Breaking Bad

Season 2 Episode 9.1

4 Days Out

Aired Sunday 9:00 PM May 03, 2009 on AMC

Episode Fan Reviews (6)

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out of 10
423 votes
  • Big Stuff Happens, But the Episode Is Still Not Nearly as Good as So Many People Overpraise It

    If you think about it, it's entirely logical that so many people love this episode. Simply because most of season two was talking and excluded the enthralling action and drama moments that season one had, and now that we finally get some intensity again, it has to be awesome, right? Well, I don't really think it is. Don't misunderstand me, I like "4 Days Out", especially in comparison to its two subsequent episodes, but it's just not a condign IMDb 9,2 "The Godfather" has this rating and you can't seriously put this episode on the same level as that movie classic. Now, enough talk about other people's opinions, here's my short review for the ninth episode of Breaking Bad's second season.

    Besides a short conversation between Jesse and Jane, a hilarious 30 second appearance by Saul Goodman (waaaaay too short!), and White/Schrader family talk due to some unexpected results from Walt's cancer treatment, "4 Days Out" is entirely focused on a new desert-set meth cooking process by our two protagonists. But since we've seen Walt and Jesse cooking for a couple of times already, spending so much time on this story part wasn't wise. There isn't anything really new about Jesse doing something stupid, Walt insulting him, Jesse cussing back, and the two ending up in a perilous situation. Screenwriter Sam Catlin obviously felt that it was necessary to show that Jesse doesn't have a high IQ as many times as possible, which is just unnecessary. We've seen this from the first episode on and having him making mistakes throughout the whole episode is just stupid if they want audiences to take him seriously as a character. And if that wasn't enough, the title-giving four days out in the desert disappoint with tons of stereotypes some of them even from the show itself. For example, Walt and Jesse going from bitchy to emotional due to their desperate situation or Walt finally coming up with a solution as they're almost dying. We totally have seen this before, haven't we? Admittedly, watching Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul interact wasn't unentertaining since they're both outstanding actors, but if the writing is bad, it's hard to fully have fun with it.

    As this everlasting story arc was finally over, "4 Days Out" surprises with a feel-good ending that I don't like. I just believe that the show is way better off with Walt being in a bad condition and that argument is proven as the next couple of episodes are a serious decline in quality.
  • Walt and Jesse cook meth for

    In an episode that's filled with dozens of incredible moments, it's odd that my favorite moment should come in the final few seconds, an event that seems odd and out of place, but at the same time sums up Walter White's path. There was a moment in the middle of the episode when Jesse reassures Walt that he's not a bad guy, that everything he's done and all the lies he's told have been for his family, that he's trying to support them. It's a moment for Jesse to seem more like an adult, but it also is a moment to look at Walt and realize that he's not necessarily doing this for his family. He's doing this for himself; he knows it and he feels terrible about it, but why would he stop doing the one thing that he does better than anybody else? Remember in the first episode, when Jesse turned to him and asked why he was breaking bad after fifty years of the good life. Walt simply responded: "I'm awake." That line may be one of the most important lines when it comes to Walt.

    Back to that later.. the episode found Walt learning his cancer may not be going away, and as a result, he learns that he needs to cook more meth in order to leave a proper amount of money. Walt almost convinces himself, without any real proof, that he's going to die, so him and Jesse head out into the middle of nowhere to cook as much meth as possible.

    The episode could've been a simple "cook meth and argue" episode, but things take a turn for the worse when Jesse lets the car battery die, leaving them stranded without water in the middle of a sun-filled field. I never doubted that they would figure a way out, but the suspense of the episode doesn't really come from "What's going to happen?" It actually comes from the scenes that Walt and Jesse share, the ones where Walt seems ready to give up and Jesse desperately tries to figure a way out. We learn a lot about the characters here, and after they finally do figure out a way to get the car running, it's amazing to see Walt's reaction to the news his cancer is in remission. I'm not sure I noticed it as much the first time around, but upon a second watch, it's incredible how sad he seems to be about it. The cancer gave him an excuse to cook meth, to do something he was good at, something he can be recognized for (even if it was his alter ego Heisenberg that got the credit). To lose that is to lose purpose. Sure, you could take the tears as happiness, but I see it as both happiness and sadness.

