

LYDIA

Of all the bitches I have encountered throughout my travels, she is the worst.

Think about it : she rather let her own and only child be murdered than having her thinking bad about leaving her ! WTF ?!
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It took you this long to dislike the main character? I watched 2 episodes and couldn't figure out why I was supposed to like anyone.
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When it comes to good art, "liking" a character isn't required.



However, saying that, I like Jesse and Hank.
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I wonder f those chicken nuggets were that good to be the last thing you eat before you off yourself.
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Blast of an episode - fun ride to the end!
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I think we are all missing what was truly important coming out of this episode.





Franch
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Who knows about computer forensics? It's my understanding that encrypted drives can be cloned, I assume so they don't have to worry about damaging the original evidence. But no one mentioned having a copy in the show - at least so far.
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They certainly can be cloned, though it is more about convenience than damage. The unencrypted drive wouldn't be an in-place modification of the original. But basically everything you've ever seen about encryption on television is untrue. In any case where anyone has the slightest clue what they are doing, it is impossible to unencrypt a drive, even with all the resources of all the governments on the planet. There are ways you can get at encrypted data, but they involve getting the password that unlocks it. On a boot drive encrypted with some software you can get the password out of memory in the pre-boot sequence. But its not like decrypting a password hash, you can't just number crunch for a few weeks or a few years or even 10,000 years. No technician or hacker or anyone else can get into a properly encrypted drive without the password. If they magically decrypt it without getting the password, I will be even more disappointed in their research team than when they got everything wrong about the magnet.
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Poor Jesse hes being played like a fiddle so effortlessly by Walt man im actually scarred of him now its great feeling when don't know whats going happen next I've created so many endings for this show in my head and its making me crazy.
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I was getting goosebumps during the last few minutes. I'm not a fan of Walter anymore either. I feel bad for Jesse... he's getting played like a BITCH.
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I both exhaled and inhaled as this episode ended. Breathtaking.
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Walter crossed that line last season, when he was laughing like a nervous maniac inside the hole where he kept his money.
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I have to say I still root for Walt. He is not stinkin rich, he is in debt, so there is still 'he has to do it' card to play. And as long as there is one, go Walt go!
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I want one of those moving piggies.
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Outstanding episode, yet again.



Incredible acting performances all around. You know, instead of the having a show like Modern Family have 6 people nominated for acting, it should be THIS show with so many nominations. These people know what they're doing. Walt has become a downright psychopath, you can tell he has, and he didn't have a single aggressive scene in this episode. Mike is a killer. Who knows how many people Mike has killed? But sitting all alone at the dinner you'd think it's an old man trying to figure out what to do with his retirement. Jesse has a breakdown when he finally finds the cigarette, and how unsettling was the whole scene of Walt comforting him? You just can't pick sides anymore, and that also goes for acting favourites. Too good.



Further thoughts:



- Good review Tim. This show isn't the same with your input afterwards, and everyone else who posts for that matter.



- What an opening scene indeed. How fucked up was the business relationship of that man and Gus? I mean he did shock himself to death just on the account that Gus was found out. I was left with a strange feeling after the opening, the suspense is killing me.



- Skyler is just scared shitless of Walt now. She just doesn't know what to do does she? I wonder if she's going to be the wildcard in the end. I bet she's also absolutely disgusted with Walt as well. How long 'till Junior notices the extreme awkwardness at the family dinner?



- To confirm what we saw last week, Saul is also terrified of Walt. He very calmly tries to reason with Walt, but nothing to do with good old snappy Saul of the earlier seasons. Walt is in charge of just about everyone and everything now.



- Ahhh, the writers weren't as lazy as I mentioned last week. Hank did have a peek at the laptop but predictably couldn't do much with it, although I suspect Hank didn't fully disclose everything he found on the laptop either. Furthermore, I just can't tell whether he already suspects(ed?) that Walt is not the same or if he's still in the dark. But I have a feeling he knows something ain't right.



- Mike had an outstanding episode as it has already been mentioned. You could tell he would end up in the gang, you just wouldn't know what would motivate him to do so. Turns out his granddaughter losing all the hard earned money was just about enough to get him pumped. Do not think we're done with Lydia yet on the untrustworthyness. I hope Mike has scared her good, but I doubt it.
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This show.. Just.. Wow..

