Coming closer to the season finale, "Bug" didn't make me excited about what will happen in the next couple of episodes, but rather disappointed me and made me remember all the problems I've had with this series during season two and three. Or, to express it with a poor pun pertaining to the title: there was a lot that bugged me.
Skyler got back to being main character again as her former boss/love interest Ted suddenly showed up while she was soliloquizing at her car wash and informed her that the tax fraud his company and therefore also Skyler, as their bookkeeper, have committed is going to be audited. Oh shite, that is probably the least advantageous thing to happen to her at that time as criminal investigations would be more than likely to discover the money laundering she was vindicating herself in the soliloquy earlier on. So what does she do? Attending the audit in dumb blonde fashion and showing the special agent buttocks-sized cleavage, which works in the way as prison time for Ted and investigations about the car wash are off the hook ignorance is not a crime, hooray. The entertainment factor of that was rather low, however, and seeing Christopher Cousins, one of the reasons why season three was that terrible, again made me drown out the dialog by letting off a vehement "Uh".
The rest of "Bug" was only partially better than that and besides the well-written conversation Jesse and Gus share, the episode skimped on noteworthy scenes. At the end of the episode, the bloody foreshadowing of the pre-credits sequence was revealed and, well, it revealed something we've known for half a dozen of episodes already: that Walt and Jesse have now changed roles about who's the irrational and unprofessional part of the meth cooking duo lived apart. The writers decided to portray that in the most drastic way possible and had the two have a fistfight and thus marring Jesse's newly redecorated domicile. I hope not to be the only one who found this to be completely over the top and was impossible take it serious.
As you can see, there's not one story arc I really enjoyed in "Bug" (coincidence that season four's episode nine is named after an insect just as season three's episode nine, "Fly"?) and the episode remarkably reduced my excitement for the last fourth of the season.
"Bug" is the episode title and what bugged me about this episode was how they randomly brought back Skyler's work as an accountant. Has this even been addressed since last year? I don't recall, and I don't know why they felt the need to have it here, unless it will lead to her making another mistake at the car wash and someone finding out what it is really going on. So, I would like to believe that it is foreshadowing, but my head is also telling me they were just trying to find something for the stagnant and annoying character to do this week.
But this episode was made by the fight between Jesse and Walt. It was funny, it was dramatic, it was believable to an extent and just showed how great this cast is and how far they are willing to go to entertain the viewers....I know I was.
Oh my gosh, I don't know what to say about this episode. I am so speechless right now. I love this episode and definitely one of my new favorite episodes of Season 4. It's everything that fans like us expect from an awesome crime drama show like "Breaking Bad". The only disappointing part of this episode was the Skylar/Ted plot. That plot was a little boring and was kinda pointless to an awesome and marvelous episode like this. I'm gonna let that slide since Skylar usually bores me in every episode and I'm not gonna take away any points in every single episode just because of Skylar. The middle scene of this episode was definitely very intense when those guys were getting shot and then Jesse was almost going to be shot (because he is just standing there scared and upset) until Mike pushed him out of the way and saved his life. Nice brief action scene to this episode. Walter putting the bug on Jesse and finding out that Jesse was at Gus' house was very interesting. The storyline to this episode was fascinating but my favorite part of this episode was definitely when Walter and Jesse are fighting each other in the last 2 or 3 minutes of this episode. That fight scene was very intense and extraordinary. After the fight, the episode ended with Jesse telling to Walter to get out of his house and never come back and then Walter leaves Jesse's house. I'm thinking that this is the start of the point where the Walter/Jesse partnership literally falling apart. Overall, an excellent episode of "Breaking Bad" and got me excited about next week's episode "Salud". 10/10
I don't know, I just found myself a little annoyed by this episode. It wasn't particularly slow, but it wasn't particularly well acted or well shot either, and I just don't like where the story is going.
First off, Skyler-heavy episodes do tend to drag a little bit, and bringing the Ted story back into things wasn't a good move, because we're just not interested in his company or Skyler's book-keeping. Yes it might lead to the police tapping Walt's phone but that wouldn't be a very interesting plot development in my opinion.
Secondly was it just me or did this episode feel half-assed with the acting? Even Cranston didn't really nail it this week. The cinematography felt as rushed as the pacing, and the show lacked its usual edgy feel to it.
Thirdly, it annoys me when they give an amazing, tense opener like that and it ends without a major event. The first time the show gave us one of those flash forward opening sequences, the show ended with Walt blowing up a drug dealer's lair. The ending of last night's episode wasn't exactly a revelation; we all saw it coming 6 episodes ago.
Last and most importantly, Walt's character isn't very interesting right now. He's turned from this progressively volatile, dangerous badass with equal measures of nerdy awkwardness, to a pathetic, trapped pawn, who continually makes stupid decisions and moronic plans. The season trailer said "he IS the danger" but we've yet to see that. Sure his inner Heizenberg has come out with more frequency, but it always ends with him putting his tail between his legs and backing down. That's not the Heizenberg I remember. The guy from the previous seasons would have come up with a brilliant plan by now; something involving chemistry and science and manipulation. At the very least, he would have helped Hank bring down Gus in the hopes that he'd be able to get out of the deal without being brought down with him (cue the scenes of him wearing gloves everywhere and washing down the entire labs to get rid of his prints).
