Better Call Saul Review – “Mijo” S1E2

Lucky you! You get to see Better Call Saul on consecutive days. You get to see Jimmy McGill begin his path down the dark side, and witness him save his skin from Tuco Salamanco. “Mijo” was primarily about how Saul-to-be gets out of a sticky situation with one of the most ferocious drug dealers in the Breaking Bad saga, and showcased some of Jimmy’s best verbal skills – like negotiating with a stone cold killer to follow Hummarabi’s code, while getting him to pass on the Columbian neckties.

Pros:

Better Call Saul S1E2 Mijo 3

Drugs are bad, mmkay?: We got to know Tuco Salamanca from his days as a tweaked out drug dealer who fun-dipped a little too hard into his own product. While that Tuco was a horrifying blast to watch, this calm and collected Tuco is far better to watch. He’s already a bit paranoid, and you can just see a Tony Montana-style drug binge in his future, but right now, he’s much funnier, much smarter, and I actually found myself rooting for him.

No problem, just spilled some Saul-sa: You can’t get blood out with spit, Tuco! I found it so adorable that poor little Abuelita had no idea that her son was a murdering drug dealer. The scene with the club soda was one of the funniest of the series so far; we’ve all had to hide something from a grandparent who keeps trying to be helpful. He even shoos her away to watch the rest of her telenovela. Awww! Although, with a man like Hector Salamanca in the family, I’m not entirely sure how Abuelita stays innocent. I wonder if Tio will make an appearance.

Recurring themes: Where Better Call Saul is already excelling is the continuation of themes. From Tuco’s personality to Jimmy’s blow-ups at Mike Ehrmantraut to the Public Defender montage (it’s showtime, folks!), Vince Gilligan and company know how to make something feel brand new, yet still have the feeling of familiarity. And, of course, don’t forget the desert abductions and Gilligan’s adoration for the word “bitch” – although, biznatch is a good twist on an old favorite.

Cons:

Better Call Saul S1E2 Mijo 4

Meh… uneven pacing: I was largely pleased with this episode, but the pacing between the story-driven last half of the episode and the frightening first half led to a slight loss of momentum. Luckily, the end kicked the story right back into high gear.

Jimmy is a freakin liar!: Aside from the pacing, the cons in this show are few and far between. One thing I am noticing is that things that actually happened here are not exactly how he describes them in Breaking Bad. Nothing Saul has said in Breaking Bad can be taken at face value. He might be a hard-working guy and care deeply for his brother, Chuck, but Jimmy McGill is also a natural born hustler.

Easter Eggs:

Better Call Saul S1E2 Mijo 1

Nachos grande: When Tuco calls the “clean-up” crew, he mentions Nacho by name. This guy could be a throwback reference to a line in S2E8 of Breaking Bad, where Walt and Jesse kidnap Saul and take him to the desert. When they take off the mask, Saul proclaims, “It wasn’t me, it was Ignacio!” This could be a reference to this Nacho.

Tuco has made a poor career choice: Whether it’s caring for the elderly or cooking food for those who try to play them, Tuco has a knack far beyond drug-dealing and murdering. Anytime Tuco whips up something in the kitchen, it means violence for anyone nearby that tries to punk his family. I can’t help but feel bad that his life ended up the way it did.

Stop. Helping.: You may recognize No-Doze from the junkyard in Breaking Bad. You know, the one Tuco ends up murdering with his bare hands in front of “The Heisenberg” and Jesse. I always thought that was just Tuco being crazy, but I expect there to be more hilarious exchanges like this leading up to what we say in BrBa.

Special Agent Jeffrey Steele: Saul’s genius code name is the same as that of popular country singer Jeffrey Steele. What a cowinkidink! I couldn’t find a particular reason that his inclusion could be shared as an Easter Egg, but he did release an album in 2004 called Hell on Wheels, another popular AMC show.

Operation Kingbreaker: Because it’s Vince Gilligan, nothing is coincidence. The 2010 movie, Kingbreaker, centers around a Hank, a Miriam (Marie??), a Walter and the Mexican Drug Cartel. It’s just too close to call.

“I’m a lawyer, not a criminal”: When Jimmy gets volun-told to help Nacho rob the Kettleman’s stash, his retort is one that will be twisted around when Jesse Pinkman pitches Walt that they employ Saul Goodman’s services.

Familiar Territory: The desert scene in this episode was filmed in the same location as the Breaking Bad episode “Say My Name,” where Walt and Declan come to an… understanding.

Tid-Bits:

Drug Talk: When Jimmy is pretending to be an FBI agent, he actually spouts out a whole bunch of stuff that makes sense. Title 21: Schedule II – Schedule V, Part B is suuuuper vague, but if you’d like to read all the legal mumbo-jumbo behind it, here’s the link. I’ll leave it to somebody much smarter than me to make a connection there.

Petty with a prior: While Jimmy seeks to negotiate with the prosecutor, her keeps repeating this phrase, which means that if a person has been priorly convicted of theft, his next charge can be upped to a felony.

Jimmy still had some humanity: Jimmy goes out of his way to save the stupid twins, even though they were the only reason that they all ended up in the Danger Zone. I don’t know that Saul of Breaking Bad would do that – or pay for their medical bill. “I just talked you down from a death sentence to six-months probation; I’m the best lawyer ever.” And Chuck? His electromagnetic hypersensitivity illness, which is a real thing, makes me think that he must be dead by the time BrBa happens – or at least Jimmy will be dead to Chuck.

Space Blankets: Space blankets are real things. They exist. First designed by NASA in 1964, you can buy them for like $15 now. And they look fashionable as fuck.

Calling Nacho: The number that Nacho leaves Jimmy at the end of the episode? Yeah, it’s real. 505-242-6087

Music from the Episode:Boulevard of Broken Dreams” by Esquivel (1959) plays during Jimmy’s rendezvous with a sexy lady at the bar.

 

“It’s showtime, folks” is an recurring quote from All That Jazz (1979) – along with this musical number – that makes an appearance during Jimmy’s bathroom pep talk montage. “It’s from a movie!”

Hush Comics gives “Mijo” an A for the way that it continues to slowly unfold the story of Jimmy McGill. Walter White wasn’t the only one who suffered a fall from grace. “Mijo” shows that Jimmy had a dance with the devil over the subject of scamming, but his mingling with the criminal world is going to prove that he is but a fly in the spider’s web. Even as he tries to protest his identity as a criminal, he’s still at the mercy of Tuco and Nacho’s will.

Breaking Bad Week – Top Quotes

The dialogue in Breaking Bad is the baseline for what makes the show so enjoyable.  It’s smart and funny.  It is packed with a lot a punch.  There are very few things that are said that don’t mean more than what it first appears as.  It is also one of the most quoted pieces of modern pop-culture.  It suddenly doesn’t seem inappropriate to yell “Bitch!” at someone or gruffly tell them to “apply yourself.”  It was difficult to narrow the list to only seven, as there are so many great ones,  but we felt these were the best of the best.

7. How Walt Lives His Life: 

“To hell with your cancer. I’ve been living with cancer for the better part of a year. Right from the start, it’s a death sentence. That’s what they keep telling me. Well, guess what? Every life comes with a death sentence, so every few months I come in here for my regular scan, knowing full well that one of these times – hell, maybe even today – I’m gonna hear some bad news. But until then, who’s in charge? Me. That’s how I live my life.” – Walter White

This may be the most honest Walt has been the entire series, and it was to a total stranger in the waiting room at the doctor’s office. He is angry he has cancer, but that has never let him hold back in the two years we have known him. While it seems like an inspirational quote on the surface, Walt has lost the desire to live, and he really doesn’t care when the cancer comes back. At points in the timeline, Walt actually wishes that the cancer would come back; he has enough money to leave his family. Walt’s Heisenberg alter-ego is his way of coping with the cancer. He’s created this “big bad” persona that always has an answer to an issue that arrives, the anti-Walt, if you will, but it’s really just a coping mechanism that helps him feel in control of his cancer.

6. The Chemistry Must be Respected:

Walt: “You believe I have some proprietary kind of selfishness about my own formula? Some sort of overweening pride that you think simply overwhelms me, clouds my judgment?”
Gus: “But it doesn’t?”
Walt: “Absolutely not. I simply respect the chemistry. The chemistry must be respected.”

What a smug asshole. He could have been out of the game cleanly right here.
What a smug asshole. He could have been out of the game cleanly right here.

