Breaking Bad

Season 4 Episode 6

Cornered

23
Aired Sunday 9:00 PM Aug 21, 2011 on AMC
SUBMIT REVIEW

Episode Fan Reviews (10)

8.5
out of 10
Average
283 votes
  • More in the style of this episode, please.

    9.0
    As is unusual for Breaking Bad, the IMDb user ratings for "Cornered" do not at all indicate how good of an episode this is. And with that I'm not only thinking of Walt's famous "I am the one who knocks" speech (which is outstanding, nevertheless), but about the whole 46 minutes, throughout filled with excellent performances, hugely entertaining character interaction, and a great atmosphere, especially in the scene, in which a meth den is visited by PI-ing buddies Jesse and Mike.



    What I enjoyed most about this episode and I honestly never believed I would ever say this is Anna Gunn's acting, which she would've been ill-advised not to submit for consideration for the Emmy Awards. At the beginning of the episode it's merely good, as her reaction to Walt going HAM on her doesn't manage to outshine the unforgettable scene Bryan Cranston has just delivered, but later on, she gets two moments to show all her talent and, oh boy, she does. The coin flipping at the Four Corners Monument may not be that spectacular, but I adore how simple yet momentous it is. And then, her showing her husband who's the man in the house is sheer acting brilliance. Actually, this scene comes ironic in an episode, in which Walt is the most badass since that one time when he partially destroyed Tuco's "office". Him owning Bogdan was the most relieving to see and this time around, he doesn't even need to grab his crotch to do so.



    Going through all the scenes of "Cornered" in my head again, I can't think of one I didn't like and that has been as rare as Bogdan shaving his eyebrows in recent Breaking Bad history. The episode isn't perfect and could have profited from a bit more thrill or the eerie mood TUCKER!'s abode had to offer, but all in all, I was just happy to see a really good Breaking Bad episode once again.

  • Came off the rails

    6.0
    This episode hit too many false notes. Form the drunk talk by Walt to Hank, the bragging to Skylar, the Bizarre roadtrip by Skylar to Walt buying the hotrod. Just one idiotic turn to another. I hope they return to form next week.
  • 406

    7.5

    "Cornered" was a pretty good episode of Breaking Bad. It did not really move the story forward that much, but I think that it accomplished most of what it set out to do. They are going to have Jesse get back to being confident as they want to create that rift between the two with Gus then choosing either Walt or Jesse to live. That's where it looks like they are heading, but then again with the stagnant development week to week who knows at this point.


    There was a lot of filler tonight though, something that has been very prevalent in this season as a whole. We deserve better writing from Breaking Bad because we know it's there.

  • Superb but this episode was a little weak in my opinion

    9.0

    Well... this episode was a little weak and not the best Season 4 episode I've ever seen but it's better compared to the first two Season 4 episodes and that third episode of Season 4 which was good but still slow. Anyways, the storyline wasn't my favorite. The Jesse and Mike scenes still manage to be my favorite scenes in this episode. The thing that disappoints me though is how Walter and Jesse don't interact with each other a whole lot in this season. I really loved their interaction in the first 3 seasons but it kinda disappoints me how they don't interact with each other a whole lot. Oh well, the Jesse/Mike scenes are interesting and well developed. Skyler still continues to be my least favorite character in this show. She just doesn't interest me in anyway and is probably the most boring and uninteresting character in this show. Walter's part in this episode was very good. I was laughing hard when Walter was asking those three ladies to come help in the laboratory and the three ladies didn't want to do it. It was interesting that Gus deported those three ladies because they were helping Walter... probably the best part of the episode. The ending was sorta disappointing as well. Overall, a superb episode of "Breaking Bad" but it's a little weak in my opinion. 9/10

  • Many viewers are losing patience, this season, with the lack of story progression that we saw in the first seasons. I still love it, but I'm getting frustrated.

    7.5

    Now let me start by saying I'm NOT asking for more action. BB has always been about slow pacing and character development with sudden (but fairly regular) episodes where everything just explodes.


    Think back to season 1 for a moment. By episode 3 Walt had started making Meth, killed 2 people (one of which in the best episode of all of them, where he tries to get to know the person he has to kill). By the end of the season, Heizenberg is born, the DEA become aware of Walt's product, Walt's cancer gets worse to the point where he seems like he's dying, Tuco hospitalizes Jesse, we get that "this is not meth" moment which will live forever, and the pair get involved in the Tuco partnership, with the 7-episodes season ending at a point where you think there's no way out for them.


    This season, though, we are 6 episodes in but nothing has really changed. I mean, not really. Sure we've had some AMAZING scenes, insanely good acting and cinematography, and some small character development, but the plot hasn't advanced. They are still stuck in the same business deal they were at the start, they are still trying to launder money, Walt and Jesse still fight a lot, Walt is still just about the same level of badassery as he was at the end of last season, and Hank is still trying to track Heizenberg (after taking a little detour from episodes 2-4).


