Over the course of the next eight weeks, upstart’s resident would-be meth cooks will be casting an eye over the final episodes of Breaking Bad. Rather than just cooking up another straightforward recap, they’ll give a blow-by-blow account of events while watching each 45-minute block – while trying to stay calm.
It goes without saying, but…SPOILER ALERT!
“@BarackObama: Almost that time!! Breaking Bad time bitches. Know what I’m saying?” I Know what you’re saying Mr. President. I know.
— Aaron Paul (@aaronpaul_8) September 1, 2013
Liam Quinn: Paddy, I don’t know how we’ve made it through the past week. Whatever happens, please not another cliffhanger today.
Paddy Naughtin: As much as I would love a stress-free week, somehow I don’t think that’s going to happen. Let’s start this.
LQ: I can’t see the house anymore and not think of the opening flashback. It’s seared into my memory.
I half expected Junior to walk out into the hallway at some point as Walt was screaming out for Jesse.
PN: We’re immediately thrown straight back into the tension-filled drama that Breaking Bad creates. Walt is looking for Jesse in his house, but he has already fled the scene. This is certainly not helping Walt’s paranoia.
LQ: The message Walt leaves on Jesse’s phone is amazing – at no other point in the show has his reaction to being threatened been reaching out to try and find a solution.
We say this every week Paddy, but Jesse is Walt’s blind spot. Oh, and I’m not sure how you get gasoline out of carpet either.
PN: “Like they say, gasoline is tricky.”
Walt’s determination to cover his tracks has him coming up another elaborate story. He goes to extreme lengths like pouring petrol on his clothes and on the seats of his new car to cover his tracks. I’m not sure how he’ll be able to explain this one to Skyler.
LQ: At the risk of sounding incredibly blatant, this is the most I’ve ever felt like Cranston is “acting” here. The entire story is this elaborate ruse – hand motions and obligatory groin references included – with capped off by an amazing “wouldn’t ya knowwit?” moment with the spray besides the air pump.
Even as he meekly says, “no, it was the pump…” to a disbelieving Junior, it still doesn’t feel genuine.
PN: You’re absolutely right. It was certainly not one of Walt’s better lies, as Junior and Skyler see straight through his initial excuse.
Saul looks like a totally different person now after Jesse roughed him up in last week’s episode. He seems more wary and cautious than ever before.
LQ: For the second week in a row, Saul uses a witty metaphor to suggest Walt murder someone. The more this goes on, the more desperate Saul is becoming – at first I’d thought he’d be somewhat periphery this season; now I think he’ll be central to the outcome.
At the moment, he’s the rabid dog – penned into a corner from all sides.
PN: I like that metaphor, Liam.
Skyler is beginning to wise up to Walt’s antics now. She knows when he is doing something shady, and has begun demanding that she be kept in the loop.
However with that being said, Walt still holds all the cards. Walt didn’t tell her that Jesse had killed Gail when she asked if he had ever hurt anyone.
LQ: I have my moments, Paddy.
Not to sound like a broken record, but it’s amazing again to see the level Walt is going to in order to protect Jesse. At this stage, all those close to Walt know who he is – and what he’s capable of – but he can’t see it.
PN: Wow, I did not see that coming from Skyler. Her advocating the killing of Jesse is a big change in character for her.
Did she just break bad?
LQ: The way she calmly adding another body to the pile – “we’ve come this far” – was haunting. Considering this is the same woman who delicately crafted gambling stories – “three terribly’s?” – to avoid confrontation.
Wait, what? I did not see Hank coming through that door…Just in the nick of time, as it would be.
PN: That’s a game changer.
Credit to Aaron Paul there. His change in emotion when he shouted that Walt “can’t keep getting away with it” went from utter despair to determination in a matter of milliseconds.
It was just a few episodes ago that we thought Jesse wouldn’t flip. Well, we were wrong.
LQ: The only doubt I have Paddy, is the fire in Jesse’s eyes isn’t the sort quenched by putting Walt in jail.
He wants him dead. Nothing short of that will do.
Ergh, Marie. I am so over her character. She’s always been floating around the edge, and now is attempting to convey the moral high ground, while retaining her immensely self-centered nature.
Belize her, Vince Gilligan. Please.
PN: Yeah, look, not a fan. Although her admission that Walt “screwed us, and he won” may be just a little bit preemptive. I think there are still a few twists and turns left to play here.
LQ: I think that’s the point of difference with her character; she says the “wrongness” of Walt’s action is why she wants him stopped, but it’s really just because she’s been duped.
PN: Hiding Jesse at Hank’s house is a stroke of genius. There is no chance that Walt will come looking for him there, and as Hank said putting Jesse in jail will only end in misfortune and misery for the new team.
LQ: Ok, so Junior’s back. It’s impossible not to feel sorry for him. Whatever happens with Walt/Heisenberg, he’s going to be entirely crushed – either by his father’s death or exposure.
Nice little touch from Cranston though. The “you think I’ve come this far…” line was eerily Heisenberg-esque.
PN: Yeah, scarily so. I love that Marie serves Jesse his coffee in a DEA mug. But lets be honest, it was going to either be that or one in a deep shade of purple.
LQ: That rug. Saaaaah purple. I love the way the camcorder has become the weapon of choice so far this season; yet, we know it ends up with the gigantic gun in the back of future Walt’s car.
PN: Both Hank and Walt now have a video that will harm the other.
Jesse is rightly freaked out by Hank’s plan. It’s highly unlikely that Walt just wants to talk to Jesse given their recent history.
“If I go to this plaza, I’m a dead man.”
LQ: Ok, so we officially know nothing else matters to Hank now. Seconds after telling Jesse “How far Walt will go..”, Hank reveals he’d happily see his newest informant die if it meant catching the meth chef.
So much for the White Knight.
PN: Or the Schrader Knight, you could say? See what I did there?
LQ: Well played, sir.
Everyone around Walt is turning for the worse – except his sons; blood and substitute.
PN: Hank is far too chipper as he sends Jesse off to meet Walt. As Jesse is walking towards Walt, we see and feel his fear of everyone that is around him.
Anyone of them could be a hitman. Anyone of them could be the end of Jesse.
LQ: I feel the bald, goateed populated has been unfairly persecuted too long, Paddy.
But, that phone call was intense. Jesse isn’t messing around anymore, he might be about to force Walt’s hand.
PN: As a potential future member of that demographic I feel unfairly treated.
I wonder what Jesse meant when he said “next time I’m going to get you where you really live” to Walt?
LQ: Agree Paddy. You’d think it means his family? That’s Walt’s biggest weakness.
PN: Ho hum.
It seems like Walt has finally succumbed to the fact that, to borrow a Harry Potter reference, “neither can live while the other survives.”
LQ: Oh wow, I did not expect a Harry Potter reference it into Emailing Bad. On that note Paddy, until next week.
Liam Quinn is a third-year Bachelor of Journalism student at La Trobe University, and the politics editor of upstart. You can follow him on Twitter: @Quinn_LP
Paddy Naughtin is a third-year Bachelor of Journalism student at La Trobe University, and the sports editor of upstart. You can follow him on Twitter: @PaddyNaughtin
Photo: Twitter – AMC Breaking Bad