It's only the third episode in this season of Breaking Bad, but it already feels as if we've been served the same plot for ages. Besides more and more character development in Skyler and Jesse, "Open House" is sparse on new ideas and difficult to enjoy.
As Jesse's parties grow bleaker and bleaker, Aaron Paul impresses me even more through his almost wordless, yet still so deep acting especially the go-kart scene near the end of the episode was a small, but mentionable gem. The bigger part of this episode was definitely focused on either the Schraders or the Whites though, and while these also had some nice parts here and there, the average was rather low. Especially Marie bringing out the kleptomaniac side of hers was overly long and resulted in a ridiculous and redundant crying scene of Betsy Brandt.
Skyler got a tad more interesting in "Open House" as she is willing to passively participate in Walt's crime by becoming a (different sort of) criminal herself, yet that doesn't say a lot for a character that bored and annoyed me for pretty much all three seasons up to that point. This story part had some blatant stupidities in it, such as the "It's been six hours, he won't call he calls" and the "Giving a random guy instructions over headphones so he can manipulate someone else in your favor" clichs. At least Bob Odenkirk was able to uplift both the humor aspect and the quality of it with some trademark stupid jokes.
As you see, there really were only few things for me to appreciate in "Open House", an episode that proves yet another time that Breaking Bad is weak when the story is evolving slowly.
Good news is that my favorite crime drama show "Breaking Bad" is starting to pick up the pace for Season 4. The bad news is that this episode is still slow. Still, not a bad episode and it's better than the first two Season 4 episodes "Box Cutter" and "Thirty-Eight Snub". This episode is GOOD but there were still some moments where it got to be slow but I hope Season 4 starts to get better which I know it will. As a fan of "Breaking Bad", I have faith that this season will get better. Walter was actually pretty funny in this episode. Hank was really good in this episode as well. Jesse's party still continues on from the previous episode "Thirty-Eight Snub" which was good with some funny parts along the way. The scene with Jesse riding on the go-kart is also very interesting and kinda exciting. Fans like us are delivered a good story but still with slow moments. The premise is good here and I wasn't that disappointed in this episode. It was still disappointing but it's a good episode compared to the first Season 4 episodes. This episode is defintely recommend to all of the fans that love this show though. I probably call the ending the best I've seen but it's pretty good. Overall, this was a good episode of "Breaking Bad" but I hope Season 4 begins to have better episodes than this installment and the other two Season 4 episodes. 7.5/10
With the last two episodes focusing primarily on Walt and his reaction to what the business is now becoming because of what he and Jesse did and Gus's reaction and how would come to live with it we now turn to more broad stories. We see Skyler worrying about the car wash possibility and how they need to get the owner to sell it without using violence or tipping anyone off about suspiciousness in a scene between Walt, Saul, and Skyler that brought our favorite lawyer back into the fold. It was also funny how he brought up the nail salon idea again when Jesse clearly passed on it last season. Speaking of Jesse, he sinks deeper into the chaos and his house has become ground zero for addicts and fights now that he can't bear to be alone and his quiet desperation when he asks Walt out for go carts is palpable. Marie goes back to being a clepto for a habit at a bunch of open houses as a cry for help from Hank's negligence to acknowledge her and she finally gets to be sincere to her through getting her out of jail. Skyler manipulates her way into getting the owner to get her to sell the car wash for cheaper than she originally intended and Hank gets the file on Gale's lab from a DEA buddy who helped Marie get out of jail and wants his eyes on it to give him some hints. No doubt this will bring him closer to getting back on his feet and working to find Heisenberg again who is no doubt inside that notebook somewhere. Good job BB, way to bring the more minor characters into the forefront especially since next week looks like Gus will be back to bring Walt in line, uh oh.
Open House was a superb episode of Breaking Bad and I really enjoyed watching this episode because Skylar really took charge and made things happen which was awesome. Jesse continues to party away and descend as Walter is displeased with new security measures at the lab. Marie goes back to her old ways but with a new and fun twist. I love going to open houses too, as they make you feel like you are some one else and it is fun to pretend, however Marie took it to another level getting her in trouble. Hank is asked to look over some lab notes found at the crime scene of Gale's murder which puts him back onto Walter and Jesse. I look forward to watching the next episode of Breaking Bad!!!!!!!
Better than almost everything else currently on television, but below par for Breaking bad. I'm dying to hear Jesse vocalize his reaction to the last two murders, and after this episode I'm still waiting. As is often the Breaking Bad case, I think the anticipation will make the resolution better in the end. Mostly I want to sound off against all the hate for the Marie scenes. There was some choice acting during those moments that I think we need to appreciate, even if it wasn't action packed or suspenseful. And what I really think we should all pay attention to here is the set up. Marie while being arguable the most screwed up character in the cast, also hides an immoral kleptomaniac streak, and most importantly of all, is one superb liar. She didn't miss a beat did she? Someone that smooth would really be an asset to Walt's growing criminal family. Currently she is poised to become an excellent criminal, and I'm hoping the story progresses to the point where we can see her put those skills to use.
Finally, a good episode this season. Don't get me wrong, it still was not great, but this was a step in the right direction for a show that has not been up to the "best drama on TV" level we expect from this series. But tonight Walter was funny, Saul was funny, and the episode progressed nicely. They had the interesting twists we have come to expect from the show and as always this show makes the most out of very little.
The Hank storyline is still a little bit dull. Unless he quickly discovers that Walt is behind everything, which I don't expect to happen immediately, I find that character useless right now. It is not that I don't have the attention for a slow build, but rather that the show needs something big to happen and fast.
Firstly, let me make it clear I'm not talking about action.
I love drama and good acting more than the average person. Character development can make or break a TV show.