In this scene, Walt finds out that Jesse has been entrusted in taking over Gus’ operation and been manufacturing Walt’s signature blue meth. Offended by this, Walt convinces Gus that Jesse is nothing but a burn-out junkie that must be “supervised” during cooks and that a quality of “more or less that he has come to expect” is still not Heisenberg Level (although, technically, Heisenberg level is only 92%). Walt gets very snobby and denies that there is any conceit in his words, but simply that he is so in love with Chemistry that he could not bear to have this product cooked by anybody less-deserving. Gus cleverly sees right through all the bullshit, as he was just letting Jesse cook the product to lure Walt back. Gus shows Walt the lab and convinces Walt that he needs to be a man and provide for his family, forever setting Walt back on the bad path for the remainder of the show.

5. ASAC Schrader is Really the Smartest Guy We Know:

“You want me to beg? You’re the smartest guy I ever met, and you’re too stupid to see—he made up his mind ten minutes ago.” – ASAC Hank Schrader

asac

It was silly for Walt to ever think that he could pay the Aryan’s off when they still had the opportunity to sack a DEA agent, who they know would have gotten them all arrested eventually.  Hank knew that with these types of criminals, when they have that chance and get 80 million dollars for free, they are going to jump on it.  And his words to Walt were the things we all have wanted to say to Walt.  He is so smart, but the entire show has been too stupid to see… well pretty much everything. His judgment has always been clouded by his family or his pride. And as we find out, he cannot have both.

4. You Knew the “Empire Business” Would Make the Cut:

“Jesse, you asked me if I was in the meth business or the money business. Neither. I’m in the empire business.” – Walter White

Empire business photo

So back to the pride thing… Walt’s still butt-hurt that Gretchen and Elliott “screwed” him out of Grey Matter Technologies, a company that Walt helped build, but ultimately walked out on because of some weird relationship with he and Gretchen. Anyway, his own pride kept him from staying with Gray Matter and his own pride is what keeps him as Heisenberg. When Drew Sharp is murdered, it’s the end for Mike and Jesse. They want to sell the methylamine and be done for good, something that they are well-justified in doing after dissolving the body of a teenager. Walt has this delusion that the drug empire he has built will be a fair substitute for the one that he missed out on with Gretchen, and refusing to give up the methylamine to Jesse and Mike add one more crack to the mirror image of Walter White.

3. You Also Knew “Say My Name” Would Make the Cut:

Walt: “Now, say my name”
Declan: “Heisenberg”
Walt: “You’re God damn right.”

Who's the bitch now?!
Who’s the bitch now?!

There goes that pride thing again! At this point in the series, Walt has a major hard-on for himself. He’s murdered the drug kingpin of Albuquerque and established himself as the all-powerful Heisenberg, with a ruthlessness as fine-tipped as his product. After convincing a hesitant Mike to make a new deal for the methylamine, Walt meets up with Declan, the kingpin of Phoenix. We don’t know anything about Declan, but we do know that Phoenix is supposed to be a bigger player than ABQ in the meth game, so this dude is a big deal. Walt doesn’t care; he’s taken on the Cartel for Christ’s sake. He nixes the original deal and tells Declan, a presumably-dangerous man Walt has never met, that he now works for him. When Declan laughs at the idea, not knowing who Walt is, Walt elaborates. “I’m the man that killed Gus Fring.” Ahhh, snaps! He proceeds to make Declan his bitch by making him say Walt’s street name.

2. It’s How We All Feel, Jesse:

“I am not turning down the money! I’m turning down you! You get it?! I want nothing to do with you! Ever since I met you, everything I ever cared about is gone! Ruined, turned to shit, dead, ever since I hooked up with the great Heisenberg!” – Jesse Pinkman

Should have got out while he still could...
Jesse sees things more clearly, even if it’s through one eye.

It’s a surprise that this quote only comes half-way through the third season. Jesse had been through a lot up to that point, losing both Combo and Jane, not to mention having murdered a man. And while Walt saved him from Hank at the junkyard, there was nobody around to stop Hank from beating the ever-living crap out of Jesse at his own home. In what some could call a two-season long bitch-fest, Jesse breaks down in his hospital bed and refuses to work with Walt ever again. It’s a tragic statement so vivid that, no matter how you end up feeling about Jesse (we love him, btw), you can’t help but feel sorry for him. He has had everything taken away from him since beginning his time working with Walt. Unfortunately, money overrules foresight, as Jesse goes back to work with Walt. As everybody in Breaking Bad will eventually discover, this quote applies to more than just Jesse.

1. Knock, Knock. Who’s there?:

“You clearly don’t know who you’re talking to, so let me clue you in: I am not in danger, Skyler. I am the danger. A guy opens his door and gets shot, and you think that of me? No! I am the one who knocks!” – Walter White

If there was one line of Breaking Bad that sums up the entire show, it’s this one right here. Skyler wakes up Walt and asks him about Gale Boetticher, she is frightened at the notion that the people Walt work with killed Gale and may do the same to Walt. She is sincerely worried about Walt and her family, pleading with Walt to turn himself in, that he was obviously in need of help and in way too deep. Walt, not one to allow anybody to make him seem weak, barks back at Skyler and makes himself look like a cold-hearted killer. In essense, his own arrogance destroys a family dynamic that was barely there in the first place.

Thanks for reading our Top Breaking Bad quotes. There was so many more we wanted to add, but we didn’t want to double dip moments by mentioning them more than once in our Breaking Bad Week articles. Stay tuned tomorrow for our Funniest Breaking Bad Moments article in the meantime (isn’t it hard to remember a time when this show was actually funny?), but in the mean time, let us know what your favorite quote from the show was below!

All photos and videos courtesy of AMC Television

Breaking Bad Week – Character Defining Moments (SPOILERS!)

A greatness of a show is best defined by its characters. What they experience adds to the gravity of the situations they are in. Some characters in the show grow, while some characters simply show the same nature throughout the show. While we realize we could do this for many more characters, we wanted to the severity of each defining moment to really be one that makes you identify with the series just as well as with the character. Plus, we had to keep with the theme of sevens. Also keep in mind that we were very torn with some of these, and even crossed out a few that were the top selection but appear elsewhere in our Breaking Bad Week articles. Make sure you vote for your favorite Character Defining Moments in the polls below each character. In alphabetical order, here we go:

Gustavo Fring: Poisoning himself to kill Don Eladio

Gus has always been a professional, at and away from a deep fryer. Always cold and calculating, Gus seems to have a contingency for everything that goes awry. Which is why he clashes with Walt and Jesse’s reckless actions throughout season three and four. After managing to separate the two chaotic partners, he ends up putting Jesse under the wing of Mike, his right-hand man and prepares to take Jesse to Mexico to teach the Cartel how to cook the blue; when the Cartel says that they will be keeping Jesse in Mexico, Gus does not flinch. He then negotiates with Don Eladio to ease troubled relations in the fallout of the Juan Bolsa/DEA attack. Gus seems compliant, even toasting the mended relationship with Zafireo Anejo tequila (like $8000 a bottle, yo!). As the cartel celebrates their victory, Gus quietly excuses himself to the restroom, lays out a towel in front of the toilet and then vomits. It turned at that the tequila was poisoned. As Gus returns to the party, most of the Cartel members have already succumbed to the poison. Gus gets his personal revenge on Don Eladio, but, not completely evacuated of the poison, doubles over. In almost-Shakespearean fashion, he tells the remaining people to “fill your pockets and leave in peace, or fight me and die!” What a total badass.

taste that non poison
Captioned photo courtesy of vh1.com

Honorable Mention: In “Hermanos,” Gus and his chicken partner (AKA gay lover) Max present their case to Don Eladio in Mexico to pitch the idea of cooking methamphetamine for the Cartel. When conversation turns sour and Max begins pleading for Gus’ safety, Hector Salamanca draws his gun and shoots Max in the back of the head. This callous act puts Gus on a trajectory that he might not have been on otherwise. Max was the cook and Gus was the “Chicken Man.” Now, with hatred in his heart, Gus became the heartless killer that took down the entire Cartel.

Hank Schrader: “My name is ASAC Schrader, and you can go fuck yourself”

Hank is the character that, in my opinion, experienced the most growth in the five seasons we’ve known him. From the guy who was the joke of the DEA, Hank has worked his way up the ranks to become a high-ranking officer and very capable detective. His life was his work, whether or not he was in the right of the law. Knowing that admitting to the office that his own family was the Heisenberg that had been avoiding him all this time, Hank was willing to give up his career to get the proof he needs to put Walt away for good. While he certainly avoids treading lightly, he goes out with such resolve that you actually end up hating Walt for it, even though he tried everything possible to stop it. Hank dies a hero and that’s more of an honor than any other dead person can say on this show.

Ain't nobody put Hank in the corner.
Ain’t nobody put Hank in the corner.

