Breaking Bad

Season 4 Episode 4

Bullet Points

Aired Sunday 9:00 PM Aug 07, 2011 on AMC

Episode Fan Reviews (8)

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out of 10
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  • Culmination: Why "Breaking Bad" is better than everything else that has ever been on TV thus far.

    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?"

    JESSE: "Nope."

    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.

    Absolutely a 10/10.