But I fell in love with Breaking Bad not only for its great drama, but also for its edgy pacing which went from crawling slow (which I loved) to insanely fast at the drop of Heisenberg's hat. It wasn't JUST about the lives of the characters, as each episode advanced the plot in some large way.
The last 2 episodes have lost the edginess for me, ever so slightly. The show has taken a poor turn in the direction of a soap opera, I feel, with a touch too much focus on things like Marie's kleptomania, and the car wash. Which is great for advancing character development, but if you spend too long on those issues it might as well be The OC.
The show has lost a little of the uneasy danger it gave us in the first couple of seasons, where you really feared for everyone, constantly. I keep waiting for something new to happen but it doesn't really come.
For anybody who has complaints lodged against Skyler White and how Anna Gunn is an annoying actress and how the show would be better off without her, I think this episode should be somewhat of a redemption. For a character who could've been stagnant and become just a nagging ex-wife of a character that we're usually rooting for, she's come a long way. In fact, after this episode, I felt like we were watching a husband/wife crime duo a la Bonnie and Clyde (well, not exactly like that, but you get the picture). That's right, Anna Gunn somewhat stole the show out from Bryan Cranston here, and even if her acting still wasn't up to par with Cranston's, her character was given a new layer: criminal.
That being said, if people have complained about the last two weeks being slow, they'll be even more frustrated with this week. Some people may even say "There wasn't even a fight or a death or an explosion or anything cool like that!" Nope, the episode focused mainly around a series of character interactions and developments and scenes that once again showed Walt being paranoid in one way or the other, Skyler being more conniving and assertive, Saul being… well, Saul, and Jesse spiraling further and further downward. Sooner or later, the bottom has got to drop out and the show will hit that ridiculous streak that it's known for hitting around the midpoint of the season. But for now, we're getting build-up, which isn't a bad thing.
But boy, oh boy… the Hank and Marie plot was pushing my patience this week. I thought Betty Brandt was given her best scenes of the entire show and actual proof that she's a proficient actress in the show. But was the story really necessary? Sure, the scenes with Marie show her odd coping mechanisms and how hard she's taking the Hank thing, but by the time I got to the end of the episode, I wasn't left with any good or bad feelings towards what she went through. Just completely neutral. I focused more on the fact that Hank has started reading Gale's lab notes. Now that's way more intriguing to me then Marie's issues.
I don't want to focus too much on Marie and Hank because I'm not sure anything that Marie does will have an effect on what goes on with Walt and Jesse and Skyler. Walt gets little to do but hide pathetically behind his door and grow frustrated as Skyler takes control in the quest to buy the car wash and Jesse gets very few scenes as well except for one where he rides around in a go-kart and another where (with a Fever Ray song in the background that absolutely KILLS) he goes into his house which has become a crack den and throws money in the air for the druggies can fight over it. It's a pretty grim couple of scenes, and maybe a little too similar to last week, but it was still good.
I've saved talking about Skyler until last, mostly because it was pretty surprising to see how much she was given to do here. Her, Walt and Saul struggle to figure out a surefire way to get the car wash from the guy now until she comes up with the perfect plan: destroy the water in the surrounding area so that he'll be forced to sell for really cheap. Watching her negotiation tactics (all while Holly's in the background, being a cute little baby) as she tries to get the car wash from the Armenian guy was great. By the time we get to the end, where Walt and Skyler are celebrating with a 300 dollar bottle of champagne, I'm finally feeling good about where they're bringing Skyler.
The show definitely needs a kick in the butt to get it going. Season 4 can't be about the group of actors sitting around and just twiddling their thumbs, cooking meth and just going through the motions. Not that every show needs something exciting, but there has to be some sort of change or some sort of twist to change things up. And I'm sure it'll come soon enough. Today felt as filler as the show is likely to get, but I'm sure we'll get more good stuff soon enough.
What I liked: Jesse asking Walt to go ride go-karts. It's another example going off of last week how lonely he is. I also liked Skyler's purchase of the car wash, the scene of Jesse riding go-karts by himself, the ending of the episode with Hank going through the notebook thing his friend brought to him, Saul Goodman (he's always a nice character to have), amongst other things.
Another kind of slow moving episode, but I have no doubt in my mind that all this is leading up to something big. This show is regarded as one of the best dramas on TV, and in some cases it is regarded as the best, so I have no doubt that sooner or later, events will get really big. I was hoping there would be big events in this episode, but sadly there was not really. It was still a good episode and I am expecting bigger things to start happening very soon.
So it's the end of the third episode. This season is going to be much more methodical, I can tell you that right now. Things are going to be very neat and things are going to build up and solidify in a sequential, organized order. In this episode, the plot thickens as Skyler and Walt secure the carwash. Hank will eventually read the lab notes and move quickly on the connections revealed. Marie and Hank's relationship is poised to end, in my opinion. The storylines are getting there. For example, although Marie returning to her kleptomania days doesn't seem to connect, it allows the officer a chance to talk to Hank - very methodical, very neat. Things will happen, just not yet, which is a bit dissatisfying in my opinion. I know it's going to be worth the wait though. And the past 3 episodes have still been solid. There is progression of the plot in each episode, so it's fulfilling.
However, Walt Jr. is an unused character for the past three episodes. Saul hasn't done much, sure a little bit in this episode. Jesse has uttered about a dozen lines since the season began. The dialogue is a bit lacking in these past couple of episodes - not too impressed. Characters have a single line per episode (Walt Jr./Gus) which is great for effect, but the dialogue has always been a strong point of this show. Just my two cents. Obviously still enjoying the ride.
The preview for this episode made it look like a lot more was going to happen - just sayin'. It's the same for next week too, so I'm hoping that next week is the real bang...
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