Honorable Mention: When I say that Hank is ready to give up his career to catch the Heisenberg, I mean that Hank is willing to break the law in order to do so. He takes Walt, a civilian, on his ride-alongs to get evidence on Gus, not to mention the tracking devices he places (without warrant or DEA knowledge) on Gus and Walt’s car. He follows Mike around without a warrant, to the point where Saul has to intervene and remind him how illegal it is. And in the few episodes where he finally catches Walt at To’hajiilee, he: bugs Walt’s house without a warrant, lies to Huell and places an officer at his door to keep him from leaving, and stealing police evidence to work on at home.

Jesse Pinkman: Problem dog speech/NA blow-up

Quite the antithesis of Hank, Jesse has experienced the most decay throughout the series. Who was once a silly high-school burnout, Jesse has undergone so much personal tragedy. He’s been kicked out and abandoned by his family, he’s had one of his best friends killed and woke up next to his lover dead, not to mention that he’s had his ass beat several times. More damaging, though, he killed a man who was pretty innocent, in the scene of things. So going into season four, he is a fucking hot mess. His one release comes in the form of Narcotics Anonymous meetings. While he is also hustling recovering addicts to sell them meth on the side, he genuinely feels like he can talk about his pain. However, when he compares the murder of Gale to putting down a “problem dog,” the other members refuse to relieve him of responsibility, sending a hurting Jesse on the defensive and telling everybody that he is just there to sell them meth. In turn, he shuts down the one door he had towards emotional recovery and never really gets better.

You're nothing to me but customers! I made you my bitch! You okay with that? Huh? You accept?
You’re nothing to me but customers! I made you my bitch! You okay with that? Huh? You accept?

Honorable Mention: More tragedy… After the start of season five, Jesse looks to be bouncing back. He has come up with some ingenious plans with magnets, and the train heist. Down to all the tiny details (including the fluid density differences), Jesse is proving himself to be a valuable commodity. And it has to be noted that he does all of this without any violence. That is, until Todd AKA Toddfuck AKA Meth Damon decides it’s a good idea to shoot little 14 year old Drew Sharp for stumbling upon them in the desert. Jesse is crushed. Like Gonzo crushed. It’s this incident that gets Jesse permanently out of cooking, but unfortunately not out of the game. It’s fun to imagine what would have been if Jesse had continued growing with Mike believing in him, and not the snowball of shit that played out.

Mike Ehrmantraut: “No more half measures”

Mike is always the coolest cucumber in the room, but it’s not too hard to believe that he can lose his cool from time to time. In a speech to Walt about risking getting into business with Jesse, still on drugs, he tells the account of a domestic violence case. In the story, he speaks of his big man who would beat his tiny wife and every weekend, she would beg them not to arrest him and that she was afraid of him. One night, when Mike’s partner is out sick, he takes this man into the middle of nowhere and puts a gun in his mouth, threatening the man that, “So help me if you ever touch her again I will such and such and such and such and blah blah blah blah blah.” When he releases the man, he murders his wife two weeks later. The moral of the story is to take no half-measures. It’s the realization that Mike is inherently a good guy, but more so that he is willing to go to extraordinary lengths to ensure his job is complete – which we infer that Mike had, in turn, murdered the man and broke bad.

Mikespeech

Honorable Mention: With Walt planning to murder Gus, he thinks he can still get Mike on his side to do it. Walt invites Mike to a bar to try to manipulate Mike and it does NOT work. As soon as Mike figures out what Walt is doing, he cracks him in the face and thanks him for the drink. It’s an ode to the loyalty that Mike has, as well as his consistency as a character.

Saul Goodman: Old Yeller

Always the sneaky scumbag lawyer, it isn’t until we see him part ways with Jesse that we see him for the opportunist that he is. While Saul and Jesse have never have a friendly relationship, I would like to think that the two of them have been through some pretty dangerous situations together. Jesse has grown under Saul’s tutelage, albeit only legally, but there should still be some type of personal connection. That’s why I was so appalled during “Rabid Dog” when Saul uses an Old Yeller euphemism to suggest that Walt simply put Jesse out after Jesse goes crazy and tries to burn Walt’s house down. It’s a despicable act that reveals Saul’s true nature. He is out for him, and while he may still show some loyalty to Walt, it’s 99% money and 1% due to the fact that if Walt goes down, so does Saul. He’s a snake, plain and simple, but he’s funny and witty enough to carry his own series. I’m looking forward to see what kind of character he begins as in Better Call Saul.

"I should have never let me dojo membership run out"
“I should have never let me dojo membership run out”

Honorable Mention: In true lawyer etiquette, Saul refuses to be Walt and Jesse’s lawyer without being paid for it. In the middle of the desert with strange men pointing guns at his face, he still has the balls to ask them to play along because something tells me (as we should find out in the spin-off) this isn’t his first rodeo. He’s a criminal lawyer, but more importantly, he will always be a criminal lawyer.

Skyler White: Pretending to be crazy to save the children

Oh, Skyler. Poor Skyler; everybody seems to hate her! In truth, I’m not crazy about her either, but she had been put into such a difficult decision, as a wife and a mother. Unlike Lady Soprano, though, Skyler is weak. She buys into the naive idea that she can control her ego-driven husband, and it works for a bit, until Walt begins masturbating to the fact that he killed Gus. Skyler, feeling trapped and with nobody to turn on, her last cry for help is to fall in the pool and drown herself. Looking entirely bat-shit crazy to her children and family, the goal of having the children moved out of the house and out of danger is accomplished. She also takes a lot of shit from Jr. the entire series in trying to keep Walt from being conspicuous. It’s a tough but necessary role and I commend Anna Gunn for being ready to play it.

skyler.jpg.CROP.article568-large

Honorable Mention: Enough is enough. After being forced to live in a hotel when Jesse spills gasoline all over the house, Skyler tells Walt to “handle” it, because in her mind, “What’s One More?” When that one more turns out to be her brother-in-law, Hank, Skyler can’t handle it. As Walt rushes to finish packing the family’s bags, Skyler grabs a knife and tells Walt to leave; that was the final straw. She slashes his hand when he approaches her and then violently lunges at him. Walt’s motto may have been “family first,” but Skyler had made up her mind that Walt was no longer a part of it.

Walter White: “Ozymandias”

Oh boy; this was definitely the most difficult decision. Walter White has undergone so much change; he’s gone from the loser chemistry teacher to frightening drug kingpin to frail (but no less dangerous) cancer carrier. In all those changes, though, he has always put his family first. This is not illustrated any more truly when he gives up everything in “Ozymandias.” Ignoring the fact that he offers $80 million dollars to the Aryans, he walks away from the family after he realizes he can’t be with them ever again. He tries his best to absolve Skyler of any involvement in the meth empire. He takes all the blame, something his arrogance and pride wouldn’t have let him do earlier in the show. In the ultimate sacrifice, he leaves Holly in a semi-safe place that will allow Skyler to get her back, it’s sad to see Walt, leaving alone with his money and nobody to give it to.

walt holly breaking bad

Honorable Mention: The great thing about Walt in Breaking Bad is that he is always responsible for bad things that happen, but he never seems to find himself responsible for events that happen. There’s no greater example of this than when Walt watches Jane die. He did not, in the strictest sense, kill her. But his inaction, Jane chokes on her own vomit and dies – a death that makes her distraught father cause the crash of Wayfarer 515 and the death of 167 people. This isn’t the only time Walt causes somebody’s death without actually killing them, as the demises of: Tomas Castillo, Gale Boetticher, Victor, Hector Salamanca, Gustavo Fring, Tyrus, the ten of Mike’s men in prison (including a lawyer), Steve Gomez and Hank Schrader are all due to Walt rocking the boat. The list isn’t complete either, as there’s sure to be plenty more rockin’ to do.

I hope you all liked our character defining moments. Stayed tuned for tomorrow’s Top Quotes. Let us know in the comments if there are any other character defining moments for the characters we didn’t list here.

Written by Sherif Elkhatib

All photos and videos courtesy of AMC Television.

Breaking Bad Week – Most Shocking Moments (SPOILERS!)

Holy Mother of *@&#^$*!!!!  Today we dedicate our Breaking Bad week article to the Most Shocking Moments, or more simply put, “Oh Shit!”  The entire series has been chock-full of moments where we all found ourselves jumping off of our couches, yelling gibberish out of anger or confusion, or having to pause our Netflix to take a walk around the block because it got to be too much.  Because there are so many moments like this in the series, you can bet your bottom dollar it was hard to compile a list of only seven moments.  But these we all felt were the best of the best, or if you rather, the blue stuff of shocking moments. 

