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The Uncertainty Principle
August 5, 2013 5:22 PM   Subscribe

"My name is Ozymandias, king of kings: Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!"

Save Walter White
I am the one who knocks!
9 Min Breaking Bad
Writer's Room Time Lapse
Breaking Bad: The science behind the fiction
Breaking Bad panel San Diego Comic Con 2013
Better Call Saul! (Website)
Aaron Paul meets some tourists
Bitch!

Heisenberg Song
A Horse With No Name
It is such a good night
Ginza Samba
1977
Veneno
Wendy (vimeo)
Crystal Blue Persuasion (vimeo)
Start All Over Again (vimeo)
Major Tom
Eye of the Tiger

You got me
posted by fearfulsymmetry (820 comments total) 93 users marked this as a favorite

 
TRAMAMPOLINE! TRAMBOPOLINE!
posted by bonobothegreat at 5:30 PM on August 5, 2013 [2 favorites]


Oh god, this just plunges me deeper and deeper into my utter immersion in 1-5 in anticipation of Sunday night. It's a BB orgy, I can't get enough.
posted by thinkpiece at 5:38 PM on August 5, 2013


I have to say, that's a very good reading of Shelley.
posted by figurant at 5:39 PM on August 5, 2013 [11 favorites]


EVIL HAT.
posted by Artw at 5:40 PM on August 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


I've been thinking that that's one of the best promos I've seen in a long time. It's refreshing to see a teaser for a well-established story that goes for pure mood, it's a great reading of the poem, like figurant says, and I actually think both works take on compelling new tones as a result of the juxtaposition.
posted by invitapriore at 5:43 PM on August 5, 2013 [11 favorites]


I have a love-hate relationship with Ozymandias, but it's a perfect, perfect choice to capture the self contained tragedy of Walter White.
posted by BrotherCaine at 5:49 PM on August 5, 2013


This is Ozymandias. He's not quite a year old now. I do frequently look upon his works and despair.
posted by ursus_comiter at 6:02 PM on August 5, 2013 [28 favorites]


Talk about your stones half-sunk in the sand.
posted by invitapriore at 6:08 PM on August 5, 2013 [2 favorites]


You guys.... Seriously.... It's almost here, you guys!!!! Seriously! Almost. Here!
posted by graphnerd at 6:15 PM on August 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


According to Wikipedia, the title for the finale is "Felina." An anagram of finale or a Vince Gilligan endorsement of unmentionables?
posted by wensink at 6:17 PM on August 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


You guys.... Seriously.... It's almost here, you guys!!!! Seriously! Almost. Here!

My body is ready.
posted by fuse theorem at 6:19 PM on August 5, 2013 [2 favorites]


The Southwest will miss being famous again. :(
posted by nicebookrack at 6:19 PM on August 5, 2013


Since it doesn't seem to have made the list of links in the OP: Breaking Bad: The Middle School Musical.
posted by sparkletone at 6:20 PM on August 5, 2013 [5 favorites]


Did Walt ever get around to quitting that high school job?
posted by thelonius at 6:24 PM on August 5, 2013


There's no stand off like the final one.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 6:31 PM on August 5, 2013


Oh man oh man oh man I can't wait!

I predict this thread will grow by 10,000 comments on Sunday night at 10:00 PM EST.

Oh man oh man oh man I can't wait.
posted by bondcliff at 6:32 PM on August 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


Did Walt ever get around to quitting that high school job?

Fired. Early in season four, he got placed on "indefinite leave" after he tried to kiss the principal.
posted by maqsarian at 6:40 PM on August 5, 2013 [2 favorites]


So, I rewatched the first half of season 5 on Netflix, and I can't believe I didn't notice the first time around that the whole thing is on Todd now.
posted by Sys Rq at 6:40 PM on August 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


But that's what I mean. "Indefinite leave" isn't really firing.
posted by thelonius at 6:43 PM on August 5, 2013


Did Walt ever get around to quitting that high school job?

Did we ever learn why Walter took the teaching job in the first place? Or why he left Sandia labs? Or Grey Matter?
posted by wensink at 6:43 PM on August 5, 2013


Did we ever learn why Walter took the teaching job in the first place?

I think it was to get health insurance for Walt Jr.
posted by thelonius at 6:48 PM on August 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


Did we ever learn why Walter took the teaching job in the first place? Or why he left Sandia labs? Or Grey Matter?

Not sure if directly mentioned but it seemed pretty implicit that Walter left Grey Matter because the woman left him for the other guy.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 6:58 PM on August 5, 2013 [2 favorites]


For some reason I got the impression some work he was doing at Grey Matter got lifted by said other guy, but that could be me filling in narrative blanks in my spare time.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 7:07 PM on August 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'm almost just as excited to hear what kind of music shows up in this season (er...second half of the season) as I am about finding out what happens. This show utilizes music to craft a mood more expertly than any show I've seen before it.
posted by Defenestrator at 7:17 PM on August 5, 2013 [3 favorites]


According to Wikipedia, the title for the finale is "Felina."

Felina makes me think of this.
posted by orrnyereg at 7:19 PM on August 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


Gale singing Crapa Pelada.
posted by Room 641-A at 7:27 PM on August 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


*must track all BB threads*
posted by maggieb at 7:38 PM on August 5, 2013


*must track all BB threads*

Apply yourself!
posted by thelonius at 7:38 PM on August 5, 2013 [7 favorites]


Not sure if directly mentioned but it seemed pretty implicit that Walter left Grey Matter because the woman left him for the other guy.

For some reason I got the impression some work he was doing at Grey Matter got lifted by said other guy, but that could be me filling in narrative blanks in my spare time.

Either outright lifted or some credit was taken, but I believe both are true.
posted by Room 641-A at 7:40 PM on August 5, 2013


Not sure if directly mentioned but it seemed pretty implicit that Walter left Grey Matter because the woman left him for the other guy.

Or she was always with the other guy but there was a spark between her and Walter, and he couldn't bring himself to follow through and ruin his relationship with his friend. He's much better at following through now...
posted by grog at 7:40 PM on August 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


via the BB Wiki:
At this time, he [Walt] was dating his female lab assistant, Gretchen ("...and the Bag's in the River"). For reasons not yet explained, Walter suddenly left Gretchen during a vacation with her family, leaving her and his research behind ("Peekaboo"). Gretchen eventually went on to marry Elliot instead and Gray Matter became a highly successful company using Walter's research. Walter secretly feels that his work was stolen from him and bitterly blames Elliott and Gretchen for his lot in life.

In 2008 the company was nominated for a Nobel Prize ("...and the Bag's in the River").

After leaving Gretchen, Walt sold his share of the company to Elliott for $5,000. As of 2009, Gray Matter has a net worth of 2.16 billion dollars. ("Buyout")
posted by wensink at 7:48 PM on August 5, 2013 [5 favorites]


Elliott and Gretchen are going to die.

Everyone will die.
posted by planetesimal at 7:52 PM on August 5, 2013 [3 favorites]


Oh Walter..

Funny thing, I think the conventional notion of spoilers is just dumb--after all, Science has proven that spoilers enhance enjoyment--but I really hate trailers for things I'm going to watch anyway.
posted by Chuckles at 7:54 PM on August 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


They could screw-up these last episodes, but I don't think it will happen. And, if not, I feel that Breaking Bad will reach a consensus as the best television show of all time. It's not flawless, but it's less flawed than anything else with this many hours of television and, more importantly, its quality and tone are relatively very consistent over the entire series — something that I don't think is as true with other contenders, such as The Wire (but it comes very close).

It's very interesting and gratifying to me as an Albuquerque native and as a fan who's watched the show from its beginning. I remember the time when it was little-known even among my fellow burqueños.

Vince Gilligan didn't originally envision the locale as any specific place, certainly not ABQ. He saw this as a story taking place in vanilla suburban USA. So while the show has very much developed a strong sense of place, it's a carefully limited one — emphasizing the quotidian suburban life and bleakly semi-urban neglect and in contrast to the austere desert surrounding it. Missing is the mountain and national forest to the east, the more picturesque and lovely examples of Albuquerque life and architecture. BB's Albuquerque is a city of uninteresting middle-class, suburban homes. The despair of ubiquitous and shabby strip-malls is accurate, though.

Back when I read about where each of the depicted homes really were, I was pleased to find that I'd correctly identified all the neighborhoods by sight.

It is interesting, and revealing, that the Whites' home is not one of the more McMansion-esque subdivision homes of the West Side (the much more recently developed city to the west of the Rio Grande) or far Northeast Heights but rather in an older middle-class neighborhood. This choice is intended, I think, to suggest Walter's failed aspirations, his pre-cancer settling for a modest life of teaching with little ambition. Everywhere in the US the McMansions are blights of middle-class aspirational display, something that we might have expected season four Walter to have moved his family to were he not in conflict with Skyler. Ironically, though, in reality the Whites' house is equivalent in valuation to a much larger McMansion-style home on the West Side — there's a big premium for living in the northeast quadrant of the city because expansion there has long been limited by the national forest on the mountain to the east and the indian reservation to the north.

The Schraders live in the far Northeast Heights, in the foothills of the mountain where the homes are large, custom-built, and among the most expensive in the city. I'm uncertain about this, but my step-father is convinced that their house is just above where my late-grandmother's house was. The farther up the mountain, the more expensive, and the Schrader home is among the highest. I was initially a bit skeptical that this would be a house they could afford, but Hank's longtime and senior DEA salary with Marie's radiology tech one, and without any children, make this almost possible. Still, that's more a lower-upper-class home than an upper-middle-class home. But it's still pretty revealing as a contrast with Walter and Skyler's.

Jesse's home is interesting — I'm not sure how the audience views it and I'd be interested in hearing any impressions. But the neighborhood is actually one of the most desirable neighborhoods in the entire city, being the old Albuquerque Country Club area. These are old homes in a very green, tree-laden neighborhood in a city with very little greenery. In reality, that home would be worth notably more than the Schrader home. Jesse's parents' home seemed to be in the same area, though it was only shown a few times and my memory is fuzzy. It was also a large lot with a lot of trees, but IIRC the home was custom and newer and not a southwestern architecture — so it might have been a North Valley home in one of the more recently developed neighborhoods that previously were semi-rural (though entirely surrounded by city). But, either way, the two homes indicate that Jesse's extended family are relatively well-off, not just his parents. It's a crucial aspect of his character, this history of his, though it's a topic not much explored and mostly ignored in the later seasons.

A bit of trivia — the location they use for the high school Walter taught at was Rio Rancho High School — Rio Rancho is the largest and fastest-growing suburb of Albuquerque, across the river and to the northwest. This is, by the way, undoubtedly the inspiration for Mamet's Glengarry Glen Ross's "Rio Rancho Estates" (from a shooting script):
MOSS:
They like to feel superior, I don't
know. Never bought a fucking thing.
You're sitting down "The Rio Rancho
this, the blah blah blah," "The
Mountain View--" "Oh yes.
In the 70s this was a notorious high-pressure sales operation that sold lots in Rio Rancho, particularly to retired people on the east coast. The entire city was originally barren mesa, a big piece of land owned by a company that created the town out of nothing. In the 80s, even when there was actually a developed town of about 30K people, it was still wholly owned by the corporation that developed it — they ran the town, owned the city hall and the municipal services. But they eventually lost a class-action lawsuit brought by people who'd purchased plots of land under high-pressure sales tactics who were told that this was a prime investment. And even though it's an incorporated regular city now with more than 100K residents, there are still many undeveloped lots far to the west that were sold to unwitting suckers in the 70s and which really haven't appreciated much.

Anyway, the reason I mention this is because in the first episode, when we first see Walter White at work, the school they used for the exterior shot wasn't RRHS, which they switched to later, but rather Highland High School, an older high school in the city. And, yes, that's the same Highland High School that Beavis and Butthead attended — Mike Judge grew up in ABQ and attended a private school but enjoyed mocking Highland (my dad and his siblings all attended HHS).

Also, realistically, I think that Rio Rancho would be where the Whites would live, though in one of the "older", modest neighborhoods that aren't of the McMansion type.

The Octopus Car Wash that the Whites eventually owned I remember from my childhood — it dates back to at least the mid-70s. That's not that far from the neighborhood where the house used as the Whites' house is located.

Los Pollos Hermanos is set in a restaurant of a local chain, Twisters. It's either relatively new, or only recently (to me, that is — anything post-1990 for ABQ seems new to me) expanded, as it's not that familiar to me.

Of more interest is the seedy motel where we see the crack addict turning tricks and Jesse temporarily stays. That's right on old Route 66, which is Central Avenue that runs the whole east-west length of Albuquerque. Saul's office really looks like it's somewhere along east Central, too. That motel is about ten blocks east of the university (UNM) where that section of Central gets pretty bad. Nearer to the university is a gentrifying, pedestrian neighborhood that's where Cranston rented a house during filming. But not too far east of that is a long section of Central that's among the very worst areas of Albuquerque. In high school when I lived in a small town in eastern NM, I came on a band-trip to ABQ and we stayed in a motel that wasn't the one depicted, but still in that neighborhood. I recall my friends goggling at the big city streetwalkers.

At a recent MeFi meetup I attended, I was asked if Albuquerque was really like how it's depicted on BB. I mentioned some of what I wrote above, but the conversation turned to gangs and the ghetto and such. These days, it really isn't any different from your average city of that size. It's true that in the past, the late sixties and the seventies, Albuquerque frequently had one of the highest crime rates in the US, particularly homicide. The barrio that's the South Valley, and which has been used for some location shots in BB, was notoriously gang-ridden and unsafe. Downtown used to be unsafe and mostly abandoned after dark. But it's really not like that these days and big parts of the South Valley are becoming almost gentrified.

I'm ambivalent about how the show depicts the cultural milieu. Its use of hispanic actors and characters tilts very heavily toward the poor and criminal classes, which is the stereotype. But New Mexico is a minority-majority state and central and northern New Mexico have long had large middle- and upper-class hispanic populations — hispanics are visible all across the economic and political spectrum and the show does a very incomplete job of representing this. But it does this partially and they use a whole bunch of local talent — a lot of the minor hispanic roles are played by natives.

Even though the show uses a very limited landscape palette of the barren desert mesa, the cinematography in this context is often breathtaking. Those scrub mesas with mountains on the horizon and in the distinct New Mexican light have a particular expansive and primal feel to them and the show's photography often captures this as well as anything else I've seen. However, the show's shooting schedule, among other reasons, hasn't allowed the show to present the winter aspect of the area — you'd think this was like the Sonoran desert of Arizona, but it's not. It's the high desert, at a mile in elevation, and the winter temperatures are cold and there's snow. These mesas have their own particular snowy landscape that I wish we'd seen — the RV on a snow-covered mesa in the winter, Jesse and Walter cooking away with chemical venting visibly rising from the vehicle's roof, the two of them periodically standing outside in the freezing cold, snow falling gently around them, would have had its own particular message of isolation and dire foreshadowing.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 8:00 PM on August 5, 2013 [181 favorites]


Everyone will die

Some of them have to stay alive to be tormented. There are so many other things you could do to these characters. Terrible things.
posted by thelonius at 8:07 PM on August 5, 2013 [2 favorites]


The despair of ubiquitous and shabby strip-malls is accurate, though.

I choose to believe "a despair of strip-malls" is a collective noun. Fantastic comment.
posted by figurant at 8:15 PM on August 5, 2013 [34 favorites]


@Ivan Thanks for the informative post. fwiw Vince Gilligan had originally set BB in Riverside, CA. It was the network suits, aware of the 25% tax rebates being offered to studios by the NM legislature, that sent the show east. [via The Writers' Room]
posted by wensink at 8:21 PM on August 5, 2013 [2 favorites]


Am I missing something or is there no way to pre-order the remaining episodes on iTunes or Amazon?
posted by gwint at 8:38 PM on August 5, 2013


"Did we ever learn why Walter took the teaching job in the first place? Or why he left Sandia labs?"

Part of the significance of younger and upwardly-mobile Walter working at Sandia Labs (which we learn in the flashback of Walter and Skyler with a real estate agent looking at what will be their house) is that Sandia is one of the US weapons laboratories.

It's fairly large — Wikipedia says it employs about 8,400 people — and has a big influence on Albuquerque's economy. For example, Microsoft was founded in Albuquerque by Gates and Allen because Micro Instrumentation and Telemetry Systems (MITS) was there, for which they developed software for the Altair, and MITS was in ABQ because of Kirtland AFB and Sandia.

Kirtland Air Force Base dates to WWII, is currently the sixth-largest US Air Force installation, and employs more than 23,000 people. (Add Sandia's 8,400 and you see how strongly Albuquerque's economy is influenced by the military-industrial complex.) During WWII and the Manhattan Project, which was headquartered at Los Alamos in the Jemez Mountains to the north (and west of Santa Fe), Kirtland became the interface for personnel and materiel transportation and then growing engineering for the equipping and deployment of the weapons. So a fairly large engineering and (limited) research installation grew at Kirtland in a relationship with Los Alamos from the war onward, and this eventually became a full-blown national laboratory in its own right, in addition to Los Alamos.

Like Los Alamos, Sandia does a lot of basic research into all sorts of things, including non-weapons stuff, but among these national nuclear weapons labs — Los Alamos, Livermore, Sandia, and Oak Ridge — Sandia, in accordance with its history, is the most engineering and technology focused. Culturally, also in accordance with its history, it's far more militarized — it's adjacent to the military base and grew from that base. There is only one day a year when family members are allowed to visit Sandia Labs — Los Alamos is much more welcoming, although that's partly because it's very spread out and individual facilities (such as the plutonium facility) are individually very highly secured.

My maternal grandmother briefly worked at Sandia after the war and before she met my grandfather, and my maternal aunt worked there for over forty years, and my paternal uncle was a programmer who worked for contractors at Kirtland or the Labs for decades. I've known a number of "Walter Whites", young scientists or engineers recently moved to Albuquerque to work at Sandia Labs. A chemist is entirely believable. The pay is pretty good, the research opportunities also good, with the caveats associated with working for the military or a government weapons laboratory, such as related to classified work and the hassles associated with having a high security clearance. That's a very different track than Elliot's Grey Matter entrepreneurial venture, though that sort of a move is not uncommon. Walter would have had a comfortable and secure lifestyle had he stayed with Sandia, with very good health insurance and other benefits.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 8:38 PM on August 5, 2013 [15 favorites]


Am I missing something or is there no way to pre-order the remaining episodes on iTunes or Amazon?

You'll have to wait until the season finale airs (9/29), unless you're living in the UK -- where Netflix subscribers will be able to see each episode the day after it airs in the US. [via GigaOM]
posted by wensink at 8:49 PM on August 5, 2013


But will Walt break down and sample his blue stuff?
posted by planetesimal at 8:57 PM on August 5, 2013 [2 favorites]


Rarely do TV shows, or movies for that matter, have a real sense of showmanship. Breaking Bad's is one of the best.

As an old Wire fan, I'm excited that two shows at once are competing for its crown, and that they're each going at it in such different ways. Mad Men is leapfrogging off its developments w/r/t multi-seasonal storytelling, building characters that grow over time and through space. But Breaking Bad's the more exciting of the two for me, because its approach has seemingly been to take cinematic techniques for storytelling, tension-building, etc., and apply them to a much larger beast. By the third season, it was delivering tense sequences to rival anything I've seen in movies; by season four, it was offering sequences of such complex natures that I doubt you could reach that kind of mood for longer than a scene or two in your average two-hour film. Season five's been rich but slow, undoubtedly building to the two months we're about to get.

I have almost zero doubt that we're about to get anything but the best eight episodes TV's ever seen. I've gone in every season with the highest of hopes, and found Breaking Bad ready to blow away even those expectations; since reviews of the first new episode say that it's an instance of Breaking Bad at its absolute best, I suspect this is going to be eight solid chunks of hard-earned payoff.

And then we will get a Saul spin-off show, which hopefully an alive Jesse will be able to costar in. Because if Jesse dies I will be sad all year.
posted by Rory Marinich at 9:02 PM on August 5, 2013 [5 favorites]


Also, I think that Breaking Bad has been one of the best and most expected comedic shows I've seen in recent years. The various cold opens, the tension-breaking one-liners that make you burst out laughing, and the plain old joke-jokes... all are masterful.

"There's a cow house, like, two miles that way. Other than that, no one."

"Cow house?"

"Yeah, you know. Where they live."
posted by Rory Marinich at 9:05 PM on August 5, 2013 [4 favorites]


"...A robot?"
posted by tzikeh at 9:08 PM on August 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


Jesse: Okay. You need to cut out all your loser cry-baby crap RIGHT NOW and think of something SCIENTIFIC.
Walter: Something scientific? Right.
Jesse: What? Come on! Man, you're smart. You made poison out of beans, yo. Look, we got, we got an entire lab right here. Alright? How about you pick some of these chemicals and mix up some rocket fuel? That way you could just send up a signal flare. Or you make some kind of robot to get us help, or a homing device, or build a new battery, or... Wait. No. What if we just take some stuff off of the RV and build it into something completely different? You know, like a... Like a dune buggy. That way, we can just dune buggy or... What? Hey? What is it? What?
Walter: [starts to get up]
Jesse: What? Hey? What is it? What?
Walter: Do you, do you have any money? Change, I mean. Coins.
Jesse: Yeah, I got a bunch of them. From the...
Walter: Okay.
Jesse: YES!
Walter: Gather them, and, and, and the washers and nuts and bolts and screws and whatever little pieces of metal we can think of that is galvanized. It has to be galvanized, or solid zinc.
Jesse: Solid zinc, okay.
Walter: And, and bring me, bring me brake pads. The front wheels should have discs. Take them off and bring them to me.
Jesse: Alright, brake pads. Okay. What are we building?
Walter: You said it yourself.
Jesse: A robot?
Walter: A battery. MOVE!

YT clip

(Curse you, tzikeh!)
posted by wensink at 9:14 PM on August 5, 2013 [14 favorites]


needs muppets
posted by oneswellfoop at 10:36 PM on August 5, 2013


Am I missing something or is there no way to pre-order the remaining episodes on iTunes or Amazon?

What?!
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:44 PM on August 5, 2013


Oh man, what a great promo.

I have been sending this picture out far too much lately.


Am I missing something or is there no way to pre-order the remaining episodes on iTunes or Amazon?

Don't know about iTunes but both Amazon and Google Play have the Season 6 Season Pass up for sale.
posted by M Edward at 11:38 PM on August 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


I've never been a fan of Leno, but I really enjoyed this interview I saw the other day of Aaron Paul watching the clip of the time he was on The Price Is Right:

"I Look Like I'm On Meth!!!"
posted by mannequito at 12:45 AM on August 6, 2013 [6 favorites]


They could screw-up these last episodes, but I don't think it will happen. And, if not, I feel that Breaking Bad will reach a consensus as the best television show of all time.

Jesus, what is wrong with me. I can't make it past the first half of season one.
posted by phaedon at 12:59 AM on August 6, 2013 [4 favorites]


I can't make it past the first half of season one.

For me it bogged down after season three.

And the "science" is laughable.
posted by telstar at 1:07 AM on August 6, 2013


I love Breaking Bad, but I recently binged on all of The Wire, and I think it's hard to compare the two, because they are so different. BB is more like a great character study (although, gots to say, I wish that Walt's backstory was more compelling -- he had Gretchen. He had Grey Matter. We have Gretchen's story, which is that Walt freaked and left. )

The Wire, although it has many wonderful character moments, is the study of a city and its institutions. It has weak spots -- the second season got a little weird and the fifth season examination of the Sun feels like Simon getting his hate on -- but it's more like: police -- fucked. docks -- fucked; schools--fucked; journalism--fucked.

In sum, I love both and am very excited for more Breaking Bad. And I am sorta glad there is no more The Wire because damn that show punches you over and over.
posted by angrycat at 1:47 AM on August 6, 2013 [2 favorites]


It's difficult to compare The Wire to Breaking Bad because The Wire, was really a sprawling ensemble with several stories going on at once whilst and a number of major protagonists and, although there are a few asides and subplots ('The're minerals, Marie!'), BB is really all about Walter White and his descent (or probably as he would see it, ascent) into Heisenberg and the effect that has on those close to him (his family, but also Jessie)
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 2:26 AM on August 6, 2013 [2 favorites]


Season 4 is when it turned from a good show I'd catch when I could to holy crap this is the best thing on tv.
posted by lovecrafty at 2:35 AM on August 6, 2013 [2 favorites]


Forgot to link to this: Vince Gilligan walks us through season four of Breaking Bad
It's an interesting read, especially how much of it was written on the fly and due to circumstance (like actors leaving)
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 2:37 AM on August 6, 2013 [4 favorites]


Breaking Bad is one of those shows I've always wanted to like, but somehow never got into. May try binge-watching after the series ends.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 4:07 AM on August 6, 2013


I love this show, but to call it the best written show ever on tv? No way, Sopranos wins that for me, hands down. That said, I am looking forward to seeing how they end things. The slowly growing horror they've built over time is masterful. ...and despair, indeed.
posted by agregoli at 6:00 AM on August 6, 2013


iTunes Canada has Breaking Bad: The Final Season listed at $24.99 (screen cap).
posted by maudlin at 7:11 AM on August 6, 2013


Ah, I was searching for "Season 6" but it's under "Final Season" Whew!
posted by gwint at 7:31 AM on August 6, 2013


probability of people trying to turn any TV discussion into a discussion of "The Wire" approaches 1....
posted by thelonius at 7:31 AM on August 6, 2013 [5 favorites]


I wouldn't call the Whites' house a McMansion by any stretch of the imagination. It's a rambler.
posted by entropicamericana at 8:41 AM on August 6, 2013


Ivan said he was surprised that it wasn't a mcmansion.
posted by futz at 8:46 AM on August 6, 2013


"Who can you sue?"
posted by box at 9:10 AM on August 6, 2013


Ivan said he was surprised that it wasn't a mcmansion.

Oops. That's what I get for replying before my second cuppa.
posted by entropicamericana at 9:18 AM on August 6, 2013


No worries!
posted by futz at 9:31 AM on August 6, 2013


Marie is totally sleeping with Dave the therapist. They're also going to die.
posted by planetesimal at 9:33 AM on August 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


Jesse: Alright, brake pads. Okay. What are we building?
Walter: You said it yourself.
Jesse: A robot?
Walter: A battery. MOVE!


One other thing I noticed on rewatching season 5 was that, while Walt has some minor MacGyver moments, most of the great ideas come from Pinkman. Once he's out, other people take over the imagineering, like warehouse lady. And Walt actually says to the white power brain trust, "You figure it out; it's what I'm paying you for."

Has Walt ever actually had an idea? Maybe that's why Gray Matter bought him out.
posted by Sys Rq at 9:34 AM on August 6, 2013


Convincing uncle Hector to be a suicide bomber was an idea.
posted by planetesimal at 9:40 AM on August 6, 2013 [3 favorites]


Also, twisting Skyler's breakdown to be about her affair with Ted. Poisoning Brock to buy time with Jesse to expose Gus. He's been great at ideas that build his status while damaging others.
posted by planetesimal at 9:46 AM on August 6, 2013


Has Walt ever actually had an idea?
The fugue state-induced, naked trip to the market was certainly an idea.
posted by wensink at 10:20 AM on August 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


Walt is kind of a dick, isn't he ?
posted by Pendragon at 10:27 AM on August 6, 2013 [5 favorites]


Sys Rq: "Has Walt ever actually had an idea? Maybe that's why Gray Matter bought him out."

He masterminded the bombed-houses cooking strategy after being shown just the Vamonos Pest garage with the tents in it, which was pretty clever.
posted by invitapriore at 10:31 AM on August 6, 2013


I guess you're right, yeah.
posted by Sys Rq at 10:33 AM on August 6, 2013


he also knows to not dispose of a body in a second-story bathtub via acid
posted by angrycat at 10:54 AM on August 6, 2013 [2 favorites]


Walt is kind of a dick, isn't he ?
But he's our dick.

Something I've thought for a while (and really noticed in watching the series again) is the blunted affect in family gatherings, especially with Walt. Each time we see Walt/Skyler or Marie/Hank on a threshold, the shot is held a beat as we first see them in silence, then affixing toothy smiles once the door opens. A lot is said by these characters about the value of family, but I've never sensed it was authentic. Or felt. (Walt Jr. may be the exception.) Skyler rehearsing the gambling story script with Walt ("Bullet Points," Season 4, Episode 4) really bears this out. I would argue it's the only time we see genuine, reciprocal flirting between them and enjoyment of each other's company.
posted by wensink at 11:07 AM on August 6, 2013 [3 favorites]


He's not a dick, he's a monster, and he has been from the beginning, that's the point.

This is the guy who brings a bomb into the pediatric wing of a hospital because he doesn't have anywhere else to put it. The fact that this is played for laughs is one of the many reasons why I love the show so much.
posted by Ndwright at 11:11 AM on August 6, 2013 [16 favorites]


Jesse's line from Face Off, "Did you just bring a bomb into a hospital?," was a nice callback to the 4 Days Out episode: "You brought a meth lab to the airport?"
posted by wensink at 11:25 AM on August 6, 2013 [2 favorites]


Calling his older neighbor (actually Gilligan's mother IRL) to spring any death traps in his house was an example of being dickish on his feet.
posted by planetesimal at 11:35 AM on August 6, 2013 [8 favorites]


Did we ever learn why Walter took the teaching job in the first place? Or why he left Sandia labs? Or Grey Matter?
posted by wensink at 9:43 PM on August 5 [+] [!]


I try and remember when I was this innocent. I really do.
posted by thinkpiece at 12:12 PM on August 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


But will Walt break down and sample his blue stuff?
posted by planetesimal at 11:57 PM on August 5 [1 favorite +] [!]


This is not even a question. No.
posted by thinkpiece at 12:16 PM on August 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


Jesse has to kill Walt, right? I mean, at the end of the day, Walt making drugs and killing people is bad, and we have spent some amount of time seeing how Walt's actions have negative affects on people, but that's not what this story is about. This is the story of how a "good" man can become a bad one. And while hurting and killing people is bad, what's worse is not just adding to the evil in the world, but exponentially adding to it.

And the most clear way that this is shown is via Jesse. While Jesse was never an angel, he wasn't evil either. Jesse has ALWAYS had a conscience. There were ALWAYS lines he wouldn't cross. But Walt has corrupted and corrupted him. Every time something good happened to Jesse, Walt smothered it. When he gets a girlfriend? Walt lets her die. He gets a new father figure in Mike? Walt goes out of his way to pull him back. And when Walt was in a real jam? He demanded that Jesse do the one thing he hadn't done yet, cross the one line he hadn't crossed: he killed Gale. He murdered an innocent, (relatively) good man. If you believed in hell, that was probably the thing that put him over the line.

No one has lost more in this series than Jesse. Skyler's life was changed forever, but she could get out of it with her children at least. Hank might have been made to look like a fool, but he could also come out of it a hero, finally catching the bad guy. But Jesse? What positive thing has Jesse got to look forward to, that doesn't involve drug money? He has nothing. Walt's worst crime was destroying Jesse, who was basically an innocent.
posted by nushustu at 1:12 PM on August 6, 2013 [9 favorites]


I'm not so sure Walt will die on camera. Maybe an implied death from his resurgent cancer. But, it seems too easy to just put a bullet in him.
posted by planetesimal at 1:21 PM on August 6, 2013


This is the story of how a "good" man can become a bad one.

Not sure Walter is ever "good." The interesting twist of the first couple seasons was that he didn't actually need to make meth.

I wouldn't consider Jesse an innocent -- he has a conscience but does plenty of terrible things. Walt is a terrible influence on him but he's a terrible influence on a large number of people. He single-mindedly pursues a single goal and is completely indifferent to the destruction that follows in his wake.
posted by leopard at 1:25 PM on August 6, 2013 [1 favorite]



Jesse is a proxy for Walt's conscience, and on some level Walt knows it. Which is why he makes such a huge effort to belittle and control him at the same time as he tries to protect him. He hates his own pre-cancer 'weakness', but at the same time he can't fully admit to himself that he's a complete monster until Jesse leaves and he has no bulwark against the truth.

While I agree that Jesse is probably Walt's doom, to say that Walt corrupted him is to ignore his agency. Something that Jesse does himself at times, but I think he's going to come to a realization about his moral responsibility by the end.
posted by BrotherCaine at 1:31 PM on August 6, 2013 [6 favorites]


Ugh. Fine. You've convinced me. I guess I'll watch it. Though so far MeFi's discussion of it has been light-years more riveting than any of my multiple attempts to sit through what has so far seemed to me like slightly-above-average television.
posted by Mooseli at 1:57 PM on August 6, 2013


Not sure Walter is ever "good." The interesting twist of the first couple seasons was that he didn't actually need to make meth.

One question that intrigues me is this: If Elliot had made his offer to Walt before Walt tracked down Jesse, went out into the desert, killed two men, etc., would Walt still have turned him down?

I'm thinking no, because I think that Breaking Bad is far more intriguing when its protagonist/antagonist's motivations are ambiguous and not-entirely-"evil". But I can see plenty of arguments that that's wishful thinking on my part.
posted by Rory Marinich at 2:36 PM on August 6, 2013


One question that intrigues me is this: If Elliot had made his offer to Walt before Walt tracked down Jesse, went out into the desert, killed two men, etc., would Walt still have turned him down?

Hmm. See, I feel the opposite of the way you do. I agree with Vince Gilligan that Walt's greatest flaw is probably what an incredible liar he is, to himself most of all. But his second biggest failing in my view is that he as an intensely, intensely proud man. And by the time we meet him, he's a proud man walking around with a big chip on his shoulder due to his lot in life and a lot of that chip is made up of feelings related to Elliott/Grey Matter.

I think Walt would've had a whole lot of trouble taking up their offer even without the meth mess already having started to eat away at him.
posted by sparkletone at 3:33 PM on August 6, 2013 [4 favorites]


This is the story of how a "good" man can become a bad one. And while hurting and killing people is bad, what's worse is not just adding to the evil in the world, but exponentially adding to it.

The most obvious interpretation of the title to me is to take the word breaking to mean emergent, eg "breaking news".

In other words, the literal title of the show is "Emergent Evil"
posted by Ndwright at 7:14 PM on August 6, 2013 [4 favorites]


I have declared before that the perfect cynical ending would be for Walter to successfully launder his fortune and build an artificial backstory so that he can live out the ultimate evil - as a 'respectable' rich man. Maybe even doing a hostile but totally legal takeover of his former partners' company. And then have the last scene show him making a 'generous gift' to the high school, dedicating a wing named for himself and a science lab... named for Heisenberg.

Like I said, the perfect cynical ending. They'd never dare to do it.
posted by oneswellfoop at 8:33 PM on August 6, 2013 [3 favorites]


If by "gift" you mean a box of machine gun bullets delivered by air ...Also, the word "tracer" was prominently stenciled on the ammo boxes. That could either be a nod to realism or a telegraph that not only will scores of cartel and Declan dudes get mowed down by that thing, but that the white-hot tracer rounds will start a fire or cook someone's eyes or something similarly motivating.

Team Walt
posted by planetesimal at 8:46 PM on August 6, 2013


I imagine Jesse ending up unscathed and Walt, probably dead incidently with only Skyler (and Jesse) knowing the truth. Truly Jesse is not unscathed. He has suffered more than anyone. Because we started out with Walter facing a death sentence. His imagined fate is the reason he imbarked on this journey to begin with. It fits the story for Walter to die. Jesse not Walt is our main character.

I am so bad at this. I will buy whatever happens and I know it will be awesome. This story has never disappointed me and I do not expect the last episodes to do so.
posted by maggieb at 8:46 PM on August 6, 2013


Forgot to include DEA dudes also getting ripped to shreds in the same battle. Walt will lure all his pursuers to an ambush.
posted by planetesimal at 8:48 PM on August 6, 2013


Now that Hank knows, and with the Ozymandias trailer, I don't see any ending that doesn't involve Walt dying. At Jesse or Hank's hand, or maybe driven out to the desert and executed by his white power meth connections. Either way, it's fairly clear the cancer is back and will get him if no one else does.
posted by lovecrafty at 8:49 PM on August 6, 2013


Walt could die a hero's death saving someone... Leaving only a few to know the truth.
posted by maggieb at 8:53 PM on August 6, 2013


Oh, yes. And also Chilean elements avenging Fring will be coming at Walter in the machine gun finale. Maybe Todd will do a good bit of machine gunning while Walt and Hank face off. Hank will take all 8 episodes to build a safe enough case to take WW down. So many different groups will want Walter's ass.
posted by planetesimal at 9:29 PM on August 6, 2013


If we consider who is good in this whole story how about Hank? Even though he is LEO he has never personally crossed any lines. In fact he has been super sensitive to brutality. Plus he has been super supportive of his klepto wife and her needy family by housing Skyler and the kids. He is like the Archie Bunker of the story.
posted by maggieb at 9:47 PM on August 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


I unabashedly love Hank. When we first meet him, it's easy to think he'll just be the buffoon. But as the story plays out, you see how smart he is and how much he cares about his family, and how affected he is by things like having to kill Tuco. I'm rooting for him to come out okay in the end.
posted by lovecrafty at 9:57 PM on August 6, 2013 [3 favorites]


> When we first meet him, it's easy to think he'll just be the buffoon.