I never really liked the whole lab-Gus-Mike scenario at the start of the season. If somebody would have told me that scenario would run right the way through the season without Walt being able to do a thing about it, I might not have been quite as excited.
No doubt everyone will thumb down this review, because people are still in denial that their favourite show (and mine, I might add) could possibly produce a mediocre episode. But it did, and it's not the first of its kind this season, at least in my personal opinion.
Breaking Bad continues to prove to be the best show on TV with another stellar episode. Walt goes to retrieve the tracking bug from Gus's car with Hank in tow but when it turns out that Gus only goes to his restaurants and back Hank becomes even more suspicious. When Hank tries to get Walt to drive him to the Pollos Hermanos distribution center Walt says he has the stomach flu (which his technical description is the funnier part of the episode) and buys 2 days. He warns Mike about Hank's visit and Mike and Jesse and a crew clean out the center effectively. But not before a guy gets his head blown off by a sniper and Jesse stands there in slow-mo dumbfounded and Mike saves him from the line of fire. Gus exits the building, defiant to the cartel sniper with his hands raised high, because the cartel isn't there to kill Gus. It turns out that they want half his business. Skyler helps out Ted Beneke who has an audit the next day and with her being signer on the books it could mean surveillance on her to prove Ted a criminal. She buys some time with a clever ploy in the audit but unless Ted pays them back to 600,000 dollars he owes the government the investigation will continue but Ted has no money. It looks like Skyler will have to possibly front him the money to keep his and her cover intact and Walt faces exposure. Junior's B-day is coming up and Skyler wants to buy him a car (probably will occur in the next episode) but for it to cheap and safe. When Gus and Jesse dispose of the body of the dead guy Walt puts a bug on Jesse's car. Jesse goes to Gus's house to get his questions answered and it turns out that Gus needs someone to go to Mexico to teach Walt's formula to cartel chefs when Gus asks Jesse if he could replicate the formula she he obviously can't trust Walt. Jesse defends Walt and fails to try to kill Gus like he said he would. Jesse calls Walt and tells him all about what's been happening. When Jesse finds out Walt put a bug on his car he is pissed and the two get into a vicious fight which was hinted at at the beginning of the episode. After all Jesse did for Walt by standing up for him although Walt is just paranoid and doesn't want to die is all. Jesse banishes him from his life forever and Walt leaves. A powerful and pivotal things has happened, the partnership has crumbled and Jesse is Gus's now. Walt is all alone. This was a very heavy episode but it was saved by some light moments like when Walt tries to make small talk about what Jesse watches on TV and doesn't know what Ice Road Truckers is. Seeing Walt simply not care that his death is supposedly right around the corner is good too. Seeing him smoking cigarettes and drinking beer and having a devil may care attitude of "we're both dead so there" kind of stuff is what makes his character so fascinating to see change. A good question is if Jesse will indeed go and if it will be shown off screen or not and whether Walt will move in on Gus alone now like he did before and if Gus is really going along with the cartel or is really playing along to kill them off. Hard to believe we're close to the end of the season coming up. It's painful to see Jesse and Walt against one another, their partnership is largely what this show started out as. Hopefully they can come back together in some way unless they both die.
"Bug" finds most of the principle characters looking for a Plan B. Gus needs a way out of war with the Cartel. Skyler needs a way out of her complicity in Beneke's accounting troubles ... and suggests that Walter can quit his dangerous "day job". Jesse needs to navigate between his conflicting loyalties. Hank is sniffing around Gus's assets, since his GPS bug came up cold.
Notably, the only one who isn't changing course is Walter, who takes his adherence to the Plan A of killing Gus and lets it come to blows with Jesse. Their fistfight has been a long time coming. It played out like two men who needed to blow up at each other; in the long run, it will clear the air. (I do remember seeing the teaser with the blood drops, and thinking, "If this is just from a fistfight between Walter and Jesse, I'll be disappointed." Ah, well.) It seems as if Walter is keeping himself in deliberate denial about the direness of the situation, and about how ill-considered his assassination plot is. (After Gus, then what? At least Jesse seems to be considering this.)
Hank is a problem, and his snooping at a time of Cartel warfare would, indeed, be "the perfect storm". He is being handled delicately, for now, but it's uncertain if Hank realizes how high the stakes really are.
Skyler got to do what she does instinctively again and again: put on a damsel-in-distress show to manipulate men. It's terrific dark comedy, and always a lot of fun to see Anna Gunn pull off. She has thrown suspicion off the accounting books, and now it looks as if she's going to go dipping into Walter's money to help the man who cuckolded him. The odds of Ted lasting out the season without suffering at the hands of Heisenberg (or, worse, Walter) are slim; this ain't gonna be pretty.