I can't remember a single episode where I havn't been on the edge of my seat. The photography is so insanely good on this show. If only directors like Michael Bay (and the rest of the MTV-crowd) would look at this and learn how effective those slow shots can be!

Seriously I would watch this show just for the photography and camera even if the scripts where about pink fluffy unicorns dancing on rainbows :)
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I started rooting against Walt at the end of season four, when we found out he was the one who poisoned Brock.
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For me one of the biggest turning points was when he let Jane die. I count it as murder as he willingly let it happen - and as this was his first "innocent" victim I stopped any identification processes with Walter after that scene. Since Gale's murder he also pretty much only used Jessie while he still relied on him as a friend or rather father figure.



However, Walter is high on himself. There is still a part in me which *understands* what might go through his mind. It's more empathy or analysis than real identification. But yes, I can still relate. Is it strange that I can? No, because the series man point is that ANYone has something bad in him which can take over due to extreme circumstances.



That being said: I love the fact that identifying with the main character is SUCH a different matter on this show. My main thrill on watching BB is characterizing Walter White every week :)
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One thing I find very interesting about Walt is how he didn't let Hank get killed by Gus at the end of last season. Rather than simply letting his brother in law take the bullet, so he could walk away, he stuck his neck out and the neck of his entire family to save Hank's life.



Does that sound like the actions of a totally evil man?
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Walter will never be evil nor a white knight. The way they portrayed his transformation is incredibly deep. Whoever the old Walter was still lives on in his new persona as much as the new Walter/Heisenberg was part of his old personality - waiting to be awakened.



It's neither black, nor (walter) white. There are different shades of grey when it comes to his character. A result of the ingenious story writing.
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As indicated in the name "grey matter" ;)
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Insanely good episode. This show is so near perfection it's heart-stopping. I just keep shaking my head at the genius of all involved, from script writer to cinematographer to the pacing of the plot.



As for Walt, I'm not quite sure how this was his point of no return, Tim. He poisoned a kid like 5 episodes ago, and you only dislike him now that he's a bit creepy during the kissing of his wife's neck? Personally I still like him and I'm rooting for him (though not as much as for Jesse or Hank). He's a fascinating character, and even if his motivations are now entirely selfish, I can't help but understand the pride and headonistic power trips that drive him. He's creepy now, but damn he inspires confidence more than the old Walt did.
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When I started to get hate (but still get a royal kick out of him) Walter....well, I always thought it was odd and a little nasty of him never to stop Jesse from calling him Mr. White, but, you know whatever, I can't call my college roommate anything but Christine because that is actually how I met her, though I am to understand she is Chris or Chrissy to the rest of the world. I even kind of understood the Jane thing, yes, that was horrible, but the intentions behind it were good and it led to Jesse getting off doing the meth himself (though I know he uses sometimes, I still think he is clean of meth). Then basicially setting Hank up to be killed....then making Jesse kill Gale, then trying to make him kill Gus, then Brock...I hope Hank learns of these things (even if he doesn't figure out it is Walt doing them) before Jesse so when next he is brought in, that he will realize that this guy might actually be a good guy who has been manipulated basically from the time his parent's kicked him out of his grandmother's house.
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Mike the Cleaner for an Emmy nomination.

I was totally uncomfortable throughout the entire episode. It was shot beautifully and gave us more character development. Loved it.



No love for Hank? The guy is walking on his own and cracking jokes (in a vulgar manner!) and it reminded me of the good ol times.



The roomba looks like it is a worthy purchase. Anyone have one?
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Straight after this episode i was googling for a roomba but alas they are too expensive for someone who doesnt sell meth as a full time profession.
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Walter White for life.



Breaking Bad, officially, has the greatest character evolution we have ever seen on television. Walter, Jesse, Hank, Skyler, Saul, and now, Mike, have all gone through major traumas and came out very different on the other side. I loved the attention paid to Mike in this episode. All that is left are big players, characters we have all seen come so far, therefore, characters we care about, whether it be love, hate, or whatever.