I can't find a good link at the moment, but I recall an interview where Gilligan said that he originally was going to write Hank out after the first season but that Norris' performance early on changed the direction of the writing.
posted by planetesimal at 10:08 PM on August 6, 2013 [2 favorites]


If I were writing the story, Walt's family would die and he'd wind up in prison after being shot by Jesse. There's a reason I'm not a writer.
posted by BrotherCaine at 10:14 PM on August 6, 2013


A few more links to get us through the next 4 days:

- a BB "Honest Trailer"

- and, leading up to the beginning of the end, Entertainment Weekly is compiling suggested viewing lists for the five episodes that best define the arcs of the major characters. So far we've got Hank and Skyler.

Personally, I think Hank will be fine. It's Marie I'm worried about.
posted by Paris Elk at 1:41 AM on August 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


Amidst the cat-and-mouse game between Hank and Walt, I want Jesse to tip the scales against Walt by turning himself in.
posted by Mister Moofoo at 5:51 AM on August 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


I've been re-watching Season 5 Part 1 and there's a scene when Walt is watching Scarface with Walt Jr. and he laughs and says "Everybody dies!" and then I think of the scene when he bought the machine gun and said "It'll never leave town" and now I think Walt's gonna go out Pacino style.

I hope Jesse turns out ok. I think Walt's family is gonna die.

I can't wait for Sunday.
posted by bondcliff at 6:22 AM on August 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


maggieb: "If we consider who is good in this whole story how about Hank? Even though he is LEO he has never personally crossed any lines. In fact he has been super sensitive to brutality. Plus he has been super supportive of his klepto wife and her needy family by housing Skyler and the kids. He is like the Archie Bunker of the story."

Well, he bugged Gus' car without any official backing, which I think is pretty wildly unethical, and he beat the living shit out of Jesse, so I don't think he has any claim to moral purity even if he has been the most consistently morally-grounded character on the show.

As for how it ends, I mean, hasn't the creator of the show been telling us since the beginning? And am I the only one who had "say hello to my little friend" echoing in my head when Walt first opened that trunk at the beginning of season five? That the ending is inevitable and obvious doesn't make it any less compelling, because in my mind the most interesting part of this season will be showing what exactly needs to happen to bring Walt to that point.
posted by invitapriore at 8:21 AM on August 7, 2013


Well, he bugged Gus' car without any official backing, which I think is pretty wildly unethical, and he beat the living shit out of Jesse, so I don't think he has any claim to moral purity even if he has been the most consistently morally-grounded character on the show.

No one's claiming that Hank's "pure" or free of anything. Just that he's (almost) the only character on the show with a real conscience that won't let him go too far over the line. Yeah, he beats the shit out of Jesse and that's seriously not good, but he also doesn't hide or run away from the consequences of his actions... Which isn't something we can say about too many other characters on the show.

So pure, certainly not, but I'd argue that of any of the characters who could actually stop Walt, Hank's pretty much the only one I'd still list in a "good guys" column at this point[1].

[1] - Obviously I'm not considering characters who are still innocents here like Walt Jr., who could probably stop Walt if he knew what was going on.
posted by sparkletone at 8:32 AM on August 7, 2013


I'm not sure how else you would read "never personally crossed any lines" besides "has never committed any ethical transgressions in the course of the series," which is what I was responding to, but since we seem to be in pedantic crypto-agreement mode on this one why don't we just call it good.
posted by invitapriore at 9:03 AM on August 7, 2013


I normally hate to speculate but, I have some thoughts/guesses/hopes

Even though it was pitched as 'Mr Chips becomes Scarface' I think Walk going out in a hail of bullets with his 'little friend' is a bit too obvious... though I think it might get set up us to expect this, the'll be side-step at some point.

Someone really close to Walt is going to die, inadvertently by his actions, possibly by Todd.

Jessie will achieve redemption, some how... may be by taking Walt down.

Walt will die/go to jail at the end but his secret of being Heisenberg will come out and become a legend... that'll be his ultimate victory.

Saul, the human cockroach, will survive and prosper no matter what else happens
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 9:25 AM on August 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


if Marie dies somebody will pay
posted by angrycat at 10:42 AM on August 7, 2013 [4 favorites]


The hat will live on. Maybe Someone will pick it up and it will possess them.
posted by Artw at 11:07 AM on August 7, 2013 [3 favorites]


Verna: What're you chewin' over?
Tom Reagan: Dream I had once. I was walkin' in the woods, I don't know why. Wind came up and blew me hat off.
Verna: And you chased it, right? You ran and ran, finally caught up to it and you picked it up. But it wasn't a hat anymore and it changed into something else, something wonderful.
Tom Reagan: Nah, it stayed a hat and no, I didn't chase it. Nothing more foolish than a man chasin' his hat.
posted by wensink at 11:13 AM on August 7, 2013 [2 favorites]


The AV Club is covered in Breaking Bad content right now (of course), and I was reading this particular piece and thought I'd link it here, as I think it touches on some things that are relevant to discussion of trying to deduce how the show ends from where things are at now.
posted by sparkletone at 12:31 PM on August 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


if Marie dies somebody will pay

I sure would. Is $100 enough?
posted by Sys Rq at 1:17 PM on August 7, 2013 [6 favorites]


Marie will die thinking Walt was just an innocent victim.
posted by planetesimal at 1:18 PM on August 7, 2013


Sunday's episode, of which I'll spoil not a whit other than to say it is absolutely terrific, feels less like merging onto an exit ramp and more like the later stages of a rocket launch. The direction, by Bryan Cranston himself, is stirring and precise. The tone alternates between hilarious and bleak, and the tension is excruciating.

Also fwiw, I expected Marie to die at the end of Season 4. I still think something will happen to her, it'll be the final push to send Hank over the edge.
posted by mannequito at 1:48 PM on August 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


The Breaking Bad people love their cinematography and cool images... Marie's coffin surrounded by wreath after wreath of purple flowers with Hank standing their all stoic with a single tear rolling down his cheek... that's gonna be hard for them to resist.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 1:57 PM on August 7, 2013


I wonder what Walt's underpants look like these days.
posted by invitapriore at 2:02 PM on August 7, 2013


I wonder what Walt's underpants look like these days.
Underpants? Pshaw! Walt's going commando.
posted by wensink at 3:12 PM on August 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


I watched the first two seasons a while back. Found the first season really enjoyable, and then just really didn't like the characters at all in the second season. Walt, of course, is evil, and I get that, but that alone just doesn't make him a terribly compelling character for me, and there wasn't really enough going on. I've read a bit of the above discussion (doing an attempt at reading past spoilers), and started on season 3 (super stomach sick this week and on my own means lots of time in the evening to watch stuff). Other than to see what happens next, things still aren't really drawing me in. Somehow the ideas just aren't big enough; I get the premise, and there's not a lot of mystery there beyond this-week's-cliffhanger.

Saul Goodman's definitely my favorite character. And I really look forward to the guy who runs Los Pollos doing a run in an Obama biopic some day. It will be wonderful.
posted by kaibutsu at 3:25 PM on August 7, 2013


So how many pounds of meth can be made from 1000 litres of methylamine?

The rest of my comment will be full of spoilers for all 5 seasons so far.

In preparation for the last season, I rewatched all of Breaking Bad -- well, almost, I have 3 episodes left -- and it's amazing how different a light things take. The funny scene where Walt burns up a guy's car because he stole Walt's parking lot? Entirely different tone when you know where things lead. The funnier hydrofluoric acid dead body scene? Less amusing when you think of how many more dead bodies dissolve the same way.

Watching the rise and fall of Gus (in the show), or the introduction of Mike from a meaningless character there to clean up and/or threaten to someone you really liked, seeing Hank go from blowhard to someone you also like (I assume he'll survive, though his career can't) while he misses every single clue, watching where Walt's amazing arrogance fails him or succeeds amazingly -- it's really an interesting journey, and given that the show takes place over the course of just over a year, watching it all at once adds something interesting.
posted by jeather at 4:46 PM on August 7, 2013 [3 favorites]


I could have done with just a bit less of Walt's evil the last season. Like, maybe one episode where he's all, 'it is because i say so' and then everything falls to shit after. He became less interesting the moment he poisoned Brock, because where's left for Walt to go? So many things, even the worst things, you can usually append a 'yeah but' to at least take the edge off of Walt's evil (he is protecting his family, he is protecting Jesse). It's like with Brock Walt pulled the ultimate 'yeah but' but it is so attenuated from Walt's aim -- protection of self, family, and his psychological ties to Jesse -- that for me as a watcher, it's like, dude, stop this because you almost did the worst thing ever. Argh stop touching Skylar like that you creepy quasi rapist cake demander. It's a bit uncomfortable.

But then, even with a great villain like Ahab there are points where you want to slap him.
posted by angrycat at 5:25 PM on August 7, 2013


Yes, but will Skinny Pete play the piano at Badger's funeral?
posted by planetesimal at 6:39 PM on August 7, 2013 [5 favorites]


If anyone is interested, I was having some trouble trying to recall exactly what had happened to the ricin cigarette, so I did some googling and wound up at this random blog post which does an exceptional job of breaking down exactly what happened with it and the lily of the valley plot from late s.4-early s.5 Also some stuff from Gilligan about how they envisioned Walt getting to Brock, since that part was never shown. The only thing is that it was written halfway through (first part) 5, so I didn't have a definitive answer to my question - where did we last see it? Was it when Walt first met Lydia at the coffee shop?

and yeah, today was the first day I really felt something crack inside of me as I realized it's almost here and WHY IS IT NOT SUNDAY YET FUCK
posted by mannequito at 7:32 PM on August 7, 2013 [2 favorites]


Walt taped it inside the faceplate of an electrical outlet in his bedroom.
posted by planetesimal at 7:37 PM on August 7, 2013


As I recall, Walt took the ricin out in order to consider killing Lydia. I don't know what he did with it after he decided not to kill her, but I assume we'll see it again soon.
posted by jeather at 7:52 PM on August 7, 2013


[come on folks, be spoiler conscious maybe?]
posted by jessamyn at 8:47 PM on August 7, 2013


> [come on folks, be spoiler conscious maybe?]

Sorry, but it seemed kind of like a spoiled zone early on in the thread, didn't it? I guess there should just be a spoiler tag on the post since the horse got out.
posted by planetesimal at 8:56 PM on August 7, 2013


There's a difference between spoilers for stuff that happened in past episodes (which are explicitly deemed Not Actually Spoilers in subsection 6(a)(iii) of the You Snooze, You Lose Act of 2010) and stuff that hasn't even aired yet. The deleted thing was the latter, and I'm glad it was deleted. That plot pointlet remains spoiled for whoever read it, though; whoever wrote it is a monster (legally speaking).

As I recall, Walt took the ricin out in order to consider killing Lydia. I don't know what he did with it after he decided not to kill her

He put it back behind the thing immediately afterward. (IIRC, seeing him do that is the only way we know he took it out in the first place.)
posted by Sys Rq at 9:09 PM on August 7, 2013


AMC has released the titles for the final episodes. Do the final 8 episodes' titles reveal the ending?

Walter White is a modern Ozymandias, whose meth empire is on the verge of collapse — and by the end of the series, none of his works will remain.


I think his kids might die. I can't decide yet if Skylar lives or Walt kills her but I'm leaning towards he kills her (her earlier statement about Scarface - "Everyone dies in this movie"). I'd be surprised if Walt lives. I think he'll die of cancer. I think Hank will make it. Can't decide on Jesse but I think Walt may kill him also.

Also, it's probably a bit of a stretch, but I'm trying to make a connection between Marie and The Color Purple. Both stories have two sisters. Both have one of the sisters looking after the children (a boy and a girl) of the other sister.

It may not be as relevant anymore but I would really love to see some more backstory on Gus and Chile.
posted by triggerfinger at 10:29 PM on August 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


Also, you have four more days to place your (non-monetary) bets on the outcome at Betting Bad.
posted by triggerfinger at 10:31 PM on August 7, 2013


> It may not be as relevant anymore but I would really love to see some more backstory on Gus and Chile.

I'm thinking we'll see some repercussions come from Chile, but there hasn't been much chatter about Esposito returning to the set for more flashbacks. But, they've kept things pretty tight so far so maybe we'll see some fresh scenes of Gus after all.
posted by planetesimal at 11:06 PM on August 7, 2013


I'm betting that
- Marie winds up on the receiving end of the ricin
- one or both of Walt's kids dies
- Lydia rats on Walt
- Jesse is the person Walt comes back to save with his big fat gun
- Todd has to be put down (like a "rabid dog")
- Walt is not dead or in prison by the last episode - the cancer gets him

But what happens to Skyler?

Three very long days ahead...
posted by Paris Elk at 1:36 AM on August 8, 2013 [1 favorite]


Paris Elk, I like all your theories except the last. If it's money we're putting down, for me it's Walt Jr. having to put a bullet in his father. The reference to Killing Pablo in season 3 has dogged me ever since.
posted by mannequito at 2:12 AM on August 8, 2013 [2 favorites]


If it's money we're putting down, for me it's Walt Jr. having to put a bullet in his father. The reference to Killing Pablo in season 3 has dogged me ever since.

It's an interesting theory, mannequito, but I just don't see it. I think Walt Jr. is much likelier to get caught in the crossfire, or a car accident, or simply be a victim of the tremendous disillusionment and heartbreak that's in store for him when he finds out about his parents -- which is a bad enough fate. Now that I'm thinking about it, there's an episode in the final lineup called "Blood Money" -- could it refer the meth cash that Walt used to lease a fast car for Jr.?

I think the Killing Pablo reference was just more BB irony.
posted by Paris Elk at 6:51 AM on August 8, 2013


14 Totally Creepy ‘Breaking Bad’ Tattoos

'Creepy' as is in 'if you just step back a moment it is probably a bit creepy to have an anti-hero meth dealer, not matter how cool and / or badass permanently recorded on your skin'
(oh and spoilers for season 4)

Then again
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 6:54 AM on August 8, 2013 [2 favorites]


I can't see -- don't want to see? -- Marie getting the ricin. Hank? But that seems like an odd way to get to Hank.

I don't really want to try to predict this show, though. I like just watching.
posted by jeather at 7:05 AM on August 8, 2013


Skyler does like the occasional cigarette...
posted by futz at 7:20 AM on August 8, 2013 [2 favorites]


But the ricin is in a test tube or something, right?
posted by futz at 7:22 AM on August 8, 2013


A Brief History of Chekhov’s Gun in ‘Breaking Bad’
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 7:25 AM on August 8, 2013 [2 favorites]


But the ricin is in a test tube or something, right?

Yes, futz, Walt removed it from the cigarette, put it in a little tube, and stashed it back behind the nightstand.
posted by Paris Elk at 7:43 AM on August 8, 2013 [1 favorite]


That's right. Thanks!
posted by futz at 7:56 AM on August 8, 2013


You know what I keep coming back to? That pizza sliding down the roof. I see a reprise, but it ain't going to be a pizza up there.....
posted by thelonius at 8:00 AM on August 8, 2013


Oh! Oh! What if Hank 'n' pals are doing a search of Walt's house, find the ricin, and then do that TV detective thing where they taste it?

Ten more seasons!
posted by Sys Rq at 8:01 AM on August 8, 2013


I'm not so sure Walt will die on camera. Maybe an implied death from his resurgent cancer. But, it seems too easy to just put a bullet in him.

Based on the reaction to the ending of The Sopranos, the only single thing I am sure of to a would-bet-money clarity is that we will know with absolutely no ambiguity what Walter's fate is at the end of the show.

If he's going to die, it'll be on camera, and we'll see the body.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 10:08 AM on August 8, 2013


a great question is: is Walt redeemable? It is hard to see how he could be. Especially if Marie dies.
posted by angrycat at 10:33 AM on August 8, 2013


(I am also a monochrome person)
posted by angrycat at 10:34 AM on August 8, 2013


a great question is: is Walt redeemable?

He's killed, like, sixteen people.

He is quite not.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 10:35 AM on August 8, 2013 [5 favorites]


Yeah, Walt is completely irredeemable.
posted by entropicamericana at 10:42 AM on August 8, 2013 [1 favorite]


Sixteen is the number of people that Spider Jerusalem confesses to having killed in Transmetropolitan when Yelena asks him about it, although he qualifies it by saying that all those but one instance were in self-defense. Walt would probably qualify it the same way if pressed.

Not actually disagreeing, not actually implying that the number of people Walt killed is literally sixteen, just amused by the parallel.
posted by invitapriore at 10:43 AM on August 8, 2013


***[This entire comment is spoilers]***

I'm counting the ten in the prison. The two in the premiere episode. The dude in his basement. Jane. The two guys working for Fring's crew that he nailed with his car. Fring's two men in the lab in the end of Season 4. Mike.

So that's nineteen via direct intervention; eight via actual, direct hands-on murder.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 10:50 AM on August 8, 2013


He's killed, like, sixteen people.

The death toll, by who killed them. Apparently Walt is directly responsible for 11, and indirectly responsible for 167. I'm not sure I'd totally agree with the details, but it's neat.
posted by jeather at 10:52 AM on August 8, 2013 [4 favorites]


XQUZYPHR, you're not counting Tio Salamanca or Gus or that other guy as fairly direct intervention? He built the wheelchair bomb.
posted by jeather at 10:55 AM on August 8, 2013


Jane

To be fair, he didn't kill Jane (unless you figure Jane wouldn't have met Jesse and gotten back on the junk without Walt cooking meth), she would have died anyway, but he neglected to save her when he could have.

So that's only 15 or so.
posted by bondcliff at 11:02 AM on August 8, 2013 [1 favorite]


He rolled her over. Then he didn't roll her back. He'd probably argue that he didn't kill her though.
posted by Artw at 11:06 AM on August 8, 2013


Maybe my memory is off then. I thought she was on her back and he saw her choking and did nothing about it.

So yeah, I guess he's a bad dude after all.
posted by bondcliff at 11:08 AM on August 8, 2013


The two in the premiere episode. The dude in his basement. is still two--Krazy 8 was in the RV and the basement.
posted by JDC8 at 11:12 AM on August 8, 2013


IIRC he rolled her over while trying to wake Jesse.
posted by Artw at 11:12 AM on August 8, 2013


He didn't touch her -- she rolled over accidentally. This was changed when I think Bryan Cranston said it was too much for Walt. He didn't roll her back, but it was carefully done as "accident then didn't help her" and not "kill the druggie", though I agree that the line is fuzzy.
posted by jeather at 11:14 AM on August 8, 2013


And I'm pretty sure that before the scenes with Jane saying "lie on the side so we don't die", it would never have occurred to me that people sleeping off heroin needed to be on their sides, so I'm willing to assume that Walt had no idea that he did anything when he nudged Jesse and Jane rolled over. When she started choking on her own vomit, of course, he knew he was letting her die.
posted by jeather at 11:16 AM on August 8, 2013


That was a turning point for me with Walt.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 11:20 AM on August 8, 2013 [6 favorites]


Indeed, WW certainly made a rapid decision to not assist, and his presence in the room was what caused her to stir a bit, if I recall. When he was having a beer a bit later and chatting with Janes father, it seemed like he was a venting parent who had just gotten his kid out of a jam, and not someone who had willfully allowed a death to occur.
posted by planetesimal at 11:38 AM on August 8, 2013


Which his only motivation was obviously to keep Jesse loyal and doing the dirty end of things.
posted by planetesimal at 11:39 AM on August 8, 2013


He chats up dad prior to the death, right?
posted by angrycat at 11:44 AM on August 8, 2013


Yeah. It's what motivates him to go over to Jesse's and...intervene.
posted by invitapriore at 11:46 AM on August 8, 2013


Ah, yes...got that reversed.
posted by planetesimal at 11:47 AM on August 8, 2013


Walt is very conscious and clear once he understands that Jesse is "ok". He slows down. He watches Jane (although he may not know about the lying on the side thing) and he literally and metaphorically steps back and lets things run their course. He is in the power position of saving this young woman's life -- JESSE'S TRUE LOVE -- and he physically covers his mouth and steps back and watches her die, because, well, she is Jesse's one true love. That's a distraction Walt can't allow. He's deliciously, utterly, unambiguously guilty. And he knows it, and nearly confesses in the Fly episode. But he doesn't, because his self-protective mechanism is stronger than LOVE.
posted by thinkpiece at 12:54 PM on August 8, 2013 [7 favorites]


Bill Nye in Breaking Bad.
posted by maudlin at 1:02 PM on August 8, 2013


The final scene will be a bunch of dead bodies piled on the floor and a disgruntled Roomba constantly bumping into them trying to clean up.
posted by Rhomboid at 1:37 PM on August 8, 2013 [22 favorites]


This was changed when I think Bryan Cranston said it was too much for Walt.

I know this off the top of my head because I've been reading/watching all the Vince Gilligan interviews he's been doing lately to promo the final chunk of the show: Surprisingly, it was actually the network/studio of all people/entities!

Vince's answer lately to questions about awkward/terrible studio notes he's received has been to say that he's been fortunate to not really ever have that happen because they've believed in what he's doing and generally been very hands off. In this case, apparently it was initially written that Walter straight up causes the overdose, and the feedback from the studio was, "Hey, you're moving Walter too far too quickly down the path to evil. Maybe dial it back?" So they came up with the version they filmed, and Gilligan thinks it's a better show for it (I agree).
posted by sparkletone at 1:55 PM on August 8, 2013 [2 favorites]


Rhomboid: "The final scene will be a bunch of dead bodies piled on the floor and a disgruntled Roomba constantly bumping into them trying to clean up."

I accept that, provided there's one final after-credits shot of the storage locker door rolling up, with Badger & Skinny Pete staring in awe at the giant stack of cash. Final line: "Mad Benjis, Yo".
posted by mannequito at 4:08 PM on August 8, 2013 [1 favorite]


Walt shook Jesse by the shoulder, thus causing Jane to roll over.
posted by thelonius at 6:18 PM on August 8, 2013


Two words: Storage Wars
posted by Sys Rq at 7:11 PM on August 8, 2013


So how many pounds of meth can be made from 1000 litres of methylamine?

Don't worry about this. As your friendly neighborhood biochemist I'll tell you that the Walter White formula for making crystal blue persuasion is as much a fantasy as anything else on television.

When Don Eladio talks about "Hillbilly Meth" and "Biker Crank" he's right; that's what actual science suggests WW is making. There is no documented stereospecific reduction from phenyl-2-propanone and methylamine to make methamphetamine. If there was, I'd be driving a much nicer car and working on my spanish vocabulary while enjoying fried chicken dinners.

You can spend endless hours playing crime lord bookkeeper if you want, but you have to accept that the Breaking Bad chemistry lesson is more for the sake of creating friction and drama, and not so much representing the actual economy and chemistry of making meth as a vocational activity.
posted by peeedro at 7:50 PM on August 8, 2013 [2 favorites]


You can tell it's pure because it's blue.
posted by Artw at 8:17 PM on August 8, 2013 [2 favorites]


Needs more chili pepper, yo.
posted by planetesimal at 8:24 PM on August 8, 2013 [3 favorites]


The seven plot points you need to remember for the final season (gives some extremely vague details of plot points we might see on Sunday's episode)
posted by triggerfinger at 10:40 PM on August 8, 2013 [1 favorite]


You can spend endless hours playing crime lord bookkeeper if you want, but you have to accept that the Breaking Bad chemistry lesson is more for the sake of creating friction and drama, and not so much representing the actual economy and chemistry of making meth as a vocational activity.

My understanding was that Gilligan tried to be consistent with his numbers and somewhat consistent with reality -- but mostly I have forgotten how to figure out yields of chemical reactions and was wondering what 1000 gallons (I was wrong) of methylamine would result in.

There are an unsurprising number of people debating whether or not Walt brilliantly came up with a stereospecific reaction.
posted by jeather at 5:03 AM on August 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


There are an unsurprising number of people debating whether or not Walt brilliantly came up with a stereospecific reaction.

There are two mysteries: Why it's so pure, and why it's so blue. Perhaps these are not unrelated (even if they are contradictory). There's definitely at least one mystery step, though it probably involves a magic wand.
posted by Sys Rq at 6:48 AM on August 9, 2013


I'm not so sure Walt will die on camera. Maybe an implied death from his resurgent cancer. But, it seems too easy to just put a bullet in him.

What I want--what I have wanted for a while, out of a sense of poetic justice--is for Walt to die of a meth overdose. He's done what he's done the entire time without ever trying the product. He's fought for its purity and is proud of it, but he's never touched it. I'm not quite sure of the motivation for getting him there, but it might be sheer scientific curiosity--what is it about this stuff that has driven such a complete blood lust in so many people? It has driven him to kill and it's driving him to die. Seems like the only way to go out properly.
posted by dlugoczaj at 6:57 AM on August 9, 2013


Vince Gilligan has never gone for the easy moralizing in this show, but I could see a final scene where Walt, with everyone around him gone, retreats to the storage unit filled with mad stacks. A sick bear going into his cave to die (or Johnny Cash crawling into Nickajack).

Cash saw the light and found Jesus. Walter sees fluorescent light and finds...nothing.
posted by wensink at 7:14 AM on August 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


My understanding was that Gilligan tried to be consistent with his numbers and somewhat consistent with reality -- but mostly I have forgotten how to figure out yields of chemical reactions and was wondering what 1000 gallons (I was wrong) of methylamine would result in.

In interviews/the commentary podcast he's said a few times that they've tried to balance having the kind of grounding in reality that will give the show a nice verisimilitude with not broadcasting a HowTo on cooking meth. They talked to some former DEA people and whatever they have Walt doing in the show has things out of order and leaving out a few steps and ingredients. I believe he's also said they make a point of not showing the whole fake process beginning to end in montages either. They always skip some part. Stuff like that.
posted by sparkletone at 7:41 AM on August 9, 2013


There's no way they are going to have a realistic cooking procedure... I remember an interview with some writer saying the publishers made them alter a section in a novel they had written on what household products you can add to Molotov cocktails to make them more effective. There's also a Tom Clancy novel which gives a detailed description of terrorists making a hydrogen bomb by conventing an old a-bomb and in an afterword he says he missed out/altered a few steps so someone could not actually copy the procedure.

I read recently that apparently any half competent chemist could fairly easily fabricated the macguffinlamine, sorry methylamine, that they steal from the train.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 8:30 AM on August 9, 2013 [2 favorites]


There's no way they are going to have a realistic cooking procedure

Mythbusters should cover this.
posted by Artw at 8:32 AM on August 9, 2013


Whoa. How have I not commented in this thread yet?! Anyways, the Bald Move folks have updated their Breaking Good podcast with a new episode yesterday!
posted by iamkimiam at 11:14 AM on August 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


Also, Vince Gilligan is the guest on this weeks Nerdist Writer's Panel podcast.
posted by iamkimiam at 11:16 AM on August 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


Also, Vince Gilligan is the guest on this weeks Nerdist Writer's Panel podcast.

That link goes to an episode from a year ago for some reason? However, he was also a guest on this week's, the 100th episode. Bryan Fuller, and a number of other cool writer people make appearances. It's a fun listen. I'd also recommend going through the archives and find the season-in-retrospect episodes with Vince and some of the other BB writers, if you're into this sort of thing.
posted by sparkletone at 1:47 PM on August 9, 2013 [2 favorites]


Whoops, good catch! Here's *this* year's episode of Vince Gilligan on The Nerdist podcast (uploaded this week).
posted by iamkimiam at 2:16 PM on August 9, 2013 [2 favorites]


Breaking down Breaking Bad costumes and props. [Spoiler] Gus mask [pdf]. Bryan Cranston as Tio Hector con pollo Jesse.
posted by maggieb at 3:26 PM on August 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


Walter White Speaks - My Way
posted by homunculus at 1:43 PM on August 10, 2013 [3 favorites]


About That Time People Thought Bryan Cranston Might Have Killed A Guy In Daytona
posted by mannequito at 1:58 PM on August 10, 2013


This is really pretty interesting.
posted by naju at 3:18 PM on August 10, 2013 [2 favorites]


(Definite spoilers on that)
posted by naju at 3:23 PM on August 10, 2013


The Breaking Bad tours driving a tourist boom in Albuquerque
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 3:33 AM on August 11, 2013


From CBS Sunday Morning today | "'Breaking Bad' on paper, is one of the worst ideas for a television show, ever," Cranston explained with a laugh. [Video]
posted by maggieb at 9:11 AM on August 11, 2013


Breaking Bad theme played on meth lab equipment.

So I know the Netflix US is streaming the show tonight -- I presume in synch with AMC, right? Is Canadian Netflix doing the same?
posted by maudlin at 11:40 AM on August 11, 2013 [1 favorite]


Dean Norris: 'It's like working for the CIA' (no spoilers)
posted by mannequito at 11:43 AM on August 11, 2013


So I know the Netflix US is streaming the show tonight...

I'm pretty sure this isn't the case. Netflix will make these last episodes available for UK Netflix customers about a day after they air here in the US on AMC, but these episodes won't be available in the US on Netflix until some undisclosed future date, possibly six months.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 12:22 PM on August 11, 2013


Ahh. I misunderstood this page at AMC.
posted by maudlin at 12:25 PM on August 11, 2013


I'd love to be wrong. But I can't find anything that says that these new episodes will be on US Netflix right away but there's plenty of discussion of the episodes being available on Netflix in the UK.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 12:30 PM on August 11, 2013


"Torrent now, buy when available" might be the shortest circuit to gratification for those not able to get it broadcast.
posted by planetesimal at 12:32 PM on August 11, 2013 [1 favorite]


This article says near-instant Netflix access for UK, faster than iTunes over here :-( Nope, no immediate Netflix on this side of the ocean.
posted by maudlin at 12:34 PM on August 11, 2013


I'm sure we already installed MediaHint on your laptop... :)
posted by Chuckles at 12:50 PM on August 11, 2013 [1 favorite]


Chuckles, does that really work?
posted by futz at 1:00 PM on August 11, 2013


Not universally. I was watching the Tour de France from a British TV station (ITV, I guess?!?) without any trouble, and ComedyCentral works okay from Canada now. I have seen sites that don't work too though, can't remember the details.
posted by Chuckles at 1:19 PM on August 11, 2013


Thanks. No cable. Not sure what I am going to do! Probably avoid this thread. Never torrented. Hmm.
posted by futz at 3:16 PM on August 11, 2013


Last week Bunting interviewed the show's director of photography, Michael Slovis. Video and transcript at rogerebert.com.
All I can tell you is…two things: A) You will not be disappointed, I promise. I promise, I promise, I promise. B) Every single storyline will be buttoned up, and there will be no loose ends. It's going to redefine last seasons of television. It's going to redefine series finales, which are almost inevitably disappointing. This one will not disappoint.

I've seen all eight episodes. I've seen it through to the end, and I sat in front of my screen crying, myself, alone...
posted by maggieb at 3:47 PM on August 11, 2013 [1 favorite]


"Rice 'n' beans?"
posted by turbid dahlia at 4:07 PM on August 11, 2013


FUCK. I was planning to bake blue cheez-its for my premiere party, and my food coloring – which I bought not three days ago – has vanished utterly.

This is the second time my new apartment has disappeared things I bought; last time they vanished right out of the bags. Boo to this. Lucky I used white cheddar, so we're calling them Walter Whites, but I was looking forward to some good old addicting blue.
posted by Rory Marinich at 4:24 PM on August 11, 2013


On the plus side... ninety minutes to go!! Queue up your favorite two episodes and prepare yourself.
posted by Rory Marinich at 4:27 PM on August 11, 2013


I just watched the flash-forward scene again and Walt is definitely not wearing a wedding ring in it. You see his hands when he's arranging the bacon.

Also, this is kind of an interesting theory that I hadn't considered: Insane ‘Breaking Bad’ Theory Backed By Questionable Evidence So Good It Might Be True

posted by triggerfinger at 5:16 PM on August 11, 2013 [1 favorite]


I think what triggerfinger has linked is FULL of potential spoilers. Depending on your beliefs about spoilers, click or don't click.

Just found this 9 minute refresher on YouTube, published a couple of weeks ago.
posted by maudlin at 5:24 PM on August 11, 2013 [2 favorites]


I used to love to go camping.
posted by planetesimal at 5:31 PM on August 11, 2013 [3 favorites]


Sorry, I didn't think of it as a spoiler because it's just someone's theory based on one of the shows already aired in the first part of the season. Some people in the comments after the article don't think much of it as a theory so I don't think it's ironclad - it's just (I thought) an interesting different take on how things could go. I apologize for not making that clearer.
posted by triggerfinger at 5:38 PM on August 11, 2013


Sorry, it's just that the Buzzfeed variation on this theory (I think) was also one of the crazy-but-it-could-work things. Occasionally inspired guesses are dead on.
posted by maudlin at 5:45 PM on August 11, 2013


it's_happening.gif
posted by Rhomboid at 5:46 PM on August 11, 2013 [1 favorite]


twelve minutes zomg

My totally crazy theory: Walt Jr. will be killed by something that results in his being literally sliced in half. This based on what he's wearing in the pool scene in S05 E08. It's nutty, but I'm standing by it.

ten minutes wheeee
posted by brina at 5:50 PM on August 11, 2013


Damn. What an open.
posted by Rory Marinich at 6:06 PM on August 11, 2013


I'M SO READY FOR THIS.
posted by SarahElizaP at 6:08 PM on August 11, 2013


Awesome. So awesome.
posted by jeather at 6:10 PM on August 11, 2013


Skyler, stepping UP!
posted by maggieb at 6:19 PM on August 11, 2013


Awesome Star Trek script!
posted by planetesimal at 6:29 PM on August 11, 2013 [2 favorites]


Love Skyler
posted by triggerfinger at 6:31 PM on August 11, 2013


Oh, Jessie. Only you are still thinking of poor Kaylee and the Sharps. My heart, it just melted a tad.
posted by Rory Marinich at 6:35 PM on August 11, 2013 [2 favorites]


I'm not feeling so good about Jesse's future right now.
posted by jeather at 6:38 PM on August 11, 2013 [1 favorite]


Walt: you're a liar !
posted by fizzix at 6:43 PM on August 11, 2013


Walt you filthy liar.
posted by planetesimal at 6:43 PM on August 11, 2013


Hank, you make Walt look like a good liar. (Not Heisenberg, who is a good liar, Walt.)

I cannot believe I have to wait another week.
posted by jeather at 6:59 PM on August 11, 2013


And the Emmy goes to: Dean Norris.

So goddamn good.
posted by bondcliff at 7:06 PM on August 11, 2013 [11 favorites]


Metafilter:...............Maybe your best course would be to tread lightly.
posted by lalochezia at 7:20 PM on August 11, 2013


AUGH

AUGH

AUGH
posted by showbiz_liz at 8:12 PM on August 11, 2013


HERE IS MY SPOILER FREE REVIEW OF TONIGHT’S BREAKING BAD: [47:08 of incoherent yelling and flailing] FUCK. FFFFFFFFUUUUUUUCCCCCKKKKKK…

I was so completely intolerable during that that I'm glad I wasn't group-watching.
posted by sparkletone at 8:21 PM on August 11, 2013 [2 favorites]


I was so completely intolerable during that that I'm glad I wasn't group-watching.

I watched it in a packed bar that shows it every week. Total silence until the last minute or so, at which point the room was filled with gasps, squeals, and "OH my GOD"s. So worth it! I'll never download it again, other peoples' pathos is way too fun.
posted by showbiz_liz at 8:25 PM on August 11, 2013 [1 favorite]


Haha. I'm sure I could've held in the audible parts of my reaction in such an environment, but in exchange I would've been pacing a lot and trying to eat my entire goddam hand for long stretches at a time.

That sounds fun though!
posted by sparkletone at 8:30 PM on August 11, 2013


Nice touch, having Squeeze's "Up the Junction" playing in the background during the pool scenes (both before AND after Hank goes to the bathroom).

Alone here in the kitchen
I feel there's something missing
I'd beg for some forgiveness
But begging's not my business

And she won't write a letter
Although I always tell her
And so it's my assumption
I'm really up the junction


Stupid YT mobile won't let me copy and paste the URL for the song. Drat! Sorry.
posted by flyingsquirrel at 8:42 PM on August 11, 2013 [3 favorites]


Oh my that was satisfying.
posted by merelyglib at 9:38 PM on August 11, 2013 [1 favorite]


Well.

That was.

A thing that happened.

Right there.

(It is possible I forgot to breathe during the last few minutes of the episode and am now suffering from oxygen deprivation.)
posted by tzikeh at 9:46 PM on August 11, 2013 [3 favorites]


HEISENBERG

Oh my that was satisfying.

Yes.
posted by Artw at 10:59 PM on August 11, 2013


I think the opening scene would have been much more impactful with no audible dialogue, just following Hank being unable to hear anything, reeling from his discovery.

Mute your center channel and enjoy. ;)
posted by wierdo at 11:09 PM on August 11, 2013


That's Voyager, dude.
posted by planetesimal at 11:34 PM on August 11, 2013 [1 favorite]


I wonder if Hank is now going to be forced to 'break bad' and step outside the law to leak Heisenberg's true identity to someone in Mexico/Chile.
posted by mannequito at 1:29 AM on August 12, 2013


Also, I'm so not liking the focus on Jesse's cigarette recently. We saw him burning a hole in his couch the last episode last year, and today Huell focused on him lighting one up in Saul's waiting room.