7.) Your best course of action would be to tread lightly:

Vince Gilligan could have played it safe. Breaking Bad could have spent entire episodes tip-toeing and the fact that Hank knew that his own brother-in-law, the timid ex-chemistry teacher, had been the Heisenberg he had been chasing around Albuquerque for three plus seasons – and the fact that Walt knew he knew. Instead, both characters’ arrogance sends them colliding towards the most epic collision in the series to date; Hank closes the garage door behind Walt, then gives him the murder look before clocking walt square in the face. If this show was a chess game, Hank just flipped over the table and stabbed Walt with his bishop. What’s even better is that once Walt knows for sure he’s been outed, he doesn’t cut and run or backtrack – he threatens a federal agent and his own family member, telling him to “tread lightly.” Classic! It was a move that set the tone for the rest of the series and Breaking Bad has benefited from not pussy-footing around the discovery we knew, as viewers, had to happen. By not returning to status quo, we had a very tragic and definitive ending to a great show.

Image courtesy of http://imorawetz.deviantart.com/ She has great Breaking Bad stuff!

Image courtesy of http://imorawetz.deviantart.com/ She has great Breaking Bad stuff!

6.) “One Minute”

Now, while what we officially voted on for this shocking moment was “Hank vs. the Cousins,” there’s no way to simplify this thrill-fest of an episode to that one minute. The episode picks up with Hank pulling up at Jesse’s place after Hank finds out that the phone call about Marie’s car accident was just a ploy to lure  him away from the RV scene. As Hank pulls up to Jesse’s house, Jesse is sitting by the door, mocking Hank and telling him he has nothing to say and that Hank can’t prove anything. But Hank didn’t come to talk, as we soon find out. He cold cocks Jesse in the face so hard that he flies back onto the hardwood floor, where Hank proceeds to pummel Jesse’s face until he is unconscious. I thought he might even be dead… but he wasn’t. What he was, though, was ready to bring Hank’s life down in flames and ready to rat out Walt if Jesse ever got caught again. The speech Jesse makes in the hospital bed is borderline frightening: “You’re my free pass, bitch.” Hank, meanwhile, is reeling from the realization that his career in law enforcement might be over. He is suspended from duty and relieved of his firearm.

All that happens before Hank is attacked in a supermarket parking lot by the two Salamanca cousins, Marco and Leonel. The suspense for these two crazy assholes had been building all season long and it came at a time when Hank was most vulnerable – both physically and emotionally. I was sure Hank wasn’t going to make it out alive, but the arrogance of Marco (and Gus for calling him in advance) gave Hank enough time to gain the advantage and take down the bad guys. Not only does this save Hank’s life and career, but it also serves as more personal motivation to complete the puzzle and take Gus down.

THEY"RE MINERALS!!!!!
THEY”RE MINERALS!!!!!

5.) Jesse learns a valuable lesson about HF Acid:

Breaking Bad’s second episode (“The Cat’s in the Bag”) deals with the aftermath of a crazy-yet-silly pilot episode. Upon returning to Jesse’s house, they returned with an RV that had just cooked in it and two bodies (one being the head Albuquerque meth distributor) that needed to be disposed of. This is just the first season; there is no Mike to clean up the mess, no Saul to find a guy who knows a guy (who ends up being Mike, but he might have known other people, too!), and no empire to delegate a responsibility like this to. This is a truly frightening! How the hell would you get rid of a body in this day and age? Walt knows! You just dissolve it in hydroflouric acid, supplied by your local high school (I’m not even going to get into why a high school has that much HF Acid in the first place). Jesse, as per the coin, gets the job of dissolving his former partner, Emilio, but is S.O.L. when he can’t find a plastic tub big enough. So Jesse does the next best thing in his mind, and uses the upstairs bathroom. As an engineer, this was my immediate reaction:

As Walt explains, “hydrofluoric acid won’t eat through plastic. It will, however, dissolve metal, rock, glass, ceramic. So there’s that.” Yeah, Walt, so there’s that. Even when Walt sees drips of fluid coming from the ceiling, I had no idea that a maelstrom of acid-soaked Emilio-chunks would tear through the house. From that moment on, I was a Breaking Bad lifer.

So there's that...
So there’s that…

4.) “Face Off”

Going into the season four finale, we just knew that Gus had to go. At that point, there was no hiding that Gus wanted Walt dead and Walt wanted Gus dead, but we still had no idea how it was going to happen and if anybody else would be caught in the crossfire. The beginning of the episode is the aftermath of Walt’s failed bomb attempt on Gus’ car. Walt, through some difficulty, meets up with Saul and discovers that Hector Salamanca is somebody that Gus frequently visits to taunt and devises a plan to mutually benefit both he and Hector. In the mean time, Jesse is detained by two officers concerning the ricin poisoning but it turns out that it wasn’t rice poisoning, it was caused by the ingestion of the Lily of the Valley flower. When Jesse runs out the hospital to tell Andrea of the news, he is tased and taken hostage into a van. Again, Gus’ pride and arrogance gets in the way when he decides to personally kill Tio after snitching to the DEA (or so they had thought), even as Tyrus offered to do it himself. Hector, feigning fear with Gus is inches away from him, begins violently ringing his bell, which it turns out is rigged to Walt’s bomb! I had the same reaction Gus did, with the exception of my face being blown off. We turn back to Jesse, who is being forced to cook at gunpoint. The doorbell to the lab rings, where it turns out Walt has come to rescue Jesse and totally obliterate the lab after telling Jesse “Gus is dead. We’ve got work to do.” It’s an insane episode that leaves the entire fifth season in doubt. But what shocked me the most, is that while the credits are rolling, they should a beautiful white Lily of the Flower in the Whites’ backyard.

Seriously, I wish everything I did in life looked this cool.
Seriously, I wish everything I did in life looked this cool.

3.) “Dead Freight”:

“Dead Freight” will go down as one of the best episodes of the series; heck, it already is touted as such.  It was nominated for an Emmy this past Sunday, so it had to be pretty good (even though the Emmys suck).  The entire episode is such a roller-coaster of stress on it’s own.  From Lydia just being a bitch, to the introduction of Todd into the group and not being too sure of his intentions, to the entire train heist itself.  The heist is one of the most suspenseful moments in the series.  I’m pretty sure that everyone was inching towards their television sets by the minute, especially when the train starts to move and the water to replace the methylamine isn’t done filling in the train car and two of our robbers are still on or near the train.  It’s pretty traumatic to watch Jesse lay down flat on the tracks to not get run over by a moving train.  And just when you breath a sigh of relief and feel like you robbed a train with these guys, Todd commits the most game-changing murder in the series.  The boy (Drew Sharp) from the beginning of the episode, who is really hard to remember after such a fantastic robbery scene, is watching the three men, Todd, Jesse and Walt from his motorbike.  He waves and then Todd shoots him.  Todd shoots a little kid.  For no reason.  If you didn’t jump out of your seat screaming obscenities at the TV as Vince Gilligan’s name flashed on screen, then you, dear sir, are not a good person.  You support child murder.  Yeah, I went there.  The aftermath of Todd’s decision is still being played out a week before the series finale.  What a Todd-Fuck (and yes that’s a shout out to good ole Derrick Comedy).  

Didn't your mom tell you not to talk to strangers, Drew?
Didn’t your mom tell you not to talk to strangers, Drew?!

2.) Walt saves Jesse by going GTA on two drug dealers:

Jesse doesn’t handle it well when children become part of the game.  It’s a fact.  I could go on about the psychology that goes on behind that, but then again, I don’t know much about psychology.  He finds out that his new love interest, Andrea, has a much younger brother, Tomas, who was forced into the neighborhood gang and also happens to be the boy who shot Jesse’s friend, Combo.  Tomas was killed when Jesse and Walt made the deal with the thugs, who happened to be Gus’s men, that they would not sell meth on their turf as long as they didn’t use kids in the game.  When Tomas dies, Jesse contemplates different ways to kill the two gang members who recruited and killed Tomas.  Jesse ropes his part-time lover and full-time meth head friend Wendy into delivering ricin poisoned hamburgers to the two men, but the plan is foiled.  In a last ditch effort to kill the men, Jesse waits in their neighborhood, smokes a lot of meth, and musters up enough courage to approach them in the same spot they killed Combo and Tomas.  Just when Jesse starts to raise his shooting hand, the great Heisenberg a.k.a. Walter White runs the gangbangers down with his Pontiac Aztec, jumps out of the car, shoots the live one in the head, and turns to Jesse only saying “Run”.  For Walt to do anything nice for anyone else was totally unexpected.  For him to kill anyone for something beyond his own personal means was beyond expectation.  This was the one time Walt deserved a “Father of the Year” mug.  Except that it was for murder….. oh, well.  It’s Breaking Bad.  

Who knew that the Pontiac Aztec was a cooler weapon than that gun?
Who knew that the Pontiac Aztec was a cooler weapon than that gun?