    Back to that final scene. Walt looks at his reflection in a paper towel dispenser and punches it repeatedly until his face is distorted, his knuckles bruised and scraped. What does this mean? Is he trying to destroy the new "Walt," the Walt who's in remission and being cheered on for beating cancer? Where does the rage come from? It's a question that the show seems to answer in a way so subtle that you may not notice it at first.. however, the second time around, I'm noticing how Walt's motives for cooking meth may not be as simple as he would like to believe.

    This was definitely a stand-out in Season 2. I'm not sure I liked it as much the second time, but I do enjoy the chemistry between Walt and Jesse and the subtle moments the show inserted in the 47 minutes.
  • Jesse - What are you gonna build? Walt - Just what you said. Jesse - A robot?

    Man i love this show and this season can't get any better than this. This episode turned into some sort of "survivor" show and pretty well put out. The only glitch in the screenplay was that Walt and Jesse could have simply exchanged their cell phone SIM cards to avoid Walt's wife to notice the phone call.

    Walt's remission was pretty obvious, otherwise the show would be over by next week. But the fact he's not cured yet is precisely what will probably trigger another season for us to enjoy.

    Even though Breaking Bad has a plot very close to Weeds, what makes it so different is that Walt's life is ticking, and that alone was a brilliant twist.

    I never thought I would love a show more than Dexter, but this is it.
  • 209

    One of the best episodes of season two, hands down. Nothing big or eventful had to happen here, but it was one of the most enjoyable hours of television I have ever watched. The show is always at it's best when Walt & Jesse are interacting, and this episode really put the spotlight on these two, which was a really good move from the Breaking Bad writers.

    Walt & Jesse stranded in the middle of nowhere doesn't seem like a very interesting premise but the acting is brilliant, from Bryan Cranston & Aaron Paul. I was at the edge of my seat to see whether or not they were going to get home safe and how for that matter.

    Then of course we've got Jesse & Walt cooking meth, which is always enjoyable to watch, very clever writing, considering how they managed to get the car going. They made their own battery. Like I said before, Walt & Jesse's interactions stole the show here. From them high-fiving each other and being extremely happy to them yelling at each other, the interaction between the two was amazing. This episode even managed to have very important development, which gave us a feel good ending in the end when Walt goes in to 80 percent remission, good news for a lung cancer patient. Amazing well written, brilliantly acted episode here. One of the best.
  • A brooding quiet subtly brilliant often darkly funny episode - - again!

    In a way we get a break from the usual dynamic of the lies and Sklar's suspicions and what to do about the latest police watch or thug criminal stuff or drug distribution problem. Instead the focus is on Walt's latest prognosis, combined with a race to make a final batch of meth in case he is soon to be toast. The unexpected plot twist of them being stuck out in the desert was brilliant. I get ticked at Walt berating Jesse all the time but when he throws all their water to put out a fire - the tirade associated with that one was pretty understandable. It is amazing to see underneath all general awfulness of what these two do, that there is this real bond developing between the two men. One of my favourite scenes is Walt trying to teach Jesse a little chemistry while he is building the makeshift batter. People are who they are, even in these kinds of extreme situations. We are definitely in a new place now with the latest prognosis - Walt pounding the mirror-like stainless steel towel dispenser in the bathroom - open to interpretation - it seems he regrets what he has done - but my guess is there is only one direction he can continue to go and that's deeper.
  • 38 pound weekend disaster!

    As Walt's cancer worsens with a CT scan that could determine how long he has left Walt tells Skyler that he will visit his mother for a few days and break the news that he has the Big C. After Jesse and Jane connect on a "personal level" Walt's unexpected call of having to cook straight through the long weekend comes as a shock as he was hoping to spend more time with Jane. Either way Jesse and Walt take their mobile lab into the boonies and begin their cook-fest. But the engine and battery is left on for too long and it dies subsequently. Which then leaves Jesse and Walt to figure out how to design a makeshift battery to get themselves after Skinny Pete doesn't follow through with picking them up. The episode itself feels like a hallucination as Walt coughs up blood and this seems to be his last ditch effort to provide for his family. This episode is very disastrous and you feel on edge and gritty in its shooting as the desperation is truly shown as Jesse and Walt squabble with each other after their water and patience is depleted. The urgency is really captured in the writing and this episode is a winner for the "Sucks to be You Guys" award.