Combined with the opening scene showing Walt going back for the ricin? No good.
posted by mannequito at 1:54 AM on August 12, 2013


Now I'm waiting for Chekov's pie to come into play.
posted by lovecrafty at 1:54 AM on August 12, 2013 [9 favorites]


underwear question was answered

also, anybody notice the dog on the hot dog shop sign is continuously eating a blinking line of hot dogs?

also, that tank top with the giant eye in the cancer office COULD IT BE THE WALT CONSCIENCE EYE OR AM I OVERTHINKING IT
posted by angrycat at 5:44 AM on August 12, 2013


Combined with the opening scene showing Walt going back for the ricin? No good.

I thought that too. And then, much later, it occurred to me that Walt retrieves the ricin in the future, so of course nothing's going to happen with it in the present. If they're planning to dip from that well of suspense all season, we're going to be getting awfully thirsty.
posted by Sys Rq at 6:13 AM on August 12, 2013


If I had to bet I'd put the money on Walt using the ricin cigarette on himself. But at this point nothing would surprise me.
posted by Justinian at 6:25 AM on August 12, 2013 [1 favorite]


also, that Star Trek script: first there was the transformer thing, which seems like a call back to Walt's 'change' speech in the first episode.
And then there was the awesome change-up to first this pie-eating contest in space, which, situational irony because nobody expects a Lucy and Ethel routine involving Spock, which then becomes a horror story -- which is ironic on like three levels

in short, marry me, writers for this show. each and every one of you.
posted by angrycat at 6:30 AM on August 12, 2013 [1 favorite]


I love the time-lapse writer's room link. It's so heartening to know that these smart people are spending 12 straight days --- prior to writing and planning the shots --- simply working to make a bulletproof 40-minute story.

That said, watching the beautiful story broken up by commercials last night was difficult (having watched the whole series thus far on Netflix).
posted by pjenks at 6:57 AM on August 12, 2013


Vulture has animated Badger's Star Trek script.

(When that video plays out, it starts Legal Reviews with Bob Odenkirk. And then Cranston's obsession with tighty-whities. There goes my morning, Vulture.)
posted by maudlin at 7:19 AM on August 12, 2013 [5 favorites]


They didn't have replicators in TOS; they had food synthesizers.
posted by Sys Rq at 8:01 AM on August 12, 2013


Yeah, I noticed that last night, and this Vulture article (linked in my previous citation) points that out, too. (I am tickled by the fact that their expert is "John Van Citters, the Star Trek brand's resident fact-checker, and CBS Consumer Products VP.")

But this is Badger we're talking about, right? Grading on the curve, hearing his script summary is like finding out last year that Skinny Pete is an accomplished pianist.
posted by maudlin at 8:16 AM on August 12, 2013 [2 favorites]


From that article:
Before you even get to transporter issues, there's the plot point that the pies are being churned out at a rapid pace thanks to the wonders of "the replicator," Star Trek's computerized short order cook. Unfortunately, the Enterprise crew didn't have that luxury in 2265. "A replicator would seemingly be able to spit out pie after pie after pie, but in The Original Series they didn't have replicators per se," Van Citters says. "They used 'food slots' or 'food synthesizers' that took a pre-programmed card or disk inserted into a slot that had the instructions for what to create on it. The tech seems pretty much the same, but it does seem a bit more tedious and slow."

Anachronisms aside, Van Citters believes Scotty's pinpoint stomach beaming jives with Trek's scientific history, though the process would require an excessive amount of work.
posted by maudlin at 8:18 AM on August 12, 2013


Well this is just the greatest
posted by showbiz_liz at 8:40 AM on August 12, 2013 [15 favorites]


I just watched that gif like twenty times, cackling
posted by angrycat at 8:54 AM on August 12, 2013 [1 favorite]


In this case, apparently it was initially written that Walter straight up causes [Jane's] overdose, and the feedback from the studio was, "Hey, you're moving Walter too far too quickly down the path to evil. Maybe dial it back?"

Here's an interview clip where Gilligan and Cranston talk about Jane's death; there were actually three versions. In the first, Walter injects Jane with more heroin; in what Gilligan calls "the only time we ever got a note" the studio raised questions and Gilligan rewrote it so Walt doesn't inject her but simply pushes her onto her back so she'd choke. That was still "too evil too soon" for Cranston, so the writers came up with the fantastic third version, in which Walt flips her onto her back without realizing it, then gets up to help as she starts to choke, then...another great acting moment from Cranston.
posted by mediareport at 12:45 PM on August 12, 2013 [4 favorites]


I don't like to boast... but one of my predictions was in the cold opening, bitches!
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 2:42 PM on August 12, 2013


I think they're doing Aaron Paul a real disservice by having his character continue on his seasons-long arc of being a surly little bitch. I don't think he's been anything other than confused and angry since like season 3.
posted by turbid dahlia at 3:57 PM on August 12, 2013


The ratings for this episode of BB were superb. By far the best of the series. It's nice to go out on a high note!
posted by Justinian at 4:12 PM on August 12, 2013


I'd say Jesse has spent a great deal of the past two seasons depressed and betrayed, with a brief foray into sort of almost happy while Gus and Mike were giving him attention. And he was more resigned when Walt was lying to him than confused or even angry. He has moments of anger -- I don't think he's been confused in a while -- but his base is depression.
posted by jeather at 7:50 PM on August 12, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'm kind of tired of Jesse's passive depressed thing, too. It makes sense that's how he'd be (a friend calls him the painting in the attic to Walt's Dorian Gray) but we've seen it so much over the years. It'd be nice to see something different for him.
posted by mediareport at 7:53 PM on August 12, 2013 [2 favorites]


I have a funny feeling we will.
posted by Sys Rq at 7:55 PM on August 12, 2013


Yeah, I almost added, "I bet we see it before the end." But seriously, Jesse was going through horrible depressed phases back in season 2, even before Jane died. I get it; he's the conscience of the villain - a really dark, bloodstained villain - but folks who've been watching for a while have seen him in that place many times before. Aaron Paul's a great actor, so I can't help imagining him saying to himself, "Again? Really?"
posted by mediareport at 8:08 PM on August 12, 2013


I tried watching Talking Bad and kind of couldn't stand it. I dunno if it was Hardwock, or the guest celeb or what. I just felt like I would've gotten more out of 20 minutes of Q&A with Vince from the studio audience. However, the BB episode of Mythbusters is a lot of fun if you like that show at all.
posted by sparkletone at 8:24 PM on August 12, 2013


So is the consensus that Jesse was not at all convinced by Walt's claims of Mike being alive, and that he only feigned belief to make Walt shut up and leave him alone? The first time I watched that scene I kind of wanted to believe that Jesse had actually been convinced, especially since he seemed to break his thousand yard stare when Walt mentions that he had quit. But I watched that scene again and by the end it seemed that he was just playing along out of fear of what Walt would do to him if he didn't leave it alone.
posted by Rhomboid at 8:46 PM on August 12, 2013


So is the consensus that Jesse was not at all convinced by Walt's claims of Mike being alive, and that he only feigned belief to make Walt shut up and leave him alone?

I didn't think there was any question about that.
posted by showbiz_liz at 8:53 PM on August 12, 2013


I will be completely, not-the-good-kind shocked if that latter (to my mind the only) interpretation of the scene isn't true.
posted by sparkletone at 9:02 PM on August 12, 2013


Yeah, Jesse's not nearly as naive as he used to be--he knows Mike would never let Walt kill his guys and get away with it. And he knows Walt is capable of anything. I'm sorta hoping Hank will look at the GPS and see Walt visited Jesse, and go reach out to him. Team up!
posted by lovecrafty at 9:16 PM on August 12, 2013 [2 favorites]


I may be misremembering, but Walt says that the tracker looks just like the one they used on Gus, which didn't have any kind of uplink capability and required the user to manually collect the device to access any of the recorded data, in which case Hank is never getting any of the data. Unless, that is, Hank grabs it from Walt's hand and Walt didn't think to erase it prior to driving over to his house.
posted by Rhomboid at 9:23 PM on August 12, 2013 [1 favorite]


That or Hank lifts some prints off those mysterious wads of cash and gets to Jesse that way.

The question is not whether Hank gets to Jesse, it's whether Walt kills him first. The $5M wasn't just "here, Jesse, you earned this" money; it's hush money -- "take this so I don't have to kill you" money -- and Jesse is literally throwing it away.
posted by Sys Rq at 9:25 PM on August 12, 2013 [1 favorite]


I feel so weird saying this given a lifetime of abuse at the hands of TV writers, but I feel like all of this business with the GPS tracker data has been accounted for by Vince and co. and either it will matter in a plausible fashion or won't matter at all and we'll be too busy freaking out about what does matter.
posted by sparkletone at 9:30 PM on August 12, 2013


Part of the reason Jesse knows that Walt's lying is because in that conversation Jesse brings up the fact that if Mike is still alive, Walt will have to be watching his back every second. Walt evades this and keeps saying some version of, "Oh no, I'm sure Mike is alive" but shows no fear about Mike coming after him. It's another one of those ways that Walt continually betrays himself, as if conviction were enough to convince somebody of a thing (when really, he's just trying to tell himself, very loudly). Remember, Jesse knew Walt for years when Walt was someone whose actions were bourn out of the fears of a person coming after him (mainly, Gus). Jesse's best move is to lay low and not appear like he's seeking revenge on Walt. Regardless of the "truth" about Mike, which if Jesse is not convinced of, Walt will be one way or another anyways eventually.
posted by iamkimiam at 12:46 AM on August 13, 2013 [4 favorites]


Colorizing Walter White's Decay – a breakdown of Breaking Bad outfits across all five seasons.
posted by iamkimiam at 10:02 AM on August 13, 2013 [8 favorites]


Okay, I had to wait and watch it last night on the AMC website (thanks, AMC for allowing this!), so here is my belated reaction: Wow wow wow WOW! It was a long wait but so satisfying. Love this show very hard.
posted by idest at 11:37 AM on August 13, 2013


When that punch connected, I felt like it was the final, truly satisfying moment in a really neat transition for the audience: from mocking and dismissing Hank to fully cheering him on and realizing how he's been the one to side with all along. Like with everything else on this show, our sympathies and expectations have been toyed with from the beginning, and the payoff is enormous.
posted by naju at 11:42 AM on August 13, 2013 [4 favorites]


Did anybody notice all the Gus-isms that Walter was displaying in this episode? Dealing with an unruly associate with stonewalling professionalism (which I read as a bit of ominous foreshadowing, considering how badly things worked out for the person behind the counter when that person was Gus dealing with Walt and the tracker debacle), folding the towel underneath his knees as he vomits into the toilet, and the insistence on inserting that annoying tagline into every professional interaction he has (consider "... and have an A1 day!" vs. the way Gus answers the phone at his business: "Pollos Hermanos, where something delicious is always cooking?").
posted by invitapriore at 11:44 AM on August 13, 2013 [11 favorites]


Colorizing Walter White's Decay – a breakdown of Breaking Bad outfits across all five seasons.

I've not checked it out, but one of the reviews said that Walt was wearing the same outfit whilst he was managing in the car wash in the last ep ('Have an A1 day!') as he was when he was working there back in the very first episode
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 11:46 AM on August 13, 2013


There were 5.9 million viewers watching the 9th episode of Breaking Bad, Season 5 on Sunday.

Here are some of the best reviews of the beginning of the end:

Emily Nussbaum in the New Yorker

Sean T. Collins in Rolling Stone

Laura Hudson in Wired


I'm off to watch it a second time.
posted by Paris Elk at 11:47 AM on August 13, 2013 [2 favorites]


I totally noticed the Gus-aping.
posted by planetesimal at 11:47 AM on August 13, 2013


Epic Gus-aping (via 10 Things We Learned From “Breaking Bad” S5E09 “Blood Money”)
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 11:52 AM on August 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


Rhomboid: "So is the consensus that Jesse was not at all convinced by Walt's claims of Mike being alive, and that he only feigned belief to make Walt shut up and leave him alone?"

I got the feeling that Jesse was, if not convinced, willing to accept that Mike had just run off up to the point that Walt wouldn't shut up about it and kept saying "I need you to believe me" or whatever. Walt's insistence looked to me to be what convinced Jesse to finally confront the fact that Walt killed Mike.

(Am I remembering correctly that Walt wasn't entirely untruthful when he said that the last time he saw Mike, Mike was alive? I remember Walt walking away before Mike actually dropped dead, although we heard him fall over)
posted by wierdo at 12:32 PM on August 13, 2013


off-topic: Does anyone know if there's a way for me to re-add this thread into my Recent Activity? I removed out of total paranoia during the three hour time zone lapse on Sunday night, and I assumed it would reappear once I commented again in here, but no such luck.
posted by mannequito at 12:52 PM on August 13, 2013


> (Am I remembering correctly that Walt wasn't entirely untruthful when he said that the last time he saw Mike, Mike was alive? I remember Walt walking away before Mike actually dropped dead, although we heard him fall over)

Nah, we saw Mike's body in the trunk of Walt's car at Vamonos HQ in the next episode. He got the acid barrel treatment.
posted by planetesimal at 12:56 PM on August 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


> off-topic: Does anyone know if there's a way for me to re-add this thread into my Recent Activity?

Look for this link at the bottom of your Recent Activity page.
posted by planetesimal at 12:59 PM on August 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


awesome, thanks planetesimal
posted by mannequito at 1:01 PM on August 13, 2013


Ooh, ooh, the Rolling Stone piece says MAJOR SPOILERS so I almost had a heart attack and stopped reading -- does anyone know if the spoilers from that article are about Sunday night's episode, or about the whole darn season? I was enjoying the writing ...
posted by thinkpiece at 1:06 PM on August 13, 2013


The Rolling Stone article is only about episodes which have already aired. It does not have spoilers for future episodes.
posted by jeather at 1:09 PM on August 13, 2013


It does have a Game of Thrones spoiler, sort of.
posted by jeather at 1:09 PM on August 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


jeather, phew, thank you.
posted by thinkpiece at 1:09 PM on August 13, 2013


SHOOT, sorry, I meant the WIRED piece, the WIRED piece. Sorry! Right there in the middle it says, Major Spoilers for Breaking Bad Follow. I'm just not gonna look.
posted by thinkpiece at 1:13 PM on August 13, 2013


No spoilers there, either. There is some discussion about what will be in future plots -- eg, we will need to find out who gets the ricin, etc -- but it doesn't rise even to the level of theories, just a list of unanswered questions.
posted by jeather at 1:16 PM on August 13, 2013


Aaron Paul on Reddit today: Yeah Bitch, AMAgnets!!!!
posted by mannequito at 1:41 PM on August 13, 2013


If people really like Aaron Paul they need to taper off the bitch shit soon.
posted by planetesimal at 1:55 PM on August 13, 2013 [6 favorites]


it occurred to me that Walt retrieves the ricin in the future, so of course nothing's going to happen with it in the present.

I suspect the ricin is all an elaborate feint to distract us from something else.

Why does Walt need to return to collect that particular vial of ricin? It's already established that it's fairly trivial for him to synthesize: castor beans, a toaster oven, a nice montage.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 2:55 PM on August 13, 2013 [2 favorites]


I was just going to mention that. Extracting the poison from the castor beans was presented as something that Walt could do anywhere with household items. The sequence in s02e01 depicts him doing it at Jesse's house with drain opener, acetone, and a toaster oven. If he had been living in hiding in New Hampshire (as evidenced by both his car's license plate and his fake driver's license) it's doubtful he would return all the way to Albuquerque to retrieve the vial, although it's certainly plausible that he was there primarily to meet Lawson to obtain the M60 and retrieving the ricin was done purely out of convenience. Still, he had to have suspected that showing his face in his old neighborhood was a possible risk with very little upside compared to making a new batch. Given that he returns in broad daylight and his nonchalant reaction to being recognized by Carol, it may simply be that he no longer cares about remaining hidden. If this is Walter White about to make his last stand, then he might indeed spare the time and effort necessary to source castor beans and go through the whole procedure, even though it was well within his capabilities. Perhaps that's what we're meant to take from the sequence, but I agree that it could be the writers toying with our expectations.

I've seen mention of some really silly ideas floating around in blogs and forums, like maybe he suddenly grew a conscience and was worried about a future inhabitant of his home finding it and getting sick or dying from it (possibly due to being a child.) I don't buy that for a second. Maybe you could spin a tale where he has already poisoned somebody with ricin, and he wants to ensure that he is never linked with that death and so he risks returning to ensure that the vial is never found at his former house.
posted by Rhomboid at 4:05 PM on August 13, 2013


Yeah, I was wondering that too. I'm guessing he's maybe just tying up loose ends and making sure every scrap of evidence is cleared out.

What's up with the chain link fence around the house, though? Is that routine for crime scenes in ABQ, or is the house condemned, or what? (It seems to be in rather bad shape for just a few months later... Heck, is it possible the 52 wasn't really Walt's 52 and the time jump is way more than that?)
posted by Sys Rq at 4:31 PM on August 13, 2013


I don't know if it's veering into weird conspiracy territory but I also was wondering if the 52nd birthday was a clever screenwriting feint. He was using a fake ID, after all - maybe the birthday was what was on the fake ID, not Walt's actual birthday (September 7). I freezeframed the shot with the fake ID but it's too hard to make out what it says, unless someone has a really good quality image with crazy zoom-now-enhance abilities.
posted by naju at 4:45 PM on August 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


Maybe he wants to be seen by the neighbor? He wants her to notify Hank or someone that he's back in town?

I've more or less changed my mind about my earlier prediction that the ricin is for Jesse, I think it's for himself, as maybe a cyanide capsule type fallback plan.

I wonder if the show structure will continue this way, with each episode's pre-credits scene following Walt on his return to ABQ, one by one visiting various locations from his past until the rest of the plot catches up.

If people really like Aaron Paul they need to taper off the bitch shit soon.

I agree, but it is difficult to express staring intensely with red eyes over the internet.

Anyways, I gave it a couple of days to digest and tonight I plan to rewatch. There's probably a lot of details that went over my head with all the excitement and adrenaline Sunday night.
posted by mannequito at 5:55 PM on August 13, 2013


I am very interested in Lydia. She is going to be a major player this season and I'm trying to figure out how it will pan out. She was working very closely with Gus on the Czech Republic project and they were in the final planning stages. She's trying to get Walt to go back into business but I think she knows that he killed Gus and I'm wondering if she's trying to set him up to avenge Gus's death. I'm going to have to go back and rewatch all of her episodes.
posted by triggerfinger at 6:54 PM on August 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


I am very interested in Lydia.

Me too! She requires a skilled P2P cook, which pretty much leaves Walt and Jesse. If Walt won't do it, maybe Jesse could be persuaded (via violent or non-violent methods, whatever is necessary - it's all the same to her).
posted by dialetheia at 7:09 PM on August 13, 2013


From the people who brought you Brokeback Mountain, The Notebook, and Knocked Up, Breaking Bad: The Rom Com.
posted by fuse theorem at 7:10 PM on August 13, 2013 [3 favorites]


I wonder if Walt hung on to the kill-list Lydia gave him... written in her handwriting.
posted by lovecrafty at 7:27 PM on August 13, 2013


Jesse and Lydia are gonna hook up.
posted by planetesimal at 7:30 PM on August 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


Outsider chance also of a Skyler tryst.
posted by planetesimal at 7:31 PM on August 13, 2013


Someone's very nice flickr set of Breaking Bad Locations in Albuquerque NM
posted by Room 641-A at 8:31 PM on August 13, 2013 [2 favorites]


I love that photoset, thanks for the reminder. There was a post about it a few years back.

I wonder what the owners of the White house got for allowing the exterior of their home to be used so prominently?
posted by triggerfinger at 8:50 PM on August 13, 2013


The garage scene may go down as one of the best moments in TV history. The backstory, the emotion, the acting, the writing, and the fact that the writers threw away any pretense of a drawn out cat and mouse game... just fantastic.
posted by azpenguin at 9:25 PM on August 13, 2013 [5 favorites]


In one of the links in a comment by fearfulsymmetry (The Breaking Bad tours driving a tourist boom in Albuquerque), it's claimed that they made upwards of $500,000 for the use of their home.
posted by Rhomboid at 9:28 PM on August 13, 2013


The Evolution Of Walter White Walking Into His House On Three Different Birthdays

The Evolution Of Walter White With A Gun In His Face


I am very interested in Lydia. She is going to be a major player this season
/* whisper voice */
I really. Hope. Not. I cannot stand. Her. And I hope. She dies.
posted by Room 641-A at 10:43 PM on August 13, 2013 [2 favorites]


That garage scene was immensely satisfying. I had no idea how it would play out, and nothing in the characters' actions rang false, which I was worried about.
posted by painquale at 8:28 AM on August 14, 2013


I was pretty sure the kid would get shot.

The kid always gets shot.
posted by Sys Rq at 9:24 AM on August 14, 2013


The Breaking Bad Legacy (Tim Goodman's Bastard Machine)
posted by box at 11:28 AM on August 14, 2013


Room 641-A: "Someone's very nice flickr set of Breaking Bad Locations in Albuquerque NM"

Thanks, those are indeed cool. I was in Albuquerque for a conference last year and I walked by The Dog House on the way back from a Mexican restaurant, not realizing it'd end up being the location where Jesse Pinkman would give a homeless guy a fat stack of blood money. If I did realize that, I probably would have done better than a terribly blurry cell phone shot from across the street.
posted by tonycpsu at 11:52 AM on August 14, 2013


I think the ricin is for Walt. With the machine gun it seems he's going to make some sort of last stand. Where is the Alamo? I can't imagine a situation where he's going to mow down a bunch of people unless it's a cartel.

The way the neighbor looked at him I think he's already supposed to be dead. She really looked like she saw a ghost. I think he's going to fake his death.

Then she dropped her bag and some oranges rolled out. Oranges. A couple scenes later, at Hank and Marie's house, there was a bowl of fruit on their table. Oranges.

Perhaps the oranges mean nothing, perhaps they're a red herring for fans of The Godfather, but they could also mean death. In the first case, Walt's, in the second case, Hank's.

In the flash forward he looks and acts like a man who has nothing more to lose (actually, he kind of looks like Seth Rogen) so I'm thinking at this point his whole family is dead (or maybe he faked their deaths along with his own), he's not dying from cancer as quickly as he thought he would (or claimed he would) and he's going to go fuck someone up.

Or maybe his family has been kidnapped and that's what the machine gun and ricin are for.

As someone else mentioned, the "52" he wrote with bacon could be based on his fake ID. Why would he create a fake ID with his real birthday? I guess he did use his wife's maiden name.

Basically, I really have no clue what is going to happen and even if I did I know the writers would blow away my expectations the way they did in Blood Money and the fact that they're gonna do that is the reason I love this goddamned show so much.
posted by bondcliff at 12:43 PM on August 14, 2013 [5 favorites]


Who is left to kidnap Walt's family? Jesse wouldn't do it. Lydia doesn't have the stuff. Fring and the Cartel boys are dead or out of the picture. Hank certainly wouldn't do it. Would they introduce a new big bad with 7 episodes left? I doubt it.
posted by Justinian at 1:46 PM on August 14, 2013


Seriously? It's so obvious. All I'll say is KENWINS
posted by invitapriore at 1:53 PM on August 14, 2013


Where is the Alamo?

It's in San Antonio, Texas, approximately 700 miles (or one Great Britain) away.

Who is left to kidnap Walt's family?

Some Czech dudes?
posted by Sys Rq at 2:08 PM on August 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


Todd's gang.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 2:11 PM on August 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


I think Walt's going to use the ricin to poison someone's pie. Possibly Lydia's piece of pie in another meeting in that diner where he previously met her and decided not to kill her. Chekov's Pie will reappear in the second act.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 2:43 PM on August 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


If you watched Talking Bad, Vince Gilligan hinted that the "moving parts" with which Lydia was imploring Walt for assistance -- presumably, the Czechs -- will become significant in the next episode.

Also, Laura Fraser and Jesse Plemons were both promoted from being guest stars to main cast members for the final eight episodes, so we're probably going to see a lot more of Lydia and Todd.
posted by Rhomboid at 2:48 PM on August 14, 2013


My money is on somebody ingesting the ricin...and then getting shot before it has time to take full effect.
posted by iamkimiam at 2:49 PM on August 14, 2013


If we're taking bets of the final outcome, put me down for cruel irony. Walt somehow survives the cancer and avoids incarceration, but everyone in his entire circle of family and friends has left him (killed, jailed, witness relocation, taken by the state, wanting nothing to do with him, etc.) and all his money is gone, leaving him to live out his years with nothing but sorrow.
posted by Rhomboid at 3:03 PM on August 14, 2013 [5 favorites]


And then Gretchen takes Walt back at the last scene.
posted by planetesimal at 3:13 PM on August 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


Wait! What if Walt loses everything, and takes it out on Grey Matter? My empire has crumbled, so yours must too.
posted by Sys Rq at 3:41 PM on August 14, 2013


Walt is sort of like the old lady who swallowed a fly, in that the fallout from each act of violence needs to be rectified with another, more outrageous act. Neighbour Carol's extreme reaction seemed so over the top, that I wonder if Walt has committed a gruesome multiple homicide in the home, and that's why it's chained up, awaiting demolition. I'll bet that he needs the ricin to fashion some kind of dirty bomb and will take that next step to becoming a full fledged terrorist looney.
posted by bonobothegreat at 4:20 PM on August 14, 2013


If we're taking bets of the final outcome, put me down for cruel irony. Walt somehow survives the cancer and avoids incarceration, but everyone in his entire circle of family and friends has left him (killed, jailed, witness relocation, taken by the state, wanting nothing to do with him, etc.) and all his money is gone, leaving him to live out his years with nothing but sorrow.
posted by Rhomboid


Let's go a little bit more cruel on this. Everything you just posted - except Walt still has the money. He has no one left, nothing left, except this pile of money that drove him to do the things that cost him everything. More money than he can ever spend, more money than he ever dreamed, and yet it's now worth nothing to a broken man. Everything he ever truly valued in life has been replaced by millions in cash, and now it's only a constant reminder to him of the monster he is.
posted by azpenguin at 5:15 PM on August 14, 2013 [5 favorites]


Perhaps the oranges mean nothing, perhaps they're a red herring for fans of The Godfather, but they could also mean death.

This isn't the first time we've seen oranges. When Ted trips and falls on the rug a bowl of oranges falls on him.
posted by Room 641-A at 6:16 PM on August 14, 2013 [3 favorites]


Oops, meant to add:

A couple scenes later, at Hank and Marie's house, there was a bowl of fruit on their table. Oranges.

Hank's color at the start of the show was orange, it turns brown and black after everything turned to shit for him, and now he's back to orange. Walt Jr. was also orange in S4 when he was helping Hank.
posted by Room 641-A at 6:19 PM on August 14, 2013


Mr. Orange in Reservoir Dogs was a cop.

I have a theory that Lydia is still in contact with some high level drug people - maybe ones we don't know about yet - who were involved with the Czech distribution project. Walt killing Gus messed up everything and now she's trying to lure him into a trap so that they can avenge his murder.

I also have a half-formed theory that her high-strung and neurotic persona is all an act meant to throw people off so they don't see her as a threat. We know that Gus wouldn't work with anyone who was flakey and he worked closely with her. I think that she may actually be very calm and calculating and the nervousness is all an act. I'm not totally committed to this second theory, I'm still kind of thinking it through.
posted by triggerfinger at 7:45 PM on August 14, 2013 [2 favorites]


Eh, I don't think she's faking her personality to that degree. There was no benefit to her being as bent out of shape as she was about e.g. getting investigated by the DEA, especially since her lack of composure only further inflamed Hank's suspicions (remember the mismatched shoes?).
posted by invitapriore at 8:08 PM on August 14, 2013


I have a half-baked theory that Gray Matter and Madrigal Electromotive are connected in some way. It's the kind of thing that, even if it were relatively innocent, would drive Walt insane. More insane.
posted by lovecrafty at 8:08 PM on August 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


The Mythbusters special is available on the web, my fellow cable-free people.

Boy, Vince Gilligan sounds like Badger's dad.
posted by maudlin at 10:32 PM on August 14, 2013


OK, just tiny excerpts. Hmm. Alternatives beckon.
posted by maudlin at 10:33 PM on August 14, 2013


Sunday's Breaking Bad was dedicated to a teen who died of cancer—and turned down the chance to hear how it ends
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 1:02 AM on August 15, 2013 [6 favorites]


Thanks for that, fearfulsymmetry. I was wondering about the dedication.

.

Though I can't help thinking that if they hadn't waited a whole year to finish the season, young Kevin Cordasco might have lived to find out how it ended.
posted by Paris Elk at 2:20 AM on August 15, 2013


I don't think Lydia's character is an act - I think she is someone who has connections and a hair-trigger panic reaction. I don't think she herself has the grit to make any serious moves against Walter or his family herself, but she definitely does have the inclination to call in some sort of outside help she can't possibly control. In terms of the traits that define her character, Lydia is someone who can and will start the car and even put her foot on the gas but, even if she thinks otherwise, is not able to steer the damn thing or hit the brakes.

Let's go a little bit more cruel on this. Everything you just posted - except Walt still has the money. He has no one left, nothing left, except this pile of money that drove him to do the things that cost him everything. More money than he can ever spend, more money than he ever dreamed, and yet it's now worth nothing to a broken man. Everything he ever truly valued in life has been replaced by millions in cash, and now it's only a constant reminder to him of the monster he is.

As endings go, I like this. The obvious route, in a classic tragedy, would be him and his whole family dying. But the way you put this, it makes me think of the initial conflict that put him on the path he's now on - walking away from Gray Matter, taking a payout...the stupid decisions that led him to the high school, to the car wash, to the life where he would die knowing his family wouldn't be taken care of, all leading to the desperate decisions he made to get fast money. It all comes down to that moment, whatever it was. Whatever he wanted but was not getting. "Billions. With a B."

By the end of all this, I have a feeling he will get what he wanted, whatever it was, and all it will cost him is every single other thing he has or cares about.
posted by FAMOUS MONSTER at 10:28 AM on August 15, 2013 [6 favorites]


A million dollars isn't cool. You know what's cool? The death of everything you ever loved.
posted by invitapriore at 12:46 PM on August 15, 2013 [3 favorites]


I think I might be the only person on the planet who kind of likes Lydia. Don't get me wrong, I'd definitely sort her into the villains column, and she's kind of a ticking time bomb herself, as Mike said of Walter, but I always enjoy her scenes.
posted by invitapriore at 12:55 PM on August 15, 2013 [2 favorites]


I'd like Lydia if her accent weren't so terribly grating.
posted by jeather at 1:04 PM on August 15, 2013


Here’s what ‘Breaking Bad’ gets right, and wrong, about the meth business
posted by zombieflanders at 1:15 PM on August 15, 2013


I think I might be the only person on the planet who kind of likes Lydia.

Oh no. I love her. I have such a crush on her.
posted by FAMOUS MONSTER at 1:42 PM on August 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'd like Lydia if her accent weren't so terribly grating.

I've never noticed anything weird about Lydia's accent, except that it's very carefully enunciated, which fits her character.

Turns out the actress, Laura Fraser, is Scottish, which is a surprise.
posted by Sys Rq at 2:40 PM on August 15, 2013


Ha! I knew something was up with her accent. It was really getting into uncanny valley territory for me...not that I was bothered by it, but something seemed off to me about the way she speaks. Same with McNulty in The Wire. Almost like it's too good; like the edges of the sounds are too sharp.*

*sounds don't have edges.
posted by iamkimiam at 4:30 PM on August 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


I find her accent is seriously fake-American sounding, to the point where it's distracting. I cannot imagine why a multinational could not have hired someone with a Scottish accent.
posted by jeather at 5:01 PM on August 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


I find her accent is seriously fake-American sounding, to the point where it's distracting.

It sounds perfectly normal to me, aside from the fussy enunciation, which is a common enough quirk. If it bothers you, you'll want to stay the fuck out of Alberta.

Same with McNulty in The Wire. Almost like it's too good

One thing McNulty's accent is most definitely not is "too good." It's weird and wrong and terrible. No one sounds like that.
posted by Sys Rq at 5:32 PM on August 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


Part of the reason her accent works for me is because I knew a Michigander who sounded almost exactly like that.
posted by invitapriore at 7:19 PM on August 15, 2013


For practically any non-American doing an American accent there will be, no matter how good it is, someone claiming it sounds fakey to them. I actually had someone tell me that an accent was too fake for them when it was the actress' real accent though I can't for the life of me recall to whom they were referring.
posted by Justinian at 8:12 PM on August 15, 2013


Speaking of accents as I was listening to The Writer's Room episode on Breaking Bad my ears picked up something familiar in Vince Gilligan's voice. I don't think I'd ever heard him before and surely knew nothing of his background other than this and The X-Files work. Turns out he was raised in Virginia.
posted by maggieb at 8:43 PM on August 15, 2013


As I said above, I hear a little Badger in Gilligan. It's endearing as hell.
posted by maudlin at 9:06 PM on August 15, 2013


Trailer for next week's episode. Jesse goes missing? Taken by (a) Lydia? (b) Jane's father? (c) Hank?
posted by maggieb at 9:31 PM on August 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


Thanks for the trailer! I wonder if anyone actually stayed tuned to see it during the commercial break of that new cop show that doesn't look very good.
posted by Sys Rq at 9:48 PM on August 15, 2013


I did! The show was THIRTY MINUTES in before it stopped for its first commercial break.

I'm trying to figure out where Skyler is in that very brief shot of her in next week's trailer. It doesn't look like the interior of any of the buildings I'm familiar with on the show (homes, car wash, Saul's office) and it's driving me nuts. If anyone recognizes it, please speak up.
posted by triggerfinger at 10:37 PM on August 15, 2013


Wait, isn't that just the trailer that played after the show ended?
posted by Defenestrator at 10:53 PM on August 15, 2013


And yeah, I can't tell where she is either. Also, Jesse might not have necessarily been taken more than gone MIA on his own.
posted by Defenestrator at 10:54 PM on August 15, 2013


For practically any non-American doing an American accent there will be, no matter how good it is, someone claiming it sounds fakey to them. I actually had someone tell me that an accent was too fake for them when it was the actress' real accent though I can't for the life of me recall to whom they were referring.

I'm not sure which actress that is, but Brad Dourif is a Method actor, so when he was playing Grima Wormtongue in LOTR, he kept his accent while on set. Apparently, when filming was done and he went back to his normal West Virginian accent, a bunch of the Brits made fun of his awful, overdone American accent until he informed them that no, that's how he normally sounds.
posted by zombieflanders at 4:04 AM on August 16, 2013 [3 favorites]


I'm trying to figure out where Skyler is in that very brief shot of her in next week's trailer. It doesn't look like the interior of any of the buildings I'm familiar with on the show (homes, car wash, Saul's office) and it's driving me nuts. If anyone recognizes it, please speak up.

It looks like the entrance of a restaurant. (It's not the Denny's, though; I checked.)

Maybe it's that second car wash they were talking about buying?
posted by Sys Rq at 7:26 AM on August 16, 2013


It is massively annoying that trailers aren't available to be viewed outside the US.
posted by iamkimiam at 9:35 AM on August 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


I never watch trailers and approach each new episode purer than the best-cooked batch of blue.
posted by planetesimal at 9:48 AM on August 16, 2013


iamkimiam, can you see this trailer?
posted by maudlin at 10:08 AM on August 16, 2013 [2 favorites]


Breaking Bad as a Romantic Comedy
posted by zombieflanders at 10:50 AM on August 16, 2013


Thank you, maudlin. I will survive until Monday now.
posted by iamkimiam at 11:47 PM on August 16, 2013


Re: the trailer...these three lines, who speaks each one:

"I can be the man who caught him."
"The lives he's destroyed."
"He's a monster."

Am I correct in thinking it's Walt, Saul and then Jesse?
posted by iamkimiam at 12:17 AM on August 17, 2013


I think the first is Hank, but you're right on Saul and Jesse
posted by mannequito at 1:07 AM on August 17, 2013


also, a couple of observations looking at the episode titles for the rest of season.

a)Episode 4 is 'Rabid Dog'. I assume this is a throwback to season 4's 'Problem Dog'. That was Jesse's metaphor when he was talking to his NA group about murdering Gale. If Gale was just a problem, what would Walt consider 'rabid'? Or is this Jesse's version, comparing Walt?

b)Episode 6 is 'Ozymandias', directed by Rian Johnson(!). With his two previous episodes being 'Fly' and 'Fifty-One', I'm assuming this is the climax of the current timeline connecting us to Walt's 52nd birthday. The next episode is 'Granite State', aka New Hampshire and presumably the end of the end.
posted by mannequito at 1:31 AM on August 17, 2013 [2 favorites]


I thought the three lines in the trailer were Hank, Jesse and Jesse. I never considered Saul. I also thought the woman saying"I'm so so sorry" was Skyler but my friend has made a case that it's Lydia or maybe even Marie.
posted by triggerfinger at 6:06 AM on August 17, 2013


I think the 'sorry' was Marie.
So:
1) Marie apologizes to Hank for his trauma related to the discovery?
2) Marie tells Skylar Hank is onto them, apologizing?
3) Marie does #2 and then tells Hank?
posted by angrycat at 6:11 AM on August 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


Wait, Marie knows about Walt? That doesn't seem like Hank.
posted by jeather at 6:39 AM on August 17, 2013


I'm not finished reading the thread yet, but I just want to say that no WAY the ricin is for Walt - it is a slow, painful death (48-72 hrs) the main purpose of which is to leave no trace. Walt has already once desperately put a gun to his head (chin, actually) - if he needs a fast exit, he doesn't need a fancy poison.
posted by fingers_of_fire at 3:44 PM on August 18, 2013


Okay, so Hank's cover story is that he has diarrhoea, right? (And maybe a heart attack, whatever.) So if he were to actually get diarrhoea, like, for example, from ricin poisoning...