1.) Hank finds Leaves of Grass while sitting on the shitter:

In BrBa fashion, it was only appropriate to culminate one of the most anticipated show-downs in television history by starting the domino effect with Hank taking a shit in Walt’s bathroom.  The series leaves no loose end untouched, and Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass was one of those loose ends.  It was a book long forgotten by the time season 5a came about (other than when we see a glimpse of it when Walt grabs a towel), but the conversation Walt and Hank had regarding the initial’s “W.W.” from the Gale Boetticher investigation was still fresh in our minds.  But I don’t think anybody really believed that Hank would figure out who the Heisenberg was by looking for something to read while being indisposed for a few moments.  So simple, yet so classic.  And it definitely left the viewer in a moment of disarray and mouthing the words, “Oh, Shit…”

The shit always hits the fan when you are on the shitter.
As Hank begins to shit and stink, he takes a moment to sit and think.
I hope you all liked our most shocking moments. Stayed tuned for tomorrow’s Top Character Defining Moments. Vote below on your Most Shocking Moment in Breaking Bad!

Written by Sherif Elkhatib and Adrian Puryear

All photos and videos courtesy of AMC Television. 

Awesome emotional clips courtesy of Donald Glover and the good folks at NBC’s Community.

Breaking Bad Week – Top Bitch Moments… Bitch! (SPOILERS!)

If you know Breaking Bad, you know that the entire series can be summed up in two words: “yo, bitch!” Aaron Paul’s portrayal of Jesse Pinkman has won the hearts of millions. With what started out as a troubled kid in need of being put back on track, his crossing paths with Walter White has destroyed any chances of his redemption. Even as Jesse plunges deeper into darkness, nothing can stop us from celebrating his boisterous attitude and affinity of the bitch word. Here are our seven favorite mentions; some carry weight and some are just hilarious, but they all have that special Jesse touch.

7.) “Oh, well heil Hitler, bitch!”

In the third episode of the series, “And the Bag’s in the River,” Jesse and Walt flip a coin to see who gets the duty of murdering Krazy-8, currently chained to a basement post like a dog, and dissolving his body in HF Acid. When Walt loses the toss, he avoids his responsibility and again blames Jesse because he “did not follow [Walt’s] instructions.” In a gesture that I will forever be mimicking – no seriously, I’m gonna be doin’ this shit to my grandchildren – Jesse puts on the fake finger Hitler ‘stache and calls Walt out on his bullshit, something that happens too seldom throughout the rest of the series. It’s even better because his face is still freshly swollen after having his ass beat by Krazy-8 in “The Pilot”, something that we see all too often throughout the rest of the series. The coin flip is sacred, and so is this hilarious “Bitch” moment.

Well heil Hitler, bitch

6.) “Where’s my money, bitch!”

Forced to get his big boy pants on after Skinny Pete gets stuck up for the blue and his cash, Jesse must pretend to play enforcer to a tweaked out couple in the sixth episode of season two entitled “Peek-A-Boo.” Jesse and the audience quickly realize that Jesse is not cut out for this line of work. He readies his gun and panting, practices his dramatic entrance into the meth house to get back the stash. In a very Jesse fashion, he is unable to really intimidate the addicts because of a young boy’s presence in the room. Meth-heads will be meth-heads, however, and one of them gets mad and topples an ATM onto the other’s head. Jesse, horrified, leaves, and rumor gets around that the mysterious Heisenberg is the one that through the ATM onto the junkie that tried to steal from him. In classic Breaking Bad fashion, Heisenberg’s notoriety comes at the cost of Jesse’s innocence.

Interesting side note: In my research, I found out that somebody has actually taken the time to register the website wheresmymoneybitch.com.

5.) …stop whining like a little bitch and do what I say”

At the end of season four (“Salud”), Jesse is torn between two worlds. While Gus Fring has pretty much replaced Walt with Jesse as head cook, Walt has deviously convinced Jesse that Gus is the man responsible for poisoning the son of his good friend (more than friends) Andrea. To play it safe, Jesse has to cook a batch of the blue for the Mexican cartel and saves ricin to patiently wait for another chance to kills Gus. Jesse finally realizes that, although he may not be as good of a chef as Walt, he is an excellent cook. He puts one of the cartel cooks in his place, telling him basically that he sucks at his job and to shut up and pay attention. Once the batch comes back with a 96% accuracy, Jesse’s arrogance backfires on him when the cartel tells Jesse that he will be staying in Mexico as their cook, as a bargaining tool for eased relationship between Gus and the cartel. With painful irony, Gus betrays Don Eladio (who I almost just called Don Helado – get at me, Ben & Jerry’s!) and, in an odd turn of events, ends up saving Mike and Gus from the same fate he had been pressured from Walt into having. Jesse’ a genuinely nice guy and he just can’t help but save them.

4.) “Fire in the hole, bitch”

Throughout the series, Walt is constantly working over Jesse, manipulating him to get the results Walt wants. Well, in season five’s “To’hajiilee,” Jesse finally works over Walt. And while it is gut-wrenching to witness the absolute downfall of Heisenberg, there is a deep satisfaction to know that it is Jesse, who has lost everything he cares about because of Walt, is the one to bring him down. After Jesse flips on Walt and, in a state of paranoia, Jesse decides that Walt is setting Jesse up to die, Jesse claims that he is going to hit Walt where “he really lives.” With Hank’s help, Jesse sets Walt up to believe that Jesse has dug up the money and is threatening to burn it all if Walt doesn’t rush to come talk to him. As Walt frantically drives to the To’hajiilee reservation, Jesse uses Heisenberg level trickery to keep Walt afraid of getting off the phone. In Walt’s panic, he admits to all the crimes that he’s committed. From poisoning Brock to killing two of Gus’ dealers, even the murders of Emilio and Krazy-8 in the first season. It’s Jesse’s cunning plan that finally does in the great Heisenberg, and ultimately leads to everything falling apart in “Ozymandias.”

The spit heard around the world
The spit heard around the world.

 

3.) “So roll me further, bitch”

After being viciously beaten by Special Agent Schrader in “One Minute,” Jesse is finally released from the hospital in the next episode. And, let me tell you, Honey Badger doesn’t give a shit. After taking a pretty hard crack in the face from Hank, Jesse was knocked unconscious and wakes up in the hospital, pretty pissed off at the whole situation. Walt’s devious act of sending Hank away ends up hurting Jesse in a bad way, and Jesse let’s Walt know that they are done (a recurring statement by both of them) and that Walt is now his “Get Out of Jail Free” card. After an orderly wheels Jesse out of the hospital to await a ride from Skinny Pete, he lights up a cigarette. The orderly then tells Jesse he must be at least fifty feet away from the entrance, to which Jesse replies…

so-roll-me-further-bitch-jessie-breaking-bad_1329662418

2.) “Yeah, bitch! Magnets!”

Jesse had always been looked at as the fuck-up any of the other big players in the show, especially Walt. It’s his brilliant idea in the season five premiere, “Live Free or Die,” that everybody really starts to see that Jesse has grown the most of any character in the show. While Walt argues with Mike that the best approach is to bomb a police evidence room (real sharp there, Heisenberg!), Jesse interjects multiple times that using a magnet would be a great idea. Frying the laptop does has its drawbacks, though, as a photo, broken in the calamity, reveals the offshore accounts Gus emptied all his funds into. Try as Jesse may, he keeps screwing up at being a criminal. The idea of using the magnets, coupled with the idea in “Dead Freight” to account for the varying fluid densities, really shows that Jesse is a valuable asset. It’s with sadness that viewers wonder what could have been if Jesse had grown up a little sooner and used his powers for good instead of being used for evil.

yeah-bitch-magnets

1.) “This is my own private domicile and I will not be harassed… bitch!”

Hands down, our favorite “Bitch” moment is during “One Minute.” Hank has made his way to the junkyard as Jesse and Walt are moments away from destroying the RV. Not only are Walt and Jesse hiding in the RV still, but there are remnants of their meth exploits all over the inside of the RV. With Jesse panicking and Hank out-thinking him, Walt tries to play it cool by feeding Jesse lines to tell Hank. And Jesse, following Walt’s exact instructions (that came out as very snark in my head), stops Hank in his tracks. Jesse can’t resist adding his own personal seal of approval when he figures out that they’ve stalled Hank. However, it isn’t until Walt has Saul orchestrate a phone call to Hank that convinces him Marie was in a serious car accident that  it buys them enough time to destroy the evidence in the RV. However, it makes the case personal for Hank, who beats the living shit out of Jesse soon after and begins operating outside of the law to solve the case.

Get off my ASAC Schrader, bitch!
Get off my ASAC Schrader, bitch!

I hope you like all our bitches, bitches! Vote below to tell us your favorite “Bitch” moment. There were tons of great ones that we had to leave off, so I’d love to read your opinions. Come back tomorrow where we discuss our 7 Most Shocking Moments. Keep checkin our Instagram page for more details on Breaking Bad Week and more 10 minute sketches by John Soweto to giveaway.

