Breaking Bad

Season 1 Episode 2

Cat's in the Bag...

38
Aired Sunday 9:00 PM Jan 27, 2008 on AMC
9.0
out of 10
User Rating
523 votes
11

EPISODE REVIEWS
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Episode Summary

EDIT
Following their debacle in the desert, Walter and Jesse are left with a mess to dispose of. Later, Skyler grows suspicious of Walt's recent activity.

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • A Corpse, a Crook, and Other Problems That Come from Cooking Crystal

    9.0
    The situation has been established, the characters have been introduced. Breaking Bad's second episode has our two drug chefs dealing with their separate tasks that revolve around getting rid of the two men the former attempted to kill in the last episode an endeavor only semi-successful. In the meantime, Skylar is getting suspicious of what is going on with her husband Walt lately and gets acquainted with Jesse, his partner in crime.



    After the splendid pilot, things calm down a bit in "Cat's in the Bag", whose title is, in fact, only a metaphor Breaking Bad does not star cats. Anyway, Walt and Jesse still are in a perilous position since everything got a little out of hand for them recently. This makes for lots of great dialogue especially on Jesse's site and also for very nice character development as we get to know the characters and their relationships to each other better. Interestingly, the most awkward relationship in this episode isn't Walt-Jesse, but rather Walt-Skylar, as they at first start the episode with rough sex, then continue with Walt spending the night on the bathroom floor, then have an awkward breakfast talk about breasts and Wonderbras in front of their son, and then conclude with Walt telling his wife to get off his backside (quotation not verbatim). Those were all nice scenes, but the episode only got really great when Aaron Paul appeared on screen (luckily, that was very often). This man delivered Jesse's lines so perfectly that you can consider him a cult character just after seeing the first two episodes. His conversations with Walt also gave us first impressions of "Heisenbergness" if you haven't yet seen further episodes of the show, you'll understand this by the end of the first season.



    Furthermore, "Cat's in the Bag" again featured unconventional yet fantastic soundtrack choices and wonderful cinematography and editing, especially when our main characters (yes indeed, plural) are taking drugs. Therefore, this episode manages to be really great even though big plot revelations or surprises are missing and I'd say I like it just as much as the pilot. It may not be as thrilling as that was, but it instead brings the dialogs into focus, which are, thanks to Vince Gilligan's talent for screenwriting, really hilarious.moreless
  • Ceramic

    8.0
    So quickly, the jump backward in time was unnecessary, it added nothing to the story except the small blips at the beginning and end with the gas mask. Skylar was marginally better as a female character in this episode, but still not worthwhile at all. But there were little colors of character, from the step down the darker path of dealing with the dead/dying guys as well as realizing Walt won't be around to worry about his daughter dating. This episode was a huge step forward character-wise from the pilot and definitely sunk a hook in me.moreless
  • Walter and Jesse try to clean up the mess from the previous episode.

    9.0
    Yet again this was another good episode of Breaking Bad which picked up from the previous episode and now Walter and Jesse need to dispose of a body and deal with an injured man As I thought the attempt to clean up would come with things going wrong for them which made the episode quite funny and in the end things have got worse for both of them when Jesse destroys the bathtub I am wondering what Walter is going to do with the guy that is alive and I definitely will be watching the next episode to find out.moreless
  • 1x02 "Cat's in the Bag..."

    8.5
    After a fantastic pilot episode, "Cat's in the Bag..." delivers everything that I was expecting from it. It wasn't incredible, but it was entertaining.
  • Walt and Jesse try to figure out what to do with the dead bodies

    9.0
    I'm pretty sure the final scene of the episode can sum up the direction the show will end up going in; the image of that blood crashing down from upstairs, spraying itself throughout the hallway and painting the walls and floors red with the blood of Emilio, Jesse's old partner, is enough to make you realize how in over his head Walter White is.



    For the second episode in a row, we start off in the present and jump back into the past, and for the second time in a row, it doesn't detract from the episode. Instead, it flows very well, and when it jumps back, we have almost an hour of Walt and Jesse attempting to figure out what in the world to do with the bodies. Things get even more complicated when it turns out that Krazy-8, the kingpin of that little group, is actually alive. The scene where Walt drives up the road to Jesse's house and finds Krazy-8 wandering around aimlessly, coughing himself to death and looking like he's been burnt, was absolutely hilarious... in a dark way, of course.