Has anyone gone and compared the amount of ricin in the vial in the present vs. the future?
posted by Sys Rq at 5:36 PM on August 18, 2013


Anyone notice that GLARING continuity error just now? Jesse's position on the thing?
posted by Sys Rq at 6:05 PM on August 18, 2013


Well, I was off there. But I guess once he went to Skyler and she didn't start admitting everything Marie was the next move.
posted by jeather at 6:33 PM on August 18, 2013


Oh my god. This show is disintegrating. Everything's happening so quickly.

I can't even imagine what's gonna happen in the next 30 minutes. Or in the next 5, really.
posted by Rory Marinich at 6:35 PM on August 18, 2013


I would totally watch the Lydia and Todd spinoff show, though I am not sure either will survive the show.
posted by jeather at 6:53 PM on August 18, 2013 [3 favorites]


Fuck everything about that cliffhanger.
posted by Rory Marinich at 7:02 PM on August 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


I think maybe Gilligan has been taking notes on the whole Everyone Hates Skyler issue and is taking steps to rectify it.
posted by Sys Rq at 7:17 PM on August 18, 2013


I thought Betsy Brandt's acting was brilliant in this episode. As was Dean Norris's face. In fact I think Dean Norris's face deserves its own Emmy.
posted by flyingsquirrel at 7:35 PM on August 18, 2013 [6 favorites]


When Hank gets serious, he's all underbite and tongue flicks. It's more cartoonish than cleverly acted, but I love it.
posted by painquale at 7:42 PM on August 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


BTW, where the hell is Walt Jr.?
posted by flyingsquirrel at 7:44 PM on August 18, 2013 [2 favorites]


I think maybe Gilligan has been taking notes on the whole Everyone Hates Skyler issue and is taking steps to rectify it.

Funny, because -- as someone who has liked Skyler pretty much the entire series -- I found this episode made me think the Skyler-haters had a point.
posted by jeather at 7:47 PM on August 18, 2013 [6 favorites]


Funny, because -- as someone who has liked Skyler pretty much the entire series -- I found this episode made me think the Skyler-haters had a point.

Yes, me too! So interesting how Skyler/Anna Gunn elicits such strong reactions in people. I think it's Gunn I have a hard time liking, though, not the character of Skyler.
posted by flyingsquirrel at 7:52 PM on August 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


I have never understood the Skyler hate. I would literally flip my shit if it turned out I was married to a murderous, ruthless drug kingpin.

I think it's because one of the brilliant parts of the show has been the audience's identification with Walt. The first few episodes we pity him and so we'll maybe be a little more lenient when he does some questionable shit, because he's dying right? And he's just trying to take care of his family. But as he gradually morphs into a worse and worse character, they keep showing us flashes of the old Walt - the family guy, so maybe we kind of let it go. Until we get to the point where he does something so bad, that the switch is just kind of flipped for us and we realize that Walt is a very bad man. Maybe it's when he poisoned Brock, maybe it's when he let Jane die - it's different for everyone. But even despite that, lots of people are still rooting for him - I think because he's kind of the perpetual loser, the underdog who suddenly is powerful and can pretty much do anything he wants. People love that. But all along, Skyler is a constant reminder that he is affecting other people, that he's putting his family in real danger, that he has completely betrayed her trust. And I think that's part of why people hate her so much. People love the story of the powerless guy who suddenly has all the power and can get revenge and despite all the disappointments in his life can come out on top and be a huge badass. Skyler is a constant reminder that it's wrong and that people who are rooting for him are wrong.
posted by triggerfinger at 8:06 PM on August 18, 2013 [12 favorites]


Lol, Anna Gunn just said basically the same thing on Talking Bad. I swear I wrote my comment before the show started. ;)
posted by triggerfinger at 8:11 PM on August 18, 2013


But now Skyler chose the same wrong path as Walt.

Yes, she was complicit recently -- the money laundering especially -- and I'm not even sure if confessing all would have gotten her immunity, no matter what Hank imagined. But in the end, she chose Walt.

Now that Hank has finished underestimated Walt, he's on to underestimating Skyler.
posted by jeather at 8:16 PM on August 18, 2013


I found this episode made me think the Skyler-haters had a point.

Really? But she had a scene with Marie! You can't not be on Skyler's side in any scene where she's pitted against Marie. (And Marie is wayyy more fun to hate than Skyler.)
posted by Sys Rq at 8:29 PM on August 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


> Anyone notice that GLARING continuity error just now? Jesse's position on the thing?

Yeah, that's pretty inexcusable, actually. When I saw that little bit with Jesse in the center on the teaser-trailer it kind of seemed like he was on some kind of cartel torture rack or something. That opener was kind of cheesier than it had to be.
posted by planetesimal at 8:40 PM on August 18, 2013


Somebody on Reddit pointed out the similarities between that shot of Jesse on the wheel thing and the chambers in a six-shooter.
posted by Rory Marinich at 8:48 PM on August 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


HERE IS MY SPOILER FREE REVIEW OF TONIGHT’S BREAKING BAD: [47:08 of trying to eat my own goddam fist] FUCK. FFFFFFFFUUUUUUUCCCCCKKKKKK…

But having calmed down (and had a drink) in the last half hour... This was a very satisfying hunk of moving pieces on the board in ways I sort of expected but also some I didn't. I'd complain about that being all it was, but I found the scene with Walt being vulnerable on the bathroom floor, and especially the scene between Marie and Skyler to be really emotional (Betsy Brandt completely broke my heart). And then there was that cliff-hanger.... Jesse didn't say a single word this episode, but somehow ended up with the two most striking visual moments IMO.

165 hours till the next one...
posted by sparkletone at 9:06 PM on August 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


That was a very satisfying episode. I'm always amazed at how much tension they are able to generate. It seems at this point as if every minor action could have huge ramifications. What if Huell and Kuby were recorded on surveillance video moving money? (And also, that look they shot at each other when handing over the van to Walt was priceless.) What if Walt was spotted while digging? What if Walt didn't have the strength to finish burying the money? What if he forgets the GPS coordinates? What if somebody sees the lottery ticket and realizes that the numbers are coordinates?

And that Skylar/Marie scene? Holy cow. No matter what your feelings for either character, that was a massive tsunami of pain, guilt, and betrayal that was unleashed.

Poor Lydia. Don't you know you don't wear heels to illicit desert parlays? And of course it's Todd with the murder squad. Of course. Landry joke goes here.
posted by Rhomboid at 9:28 PM on August 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


From Heisenberg to Louboutin (self-link):
There's an interesting parallel here, which I hadn't thought of before this season: while the cartel was gunning for Walt all throughout Season 3 and parts of Season 4, the only people sent to kill Walter – the Cousins – were dispatched by Gus, without Walt's ever knowing they were there. Walt survives by the grace of Gus, and for a time it seems he'll be content working under the shadow of this greater man, until his desire for control overwhelms him. So, too, was Mike gunning for Lydia, and it's only now that Walter's cut Mike out of the picture that Lydia can feel safe. Safe, that is, unless Walt decides she's a threat to his safety, just as Gus once targeted Jesse and then Walt for death. But now that Walt's decided she ought to live, as Gus let Walt live in Season 4, it's time for Lydia to chafe under Walter and decide she needs more control—control that will lock her into a fight with her former employer and business partner.

We know Lydia's as much of a control freak as Walt, if not more so, and that she's as out of place in this world as Walt was in his time. We know that she's willing to kill to get what she wants, and that she wants to end up with a profitable empire, just as Walt once did. What we didn't know was whether or not Lydia was competent enough to be a threat, or just the clown that Mike thought she was, and this episode suggests that perhaps she's a force to be reckoned with after all.
posted by Rory Marinich at 9:48 PM on August 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


Sepinwall pretty much says more or less what I would about the portrayal of Skyler in this episode when it comes to the reaction most fans have to her.

Not sure if I'll bother watching Talking Bad tomorrow. Last week had some moments, but as usual I found the insider podcast far more gratifying.
posted by sparkletone at 9:57 PM on August 18, 2013


Alan Sepinwall is pretty much just the best TV writer on the planet.

I say this in every thread about every TV show, but that's only because it's true. If you don't read him already, please do start.
posted by Rory Marinich at 10:06 PM on August 18, 2013 [4 favorites]


Anyone at all uncertain the series will end with the money buried in the desert, lost, and the lottery ticket thrown away or otherwise destroyed?
posted by Justinian at 11:12 PM on August 18, 2013


Me! Me!

Breaking Bad likes being gruesome and shocking. The odds of what you're suggesting are as great as the odds that Walt's lottery ticket actually wins a lottery, and Skyler turns it in without realizing the enormous fortunes she's losing in the process.

Which isn't to say that's what'll happen. Just that what will happen will be at once sillier and more brutal than what we've imagined. The trick to being a good storyteller isn't just seeing the end – ends are easy, they're just tying up loose pieces, and loose pieces always exist. The real trick is throwing as much unexpected shit into the end and still landing it. The unexpected shit is the part we don't know, since the Breaking Bad team has proven themselves to be very good at stopping us from expecting them.
posted by Rory Marinich at 11:33 PM on August 18, 2013


Ah, Lydia is the Rabid Dog.
posted by mannequito at 11:42 PM on August 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


That was an old-school X-Files moment in the opener. Old guy with a truck, follows a mysterious trail, Jesse's car lights, the foggy playground, the creaky merry go round... I was half expecting to zoom in on black oil swirling in Jesse's eyes.
posted by lovecrafty at 12:23 AM on August 19, 2013 [4 favorites]


I've defended Skyler plenty in the past, but jesus she was all sorts of infuriating this episode. Just... don't meet with Hank, don't talk at all to Hank, don't sorta-confess-apologize to Marie, just exercise some simple self-preservation please, even if you're panicking, that's all I'm asking. You've shown yourself to be surprisingly cunning and savvy before, this seems out of character!
posted by naju at 12:27 AM on August 19, 2013


Rhomboid-
that look they shot at each other when handing over the van to Walt was priceless.

Yeah- "close enough" he says, and Mexico reflashes before their eyes.

Also: Todd and the Murder Squad is my next band/horn section name, if I collected such things. (man, after I get backup singers for my life in general, having a horn section on retainer would RULE.)
posted by hap_hazard at 12:33 AM on August 19, 2013


You've shown yourself to be surprisingly cunning and savvy before, this seems out of character!

Pretty much nobody on this show is one thing all the time in all situations. They'd be weaknesses in the writing if they were[1]. Just look at the sort of stunning range that Walt shows in this episode. Which, yes, he gets to show that all the most because he's the lead-est and of the leads, but it exists for (almost) everyone. Just to stick to the most recent episodes... Hank is the making-testicle-jokes one of the boys at work, but outside that environment he's vulnerable, and incredibly reaches when trying to get to Skyler, not ever thinking that she might've been in any way really complicit in this. Skyler is almost as powerless as ever (heartbreakingly), but asserts herself in defense of her daughter, and then again tragically to her husband, when he's at HIS weakest.

People aren't that simple, even in something as painstakingly constructed (at least to the degree a TV show ever can be given time, money and realistic production constraints) as Breaking Bad is.

[1] - And sometimes they are, as some characters exist more as plot devices than people, and I say that with great love because WHAT A FUCKING PLOT, Y'ALL.
posted by sparkletone at 1:06 AM on August 19, 2013 [2 favorites]


Not sure if this was posted here already, but a great interview with Vince Gilligan where he talks about how the structure of The X-Files influenced BB and the potential for a Saul spin-off, amongst other things.
posted by mannequito at 2:29 AM on August 19, 2013


I was wondering when they were going to get around to bringing back Opie the Sociopath. His boyish courtesy as he helped "the rabid dog" out of the lab and over the bodies made him look like a Boy Scout helping an old lady across the street. And by that I mean a Boy Scout with zero impulse control and no conscience.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 4:35 AM on August 19, 2013 [4 favorites]


Re: the lotto numbers, I thought that one of them was 109. Is there any lotto where the numbers go up to 109?

Also, does anyone know if we ever found out who it was that called Hank and tipped him off that the cousins were coming for him (from a few seasons ago)?
posted by triggerfinger at 7:10 AM on August 19, 2013


"...and I'm not even sure if confessing all would have gotten her immunity, no matter what Hank imagined."

I've seen a bunch of people saying that Skyler had an opportunity to do the right thing with a "get out of jail card", but I feel certain that's not true. She's been laundering the drug money through the carwash, she's the bookkeeper for that operation, it's all her. Those same people mention what she did for Beneke as something that would get her in trouble, but what she did with the carwash is much worse. Plus, regardless of whether she miraculously managed to avoid prison, pretty much all the White assets, including the house, would be seized.

So, you know, both parents in prison and no money, not to mention that Hank will be out of a job, too, with him and Marie having custody of the White kids — I don't see Skyler looking at that outcome and thinking that makes sense to her weighed against her suspicion that Hank has no actual evidence.

Thanks to Lydia's fashion savoir-faire†, notably improved since Hank's visit to her Houston office, I'm aware of Louboutins, something that never, ever would have been the case otherwise. But I have to admit that Pantone 18-1663 TPX is just about exactly my favorite color — not coincidentally (in my case nor Lydia's) quite like fresh blood.

Watching — and recalling — that sequence of Walt falling and hitting his chin/head on the bathroom floor causes me to have unpleasant sense memories of a blow to the head.

"Jesse's position on the thing?"

"...that shot of Jesse on the wheel thing..."

Did you guys not have playground merry-go-rounds in your childhoods, or what? Or are you talking about something else?

BTW, here's a really excellent Dean Norris interview with Vulture.

"Also, does anyone know if we ever found out who it was that called Hank and tipped him off that the cousins were coming for him (from a few seasons ago)?"

It was Gus, wasn't it?

† Because despite commonsense, that was precisely the correct outfit for her to wear to a desert meth-lab meeting-cum-murder-spree.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 7:24 AM on August 19, 2013 [4 favorites]


Did you guys not have playground merry-go-rounds in your childhoods, or what?

Yes. I was just leaving a bit of mystery to it, is all.
posted by Sys Rq at 7:53 AM on August 19, 2013


Hank and Skyler both had the chance to do the right thing (or, at least, the right thing for society as a whole, damning the immediate costs to themselves and their families), but stepped away. Skyler couldn't accept Walt turning himself in [1] because he would also have to turn in the money (plus, of course, their children would be left shamed, and potentially parentless except for fearsome Hank and betrayed Marie if Skyler also served time). Hank couldn't tell his colleagues about his suspicions and lose his job : he grabbed the chance to interrogate Jesse as his last chance to present a full case against Walt, potentially saving his reputation to some degree, if not his job.

But I found the old man in the opening to be a fascinating contrast. I've seen at least one review describe him as money grubbing because after getting the first bundle, he went hunting for more and more. Unlike Skyler and Hank, though he stopped when confronted with the full bag of money. He went off and looked at Jesse in his sad state [2] and contacted the authorities.

(Well, maybe he took a few more bundles from the bag before he did so, and offered only one up to support his story. Or maybe he gave it all back: we just don't know. I do know that I was rooting for Old Guy from the beginning, dreading that he'd get hit by a car or shot during his Easter egg hunt.)

He may or may not have an intrinsically stronger moral code than Hank or Skyler, but a plausible reason for him being able to make some or all of the socially correct choices was that this figuratively fell on him, like debris from a doomed plane. He didn't have time to start thinking of the money as something he had worked hard to acquire, that was somehow his by merit. Old Guy was a frog dropped into very hot water, not cool water before the burner was turned on.

[1] How much of Walt's offer was genuine self-sacrifice, and how much was an attempt to burnish his ego and reputation with his family by doing the one thing outwardly-meek Walt committed to in episode one: being a good provider and the economic saviour of his family?

[2] In Montreal, we called that a carousel. A merry go round has horses, damn it.

posted by maudlin at 8:01 AM on August 19, 2013


really good AV review of last night's episode

also, I realized that this show might have me in mourning for like six weeks as characters are killed off. Or maybe just in shock if everybody dies at once.
posted by angrycat at 8:11 AM on August 19, 2013


I've seen at least one review describe him as money grubbing because after getting the first bundle, he went hunting for more and more.

That's sort of what I was thinking when I watched that scene. I was concerned about him taking the money that was in other people's driveways and lawns. When he crossed the street and picked up that bundle on the grass but looked up and started walking toward the camera, I though, oh, good, he's going to knock on his neighbor's door and give him the money from the yard.

We don't actually know that he called the police. I mean, Jesse's car was on the grass with the lights and blinker on and other people would be getting up for the day soon, too.

But it's nice to think of him being as pure as the driven snow, in contrast to everyone else.

Personally, I don't think that Walt's offer to turn himself in was sincere. Or, I think it was only as sincere as Walt gets when he's lying to himself — if he did mean it at the time, he wouldn't have followed through. But I don't think he meant it — he was trying to manipulate Skyler, as he always has.

"In Montreal, we called that a carousel. A merry go round has horses, damn it."

That's funny, because for me (in New Mexico!), it's exactly the opposite.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 8:16 AM on August 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


Holy shit was Anna Gunn amazing in this episode. That scene between Skyler and Marie was just masterful, maybe even a more affecting face-off than the one between Walt and Hank in the last episode because of how much Marie discovers just from reading Skyler's face.

Also, I love that the most disturbing thing about the scene with Declan's crew getting taken out is Todd's incongruously innocent demeanor.

So far, my mind is being blown by this season. It's giving every indication of being the best writing of the series so far, and the way they keep on piling on developments that could easily be the meat of half a season's worth of material in and of themselves is just a glorious display of virtuosity.
posted by invitapriore at 8:48 AM on August 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


In Montreal, we called that a carousel. A merry go round has horses, damn it.

Yeah, same in NC and I think probably most of America. Carousel=big amusement park ride, merry-go-round=manually propelled playground death machine that I once got my head stuck under as a child and I'm still traumatized
posted by showbiz_liz at 8:48 AM on August 19, 2013 [4 favorites]


How much of Walt's offer was genuine self-sacrifice, and how much was an attempt to burnish his ego and reputation with his family by doing the one thing outwardly-meek Walt committed to in episode one: being a good provider and the economic saviour of his family?

He's convinced himself that his loyalty to his family absolves him of all that he has done, at least in his own eyes. His reaction to Saul's suggestion that Hank "go to Belize" is almost comic in its naivety; Walt seemingly has swallowed whole the cartoonish pop culture idea of gangster loyalty to family above all else. There's some naivety there, probably (he's still new to this, after all, and he's pretty much self-taught), but mostly he clings to this idea because it's the only thing that keeps him from identifying himself as an amoral monster.

Compare with Jesse, who has no fallback principle to make his actions meaningful and redeemable. Hank is about to offer him, one, however.

Anyway, now my guess is that the M60 toting, ricin retrieving, future Walt no longer believes or needs to believe that he's doing this for his family. I have no idea what that means in terms of what he has planned for the series finale.

(Also. How great was Hank's return to the office? Obviously broken and shaken, and not the loud and brash Hank from Season One, he still manages to make a couple of dick jokes with the boys, a glimmer of the old Hank coming through.)
posted by notyou at 8:49 AM on August 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


Oh, yeah. Maybe Old Guy just left and never called the cops. See, I really was invested in him after only a few seconds of screen time.

At least he didn't take the entire bag, though that was probably from an abundance of caution rather than virtue. Although I wouldn't put it past Gilligan to show him doing some truly terrible things in an upcoming episode. Bastard.

Anna Gunn and Betsy Brandt were just brilliant. Marie turned into one hell of an interrogator, didn't she?
posted by maudlin at 8:56 AM on August 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


Yeah, all of the comedic bits in this episode were gems, too. I love how you can practically see the exclamation mark that flashes over Saul's head when Walt offhandedly says "I'll send you to Belize." Huell's a lot of fun when he actually has some dialog, too.
posted by invitapriore at 8:56 AM on August 19, 2013 [2 favorites]


Oh, and there's a new nickname going around for Skyler: Skysenberg.
posted by maudlin at 9:03 AM on August 19, 2013 [5 favorites]


Oh my god. This show is disintegrating. Everything's happening so quickly.
And there is nowhere to run; which is what made the Skyler/Marie/Hank/screaming baby Holly scene inside the White house so panic-inducing.

Unrelated: I've lost track of the eye from the pink teddy bear. Was Skyler discovering it in Walt's bedside table (Boxcutters) the last time we saw it?
posted by wensink at 9:13 AM on August 19, 2013


I was thinking about that recently. I mostly only remember the scenes where Walt was keeping it in that drawer in his apartment from season three.

Also, man, that scene on the bathroom floor in the morning. Skyler's between a rock and a hard place right now, but however you feel about her that scene was heartbreaking. I like "Skysenberg" because it depends on an interesting conceit: that Skyler, in her own way, has a latent capacity for this kind of behavior in much the same way that Walt does. Maybe, as a couple, they've been an incipient Bonnie and Clyde all along. She's a really fascinating character, and I kind of love this new development in their relationship.
posted by invitapriore at 10:07 AM on August 19, 2013


they've been an incipient Bonnie and Clyde all along.

I suggested that upthread: watching Skyler rehearse the gambling story script with Walt ("Bullet Points," Season 4, Episode 4) is arguably the only time we see genuine, reciprocal enjoyment of each other's company.
posted by wensink at 10:14 AM on August 19, 2013 [2 favorites]


omg you guys how awesome would a thelma & louise ending be
posted by Sys Rq at 10:15 AM on August 19, 2013 [2 favorites]


BTW, here's a really excellent Dean Norris interview with Vulture.

Wow, that interview is really REALLY excellent, thanks for the link! From the interview:
VULTURE: Breaking Bad fans get into some serious nitpicking. For example, there was some heated discussion about Hank’s decision to use Walter White’s master bathroom rather than the hallway bathroom. Do you ever want to say to fans, like William Shatner on SNL, “Get a fucking life?”

NORRIS: I don’t because I think Breaking Bad deserves all the obsessive attention. I get it when people love the show so much that you want to talk about it. I love it, too. And I actually think it’s a good life if you’re smart and cool enough to be into it so much that you pick it apart. [Laughs.]
MetaFilter: It’s a good life if you’re smart and cool enough to be into it so much that you pick it apart.
posted by flyingsquirrel at 10:31 AM on August 19, 2013 [6 favorites]


That Vulture interview is really great. I'm listening to the new Insider podcast while I eat lunch and it's only now dawning on me that we're already 25% of the way through the final episodes. D:
posted by sparkletone at 10:43 AM on August 19, 2013


In his interview on Fresh Air last week, Bob Odenkirk disclosed that he tore out his scenes from the final two scripts, and read only them, in order to watch the finale as a fan.

GROSS: How does it feel, like you know what happens at the end, and we, the fans, don't. I don't want to know, don't tell me, I'm not going to ask. But you're walking around with this like big secret.
ODENKIRK: I don't know how it ends.
GROSS: You don't know how it - that's not true.
ODENKIRK: Only my part out of the last episodes, and I threw the rest away.
GROSS: Seriously?
ODENKIRK: And I dumped it from my trash, yeah, because I am a fan of the show, and I want to see what happens at the end.
(LAUGHTER) GROSS: Wow, so I can't pry it out of you even if I tried and wanted to. ODENKIRK: You couldn't do it, and I couldn't tell you, and the interesting things is I have read almost all of it because I only did that with the last episode and a half. I didn't read any parts that I was not in.
GROSS: OK, so you've given us a clue here, I don't want to make too much of this, but we know you're not in the final episode now.
ODENKIRK: No, no, I didn't say that, only the parts I was not in.
GROSS: Oh, I see, so maybe you're even in the final episode, but you didn't read the other scenes, oh, it could be.
ODENKIRK: Could be, very clever detective work.


Better call Saul...a real mensch.
posted by wensink at 10:48 AM on August 19, 2013 [3 favorites]


watching Skyler rehearse the gambling story script with Walt ("Bullet Points," Season 4, Episode 4) is arguably the only time we see genuine, reciprocal enjoyment of each other's company

That's not how I read that scene at all; they're collaborating because they have to, but it's antagonistic and full of jabs and sniping at each other.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 11:11 AM on August 19, 2013 [2 favorites]


From that great Vulture interview with Dean Norris (where he also mentions Gilligan being absolutely obsessive about the colours Hank wears in each episode), a comment that is really interesting speculation (good enough speculation that some *cough* might consider it a spoiler. Be warned.):
Anyone notice in 'Say My Name' that when Hank and the rest are searching Mike's place, he's watching and old movie ('The Big Heat') and they're talking about a cop who blew his own brains out. A few scenes later when Walt is back in Hank's office and Hank leaves to get Walt coffee, he motions blowing his brains out to his secretary.
Planted seed?..

posted by maudlin at 11:47 AM on August 19, 2013


watching Skyler rehearse the gambling story script with Walt ("Bullet Points," Season 4, Episode 4) is arguably the only time we see genuine, reciprocal enjoyment of each other's company

That's not how I read that scene at all


Just rewatched the scene and it is worth seeking out as we watch Team White contend with Team Schrader. It is filled with jabs, but there is something almost playful about the whole rehearsal. Perhaps "enjoyment" isn't the right word. There's a seeming comfort in the recognition that each is playing a part in order to get away with something.

Skyler is certainly energized by the role (and her script):

Skyler: Just make sure to really hit the cancer. Really touch on the fear and despair. It's good to remind them and get their sympathy off the bat. We want to remind them how you could do something so stupid.
Walt: [gives stinkeye.]
posted by wensink at 12:08 PM on August 19, 2013


the slap was sort of an interesting companion to Hank's punch.
posted by angrycat at 2:22 PM on August 19, 2013 [2 favorites]


Ack, am I the only one nearly hyperventilating over the state of Jesse? All of the dynamics are popping, everyone is getting dangerously tense, but Jesse's disconnect, his spin at the playground, his nihilist, shruggy face-off with the APD goons, with Hank lurking outside. Walt, Skyler, Hank, Marie, Saul -- riveting. But Jesse. The biggest tragedy of all beats. I can hardly stand it!
posted by thinkpiece at 2:51 PM on August 19, 2013 [4 favorites]


Well, here we go again. I fired up Bullet Points to watch _that_ scene again. Now I'm halfway through Cornered. There is always something new to notice. For instance, I did not realize until today that Gus set up Jesse to save Mike and be a hero.
posted by maggieb at 2:56 PM on August 19, 2013


Yes, Jesse seems to be in a catatonic state - as if he's already died. I honestly have no idea where Gilligan is taking him, but wherever it is, I know it will be brilliant (and, most likely, heartbreaking).
posted by flyingsquirrel at 2:57 PM on August 19, 2013 [2 favorites]


Does anyone else have any thoughts on why Lydia covered her eyes? I highly doubt it's because she's delicate or gets queasy at the sight of blood. I would more likely think that it's so she has plausible deniability later, right? I just don't know why (although it may not matter).
posted by triggerfinger at 4:08 PM on August 19, 2013


I think maybe a bit of both. She doesn't strike me as the type to be around killings. Just order them.
posted by merelyglib at 4:35 PM on August 19, 2013


Does anyone else have any thoughts on why Lydia covered her eyes? I highly doubt it's because she's delicate or gets queasy at the sight of blood.

It's building up to something brutal. She's going to surprise us by doing something... messy before the show ends.
posted by naju at 4:42 PM on August 19, 2013


I got the feeling Lydia's very much a 'see no evil' kind of person. She wants it done so she can continue to make a bunch of money and live her seemingly respectable life, away from any of the violence she causes, but she doesn't want to see it, because then she'd be this horrible violent criminal, right?

Like Walt holding onto the idea that he did it all for his family, blind to the idea that he's become a total monster out of pride and greed. If he sends Hank to Belize, that goes directly against his vision of himself as a guy who would do anything for his family.

Now I'm wondering if Walt will pull a "Will no one rid me of this turbulent priest?" move and get Hank sent to Belize anyway, while keeping his hands clean in his own eyes.
posted by lovecrafty at 4:46 PM on August 19, 2013


That's kind of been the central theme with Lydia hasn't it? She's disconnected from the actual physical acts of the drug business. Remember how she got so excited when she was pitching the train robbery to Walt, Jesse and Mike? "All the information, a laptop click away!"

It was also how she sold Walt on the Czech idea, pointing out that there's benefits to having such a large distance between himself and his customers.
posted by mannequito at 4:49 PM on August 19, 2013 [2 favorites]


Anyone at all uncertain the series will end with the money buried in the desert, lost, and the lottery ticket thrown away or otherwise destroyed?

I'll do you one better: I kind of hope that, no matter what happens, they're actually winning numbers.
posted by zombieflanders at 5:05 PM on August 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


Yeah, I thought Lydia covering her eyes was absolutely spot on -- she wants the trappings but not the mess. I mean, she's wearing Louboutins to an underground meth lab. That's not because she's so fashionable, a fashionista would find some "meth lab chic" outfit. Lydia is clueless, and deliberately wants to remain that way.
posted by thinkpiece at 5:05 PM on August 19, 2013


Do you guys really think that the desire for money is what is primarily driving Lydia? Do you think it's possible that some Czech gangsters might have threatened her or her family with violence to restore the supply of the good meth? I got the sense throughout the first half of the season that she was just barely able to keep her head above water -- in constant fear of death or jail, practically unable to function at times. I feel like she might have been happy to simply extract herself from the whole situation.

Of course, working against that idea is the fact that she brought the Czech idea to Walt, which is not the kind of thing you do if you want out. But on the other hand, at that point she figured -- rightfully so -- that she was about to be dispatched if she didn't come up with some idea to justify her continued existence. Perhaps she figured (with her characteristic naïveté) that she could establish the pipeline and then step away, but the people on the receiving end would have none of that, trapping her in deeper.

There is also the fact as already mentioned that she seemed almost gleeful in describing the train heist, but again I think she was happy in that moment because she had come up with a viable justification for not being dissolved into a barrel. It's a form of empathizing with your captor, you know? "Look, I've got a solution for you, it's not that difficult, you can let me go and we all get what we want!"
posted by Rhomboid at 5:13 PM on August 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


I think people underestimate Lydia. She's got a major job in a multinational corporation and she runs a huge drug ring. She does this entirely under the radar, so much so that the first time she was ever under suspicion was when Gus died and then she fell right off again. She is in constant fear with Walt, who is a loose cannon, but not necessarily before that.
posted by jeather at 5:51 PM on August 19, 2013 [3 favorites]


Lydia is constantly frightened -- and is driven to act one way or another only if some other, greater fear pushes her. Watch her; it seems like in every interaction she's doing all she can to keep herself together. Meanwhile, she also very smart and very capable.

In this case I suspect the Czechs scare her more than those other dudes did. Previously it was fear that Mike would kill her daughter that prompted action, later it was fear that Walt would kill her.

By the looks of 'em, she'll soon be most afraid of her new crew.

She reminds me of that line in ... MacBeth? ... when Lady M is scolding her husband and his cowardice -- "Screw your courage to the sticking place." Lydia's had to screw hers in good and tight for months now.

Here the actress discusses how she keeps Lydia so tightly wound.
posted by notyou at 7:13 PM on August 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


Now, comparing her ascendancy to Walt's...

Walt had his conviction that if he didn't build his meth empire and kill all those people along the way, he would not be able to provide for his family. That belief allows him to see past his evil.

Lydia has maybe figured out that it's her fear that keeps her going; were she to see all those dead men, whom she had murdered, more or less, she wouldn't have that -- moral core? -- anymore to rationalize away her depravity.

Or maybe she's presenting herself as the fearful bird so that her crew underestimates her (although that would probably embolden that bunch).

Or maybe she really is afraid of the gore, and she's willing to show some weakness because her fear of blood is greater than her fear of showing weakness. It's taken every amount of screwed up courage to get this far into the scheme, and she hasn't enough left to witness what she's done (and see what she's become).
posted by notyou at 7:34 PM on August 19, 2013


Lydia's backstory, in my imagining of it, is that the very calm and personable Gus was able to cautiously vet and groom her for an isolated and limited role as precursor supplier. He promised her that she would never have to come anywhere near guns or drugs, or people that handle guns and drugs. He assured her that this was so far removed from the drug trade that she would never have any dealing with violent criminal elements, and combined with his personal demeanor and upstanding reputation, she was eventually convinced. Her singular role was to make chemicals disappear without anyone noticing, a job that as head of logistics she would be both capable of and comfortable performing. She had been working with Gus on the Czech expansion plans, but Gus had always known that she needed shielding from the day to day dealings, and he was careful to keep her in contact with only as much as was necessary for her role in the shipping and warehousing aspects.

But then Walt killed Gus and everything unwound. Suddenly she saw people she knew (and people who knew her) in jail. That was not part of the bargain, and she freaked out, making it much worse by bringing on the ire of Mike. With a gun to her head, she reveals the Czech plan out of desperation, not out of any desire to be a drug lord or to create a new empire. The plan succeeds, but without Gus to insulate her involvement, she is forced to take a much more involved role than originally planned. Now she's stuck in this position -- she's got an angry downstream screaming for product, and her star chemist has decided to quit. She is terrified to death and probably pulls out her hair by the fistful, but she gets to talking with Todd and reluctantly forms a plan to get him back in the position of cook at any cost. She's terrified to death, but she's not stupid and not incapable. When push comes to shove, she can scheme.

In other words, I don't see her as a criminal mastermind who is itching to bulldoze through obstacles that are in her way to making piles of money. I don't see her being motivated by money, or by empire. She never wanted to be in charge of anything, and she constantly wishes she'd never met Gus, and that she could just take her kid and run away somewhere and never have to deal with any of these people ever again. At this point, anything that doesn't amount to death, jail, or losing her child would be a win for her.
posted by Rhomboid at 7:34 PM on August 19, 2013 [12 favorites]


Anyone at all uncertain the series will end with the money buried in the desert, lost, and the lottery ticket thrown away or otherwise destroyed?

Yes, I thought of Fargo, and although the motivation was obviously different, when Walt is on the bathroom floor tells Skylar he didn't want this to all be for nothing I heard Marge saying, "And for what? A little bit of money."
posted by Room 641-A at 8:18 PM on August 19, 2013


I doubt the writers have a super firm backstory for Lydia that's set in stone and couldn't be altered to fit the needs of the show, but man does that ever feel right to me, Rhomboid.
posted by sparkletone at 9:39 PM on August 19, 2013


"In other words, I don't see her as a criminal mastermind who is itching to bulldoze through obstacles that are in her way to making piles of money. I don't see her being motivated by money, or by empire. She never wanted to be in charge of anything, and she constantly wishes she'd never met Gus, and that she could just take her kid and run away somewhere and never have to deal with any of these people ever again. At this point, anything that doesn't amount to death, jail, or losing her child would be a win for her."

I think you're on the mark with your version of her backstory and character, but I do think there's one additional element — Lydia is a highly intelligent control freak (like Gus and Walt) and I think she gets satisfaction from doing things well (like Gus and Walt). She's reluctantly and unexpectedly found herself in this new role, but underneath that anxiety and fear there's some satisfaction out of doing what needs to be done, and doing it well.

Consider Gus back when he was with Maximino, before Don Eladio Vuente killed Max in front of Gus — I think that Gus was more like Lydia used to be, removed from the darker side of the meth business. But he became hardened out of necessity and I think Lydia is (slowly) making that transition.

Of course, I don't know if my characterization of Gus makes complete sense because I've always thought that Vuente's allusion to Gus's Chilean past as the reason he didn't kill him along with Max was that Gus's family were influential and scary, perhaps going back to Pinochet (which is why Gus is an expat). That might argue against Gus being unfamiliar with pragmatic murder, although he may have been shielded from it. Interestingly, Wikipedia wrongly says that Gus was a chemistry major — it was Max who was the chemist. I think that Gus majored in economics, say, and family money financed their venture.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 12:09 AM on August 20, 2013


I'm trying to remember what Lydia did with or for Gus. I don't think it was as simple as "Gus found a person who could help him get precursor or help him with his delivery" because Los Pollos Hermanos was owned by Madrigal. Was that a coincidence? How big a chain was Los Pollos Hermanos? So I think Lydia was more complicit than she appears to be -- who isn't -- though I agree she always wanted to be shielded from the less savoury ends of the business.

I suspect she wanted money, but not on the level of Walt's empire money, more on the level of she can choose to buy only designer shoes and live a nice but not infinitely rich lifestyle -- that she was doing well but wanted to be doing a bit better.

And I agree that she is both very intelligent and a control freak.
posted by jeather at 4:40 AM on August 20, 2013


There's a lot we don't know. We do know that Madrigal owned a number of fast food chains, of which Los Pollos was but one. And we know that Peter Schuler was the head of the whole division, that he had a personal relationship with Gus, and that he was complicit in the meth production and distribution. It's suggested that apart from Schuler, Gus, Lydia, and a handful of underlings (such as Ron the Houston warehouse foreman who became one of the 10 slain inmates), no one else in the organization had any idea, although we have to take that with a huge grain of salt since it was spoken by the CEO giving a statement to the DEA. Still, we've been given no textual evidence to the contrary, although we must assume that there are some remaining people in various positions in the corporation that are in on the meth plan, such as those with whom Lydia is collaborating to make the regular shipments of meth to eastern Europe.