Written by Sherif Elkhatib

All photos and videos courtesy of AMC Television.

Breaking Bad Week – Keeping BrBa Alive After the Felina

It’s only after you finish wiping the tears from your face from “Granite State” that you realize that there is only one episode left in what could be the most cerebral television show of the past decade. It’s normal to have these feelings of anxiety. White people had it when Friends ended, black people felt it when The Wire came to a close, and the Hispanic population all held vigil when the George Lopez Show was canceled. Too soon, I know. Heartbreak aside, there are plenty of ways to commemorate the finale of Breaking Bad. We’ve thought of seven you may want to hear about:

1.) Read Hush Comics’ “Breaking Bad Week” articles:

Every day this week, we will be posting a list relating our favorite moments, episodes and Easter eggs from the rest of the series. We will have interactive polls seeing what your opinion on the matter is, as well as original fan art by John Soweto sprinkled throughout the week in our ultimate love letter to Vince Gilligan and Co. Check out Instagram for updates as the week goes on, too. The entire Hush family is invested in the show and are as excited to bring you news as you are to read it. It’ll be a sad, sad moment when the series comes to an end, and we want to hear what you all think about it, too.

sketch by John Soweto. Check our Instagram, HushComics, for details on how you can snag some BrBa giveaways
sketch by John Soweto. Check our Instagram, HushComics, for details on how you can snag some BrBa giveaways

2.) Buy the Complete Series Blu-Ray Set:

Collectors rejoice! On November 26th, just two months away, the Breaking Bad Complete Series is set to make its way to a retailer near you. With a whopping $225 price tag, the Breaking Bad set has all the feel-good (or Bad, ha!) extras you’ll need to curl up and cry for a week straight. Among the notable bonus feature are: a two-hour long documentary capturing the filming of the final eight episodes, a nostalgic look at each character’s development, as well as numerous amusing anecdotes pertaining to filming and storyline. All told, the extras, which are listed as over 55 hours long, rival the full length of the entire series.

breaking-bad-complete-series-xl

Extras are cool and all, but let’s get real – you buy a complete series for THE STUFF! Stuff-collectors will not be disappointed, as the box set comes inside of a “BrBa” branded barrel of methylamene that you can carry home (or you can roll it, cuz it’s… ya know, a barrel). Inside the tub, which we’re estimating is about two feet tall, are such collector’s items as: a personal 16 page letter from the creator, Vince Gilligan, a Los Pollos Hermanos kitchen apron and a commemorative challenge coin, which I will no doubt scratch one side and flip it around like Two-Face while wearing a pork-pie hat and the signature beard. If you pre-order directly from the Breaking Bad Store, you will receive a free t-shirt. It’s a steep price for any television series set, but collectors and die-hard fans will jump at the chance to own this piece of TV history.

3.) Breaking Bad: Alchemy app/book:

If you’re looking for exclusive interviews, factoids and high-quality photos to give you the inside scoop on Breaking Bad, the Apple iBook app, Breaking Bad: Alchemy, is the place to go. The iPad only app is downloadable for $10; making this an iPad app only definitely leaves the market unsaturated, but after using it, I’m convinced that making it available for smartphones wouldn’t do it justice.  I downloaded Alchemy before I set out on a road trip from Denver, Colorado to Lincoln, Nebraska (“What’s in Nebraska?” – Saul Goodman).  In the seven-hour drive, I was amazed at the level of depth I came across. I mean, there’s only so much you can learn from a Wiki page before it feels like a chore to read. Not with Alchemy – there was interactive trivia, there was hide-and-seek style clues to click on, and there was death! A really cool detail in this app was the interactive death timeline of all our favorite homies and villains. If I had a 40 with me, I would have poured it all out along I-80. Another great read is the episode guide, in which the titles of episodes are explained. Some focus on a tribute to a past movie or catchphrase, and some mean nothing at all until they are grouped together. In a generation of television that is all about instant gratification, it’s very satisfying to see that kind of forethought put into something as simple as the episode names. The app also focus a lot on different aspects that make up the show, such as cinematography, sound and special effects. Alchemy is all substance (pun!), unlike most books of the same nature. It does a great job of utilizing the medium, by doing what a book cannot by showing the reader instead of telling the reader. It’s any fan’s compendium for the series, giving value to casual and dedicated viewers the same.

Here is shot of the Cousins' attack on Hank with the film lens alteration on and off.
Here is shot of the Cousins’ attack on Hank with the film lens filter on and off. Edited with Diptic mobile app.

4.) Road trip to the ABQ:

Who wouldn’t want to take a trip to the ABQ and relive their favorite scenes? We have no idea; they definitely aren’t reading this blog. Taking trips to Albuquerque, New Mexico solely for the purpose of paying tribute to Breaking Bad is totally normal. And unlike The Wire, is totally encouraged by the city that it was filmed in. Albuquerque takes great pride in Breaking Bad, with many of the local businesses feeding off the recent tourism that the heralded show now brings in. We will actually be embarking on our our Breaking Bad tour in a couple weeks, the weekend after the finale which also happens to coincide with the annual International Balloon Fiesta. If we’re lucky, we might even see a gigantic Heisenberg face floating in the distance. Keep up with us as we document all our findings through our trip through Heisenberg’s Hometown. By the time we are done, we will hopefully have compiled a comprehensive list of places to go, people to see, and meth dealers to meet. Kidding, we’re keeping that information to ourselves. 

The White Housela-tr-albuquerque-escape-20130728-photos-004

5.) The internet is for porn Breaking Bad:

In this lovely age of information, there isn’t much that you can’t find out about your favorite things. In the case of Breaking Bad, there is plenty of buzz. From nerdy t-shirt sites (like Redbubble.com and OnceUponaTee.com) to poorly-drawn webcomics, there’s something for everyone. Before writing our reviews, we always check out other people’s opinions on IGN, the Breaking Bad wiki or Reddit. And we always check out the Heisenberg Chronicles on Tumblr, or deviantart for screencaps and original fan art. Wikiquotes also offers some pretty great lines of dialogue in the series that you might have forgotten throughout the series. As Breaking Bad falls off the tongues of your friends, the internet is a great place to keep the legend of the Heisenberg alive. Oh, and here’s one on us, http://www.bettercallsaul.com is REAL.

Just grab your meth and double click, it's Brea-king Bad!
Just grab your meth and double click, it’s Brea-king Bad!

6.) Spin-offs:

Of all the characters that have blank pages of background story, Saul Goodman AKA Saul McGill AKA we don’t actually know if any of that is true is the most intriguing. He always seems to know a guy who knows a guy (spoiler alert: sometimes, that guy also knows a guy, too). So imagine my delight when it was announced on my birthday (gush!) that AMC has given the green light to a prequel story to Bob Odenkirk’s Saul Goodman titled Better Call Saul. It will be fulfilling to find out just how exactly Saul became a “criminal” lawyer. Certainly, it won’t be from positive experiences. He and Mike probably didn’t meet while talking about water on Mars at the bar. The most reassuring news is that it will be created by Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould, so we should see high caliber writing with both members of the Breaking Bad brain-trust having their hands on it.

Another spin-off that Breaking Bad is getting is far less spin-offy, and more cultural recreation. In what I consider a tribute to the original, Mexican television network Univision has picked up the series. From what it sounds like so far, it’s going to be a hilarious telenovela version of the show, boasting main characters Walter and Cielo Blanco (no seriously) as they pretty much do the same thing AMC’s Breaking Bad has done, but with rice and beans for awkward dinner instead of Albertson’s deli food and a significantly lower budget. While it’s undoubtedly going to be hilarious, it will be interesting to see how a Mexican network portrays the very cartel that infects its country. I won’t knock it until I’ve seen it, because, honestly, I can’t think of a better way to teach nerds Spanish.

Untitled

7.) Comic-Cons:

Go to your local comic book convention. Each year, it becomes less about actual comics (although they are the backbone to such events) and more about thousands of nerdgasms happening simultaneously. Costumes, television shows, action figures, homemade trinkets and fan art capture so much more of the nerd spirit than before, and everybody has benefited. All you need to be at a Comic Con is the appreciation and respect of cult followings. And Breaking Bad definitely has that among all nerd walks of life, as we found out at the Denver Comic Con. Not only is it fully appropriate to wear a yellow haz-mat suit and shave your head to become the Heisenberg, but people loved it when we handed out blue rock candy meth and they crooned when Adrian (dressed quite well as Pinkman) called everybody nearby a “bitch.”  Cosplay aside, there were tons of merch, from t-shirts to fan art and cool jewelry, Breaking Bad has already solidified itself as a great American treasure in pop culture with the possibility of being resurrected every time a middle-aged man in sweat-stained underwear and a green button-up shirt walk by.

