Something that everyone who has seen "Salud" will agree on is that the ending was phenomenal. More aptly phrased I would say, the whole story arc of Jesse, Gus, and Mike making a voyage down to Mexico because the Cartel intends rough measures if Walt's recipe isn't passed on to them was phenomenal. Besides Aaron Paul giving another tremendous performance as his character gets more and more likeable, I simply loved the cinematography, scenery, score, and dialog in these scenes and they secure that "Salud" is one of the best Breaking Bad episodes up to that point.
What secures that "Salud" isn't the best episode up to that point is the whole rest that is included story-wise. That isn't to say that Walt and his son having a deep conversation for the first time ever wasn't impressing and highly acceptable. Yet in comparison, it has the quality of a commercial the Mexico plot was just too good. But even if the Mexico plot hadn't been there, Skyler attempting to solve the fiscal trouble her ex brought up would have been sub-par. Christopher Cousins is annoying as hell (not as if I've come to expect anything else) and Anna Gunn's character notoriously is involved in the weaker storylines of the series.
Thus, the only thing you'll remember about "Salud" is Mexico, which was, I just have to stress it that much, nothing less than outstanding. However, as I'm rating the whole episode, giving the full amount points is impossible but hey, that's why I'm writing a review and not only leaving an ambiguous rating, right?
I don't know whether it was done on purpose or not, but the scene when Gus walks out of the bathroom is an exact replica of the third person camera in Hitman (the games). The slow walking pace of the action hero exiting the building while everybody else is in panic is sort of like a signature for the game.
The only thing missing was a bar code on the back ofGus' head.
It would be great if someone could actually confirm or deny my theory that this was the intention of the director.
Okay, while this isn't as entertaining as last week's installment "Bug"... it still deserves a perfect score and the episode was strong enough for me to enjoy it. Of course, The Skylar/Ted doesn't me at all but I will let it slide. The other thing that kinda disappoints me was that Hank didn't appear in this episode. The episode still managed to be good without Hank though. Walter also has a short role in this episode. Probably the shortest role that Walter has ever had this season. So yes, this episode has less Walter and more Jesse. Maybe disappointing to the Walter fans while the Jesse fans aren't disappointed since Jesse had more screen time which is okay with me. Walter didn't do much in this episode. All he did was just lay in bed after he got into a fight with Jesse in last week's episode. He also talked to Walter Jr. while he is still depressed and hurt from the fight with Jesse. The Walter/Walter Jr. interaction is my favorite part of this episode. I loved how Walter Jr. was concerned on what happened to Walter and I also really loved Walter telling Walter Jr. on how his father died and what disease he died from. I just found those scenes to be extremely interesting and pretty powerful. The ending of this episode also was pretty awesome as well and I'm curious to know what's going to happen next Sunday Night and I wonder if Walter and Jesse are ever going to talk to each other again. Guess I'll have to wait til' next Sunday Night to find out. Overall, an excellent episode of "Breaking Bad". 10/10
The tension with the cartel in Mexico has built up to this point, as the episode begins with Mike, Gus and Jessie getting picked up in a private plane and flown to Mexico. They meet up with Don Eladio and Jessie is there to cook a batch while the cartel documents his steps and keeps him as a peace offering. This damns Jessie to a life in Mexico as a cartel slave meth cook. However, Pollos Hermanos has other ideas about how it all goes down.
If you recall, 20 years prior (in a flashback), Gus and his partner, who started Pollos Hermanos, humbly visited Don Eladio, basically telling him they were going to sell on his turf. They offered him a deal. He responded to the deal by putting a bullet in Gus's partner's head and forcing Gus to watch his partner bleed out from 6 inches away. Uncle Tio was the gunman.
Gus and crew get sweet, sweet revenge by poisoning every halfway important cartel member at the pool party, Don Eladio included. This is shortly after Jessie spends a day talking smack to the cartel's stuck up chemistry professor cook and making a 96% pure batch of the Blue. During the cook, everyone present (must have been at least 50 people) had gas masks and cameras, and one was only a few feet from Jessie during the process. Although he was masked, I have a feeling this little bit of evidence will come back to bite him.
Meanwhile, in Arizona, Walt has some father/son time after finally crawling out of bed on his son's birthday. He's in a drug-induced haze, healing up from Jessie's epic beatdown, and says some things he wouldn't normally say. He openly cries and apologizes to his son. To his surprise, the next day, his son says he preferred the "weak" and honest version of his dad to the superman front Walt has been putting up for the last year. Oh, and Skyler buys him a Chrysler PT Loser for his 16th birthday and you can tell he really hates it after having the muscle car.