    We also have Walt's wife already growing suspicious of him. Most shows would wait awhile to show the wife growing suspicious, and even then, the wife would hold onto her suspicions for much longer than she should. However, it's a different story with Breaking Bad.. in seven episodes, they need to establish a story, and they do a superb job here. It also gives us a chance to see Walt doing what he ends up doing best: lying. His wife confronts him about Jesse and he makes up a lie that he buys weed from him.. that's a lie, of course, but it is (as Walt says), "better than the alternative."



    For me, the best part of the episode was watching as Walt tries to figure out what to do with the bodies. The dead body? He decides to literally dissolve it in acid. Pretty dark, but Breaking Bad is the type of show that can pull it off and have you still enjoying the guy who's doing it. As for the guy who's living? It's up to Walt to do the killing, but luckily, he still has some ounce of morality left and he decides not to kill him yet. Especially since he's living, talking and breathing. I must say, the scene where he's shoving the items across the floor to Krazy-8 was perfectly done.



    A great follow-up to a great pilot.. in fact, I'm hard-pressed to say that these first seven episodes set up the show better than any other show I've seen. Other shows somewhat set us up, but this season feels almost like one big episode. It's amazing.moreless

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

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  • TRIVIA (2)

    • A critic argues that no real-world high school chemistry lab would stock such a large amount of hydrofluoric acid. It's often bought in small amounts (maybe one gallon maximum) and severely diluted for simple chemistry experiments. Also, Walt should know that a strong solution of sodium hydroxide (i.e. similar to lye or caustic soda) would be a better choice to dissolve the body because it would convert fat to soap which would wash away with water.

    • Unlike they showed in this episode, Jesse and Walt wouldn't be able to clean up the mess very easily (e.g. baking soda and cleaning solvents). One critic argues that enough fluorine would be present to render the area as too toxic, leading the mess to be treated like toxic waste.

  • QUOTES (11)

    • (To Skyler who starts questioning him on his aberrant behavior after he ultrasound)
      Walt: I haven't been myself lately, but I love you. Nothing about that has changed, nothing ever will. So right now, what I need, is for you to climb down out of my ass. Can you do that? Will you do that for me, honey? Will you please, just once, get off my ass? I'd appreciate it. I really would.

    • Walter: Look, you skipped, clowned around or otherwise jerked off to every lecture I ever gave. As far as I'm concerned your chemistry education is over.
      Jesse: Oh, OK, be a dick about it.

    • Walter: You brought those guys out there. This is your responsibility!
      Jesse: Oh, like I came to you begging to cook meth. "Oh, hey, nerdiest old dude I know, you wanna come cook crystal?" Please! "I'd ask my diaper-wearing granny but her wheelchair wouldn't fit in the RV!"

    • Jesse: What do we do?
      Walter: You keep asking me that like you think I have some answer.
      Jesse: Well, you gotta do something.
      Walter: (angrily) We! We have got to do something, and I am open to suggestions!

    • Jesse: Yeah, you know, not like street level. Higher. You know there's like a Starbucks on every corner? Krazy-8 is like the dude who sells Starbucks his beans.
      Walter: OK, so he's a distributor?
      Jesse: Yes.
      Walter: OK, so is he... in other words, what is his reputation for violence?
      Jesse: Well, um, he did try to kill us both yesterday... So there's that!

    • Walter: After we finish cleaning up this mess, we will go our separate ways. Our paths will never cross and we will tell this to no one. Understood?
      Jesse: Oh, what I can talk now? (Looks at each other) Fine! That goes double for me.

    • (Staring at the hole in the ceiling with Jesse)
      Walter: I'm sorry, what were you asking me? Oh, yes, that stupid plastic container I asked you to buy. You see, hydrofluoric acid won't eat through plastic, it will however dissolve metal, rock, glass, ceramic. So there's that.

    • Skyler: Not that it's any of my business, but you might want to consider a different line of work.
      Jesse: OK.

    • Jesse: (answering machine) Yo yo yo! 1483 to the 3 to the 3 to the 6 to the 9. Representin' the ABQ. What up biatch!

    • Jesse: And why did you go tellin' her I was sellin' you weed?
      Walt: Because somehow it seemed preferable to admitting that I cook crystal meth and killed a man!

    • Jesse: (speaking on an answering machine) Hello Mr. White, this is AT&T calling. Are you happy with your current long distance service? 'Cus if you're not I would definitely really really love to talk to you as soon as possible!

  • NOTES (3)

  • ALLUSIONS (1)

    • Title:

      The name of the episode, "Cat's In The Bag," is a reference to a line spoken in the movie Sweet Smell Of Success where a character is referring to a bad deed taken care of. Vince Gilligan, creator of this series, has said he believes that movie to be, for his money, the most quotable movie ever.

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