Breaking Bad

Season 4 Episode 2

Thirty-Eight Snub

Aired Sunday 9:00 PM Jul 24, 2011 on AMC

Episode Fan Reviews (9)

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out of 10
354 votes
  • Technically well-made, but mediocre story-wise.

    Without any scenes that could actually be described as bad, "Thirty-Eight Snub" is still a bit of a bummer and again spends too much time on monotonic storylines. Jesse's repetitive parties worked nicely in conveying his devastated and confused sentiment, yet after the first couple of shots, I couldn't help myself but get a bit bored.

    The same applies to the subplots of Skyler and the Schraders, which haven't changed in any way since the midst of the third season. The slight differences were that Anna Gunn appeared a bit more sympathetic this time around while Dean Norris got his character's likeability to a new low. As Walt is plotting to kill his boss Gus, he's switching between Heisenberg and the moustache Walter White, which was nice to see for a moment, but couldn't hold up in all the scenes. The confrontation between him and Mike in a bar was nothing but weird, almost just as much as the critics comparing its directing style to Sergio Leone's. As if!

    And that was already it with the plot the sad remark I have to make is that this isn't even anything new with Breaking Bad, as it almost got me to quit watching it during season three. What kept "Thirty-Eight Snub" interesting, at least partially, were some impressive aspects of the cinematography, such as the Roomba POV or the insanely high crane shot possibly the episode's best moment. Additionally, the editors have concocted another match cut, although far from the inventiveness that the one in "Box Cutter" brought with it.

  • Tad better than "Box Cutter" but it's still slow for Season 4


    I thought that this was an okay episode of "Breaking Bad". It was still boring and disappointing just like "Box Cutter" except I thought that this episode was a TAD better than "Box Cutter". Not too many exciting things in this episode. The plot that was probably mildly entertaining was Jesse having a party and it was mildly entertaining because it had a few funny parts. Jesse's friends were pretty funny as well. It is pretty funny how Jesse is trying to make the party go non-stop and feeds everyone with pizza. Walter's plot on the other hand isn't that good or interesting. There was no basics to what is going to happen. The only interesting thing in Walter's plot was when Mike punched Walter after that long conversation at the bar. However, it was interesting when Walter told Mike to put Gus in the same room with him so Walter can kill him. Hank was pretty good in this episode as well. The storyline is weak and boring but I admit that it was most certainly a tad better than "Box Cutter" in my opinion. I'm sorry if you disagree with me fans but this is my opinion. The very ending of this episode was also a lousy way to end the episode so that made me disappointed as well. Overall, this episode was a tad better than the Season 4 premiere "Box Cutter" but it's still slow for Season 4. 6.5/10

  • Evening the Odds

    Walt is concerned with his and Jesse's security after Gus's show of force by killing Victor and then buys an unlicensed revolver from one of Saul's contacts which makes it untraceable in case he has to use it. Jesse embraces hedonism via constant partying with a new sound system embracing the fact that his days may be numbered. Skyler begins surveillance on the car wash and offers a bid of price to the owner (Walt's former employer) but insists that if Walter wants to buy it from him it must be 10 million dollars. Hank shows a bit of two sides as he becomes obsessed with minerals and begins to put himself through physical therapy better but is still nasty and unkind to Marie. Clearly something is going to explode here at some point between them, all she's trying to do is help and he just shoots her down every time. Walt learns that he will never see Gus again after meeting Victor's replacement and after trying to make an alliance with Mike (trying to win him over by revealing Mike's own expandability to someone like Gus) resulting in a bar fight he learns that it may be more difficult to confront Gus head on. Andrea tries to understand an amount of money left by Jesse at her house after her brother's two murderers were killed and when the partying finally stops he finally has to consciously face the fact that his life is shorter even though Walt won them their job back supposedly. Great episode, hopefully something will change in the next few episodes that will utterly shake BB up to a new level since the slogan for this season is "Walt is the trouble" so I can't wait for that to happen now that we've got a solid base of drama to build on.
  • Thirty-Eight Snub