To keep her feet out of the fire, Skyler indirectly feeds Ted the money he needs to pay the IRS. What does Ted-tard do? Buys a brand new Mercedes SLK on lease and decides to open his business again. Stay out of jail, or resurrect the family business? It's a tough decision for him apparently. It's hard to understand that a guy willing to bang Walt's goofy wife would put the lives of his employees before his own. Are we supposed to believe that he has morals, but that his compass is skewed? Skyler visits him to put him in check, and he gives her a verbal tongue lashing before she lets him know that yeah, she's the one who gave him 600k to stay out of jail. Cliffhanger. *yawn*
Back to Mexico for the poisoning of the century. Basically everyone gets poisoned by drinking Gus's special tequila, including Gus, despite him taking some sort of antidote prior to the party. Mike puts on his badass hat and does some garrote work to Don Eladio's surviving bodyguard just as Gus comes back from the restroom. As they are leaving, Mike gets shot and Jessie empties an entire clip into the shooter. Gus gets dumped into the back seat of the car, Mike asks Jessie to "get us out of here, kid", and they all ride off into the sunset.
This episode really cements Jessie as an honest-to-god gangster. In an older episode, Gus and Mike set up a robbery to make Jessie feel better about himself. The trick appears to have worked very well, as Jessie is becoming powerful, hardened, and fearless. In his mind he has saved Mike's life twice now, even as Mike saved his in the last episode. He also delivered a serious ass-kicking to Walt last episode. Jessie has taken center stage, and the way the story is crafted, he deserves it despite his shortcomings (he's still not too bright).
The greatest part of this episode? No Hank. He isn't mentioned, they don't show his house, and his kleptomaniac wife doesn't stop by to chit chat with Skyler.
As Breaking Bad is wont to do near the end of the season, this one really turned up the heat. I had to watch it twice and will probably watch it again. Great stuff here and easily the best TV show ever.
Say what you will about Season 4, but if there's anything I love about this season, it's the way that Bryan Cranston can just sit back and let the rest of the supporting cast take the reigns. I heard complaints about the show early on and how the supporting cast was weak in comparison to Cranston and Paul, but wow... I think this season has been all about letting other actors show their range.
This episode completely belonged to the trio of Gus, Mike and Jesse. After Hermanos, I was glad to see him getting more screen-time, and after this episode, I'm thinking the man needs to be at least be nominated for his role here. All the stuff that Jesse said about having to go to Mexico to cook for the cartel is true; Gus and Mike escort Jesse there and Jesse proceeds to show how great he is at cooking by himself now.
Back in the States, Walt is healing from his wounds from fighting with Jesse and gets a surprise visit from his son. It turns out Walt is zonked out on painkillers, and as a result, we get some awkward moments, such as him sobbing to his son claiming he made a mistake and also him calling Walt Jr. "Jesse." Later, he gives an extremely long monologue to his son about his father and how he had Huntington's Disease. Bryan Cranston was completely on his game tonight, and props to the make-up crew for making Cranston look completely broken down. Or maybe that's just Cranston being awesome.
Skyler is also screwing her family over even more. In order to save Ted, she gives Ted 600,000 bucks under the guise of aninheritance. Saul thinks it's stupid, but Skyler goes on with the plan. She ends up admitting to Ted that it was her money, and I'm betting that she'll admit what she and Walt are doing. I don't hate Skyler as much as some people seem to, but darn it, they're making it tough right now. Anna Gunn is still fantastic though.
But the crux of the episode is all about Gus and Jesse and Mike. The entire episode is dedicated to making us believe that Gus is really going to sell Jesse out to the cartel. However, it turns out that the visit to Mexico was all about revenge. Gus finally gets the upper hand, proving once again how smart he is. If you think he was crazy in "Box Cutter," check out the ending here. I don't want to spoil it, but wow. I had to rewind it and immediately rewatch it.
This season has been a lot about letting the supporting characters take the reigns and I have no problem with that. We're set up for a tumultuous final three episodes. What will Walt do? Will Jesse feel indebted to Gus for saving him? Who knows what to expect here. And that's a great thing.
