Another awesome installment of Breaking Bad! Madrigal not only keeps the rhythm of the season going at a pretty smooth pace but it also gives us a chance to ask the question of which criminals on this show we should actually be rooting for while also widening Walter White's impact on the world around him to oversees and giving Mike some amazing character moments.
This episode, like many of the shows, has another cold opening and its interesting not only in the fact that it opens up this seemingly very dangerous German world that Walt is not aware of yet, but it also continues a theme that is being established very hard this season so far: Living life and dying on your terms/Being free. With the way Gilligan opened up the premiere we are left to assume that Walter White is at the end of his rope much like Madrigal executive Schuler is at the beginning of episode 2. With the seemingly inevitable prospect of facing capture by the police and the destruction of his reputation as an upstanding business man or death at the hands of the Madrigal heads, Schuler decides to take his own way out by taking an EMP to a bathroom and shocking himself to death, in effect going out the way he wishes to rather than at the hands of others, in which we can only assume Walt is doing in the flash forward.
There are some pretty awesome similarities going on between Season 5 and Season 1 that Gilligan has set up. In the first episode we see Walt in a desperate situation that seems to be way over his head in the cold opening, and in Season 1 the series opens with Walt holding a gun in a situation way over his head where he believes he has been found out and would rather go out his own way and take as many people with him as he can. Also in episode 2, we see Walt returning to his bedroom and Skyler in that position where her back is turned to Walt and she's feeling some level of disconnect (if not totally) from her husband, much like in Season 1 episode 1 where Walt comes home from his dangerous escapades and makes love to his wife out of a feeling of fear of the world he had opened up. Only this time, Walt is dishing out the fear and while he tries to make love to his wife in episode 2 of season 5, it is not wanted unlike in the series first episode where Skyler willingly accepts her husband.
Walt is quickly destroying everything that tied him to his humanity and in the process he is losing the one person who has stood by his dangerous double life in his wife, and this will only continue as the season goes on as all the people close to Walt find out all the things he is responsible for and turn their backs on him just as his wife is doing. Anyone starting to wonder why Walt was rolling solo during his breakfast birthday bash? Can't wait for the next episode