    Thirty-Eight Snub was a really great episode of Breaking Bad and though it was a little slow paced at times it still exploded with character and plot development. It was interesting to see Jesse breaking down and zoning out from reality after what he had done to Gale. Walt still insecure with his place thinks he needs to have more insurance against Gus incase Gus feels it is time to get rid of Walt and Jesse. Mike seemed to have mixed feelings but ultimately chooses loyalty for now. Skylar is trying to make moves with little luck. Hank and his obsession are kinda wierd but its very human. I look forward to watching the next episode!!!!!!!
  • Slow but interesting

    This episode may not have had the explosive drama that S4 E01 started off with, but it was a lot more cerebral. Some reviews seem to think that Jesse is living in happy land or that he realizes his life is short, so he's partying it up and enjoying life. Nothing could be further from the truth. The look on his face when he has Badger sit down with him and Skinny Pete and he's crushing the meth...he couldn't be more depressed at that point. We're seeing a different Jesse here. Drugs have always been part of his life but when he starts partying for days we see that it's 100% escapism for him to postpone thinking about what he's done to Gale and the situation he is in. He visibly begins to fall apart after everyone goes home. It's only a matter of time before he cracks. Walt took ballsy to a whole new level. He thinks he can just walk over to Gus' house and put a few bullets in him without Mike knowing? Walt has always shown he is willing to take big risks but this was just stupid on his part. No bullet proof vest or anything, just a 38 snub nose and the Heisenberg hat. Then he has the nerve to approach Mike at a bar and suggest that he get a meeting with Gus, alone, and he'll fix the problem for both of them. Mike gives him a short, sharp beating but never says no. This shows that Mike is just as concerned about his future as Walt. In S04 E01, when Gus slits that dude's throat, Mike is visibly shaken and instantly aims his pistol at Gus. The look on his face says it all. I'm thinking Mike will leave something open for Walt to do the dirty work at some point, without explicitly saying so. Of course, Skyler is annoying as usual. She begins by calling Walt and asking about money for the car wash, then tries to buy the carwash and gets a big hell no from Walt's old boss. Surprised anyone? Nope. At least we don't see her giving Walt the cold shoulder for the entire episode like pretty much all of season 3. Then there's the distraction with Marie and Hank. Not sure what's going on there with his goofy mineral obsession and his physical therapy, but it serves as nothing more than a diversion from what else is happening in Walt's world. Really starting to feel like filler this season since Hank presents no danger in his current state, mentally or physically. I'm betting this is a sleeper problem that will erupt in a few episodes. Overall, an episode for thinkers, with very little action and lots of character exploration.
  • Good episode

    After an amazing season premiere , Breaking bad returns with a slow paced episode that focused on character development especially Jesse and Walt

    First Episode " Box cutter " Yesterday Episode " Thirty eight snub " Are we going to see more weapons ? In this episode we saw Jesse tries to forget about Gale by organizing a party but it is obvious that he still in a bad mood we saw Badger and the other friend ( which i forgot his name :D ) , we saw them back on the show and it is really nice to see them .. They are funny !

    Walter bought a snub , and i am a little bit confused , was he really plan to kill Gus ? i don't know , the scene in which Mike hits Walt was really nice and I hate Skyler , She reminds me of Carmela Soprano LOL Anyway , this was a good installment of Breaking bad but i stil want more , Thanks for reading my review and i hope you forgive me if you noticed any grammatical errors . I am not a native american :)
  • superb

    What I liked: "Go home Walt", Walt and Mike at the bar near the end of the episode, Jesse partying, Badger and Skinny Pete arguing over video games, Badger trying to remember if he had a cat, amongst other things.

    Good episode. It's kind of weak compared to most episodes of this show, but I'll let it slide because no show can have all A+ episodes. There's bound to be some episodes weaker than the others, and this was this episode. That said I still thought this was a great episode and my final grade is going to be a B- or B+ or so, I think is fair
  • 402

    Could Breaking Bad be losing its touch? There is no denying that the show can still create a powerful moment anytime it wants to (see Walt at the bar) but that was a tiny fish in the big sea of a pretty lackluster episode of dramatic television tonight. Jesse's continued breakdown is just not producing the kind of moments it should. I guess that Aaron Paul is doing a good job, but is it Emmy worthy strong? That I don't know.

    I am intrigued by how things play out, but there is a sense of calmness right now on Breaking Bad and I don't think that's what they were going for. Just not clicking right now, hopefully the show can find its touch again sooner rather than later.
  • Walt buys a gun while Jesse parties himself into oblivion.