But we don't know much about how Gus entered the picture. Did he begin with Schuler, convincing him to fund his operation and to use Los Pollos Hermanos as a cover? Or perhaps he simply bought a franchise for money laundering purposes, and used the early proceeds to buy several more franchises, at which point he might have met Schuler through ordinary company channels and eventually befriended him and sold him on the idea of funding the superlab so that he could take production to a new level. We know from the superlab invoices that at least some of the equipment came from a Madrigal subsidiary, so it would follow that by the time Gus was ready to begin construction of the superlab he would have also been introduced to Lydia as a source of raw materials. Perhaps Schuler made that introduction, or perhaps Gus did his own research first and then went to Schuler with a proposal after arriving at Lydia. Here we can only guess.

There's also Duane Chow and Golden Moth Chemical. From the BB wiki, it appears that this was not actually a Madrigal subsidiary, but a local Albuquerque business that Gus used as a legitimate place to have his precursors shipped from Madrigal and stored until needed. Gus must have been very busy doing all this vetting and befriending, as it was strongly suggested that he would not work with just anyone.
posted by Rhomboid at 5:41 AM on August 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


Vince Gilligan said, either at one of the panels or in an interview, that the point of the scene with Schuler at Madrigal was to dispel our notions that there was somebody above Gus pulling the strings. He strongly implied that Schuler's division was the only crooked one in Madrigal, that Schuler himself was simply a corrupt business man, nothing more, and that Schuler's killing himself essentially was the end of Madrigal's involvement in this, with the exception of Lydia, who was the employee on the ground floor of this.

That could just be a misdirect, but Gilligan doesn't seem to lie about this stuff in interviews. And it wouldn't be like Breaking Bad to introduce a new Big Bad with only 6 episodes to go. I strongly believe that we've seen all the key players that we're gonna see.

For me, the Louboutins suggest that Lydia doesn't, in fact, want to grab her kid and run away. In fact, I bet she thinks she'd be able to run away if she wanted to, whether she's completely right or just utterly delusional. Lydia likes her ultrawealthy lifestyle, and every scene we've seen her in involves her being nearly incapable of interacting with regular people without scolding them or their menu options, and I sincerely doubt that she could give up her life and go into hiding without suffering some kind of enormous existential crisis.
posted by Rory Marinich at 6:31 AM on August 20, 2013


The lottery ticket may indeed be a winner. Maybe five bucks worth, and then it gets cashed in by Skyler, not knowing its significance.
posted by azpenguin at 6:54 AM on August 20, 2013


Or a teething baby Holly atop Skyler's shoulder grabs the ticket from the fridge and eats it?
posted by wensink at 7:06 AM on August 20, 2013


The lottery ticket may indeed be a winner. Maybe five bucks worth, and then it gets cashed in by Skyler, not knowing its significance.

I'm wondering if the final shot will be a zoom into the lottery ticket still on the bulletin board (or on the floor) of the abandoned house. Or maybe cashed in by a meth head for $5.00.

I loved the last episode but my one gripe is that they took all those precautions blindfolding Lydia to take her to the secret meth lab yet she still had her cell phone on her, which (I assume) is how Todd and family were able to track her. Seems like Declan should have been smarter than that.
posted by bondcliff at 7:14 AM on August 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


I can imagine that Lydia could have quite easily hidden a GPS tracker on or in herself, knowing she would get a not that thorough patdown by Declan.
posted by jeather at 7:59 AM on August 20, 2013


From Carlton Cuse's Twitter feed: "I'm loving Breaking Bad - they've got flash forwards, lottery numbers and people yelling, 'Walt!'"
posted by jbickers at 8:15 AM on August 20, 2013 [9 favorites]


Well, let's just hope it doesn't end like it started à la Lost. Instead of an eye it would be pants.
posted by planetesimal at 8:19 AM on August 20, 2013


Well, let's just hope it doesn't end like it started à la Lost. Instead of an eye it would be pants.

Several people here have suggested reading Alan Sepinwall, and I think it's also worth reading his book The Revolution Was Televised, where he discusses both shows (among others). The section on Lost really illustrates both the failures and successes of Carlton and Cuse's storytelling, which is easily contrasted with Gilligan's. Obviously the Breaking Bad chapter is going to be incomplete for now, but I'm hoping that he'll release a second edition or updated (free for ebook versions, preferably) chapter that goes over the show as a whole.
posted by zombieflanders at 8:34 AM on August 20, 2013


Went back to last week's episode to check, and, uh, the entire fridge is gone. Dun dun DUNNNN!

I think eventually Walt might say something like, "There's always money in the banana stand refrigerator," and then some goons go to his house, take the entire fridge, write his name on the wall to let him know it was them, and leave. The ticket falls off in transit.

Another thing I noticed was that Walt seemed pretty unprepared for the break-in, like it was a spur-of-the-moment thing: He breaks the door open with a tire iron and unscrews the faceplate with a dime.
posted by Sys Rq at 9:17 AM on August 20, 2013 [2 favorites]


Another thing I noticed was that Walt seemed pretty unprepared for the break-in, like it was a spur-of-the-moment thing

In last week's Insider podcast Vince Gilligan talked about how originally the house was going to be be completely gone, leveled to the ground, except then they had no real reason for Walt to be there. That's when they decided he would come back to the house for the ricin, but as of that first episode they still didn't know what he was going to do with it (or what the M60 was for!) He goes on to say that once they decided to bring in the ricin they knew they had to use it somehow, and that it will be used.
posted by Room 641-A at 9:48 AM on August 20, 2013


@Sys Rq Thanks to both flash forwards (S5a:E01. S5b:E01), there are so many questions about Walt's endgame:

What's with the full head of hair? Did he stop chemo or just stop shaving? Did the cancer ever really return?
Is he on the lam with a fake identity or under witness protection?
How does Skyler's maiden name, Lambert, become his new alias?
Where is his wedding band?
With a NH driver's license and the penultimate episode titled "Granite State," how does Gilligan move Walt (and the plot) 2500 miles away?
posted by wensink at 9:49 AM on August 20, 2013


When Walt re-enters his condemned house and stares at the wall with "Heisenberg" written on it...is that the kitchen wall? Maybe he was coming back for the ricin and the lottery ticket? As in, if plan works, use lottery ticket; no go, take ricin.
posted by iamkimiam at 11:49 AM on August 20, 2013


I have this fantasy that it was Hank who trashed the house. Like "I'll show that bastard he can't betray me!" and then he goes and wrecks the place, drains the pool and spray paints "Heisenberg" on the wall, giggling the entire time.

Afterwards, he calls Walt and goes "Ok, buddy, we're even."

Then he unknowingly drinks a glass of ricin-laced beer and dies.
posted by bondcliff at 12:12 PM on August 20, 2013


Even better, Walt poisons a batch of Hank's Schraderbrau (which he has time to brew and bottle in episode 5) is served up at the DEA picnic. Dozens dead.
posted by planetesimal at 12:15 PM on August 20, 2013


Also, I'll bet Walt doesn't need the ticket to remember the coordinates of his booty, so I don't know how much we should bother inferring about the ticket/fridge situation.
posted by planetesimal at 12:17 PM on August 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


Even better, Walt poisons a batch of Hank's Schraderbrau (which he has time to brew and bottle in episode 5) is served up at the DEA picnic. Dozens dead.

Jeezus, you guys are twisted.
posted by wensink at 12:19 PM on August 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


This thread is breaking bad.
posted by maggieb at 12:56 PM on August 20, 2013 [3 favorites]


Team Walt!
posted by planetesimal at 12:59 PM on August 20, 2013


Also, I'll bet Walt doesn't need the ticket to remember the coordinates of his booty, so I don't know how much we should bother inferring about the ticket/fridge situation.


I hope you're right, because the whole idea of Walt keeping the only copy of the coordinates on a lottery ticket has really been bothering me. Nobody would ever do something that stupid, not even Walt. The whole thing seemed like an out of character plot device designed solely to set up some future scenario where the ticket gets misplaced or thrown out (or worse, the ticket wins).
posted by rocket88 at 2:40 PM on August 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


It's not stupid, it's kind of genius. He's got to be figuring that the house will probably be searched in the near future. A piece of paper with numbers written on it taped to the underside of a desk drawer would practically scream "here's my hidden fortune!" Anything concealed would. Finding Fring's off-shore account numbers turned out to be a huge gift that resulted in a lot of leverage in the case (at least until Walt had all the inmates murdered), so you can bet that the next time around the DEA is going to thoroughly look through every possession in that house with a keen eye for concealed numbers. But a lottery ticket is not hand-written and it's not hidden. It's hiding in plain sight. It's one of a dozen tchotchkes on the fridge, something you'd glance at and dismiss.

And I certainly agree with the sentiment that Walt fully intended to commit the numbers to memory, and the ticket was just a temporary crutch until he was sure he had them down.
posted by Rhomboid at 4:59 PM on August 20, 2013


When Walt re-enters his condemned house and stares at the wall with "Heisenberg" written on it...is that the kitchen wall?

I think that's the living room wall. So the dining room and patio doors are to Walt's left, the TV (or where it used to be) is behind him and the front door is to his right.
posted by triggerfinger at 6:11 PM on August 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


Walt is a chemist. The first thing he would do with a string of numbers is associate them with atomic numbers of elements. The money is at Se-Pr-Ca, Sq-Kr-Te.
posted by rocket88 at 2:55 PM on August 21, 2013 [5 favorites]


Wired: The show didn’t want to use the real coordinates for Walt’s dramatic burial scene–the same spot where Walt and Jesse did their first cook in the RV–since it was filmed on Navajo land, so the real location it points is Q Studios in Albuquerque, where Breaking Bad is filmed.

Incidentally, SePrCa SgKrTe is an anagram of GPS ERR CASKET. But it's probably nothing.
posted by Sys Rq at 8:16 PM on August 21, 2013


Oh, hey, and GPS TRACKERS ...E
posted by Sys Rq at 8:24 PM on August 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


Also PARKS REC GEST.

Crossover time!
posted by zombieflanders at 5:52 AM on August 22, 2013


Walt is a chemist. The first thing he would do with a string of numbers is associate them with atomic numbers of elements. The money is at Se-Pr-Ca, Sq-Kr-Te.

That would be suspicious when the DEA searches his house. It's clearly a code. A lottery ticket is much less suspicious.
posted by jeather at 7:31 AM on August 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


PACKS REGRETS
(fwiw.)
posted by wensink at 11:23 AM on August 22, 2013


Y'all are maybe assuming that this will all make sense in some neat way instead of just being a bitchin' ride.
posted by planetesimal at 12:00 PM on August 22, 2013


A lottery ticket is much less suspicious.

Unless they ask themselves why a rich man would buy a lotto ticket.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:07 PM on August 22, 2013 [3 favorites]


I think rocket88's point is that with the table of elements version, he wouldn't need to write it down. Not that Walt is incapable of memorizing a few numbers, just that chemistry is second nature to him.
posted by mannequito at 1:47 AM on August 23, 2013


The country's tourism bureau invites the cast of Breaking Bad on a trip to Belize.
Allow us an opportunity to entertain you -- we have the Blue Hole for Walt, purple fish for Marie, geology for Hank, great music and friendly people for Jesse, delicious breakfast cuisine for Walt Jr., several nice locations to swim for Skyler, colorful clothing for Saul, and the list goes on.
I assume that Walt has also memorized the coordinates, and the lottery ticket is some kind of Chekhov's backup system.
posted by jeather at 5:21 AM on August 23, 2013 [3 favorites]


"Walt is a chemist."

Yearbook photos of Bryan Cranston in his high school chemistry club
posted by Room 641-A at 1:54 PM on August 23, 2013 [2 favorites]


I Have a Character Issue - Anna Gunn on people hating Skyler.
posted by Artw at 7:25 AM on August 24, 2013 [6 favorites]


If there were an internet in 1956, that exact article could have been written by Audrey Meadows. The character Skyler White is not exactly a paradigm-shifter; the spoiler-wife archetype is practically as old as the medium itself.
posted by Sys Rq at 1:53 PM on August 24, 2013


I was having the Skyler conversation just this afternoon. We both were surprised at the vitriol she's apparently been getting and think it's completely, utterly unfair. For the first four seasons, anyway, she was one of the most interesting characters on the show. Seriously, the scene where Skyler tells Walt she fucked Ted - that whole arc for her character - was fascinating and brilliantly acted. Anna Gunn has been fantastic, and it's a testament to the idiocy of the folks attacking her that the only clips from that scene on YouTube right now are 10-second snippets of her saying "I fucked Ted."

Fucking idiots.

That said, I have to be honest: I think what Gilligan and the writers did to her character in the 5th season - making Skyler fall apart in a fit of suicidal weakness that continued through the first half of the season - was disappointing, and (this is a guess) probably a large part of the reason the stupider GO WALT fans felt free to personalize the hatred so much. I was sad to see Skyler fall apart like that, and had hoped to see her chart a more independent, aggressive course in the final season. Maybe not becoming exactly like Walt (although the show certainly flirted with the idea that she could), but perhaps challenging him in her own way, with her own strategies, and her own surprising long-term plans. We'll see; I suppose it could still happen. But for me, the most disappointing element of the 5th season so far has been Skyler's lack of agency. She's always been tough and strong. I want her character to end that way.

The flashes of her old strength coming through in the 2nd half - "Who washes a rental car?" and the fight back against Hank - were such wonderful moments. I hope they give her more.
posted by mediareport at 4:15 PM on August 24, 2013 [2 favorites]


No really: does anyone else remember that mostly silent scene in the kitchen? I need to see it again; it rocked my world. Great fucking television.
posted by mediareport at 4:16 PM on August 24, 2013


What? Sklyer didn't fall apart because she was suicidal -- she faked being suicidal to get the kids to stay with Hank and Marie. She was certainly depressed, but the pool thing was entirely created to keep the kids safe. It was a fairly passive course, but then she knew that Walt blew up a nursing home to kill Gus, so she felt safest doing that. But she actively set up the whole money laundering scheme in a tit-for-tat keep the kids away story. You can argue about parts of her story, but she deliberately charted a very specific course in the first half of the last season, even given that she was very depressed.
posted by jeather at 5:36 PM on August 24, 2013 [2 favorites]


I'm not sure the pool was a premeditated move, though. It was definitely an attention-getter, and I can see your perspective that it was a deliberate, manipulative course, for sure. But my recollection is that her arc up to that point in season 5 was relatively passive and weak, which was disappointing. I think I need to watch season 4 again, but (again, my recollection) she was relatively strong and full of agency then, and hinting at so much more than a suicidal cry for help.
posted by mediareport at 7:08 PM on August 24, 2013


Bryan Cranston has apparently signed on to play Lex Luthor in the Batman/Superman film. Guess he's already got the hair for it...
posted by Justinian at 12:21 AM on August 25, 2013


I'm not sure the pool was a premeditated move

She and Walt have a confrontation that makes it pretty clear this pool thing was just a sham to get the kids out of the house.
posted by BrotherCaine at 8:06 AM on August 25, 2013 [2 favorites]


Bryan Cranston has apparently signed on to play Lex Luthor in the Batman/Superman film. Guess he's already got the hair for it...

He was rocking an unshaved head and no goatee at this years SDCC so...
posted by sparkletone at 8:29 AM on August 25, 2013


She and Walt have a confrontation that makes it pretty clear this pool thing was just a sham to get the kids out of the house.

I'd forgotten that part, thanks.
posted by mediareport at 9:24 AM on August 25, 2013


We can CALL SAUL tonight! Bob Odenkirk and muthafuckin Samuel L. Jackson will be taking calls on Talking Bad after tonight's new episode. Jackson recorded Walt's I am the one who knocks monologue for the benefit of the Alzheimer's Assoc.
posted by maggieb at 10:33 AM on August 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


I Have a Character Issue - Anna Gunn on people hating Skyler.

I have no problem with people hating her character (although they should probably hate Walt more if they do hate Skyler), but hating the actress for her excellent portrayal is a bit beyond the pale. Not the first time I've seen people do that, but it puzzles me every time.
posted by BrotherCaine at 12:08 PM on August 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


I think a fair amount of Gunn hate on the internet comes from teenage boys who don't find her hot enough or whatever.
posted by planetesimal at 12:10 PM on August 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


The initial impression of Skyler was really negative in the original version of the first episode. It was actually edited to make it less negative after the first couple of airings on AMC. That could be part of the problem?
posted by Justinian at 2:26 PM on August 25, 2013


Justinian: "The initial impression of Skyler was really negative in the original version of the first episode. It was actually edited to make it less negative after the first couple of airings on AMC. That could be part of the problem?"

Speaking of that, does anybody have a link to those deleted clips? I've always wanted to see the infamous half-hearted blowjob scene but haven't had any luck finding it online.
posted by Defenestrator at 3:31 PM on August 25, 2013


It was a handjob wasn't it? Maybe I'm misremembering.
posted by Justinian at 3:34 PM on August 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


For some reason, right now I am more nervous for Saul than I am for anybody else. I think it's because his death has been hinted at a couple of times now.
posted by angrycat at 3:36 PM on August 25, 2013


Speaking of that, does anybody have a link to those deleted clips? I've always wanted to see the infamous half-hearted blowjob scene but haven't had any luck finding it online.
posted by Defenestrator at 5:31 PM on August 25 [+] [!]


It was a handjob wasn't it? Maybe I'm misremembering.
posted by Justinian at 5:34 PM


Pretty sure it was a handjob, and this whole line of inquiry has led to a really weird conversation with my wife about whether she remembers seeing Skyler give Walt a handy and man some days you really wonder how your life has taken these strange turns.
posted by COBRA! at 3:39 PM on August 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'm pretty that scene is available on some torrents of the series pilot. Also, probably on any official DVD sets? At any rate Gunn's audition tape has her doing that scene.
posted by planetesimal at 4:05 PM on August 25, 2013


Screencaps of the scene.
posted by planetesimal at 4:05 PM on August 25, 2013


Wait, later airings didn't have the hand job while browsing eBay scene? Is it on the DVD version or Netflix streaming?
posted by wierdo at 4:40 PM on August 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


Screencaps of the scene.
An HJ while on EBAY. Classic.

We've been in good hands since the pilot.

@wierdo The scene is on the DVD version, but has been cut from Netflix streaming.
posted by wensink at 4:40 PM on August 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


We also get to see the breasts of one of Jessie's MILF conquests in the uncut pilot. They weren't sure if Showtime was going to pick up the show before AMC, which didn't have the same audience it has now.
posted by planetesimal at 4:44 PM on August 25, 2013


I believe the version of the pilot currently available on Netflix is the edited one. Dunno about the DVD. In any case that's a terrible, emasculating scene and it's no surprise that people dislike Skyler based on that introduction to her character. First impressions stick around long after they should have been re-evaluated. That doesn't make it right but it does make it normal.
posted by Justinian at 5:05 PM on August 25, 2013


I can't believe they cut that scene from any release. It is critical to the story.

I always thought it was strange/interesting that they had that second hand job scene with Hank.. What did it mean? But maybe the original hand job is no longer cannon.
posted by Chuckles at 6:03 PM on August 25, 2013


Two lingering swastika tattoo shots in the opener.
posted by planetesimal at 6:06 PM on August 25, 2013


Holy shit. Jesus, Walt.
posted by jeather at 6:26 PM on August 25, 2013 [2 favorites]


Holy shit. Jesus, Skyler.
posted by wensink at 6:37 PM on August 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


Walter White, EVIL GENIUS.
posted by triggerfinger at 6:38 PM on August 25, 2013


(Also, made me miss Homeland. Can't wait till that's back on)
posted by triggerfinger at 6:39 PM on August 25, 2013


Jesse :(
posted by jeather at 6:39 PM on August 25, 2013


Walter White, EVIL GENIUS.

New theory: "Ozymandias" refers less to Ramesses II and more to Adrian Veidt.
posted by zombieflanders at 6:40 PM on August 25, 2013


5 more episodes :(
posted by wensink at 6:41 PM on August 25, 2013


HEISENBERG HORROR HUG
posted by planetesimal at 6:41 PM on August 25, 2013 [7 favorites]


How the hell did Jesse get that?
posted by jeather at 6:51 PM on August 25, 2013


The only end I can see for Jesse at this point is him dying by an OD.
posted by triggerfinger at 6:53 PM on August 25, 2013


And also - "Seriously? Hello Kitty?" is the Jesse I know and love.
posted by triggerfinger at 6:54 PM on August 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


Nah, I'd say that Jesse has a newfound direction with his discovery.
posted by planetesimal at 6:56 PM on August 25, 2013


Jesus fucking Christ, I don't know if my nerves can take another five episodes of this.
posted by zombieflanders at 7:01 PM on August 25, 2013


Yes, I've changed my mind in the last 15 minutes.
posted by triggerfinger at 7:01 PM on August 25, 2013


Have an A-1 cliffhangery week!
posted by jeather at 7:01 PM on August 25, 2013 [7 favorites]


I mean, holy shit with that episode.
posted by triggerfinger at 7:05 PM on August 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


*curls up into ball, rocks back and forth crooning softly to self*
posted by Rory Marinich at 7:08 PM on August 25, 2013 [2 favorites]


We know from the flash forward that the house is never set on fire so *something* must stop Jesse from setting it alight. I'm guessing that we finally get to see Jesse and Walt Jr. onscreen when the next episode begins.
posted by wensink at 7:19 PM on August 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


The video confession was brilliant. Jesse's aha moment... I don't get it. I thought Jesse totally bought the Gus story after the tox screen reported Lily of the Valley and he found the fake ricin vial Walt planted in his house. ?
posted by maggieb at 7:26 PM on August 25, 2013


No, I think he just went along with Walt's continued insistence that Gus needed to go, despite his lack of involvement with poisoning Brock. I think it was pretty well communicated as a memory jog with the brush up from Huell and the missing herb.
posted by planetesimal at 7:29 PM on August 25, 2013


Also, I'm definitely rewatching it again tonight, but it seemed like when Hank and Marie were watching the "confession" video, the most heinous bits were seen when zoomed in on the TV to the point of pixellation with no other reference in the shot. That's just a rich tableau to ponder over.
posted by planetesimal at 7:36 PM on August 25, 2013


I think Jesse believed Walt at the time, and only on having Huell lift his pot did he rethink the whole Gus story and realise that it didn't make sense.

Those scenes with Hank and Marie. And Dean Norris wanted out of this season!
posted by jeather at 7:52 PM on August 25, 2013


Also, I'm definitely rewatching it again tonight, but it seemed like when Hank and Marie were watching the "confession" video, the most heinous bits were seen when zoomed in on the TV to the point of pixellation with no other reference in the shot. That's just a rich tableau to ponder over.

You're going to love Sepinwall's recap.
posted by zombieflanders at 7:53 PM on August 25, 2013


Todd sure has a big mouth, doesn't he?
posted by Sys Rq at 7:55 PM on August 25, 2013 [2 favorites]


Todd left a boner of a voicemail, for sure.

Also, Talking Bad should be a full hour.
posted by planetesimal at 8:07 PM on August 25, 2013


HERE IS MY SPOILER FREE REVIEW OF TONIGHT’S BREAKING BAD: [47:08 of trying to light myself on fire] FUCK. FFFFFFFFUUUUUUUCCCCCKKKKKK…

All the things are happening all at once!
posted by sparkletone at 8:08 PM on August 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


Jesse's making Walt Jr. the worst breakfast ever at the start of the next episode.
posted by sparkletone at 8:10 PM on August 25, 2013 [2 favorites]


Oh, and upon rewatching last week's episode tonight: Lydia has successfully hired how many murders now? Twenty or so?
posted by Sys Rq at 8:27 PM on August 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


I JUST REALIZED THIS THREAD ISN'T GOING TO LAST UNTIL THE FINALE. I AM STARING AT MY PHONE LIKE JESSE STARED AT THAT PACK OF CIGARETTES.
posted by sparkletone at 9:56 PM on August 25, 2013 [4 favorites]


Yeah, I was just telling someone that I'm really bummed that we won't get to keep talking about the show in this thread all the way to the end. :(
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 12:35 AM on August 26, 2013


Mad creepy when Walt is "working" Walt, Jr. when he tells him his cancer is back in order to stop him from going over to Hank and Marie's.
posted by thinkpiece at 2:17 AM on August 26, 2013


Plus, Jesse looks like he's aging by the minute. The lighting on his face, the way he's holding his head to the side, so burdened, he's like a Caravaggio, it's killing me.
posted by thinkpiece at 2:34 AM on August 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


Anyone else think that the use of background music for these scenes — such as Jesse's realisation in front of the spillway — to connote high tension, menace, and a sense of accelerating degeneration, has been notably good?
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 2:47 AM on August 26, 2013


I've seen commenters elsewhere having a hard time accepting Jesse's epiphany, but I didn't really have a problem with it. It was certainly a case of the narrative gears being a little more exposed than usual. Someone clearly sat down and said, okay, Jesse is currently at sullen, thousand yard stare and we would like to get him to a place of active combatant, how can we do that? Brock perhaps? Okay, how can we get there? But at one point Jesse did suspect that Walt had taken the ricin cigarette from him and used it to poison Brock, so that wasn't a completely out of the blue thing. Jesse had been convinced he was wrong by multiple factors (Walt's speech, the fact that it turned out the Brock wasn't poisoned by ricin, and finding the fake-ricin cigarette in the Roomba) but that doesn't mean he would completely forget that initial reaction of suspecting Walt for lifting it from him, especially in the new light of having just seen Walt kill Mike and 10 inmates. Moreover, Jesse never got a satisfactory explanation for how Brock had come to be poisoned with Lily of the Valley other than, well, gee, young boys sometimes put all kinds of weird stuff in their mouths. But its coincidental occurrence with Walt needing Jesse to be on his side against Gus must have never really left his mind, and I can see how being in that specific circumstance again (bumping into Huell after leaving Saul's place, followed by a missing item) would lead to all the gears turning and re-evaluating everything.

Anyway, my point is that I don't understand why people are bitching about how it was such a big leap. It's not that big a leap for Jesse, the pieces were all there.
posted by Rhomboid at 3:04 AM on August 26, 2013 [4 favorites]


Also, Talking Bad should be a full hour.

I don't know if you're aware of this but for each episode there's an additional ~16 minutes of bonus footage available on the web site, which brings it to approximately one segment short of an hour long show, i.e. it's 37 minutes of content compared to the normal 40 - 42.
posted by Rhomboid at 3:17 AM on August 26, 2013


Gilligan's Hello Kitty phone. Delivers!!1!!
posted by moody cow at 3:56 AM on August 26, 2013


Per my comment about the background music, here's a mix I just made from the spillway and Saul's office scenes, titled "Over the Spillway". It's only moderately tweaked; the background music was basically a music track already.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 5:19 AM on August 26, 2013 [2 favorites]


Jesse not only thought that Walt had gotten the ricin from him, he suspected that Huell had taken it when he was at Saul's — Walt had convinced him that this was a crazy idea. So, standing in front of the spillway and finding that his weed was gone, and he'd just brushed against Huell when he left the office, and as he was looking for his weed he pulled out a pack of cigarettes, I think that it is completely believable that Jesse would put it all together in that moment.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 5:37 AM on August 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


Season 5A has convinced Jesse not to trust anything Walter says or does. It's also shown him that Walt is utterly ruthless—before Fring, Walt's kill count was pretty low, and (arguably) mostly self-defensive. Other than Jane, of course, which Jesse doesn't know about. Now it's apparent that Walt is more than okay with hurting anybody he feels he needs to, any lying about it afterwards.

Jesse realizing that Huell can, in fact, lift things off him means that he suddenly sees Walter had a way to manipulate him. And given Walt's recent behavior, he has every reason to think Walt would do so. So he runs back to Saul, intimidates it out of him, and now he knows his theory was correct. And now gasoline! yay!
posted by Rory Marinich at 6:10 AM on August 26, 2013


I JUST REALIZED THIS THREAD ISN'T GOING TO LAST UNTIL THE FINALE.

Why? Do posts close to comments after X number of days? Can we make an appeal to the mods to keep it open? Mods?
posted by wensink at 6:18 AM on August 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


I need to re-watch it to make sure I'm right about this, but in the scene at the diner, is there any significance to the fact that when Todd was telling the story of the great train robbery, he referred to his boss as Mr. White rather than Heisenberg? That is, the secret of his identity is now possibly out to everyone, not just Hank?
posted by jbickers at 6:34 AM on August 26, 2013 [2 favorites]


Threads on the blue last 30 days. We'll have one more episode to discuss after this one, and then it will close on Wed Sep 4. I highly doubt that anyone would be willing to make an exception, as it would probably require writing special purpose code, and the mods would say to just create a new thread if and when there are significant developments. That's long been the established pattern for things that have generated ongoing discussions like elections/debates, bombings, etc.
posted by Rhomboid at 6:52 AM on August 26, 2013


Do posts close to comments after X number of days? Can we make an appeal to the mods to keep it open? Mods?

Comments are closed after 30 days. I doubt the mods would let it stay open for a TV show when they haven't done it for much more important events. However, I don't think they'd object to a new thread being opened. If there's any real question, you could always ask a question in MeTa.

I need to re-watch it to make sure I'm right about this, but in the scene at the diner, is there any significance to the fact that when Todd was telling the story of the great train robbery, he referred to his boss as Mr. White rather than Heisenberg? That is, the secret of his identity is now possibly out to everyone, not just Hank?

I don't know. We know that Todd introduced his uncle and Kenny to Walt, but I'm not sure if they specified whether it was as Mr. White or Heisenberg. In any event, it can easily be mistaken for a pseudonym, and it's a common surname. But we'll see...

BTW, Alan Sepinwall's updated his recap with a timeline of the ricin cigarette, in case anyone needs a refresher.
posted by zombieflanders at 6:58 AM on August 26, 2013


the mods would say to just create a new thread if and when there are significant developments

There's a new development in this show about every 3 minutes. We might as well just pick one and start a new thread now.
posted by Paris Elk at 7:00 AM on August 26, 2013


If you created a new one today, it would expire on Sep 25. The finale airs on Sep 29, and you'd want time for reflection and review after that. If someone is going to make a new thread, I say do it no earlier than the day of the penultimate episode (Sep 22). The mods generally want some kind of fig leaf of cover such that you're not just creating a new thread for the sake of having somewhere to talk. Find a collection of worthwhile writings to link to or something and frame it that way.
posted by Rhomboid at 7:09 AM on August 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


Good advice, Rhomboid. I miscalculated.

Sits quietly in corner with fig leaf until September 22.
posted by Paris Elk at 7:24 AM on August 26, 2013


I need to re-watch it to make sure I'm right about this, but in the scene at the diner, is there any significance to the fact that when Todd was telling the story of the great train robbery, he referred to his boss as Mr. White rather than Heisenberg? That is, the secret of his identity is now possibly out to everyone, not just Hank?

That's a good catch!

Right as that scene went to the opening and the commercials, I turned to my wife and said, you know, these openers usually have a little more bang to them, and other than the awful creepiness of those two nazi-skinhead peckerwood meth dealers and Todd's weird veneration of them and obvious need to impress (thus Todd's story-telling of the great train caper) and what that foretells of Lydia's future, yes -- the namedrop is the bang. Those guys are grinning because they've got the trailer-barrel of precursor, and they know who Heisenberg is, and Todd is not the man who is going to cook for them. White is.

New prediction: future White is going to redeem himself by returning with the M60 to machine-gun all of those dudes.
posted by notyou at 8:00 AM on August 26, 2013 [9 favorites]


Why isn't it Sunday night yet?
posted by planetesimal at 8:06 AM on August 26, 2013


there was something very interesting the way the jesse realization scenes were filmed

first, the backdrop for the discovery scene when he's waiting for his lift. what the fuck were those block things? but so cool. they look like tombstones, for one. also, the monochromatic, repetitive pattern were somewhat suggestive of cigarettes themselves. there's also something resembling jesse's state of mind in the blank repetitive faces of those stone things

and then the scene with saul -- there's a lot of violence on this show, natch, but this was one of the more violent take-downs i've seen on it. maybe it's because I have a great fondness for Saul, I dunno. and the bright blood all over saul's face, his normally loud suit and tie, even the brown paneling -- it all seemed terribly bright.

so those were some interesting choices -- as Jesse wakes up, the setting starts screaming

also, notyou, that was a great catch, and also explains why Todd called Walt. He slipped and he knew it. I was wondering what the point of that scene was, other than now Walt knows Declan is out.
posted by angrycat at 8:22 AM on August 26, 2013 [3 favorites]


The desert scene displayed the greatest perversion of a comforting embrace that I've seen for years.

Jesse needs Walt to tell him the truth for once, or just come out and end Jesse's misery by killing him, but Walt can't give him that. He just walks over and takes Jesse in his arms. Jesse initially resists. His body is stiff and distant, not accepting the embrace. He is so terrified and miserable, though, that the tears finally come and he leans his head on Walt's shoulder, but that's as far as he allows himself to collapse. Jesse's body is still distant and his arms are straight at his sides. The director makes damn sure that we see his hanging arms in the shot.

But Walt doesn't just accept Jesse's capitulation: he places his hand on the back of Jesse's head and presses his face right into Walt's shoulder as Jesse continues to sob.

I think this scene and Walt's attempted rape of Skyler are two of the most creepy, evil moments in the series. It would probably be over the top to call the desert scene a rape (I really don't like using rape metaphors lightly) but it is an expression of dominance and ultimate control.
posted by maudlin at 8:24 AM on August 26, 2013 [3 favorites]


> he places his hand on the back of Jesse's head and presses his face right into Walt's shoulder as Jesse continues to sob.

That was seriously one of the most uncomfortable things I've seen in fiction TV in a long time. So yucky; I was cringing when he approached for embrace and just got more contorted as the scene went on.
posted by planetesimal at 8:28 AM on August 26, 2013


I'm glad everyone is describing the Walt-Jesse hug because I found that scene far too uncomfortable to watch.
posted by jeather at 8:38 AM on August 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


maudlin: "I think this scene and Walt's attempted rape of Skyler are two of the most creepy, evil moments in the series. It would probably be over the top to call the desert scene a rape (I really don't like using rape metaphors lightly) but it is an expression of dominance and ultimate control."

The other major thing I got from it was that Walt is a coward to his very core. Jesse basically gives Walt a free pass to be straight with him, and Walt still can't do it. There are so many truths about himself that Walt can't face, and it leads to him bullying everyone around him into accepting the fictions that he creates to mask those truths.
posted by invitapriore at 8:56 AM on August 26, 2013 [6 favorites]


There are an awful lot of liars and cowards in this show.

Hank in the Taqueria scene: "Now is the time for you man up and admit what you have done."

Hey Hank: It's not just Walt that needs to man-up. Everybody does.

Well, everybody except for Jesse.
posted by notyou at 9:08 AM on August 26, 2013


Sepinwall said it better than I did re: closeup of the video confession: "Hank in extreme close-up in that scene is a proud man being destroyed by a smarter and more ruthless opponent; Walt in extreme close-up is a collection of dots and lines that approximate a human being, but which has now let go of its humanity entirely."
posted by planetesimal at 9:18 AM on August 26, 2013 [4 favorites]


So, my headlong spill through the series has just come to an abrupt halt as I've finally caught up. At least that probably explains how the White house got that way. Isn't it a shame how flammable lottery tickets are.

I'm assuming that the M60 is for a showdown with the White Supremacists (they don't let up with their wordplay on this show, do they?), though I'm kind of hoping it's for a final showdown with Skyler, who's taken over the whole business.

I'm also assuming that the only ones to make it out alive will be Marie and the baby.
posted by Grangousier at 9:28 AM on August 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


The ricin plot points are as convoluted as Primer at this point and require flowcharts to figure out (and depend on a freeze-frame of Huell pickpocketing Jesse that most viewers, myself included, missed entirely), BUT - this makes sense thematically. The increasingly convoluted narrative hoops mirror Walt's increasingly convoluted lies and attempts at manipulation, but his "genius" always catches up to him - with Skyler, with Jesse, with Hank. He's the brains, the solver, the MacGyver, but like with everything else about the guy, people will eventually see through his machinations. My favorite scenes in the show are when Walt is working someone over with that just-a-bit-too-friendly voice, and the other person just sits there, silently fuming, not responding bodily or verbally in any way, 100% aware that they're being sold something. So uncomfortable to watch, and the show always make sure its characters are as smart at reading body language as viewers are. (Walt's performance on that confession video, though, that was Oscar-worthy.)
posted by naju at 9:31 AM on August 26, 2013


Have Todd's associates actually been referred to as White Supremacists? I think that it's understood that they are Aryan Brotherhood, which is really more into running dope and doing contract hits than anything else. Not quite relevant to the show, but I find the treatment of their affiliation interesting, if a bit reserved.
posted by planetesimal at 9:33 AM on August 26, 2013


Grangousier: "At least that probably explains how the White house got that way. Isn't it a shame how flammable lottery tickets are."

As wesink mentioned upthread, that's what I also thought too until I saw the promo for next week, which features scenes from inside the obviously non-burnt house. So, something must stop Jessie mid-arson.
posted by Defenestrator at 9:44 AM on August 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


It was certainly a case of the narrative gears being a little more exposed than usual...

