Season four doesn't exactly take a U-turn after its slow start with "Bullet Points", but the fourth episode nevertheless brings the series in a new direction. With lots of conversations and exposition and every main cast member present, Breaking Bad's writing room also has a chance to show off its skills, and does so with bravery.
As Walt and Skyler come clear to the rest of their family about the underground criminal activities of the suspended chemistry teacher mistakenly regarded as an ordinary Joe, brace yourselves for long talks and many a gem to be found in these. Bryan Cranston and Anna Gunn developed a great chemistry once again and the two make the most out of facial expressions, above all Mr. Cranston in the one scene of this episode you'll never forget. I'm excluding spoilers in this review, but I'll say this much: it's possibly the most perfect mixture of comedy and tragedy I've ever seen on screen. Through that scene, the actual plot of Walt and Skyler telling Walt Marie, and Hank a slightly abridged version of the truth was eclipsed, even though it was still a nice part of the episode.
Jesse, however, came into spotlight, due to his endless parties and him not caring about anything after what had happened with him and Gale at the end of the third season. Gus and Mike aren't particularly enthused by that, which leads to a very interesting finish that serves for an even more interesting next episode. Aaron Paul does a very good acting job yet again and so does Bob Odenkirk as his (and Walt's) lawyer Saul, this time providing what is one of the funniest moments of all the series (cue: "That may have been a little
Not as impressive as in the past was the cinematography, which isn't that it was bad, just that the really rememberable shots were absent in "Bullet Points". Altogether though, the fourth episode is season four's best up to that point and was a very welcome turning point for me.
First I want to give credit to Neksmaster for some great points about the episode and for seeing it to be as much of a masterpiece as I do.
I've only watched it twice now, but I believe that this is truly one of BB's finest hours - if not THE finest hour of television I have ever watched.
The one truly incredible thing about this episode to me was how much it put the entire show thus far in perspective.
We all know BB has blown our minds in so many different ways it is hard to keep count and has at least one episode every single season that the majority of fandom calls their favorite - until the NEXT heart-stopping installment anyways. You have "Crazy Handful Of Nothin", "Grilled", "Peekaboo", "Negro Y Azul", "Phoenix", "Sunset", "One Minute", "Half-Measures", "Full Measure" and "Box Cutter". I'm sure there are others that some fans really adore, but that's my list of favs up until now. That is really quite a list for a show who has only had four seasons with the max number of episodes in the season being 13. Then came this brilliant little number. "Bullet Points" is unique, however, in that out of all the memorable episodes listed above, this is the only one that has gone back and taken a look at the whole tapestry by tying up loose ends started more than two seasons ago.
You have Skyler and Walt's fourth-wall breaking dialogue as they figure out how to get their gambling story airtight. So many double entendres in that one conversation. So many subtle nuances to their performances as they both started to attempt to truly understand each other's actions.
Cut to the Schrader residence where working on the meth lab case seems to have reinvigorated Hank in a way we haven't seen before. Yes, he's happier again and back to his old self more or less, but there's more to it than that. He seems to be more cunning and wise. There was something in his eyes during that hold-your-breath converstion about the identity of W.W. that was a little suspicious when he looked at Walt. After hearing Walt and Skylar's fairytale of gambling addiction, Hank may just be a little wary of how much he can trust his brother-in-law - "Man of hidden talents." I could be completely wrong about this, but I think deep down, Hank knows Walt is in the middle of this investigation somehow.
Now this would be awesome enough without the Gale karaoke video letting Walt know the DEA was on the trail of Heisenberg. Right now, Walt seems to have dodged a very messy bullet with Hank thinking Gale was Heisenberg, but am I the only one that saw the look of hurt pride on Walt's face when Hank talked about wanting to be the one to catch him?
Walter's pride takes a great many blows to the body in this episode. He's forced to contemplate the idea of surrender when Saul offers up a possible endgame of having Walt and his family disappear off the grid.
As Neksmaster pointed out, when Walt enters Jesse's own private cirlce of hell - he's forced to witness what his nearly flawless bit of chemistry does to so many people's lives. Add into that the diferent kinds of humiliation Skylar, Hank, and Walter Jr. put him through - both knowingly and unknowingly -and the coup-de-grace comes when Walter's never-really-agreed-upon-in-writing-agreement that he AND Jesse are kept alive and unharmed is apparently broken without his knowledge, and Walter takes an emotional and mental beating on par with the physical one Mike gave him two episodes ago.