Lydia is definitely a liability, but Mike hasn't gotten this far by being stupid, and he will dispose of her properly once he gets what he needs from her. That is the brilliance in Walt's plan. He is only surrounding himself with people that can be trusted, and by forcing them all to have very personal stakes in his new empire, he is essentially covering loose ends by upping the ante for everyone, thus making everyone more alert and apt to keeping business efficient and people quiet. Walt seems out of control, but the man is a legit genius, and that should not be forgotten.



I love Hank, but without his resources he would have no shot at stopping Walt. After all, it has been going on directly under his nose for quite some time. For all of his fantastic police work, this fact will greatly undermine Hank and cause him to question outing Walt because it would cause him to look foolish as well. Hank wouldn't be so heroic anymore if everyone found out that Heisenberg is his brother-in-law.



The opening sequence only affirms my sentiments that Breaking Bad is the best TV show ever produced. This will get very interesting indeed. Bring it on, Vince!
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I couldn't have put it better myself. How the whole failing-marriage storyline is handled visually is just breathtaking. The scene where Walt wakes Skyler up was nothing short of amazing; as she stumbles to the bathroom and the only part of Walt on the screen is his waist, there is a strong sense of imprisonment, be it on a mental or a physical level. Basically, the scene was hard to watch, almost as repugnant as the last one. Masterfully repugnant, that is.



Oh how I love this show.

Plus, Mike has always been my favourite and I enjoy (still) his screen time.
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It's impressive how much you can tell without using words.

One camera angle. And all's said.
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In the beginning of the episode, we see Walt switching the ricin with some salt. He hid the ricin in the house, and then brought the salt to be found by Jesse, so that Jesse wouldn't be worried about it. I'm wonering if he's keeping the ricin just in case he needs it in the future, or if he has specific plans for it. Maybe Ted? He said that he would keep his mouth shut, and maybe he will, but Walt may not want to risk it.
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The first time I can remember hating Walt was with Jane's death, as you said. And the first long stretch of episodes that I hated him was in the first half of season 3, though I thought he got better towards the end of that season. Season 4 had me hating him, not so much for his evil actions (at least for the majority of the season), but because of his reckless behavior, and his somewhat pathetic attempts to be Heisenberg, even though he wasn't worthy of the name at that point IMO (especially in that season). Later in the season, he seemed to get a lot smarter when it came to taking out Gus. He obviously made a few mistakes before he was able to succeed, but he was still being smarter about it than he had been for the majority of the season. However, when we found out about Brock, that was the beginning of the end for my sympathy with Walt. Now with the scenes that have been mentioned, it seems like he will only be getting less and less sympathetic as the season goes along. Plus the fact that, now that Gus is out of the way, he seems to have gone back to his reckless ways. Maybe not as over-the-top reckless, like in season 4, but just as dangerous to himself, so that whatever happens to him, it will probably seem like his fault in the end. Right now the only times I "root" for him are the times when somebody else's fate (most notably Jesse's) is tied directly to his. I would rather see him taken down by himself rather than have some of the other great characters taken down with him, though that's probably what will happen in the end. But no matter which way his story goes, no matter how much I end up hating him, I think it will only end up making me love him as a character even more. Anyway, I thought this was a great episode, and did a great job of showing why I love Mike so much. His scenes with Walt and Jesse, him being interrogated, and the story with the hit list were are very fun to watch. I'm so glad that the joined the team, which means we'll be seing a lot more of him in the future. Also, I love how Hank's investigation is heating up now. The scene with his boss talking about Gus at the barbecue was a great scene, and while it may not have led to a sudden realization about Walt, I think it will be the spark that will eventually lead him in the right direction. And I can't wait to see that moment he realizes the truth. While there will most likely be better episodes later in the season, this was a great episode to get things moving along. The story threads they've set up really get me excited to see where the writers take them in future episodes.
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I feel like I say that every week, but I really felt like every little, miniscule detail was planned and plotted sooo carefully and deliberately. They are really bring out the worst from Walter's gestures in almost every scenes in which... he reaches for someone. It's all so subtle yet so disturbing (Skylar's case) or frankly heartbreaking (Jesse trying to console himself in the touches of a father who is hiding the truth from his adoptive son). The opening was fantastic and so brilliant. This episode was shaped to be Mike's and Jonathan Banks never fails. Bring me a lot of Hank/Mike's scene in the future, Mr. Gilligan. Thanks.
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The scene with Jesse crying hurt on so many levels. It saddens me that Jesse didn't notice that Walt for once didn't get pissed off at him for messing up. In the past, the times Jesse would screw up Walt would start screaming at him, but this was the one time he was actually comforting him. Jesse is usually also very defensive of himself, but this is the one time he actually felt like he fucked up. How everything seemed the opposite made that whole scene heart-renching.
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What a fantastic show. Loved that Mike The Cleaner got some of the spotlight in this episode.
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Best show on TV. Not even close.