I thinkI might need to rewatch this episode; I missed it Sunday night, and so I watched some of it yesterday and the rest earlier today. It feels so different watching an episode of this show on a day other then Sunday. However, this was still pretty good. What i liked- Walt telling Walt Jr. about his dad and the only memory he has of him, the ending with Jesse driving Gus and Mike, Jesse teaching the cartel how to cook the blue meth, and learning that the cartel wants him to stay in Mexico, Gus' plan near the end, poisoning the drinks, etc. Honestly, the only thing i did not like a lot was the Skyler/Ted plot, but luckily that was really short. Plus, we got to see Saul goodman in that plot, so it wasn't a total waste. Just somewhat boring. But the rest of the episode was great. There are only like 3 episodes left in this season, i think, and i anxiously await them tosee what happens next! Do i even need to say it? A+
Breaking Bad is the kind of show where even when the writers/producers/cast aren't at their very best, the episodes still wind up being excellent just based on the circumstances of the plot and how the characters react to them. This is a classic Breaking Bad episode with all of the usual bits of family life mixed into the graphic violence of the drug trade. The last 20 minutes or so are not only some of the best scenes in the history of this show, but some of the best I think I've ever seen in any show like this, the sheer intensity of the performances from everyone involved during the climactic mass poisoning of Don Eladio and his capos in the Mexican drug cartel was amazing and it would be an absolute shame of Giancarlo Esposito (Gus) isn't atleast a nomination at the Emmys or Golden Globes. He brings this silent, disturbing rage to every scene he's in, and plays it off perfectly with his always calm demeanor. The way he ritualistically went to the bathroom to make himself vomit up some of the alcohol/poison he had drank earlier was downright eery and the look in his eyes as the episode closed was frightening to say the least. Mix that in with a terrific performance from Bryan Cranston as he breaks down in front of his son in a pain med/alcohol infused state after getting into a fight iwth Jesse and the usual brilliant writing and character interactions, and you've got one of the best episodes of this season and possibly the entire series so far. Not to be missed.
Well, Breaking Bad may not have been eligible for the Emmys this year, but it still showed why it is one of TV's best with a shocking ending and a further establishment of why this show is sort of like The Sopranoes meets Scarface with a little bit of Weeds thrown in.
This was not one of the season's best and while a lot of people will probably praise Walt's monologue about his father, I found his scenes to be a little bit boring tonight. And no zany Hank nonsense this week was a tad disappointing.
Salud was a perfect episode of Breaking Bad and all I can say is WOW! I enjoyed watching this episode so much because it had so many different aspects for the various characters. I think this episode hit all the right spots at the right time. The acting was impeccable, the directing, editing and writing were all perfect. I mean seriously, tv doesn't get better than this! From Walt and Walt Junior having some father son real talk was maybe Emmy worthy, as was Gus, Mike and Jesse and their scenes with the Mexican Cartel. I think this is probably my favorite episode of the entire series. I look forward to watching the next episode of Breaking Bad!!!!!!!!!
The cold open begins with Jesse, Gus, and Mike all heading down to Mexico in a plane and Gus assures Jesse that he is capable of reproducing Walt's cook. Skyler has a scheme to set Ted's debt with the IRS in place when she gets Saul in on giving him money under the guise of Ted's distant Aunt having died in Luxembourg but he may not spend it the way she thinks he does. Walt faces total isolation and misses Jr.'s birthday party and the unveiling of his sucky new "safe" car that puts the other muscle car that Walt bought him previously totally to shame. When Jr. seeks out Walt at his apartment Walt lets him in and tells him of his fight but that he was gambling and not to tell his mother. Walt's sheer breakdown and admittance of wrongdoing expands Bryan Cranston's breadth as Walt to a whole new layer. When he wakes up the next day and explains that he doesn't want Jr. to remember his father like that Jr. says that it was real unlike Walt has been over the past year since the series began so he can tell when Walt is full of crap and not. Skyler confronts Ted about spending the money to just pay off the IRS and may tell him who actually gave him the money. While in Mexico Jesse works his best to replicate the recipe for the cartel to apparent success but he will have to stay according to Gaff, the guy who shot up the farm last week. Walt is informed that he needs to get to the lab. While celebrating their new alliance Gus breaks out a drink for Don Elladio, the cartel leader who killed his best friend in cold blood, and drinks it himself too. Gus excuses himself to the bathroom to throw it up as is is poisonous. The scene that follows is much like the Godfather where Michael Coroleone exacts his revenge on all of his enemies. The capos drop like flies and we learn that Gus's friend died 20 years ago and while Gus feels the poison do its damage partially Jesse, he and Mike work their escape and Mike piano wires Gaff who later apparently gets up and shoots Mike and Jesse drives them away. Gus has finally eliminated the cartel for good, we hope not thinking that there may be somewhat of a resurgence later. The ending was a shock that brought it all together but the Walt scenes served their point and with Skyler divulging her secret to Ted this opens up new ground for her criminal partnership with Walt. Can't wait for the next episode, Salud to the best show on TV!