Sherif and Adrian aka Walt and Jesse
Sherif and Adrian aka Walt and Jesse

We hope you liked our article! Join us tomorrow as we discuss Jesse’s Top 7 Bitch Moments… BITCH!

Written by Sherif Elkhatib

Official photos courtesy of AMC Television and the internet.

Breaking Bad Review – “Granite State” S5E15

But it was personal… only read ahead if you are cool with spoilers…

This episode was considerably slower than last week’s “Ozymandias”.  Many scenes were quiet, and that is one reason Breaking Bad has been so great.  The premise is about drugs and guns, but the majority of scenes don’t involve either.  “Granite State” was quiet, but hard-hitting.  There were several scenes that were very hard to watch, or had you on edge of your seat.  It was what the audience needed after such mayhem just a week ago.

At the beginning of the episode, the ominous red van pulls up to … an actual vacuum repair shop… with front of the building’s design resembling the pick up spot.  Now you’ll never be able to go to the vacuum repair shop/U-Haul rental down the street without wondering what kind of criminal petri dish is hiding in the basement.  The Exterminator (that’s what I’m calling him) gets out and Saul follows, which was very unexpected.  It was unclear if this was how he came to ABQ or how he left, but we quickly find out it is how he left.  For the first time since the end of the 2nd season, Saul is not wearing his blue ribbon, which symbolizes McGill (Goodman’s real name) finally shedding his scumbag lawyer facade and becomes “just another douchebag with a job and three pairs of Dockers.”  Robert Forster (Jackie Brown) as The Exterminator takes Saul’s new ID picture in the shop, directing Saul to fix his hair.  Saul flicks his hair back like a woman preening in the mirror.

I'm so pretty, so pretty...
I’m so pretty, so pretty…

The exterminator makes the Nebraska ID.  Saul asks, “What’s in Nebraska?” a question which many people have thought of themselves.  The Exterminator tells him it will be a few days before he can get Saul out of New Mexico, but it will have to be faster than normal since his ads are still plastered all over the city.  Saul will have a roomie, and Saul looks at surveillance footage of Walt throwing a temper tantrum in his room.

Marie is in the DEA car.  She is being told by other DEA agents that they will find Hank.  Sadly, it is after the death of her husband that we find Marie the most attractive Marie has ever been.  As they arrive at the Schrader house, it is clear it has been broken into.  I guess we got this wrong last week.  I never thought the Aryans would actually go get a tape they weren’t sure even really existed.  As the agents realize the house has been compromised, two agents hop out and Marie is whisked away. I have no doubt that this will not be the last time we see the lady in purple.

In the background the viewer hears Jesse’s voice on the confession tape.  We see Jesse on the TV and the Aryans watching the video while drinking beers.  Todd looks at the video like he is proud while Jesse describes the “Opie dead-eyed piece of shit” murdering Drew Sharp.  The Aryan’s go out to Jesse’s dog-pound and Jack is ready to kill Jesse because of the tape.  Todd stands up for Jesse, saving him once more and then Jack realizes that Todd likes Lydia.  That would be the only reason to keep cooking meth after they have so much money. Jack also likens the uptight Lydia’s lady parts to a wood chipper.  Ouch.  In the dog-pound, Jesse pulls out the picture of Andrea and Brock from Todd’s meth lab.  He takes the paperclip from it and begins to pick the locks on his cuffs.

Back at the vacuum shop, Saul and Walt are having a jammy party in the basement, waiting for their new lives.  Walt asks Saul for a list of five hit-men.  Walt wants to kill the Aryans to avenge Hank and Walt’s money.  Saul says he doesn’t know any hit-men.  Walt tells him “you know a guy who knows a guy”, something that is classic about Saul.  Saul then gives Walt is first tid-bit of free advice: if he leaves, he is leaving his family high and dry and in danger.  He tells Walt that without him giving himself up, he is putting Skyler in jail because she would have no leverage for the lawyers to offer a plea.  The money and house will be gone and everything will be tapped.  Walt tells Saul he doesn’t want to leave and he will give all of his money to his children.  He must kill Jack and his crew, get his money back and then he will be through.  We’ve heard Walt say he will be through many times before.  He is also jumping the shark by believing he alone can take out Jack’s crew.  The Exterminator enters and tells Saul he’s ready to go.  Walt tells him that Saul and he will being going together.  “I’m not your lawyer anymore.”  Walt backs Saul into the wall and tries to use his best Heisenberg voice on him before he has a nasty attack of cancer-cough.  Saul tells Walt, “It’s over.”  And for Saul, it really is.

At the lawyer’s office Skyler, wearing her, of late, signature white, is hearing the white-noise of lawyers going back on forth on her case.  Her lawyer, certainly no Saul Goodman, looks over at her like a deer in headlights, which oddly enough is how he is referred to later in the episode.  When Skyler comes to, she answers the lawyers pleas for giving up Walt and she admits she doesn’t know where he is.  At the house, the police watch the White residence.  Skyler looks out her window at the beat down cop car and takes a drag off her cigarette, her vice when she is stressed the whole series.  Holly cries and she goes to check on the baby.  Three of the Aryan’s dressed in black with masks are in the nursery.  Todd talks calmly to Skyler.  She pleads for them to not hurt Holly and Todd tells her that he respects her husband.  He then tells her to not say anything about Lydia to the police.  We see Todd’s love for Lydia here, because it seems odd that she would be who he is worried about in Skyler’s confession to the police.  As he leaves, he touches her shoulder in such an odd, reassuring way.  Todd is so icky!

At the coffee house where Lydia and Walt first make the Czech deal, Todd dressed for a date and sipping a cup of Lydia’s signature tea and waits for Lydia.  Lydia refuses to sit with him, which visibly hurts Todd’s feelings, and lets him know she is going to back out of their deal, even saying they are going to take a break (ouch), because she is worried about being given up to the police.  He tells her his batch of meth is at 92% (Heisenberg Level!) because of Jesse.  Todd turns in his chair to look at Lydia.  He talks of their partnership as being more than just the meth deal.  He thinks they are in an actual relationship.  If anyone in that coffee shop were to look at them, they would think he was just as creepy.  He picks the lint off her blazer.  Weird-o!

Hey Girl.
Hey Girl. you can’t spell methylamene without ‘me.’

Walt is in the bottom of a propane truck.  He gets out of the awkward holding cell, and enters the cold, snowy emptiness of New Hampshire.  The Exterminator greets him as Mr. Lambert.  In the long shot, similar to the ones we get of the New Mexican desert, we see the vast amount of snow and trees and a very tiny cabin that will be Walt’s new home.  It will be a lonely life in the forest.

Walt wheels in his barrel of money into his new shack.  The Exterminator gives him the grand tour and gives him the all the downsides to the place (no internet, no TV, no phone).  Walt finds the two copies of Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium (Mr. Magorium dies of cancer just like Walt, although his Emporium is way cooler than Walt’s).  The Exterminator tells him that he will make a supply-run for him in a month.  Walt is paying him a substantial amount of money to come back and check on him every month.  For news, Walt will get the Albuquerque newspaper.  Walt is insistent that he still has business to conduct, presumably killing Jack and the clan.  The Exterminator lets Walt know that he is wanted nationally by the DEA and that his face is all over the news.  He will surely be caught if he leaves.  The Exterminator says his goodbye.  Walt opens his bin of money and takes some cash out.  In classic Heisenberg fashion, Walt puts on the pork-pie hat, smoothing the rim.

Say my name.
Say my name.

He walks in a determined pace to the gate and sees the long roadway with nothing in else in sight.  Walt has a coughing fit, closes the gate and promises himself he will go to the town “tomorrow.”  The Heisenberg is still determined, but Walt still has cancer.

Back in the dog-pound, Jesse has uncuffed himself.  and he is struggling to reach the grate at the top of the cage.  He hears the voices clan and Todd walks to the cage.  Jesse is laying on his mat, cuffed again.  Todd lowers a bucket to Jesse with two different flavors of Ben and Jerry’s.  It is a “prize” for cooking 96% percent (closer to Heisenberg level) in the last batch.  Todd lights up a cigarette and watches Jesse eat his ice cream.  Jesse asks Todd to keep the tarp off the cage because he wants to “see the stars”, appealing to Todd’s softer side.  In a mad dash, Jesse takes the cuffs off again, piles this blankets and bucket to balance on and in the coolest Mission Impossible stunt, Jesse Tom Cruise’s his way to the top of the cage, hanging by one arm off the grate.

For a meth-head, he's pretty strong.
For a meth-head, he’s pretty strong.

He finally is able to get both arms on the grate, unlock it and run.  He sees the long fence surrounding the property, but does not see the cameras.  As he climbs the clan surround him.  He turns around and asks them to kill him.  Aaron Paul’s intensity is mind-blowing here.  The way he screams at them, especially the use of the F-bomb is so real.