The primary mover of the action continues to be Gus. After his awe-inspiring bravado staring down a sniper, he acquiesces to the Cartel, and we finally learn what their demands were: half his business, and teach them to cook. But he certainly has a trick up his sleeve. "Never make the same mistake twice" is the lesson he took from his dealings with the Cartel; last week, it seems that his mistake was exposing his cook to the gangsters. So he is planning to go to Mexico not with Walter, but with Jesse, the second-string cook. It's a good move on Gus's part, and his bad-faith dealing with the Cartel hints that he has some sort of stratagem.
The scene with Jesse dining at Gus's house was great. Jesse continues to be the one underling who will stand up to Gus. We saw it when Jesse took Gus's dealers to task for using children, and we saw it again in this episode when he warned against killing Walter. The dinner scene had an eerily familiar air, as it echoed the scene where Gus visited Gale to suggest that he should take over cooking. Learning the truth behind the situation was a well-sprung surprise. There seems to be a rapport building between Jesse and Gus ... but even if the rapport is genuine, it won't stop Gus from expending with Jesse, and perhaps even vice-versa. The two men may be valuable to each other, but they cannot trust one another. Interesting dynamic.
Next week: Breaking Bad goes to Mexico! Woo-hoo! I'll be interested to see if Jesse brings a special cigarette with him, and who might die 36 hours after his cooking show. A broken cigarette on the table next to a bowl of salsa verde ... I can definitely see that image in the near future.
If there was one thing about this episode i did NOT like, it would have to be Skyler/Ted. It was just kind of boring for me. But to be fair, the scene with them in the office with the other guy, and Skyler acting like a tramp, with the clothing, was pretty lulz worthy.
The rest was, as usual, top pier. The cold open was so confusing when I watched it the first time. All i could remember was blood. But then after seeing the ending and rewatching the cold open, it made sense.
That fight between Jesse and Walt has to be my new favorite scene of the show. It was so great and it's been like, leading up to this for a while now. I mean, you have Jesse trying to tell Walt he needs his help, in an honest, sincere way, and all Walt could care about was thef act that Jesse did not kill Gus. I mean, Jesus Walt. That's one of the few times I have hated Walt. I mean, he's done some horrible things in the show, but Jesse, his partner, needed his help with something, and instead of helping, Walt gets mad at him because he never killed Gus. And then at the end with Jesse telling Walt to never come back... I think their partnership is pretty much dead at this point. I love their partnership but this fight at the end was so intense.
The episode as a whole had a lot of nice parts. Mike telling Walt to shut up or else he'd be in a barrel, Hank's scenes, Jesse telling Gus if he wants to kill Walter, he's going to have to kill him too (it seems almost unreal he said this and then a few minutes later he gets in such a big fight with Walt).
so yea, as usual, great episode. my only complaints, and they're pretty minor, is that i wish walt jr. was in this episode, and saul goodman. but i don't want them to be shoehorned and appear when they do not need to be. Great episode. A+, as usual
Bug was a superb episode of Breaking Bad and I enjoyed watching this episode because it built upon the happenings from the last episode and really built up suspense for viewers making us wonder what was really going to happen next. It was nice to see a little more of Skylar's world in this episode. Gus makes some important moves and has an interesting dinner with Jesse. Walt confronts Jesse and the episode ends with them mad at each other. I look forward to finding out what happens next on Breaking Bad!!!!!!!
I want to comment on Walt and Jesse first. This episode was heavily centric on them and how they have changed. These two have barely laid a hand on each other. Sure Walt has cursed Jesse to bits for doing stupid things, but this is not the case anymore. This was, I think, the first time they ever really punched each other out. It was crazy, the two have gone from unlikely bandits to very good friends, and now it has changed again.
The trust has slowly eroded over the past 9 episodes. That's why this show is so good. It builds the tension like no one else can do and yet still delivers a blow in each episode. The trust completely broke in this episode. Walt trusted Jesse to help save his life again, but Jesse defies him. Then Jesse lies and stalls. Walt can't take it anymore. His life is in danger and now he's as good as dead - you saw his attitude change this episode. Hopeless, dejected, Walt now waits for the end. Jesse feels his trust was broken after the tracker was placed.
Skyler's storyline again integrates the building problem of how to launder this money. Sure it's not the most interesting, but it was well done in this episode.
The continued storyline with Gus and the cartel is interesting. Gus gives in to the cartel. Initially my thought was that Gus was going to send Walt to Mexico, but Jesse does seem like a better choice. However, Jesse would need further training and because Walt is so against Gus, now we will see the tensions really fly - because Walt won't give in to Gus' demands. And now Jesse will become involved, because his own life is at stake. This story will bring us the most intense finale we have ever seen. Walt, Gus, Jesse, Mike, Hank, the cartel... that's one hell of a intricate storyline that can only end badly for someone or some of the people listed above.
The dialogue was superbly written in this episode. From Jesse, to Walt, to Hank, to Mike, to Skyler... solid performances and delivery. Pacing was again well done and as always, looking forward to next week.
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