    I love BB so much, and that's why I'm complaining. I liked the old BB, where the pace seemed slow, but every few episodes something insane happened which changed the entire plot, and in between those episodes you had one really quite, sollem episode, like the one where they were stuck in the desert.


    It used to go family drama episode, isolated atmospheric episode, action episode, repercussions episode. NOW it goes family drama episode, family drama episode, family drama episode, family drama episode.


    Admit it, we're all waiting for Walt to get full on Bad, it's the reason we come back every week (asidefrom the masterful acting and production, but I'm talking plot-wise). Yeah we get those scenes every episode where you see the big H come out and his expression changes ("I AM the danger", gotta love that scene), but I wish the plot would advance at 1/15th of the pace that his moods change.

  • Cornered

    10

    Cornered was a perfect episode of Breaking Bad. The writing was on point, the acting was outstanding, and the plot development was great! Many characters in this episode had become cornered, eitherliterallyor figuratively. Walt is starting to really suspect and figure out the bigger picture Gus may have in mind for Jesse who proves himself valuable in many ways this episode. I really wonder what is to become of him. Walt makes some poor decisions like he has been the last few episodes and I wonder which way things will go for him. I liked how every thing came together in this episode and I definitely look forward to watching what happens next on Breaking Bad!!!!!!!!!

  • perfect

    10

    After the outstanding past couple episodes we've had, this one felt kind of weak, but it was still great. I really loved the part where Walt got the three ladies to help him clean, and then Gus having them deported. That was a perfectly great scene and the execution was really nice. My favorite part of the show, for the first 3 seasons, was having a lot of interactions between Jesse and Walt, and that has not happened a lot this season. But the new dynamic, Mike and Jesse, is pretty interesting as well. I think I just really like Jesse as a character. He has grown quite a bit as a character recently and it is really fascinating.


    I also continue disliking Skyler. She's just not really that satisfying to me, as a fan. She's probably my disliked character, but her feelings are so true. In an earlier episode where she was talking to Walt and she mentions her being the 'bitch mom' (a reference to when Jr. called him that), I felt kind of bad for her. She DOES get quite a bit of flack in this show, from other characters. And now her making Jr. give back the car? Wow.


    Overall, this was kind of weaker than previous episodes, right when i thought things were going to pick up, they don't, but it was still as a whole a good episode

  • I swear this show is becoming a soapie, a sort of desperate housewives with meth. Virtually every scene is taken from a woman's perspective. The men are depicted time again as incapable of coping with situations they created, & martyring women.

    4.0

    This episode featured 'her indoors' hassling Walt as soon as he pried his eyes open from a big night before. Sure he had over-stepped the bounds and needed to be working on an out for things he said to bro-in-law the narc. Instead of which, his former partner who after living with him for 20+ years must be aware that he doesn't take to being described as victim of circumstance. He needs to see himself as a protagonist, but Skyler keeps hassling him about whether he is in danger from the' bad crims' or not.



    Her eagerness to go all maternal on him drove him to the point where he over compensated by acting out a master crim spiel.


    Shock horror - as if she didn't know he would pull something like that. So she all self righteously grabs the ankel-biter and goes walk about.



    Fair enough you say, just the writers showing-two flawed humans in a relationship. Well maybe but it is the next scene with Walt that doesn't ring true when he grabs 3 cleaners from the laundry and gets them to do the wifey cleaning thing down in teh lab.



    I just don't see walt not knowing that at the very least they woild be put on a bus, lucky not to cop a shallow grave.



    Walt can understand enough of where gus comes from to predict that is exactly what would happen. Furthermore even if he missed that which I don't believe he would, he would never waste energy pleading their cases with Gus' new stand-over man.


    Firtsly because he would have known it would happen, secondly because it would make him look weak and foolish to the new heavy and lastly and most importantly because it would be sending Gus a message that Gus once again got one over on him.


    The only reason for this scene was to give viewers who want to side with Walt's wife's point of view a little kick of 'what a pig' justifying even more the empathy they feel for Skyler.



    If the producers want to make this a show for those people who get off seeing men constantly portrayed as swines towards women then they are doing a good job, but it will cost them a sizeable chunk of their audience probably the majority of it.



    All of those who have seen too much of this type of storyline and deliberately unrealistic character manipulation on those shows broadcast between soap commercials will drift away.



    In one fell swoop we have fallen back into exactly the same riff between Skyler & Walt that underpinned the show for the entirety of last season and prolly half the season before.