Breaking Bad split up its principles into two concurrent stories. While those stories didn't interrelate, each side was engaging on its own merits. The big dust-up between Walter and Jesse last week required time apart. Each of the two sides itself had two storylines; let's take them in order of increasing interest.
On the homefront, Skyler attempts to bail out Ted Beneke with a bogus inheritance; the attempt flops so badly as to potentially rain down more trouble on Skyler's head. So, like her husband, she becomes a bit reckless, revealing that she supplied the cash that Ted gleefully started throwing around. (Honestly, Skyler has never heard of the Law of Found Money? After watching Walter's pride-fueled jaunt into criminality, she couldn't see that Ted would try to jump-start his business rather than get out of his mess?) We get something of a cliffhanger: There's no immediate follow-up on Skyler's revelation. Will Ted change his name to Danny? Tune in next week!
Walter is wallowing in remorse for his big fight last week, and he wants to be remembered in the best possible light by his son, Jesse. -- Whoops, Walt Jr., he meant! I'm always glad when R.J. Mitte gets anything at all to do, and getting not just one, but two scenes in which he gets to bond with his father AND show emotion ... terrific stuff, for the least-developed character on the show. Walter's backstory was a welcome addition, and called back to an early episode in which he resisted getting chemotherapy because of how he wanted to be remembered. Jr.'s swimming eyes when he tells his dad that he would actually like to remember his moment of open weakness rather than Dad's ideal of false strength ... good insight into Jr. Will the father-son bond continue to change? Tune in next week!
Next, let's follow Gus, Jesse and Mike down in Mexico. After figuratively slapping around the Cartel's lab staff, a newly re-purposed Jesse manages to cook a nearly-killer batch of meth. Success! The grand prize? He's acqired by the Cartel and gets to spend his life slaving in Mexico! Facepalm! How will Jesse get out of this tight spot? Tune in next w--
... Well, not next week, it turns out! Because the final storyline teaches us the danger of drinking tequila with a bitter enemy who's way-the-hell smarter than you. Gus exacts his revenge against Don Eladio in such a way that it doesn't just avenge Maximino's murder: it also solves his silly little spat with the Cartel and plucks Jesse out of Cartel clutches. Success! While G-string-clad senioritas flee on high heels with bundles of hastily-pilfered cash fluttering away (delicious imagery!), a poisoned Gus, a bleeding Mike, and an ironically-unscathed Jesse peal away from what may be the least-successful acquisition party in Cartel history. Will our guys make it out of Mexico and find medical care? Tune in next week!
What else to tune in for? Well, I can't help but suspect that the murder of the entire Cartel structure will be noticed by someone. I suspect further that Jesse being videotaped cooking a batch of primo meth will give him as high a profile as Gus in the coming payback. Who knows what sort of wacky shenanigans are in store for our guys now??
Okay, okay; enough with the flippant tone. Truth is, this was a heavy and largely humorless episode, with a lot of forward momentum. The big toast in Mexico didn't just cap off a vengeance storyline: it provided a humongous game-changer. Is Gus more dangerous than ever because his power in the Southwest is uncontested? Is there a s---storm of repercussion heading north? Is Jesse more trusted now ... maybe even secure? These are the salient points. They overshadow all the events in Albuquerque in importance, and the result was an imbalance: character development north of the border, violent leap in the story in the south. Both stories were smartly handled and well-acted. One was an edge-of-your-seat nailbiter, the other was a thoughtful sit-back. It was whiplash, but fun and intense whiplash. As in real life, juggling work and family has less-than-perfect results, but the juggle is sometimes unavoidable.
Our storylines will come back together, I hope, next week. I'm looking forward to two reunions: First, a contrite Walter and an empowered Jesse; Walter ought to humbly apologize right off the bat, but, let's face it, if Walter did as he ought, there would be no show. And the other reunion is Gus and Hector "Tio" Salamanca. "Well? Is today the day?" We have only started to taste the payback for these awful developments.
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