"Mandala" had a rather ridiculous start with one of Walt's and Jesse's dealers getting shot by a grade school kid the fact that the victim was the fat one only reinforced that. But fortunately, the episode only got better after that slowly gaining more and more quality until it ended it a fantastic cliffhanger.
I don't want to spoil what happens in this episode, but I'll say that much: all of it is due the killing of Combo, the aforementioned dealer, and Skinny Pete's quitting after that incident, which leaves their two 'bosses' without anyone to sell the humungous amount of meth they've recently cooked. Cue Giancarlo Esposito's Gus a mysterious new character that I'll only say one thing about: he's awesome. The same goes for Bob Odenkirk as Saul Goodman who once again gets the silliest stuff to say, yet impresses the most. However, speaking of the drama in the episode, Bryan Cranston is the one stealing the show. At first, he has an intense and momentous conversation with Gus, just to then experience the heaviest collision of interests imaginable in the final scene. In between that, there's some uninteresting talk with doctors again, boring time with Skyler and her new boss Ted (including an impersonation of Marilyn Monroe's famous singing of Happy Birthday that gave me almost as big of a vicarious shame as Walt's WTF moment in "Over" did), and Jesse and Jane mutually leading themselves into disaster (which sounds more thrilling than it actually is).
That's about it with "Mandala" and in my opinion, one awesome scene at the end doesn't justify flaws throughout the rest of the episode. Anyway though, now that I'm over the Breaking Bad drought, it's time to look forward to the great season finale and the next season, which is even better.
An amazing episode of Breaking Bad, a rather slow burning episode with quite the pay off in the end. So much subtle lines from the script end up being something that happens at the very end of the episode. Walt stole the show of course.
Walt looks for a new distributor with the help of Saul. The distributor, Gus, doesn't accept Walt the first time around, and Walt goes down to talk to him to see why. "You can't trust a drug addict" It just tied in with the subplot so well. The fact that Jesse made Jane go off the wagon was eventful, and when they used the needles, I was in awe.
It was just a perfect tie in, especially in the end. Skyler remains uninteresting, like anyone really cares that her boss is doing something illegal in the company, her scenes definitely filled up a good amount of time in this episode, but all of that didn't matter by the end.
Walt comes back to find Gus, only to find someone else offering 1.2 million dollars for the 38 pounds of meth, then that's when it all starts tying together. Skyler goes in labor at the same time Walt has to get drugs within an hour. Now we have to see what decision will Walt make. Jesse is no help, since he is high with Jane half conscious.
Excited to see the repercussions after this intriguing cliffhanger to this great episode. Wow, don't miss this installment of Breaking Bad. Great episode.
I apologize for not reviewing three weeks of Breaking Bad episodes, but my schedule has just been hectic for both TV watching and real life.
But this was a good episode to come back on. It was as gripping and fast-paced and fun to watch as the first season, and the show is just incomparable to anything else on cable right now. Not that it is necessarily superior to the rest of TV, but that it is a perfect combination of true to life drama and dialogue, and classic drama plots all rolled into one.
I still think the show drags on at points, but this was definitely one of the best offerings of the season with a new character added.
This episode moved so many things forward. A new "business model", the baby is coming, and just what Jesse needs - a brand new addiction! I knew that gal was trouble. I hope that the baby is okay. I wonder if Walt will get the meth there in time? That's the strangeness of this show - you end up sitting there watching and thinking gosh! I hope that walt gets the meth there in time! then, wow, did i really just think that thought? But, really wouldn't it be great for the story if he does if he gets it there in time, and we get to find out: will he really walk away with 1.2 million dollars???? and if he does, what will that do for his life? it opens up a whole lot of choices. Super episode!
A dealer gets shot and the other dealers gets spooked and leave. This leaves Walt and Jesse, with ALOT of meth just sitting there and unable to turn to cash.
They goto Saul for advice, he says he can organize a bulk purchase with a mystery dealer that nobody actually knows.
Skylar finds out that Tim is committing tax fraud and Skylar quits(or threatens to). She is really upset that he is breaking the law.
Now this is a very interesting point because if Walt tells Skylar about his secret of cooking meth, Skylar will not take it lightly and not forgive him. Tax fraud is a much smaller crime than cooking meth and that puts Walts future in trouble because he is definately going to live for longer now.
Walt and Jesse confront Saul over their large amount of supply with no demand or liquidity for their stash. Saul suggest a new business partner who is very experienced in dealing with business and not in narcotics addiction, unlike Tuco. After Combo gets shot on a curb by a gang after infiltrating their turf Jesse hits some more hardcore drugs and since Jane is in a program he doesn't want her to get involved, even though she does anyway. Skyler also goes through her company's bookkeeping and finds inconsistencies of finances, aka embezzlement and confronts her boss/old flame with the information and he admits that he has to provide for his employees in these hard economic times. Although Skyler says that she will take no part in it she doesn't quit and shows up for work the very next day. Walt meets with the new distributor and tries to prove himself worthy of dealing with him while the new distributor, named Gustavo says that he can't trust Jesse because of his drug addiction although Walt says so otherwise. Jesse tries heroine with Jane and while they are on their trip Walt gets an offer to sell their whole payload of meth for 1.2 million dollars in one hour. Walt breaks into Jesse's duplex and gets the location of the meth out of him to make it to the drop site on time. Meanwhile at her boss's B-Day company celebration Skyler's water breaks and baby Holly is on the way.
This episode will go down as one of my all time favorites, as it had a wonderful way pulling together so many of the layered themes in the show. One of Jesse's dealers is gunned down in the opening minutes of the show, and with Badger in California, the lone main dealer left under Jesse decides to quit, leaving Walt and Jesse with over 38 pounds of product, but absolutely no way to sell it. In turn, the go to Saul, who says "he knows a guy who knows a guy who knows a guy." After not meeting up with Walt the first time he went to the meeting spot, Walt spends next to the entire day waiting (and successfully spotting) who this high level distributor is. At first Gus balks at Walt, but, by the end of the episode, he is ready to deal. Just one problem - Jesse is now using heroin and meth along with his new girlfriend, and is rendered useless. Skyler finds out that her boss has been cheating the system and could very well end up in prison. She confronts him, and he agrees. At first she leaves, but, the baby begins to cause alert, which couldn't be worse timing for Walt or Skyler. An unforgettable ending to an unforgettable episode.
Regardless of any lulls that Breaking Bad has hit in its second season (I suppose it could be blamed on the long episode count compared to last season), the show has tried to make every moment count. Each episode provides some character development and advances the plot, even if it's just a little bit at a time. I'm of the opinion that this season started off EXTREMELY strong with the first three episodes, slowed a little bit and has started picking up again. This episode shows that the writers will not be holding back in the final two episodes.
Watching Jesse succumb to heroin and digging himself deeper into a grave was awful (in a good way). It sucks that someone like him, who has had the oppurtunities to go clean and has made attempts in the past keeps getting pulled further and further down. After being doped up when Walt needed him most, this is certain to cause some tension between them. The preview for next weeks episode really shows the relationship between Walt and Jesse growing dangerously thin.
I really do not care for Skyler's side plot with the dirty boss. I suppose it could be seen as an example of how Skyler will react if she discovers what Walt has been up to, but other than that, it's not very interesting and I don't care too much for it.
One thing that has continued to stay in my mind over the season is how these events they're showing us will lead to the final scene, with the White's house exploded, sirens in the background and two bodybags on the floor. Honestly, this show is creating intensity I haven't felt since The Shield was on. Good stuff.
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