Breaking Bad: Walt Gets Dealt a Bad Hand

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This week's "listen to while reading" soundtrack is especially amazing—don't miss the video at the bottom of the page!

As a man who's been known to sit at the Blackjack tables in Las Vegas until 6am (seriously, the best hours for 21 are between 3am and 7am), I loved the conversation about gambling in Sunday's Breaking Bad that took place between Skyler and Walt. Walt was learning how to game the system (or at least how to pretend to game the system) in order sell a lie to Hank, Marie, and Walter, Jr., but as we all know, in this game of cards, the house always wins.

After losing several hands in their practice rounds, Walt explained to Skyler that you win by playing a volume of hands, and that statistically, losing four or five in a row isn't just probable—it's inevitable. And that's pretty much what is happening to Walt right now. Lately we've seen Walter lose hand after hand in the game of drug-manufacturing, and he's not even getting any free drinks. But when things go bad for gamblers (as Walt grumbled to Saul about everything that's going wrong), they tend to want to break free from a bad streak in a big way, by taking a huge risk. So I say it's time for Walt to head over to the metaphorical ATM machine and kill Gus.

And potentially speeding up Walt's decision to go after Gus is holy crap! Mike and Gus stole Jesse! And really, who can blame them? Jesse is currently about as useful to the meth-making operation as a banner over the front door reading "Murder, Meth and Beyond." He's already been connected to the blue meth, and he's not exactly in the mental state you want a business partner to be in. I love Jesse (and Aaron Paul), but at this point, something has got to happen; Jesse's already used up all his luck, and Breaking Bad can't continue to let him off by the skin of his teeth if it wants to maintain its street cred.

Meanwhile, Skyler has quite a thorough idea of what their plan should be; she even wrote a script for Walt to follow. Walt of course thought this was ridiculous; he knows enough about both science and the real world to know that things don't always go according to plan. He knows that you can prepare for weeks, but that the most important part of being a master criminal is having the ability to think on the fly. At some point, Skyler fastidiousness is going to backfire on Walter, and he'll have to pull some Houdini-type trickery to weasel away.

Walt now has to figure out what to do about Hank, who is starting to get a little too close to his business. There was even a split second last night when Hank appeared to legitimately suspect that Walter was the "W.W." mentioned in the inscription in Gale's notebook. Hank knows that Walter is a smart guy—a really smart guy. He also knows that Walt is a chemistry whiz. And now he knows that Walter has come into a lot of money. There comes a point when Hank just can't ignore the evidence, and we're inching closer to that.

In fact, "Bullet Points" closed the vice around Walter in heavier increments than any of the previous three episodes. Every single problem, every single danger from the first three episodes is encroaching on Walter, simultaneously moving in from every direction. Some people have been complaining that Season 4 is moving too slow, but it's really not. Season 4 has been every bit as suspenseful and slow-burning as any other part of the series so far.

... Mike definitely deserves a raise. Does anyone work harder than he does? "Hey Mike, go into that warehouse that's been taken over by cartel members and rescue that guy they're holding hostage." "Hey Mike, I know you had plans this weekend, but I'm going to need you to sit in the back of a truck in case it gets hijacked by the Mexican Mafia." And on top of all that he lost a piece of his ear. I'd be a little grumpy too if I had his job.

... Instead of seeing Jesse being taken, we learned that it'd happened the same way Walt did, which is much more effective and gave me about thirteen heart attacks.

... Saul: "Goes after him how, on his Rascal scooter?"

... Can we please give it up for David Constabile and his fantastic Arabic Thai (correct me if I'm wrong thanks, Dprasad123 and smithinjapan!) karaoke version of Peter Schilling's "Major Tom"? Constabile has been nothing short an amazing sport as Gale, and it was great to see him reappear in Season 4 even though he took one in the eye.

Bonus: AMC has posted Gale's karaoke video in its entirety!

Follow writer Tim Surette on Twitter: @TimAtTVDotCom

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