Yeah, that's what I felt, too. At this point, though, I'd take anything that would get Jesse out of that depressed funk of inactivity.

(Also, I find it hard to believe that we won't have at least two more Breaking Bad threads here before the end, and probably two more after that before the end of the year.)
posted by mediareport at 9:44 AM on August 26, 2013


Heh, yeah, Grangousier. White Supremacists.

Todd meant to impress those guys with White/Heisenberg's daring and high level strategic and tactical capability, but instead he's told them just how lucky White was to pull off his biggest move, despite his planning. These are the guys who have just captured the Southwest's meth trade and who recently pulled off the near-simultaneous murders of a dozen of Mike's former crew, across several different correctional institutions, without missing anybody, without getting caught, and without delaying release from prison, apparently (or are these dudes associates of those other dudes?).

Anyway. No wonder they're grinning as they leave the diner.
posted by notyou at 9:45 AM on August 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


Yeah. Future Walt didn't walk into a burned out husk when he retrieved his ricin vial.
posted by notyou at 9:46 AM on August 26, 2013


My guess is that Walt Jr. is actually in the house and stops Jesse from carrying out the arson. And the voiceover in next week's trailer of Jesse saying "Mr. White, he's the devil." … I think he's speaking to Walt Jr. And in that "no, you don't understand" tone, it's gotta be to him. Who else would he possibly say that to?
posted by iamkimiam at 9:52 AM on August 26, 2013 [2 favorites]


Ever practical, my first thoughts were "Is Walt Jr. in the house?!" and then "How are you gonna explain the gasoline all over the place to Walt Jr.?!" Who will think of Walt Jr. if not me?
posted by naju at 9:52 AM on August 26, 2013


Who else would he possibly say that to?

Hank! I want the two of them to team up so much. I could imagine Jesse angry enough at Walt that he goes to Hank.
posted by jeather at 9:53 AM on August 26, 2013


"So can I get you boys anything to nibble on, maybe some jalapeno poppers or extreme fajitas?"
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 9:55 AM on August 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


Walt Jr's car wasn't in the driveway.

I heard Jesse say, "Miss White, he's the devil."
posted by notyou at 9:58 AM on August 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


Was that really the same waiter as the flair boy in Office Space? I noticed the resemblance at first but the second time he was on screen he seemed too young. I suppose I could go look it up.
posted by planetesimal at 10:00 AM on August 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


I heard Jesse say, "Miss White, he's the devil."

Here's the video for the preview. He drops the second syllable enough for it to be ambiguous, but it sounds more like "Mister" to me.
posted by zombieflanders at 10:03 AM on August 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


"first, the backdrop for the discovery scene when he's waiting for his lift. what the fuck were those block things? but so cool. they look like tombstones, for one. also, the monochromatic, repetitive pattern were somewhat suggestive of cigarettes themselves. there's also something resembling jesse's state of mind in the blank repetitive faces of those stone things"

That's a spillway for an earthen dam, behind which is nothing.

Albuquerque has an average elevation of almost exactly a mile. But the city is situated on the Rio Grande, which is about 5,000 feet, and reaches to the Sandia mountains to the east, about 12 miles away in a straight line. There, at the foothills where Hank and Marie live, the elevation is about 6,000 feet. Old Town (from the Spanish founding in 1706) is on the east side of the river, and so, too, is what became the downtown of the modern city, a few miles to the east of Old Town and the river, where Hank works. Likewise, the city grew easterly toward the mountain through the twentieth century.

Indeed, when my parents were in high school in the early 60s, the area where the White house on "Negro Arroyo" sits, which is actually not that far west of the Schraders, was known as the "East Mesa" and basically looked exactly like the desert scene in this episode looked. Nothing there but emptiness. The high school kids would drive way out there and drink.

Now the city has pretty much grown up the mesa to the foothills and up the foothills right to the national forest boundary. But, also, the city is bounded to the north, from the river all the way to the mountains, by the Sandia Pueblo Indian Reservation. It's now run up against that, too. And, finally, it's bounded to the south by Sandia National Laboratory, Kirtland Air Force Base, and the airport, also from the river all the way to the mountains. It long ago hit that barrier, as that's basically just south of old Route 66.

So, for the past thirty years, the city has been growing on the west side of the Rio Grande. This was essentially stifled for a long time by a lack of bridges across the river — prior to the late 80s, there were only three. On that west side the terrain rises up onto another mesa, gradually gaining in altitude although there's no mountains in that direction (not for forty miles, anyway). There's three small extinct volcanoes, though, and an old flow is what built that raised mesa that rises above the river to the west. There's still quite a bit of room to grow to the west, there are places within the city limits that basically look like that desert scene. This is why property values are much higher on the east side of the river than on the west side.

Anyway, as anyone knows who lives in another urban southwestern area that's on a slope, such as Los Angeles, those mountains to the east, as well as that whole (former) mesa, get rain and snowfall and that water goes downhill. Before urbanization, this formed arroyos, some deep and some shallow, some frequently with trickles of water and some that are almost always dry. Urbanization built around them, for the most part they weren't lined with concrete the way that LA's were, although many of them drain into one big arroyo that parallels the freeway that is concrete lined. And urbanization makes all this runoff much, much more severe than it otherwise would have been. Before, it would soak into the ground. Now, with the city, it goes down streets and storm sewers for twelve miles and a thousand feet down in elevation.

People drown in the arroyos because with a good rain, even just a few inches of water will look harmless but can flow as quickly as sixty miles an hour. Three inches of water moving that fast will sweep someone away.

Jesse was standing on the outflow side of an earthen dam of a relatively large arroyo. For regular flows, there's drainage underneath Juan Tabo continuing down the arroyo. But the dam was built for larger rainfalls and runoff, to act as a reservoir. And what you're seeing behind Jesse is the spillway for that dam. It's not expected that it would be overtopped except for a hundred-year flood. But when it does, the spillover will have the flow broken up by those concrete pillars and it won't wash away or undermine the dam. It will flow over Juan Tabo fairly evenly over the whole width, which will hopefully keep it from washing out the whole boulevard.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 10:06 AM on August 26, 2013 [13 favorites]


Ever practical, my first thoughts were "Is Walt Jr. in the house?!" and then "How are you gonna explain the gasoline all over the place to Walt Jr.?!" Who will think of Walt Jr. if not me?
posted by naju


Me! Me! I did notice Walt Jr.'s car wasn't in the driveway, but maybe he turns up ... WITH HOLLY ... mid-dousing? And that snaps Jesse out of it? And yeah, "Mr. White is the devil" would fit in with that.

Sigh. I've been wrong on every prediction I've made so far. I was sure Jesse and Hank would be working together by now. I don't think it's going to happen.
posted by thinkpiece at 10:09 AM on August 26, 2013


I think that despite his hatred of Walter, not being a narc is pretty deeply ingrained within Jesse. He also really hates Hank so I don't think he'll spill everything to the DEA.

It also has occurred to me that my predictions based on show titles have been wrong and that the real meaning should have been obvious. Buried wasn't about burying bodies, it was burying money. Confessions wasn't Walt telling Jesse everything he'd done or Jesse confessing to Hank, it was Walt making a fake confession. Next week's is called Rabid Dog and I originally thought this was referring to Jesse, but now I have to rethink that. Maybe something to do with Todd and gang.
posted by triggerfinger at 10:19 AM on August 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


They do that a lot with show titles here. Face Off is the pinnacle of 'oh duh' titles.

I figured that an episode title about a dog would refer in some way to Gale, though perhaps not explicitly?

I know the issues with Jesse teaming up with Hank, and I can see why it wouldn't happen, but that doesn't mean I don't want it to.
posted by jeather at 10:29 AM on August 26, 2013


I heard Jesse say, "Miss White, he's the devil."

Here's the video for the preview. He drops the second syllable enough for it to be ambiguous, but it sounds more like "Mister" to me.


There's no ambiguity about it. He's definitely saying Mr. White, in the way that he always does, where it sounds like Miss DuWight. He drops the R, but there's absolutely three syllables there.
posted by Sys Rq at 10:35 AM on August 26, 2013 [3 favorites]


So, does nobody have any thoughts on the music, which I mentioned in a previous comment? At the time, given that the background music was already basically a song, I felt a little weird about calling what I did a "mix". But now that no one has mentioned it, I suddenly feel like I put in a whole lotta work. :)

I built it from the AC3 5.1 audio track; running some filters on the LR surround channels and mixing them into the LR main; doing the same with the LFE channel; did some parametric EQ and some dynamics processing; processed the center dialogue track with a few things so I could keep it while leaving the music up front and mixed it into LR. Finally, fiddled with the silent beat that transitions from spillway to Saul's — it was an irregular near-half-beat, now it's close to a full beat. And then the end bit of bringing Saul's dialogue out full and undistorted to end the track, which otherwise was a irregular segue that I guess works with the scene change to the carwash, but with the audio alone, where the whole sequence feels like an electronica track as-is, it was a bit annoying.

Personally, I think this style has been a brilliant choice by whoever is doing the music.

This track I made brings this design to the foreground: Jesse standing before the spillway has an airy, atmospheric and somewhat mournful sound of minor intervals with some dissonance threading in and out, an occasional pulse, that represents Jesse's disconnected sorrow that turns to the pounding of his heart as he realizes the horror of Walter White, rising to a crescendo and then ... silence. For a moment. Then spiraling, spiraling, spinning out of control, a cadence, forward momentum, Jesse's flooded over, he's gone Over the Spillway, he's six feet of white water roaring down Negra Arroyo at sixty-five miles an hour, crashing first into Saul's and eventually into the White home, a rage of urban detritus and despair.

If you prefer, you can also listen to it via This Is My Jam, where it's my current jam.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 10:47 AM on August 26, 2013 [6 favorites]


Next week's is called Rabid Dog and I originally thought this was referring to Jesse, but now I have to rethink that. Maybe something to do with Todd and gang.

Ahem.
Young Travis Coates Walter White is left to take care of the family ranch meth operation with his mother Mike Ehrmantraut and younger brother Arliss Jesse Pinkman while his father Gus Fring goes off on a cattle drive in the 1860s kablooey. When a yellow mongrel comes for an uninvited stay a train robbery with the family, Travis Walt reluctantly adopts the dog. Though Travis Walt initially loathes the "rascal" and at first tries to get rid of it, the dog eventually proves his worth, saving the family on several occasions.*
posted by Sys Rq at 10:48 AM on August 26, 2013 [5 favorites]


Ahem.

Niiiiiice.
posted by maudlin at 10:54 AM on August 26, 2013


Oh, yeah, not burned out. Someone as easily fooled as me probably shouldn't make predictions.

Are the Aryan Brotherhood not white supremacists? They have swastika tattoos... Oh, well. Although they're properly scary, so far they've seemed aimless to me - it was very easy for them to take the meth lab, but they've not thought of doing it before - they need a Lydia or a Walt to come up with ideas.

Does anyone have any idea what Felina might be a reference to? (Wikipedia is just offering me lingerie).
posted by Grangousier at 11:04 AM on August 26, 2013


Ahem.

Yeah, I was thinking about something having to do with hydrophobia and the dam where Jesse has his moment of illumination, but that's maybe thinking a little too hard about it.
posted by zombieflanders at 11:06 AM on August 26, 2013


Sys Req, that was brilliant! I had thought maybe Rabid Dog might be about dealing with Todd the cook since Problem Dog turned out to be Gale the cook. Todd is the antithesis of Gale, whose character I was very sorry to see leave the story.
posted by maggieb at 11:21 AM on August 26, 2013


Felina is an anagram of finale, so something anagrammy involving a lion attack?
posted by jeather at 11:23 AM on August 26, 2013


Vince Gilligan has mentioned on the BB Insider podcast how the episode titles derive from movie titles and/or dialogue. (Can't find the transcript, but I believe it is mentioned in the premiere podcast.) (And here's a movie-related BB Wiki.)

Old Yeller aside, Sys Req.

fwiw Here's the log line for a film called "Rabid Dogs."
Following a bungled robbery, three violent criminals take a young woman, a middle-aged man, and a child hostage and force them to drive them outside Rome to help them make a clean getaway.

fwiw2 Here's a screen grab of last night's episode from Lost creator Damon Lindelof, with explanatory comments from Slash Film,
He noted that while Walt and Jesse are out in the desert, Walt leans against Saul’s LWYRUP license plate in a way that the “L” is obscured. Leaving us with WYRUP or “Wire Up.” Is someone about to start working with Hank? Jesse, after he puts down that gas can? Saul himself?
posted by wensink at 11:29 AM on August 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


Much has been discussed about wardrobe color choices, and I have to say, the choices have been SO GOOD of late. Seeing Marie walk into that restaurant in black, and Hank in purple, just blew my mind... and of course it makes perfect sense when she flat-out tells Walt to kill himself. Walt, who along with Skyler is continuing the trend of you-can't-see-me nude-stocking beige. And then back at the house, as Hank and Marie watch Walt's "confession," almost all shots of them are framed amidst the house's purple accessories (pillows, vases, the rug).

Anyone have any thoughts on why Hank's wearing purple? (Granted it's a very dark purple, but by gum it's purple!) I wonder if having Hank wear purple is a sign of him standing with Marie? But he's not, he's resisting her pleas to talk to his department (which in and of itself is freaking me out, because the longer he waits, the less likely he is to come out of this alive, and goddam it I adore Hank). Maybe it's a symbol of his independence/coming into his own, much the way Marie has used purple to represent and distinguish herself. Maybe it's a Hank-and-Marie vs. Walt-and-Skyler thing. Team Purple vs. Team Nude.

OK, so I just did some googling to find a screen shot of what Hank wore in last night's episode, and I came up instead with a gif of Hank punching Walt (in the now-famous confrontation scene) -- and he's wearing a purple shirt.

Discuss.
posted by flyingsquirrel at 11:30 AM on August 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


> Are the Aryan Brotherhood not white supremacists?

Granted, I know about the AB mainly from NatGeo documentaries and MSNBC's "Lockup", but the AB does indeed contain many white supremacists, and that's part of their ethos. However, the actual activities of the gang's core are centered around drug running and executions, with a bit of lip service to the master race thrown in. That doesn't mean that individuals in the AB aren't also involved in more white supremacy movements, but it's not the business of the AB proper. Also, one of the OG members is in fact half-Jewish, with a Star of David tattoo on one arm and a Nazi swastika on the other.
posted by planetesimal at 11:32 AM on August 26, 2013


Thanks. Oddly enough, it's not a subject I've ever wanted to be informed about before.

Also, it's just struck me - Felina == Fe Li Na == Iron Lithium Sodium.

(Atomic weights 26 - 3 - 11 )

Though I have no idea what that might mean, either.
posted by Grangousier at 11:37 AM on August 26, 2013 [2 favorites]


Could be a reference to "El Paso" by Marty Robbins, too.
posted by entropicamericana at 11:40 AM on August 26, 2013 [3 favorites]


I had thought maybe Rabid Dog might be about dealing with Todd the cook since Problem Dog turned out to be Gale the cook. Todd is the antithesis of Gale, whose character I was very sorry to see leave the story.

This is good. When I say I thought it might be about Jesse, I was basing that thought on "Problem Dog" where Jesse talks about Gale's murder, masking it with a story about murdering a dog. Based on this:

fwiw Here's the log line for a film called "Rabid Dogs."
Following a bungled robbery, three violent criminals take a young woman, a middle-aged man, and a child hostage and force them to drive them outside Rome to help them make a clean getaway.


I'm wondering if the three violent criminals might be Todd and gang? Maybe Todd gets murdered like Gale did? And the episode after Rabid Dogs is "To'hajiilee" (which is an Indian Reservation in NM) which might be the place "outside Rome" they go to to make a "clean getaway". Still thinking about this.
posted by triggerfinger at 11:53 AM on August 26, 2013


So, something must stop Jessie mid-arson.

Like others, I'm guessing it's Walt Jr. In the previews they showed a shot of him sitting on a couch, looking like he's hearing something serious. Maybe Jesse tells him everything?

I would imagine having gasoline all over the house would render it uninhabitable.

And yeah, the M60 is for mowing down the Nazis. Just like in WWII.

These are yet more predictions I am making that not only won't come true, but someone in the next comment will tell me why they can't come true.
posted by bondcliff at 11:53 AM on August 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


To'hajiilee is where Walt buried the money.
posted by Grangousier at 11:55 AM on August 26, 2013


I wonder what happened to all the money that Walt put in the garage walls behind the insulation. He even showed baby Holly. Although, it probably isn't much compared to what he made with the heisted methylamine.
posted by planetesimal at 11:59 AM on August 26, 2013


While we're floating ideas without being judged: has anyone tried to go to the listed coordinates of the buried money and dug for whatever the creators of the show might have hidden there? Kidding not kidding.
posted by naju at 12:05 PM on August 26, 2013


Apparantly they're the co-ordinates of the production company's studio (I think - definitely a studio - I'm listening to the insider podcast).
posted by Grangousier at 12:08 PM on August 26, 2013


Oh, and I love that the M60 comes with a manual - "Congratulations on your purchase of the M60 machine gun - perfect for home defence and controlling critters."
posted by Grangousier at 12:11 PM on August 26, 2013


While we're floating ideas without being judged: has anyone tried to go to the listed coordinates of the buried money and dug for whatever the creators of the show might have hidden there? Kidding not kidding.

They're the coordinates of Q Studios, where they do the sound stage stuff for the show. They thought about using the real coordinates of the actual place they filmed the digging, but apparently that's on private property (a native american reservation), and they didn't want people trespassing.
posted by sparkletone at 12:22 PM on August 26, 2013


I may be projecting here, but I really love that little bit where Walt asks if it has a manual and Jim Beaver says that he "pulled something off the internet." Having known a few dudes of that guy's stripe (not illicit arms dealers, just older, gruff white men with anarcho-libertarian/survivalist leanings) and that sort of amusingly patchy internet savvy strikes me as very right. Like, they'll find a PDF of a manual for the M60 but then print the whole thing out instead of putting it on a flash drive (I know that's actually the more practical option here, but you get the feeling that Jim Beaver's character is the sort of guy who'd do that no matter what). Or they know how to use torrents but still have a Yahoo email address.
posted by invitapriore at 12:24 PM on August 26, 2013 [2 favorites]


People collecting PDFs of firearms manuals is a thing, and you can find the M-60 manual on that page. A lot of the manuals produced by the US government for various branches of armed services (training, cleaning, smithing, etc.) are on these sites because they're public domain. At most gun shows you can find someone at a stall selling printed copies of these PDFs for several dollars each.
posted by Rhomboid at 1:41 PM on August 26, 2013


I would imagine that even an experienced firearms handler would need specific documentation to properly operate an M60 for maximum killin' effect.
posted by planetesimal at 1:49 PM on August 26, 2013


And yeah, the M60 is for mowing down the Nazis. Just like in WWII.

The M60 was not adopted by the US until 1957 and was based on guns the Nazis used.
posted by Sys Rq at 2:33 PM on August 26, 2013


planetesimal: "I would imagine that even an experienced firearms handler would need specific documentation to properly operate an M60 for maximum killin' effect."

I would too!
posted by invitapriore at 3:50 PM on August 26, 2013


How Jesse Figured It All Out

The comments section has a pretty good discussion of the ricin/lily-of-the-valley plot point.
posted by triggerfinger at 6:41 PM on August 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


Incidentally -- or tangentially, I suppose -- the official Vietnam-era manual for the M16A1 is a comic book by Will Eisner.
posted by Sys Rq at 6:59 PM on August 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


This track I made brings this design to the foreground: Jesse standing before the spillway has an airy, atmospheric and somewhat mournful sound of minor intervals with some dissonance threading in and out, an occasional pulse, that represents Jesse's disconnected sorrow that turns to the pounding of his heart as he realizes the horror of Walter White, rising to a crescendo and then ... silence. For a moment. Then spiraling, spiraling, spinning out of control, a cadence, forward momentum, Jesse's flooded over, he's gone Over the Spillway, he's six feet of white water roaring down Negra Arroyo at sixty-five miles an hour, crashing first into Saul's and eventually into the White home, a rage of urban detritus and despair.

I thought both the mix and your description above (which fits the music perfectly) are brilliant (couldn't listen to it until I got home from work).

Re last night's music, I also thought the track the played at the very end when Jesse was blindly running into the house with the gas can was such a perfect track for the incoherent rage of the scene and the tension it brings. I can't for the life of me find the name of the song.
posted by triggerfinger at 7:04 PM on August 26, 2013


Maybe it's a symbol of his independence/coming into his own, much the way Marie has used purple to represent and distinguish herself. Maybe it's a Hank-and-Marie vs. Walt-and-Skyler thing. Team Purple vs. Team Nude.

There was this bullet from the AV Club review, noticing more purple at the DEA offices:
It’s Team Sand versus Team Midnight at the Mexican restaurant, with Marie in black, Hank representing for Schrader purple and Skyler in a beige turtleneck to match Walt’s cream shirt and grey cardigan. Later Gomie comes into Hank’s office wearing a purple shirt, only to be met with belligerence. Hey Hank, I think you’re missing a potential ally there.
I don't know quite what it's pointing to, but so much of Marie's signature color thrown around makes me fear for her life a little bit.
posted by gladly at 7:17 PM on August 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


"I thought both the mix and your description above (which fits the music perfectly) are brilliant (couldn't listen to it until I got home from work)."

Thanks!

"Re last night's music, I also thought the track the played at the very end when Jesse was blindly running into the house with the gas can was such a perfect track for the incoherent rage of the scene and the tension it brings. I can't for the life of me find the name of the song."

I think it was composed for the episode as background music, like the other. It's taking the same approach.

Looking at the scene again just now, I am struck by that camera viewpoint attached to the gasoline container, looking upward at Jesse, with all the violence of his headlong rush up the sidewalk creating a landscape of massive tectonic upheaval where the only stable points of reference are, first, the gasoline, and then, second, Jesse. It's genius; everything about that scene works.

The dramatic pacing across episodes and within episodes has been amazing — those first two episodes threw us straight out and down the chute, with more happening more quickly than we expected. And then we reach last night's episode, and things happen here, too, but they manage to screw the screws so tight, the entire episode is one of held breath and intolerable anxiety. Each development failed to relieve the tension because the forward motion just propelled us to a point even more untenable and precarious.

This is genius longform filmed entertainment; it's everything that television promised that nothing else could possibly deliver.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 7:21 PM on August 26, 2013 [5 favorites]


I did see somewhere that it's a Dave Porter composition. The shaky POV of the camera from underneath the gas can was great and that music at that moment couldn't have been more perfect. I'm not a music expert but the use of music all throughout the series has been excellent. Some of the really memorable (for me) tracks have been Pick Yourself Up, The Monkees' Goin' Down, Crystal Blue Persuasion and one of my favorite ever music/tv scenes - Knife Party's Bonfire.
posted by triggerfinger at 7:51 PM on August 26, 2013


Ooh, thanks for finding that and linking to it here.

In my opinion, everything about the production of Breaking Bad has been of consistently high quality — acting, writing, directing, editing, and photography, of course, but also casting, costuming and set design, sound design and music, location scouting, and showrunning. It's impressive.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 8:15 PM on August 26, 2013 [2 favorites]


It’s Team Sand versus Team Midnight at the Mexican restaurant, with Marie in black, Hank representing for Schrader purple and Skyler in a beige turtleneck to match Walt’s cream shirt and grey cardigan.

With the lone prop in the scene being an orange-hued squeeze bottle of honey placed square in the middle of the table.
posted by wensink at 8:39 PM on August 26, 2013


Hank and Marie watch the VMAs.
posted by Justinian at 9:26 PM on August 26, 2013 [6 favorites]


Jesse is the one I am hoping will survive the chaos. PINKman! Think pink! The pink teddy bear is what? The eye of God? Pink, the clothes of baby Holly. And how about baby Holly, created before any of this story? Pink teddy bear fell from the sky. Will we see the child who cuddled it in a flashback before dying in the plane crash caused by Walter? I will be disappointed if the pink teddy bear is not seen somewhere in the final episodes. I expected to see it before now.

Regroup

Jesse is the most Jesus-like. Not literally but in my own imaging. He suffers for the innocent. He feels abandoned by his father (family) so is always looking for approval. Gus, who discounts him as a drug addict, eventually accepts him for his loyalty. Mike, who sees him as a slacker, eventually admires his courage. Walt, who sees him as a tool eventually loves him for all the above and more which is why he can't kill him like everyone else who is a threat.

Pinkman must survive or Western Civilisation is a total facade.
posted by maggieb at 9:57 PM on August 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


At this point it seems to me the cruelest possible thing that could happen to Jesse Pinkman would be for him to survive the end of the show.
posted by mediareport at 10:49 PM on August 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


One thing I noticed during the Mexican restaurant scene was that the shots of Hank made him look like Hector Salamanca. That anger in the eyes, the twitching angry face, it looked a lot like the shots of Hector.
posted by azpenguin at 11:08 PM on August 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


mediareport, you are right unless it somehow becomes clear to him that the things that torture him are not things he chose except for the genesis of his alliance with Mr. White.

There are so many instances where Jesse does the right thing in favor of his friends/family: taking the blame for his little brother's doobie; keeping his friends Skinny Pete and Badger away from Walt.

As I watch Walt descend into cruelty I watch Jesse gain .... I don't know the word to use... redemption or ?

---------

I may have figured out Jesse's reaction in the last episode. It was not about realizing that Walt poisoned Brock. It was (wrongly) that Walt wanted the ricin to kill Jesse. By Walt encouraging Jesse to leave and become someone else forever he was effectively killing Jesse Pinkman. When Jesse figured out that Walt engineered the theft of the ricin from him, it told him that Walt might use it against him... otherwise he could have just asked for it back.
posted by maggieb at 11:11 PM on August 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


My personal favorite for music use in the show was Jesse go-karting to Fever Ray's "If I Had A Heart"
posted by mannequito at 12:17 AM on August 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


Wensink, you've probably already seen this theory about Walt being wired in the Season 5 opener -- it's been floating around the internet for about a year now. I don't buy it, but it's interesting in light of the screenshot you're referring to.
posted by Paris Elk at 2:01 AM on August 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


Anna Gunn responded to Breaking Bad fans who hate Skyler
posted by MisantropicPainforest at 5:50 AM on August 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


Just in time for your lunchtime listening pleasure, Episode 511 BB Insider podcast has just been posted here.
posted by wensink at 8:26 AM on August 27, 2013


azpenguin: "One thing I noticed during the Mexican restaurant scene was that the shots of Hank made him look like Hector Salamanca. That anger in the eyes, the twitching angry face, it looked a lot like the shots of Hector."

And the gaze. Seemed like everytime they showed him he was just stoic. Gears turning but no outward appearance of motion.
posted by Big_B at 9:16 AM on August 27, 2013


And to think, without that drug money, he'd even have the wheelchair to complete the look.
posted by Sys Rq at 9:27 AM on August 27, 2013 [4 favorites]


Dean Norris spoils Breaking Bad
posted by Sys Rq at 9:54 AM on August 27, 2013 [3 favorites]


If Breaking Bad had the writers of Dexter. (via)
posted by jbickers at 1:02 PM on August 27, 2013 [2 favorites]


Ugh. Yes. The latest season of Dexter is godawful beyond words. And yet I just. can't. turn. away.
posted by Sys Rq at 1:53 PM on August 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


Hey it's got Yvonne Strahovski so at least there's that.
posted by Justinian at 2:34 PM on August 27, 2013


Based on TWoP, my impression is that (most) people can't stand "Hannah". I don't mind the character and Strahovski is attractive to me, so I'm okay with her.

But...

"Ugh. Yes. The latest season of Dexter is godawful beyond words. And yet I just. can't. turn. away."

...yeah. I can't figure out why I'm still watching it. No, that's not true. I want to know how it ends. I have no clue, really, whether Dexter will go to jail, go live happily ever after, whatever. I'm not sure that I care beyond just, you know, knowing.

That "via" is worth reading. The writer points out that the Dexter mechanism of telling the audience three times every thing that's happened and what everything means, has the result of letting the writers off-the-hook for ensuring that their writing makes any damn sense in the first place. And it doesn't.

I was very interested, even excited, last season with Debra discovering the truth about Dexter. That would have, and did, change everything, and in that respect it's not unlike what's happening now on BB. But in every other respect it's been terrible. Personally, I'd choose the unbelievably stupid decision of the writers to have Debra be "in love" with Dexter to exemplify everything that's wrong with the characterization on the show these days.

Also, I like Charlotte Rampling quite well, but I hate "Dr. Vogel", I hate how Rampling's playing the character, I hate pretty much everything about her to the point that every scene with Vogel is torture. She's like how a twelve-year-old would think a character described as "arch" would behave. I don't think there could actually be a person like that. That character is some dialogue and a layer of affect. This is supposed to be a working piece of the writers' machinery?

Contrast to Jesse. Or Gus. Imagine Dexter's version of Gus. Breaking Bad gave us an enigma with a person at the core. Dexter would give us a great actor wasted on such a poorly-realized character that when it's revealed that he was a figment of another character's imagination, the audience goes, oh, that totally makes sense because that wasn't actually a character in the first place.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 3:16 PM on August 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


Having given it more thought than I ought to have done, I suspect that the "terrible, unforgivable" thing that Walter's going to do isn't to directly kill anyone (as he's done a bunch of that already), but to phone in his order for a vacuum cleaner part and abandon his family to be massacred, something that he can't come back from morally even with Rambo's machine gun.
posted by Grangousier at 3:25 PM on August 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


Dean Norris spoils Breaking Bad

And yet it's still better writing than Under the Dome. Heyooo!

I was very interested, even excited, last season with Debra discovering the truth about Dexter.

It was a breath of fresh air after that disastrous season with the ghost and Deb being in love with her brother, and for a while it looked like they might be able to turn the ship around. But this season has descended into the usual crutches; they just can't seem to lay off the narration. Ending it after 8 was certainly better than the alternative of letting it limp on, even though it's far and away Showtime's biggest ratings cow (it scores about 50% higher numbers than the next highest rated show [Shameless] in both total and the demo, at least in live+SD.) I am positive that a great number of people are watching it for the same reason I am: because they remember enjoying it and they want to see how it ends.

phone in his order for a vacuum cleaner part and abandon his family to be massacred

That's a fascinating idea, but I can't see the current Walter White doing that. He constantly lies to himself about being such a great family man and provider. It would really take something major for him to let that happen.

Also, I'd just like to say for the record how hilarious I found it when Saul calls up a vacuum repair place and asks for a new dust filter for a Hoover MaxExtract Pressure Pro Model 60. There's something about the specificity of that line and the way that Odinkirk delivers it -- even though I don't think he was necessarily going for comedy, there's something about the exasperation in his voice. I can't really explain it, but I find it tremendously funny. Also, BB demonstrates its proclivity for detail, because back in season 4's Crawl Space when Saul was telling Walt how to get in touch with the vacuum guy, he says to use that same exact phrase.
posted by Rhomboid at 4:05 PM on August 27, 2013


He's going to break Flynn. Deliberately, and for no reason other than malice.

That will be the unforgivable thing.

As if he needs any more of them.
posted by merelyglib at 4:47 PM on August 27, 2013


I've seen commenters elsewhere having a hard time accepting Jesse's epiphany, but I didn't really have a problem with it.

Me neither. I figured it was a given that Jesse would have to find out about Brock and Jane eventually and assumed the scene with Jesse and Huell in the waiting room in the previous episode was setting that up. Walter will have to be the one who gives up Jane's secret, which I can see happening as a slip-up or misstep on Walter's part which then drives Jesse to kill Walt or as some kind of deliberate final twist of the knife as Walter or Jesse dies.

Pink, the clothes of baby Holly.

I noticed in E9, when Hank and Marie leave the party Walter goes to the driver's side and talks to Hank. He's holding Holly, who is wearing a jacket with pink and black polka dots.

Episode 511 BB Insider podcast has just been posted

Thanks! Perfect excuse to go for a sunset stroll.
posted by Room 641-A at 6:22 PM on August 27, 2013


The only problem with Jesse's epiphany is that he was told by the doctors/police that Brock wasn't poisoned by ricin, but by Lily of the Valley.

What Walt did makes a lot of sense: he couldn't actually poison Brock with ricin because ricin poisoning is pretty obvious and would raise questions and invite scrutiny that Walt didn't want. Lily of the Valley is very common and everyone would assume that a little boy consumed some on his own, somehow, accidentally. Also, ricin poisoning isn't really treatable and most likely fatal, whereas there's a good chance that Brock's Lily of the Valley poisoning would be diagnosed in time and effectively treated, and otherwise much less likely to be fatal.

So Walt gets a very ill Brock, with which he can convince Jesse that Brock's been poisoned by the ricin missing from Jesse's cigarette pack (thanks to Huell and Saul), and then convince him that Gus took it from Jesse's locker at the lab. Later, Brock recovers and the ricin is "found", mission accomplished, Jesse was unglued from Gus's side.

But this is, I think, a bit of a problem with regard to Jesse's epiphany because although Jesse isn't dumb, an epiphany of "Mr. White poisoned Brock with ricin, but not really, he just wanted me to think Brock was poisoned with ricin when actually Mr. White poisoned Brock with Lily of the Valley" seems a bit of stretch, at least all at once. I can buy him thinking, okay, it sure as hell seems like Huell really did lift my cigarettes and get the ricin like I originally suspected, because he did it with my weed with ease, and that only would have been done at the ultimate direction of Mr. White, and Mr. White convinced me that Gus had poisoned Brock with the ricin, and also Mr. White found the ricin capsule which if Huell had taken it then Mr. White must have had it all along, so then if Brock was poisoned, Mr. White had to have poisoned him for a reason, but not with ricin, but with the Lily of the Valley. This was Mr. White playing me like he always has, and poisoning a little boy to do it. I'm gonna burn me down a fucking house.

So, that happened in the car on the way to Saul, maybe. I dunno.

I haven't watched that scene again to see exactly what he says to Saul, and so I guess it's possible that Jesse really thinks that Brock was poisoned with ricin, regardless of what he was told, and even though he recovered the ricin. I doubt it, though, if for no other reason than that we'd have to have another scene where he put the last pieces together and that would be a waste of time — Jesse's where he needs to be, totally aware of who Walt really is and what he's done.

Having been thinking about this just now — and it was mentioned up-thread, I think, but it's worth repeating — it's remarkable that when Jesse squeezes in front of him, Huell's pickpocketing Jesse is visible to the camera, but very quick and entirely unsignaled to the audience. I imagine some people noticed it because of the previous use of Huell's sticky fingers. I certainly didn't. I can't imagine that very many did. And I read (but didn't check) that Huell's pickpocketing was visible the first time around, too.

In my opinion, that is amazing and emblematic of some of what's so special about this show. Why have a visible pickpocket if it's not going to be lampshaded? Conventional thought would be that either the audience needs to know it happened while it happens, or it's wasted effort and an unnecessary complication for filming the scene. Any other show in the history of ever would just have the audience believe that we didn't see the pickpocket because Huell is so good at pickpocketing, or just relying upon the audience not caring. Maybe they'd avoid the issue by framing the shot so that a pickpocket wasn't visible to the camera. But go to the effort of actually doing it even though almost no viewers will notice it and it's not necessary for the narrative for the audience to see it when it happens? No one would do that. But Vince Gilligan did.

In that Dean Norris Vulture interview, he uses the example of Walt realizing that it's possible that Hank put a tracer on his car and then feeling around the whole periphery of the car before finding it as an example of the Breaking Bad attention to detail, and doing so for good reason. He says that other shows would have shown Walt have the realization and then reach down and find the tracer immediately. Norris says this is an example of how BB doesn't spoonfeed its audience, the way that network shows do.

But it's more than that, I think. Because the show is the way that it is, when Walt begins to look for the tracer, we have no idea whether he'll find it. We have no idea whether or not some other sort of unexpected thing might happen while Walt is looking for it, such as a neighbor asking him what he's doing (unlikely late a night, but you get the idea). Scripted, acted, and filmed the way that it was, what we get is a verisimilitude of the small details of actual, daily life, including its innumerable contingencies, and this is crucially important for this particular narrative because it's a narrative of the clash of the quotidian suburban life against the incomprehensibility of terminal illness and a garden path of escalating choices that turn an ordinary father into a monster. He can't always be a monster, and that's why he's so often still Mr. White. But, also, he can't always live in otherworldly desert landscapes and futuristic labs and in basements with a handcuffed man he's going to choke to death. He has to live in the ordinary world where it's a pain in the ass (and also the back) to look under his car for a tracer and where he has to go all the way around the damn car to find it, which at some point he was probably thinking, oh, fuck it, it's probably not there. A lot of us would have thought "fuck it" about halfway through and stopped. But Walter White wouldn't.