The final plot-point wrapped up (or seemingly, anyway) is Jesse's seasons long downhill spiral. Things can get no darker for Jesse anymore as he doesn't value his money, the lives of innocents, or even his OWN life. MIKE: "You wanna guess where we're going?"
From here things either start to get brighter for Jesse, or the next episode will be his curtain call. But I highly doubt that. He's one of the two main characters that draws in the audience more than any of the others.
The close of the episode brings things into even more perspective. Earlier in Saul's office, Walt bemoans his station in life and wonders where things went so terribly wrong. This is Walter White: "the businessman" talking. The one that wants the profits and the glory and none of the mess of responsiblity.
The last scene with Walter shows him bursting into the lab, staring down Gus' camera and demanding "Where is he?". This is Walter White: "the guardian" in control right now. And this is when I realized that his "Heisenberg" persona isn't as dark as people think it is. "Heisenberg" rears his ugly head when Walter's self-preservation meets his devotion to the people around him. Without one there is not another. Walt has been flip-flopping between caring and heartless all this season with little result for either side. When the two sides collide, the third persona comes out walt is no longer laughably pathetic or strangley sympathetic. He is cold, calculating, and truly dangerous - and this is only good news for fans because in the next episode (and possibly the next FEW episodes)I predict it's gonna hit the fan - and that proverbial creek mentioned in "Bullet Points" is gonna become a raging river for our whole cast. The pieces of this season are falling into place faster than any fan who bemoaned the slow-burn pace of the last few episodes could have ever anticipated. Better buy a paddle.
Final thought: did anyone else notice that the camera can only follow one of them around? I think walt did. And I think that will be a plot-point to be fleshed out later in the season.
After two boring & disappointing episodes "Box Cutter" and "Thirty-Eight Snub" and one good but slow episode "Open House", fans like me are finally delivered a terrific with a breaktaking storyline, some entertaining scenes, and this is the episode where Season 4 got a lot better. Jesse's party goes on and on but everyone then starts to leave his house which means that Jesse's party stops in this episode. This episode rarely had a slow and weak part. Yes, there were just barely a few weak and slow parts which lowered my score a little but this episode is mostly entertaining. First of all, the beginning of the episode was awesome and blew me away. The beginning of the episode was very intense when those two dudes were going to the Hermanos truck shooting the side of the truck and the person inside that truck who is freezing was Mike. Walter's part in this episode was really good and the same must go to Mike. I've never been a fan of Skylar in this show since she really doesn't interest me whatsover but most of the characters are very interesting. I also loved the very end of the episode when Mike was trying to intimdate Jesse and then he kidnaps him. Overall, this is the episode where Season 4 started to get a lot more better and the best episode of the season so far in my opinion. 9/10
I think Vince Gilligan and the rest of the cast and crew gave us the show's best episode this season. Sure, it didn't have any scenes with Gus slitting other people's throats with box cutters or Walt going all Heisenberg on somebody, but it managed to cover an incredibly dense amount of story without anything feeling like it dragged on too long or without it feeling like the writer didn't include enough time on certain characters or plot threads. All in all, for an episode that didn't necessarily inch forward the plot, it certainly felt full of great moments.
The episode title likely received its name from two different moments: the amazing cold open and the equally amazing dialogue between Skyler and Walt that followed it. The cold open showed Mike sitting in the back of a Pollos Hermanos truck, shivering in a sweater with a gun in his hand. Shortly after, a couple of guys pull up and unload hundreds of bullets into the side of the truck. However, it's Mike we're talking about, so they're dispatched quickly, but not before they take a piece of Mike's ear off. The show didn't go on to explain the purpose of this scene, but based on the "previously on" segment, it must be the cartel attempting to attack back at Gus.
As for that scene I mentioned before regarding Skyler and Walt, it followed them as they discussed how to finally explain to Hank and Marie how they received their money. It seems like a relatively minor moment in the show compared to some of the other stuff it's done, but to be honest, I see it as a pretty big step. It finds Walt and Skyler growing closer in their lies and their criminal activity and also finds them getting closer to laundering the money. The scene where they, via Skyler's bullet-pointed layout, go over how they'll tell Hank and Marie lead to many laughs (the show seems to be playing for laughs lately). It also showed how different the relationship between the two is compared to earlier in the show.