Will it be a movie next?

Here's An Exclusive First Look: Rumored Posters For "Breaking Bad: The Movie"

http://wp.me/p1VsTV-2i5
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They're not making a movie. That was just Bryan Cranston getting over excited. Go back to your precious Dexter.
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well that solves the laptop mystery last week - Hank says it was encrypted so the trail remains elusive.
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Hank said that, but it's not true. He saw the video file, or at least part of it. You can tell by his expression whenever somebody mentions how much of a good detective he is.
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If Hank indeed saw something but hides it from everyone, then they would have to adress it fast (next episode). But I think there would have been more hints, so I think it really was encrypted and the laptop case is closed (Btw I also think Hank would have talked to Walter before trying to squeeze out his name from the 11 suspects in the police station).



I think the look he had on his face was mainly because his chief had to resign because of Hank's success (which he also called unfair).
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There's a number of reasons Hank doesn't want to confront Walt, or see him caught. Firstly it means the end of his career. Secondly, perhaps he thinks Walt will stop now that he has no employer. Thirdly, he probably doubts what he saw, so he needs to find more proof just to confirm that it was him he saw on the video. Fourth, and most importantly, he's thinking about Walt's family. He knows Skyler would go to jail too for covering for Walt, which would leave the kids with no parents.
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I think at this point Hank clearly knows that Walter is involved, simply by the way they were zooming in on him when his Chief talked about Gus shortly after Hank mentioned that he looked through the laptop.

Only I think he doesn't grasp how deeply Walt was involved, that in his opinion W. was somehow forced to join Gus, and now it falls on Hank to rescue Walter and find the true mastermind behind this.

At least that'd be a good reason for his obsession with the case.
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If that would be true - why would he risk one of the interrogated suspects slipping out Walter's name? He would have talked to Walt about it before. While interrogating Mike, Hank seemed eager to bust him. If he has a hunch that Walt and Mike are somehow connected, he would have acted different imho.



I really interpreted that camera shot more as a foreshadowing figure (like a parallalism) of things to come telling us how Hank *will* feel when he finds out in the end - also showing the social damage Walt will be doing to everyone around him when it finally gets public.
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At this rate, Jonathan Banks better be nominated for an Emmy or other awards for best supporting actor in drama next year... his almost always bored-and-annoyed expression is awesome.



I agree about Walt. At this point, I think I'd really feel "happier" if Walt builds up his empire as this asshole, then Skyler, Jesse, Mike, and Hank all end up working together to destroy Walt. His bed scenes with Skyler creep me out...
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Some of Mike's early work: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FTEOpEGvcKA
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I don't think I properly sold this clip. Let me try again. Menses.
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I know Walt is evil or at least getting there, but I still can't help but feel loyal to him. Like I really enjoyed Gus even though he terrified me. I really just enjoy good characters, evil or not, so I think this is why Breaking Bad is the best show I've ever seen.

Mike just proved once again how awesome he is, but I have to agree, I think it is going to come back to bite all of them in the ass with the Lydia situation. She is crazy.

That opening sequence was awesome. Vince Gilligan really knows how to kill people, and I have never seen a suicide like that. Also the sauce scene was hilarious.
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I absolutely hated Lydia in this episode, and we just met her. This episode alone already shows you that you can't control her and she likes to go off and do things on her own. Even before dying she can't control herself, I really hope we don't have to see her for much longer. The show tends to introduce a lot of female characters that gets on my nerves.
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"Even before dying she can't control herself."