    For the second week in a row, "Breaking Bad" elected to use a weapon as their episode title. And for the second week in a row, we spend a majority of the episode wondering in anticipation of how exactly the weapon mentioned in the title will come into play. Last week, the box cutter was used as a means to make a point, and here, the thirty eight snub that Walter buys sort of hangs in the background like the box cutter did as we wonder, "Will Walt get to use it here or will we get a Chekov's gun type situation where it'll come into play later?" "Thirty Eight Snub" is a slow episode, for sure, but a slow episode doesn't necessarily mean boring or bad, like certain reviewers on the website and certain friends of mine seem to think. With characters this good, slow means spending more time throwing layer after layer on top of already complex characters. You won't find me complaining about that.

    I'll get my reservations with the episode out of the way right off the bat: no offense to Dean Norris and Betty Brandt, because I do like the work they do on the show. However, in a show that revolves around meth-cooking, Mexican assassins coming in from the cartel to kill the main character, insane moments and deaths and other things equally exciting, it's hard to appreciate the minor plot details of the show such as theirs. Obviously, these characters are vital to the show, mostly because, as I've mentioned before, Walt's work is justified by him claiming he's doing this for his family, and with Hank injured, he has more of a reason than ever to continue working. But does that mean we have to drop in with Hank and Marie every episode and hear the same crap every time? I thought last season, the show did a perfect job of tying Hank's obsession with the blue meth, his post traumatic stress and Walt's own plot together. This season, I'm not so sure we'll be as lucky to have everything tied together in a nice neat little bow. But we can always hope. With next week's preview showing the cops visiting Hank to inform him about Gale's involvement with the blue meth, things should get interesting real fast. I still like the work Norris does on the show, but the writers need to figure out these anchors of a plot quick. They're the one detriment to an otherwise great show. And when I say detriment, I don't necessarily mean "horrible." Maybe "buzz kill" is a better word.

    For all of the slow movement on this show, when the writers want to milk a scene for all the tension it possibly can, they know how to do it and then some. Walter is clearly a paranoid man following the situation in the basement with Gus and Victor. Jesse, on the other hand, feels like partying all night and not caring about anything. That final scene with Jesse sitting in front of the blaring speakers in the midst of his trashed house, barely holding it together, followed by the abrupt ending, was superb and acts as a reminder that the murder of Gale still hangs heavy on his head. Meanwhile, for someone who ran over two gangbangers and shot somebody in the head, Walt is proving to be inept at pulling the trigger of his own weapon following Gus' "message." The scene where Walt drives over to Gus' house, dons the Heisenberg hat and begins walking towards the door, his hand on the gun, was incredibly tense, and although Mike eventually calls him off, I'm sure there was a large portion of the audience who thought, "Yep, this is going to happen." It's an incredibly ballsy move for Walt to do and shows how far he's come from the first season. He's willing to shoot down a man, even though according to Mike, Walt has won. He has his job, he's no longer dead. But Walt is paranoid, and his attempt to get Mike on his side ends with him getting punched in the face and kicked in the ribs. Ouch.

    Meanwhile, we get Skyler proving herself to be a pretty sleazy saleswoman, one who now has to suffer the consequences of Walter's relationship with the car wash owner. I thought the family buying the car wash would be interesting, but I found my interest waning here. I liked Skyler being assertive, and it's fun to note how far her character has come since Season 1 as well, but the car wash owner was a pretty flat character and it's hard to believe he'd be so upset at Walter after all this time. The guy holds a grudge, and I wonder whether or not Skyler will continue going after the car wash or if they'll go with Saul's laser tag plan.

    I'm sure there will be a couple of reviewers who will rate the episode low. Sure, it's a slow episode. The most exciting moments of the episode are moments that don't really result in any sort of action or anything… the music playing in the background as Walt walks towards Gus' door, Jesse sitting in front of the speaker, Walt trying to explain himself to a tired looking Mike… all great moments in a pretty good episode. Who cares if the episode is slow? Last season and the season before proved that the show is all about taking each individual episode and using them all to build up to a great ending. I admit, I'm looking for that next boost of adrenaline that the show is so good at delivering.