Vince Gilligan doesn't have the same kind of attention to detail as, say, Matthew Weiner. Gilligan's attention to detail is to small things about people, about his characters, that breathe some more life into them than we're usually accustomed and in ways that work organically with the narrative. He's obsessed with the colors used in costuming — that's revealing, I think, of how he understands his story.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 10:07 PM on August 27, 2013 [5 favorites]


That scene where Jesse was waiting for the guy was some crazy intense television. I had this heavy feeling of dread through the whole sequence. Is there any proof that Saul's vacuum cleaner guy actual does relocate people? What if he just sends them to Belize and makes them pay for the privilege? Jesse asking about Alaska and Saul's whole 'sure sure, why not' bit had a whole 'sure, we sent Fido to a farm where he gets to chase rabbits all day long' vibe.
posted by lovecrafty at 1:21 AM on August 28, 2013 [4 favorites]


Random question: Who watches baby Holly while Skyler and Walt are working at the Car Wash?
posted by iamkimiam at 2:13 AM on August 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


Brock getting sick from Lily of the Valley isn't an obstacle to Jesse's epiphany, it's an essential component. After Gus was dead, there's a scene where Jesse and Walk talk on the roof of a parking structure. Jesse tells Walt that Brock is going to pull through, and that the doctors told him that the cause was Lily of the Valley. It goes something like this:
Jesse: It's got these red berries on it that I guess taste sweet and sometimes little kids eat them and wind up poisoning themselves. And that's it, nothing more.
[a beat]
Jesse: So Gus didn't poison him after all.
[a beat, while Walt continues to feign shock and confusion]
Jesse: Still he... he had to go... right?
Walt: Damn right. Gus had to go.
If Brock just happened to eat some wild berries at the precise time that Walt needed Jesse to turn against Gus, that would have been a hell of a coincidence. But the missing cigarette at this point is still unexplained. Jesse knows that there is something missing from the story. In that scene above he's doing the thing where he gently tries to probe Walt, judging his reactions. He relents, because he's got a sick Brock to go be with, but the issue is far from settled in his mind. He knows he didn't just lose that cigarette. Later he will be fed a narrative where that is exactly what happened, and he even seems to buy it. But after seeing Walt whistle while working after just having been responsible for a young boy's death (not to mention the eventual killing of Mike and 10 inmates in horrible, gruesome ways), Jesse is going to revisit every interaction he's ever had with this monster. The cigarette might have been explained, but the coincidence remains. Seeing that pack of cigarettes in his hand while waiting for that minivan brings everything to the fore, and it all snaps in place.

If Brock had actually been poisoned with ricin and somehow survived due to early intervention, Jesse would have never put it together. He would have had no reason to ever suspect that it wasn't Gus, he would not have had to wrestle with the contradiction of knowing that he would have never been so careless as to let the cigarette drop on the floor, and he would not have had this puzzling coincidence of Brock just happening to eat some wild berries at just the time when it was most beneficial to Walt nagging at the back of his mind. The fact that Walt chose a half measure instead of a full measure -- actually using the ricin on Brock -- turned out to have done him in.
posted by Rhomboid at 3:20 AM on August 28, 2013 [15 favorites]


Jesse knows that there is something missing from the story.

Exactly. In hindsight, I would almost describe it by saying Jesse isn't drawing linear connections between incidents but instead has a "Kobayashi" moment*.

*Warning: Usual Suspects spoiler
posted by Room 641-A at 8:47 AM on August 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


"Later he will be fed a narrative where that is exactly what happened, and he even seems to buy it."

Well, yes. That's where things stand at the point right before his epiphany. He somehow dropped the cigarette. It was found. Brock was poisoned by a plant. There are no loose ends. Looking at his pack of cigarettes means nothing to Jesse; he looks at his cigarettes every day.

"Jesse knows that there is something missing from the story."

No, I don't think so. I think right up to that moment, everything was well explained from Jesse's viewpoint.

Rhomboid says that the timing of the poisoning was suspicious because it was convenient in that it pulled Jesse away from Gus and to Walt. That's quite right, and so it was especially suspicious of Walt to be the one who suggested that Gus poisoned Brock with the ricin. So if Walt had used the ricin, then Jesse would have every reason to forever remain suspicious of Walt about it. But since it turned out not to have been the ricin, then from Jesse's perspective Walt is in the clear because Walt tried to convince Jesse of something that turned out to be false and Walt himself found the ricin which proved that Gus hadn't taken it! There's no way that Jesse would think that the ricin was a decoy but the poisoning was real.

And kids eat things they shouldn't. Lily of the Valley poisonings are common. At the point when Jesse is waiting below the spillway, the Brock poisoning had been explained and Jesse thought he'd just dropped the cigarette in his house somehow.

What changed in that moment, was that his baggie of marijuana was missing.

He had just left Saul's, Saul didn't want him to have the baggie, and Jesse had brushed against Huell.

Back when he lost the ricin cigarette, he suspected Huell and Saul because that's the only place where he'd been and he couldn't find the cigarette in the house.

That's the connection he made in that moment, perhaps just as he realized the baggie was gone and while he was looking at the pack of cigarettes in his hand. He's thinking: maybe Saul really did have Huell take the ricin.

Jesse knows that Brock wasn't poisoned by the ricin, he was told that it was Lily of the Valley. So now he's thinking, "why did Saul have Huell take the ricin?"

And then he remembers, "but Mr. White found the ricin. If Saul took it and Mr. White found it, then it was Mr. White who had Saul take it. Mr. White was lying to me. He convinced me that Gus had taken it. He must have taken it so that he could convince me that Gus had taken it."

At that point Jesse must have wondered why Walt didn't use the ricin on Brock. There are several reasons. Using something else but taking the ricin made it possible for Walt to do what I describe above: like a magician, Walt calls Jesse's attention to the missing ricin so that he can make Jesse suspicious of Gus but in the end prove himself wrong about it by finding the ricin while poisoning Brock in a completely different way. And there's no treatment for ricin poisoning once the symptoms start; Brock probably would have died and it would have been very high profile.

I'm not saying that Jesse considered in that moment that Walt really did poison Brock with ricin — he knows that's not the case. All I'm saying is that realizing that Huell is a great pickpocket gives Jesse what he needs to return to his suspicion that Huell took the ricin, but that this alone doesn't get him all the way because Brock wasn't poisoned by the ricin. Knowing that, he's going to be sure that Walt was behind this. But why? He gave the ricin back. And then he'll think that the timing of Brock's poisoning was suspicious and realize that the ricin was a head fake.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 9:38 AM on August 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


It's also that the episode had beats where Jesse was waking up:
with Hank, where Hank observes that Walt has done a number on Jesse
out in the desert with the Uspeakable Hug that Jesse nonetheless resists, his hands at his sides. he also gets confirmation that Mike is dead, which he already knew
and then things click on the spillway
and then instead of going after Walt first, Jesse makes it his mission to beat the truth out of Saul
posted by angrycat at 10:29 AM on August 28, 2013


I think there was another beat when he looked a second time at the joint he'd stubbed out in Saul's office.
posted by merelyglib at 10:49 AM on August 28, 2013


Sys Rq: "Ugh. Yes. The latest season of Dexter is godawful beyond words. And yet I just. can't. turn. away."

I know we're a bit past the Dexter tangent, but I can't help but wonder if this season of Dexter would have been decent (maybe even good?) in a previous era of television. If we were watching this season 7 years ago, in Dexter's heyday, instead of right before or after one of the best tv shows of the present era of television, maybe Dexter wouldn't seem so pathetic. It's in the direct comparison with Breaking Bad that we're all realizing how dated Dexter's storytelling is.
posted by Defenestrator at 11:53 AM on August 28, 2013


My thoughts on Jesse’s thought process:

He goes to look for his pot on the spillway. Not there. Jesse thinks wtf, I just had it, how could I have lost it? Which could very well lead to him thinking of how he’s lost other things recently, like the ricin cig.

He probably realizes at that same moment that Huell had to have taken the pot off him, because he just had it and he knows Saul didn’t want to him to have it. He could very logically then make the connection that Huell also took the ricin cig. He might be thinking I thought I lost the pot, but Huell must have taken it when he brushed up against me. What happened when I thought I lost the ricin cig? Huell also patted me down around that time. Jesse made a big scene when Huell patted him down to switch his cig packs, he was hitting and yelling at Huell, so it’s realistic that he wouldn’t have forgotten about the incident.

Now he’s thinking, well it turns out I didn’t lose the ricin after all, because Mr. White helped me find it. But he remembers how he originally thought Walt had taken it and poisoned Brock and when he confronted Walt, Walt said, no – Gus took it and he believed Walt (Gus could have reasonably had his guy take it from Jesse’s locker at the lab as Walt suggested). Even though Jesse later found out it wasn’t ricin but LotV poisoning, it doesn’t matter – Walt could have been guessing about Gus taking it and been wrong.

BUT - and I think this is crucial – iirc, only Jesse and Walt knew that Jesse had the ricin cig. So if Jesse is now thinking Huell took it - how would Saul have known to instruct Huell to take it unless Walt specifically asked for that to happen? So it’s not just that Jesse suspects – Jesse knows that Walt had to have instructed Saul to have the cig taken, which means that Walt was definitely and knowingly lying about Gus taking the cig.

So even if Walt was lying about the ricin cig, it doesn’t matter because Brock was poisoned by LotV. Here’s where I think we have to make a small leap. Jesse now realizes that Walt knowingly lied to him about the ricin cig and that Walt actually took it and tried to convince Jesse that Gus did it.

But why would Mr. White do that? To poison Brock and blame it on Gus to get Jesse onboard with his plan to kill him.

But Brock was poisoned by LotV. Well that’s what the doctor said, but who knows if that’s true. Jesse has just realized this episode how much Walt has been lying to him. Maybe that wasn’t the real doctor. Or maybe Mr. White did something sciencey to make ricin mimic LotV. Jesse maybe isn’t even sure now how Brock was poisoned. What he does know is that only him and Walt knew he had the ricin cig. It is totally reasonable and logical for him to have made the connection that Huell took it. If Huell took it, the instructions only could have come from Walt. Which means Walt lied straight out to him about Gus doing it.

So the two conflicting thoughts now are that Brock was poisoned by LotV and that Walt lied to him about the ricin cig. Why would Walt take the cig back and lie to him about it? The only reasonable explanation is to poison Brock, which was Jesse’s original suspicion. So that would be an easy leap to think that Brock being accidentally poisoned by LotV either wasn’t true or there was more to it. Jesse might not know what it is, but it is very reasonable for him to think that Walt was somehow behind it and to come to the conclusion that Walt poisoned Brock. All he then had to do was run back to Saul’s office and say YOU POISONED BROCK and Saul confirmed it all.
posted by triggerfinger at 12:04 PM on August 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


There's always been some TV that doesn't go out of its way to insult its audience and some that does. That's as much a function of demographics as anything. I'll admit there's been some evolution away from insulting the audience as we live in the age of pause screen analysis and Internet fan forums. Even so, Dexter's got problems this season that relate to some fundamental weaknesses in the story surfacing again in a big way.
posted by BrotherCaine at 12:07 PM on August 28, 2013


I know we're a bit past the Dexter tangent, but I can't help but wonder if this season of Dexter would have been decent (maybe even good?) in a previous era of television. If we were watching this season 7 years ago, in Dexter's heyday, instead of right before or after one of the best tv shows of the present era of television, maybe Dexter wouldn't seem so pathetic. It's in the direct comparison with Breaking Bad that we're all realizing how dated Dexter's storytelling is.

No, Dexter's bad even compared to itself, two seasons ago. I mean, it's always been silly (Miami doesn't have quite so many serial killers, for example), but even when it was at its dumbest, it was at least interesting. You cared about characters, there were stakes and logic, the big reveal got an Ooooh! instead of an Uhhhh...?

This season is just bad. It's like everyone involved got paid in advance and knew it was the last season, so, hey, why bother making it any good?
posted by Sys Rq at 12:22 PM on August 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


"Miami doesn't have quite so many serial killers, for example..."

I want to say that it doesn't even have that many killers, but of course that's not true.

But it's less false than people think.

The amazing thing about our fondness for murder mysteries and procedurals in television is that there just aren't, in the actual reality of the 21st century USA, even remotely as many murders as these shows make us think there are. It's like, in a single police station in a large city, we're to believe that there's a murder a day (that's per station). Murder, murder, murder. There's more murder than auto theft.

A few months ago during a conversation with my mom and her husband about crime, I asked them to estimate how many murders they think happen a week here in the Kansas City metro area. They guessed around ten, maybe a bit more.

It's about two per week.

For about 2.3 million people.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 12:35 PM on August 28, 2013


But Brock was poisoned by LotV. Well that’s what the doctor said, but who knows if that’s true.

Mmn, no, I don't think they'd let that plant pull focus as much as it has -- when Walk looks over at it after he spins the gun, then later near the pool, came back the next week and showed us the Lily of the Valley hangtag, and then had Walt "forget" to pack it when he's cleaning out the house, and runs back to get it -- if it was a red herring. They just don't play that way.
posted by thinkpiece at 12:40 PM on August 28, 2013


No, I mean that may be Jesse's thought process. We know it was LotV but if Jesse is making all these other connections that point to Walt and the only thing that seems off is that Brock was poisoned by LotV and not ricin, is it much of a leap for Jesse to think that maybe Walt set up some elaborate scheme to make it seem like a not-ricin poisoning (given all of Walt's other lies that Jesse's finding out about)?
posted by triggerfinger at 1:22 PM on August 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


Ah, ok, yes.
posted by thinkpiece at 2:07 PM on August 28, 2013


Sorry, I went back and re-read it and I realize my writing wasn't very clear.

Anyway, someone put together a seven minute video of all the relevant parts in the ricin/LotV storyline here for anyone who wants to watch it again.
posted by triggerfinger at 4:08 PM on August 28, 2013 [3 favorites]


Oooh! And here's a picture of Francesca (Saul's secretary) shredding school schedules.
posted by triggerfinger at 4:10 PM on August 28, 2013 [2 favorites]


WTF. Dude has the frame cropped all the way down to 2.49:1, but the show is shot on Super 35 at 1.78. Unlike common AR fuckups, this one seems intentional. Not cool dude.
posted by Rhomboid at 4:25 PM on August 28, 2013


triggerfinger: "Oooh! And here's a picture of Francesca (Saul's secretary) shredding school schedules."

I'd point out that the schedule is not likely to belong to any school that Brock is going to. The classes are coded by subject and have enrollment data similar to those of a college. This doesn't mean that there weren't other school's information around, but I don't think this is the proof of how Walt got to Brock.
posted by mindless progress at 4:44 PM on August 28, 2013 [3 favorites]


mindless progress: "I'd point out that the schedule is not likely to belong to any school that Brock is going to. The classes are coded by subject and have enrollment data similar to those of a college."

Weird that they'd bother including it then. I guess it's either a) the closest thing to a school schedule that they had, like you said, or b) a random meaningless shot and a random piece of paper that happened to be a school schedule.

Or they're putting elementary schoolers in sociology and psychology classes in the Breaking Bad world.
posted by Defenestrator at 7:02 PM on August 28, 2013


That bums me out a little. I don't want to believe that Vince Gilligan would have so clearly shown a school schedule being shredded if it had no meaning, or that he would overlook that. Doing a little google, I can see that the controversy over that scene goes back almost two years, to when the episode it was in (Face Off) was shown. There was a lot of controversy over it then and VG said at the time that they came up with some good explanation in the writer's room of how Walt was able to do it within a tight timeframe, and that it worked. But he didn't give any more details. And now he's saying that Walt probably slipped into a school with a poisoned...juice box. It's a pretty major plot point and I can't believe that VG would have not really thought it through that much, especially as there were already a lot of questions about it two years ago (when he would have had plenty of time to come up with a good explanation and write it into the show). So I'm kind of hoping that there is more info to come, which is why we've only gotten kind of vague details on how Brock got poisoned.
posted by triggerfinger at 7:17 PM on August 28, 2013


I'm willing to give the whole juice box thing a pass. We've seen Walt be devious in outrageous/unbelievable ways (bomb connected to HS's bell, what?). I also think that they had to ring the bell of the poisoning with care. Tampering with a kid's juice box -- I mean, there's no way that you can root for Walt doin' wrong with that. I think that's a universal do not pass thing. Lingering on it for too long, I can see why they didn't want to do that.

But then, I'm a rabid fan.
posted by angrycat at 4:33 AM on August 29, 2013


Gilligan has said that one of the reasons Breaking Bad spends as much time as it does on the small details is so that when it comes to a scenario which they can't provide information on, you trust the writers that something did, in fact, plausibly happen.

Showing anything with Walt and Brock would have killed the tension of that final episode of 4, and now going back to it would just add clutter to a season that needs no distractions. But I trust that the writers could write that scene if they'd needed to, so I am okay with that. (Ditto Walt's being so confident that the van can't be traced back to him and Jesse and Mike. How does he know? Because he knows, end of story.)
posted by Rory Marinich at 5:24 AM on August 29, 2013


We've seen Walt be devious in outrageous/unbelievable ways (bomb connected to HS's bell, what?).

I read that HS as high school, and was gonna be all, "No, that was the Dragnet with the Nazi," but, heh.
posted by Sys Rq at 9:25 AM on August 29, 2013


I've been wondering for a while now if we'd ever meet vacuum cleaner part guy. And who would be cast to play him. Turns out that the iMDB BB episode page is filled with all sorts of plot spoilers (based upon the cast list), if you're into that kind of thing.
posted by wensink at 11:23 AM on August 29, 2013


wensink: "Turns out that the iMDB BB episode page is filled with all sorts of plot spoilers (based upon the cast list), if you're into that kind of thing."

In my own personal creation myth, that link is the forbidden fruit.
posted by Room 641-A at 6:24 PM on August 29, 2013 [4 favorites]


I took one bite, but didn't swallow.
posted by wensink at 5:16 AM on August 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


It might be accurate, but wouldn't trust it. IMDB pages for upcoming episodes of TV shows can be edited by all sorts of people, and trolls use the cast lists to drop false or misleading spoilers all the time.
posted by painquale at 5:22 AM on August 30, 2013


That Gilligan will stop at nothing.
posted by wensink at 6:14 AM on August 30, 2013


Am I the only one who gets Dennis Rader vibes from Heisenberg? I wonder if he will be as proud of himself when he is caught. If he is caught. For all his machinations to keep the game running he seems to want everyone to know he was once the smartest and most powerful of them all. Rader could have lived out his life in safe obscurity but his addiction to the game was too strong.
posted by maggieb at 4:49 PM on August 31, 2013


Here's a pool I've got going with friends; let's start it up here. For Walt, Skyler, Junior, Hank, Jesse, and Saul, decide whether you think the character will live or die by the end of the series. If you pick Walt to live, you also need to decide whether you think he'll be imprisoned or not. My picks:

Walt: alive, not in prison
Skyler: alive
Junior: dead
Hank: dead
Jesse: alive
Saul: alive
posted by painquale at 4:54 PM on August 31, 2013


oooh, fun.

Walt: dead, never went to prison
Skyler: alive
Junior: dead
Hank: dead
Jesse: dead
Saul: alive

(extra for funsies... Holly: dead, Marie: alive)
posted by gaspode at 6:40 PM on August 31, 2013


Actually, I should have clarified - Walt dead from cancer.
posted by gaspode at 6:44 PM on August 31, 2013


Walt: alive but dying of cancer, not in prison
Skyler: dead
Junior: dead
Hank: dead
Jesse: dead
Saul: alive
Holly: dead
Marie: dead

That's pretty bleak now that I look at it.
posted by triggerfinger at 6:58 PM on August 31, 2013


I don't want any of them to be dead so here is my best case scenario:

Hank chases Walt to Florida and shoots him dead but gets off because of the Stand Your Ground law.

Skyler lives on taking care of Walt Jr. and Holly with Walt's money which she slowly launders through the car wash.

Hank loses his job because of his obsession with finding Heisenberg (which cannot be proven) so Skyler has to support him and her sister, Marie.

Jesse, being unsuccesful in getting revenge on Walt, runs away with Andrea and Brock by way of vacuum cleaner parts man.

Saul is and has been all clear anyway because LAW.
posted by maggieb at 7:02 PM on August 31, 2013


Hamlet ending. Everyone dies, then some Norwegian dude comes in and takes over Heisenberg's territory.
posted by lovecrafty at 7:08 PM on August 31, 2013 [1 favorite]


Out of left field: Jane's father goes after Jesse and kills Walt instead. Justified.
posted by maggieb at 7:11 PM on August 31, 2013


Jane's child was taken away from her because of her drug addiction. She gave the child a pink teddy bear. That is why the pink teddy bear was represented in the painting over her bed. The child was coming to visit on the fatal flight with the pink teddy bear. When Jane's father put it all together he became so enraged he went after Jesse.
posted by maggieb at 7:25 PM on August 31, 2013


Yall is some grim mofos. I'll have to think on it some more, but I haven't ruled out an ending where everyone lives, albeit under dire circumstances. But I would be oh so happy to be proven wrong.
posted by Rhomboid at 7:29 PM on August 31, 2013


Out of left field: Jane's father goes after Jesse and kills Walt instead. Justified.

Jane's father whisks Walt away to an otherworldly courtroom scene where he sits in judgment of the entire human race, and makes it Walt's job to defend humanity against annihilation.
posted by Sys Rq at 8:13 PM on August 31, 2013 [6 favorites]


No no, it has to stay intimate. Everything so far has been intimate. Even the biggest thing (the airplane crash) had an intimate origin.
posted by maggieb at 8:39 PM on August 31, 2013


Cold opening: an unruly trio of meth-dealing Nausicaans move into ABQ and in their first meeting with Walt, stab him through the lungs.

Cut to opening credits: [Br]eaking [Ba]d opening credits and music.

Desert panoramas: rocks, brush, cacti, sand, bloody meat. Bodies torn apart in the desert. Wild desert animals are well fed that day. Somebody lost bigtime... what happened?

Flash back, the white supremacists meet the Nausicaans at the buried desert meth lab, think they are corn-fed Mexican, oppose them clumsily, and are torn to shreds. No dialog needed, just two groups of aggressives unable to communicate except through physical violence. One side looses quickly.

Soft, weak, and confused, Todd is the first to be shredded into coyote food. Bye Todd, won't miss you. You die a horrible death, we kinda want to cheer dead Todd! He earned it.

Commercial break, palate cleanser.

Hank and Marie are distracted by very thin evidence of extraterrestrial involvement. Hank also poops a couple times, just to ground his character. They both live on the very edge of a break-through, but are never able to figure out the big picture. They suffer the curse of boring lives, insulated from everything that happens. They want to call the cavalry, but don't want to be the one's who called.

Shania Twain never calls Hank. He's not okay with that. Marie knows about it too. Their relationship is all about the schism between want and need.

Saul has earned duffle bags of cash but isn't satisfied or ready to walk away. Look for him to reappear with sage advice in Brandon and Skinny P's spinoff. He is in love with Francesca but she is way to smart to hitch her wagon to him.

Lydia is Scottish. Most Scots have the goodsense to keep the mouth shut before auditionng for an acting role.

Commercial break.

Brandon and Skinny P find abandoned Nausicaan technology way in the dessert while hunting javelinas. They get high and have a good time and leave the door open for a spin-off Scy-Fy series.

Huell and Kuby stole a couple dufflel bags of cash from Walt's storage locker. But they are too afraid to spend any of it. They are recurring characters in Brandon and Skinny P's Scy-Fy series.

Walt Jr, aka Flynn, eats cereal out of a box. Complains a little about everything. Then goes about his life and community college classes with Luis.

Comic relief: Francesca learns about Ted Beneke's generous disability insurance policy, put her honey-tits to work nursing him back to health. Solid love connection, those two are happily ever after: Beneke fabricates once again, he fabricates hard and deep.

Commercial break.

Skyler gasps at every one of these predictable twists, each one an assault on her autonomy. But she doesn't really care, she has her carwash empire and the lottery ticket map to the hidden treasure.

Closeup on Walt: in the twilight between life and death, Donald Margolis appears to give Walt a choice between a safe life with healthy lungs or a tumultuous one with diseased lungs. Walter White makes a difficult choice and lives with the consequences.

Jesse smokes a lot of pot and avoids the drama. When he finally sees that he can live a safe life, he says "Whoa, bitch."

Fin.
posted by peeedro at 11:06 PM on August 31, 2013 [2 favorites]


My predictions have been abysmal so far, but here goes:

Walt: alive, not in prison
Skyler: dead
Junior: alive
Hank: alive
Jesse: dead
Saul: alive
Holly: alive
Marie: alive

In the short-term:
- I'm definitely expecting a Jesse-Junior confrontation tonight.
- any guesses as to what Hank's reaction to Walt's frame-up threat will be?
posted by Paris Elk at 2:48 AM on September 1, 2013


Final scene: Junior, alive, sitting at a table eating cereal. No one else survives.
posted by Big_B at 6:23 AM on September 1, 2013 [2 favorites]


And does he still have no idea what the hell is going on?
posted by Grangousier at 6:29 AM on September 1, 2013


I am so invested in the characters at this point, I am now less sardonic about that anecdote of people waiting for the latest contribution from Dickens from whatever novel, the people all crowded on the dock, waiting for the boat, and calling out does so and so live.
posted by angrycat at 8:15 AM on September 1, 2013 [7 favorites]


any guesses as to what Hank's reaction to Walt's frame-up threat will be?

It's an interesting predicament that he's in. Although he can come off as brash and bullish, I think Hank can actually be quite patient and calculating when it's called for. Since Walt has removed the two primary routes available to Hank -- bring him in wearing cuffs or just murder him -- I think he's going to sit back and scheme and plan and wait for an opportunity to present itself.
posted by Rhomboid at 9:30 AM on September 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


Walt and Skyler convince Hank and Marie to join them living off their millions in Costa Rica. We already know Hank hates his job so they just might go for it. Jesse O.D.s on his couch. Badger and Skinny Pete don't notice for three weeks.
posted by rocket88 at 11:57 AM on September 1, 2013


no way Hank survives this episode. on finding out that Walt's drug money paid for his physical therapy, his reaction was "that's the last nail in my coffin". He is a walkin testament to Walt's drug empire - and we all know what happens to "colossal wreck" of Ozymandias's works. when last seen, Hank was mysteriously walking out of the office mid-day, blowing off his prior commitments. It will not wendell.

Also, Jane's dad killed himself early on in season 3.
posted by fingers_of_fire at 12:26 PM on September 1, 2013


"no way Hank survives this episode."

I'm going to say that you're wrong about this. I'm confident he'll survive this episode and not only that, through most of the way to the end, if not all the way. He's central to the narrative that's been developing for these three episodes, with only five to go, I can't see how they would switch gears to, say, Todd's uncle's gang as the main antagonist.

My sense is that they're setting up a situation where Walt's getting it from three directions: Hank, Todd's uncle, and possibly Lydia. Maybe both the white supremacy group and Lydia won't be definitely antagonistic, but for a while they'll be ambiguous and basically giving Walt more things to worry about.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 12:41 PM on September 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


Well, and Jesse, too, of course. I really don't know what's going to happen with Jesse. He's really the wild card.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 12:42 PM on September 1, 2013


Okay, I'm just going to go for it. Again, I'll be very happy to be proven wrong:

Walt: alive, not in prison
Skyler: alive
Junior: alive
Hank: alive
Jesse: alive
Saul: alive
posted by Rhomboid at 12:55 PM on September 1, 2013


I think Jesse has to be a central component of this whole thing blowing up in Walt's face. Walt's been pumping misery into Jesse for a full five seasons, and Breaking Bad doesn't seem like the sort of show that is going to let a character absorb that much punishment without something exploding mightily.
posted by invitapriore at 12:55 PM on September 1, 2013


Yeah. Whatever happens to Jesse, I think that the a lot of what this show is about hinges on him. He's "broke bad", too, but he's nothing like Walt. The two of them are contrasting character studies of what it means to break bad.

Walt's self-directed and self-deluded about why he is making the choices he's making. In that self-delusion, there's an opportunity for evil, and that evil is realized in two different ways. First, in the self-indulgent relish of malice, of discovering that he can make himself more powerful by harming other people, and that he likes it. Second, in his influence of the people around him, from partners in crime like Jesse, to family, he is tainting everyone he's associated with and damaging their lives, too. So Walt is like a pathogen, infecting the people around him as he does what he does for his own destructive purposes.

Jesse isn't self-directed and he's not self-deluded. What evil Jesse does is expressed passively through him and originates elsewhere (Walt). But he's responsible for his passivity and his inability to make good choices and be responsible for what he does. He damages others, too, but mostly he damages himself.

Walt represents a toxic morality of externalized destructive anger coupled with a grandiose ego and a lot of self-delusion. Walt is the agent of social destruction who rationalizes by believing itself to be righteous in some sense, often in the service of some ideal such as family, or faith, or country.

Jesse represents a toxic morality of passive conformance, fecklessness, petty selfishness, the paralysis of doubt in the face of evil. Jesses are victims of Walts — but, also, they are their lieutenants and foot soldiers.

Hank, too, represents something. He's the face of complacency, the institutions of society and the people who constitute them that are capable of recognizing and responding to evil only when it comes in the conventional and familiar forms. Such institutions and people are vulnerable to Walts because the Hanks find it too uncomfortable to consider the possibility that evil can originate from within what they believe is their secured perimeter, metaphorically speaking.

Sklyar represents the collaborators, those who make the wrong choices because they find themselves in a situation where every choice they see is unthinkable and impossible and ultimately they just choose to somehow survive.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 1:30 PM on September 1, 2013 [9 favorites]


@Ivan Fyodorovich Are you a shrink or a rabbi? (Or pastor or whatever.)
posted by wensink at 1:38 PM on September 1, 2013


Nope. I'm an atheist, but moral philosophy has always been a strong interest of mine.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 1:41 PM on September 1, 2013


Okay, I'll give it a try.

Walt: dead
Skyler: dead
Junior: dead
Hank: dead
Jesse: alive
Saul: alive
Holly: alive
Marie: alive
Lydia definitely boxes it.
posted by ambrosia at 2:09 PM on September 1, 2013


Also, Jane's dad killed himself early on in season 3.

He shot himself, but it was left ambiguous whether he survived -- the last we heard of him was a snippet of news on Walter's car radio of him being rushed to hospital.

I feel like I want Jesse to find out about Jane, but I can't see how it could happen other than by Walt confessing it.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 2:49 PM on September 1, 2013


What's that crazy bald fucker doing now?
posted by planetesimal at 6:11 PM on September 1, 2013


Playing Mr. Clean.
posted by wensink at 6:14 PM on September 1, 2013


[Siren] Must Credit Sys Rq [Siren]

Ahem. Young Travis Coates Walter White is left to take care of the family ranch meth operation with his mother Mike Ehrmantraut and younger brother Arliss Jesse Pinkman while his father Gus Fring goes off on a cattle drive in the 1860s kablooey. When a yellow mongrel comes for an uninvited stay a train robbery with the family, Travis Walt reluctantly adopts the dog. Though Travis Walt initially loathes the "rascal" and at first tries to get rid of it, the dog eventually proves his worth, saving the family on several occasions.*

posted by Sys Rq at 10:48 AM on August 26 [4 favorites +] [!]
posted by wensink at 6:21 PM on September 1, 2013 [2 favorites]


Ahem.

Sys Rq! Good call!
posted by triggerfinger at 6:21 PM on September 1, 2013


Amazing that Walt believes, even for a second, that he could explain the poisoning to Jesse. And that he believes that Skyler ever falls for his bullshit anymore.
posted by jeather at 6:21 PM on September 1, 2013


Aaaand Skyler.....breaks bad.
posted by triggerfinger at 6:24 PM on September 1, 2013 [2 favorites]


Yes, yes, yes, Hank + Jesse = 4EVER.
posted by jeather at 6:30 PM on September 1, 2013


I can't remember what Hank knows about Jesse and Walt. Was any part of that message a surprise or shock for him?
posted by triggerfinger at 6:38 PM on September 1, 2013


I have waited my whole life for someone to save Ol' Yeller. And crazy Marie, oh heck yeah, she's staying!
posted by maggieb at 6:39 PM on September 1, 2013


She's making lasagne! Jesse's favorite!
posted by triggerfinger at 6:40 PM on September 1, 2013 [3 favorites]


Yo Mister Schrader!
posted by flyingsquirrel at 6:46 PM on September 1, 2013


Run, Jesse, run!
posted by maggieb at 6:52 PM on September 1, 2013


That was not a love story for the ages.
posted by jeather at 6:53 PM on September 1, 2013


So the only one left to break bad is Junior, right?
posted by zombieflanders at 6:54 PM on September 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


There aren't enough purple home accents in the world to save Jesse.
posted by flyingsquirrel at 6:56 PM on September 1, 2013


Well, this will end poorly.
posted by zombieflanders at 7:03 PM on September 1, 2013


Okay. What is Jesse's plan??? What does he mean by "your real home"?
posted by triggerfinger at 7:08 PM on September 1, 2013


[Siren] Must Credit Sys Rq [Siren]

Nah, I got it wrong. I had Todd as Old Yeller.

(But I may yet be right...)
posted by Sys Rq at 7:09 PM on September 1, 2013


Also, what are the chances that the final show will be shown intermittently during an episode of Low Winter Sun???
posted by triggerfinger at 7:13 PM on September 1, 2013 [8 favorites]


I wonder why they just used the "He's the devil" audio for the preview and not the visual. It's not as if there were any spoilers in that shot.

(There may be some sarcasm in this comment.)
posted by Sys Rq at 7:15 PM on September 1, 2013


Just rewatching it again and that first scene between Jesse and Hank is amazing. Jesse sobbing and screaming at the sky "HE CAN'T KEEP GETTING AWAY WITH THIS!" - there are just not enough Emmys for the acting this season. If this cast doesn't sweep the awards next year, the whole thing is a farce.
posted by triggerfinger at 7:55 PM on September 1, 2013 [3 favorites]


I'll have to watch again, but was it implied that Jesse didn't hold anything back, even Gale?
posted by Rhomboid at 8:04 PM on September 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


Also, I got a pic of the Schrader's bookshelf. The book Jesse's looking at: a Reagan bio. Other books:

Guide To Financial Privacy
Who Moved My Cheese?
The Final Days
Cold Mountain
Big Secrets
The Philadelphia Experiment
Abraham Lincoln
- Carl Sandburg set

Lots of horse books and books on Native Americans.

But my favorite is the DVD box set of Deadwood. Wonder what Hank and Marie think of character Martha Bullock?
posted by triggerfinger at 8:11 PM on September 1, 2013 [2 favorites]


Marie stole all of those books.
posted by planetesimal at 8:16 PM on September 1, 2013 [12 favorites]


The RAT: Real-world Aptitude Test (subtitle: Preparing Yourself for Leaving Home)
posted by Sys Rq at 8:22 PM on September 1, 2013


I quite applaud the decision to advance the plot at breakneck pace when called for (e.g. not drawing out the Walt/Hank garage confrontation) but I would have killed for a series of exasperated reaction shots from Hank as the missing pieces of the story were filled in by Jesse and it becomes apparent that even his most pessimistic assumptions underestimated the depravity of his brother in law. Also, I would have liked to see how the conversation played out when he finally brought in Gomez on the case, but I can certainly accept that the writers felt they had more important things to get to (!!) in these last few hours.
posted by Rhomboid at 8:46 PM on September 1, 2013 [5 favorites]


Okay. What is Jesse's plan??? What does he mean by "your real home"?

His family, I can only assume.
posted by showbiz_liz at 8:48 PM on September 1, 2013


I would have liked to see how the conversation played out when he finally brought in Gomez on the case

Hey, yeah. That is kind of a big deal, isn't it?
posted by Sys Rq at 8:49 PM on September 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


I would have liked to see Gomez filled in, too,. Maybe there will be flashbacks. They flashed back to Jesse baptizing the shag carpet and Hank doing his best deus ex machina, didn't they?

I don't know, but the whole on again, off again Jesse-Hank alliance and interactions seemed off to me. Parts of the show tonight just felt like a generic police procedural.
posted by maudlin at 10:04 PM on September 1, 2013


I totally forgot about time zones and came to this thread about three hours ago to see what people were saying before this episode, not realizing that most of you had already seen it by then. Tiiiiiiiime Zoooooones *shakes fist*
posted by A Bad Catholic at 10:08 PM on September 1, 2013


zombieflanders: "So the only one left to break bad is Junior, right?"

I said it somewhere way back in this thread and more or less got laughed at, but I still think a possible outcome is Walt Jr. being put in a situation where he has to kill his father. Hank giving him the Pablo Escobar book in S.3 would be foreshadowing.

also, yeah, up until this episode you East Coasters have been pretty good about the time difference, not so much this time.
posted by mannequito at 1:37 AM on September 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


So clever that they are letting secondary and tertiary characters steal the show. (Skyler tonight! She's serious about family, too! And Hank and Marie and the rest.) No, Walt, it ain't all about you and your cancer. Also, I'm curious about that shift and how it has taken the shine off Walt. Tonight was the first time I saw him as a bad dude (yes, despite everything). There's plenty of stuff in all those characters to drive this thing to a satisfying end.

There's a classic hubris and nemesis thing at work here (note Jesse's comments about luck and that Mr White keeps getting away with it). Maybe a red herring, but probably not. Those old stories are classics for reasons, one of which is they are very satisfying.

The writers have deployed dramatic irony very well throughout this show's run to raise and lower tension and it's the goto move so far this season. Eventually the'y'll have to give it up when the whole thing winds up, but what a master's class they have offered so far.

Poor Jesse. What a great show.
posted by notyou at 1:53 AM on September 2, 2013


Looking at that marvelous wardrobe color graphic, I find myself wondering what meaning we can take from the fact that Walt Jr.'s colors started out as a hybrid of original Skyler and original Walt, but have now evolved into an amalgam of Hank and Jesse, leaning far more toward Jesse.