There's also the scenes where Walt and Skyler actually act out the plan that they laid out. It's in this situation where Walt finally learns that Hank has discovered and is studying Gale and seems to be getting closer and closer to discovering Heisenberg. To be fair, Hank is close but not that close… in fact, he actually thinks that GALE of all people is Heisenberg. And he has a slew of evidence at his disposal (including an absolutely hilarious karaoke video of Gale singing "Major Tom (Coming Home)." It should be interesting to see how in the world Hank ties into Walt's world again.
And then we have Jesse, who continues his descent. I've been a little irritated with the way the show keeps showing us the same stuff over and over in regards to how Jesse reacted to killing Gale. However, the show is finally kicking things into second gear. Mike shows up at Jesse's house and tries to intimidate him but ultimately fails as he finally sees that Jesse seems about to go off the deep end. As a result, he kidnaps him and takes him on a long drive, which is where we're left when the episode ends. Walt shows up at Jesse's house, freaking out, and within moments, realizes that he's been taken. And based on next week's preview, we may see a glimpse of Heisenberg sooner than we expected.
It's difficult to really review the episode because there were so many great little moments scattered throughout, and together, they all added up to a great episode.
What a fantastic episode first of all. We start out with Skyler and Walt working together to work out how to play his gambling story to when they tell Hank and Marie about it to make their purchasing the car wash believable. Walt gets bitten by karma again when Hank shows him stuff from Gale's murder case that he was given to consult on and having Walt give him tips on the contents of the notebook and the meth in question was yet another way of putting Walt right under Hank's nose. Walt goes to Jesse for details and to make sure that he can't be connected to the crime scene and Jesse's new activities get him attention from the wrong people. The house scene when Walt asks Jesse what he remembers was a real punch and seeing Walt walk amongst the zonked out junkies on his own product shows him the effect that his product creates for the public and the repercussions of his and Jesse's actions and how much their antics over the past few seasons have eroded them as people from the inside out much like the house has become trashed sort of as a metaphor. Walt goes to Saul for advice on what to do next now that his business with Gus has become all high school as far as peer pressure and expectations are and he's a total hypocrite to declare himself the only person who can take it as a business. One thing I'm not sure on is if Jesse's truly on drugs since we never see him take them, sure he supplies the chaos but I think he just basks in it sort of as a non-participant. My favorite part was when he gave the whip crack to Mike over what he thinks of him getting clipped and his defiance of those above him in this situation and his devil may care attitude about life as of late since Victor's death seems to be leading him down the wrong road. But as Saul said, you can always disappear. The ending was super suspenseful and one of the best that Breaking Bad has ever done. Gone are the days of being safe in the lab.
"Bullet Points" was not that bad an episode of Breaking Bad, but this show needs to find a way to increase the drama and the conflict and do it fast. Jesse's slow breakdown is interesting, but I don't know if it is as exciting as it could be. BB has always been a show about slow builds, but it's not even like they are building to something big because the show is not killing off Jesse anytime soon.
They do need to find a way to get Skylar out of the mix though. The show was in its heyday before she found out what Walt does and I'd even accept something unrealistic happening if it could get her back to that state, or at least out of the main picture. She is making Walt's scenes flat out unbearable.
Solid offering from the show, but I miss the good old days of this show.
Bullet Points was a superb episode of Breaking Bad and I really enjoyed watching this episode because Skylar seems to be embracing her own darker side which is interesting and fun to watch. Jesse continues his partying ways and catches the attention of Mike who ends up taking him some where unknown as of yet. Walt once again finds Hank inadvertantly crossing his path with evidence from Gale's crime scene. The begining of the episode was very interesting as Mike escaped an assassination attempt though I wish there was more about it in this episode. I loved how Skylar negotiated for the carwash. I look forward to watching the next episode!!!!!!!
What I liked: the cold open, the random guy talking to the other guy at Jesse's, Hank being in a good mood (I don't like when he's mad, like he has been pretty much all season), Gale's music video, the ending (Gosh, is it time for the next episode yet!), amongst other things.
Like I have been saying, I knew this season would be getting better (not that it wasn't great), and this episode confirmed that. I loved this episode and the whole last 6-7 minutes was just so awesome. I was sad because I did not want it to end, but it did, and… wow. Can't wait till next week. A+, definitive favorite of the season for me, thus far
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