    It also looks as though the interaction between Gus and Walt is gonna be essentially the same as last year. That is Walt spending the entire 13 episodes trying to maneouver into a position of superiority/control over Gus. Something he will doubtless achieve in spisode 13 only to have it snatched back first episode next season.



    This show as become irrelevant and annoying to many of its viewers which is bad enough but worse, it has also become predictable.

  • The board is set, the pieces are moving.

    9.0

    It's rare for Breaking Bad to open a show with consecutive gut punches; the show usually starts with quiet character moments in its early scenes. This one opens with cold murder, an explosive confrontation between Walter and Skyler, and Bogdan meeting Heisenberg for the first time. Let's take those one at a time.


    First, the Pollos truck robbery. The enemy cartels are working smarter, and getting more deadly. They are ahead of the game, and they can't be kept at bay forever. Gus doesn't want confrontation -- "This war stays cold, for now." -- but the wolves can't be kept away forever.


    The scene between Walter and Skyler was literally breathtaking. Seriously. Their argument regarding Walter's recklessness and his swatting away of Skyler's concern mounted until Walter dropped the bomb: "I'm not in danger, I AM the danger!" I sat on the couch, jaw down, coffee cup halfway to my mouth, and it took a few seconds to realize that I had stopped breathing. It's in the open now: Skyler is married to a monster, and it's up to her to protect the family from him.


    And then Walter introduces Bogdan to Heisenberg, who uses Bogdan's prized first-career-sale dollar bill to buy a coke from a vending machine. Casual ruthlessness served cold. That casual ruthlessness pops up later when Walter hires the laundry help to clean his superlab; he knows, he HAS to know, that he's just spoiling for a fight with management, and that his stunt put the cleaning ladies in terrible danger. (Seriously, they were lucky to get out of there alive, assuming that they really were bussed out.)


    Jesse continues to surprise everyone (even himself) by embracing his job as hired muscle. His street-smarts and tenacity are earning Mike's respect. They may even be earning Gus's respect; he meets Jesse briefly, which he would never do for Walter. When Walter rants to Jesse about how Gus is, indeed, driving a wedge between the partners, Jesse ignores him because he doesn't want to hear it -- and because Walter sounds like a pompous, paranoid fool saying so. (Sadly, Walter is probably right; Gus will never fully trust Jesse.)


    And then the just-reconciled Whites play tug-of-war with their son. (It's good to see R.J. Mitte get something to do, and fun to watch him transparently manipulate his dad.) Skyler, knowing that she'll be playing the mean shrew to Walter's cool-and-generous dad, does what she has to do to keep the family safe. Walter may be providing for his family, but it's Skyler who mans-up. Her pain as she takes the unwanted "bitch-mom" mantle is hearbreaking to watch; Skyler is needlessly maligned (judging by the BB reviews) and Anna Gunn's protrayal is underappreciated.


    For each character, the list of available options is whittling down. Things are coming to a head. The cartel is moving. They have Gus's number, and, as shown last season, they know where Walter lives. It becomes clearer with each episode that no one is secure. Everyone is cornered. The show knows how to build to a full boil, and it's a great, violent simmer they're pulling off right now.

  • Bonnie and Clyde

    9.0

    Yet another episode begins with a Pollos truck getting jacked but this time the heavily armed men in back are gassed to death probably because Mike killed the last two that tried that. The cartel is clearly striking back at Gus for killing their leader last season and want him to cut them in on profits or something on his side of the border. Jesse continues to be Mike's assistant of sorts and the two sit by and watch a house where a few methheads who have their product but didn't buy it from them. Jesse resorts to unconventional methods of getting in the house to avoid a stakeout and retrieves the product but it has a message that is stated rather clearly. Walt, left to clean up the mess of the latest batch in the lab resorts to hiring a few of the ladies that work at the business upstairs and pays them quite a bit to do the handiwork for him. This is perfect since his old boss told him earlier how a boss must make the hard decisions and be tough Walt is doing things his own way but there are consequences. Walt's theory of the conspiracy that it's all about him is true and we acknowledge it as an audience member but the sheer paranoia and obsession that he has to just dismiss Jesse out of the equation is pig headed. Jesse was and is being baby sat by Mike but it isn't until this week that he really showed some moxy with what he and Mike did. Skyler has to make a decision of where she stands and goes off to deal with it while Walt buys Jr. a new car. Walt's monologue about being the danger was amazing as is everything Cranston does to a t in this show he is so refined in Walter White. Skyler's decision to be the once protecting her family from the man protecting the family is the final evidence that she's in all the way. She's always talking about the "story" of their money and how it looks from the outside and if that's not thorough criminality then I don't know what is. Walt and Skyler are now the Bonnie and Clyde of ABQ. I'm intrigued to see where the cartel storyline goes next week with the supposed "talk" that Mike is to set up for Gus.

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