Did you really say that? LOL.
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I think they shouldn't turn Walter into Pacino's Scarface literally coz Pacino character was a disgusting piece of shit that didn't provoke any sympathy from the start of the movie till the end. IMHO. He was just a crafty smarty douchy ass who was able to survive for a little longer. As far as Walter White goes I'm having mixed feelings toward this complicated guy. We watched him from the start from the desperate school teacher with lung cancer who made meth to provide for family. He has changed obvsly but still for me he has some sympathetic trait. He is still awkward in his meth business. And I am sure he wouldn't dissolve into Heisenberg for good. If it happens it will be implausible. He will be just a cold blooded secondary evil character. I'm pretty sure they can't turn him totally into monstrous evil drug lord without any sympathy.
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Good observations. Although Scarface wasn't entirely a disgusting piece of shit: Remember, he lost everything because he was honest and refused to kill a mother and her kids ...
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Jesse was freaking out about the missing cigarette, so I saw planting the fake cigarette as an act of kindness.
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I saw it as covering his own ass so that Jesse would think it definitely wasn't him who took it in the first place.
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I too think that Walter just wanted to cover his ass, but imo he looks uncomfortable when he realises just how much this was grating on Jesse. (Great scene from both actors)
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Tim! I'm glad you're coming around on this...For a while now Walter hasn't been my favorite character on the show. That's easily Hank who is just constantly awesome, followed by Mike, Skyler, Jesse and even Saul (for comic relief). I think you're actively suppose to be rooting against him at this point and what's best is you're given great characters to root for in his place.



I love how last week one of the commenters here said their biggest problem with the premier was that Hank didn't immediately have a look at the laptop the moment they found it, and this week Hank has a throwaway line where he casually says that he peeked at the laptop but it was encrypted...it was amazing!



" Do you think Hank took his boss's words to heart "

The look Hank gave him made me seriously wonder if he knows (maybe only subconsciously) that Walter is Heisenberg and either is deciding what to do about it or just hasn't consciously realized it yet...



"Now we know that Gus's operation was globally funded all the way from Germany!" We knew that last season when Hank was researching Gale...though then we were led to believe it was more of a shell company and less substantial than it is.
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So i must have missed an episode or 2 . Who is lydia , other then what i read here tonight i have no idea who she is . i actually only came here trying to find answers as to who she is . anyone wanna fill me in on her ? thanks
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This is the first episode Lydia has ever been in. Everything we know about her Tim has already stated. She is a former associate of the spectacularly deceased Gustavo Fring. She very likely was the supplier of methylamine for Gus' operation. And considering the fact she tried to have 11 ex-employees of Gus killed, she's skittish as hell.



You know just as much as any of us.
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PART 2: The Half-Observation



Me again! You know how I wrote everything we know about Lydia was stated in Tim's article? Well, that might not be entirely correct.



I downloaded then re-watched the episode, mainly because I didn't see the first few seconds of the opening sequence (I came in at "Franch"), and with Breaking Bad you never know what small detail you may have missed in the duration of only a few seconds. As it turns out, the only important thing I missed was that the Germans have discovered a way to put 2.2% less honey in their honey mustard without affecting the taste. We're falling behind, guys! Anyway, I kept watching, and during Hank's boardroom scene with the "Krauts", I noticed something I didn't the first time.



Namely, LYDIA! ... I think.



I'm fairly certain she was one of the executives from Madrigal. They even focus on her worried face during the discussion. With this (debatable) knowledge it's no wonder she wanted 11 of Gus' ex-employees dead.



If nothing else we now (debatably) know Mr. Schuler was not a "lone anomaly" in Madrigal. And with the authorities looking for anybody else in the company involved with Schuler and Gus, Lydia is looking like more of a liability by the minute.
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"...that the Germans have discovered a way to put 2.2% less honey in their honey mustard without affecting the taste. We're falling behind, guys! Anyway, I kept watching, and during Hank's boardroom scene with the "Krauts"..."

Oh come on ! I know you didn't have to read the subs ! Don't be ashamed, we're in 2012.
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You're right, that was her. Just went back and checked.
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Cannot wait for Jesse Plemons to appear...



You definitely nailed Lydia being a gigantic problem. She's clearly a dangerous liability for Walt to inherit just because Mike's finances have worsened.



My allegiances are also quickly shifting towards Jesse on one hand and Hank on the other. It almost seems inevitable that Walt's ego will do him and might even happen in this 8 episode stretch.
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