Predictions:

Walt: Alive but incapacitated and dependant on others for care (Hector Salamanca-style)(i.e., returned to his pre-show emasculated state.)
Skyler: Dead, but redeemed.
Junior: Alive, but damaged and utterly corrupted; plainly at the start of a Theon Grayjoy/Reek sort of trajectory.
Hank: Dead and disgraced.
Jesse: Alive.
Saul: Alive. (Please, please, please, he is my favorite forever.)
Holly: Dead.
Marie: Alive, but disfigured.
Todd: Dead.
Lydia: Alive.

Also: A Saul Goodman spin-off may be in the works! (They aren't saying whether they're planning it as a sequel or a prequel, so the project's existence doesn't imply a spoiler.) My god, I would watch that so hard, my eyeballs would pierce the TV screen.
posted by palmcorder_yajna at 5:23 AM on September 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


Hank giving him the Pablo Escobar book in S.3 would be foreshadowing.

And remember the time he let him hold his gun?
posted by Sys Rq at 6:47 AM on September 2, 2013


Before the Jesse/Hank reveal I was wondering if there was a secret alliance between Jesse and Skylar. I wonder if they could all be in cahoots to bring down Walter.

I would have liked to see how the conversation played out when he finally brought in Gomez on the case

I found that really jarring. I expect this will be addressed in the next Insider podcast and that I'll be fine with whatever the reasoning is once I hear it.

Out of left field: Jane's father goes after Jesse and kills Walt instead. Justified.

With a gun he purchases from Jim Beaver. Totally Justified.

But my favorite is the DVD box set of Deadwood.

It all comes back to Jim Beaver!
posted by Room 641-A at 7:34 AM on September 2, 2013


You know, one thing about this episode that brought a lingering worry (as in how the show is as a show): who is likable at this point? Hank's talk about not caring if Jesse dies -- especially given Hank just about beat Jesse to death like a year ago -- God. And his flinching when Jesse describes Walt as smarter than Hank. It puts his talking Jesse down and putting the seatbelt strap on him as sort of being in the same league as Walt -- using Jesse as a prop.

Skyler. This is too fast a jump to the dark for me. She knows about at least some of the people Walt killed, obviously -- which is a jolt, 'tho it supports her as a strong person. She's figured it out. Walt is a murderer. But it is one thing for the audience to hear her say, 'what's one more' knowing that Walt is responsible for so much death, and another to consider what she knows.
posted by angrycat at 7:53 AM on September 2, 2013 [2 favorites]


She's figured it out. Walt is a murderer.

He told her as much. He is the one who knocks.
posted by Sys Rq at 8:04 AM on September 2, 2013


who is likable at this point?

Marie? Walt Jr? Baby Holly?

Walt told Skyler he killed Gus, didn't he?
posted by jeather at 8:09 AM on September 2, 2013


who is likable at this point?
The waitress at Denny's who served up Walt's birthday breakfast was awfully nice.
posted by wensink at 8:11 AM on September 2, 2013 [4 favorites]


I don't think Skyler broke much more bad last night than she already is (i.e., not really that much, relative to everyone else). She's responding to a direct, immediate threat to her family, and is surprised to see Walt balk at another killing when she knows he's done much worse. She's not understanding the weird dynamics of the Jesse/Walt relationship, and asking him how this is different.

But at this point there's no way Skyler doesn't end up in prison. We don't know exactly what Hank has told Gomez (and we'll probably see at least some of that conversation, given the fun with time-hopping of these last few episodes), but it now seems very unlikely Skyler walks. I see her rotting in jail at the end of the show, looking at 20 years or more. Real horror.
posted by mediareport at 8:26 AM on September 2, 2013


yeah but knowing he's killed a drug king pin, as much as I liked Gus, isn't knowing that Walt is capable of ordering a ten-person takedown. I mean, knowing that, I could see her saying, hey, why not another. She also doesn't know that Jesse isn't acting out of say a tweaker's impulse and would be okay with some rehab.
posted by angrycat at 8:26 AM on September 2, 2013


Also, there is nothing more scary on Breaking Bad right now than a scene of Walt sitting by a pool staring into space and thinking.
posted by mediareport at 8:29 AM on September 2, 2013 [6 favorites]


but knowing he's killed a drug king pin

She knows he exploded a bomb in a nursing home, killing an old man *and* a drug kingpin.
posted by mediareport at 8:50 AM on September 2, 2013


We don't know exactly what Hank has told Gomez (and we'll probably see at least some of that conversation...)

Often wondered if Gomey wasn't Gus' inside guy at the DEA. The phone conversation between Hank and Walt in End Times [S04:E12, 3 minute mark] is notable:

Walt: Hank, I've got a car wash to run. You don't honestly believe that I'm in danger, do you? Me?
Hank: Jesus, this thing's going to go over like a lead balloon.
Walt: Alright. Just know that I'll get there as soon as I can. And let, let Steve Gomez know. I, I told his guys and, uh, just stay safe.
Hank: Oh, please. Whole thing is just a giant jerk off.
Walt: Yeah. Yeah, but keep your head down anyway, alright?


Calling out Gomez by name seems unnecessary, unless...Walt wants Gus to know that he's not under DEA protection in order to flush him out. And he knows that Gomey can deliver that information.
posted by wensink at 9:00 AM on September 2, 2013


Don't forget that the nursing home bombing was connected with the superlab fire, where the charred corpses of two goons were found. That's four bodies that Skyler can pin on Walt's actions, either directly or indirectly, just from watching the local newscast.

Additionally, when the ten inmates were killed, it was no secret that they were related to the case that Hank was working on, the case that involved the remnants of Fring's meth empire. Marie knew this, because she asked Walt to turn off the news when Hank came home that day. I don't think it's a stretch that she would have brought it up with Skyler when they talked, as they were still on close terms at this point, and I don't think it's unreasonable to think that Skyler made the inference that Walt might have been partly responsible.

Most importantly, Skyler is most certainly not stupid. She knows that you do not accumulate ~50 cubic feet of cash in the drug underworld without being a ruthless, vicious sonofabitch. That world is a world of violent monsters, and to be successful around them you must become one as well. That's why she is constantly worried about the safety of herself and the kids while Walt is still in the game, and why she will go to any length to avoid the nightmare of some rival following Walt to where he sleeps and busting in the door with a machine gun.

Even if she doesn't know the exact details, she knows that Walt has bloody hands.
posted by Rhomboid at 10:13 AM on September 2, 2013 [5 favorites]


And that he believes that Skyler ever falls for his bullshit anymore.

It's kind of amazing given how terrible a liar Walt is that anyone ever falls for his bullshit. They writers real nail his type with the over-elaborate strategic lying. He's excellent at planning out all the details of a lie, but he's always tripping himself up by not shutting up and constantly having this sort of fast upbeat tone that gives it away. It seems like his real strength is surrounding himself with people who are likely to give him the benefit of the doubt (early Jesse), but then he's screwed when someone like Mike comes along who spots his lies before they are even out of his mouth.
posted by BrotherCaine at 10:16 AM on September 2, 2013


I really think Cranston deserves a lot of credit for the subtleties he conveys with Walt's character. It's pretty amazing acting work to telegraph a lie like that.
posted by BrotherCaine at 10:18 AM on September 2, 2013 [8 favorites]


No, wait, make that five bodies. I forgot Tyrus was there.
posted by Rhomboid at 10:21 AM on September 2, 2013


whoa, I just checked out that writer's room time lapse. Mega-brilliant and will share with my writer's group
posted by angrycat at 10:23 AM on September 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


It all comes back to Jim Beaver!

Yes! I love it. Also, when Walt was in the car talking to Saul and Kuby, asking where they had looked for Jesse:

"...his buddies - Beaver and whathisname?"
posted by triggerfinger at 10:38 AM on September 2, 2013


The most important part of last night's show was learning that Hank owns the complete series Deadwood box set. Fuck yeah, Hank and/or Marie!

Related: HERE IS MY SPOILER FREE REVIEW OF LAST NIGHT’S BREAKING BAD: [47:08 of muttering cocksucker under my breath] FUCK. FFFFFFFFUUUUUUUCCCCCKKKKKK…
posted by sparkletone at 10:51 AM on September 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


I have to say, rewatching the scene where Jesse and Walt were supposed to meet at the plaza, for the first time in a very long time I felt bad for Walt. I think he was genuinely going to try to feed another story to Jesse, expected Jesse to come on board (as he always has in the past) and was actually kind of scared when Jesse hung up the phone. Hank is right, Walt really cares about Jesse. We saw that in his horror and anger at Skyler's suggestion that he "take care of it". I'm starting to wonder if we're at the beginning of an arc to Walt swinging back to being a sympathetic character as everything crumbles around him and the rest of the cast becoming bad.
posted by triggerfinger at 12:08 PM on September 2, 2013 [3 favorites]


Jesus Christ, Marie! What about ricin?
posted by merelyglib at 12:56 PM on September 2, 2013


Is it me or did that waterfall thing in the hotel pool look a lot like the part of Walt's cooking process where the blue gel drips onto the pan?
posted by invitapriore at 2:29 PM on September 2, 2013


triggerfinger - don't forget - the episode ends with Walt putting a hit on Jesse. Methinks there is a limit to the amount of empathy Walt feels for Jesse - at this point, he's just another problem that needs to be solved - one way trip to Belize, if necessary.
posted by fingers_of_fire at 3:05 PM on September 2, 2013


I expect Walt rationalizes it as Jesse "betraying" him after everything that Walt has done (in his mind anyway) for Jesse. It's the betrayal rather than the danger that is the problem. Hank is a serious problem for Walt but he ruled out sending Hank to Belize because Hank there was no betrayal involved, just Hank doing his job.
posted by Justinian at 3:33 PM on September 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


Jesus Christ, Marie! What about ricin?

It's easy to forget, but Marie has a job that involves radioactive materials. That might be worth remembering.
posted by Sys Rq at 3:43 PM on September 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


God, what if Lydia and Marie end up in a room together. Would the world continue to spin or would it jitter apart?
posted by angrycat at 4:22 PM on September 2, 2013 [3 favorites]


> God, what if Lydia and Marie end up in a room together.

Enough slashfic to bring down Reddit.
posted by planetesimal at 4:39 PM on September 2, 2013 [3 favorites]


God, what if Lydia and Marie end up in a room together. Would the world continue to spin or would it jitter apart?

Purple Loubotins.
posted by sparkletone at 4:39 PM on September 2, 2013 [7 favorites]


Just Married, when Hank broke bad (a mini episode from 2009)
posted by maggieb at 5:12 PM on September 2, 2013 [5 favorites]


Holy moly. I need to watch some more minisodes. That was outrageous.
posted by mediareport at 8:19 PM on September 2, 2013


Oh man. Yes.
posted by Sys Rq at 8:28 PM on September 2, 2013


The Hank/Marie bondage scene is great, too. Hank gets a bit put out when Marie doesn't get his Miranda reading quite right.
posted by mediareport at 9:18 PM on September 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


Like the actress, huh? That's a coincidence.
posted by triggerfinger at 9:21 PM on September 2, 2013


Two questions:

1. What would Junior's "breaking bad" consist of? Mannequito and Sys Rq think he'll take down Walt (or try to). But that seems extreme to me. Wouldn't his simply going over to Team Hank be enough? I could imagine him being so concerned about Walt's cancer that he takes the initiative to drive over to Hank & Marie's to get their help, and gets a face-full of Jesse's video confession instead. But I can't quite picture him going all the way to murder.

2. Like showbiz-liz, my first thought about Jesse's plan was that he'll try to get to Walt's family, basically Junior. But can anyone point to a scene in the series when Jesse really hears from Walt how crazy he is about his kids, and how he's doing all this for their heritage and all that? Has Jesse ever even met Walt's kids? As far as I can remember, most of that strong sentiment is exposed in Walt's exchanges with Skyler.

What Walt did impress on Jesse was his bitterness over Grey Matter (I wonder if he's still checking the company's worth every week?). I don't know how Jesse could work that into a threat big enough to "get" Walt (giving Grey Matter the formula for 99% blue meth?), but isn't it a possibility?

Then again, the action seems to be closing in on a very minimal cast of characters, so maybe it's unlikely that the circle would open to let Gretchen and What's-His-Name back in.

That, and, my theories have all been crap so far.

Oh, and hats off to Sys Rq for calling Ol' Yeller and Wensink for WYRUP!
posted by Paris Elk at 1:05 AM on September 3, 2013


don't forget - the episode ends with Walt putting a hit on Jesse

Does it? Walt says he may have a job for Todd's uncle, but he doesn't say what it is...
posted by Paris Elk at 1:45 AM on September 3, 2013 [4 favorites]


I don't see Jr. killing his father as being a planned or pre-meditated 'murder' scenario, more like if he's put into a position where it's Walt or Hank and he has to make a snap decision. I don't necessarily think that's how things will turn out, just that it's a possibility.

For #2, this is my favorite scene from my favorite episode, Fly (yeah I know a lot of people hate that episode):

Jesse Pinkman: Mr. White, why don't you just sit down?
Walter White: You know, I was thinking before the fugue state, but during the fugue state I didn't have enough money, so no, not then. And plus my daughter wasn't born yet. It had to be after Holly was born.
Jesse Pinkman: Mr. White...
Walter White: Definitely before the surgery. Ah Christ, that damn second cell phone. I mean, how could I possibly?... Oh, I know the moment. It was the night Jane died. I was at home and we needed diapers and so I said I'd go, but it was just an excuse. Actually that was the night I brought you your money, remember?
Jesse Pinkman: Yeah. I remember.
Walter White: And afterward I stopped at a bar. It was odd, I never do that - go to a bar alone. I just walked in, sat down. I never told you.
Jesse Pinkman: You went to a bar?
Walter White: I sit down and this man, this stranger, he engages me in conversation. He's a complete stranger. But he turns out to be Jane's father, Donald Margolis.
Jesse Pinkman: What are you talking about?
Walter White: Of course I didn't know it at the time. I mean, he's just some guy in a bar. I just didn't put it together until after the crash when he was all over the news.
Jesse Pinkman: Jane's dad?
Walter White: Think of the odds. Once I tried to calculate them, but they're astronomical. I mean, think of the odds of me going in and sitting down that night, in that bar, next to that man.
Jesse Pinkman: What'd you talk about?
Walter White: Water on mars. Family.
Jesse Pinkman: What about family?
Walter White: I told him that I had a daughter and he told me he had one, too. And he said, "Never give up on family." And I didn't. I took his advice. My God, the universe is random, it's not inevitable, it's simple chaos. It's subatomic particles in endless, aimless collision. That's what science teaches us, but what does this say? What is it telling us that the very night that this man's daughter dies, it's me who is having a drink with him? I mean, how could that be random?
Jesse Pinkman: Hey, sit down.
Walter White: No, no, it's, uh... Oh, that was the moment. That night. I should never have left home. Never gone to your house. Maybe things would have... Oh, I was... I was at home watching TV. Some nature program about elephants... and Skyler and Holly were in another room. I can hear them on the baby monitor. She was singing a lullaby. Oh, if I had just lived right up to that moment... and not one second more. That would have been perfect.
posted by mannequito at 2:15 AM on September 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


Okay, just watched it.

I felt that the momentum stalled just a little bit in this episode. But that first Hank and Jesse scene was extremely good.

Skyler's reaction about Jesse did seem a little bit jarring to me — I agree that she knows that Walt has had people killed and that she's proven to be pragmatic about protecting her family. They've laid the groundwork for it. Still, though, I felt it was out-of-character for her to be so direct about it. She strikes me as more the "will no one rid me of this troublesome priest?" sort who would be hard but still elliptical when asked for confirmation of what she was implying. That's sort of what they did here, but she ended up being too direct and might as well have just been explicit.

And, like others, I found the lack of a Gomez reaction scene frustrating, as well as the lack of a Hank reaction scene to Jesse's story. I know that such scenes are very difficult and tend to slow momentum and so if you can't be sure that you'll be successful it's best to avoid it altogether. However, I feel that the audience always hungers for such scenes; with the things we know that characters don't there's a natural desire to see these characters react to the revelations. I always feel cheated when shows don't show this and I have great respect when shows include it and it works. If anyone could do this, this show could.

But they've only got so much time and I began my comment with a complaint that the momentum faltered a bit in this episode. I can't really fault them.

On the other hand, the scene of Marie in therapy wasn't necessary. I guess they felt they needed to give us more insight into how she feels and how she is reacting — particularly her acceptance of having Jesse in her home. But I don't think the therapy scene really worked, it contributed a lot to the faltering momentum, and the time could have been spent elsewhere.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 3:10 AM on September 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


I think Marie is a complete wild card, as she has always been, and that is going to somehow change the game, and that's why we were teed up with the therapist's office scene, not to mention her poisoning suggestion. Everyone else is opportunistic, narcissistic, selfish, sociopaths -- but Marie might truly be unhinged. And remember, she has always wanted those kids.
posted by thinkpiece at 4:39 AM on September 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


The scene where Junior goes out and sits with his dad by the pool is one of the saddest things I've ever seen. I'm sure this is in part because I have young boys and I can see just how much they look up to me, but I think this relationship is the great tragedy of the show, and one of the greatest tragedies ever on television. Junior loves his dad so much, he absolutely idolizes him, and he has all along. And when he finds out the truth, it's going to devastate him. The one innocent person in this whole mess is going to lose his hero forever, and that's the most ruthless thing this show has ever done. Which is saying something.
posted by jbickers at 5:50 AM on September 3, 2013 [7 favorites]


A couple of thoughts:

So Saul and Co. weren't trailing Hank?

What was the deal with the DVD in the car? Was that a copy of Walt's confession in Saul's car? Jesse picked it up for a second and then put it down. Had he seen it? What was the point of showing it? Did I miss something?

When Jesse first started talking for Hank's video, was that the first time he used Mr. White's first name? I've been waiting for that moment. He's no longer Mr. White, to Jesse. Now he's just Walter.

My prediction that I will probably get wrong: Jesse is going to go after the thing Walt cares about most: his formula. He even told Hank that he knew it. Lydia needs it, Todd's uncle's group can probably use it. Jesse knows if he starts sharing the formula Walt's pride will get the best of him.
posted by bondcliff at 6:37 AM on September 3, 2013


What was the deal with the DVD in the car?

Jesse was using it to snort lines off of. Perhaps it's Saul's music CD ejected from the player.
posted by planetesimal at 6:48 AM on September 3, 2013


What was the deal with the DVD in the car?

Don't know for sure what was on the DVD (though it was likely Walt's confession), but it looked to be coke.
posted by wensink at 6:48 AM on September 3, 2013


Ahh. Got it. I knew Jesse had just done some lines but didn't make the connection with the DVD. It seemed like they were making it out to be significant.
posted by bondcliff at 6:54 AM on September 3, 2013


Walt has a habit of always picking up Jesse's bong and looking at it with disgust. Maybe that's all it was? He looked at it and (somehow) determined that Jesse was using? Also, how would Jesse have a copy of the 'confession'?
posted by angrycat at 6:56 AM on September 3, 2013


how would Jesse have a copy of the 'confession'?

Jesse stole Saul's car, and it's possible Walt gave Saul a copy of his confession for safe keeping. Right before Jesse got out of the car into Walt's house, he picked up the DVD (or CD) and seemed to consider doing something with it for a second or two. It may have been nothing (maybe just considering doing another line) but with the big DVD scene in the last episode I took it to be significant.

It's very possibly nothing.
posted by bondcliff at 7:00 AM on September 3, 2013


What would Junior's "breaking bad" consist of?

WWJD: What Would Junior Do?
posted by wensink at 7:24 AM on September 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


Jesse sharing Walt's formula would be the best thing ever. Rabid dog barfs up A+ homework.
posted by iamkimiam at 7:25 AM on September 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


1. What would Junior's "breaking bad" consist of? Mannequito and Sys Rq think he'll take down Walt (or try to).

I think that's a remote possibility that's been foreshadowed. But I'm still betting on this.
posted by Sys Rq at 7:46 AM on September 3, 2013


That cd/dvd has both Walt & Jessie's fingerprints, but I don't know how that could be significant.
posted by BrotherCaine at 8:34 AM on September 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'm pretty sure the cd had coke on it. Jesse used it to get up the courage to torch the house. It showed him right after snorting it. Then Walt saw it, which is why in the voicemail he said "sleep it off."
posted by nushustu at 9:32 AM on September 3, 2013


I doubt Jesse was snorting lines off of Walt's DVD.
posted by planetesimal at 9:37 AM on September 3, 2013


Does Todd not know Walt's formula? He's helped him cook before. Jesse also shared Walt's technique with all of Gus's technicians out in Mexico. It seems to me that the secret of the meth is in the technique, not the recipe. Also notable is that Lydia isn't demanding Walt's formula; she wants Walt to cook. If she just wanted the formula, he could easily get rid of her by handing it over, and I'm not sure he'd care.

I'm not sure what Jesse thinks will hit Walt where it hurts. I don't think he'll go after Walt's family. Trying to torch the house was like that, in a way, so he's already gone through that plan and emerged at the other end. I also don't think that he will want to hurt anyone.

The only thing I can think of is going after Walt's ego in some way, but I'm not sure how. The thing Walt cares most about is being the Man in Charge, and Jesse can attack that by attacking the legend of Heisenberg. Maybe start cooking some seriously substandard blue meth and link it to Heisenberg? Maybe he'll reveal himself as Heisenberg just to get Walt's goat?
posted by painquale at 9:43 AM on September 3, 2013 [2 favorites]


Two things about the final scene in the plaza:

1) Jesse says, "I decided that burning down your house is nothing, next time I'm gonna get you where you really live." Family is an an obvious guess, but the wordplay there is interesting. Where does Walter really live, if not his house?

2) After Jesse hangs up the phone, Walter is shown standing alone, looking around for Jesse. Then he stops and starts walking away in the direction of a man who very deliberately looks just like Walter and as Walter walks past him a little girl dressed in pink comes running to the man shouting Daddy! Daddy! as she jumps in his arms. Then the man and his daughter walk away past Walter. (links to screencaps.)
posted by Room 641-A at 9:43 AM on September 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


Three Relationships
posted by Room 641-A at 9:55 AM on September 3, 2013 [6 favorites]


It's more Michael Haneke style (Funny Games) than Vince Gilligan, but part of me wouldn't mind seeing BB end with a final shot of WW breaking the fourth wall and staring back at us silently as the screen fades to black.
posted by wensink at 10:06 AM on September 3, 2013


I'm not sure what Jesse thinks will hit Walt where it hurts. I don't think he'll go after Walt's family.

I wonder if maybe he does, but not with violence.

The one constant throughout Walt's transformation has been the love and respect Junior has for him -- Walt is Junior's hero. It's a source of pride for Walt. It's also a relationship the show has touched more on lately -- both directly with scenes between Junior and Walt, and indirectly through Walt's concern that Junior must not know.

So how can Jesse hit Walt where he really lives? He can tell Junior exactly what his father really is.

Walt's family implodes; Junior flees to Hank and Marie (maybe after vandalizing the White house with the HEISENBERG graffiti); Skylar, forced to choose between Walt and Junior, abandons Walt and reluctantly sides with Hank; Walt flees to New Hampshire.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 11:12 AM on September 3, 2013 [3 favorites]


Fly (yeah I know a lot of people hate that episode)

Not here; I unashamedly love Fly.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 11:15 AM on September 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


Three Relationships
posted by Room 641-A An hour ago [2 favorites −]


There it is again, that incredible light on Jesse, in the third image, with Hank. He's a fallen angel, in chiaroscuro.
posted by thinkpiece at 11:21 AM on September 3, 2013


We had a deal, Kyle.'s theory has a lot to recommend it, but I don't think that would be enough to drive Walt to New Hampshire. He'd leave only if he has determined that leaving is the best way to protect his family.

Lydia and the Peckerwoods will have some role to play in Walt's skedaddling and subsequent return.
posted by notyou at 11:22 AM on September 3, 2013 [2 favorites]


Lydia and the Peckerwoods will have some role to play in Walt's skedaddling.

Yeah, that's where I fall down. We're being shown just enough of Todd & co to be reminded that they're still around, so clearly they have to come roaring into the foreground at some point.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 11:26 AM on September 3, 2013


So how can Jesse hit Walt where he really lives? He can tell Junior exactly what his father really is.

I'm not sure Hank (or Saul) would let Jesse get to Walt Jr., though that would certainly be huge and Jr. has to find out about Walt eventually. I like the visual of Jr. writing the graffiti as a big Fuck You to dad before going to live as Flynn with Hank and Marie.

I really think Jesse is going to get to Walt's pride. After all, that's been Walt's biggest weakness all along. I like painquale's theory of Jesse claiming to be Heisenberg. Ain't no way Walt would stand for that.
posted by bondcliff at 11:32 AM on September 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


I do not think Jesse will do violence to Junior, or co-opt Heisenberg, or that Junior will become a meth head or roar the Charger off the road or graffiti up the house in a rage.

I do heartily agree though, that in the name of all that is the brilliance of this show, Jesse and Junior must meet, please Mr. Gilligan, and "where Walt really lives" is in the eyes of his son. That's gotta come undone.

Walt: alive but dying
Skyler: alive but cuffed & perp walked
Hank: alive but destroyed, glimmer of redemption, maybe takes over car wash?
Marie: alive but vindicated, gets the money, parents the White kids (remember, she's a thief down to her bones)
Holly: with Marie
Junior: off to college ... a really expensive college, with a badass gleam in his eye
Jesse: dies (sob)
Saul: dies (sob)
Todd & co: all die
Lydia: thrives
posted by thinkpiece at 12:14 PM on September 3, 2013 [3 favorites]


I'll refrain from speculating much, but I think that we'll see much more focus on Walt and just what exactly in him broke bad and less of tidy conclusions to the myriad of loose ends.
posted by planetesimal at 12:21 PM on September 3, 2013


Will Hank find the new meth lab and plant evidence linking Walt to it?
posted by BrotherCaine at 12:22 PM on September 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


Lydia: thrives

Haha, yeah.
posted by notyou at 1:13 PM on September 3, 2013


I don't think we should forget about Marie's therapy session. She was googling poison. With all the poisoning that's gone on in this show, what are the chances that someone is poisoned and she's implicated for it? I saw someone mention somewhere that Jesse might try to get back at Walt poisoning Brock by poisoning one of his kids but I don't think Jesse has it in him to hurt a child. Next week's episode is To'hajiilee, which makes it seem like it might be centered around the money stash.

Also, Walt's "job" for Todd's uncle might not be about Jesse at all. It probably is, but I still think Hank is right in recognizing that Jesse is kind of Walt's weak spot.
posted by triggerfinger at 6:38 PM on September 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


There's a bit less than 19 hours before this thread automatically closes. I'll miss you guys. See you in the next one.
posted by Rhomboid at 10:43 PM on September 3, 2013 [3 favorites]


Finale prediction: Walt ends up buying the laser tag place, but ends up getting shot by a guy named Cancer with a real laser gun.
posted by littlesq at 10:48 PM on September 3, 2013 [4 favorites]


Seriously though I think Walt plans to have Jessie kidnapped by the white supremacy guys and then pretend to save him to show Jessie that he really cares about him. I see two things happening in that scenario; Walts plan gets completely botched (white supremacy guys don't play along) and Jessie gets killed, or Walt ends up saving Jessie but dies in the process. Or both die. Walt doesn't cook without Jessie.

I am guessing that the white supremacy guys are the ones who trashed the Whites house. After all they know Heisenbergs real name, so of course they find out where he lives and leave a ominous Heisenberg tag for Walt to find.
posted by littlesq at 11:22 PM on September 3, 2013


Staging a kidnapping and then playing the rescuer seems like exactly the kind of thing that Walt thinks would work. But I don't know if Jesse is past the point of no return of white hot hatred.
posted by Rhomboid at 11:32 PM on September 3, 2013


Yeah, Jessie isn't going to be crawling back to Walt this time around. But in Walt's mind Jessie has come back before - Jessie will always come back. He just has to prove his loyalty/love for him even harder. So how could Jessie possibly still hate him if Walt risks his life to save him?
posted by littlesq at 11:55 PM on September 3, 2013


Walter gets Todd's uncle's crew to make it look like Walter White has been murdered by Heisenberg, trashing his house in the process. The neighbor lady looked like she saw a ghost when she spilled the oranges. All of the chips fly into the air. Walt's confession. Jesse's confession. Suspicion falls on Hank. (They find Marie's internet searches for poison.) Skyler and the kids go into protective custody. Jesse gets snatched to cook meth. He resumes adding chili powder (Chili P) so Walt comes back to correct rescue him. I don't think Walter actually goes to New Hampshire. He stays in the desert or on a reservation. He looks pretty rough and sweaty when he shows up at the trashed house.

Also, the Dutch book made me think of the gangster, Dutch Schultz, who supposedly buried a bunch of his ill-gotten money. He was murdered and legend has it the cache was never found.
posted by maggieb at 1:17 AM on September 4, 2013 [6 favorites]


maggieb, i'm feelin' ya!
posted by thinkpiece at 3:56 AM on September 4, 2013


My prediction: Walt's job for Todd's uncle has nothing to do with Jesse, but is instead something related to helping the White family disappear/go in hiding (to protect them from Jesse). Kind of his own vaccum repair guy. Or it has something to do with helping Walt retreive/transport his money.

Having them trash the house as well is also a great prediction. Basically everything maggieb said.
posted by triggerfinger at 6:41 AM on September 4, 2013


There's a bit less than 19 hours before this thread automatically closes. :(

If/when someone starts a new BB thread, please provide the link here.
posted by wensink at 6:42 AM on September 4, 2013


Can't we just use this one until it closes too?
posted by jeather at 8:32 AM on September 4, 2013


Can't we just use this one until it closes too?

I believe the finale airs 9/29 so that 8/29 post would be cutting it close.
posted by wensink at 9:33 AM on September 4, 2013


I think it's ok to let it lapse for awhile until a new thread worthy of more than a chat spot comes along. If you're jonesing for BB talk, the forums on AMC's website are jumping and are fairly well moderated.
posted by planetesimal at 10:09 AM on September 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


I would bet that the week leading up to the finale will have lots of new articles that would be worthy of a post, so the closing date of that post is unlikely to be of major concern.
posted by jeather at 10:19 AM on September 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


Don't want AMC guys, want you guys.
posted by Paris Elk at 11:06 AM on September 4, 2013 [6 favorites]


An ending where Walt basically gets away with it but loses his lottery ticket and therefore his fortune. Very interesting, maggieb.
posted by Paris Elk at 11:10 AM on September 4, 2013


Walt might get away with it in the sense that he doesn't end up dead or in jail, but he will be punished for his sins. Oh yes, he will be punished.

I don't want this thread to end.
posted by bondcliff at 11:26 AM on September 4, 2013


I'm also of the opinion that we move to here until somebody opens another thread closer to the finale.

At least that's where I'll be.
posted by Defenestrator at 11:55 AM on September 4, 2013


Ohhhh good one maggieb!
posted by littlesq at 1:47 PM on September 4, 2013


Okay, so the FAQ is totally wrong and it's not 30 days but one calendar month, so it looks like we have another day of this thread. Rejoice.
posted by Rhomboid at 5:34 PM on September 4, 2013


Let's use the remaining day to pitch our cool ideas for Babylon 5 episodes.
posted by naju at 5:37 PM on September 4, 2013


For the last day, I'm going to take a drink every time someone misspells "Jesse" the girl way, with an i.
posted by Sys Rq at 6:05 PM on September 4, 2013 [3 favorites]


I blame Rick Springfield.
posted by zombieflanders at 6:11 PM on September 4, 2013


$ curl -Ls http://metafilter.com/130665 | grep -ic jessie
9
Looks like you've already got a backlog...
posted by Rhomboid at 6:12 PM on September 4, 2013


Fuck it, where's my funnel?
posted by Sys Rq at 6:25 PM on September 4, 2013


I have to be careful with Jesse as Jessee is a common surname in my area. I would also like to take this opportunity to give a shoutout to our local theater for hosting the final 8 episodes free to the public on the big screen with their outstanding sound system. I would also suggest toasting Skylars if Jessies are hard to come by. Doubleshot, bitches!
posted by maggieb at 6:46 PM on September 4, 2013 [2 favorites]


Maggieb, I'm with you on SKYLAR! Painful!
posted by Paris Elk at 11:40 PM on September 4, 2013


Skylar has been a more popular female baby name than Skyler for every year since both appeared in the US in 1990, with a peak last year as the 87th most frequent name, compared to 372nd that year for Skyler. Both became more popular through the 90s, peaking in 1999-2000, and then less popular through the aughts until beginning to move upward again in 2011-2012.

Either version is unrealistic for the character "Skyler White", in fact impossible, as they didn't exist as baby names in the US until 1990.

Jesse for boys has always been more popular than Jessie, but the latter nevertheless exists for every year since 1880, the earliest year in the Social Security database.

Both versions were relatively popular in the late 1800s and early 1900s, with Jesse in the top hundred male baby names from 1880 through 1932, peaking at 26th in 1887; and Jessie in the top hundred male baby names from 1880 through 1911, peaking at 70th in 1899, though it really just hovers around in the 80s until 1899 when it becomes slightly more popular through the first decade of the twentieth century. In 1912 it suddenly drops all the way from 79th to 109th and then continues to decrease in popularity from then forward, down to 698th last year.

Jesse is in the top 50 through 1902, hovers in the 50s for the twentieth century's aughts, and then like Jessie, makes a sudden, modest jump downward in 1911-1913. It continued to fall until reaching a low of 150th from 1960-1964, then began to move upward and peaking at 45th in 1994 (which is about when "Jesse Pinkman" was born), and has since been falling quite rapidly, to an all-time low of 151st last year.

I'd guess that Jesse James has much to do with the popularity of both versions of the name.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 3:49 AM on September 5, 2013


It would be neat to see a study of pop culture influences that cause spikes in baby names. For instance, I'm pretty sure that Trinity rocketed up as a girl's name in 1999 or 2000 because of The Matrix. While puttering around in Google I found these really neat stream graphs of popular names.
posted by Rhomboid at 5:14 AM on September 5, 2013


Either version is unrealistic for the character "Skyler White", in fact impossible, as they didn't exist as baby names in the US until 1990.

What about Schuyler? (Answer: Yep.)

peaking at 45th in 1994 (which is about when "Jesse Pinkman" was born)

Hmm. Jesse Pinkman's parents don't really seem the type to name their firstborn after a character from Full House.
posted by Sys Rq at 7:53 AM on September 5, 2013


(Also: Jesse Bruce Pinkman was born in September 1984.)
posted by Sys Rq at 7:56 AM on September 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


Jesse Pinkman's parents don't really seem the type to name their firstborn after a character from Full House.

This topic is one I keep meaning to closely consider! The Pinkmans! What happened in that household to create our fallen angel? And how will it all serve him in the endgame? And wtf with that Damien-esque little brother?
posted by thinkpiece at 8:08 AM on September 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


There's an article about the show on MSNBC today, and buried in it is this comment from production designer Mark Freeborn (emphasis mine):

"As an action prop, it was just beautiful to see. Each piece fit inside of one of those roving cases that said ‘Vamonos Pest’ on it. How do you top the super lab? The answer turned out to be this perfect portable lab you’re going to see more of.”
posted by jbickers at 9:34 AM on September 5, 2013 [2 favorites]


How about: Walt has brain cancer (40% of lung cancers spread to the brain and not all brain cancer responds to chemo) and Heisenberg is just a symptom. When he started doing chemo this most recent time, his brain tumor begin to shrink. So his posture changes. Sometimes he's scary, straight-backed Heisenberg, sometimes he's slump-shouldered Walt. We don't really know who we're dealing with.

But nobody else gets that excuse - they all chose to do what they did. Over and over, they chose to do the bad thing.

That's the theory I'm going on today. I've only seen the series once, though, so that idea may have already been ruled out.
posted by merelyglib at 9:41 AM on September 5, 2013


Ugh, no offense, but I hate that theory. Like Walt doesn't have to take responsibility for any of his actions because cancer. Or cancers will be cancers. I'd be happier if we found out that Walt fell asleep during his first MRI and this was all a dream. If that's the case, I'll watch LOST all over again AND eat my pork pie hat.
posted by iamkimiam at 10:16 AM on September 5, 2013 [6 favorites]


Totally with you, iamkimiam there is no way this is going all twisty and shadow narrative and I-see-dead-people. I'll be the one who knocks, if so!
posted by thinkpiece at 11:08 AM on September 5, 2013


Not offended. :-) Tomorrow I'll have a different theory. I'm trying to cover all the bases so I can say I knew it all along when the times comes.
posted by merelyglib at 11:31 AM on September 5, 2013 [2 favorites]


If there's a big cancery twist, my bet is something like this.
posted by Sys Rq at 11:58 AM on September 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


So that horrible cough was just...something else? Pneumonia or something like that? Or maybe he was so bored with his life that he had a psychosomatic cancer and just happened to run in to a faux-doc?

Ok, I can go along with that.

Today.
posted by merelyglib at 12:11 PM on September 5, 2013


Well, I don't really think there will be a big cancery twist. But if there is...

It'd be a pretty big "So why'd I get myself into this mess?" kick in the pants. That might be neat.

Maybe he's gonna shoot the doctor!
posted by Sys Rq at 12:37 PM on September 5, 2013


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