Todd walks up to what we know is Andrea’s house.  It was hard to deny what was coming next.  This time, it is Todd who knocks.  Todd kindly approaches Andrea and as per usual, is very polite to her.  He lures her out by telling her that Jesse is out in the truck outside.  Considering this girl grew up in the hood, its amazing she falls for this.  But she does and Todd being so fucking polite tells her “Just so you know, this isn’t personal” and shoots her in the head.

What is it with AMC and killing off "Andrea"?
What is it with AMC and killing off “Andrea”?

I really can’t wait until that fucker dies.  Jesse looks on crying and screaming uncontrollably.  Todd gets back in the car and Jack warns Jesse that he needs to settle down and that “the kid” is still to be killed.  This was one of the hardest scenes to watch in all of BrBa history.  I didn’t have much of an attachment to Andrea, but rather what she represented for Jesse and any kind of normalcy he knew in the series.  Poor street smarts or not, Andrea was the last presence of innocence left in all of Albuquerque.  Forcing him to watch her die really could be the factor that causes him to go psycho on the psychos.

This was too heartbreaking to watch.
This was too heartbreaking to watch.

Back in New Hampshire, Walt is a little snow bunny.  He walks to his gate to let The Exterminator in for his monthly drop.  Walt did not choose to go out “tomorrow.”  He now has hair and a full beard.  The Exterminator brings Walt new glasses, as his aren’t working anymore (now we know how he got that look).  He updates Walt on his families well-being.  She and the kids don’t live in the house anymore, she works as a taxi dispatcher and she is using her maiden name (also Lambert).  The house is fenced in because it has become a tourist attraction.  The Exterminator pulls out the chemotherapy IV.  He assures Walt he can administer the needle because he watched YouTube videos (yikes!).  The IV hangs from the deer antlers on the wall where the pork pie hung earlier in the episode.  After the needle goes in, The Exterminator gets ready to leave.  Walt offers him 10,000 dollars to keep him company.  It is a new kind of sad and lonely for Walt to have to pay a stranger to sit with him in his condition.  As The Exterminator deals cards, it is hard not to notice the wall Walt has created of all the news paper clippings of his pictures and claims against Skyler from the newspapers.  Walt asks The Exterminator to give his money to his family after his death.  It becomes clear, this would not be the case, because who would rightfully give a free 11 million to who it belongs to?  Later, a very thin and sickly Walt wakes up form a nap.  His wedding ring has fallen off his finger due to his weight loss.  He ties the ring around his neck, still trying to keep his family a part of his being.  He looks at the boxes of Ensure The Exterminator brought him to gain weight and gets an idea.  He was warned to not wire the money, but not to mail it.  He puts the money in the ensure boxes and finally makes his trek to the one horse town.  Walt is clearly weaker.  He walks slowly and is coughing more.  Also, a note on AMC’s choice of commercials: whose idea was it to go from the shot from behind Walt walking into the stark snow to a back shot of Rick from The Walking Dead waking up to a zombie apocalypse.  Talk about a shitty transition.

Back in Albuquerque, “Flynn White” is called to the principal’s office, but not for anything his fault.  Carmen, the administrator Walt used to have a crush on tells him that his Aunt Marie is on the phone.  A fat biker lady is on the other line in a bar.  Walt takes a hold of the pay phone and tells his son why he did what he did.  He then tells him that he sent him a box of money for the family to Jr.’s friend, Louis.  Walt is degrading himself for not doing more.  Flynn has the opposite reaction Walt expects and freaks out about Hank and the money.  Walt says, “It can’t all be for nothing” while Flynn screams at him to “Just die already.” Again,  Walt is defeated.  It really could all be for nothing and his son hates him, an opposite reflection of when Flynn gets so mad that Walt won’t get chemo in the first season, telling him to die.  When the line is cut off, Walt makes another call, to the Albuquerque DEA.  It’s pretty amazing he knows their number by heart.  Anyway, he asks for the agent in charge of the investigation and tells them it is Walter White.  At this point, with nothing left that matters, he is ready to just give it up.  He leaves the phone hanging and is knowingly and willingly about to go down as the kingpin of Albuquerque.  He grabs a drink at the bar, “dimple pinch neat”, and watches the TV.  He asks the bartender to stop on a channel where he sees his old pals Elliott and Gretchen Schwartz being interviewed about their contribution to drug rehab facilities in the Southwest United States.  They are asked if this contribution was to cut the ties of Walter White “the methanphetamine kingpin” being the co-founder of Grey Matter.  They say that Walt had nothing to do with the company and where it went other than the name.  There is also a mention of the blue still being sold in the Southwest and Europe, even though the Walt is not the cook any longer.  When asked if Walt is still out there, Gretchen is sure that he is not.  Now that Walt has lost his family and his money, he now looks at the TV and realizes that his pride and legacy are gone, too.

Walt is all about his pride.  He will not take being an Ozymandias.
Walt is all about his pride. He will not take being an Ozymandias.

Walt’s life has come full circle.  He lost all credit for everything he did for Grey Matter, and now he has lost control of his precious blue meth.  Pride gets the best of him, as it should, or the story wouldn’t be consistent.  The theme song plays as the New Hampshire police swarm the bar.  As the enter we get a shot of Walt’s drink, the tip and an empty seat.  One of the best uses of music this series.

Nothing but the drink.
Nothing but the drink.

Hush Comics gives “Granite State” an A.  It’s hard to knock the writing, because it is Breaking Bad and the second to last episode.  It is hard to tell how much of this episode will effect what happens next week.  After the lack of movement in this episode, and how little we saw of Skyler or Jesse in the several month period, it is hard to see how the entire series will culminate in only an hour and fifteen minutes.  But as always, amazing acting and amazing character development. It was a bit disappointing to not end this episode where the season premiere started. There were about four months of time skipped to convey Walt’s physical depreciation, desperation and loneliness instead of focusing on other major characters and their lives during this  pandemonium.

written by Adrian Puryear

Breaking Bad Review – “Ozymandias” S5E14

Spoilers ahead

Agreed.
Agreed.

That shit was bonkers.

But before we get to that… let’s start off with the teaser. Enter the RV. And may I say, I’m so glad we get a glimpse of the RV one more time. It has been such a symbol to represent the show and I for one have truly missed it. We are at the first cook, as made clear by Walt’s lack of clothing and tighty whities. Jesse asks Walt questions about the cook and Walt says “The reaction has begun.” A great use of dialogue to sum up what that first cook really was. The reaction began for everything and everyone else in the series. Walt and Jesse step out of the RV and we get a close up of Walt calling Skyler with the background of the desert, the RV and Jesse practicing his karate moves. Walter tells the lie that starts all the lies that Bogdan has a “bug up his butt” and is making Walt stay late. The use of the “bug” in this episode is a nice little twist on the symbol. Meanwhile, Skyler is packing up ceramic crying clown that is dressed in blue and white, just like how Walt is dressed in the shootout from last week. The clown is also creepily crying red tears. The tears of the clown is usually an expression for someone realizing truths of their own life and it becomes too hard to handle for them. Once we come back to the shootout scene, it becomes clear the situation is too much for Walt. The fading of the first cook scene to present day is so well done. First Jesse and Walt fade, then the RV fades and then we just have the desert. From then until now has been quite a journey.

We join our BrBa buddies with the big shoot-out behind us. The gun smoke has cleared the air and we see that Steve Gomez lies lifeless on the desert floor, with Hank having a rather painful bullet wound in his leg – this guy just can’t catch a break. As Hank army-crawls towards Gomey’s shotgun, Uncle Jack and his crew find out that Hank and his partner are indeed law enforcement. The apathetic reaction that Grand Dragon Jack has to this news suggests that it wouldn’t have changed the initiation of their encounter a bit. As Jack reaches for his pistol to finish off Hank, Walter pleads with Jack to spare his brother-in-law, and everybody can just go on their separate ways, pretending that none of this ever happened. Walt even tries to buy Hank’s life by offering up the 80 million. Fat chance, Heisenberg. Walt also insists upon Jack using Hank’s name when before he was referred to as “fed”. Respect is a big deal to Walt and using one’s name is the utmost sign of respect. In what might have been his most heroic act of the series, Hank recognizes his fate and looks death straight in the eye, telling the head of the Aryan brotherhood to go fuck himself and taking back his name by not just being called Hank, but dying with his life’s work, ASAC (Assistant Special Agent in Charge) Schrader. Hank is a proud man, too, and decided to take control of his title directly tying it to his life’s work. Walt expects that Hank will want to save himself and in what will become one of the most memorable lines of the series, Hank looks up at Walt and says, “You’re one of the smartest people I’ve ever met and you’re too stupid to see he made up his mind ten minutes ago.” And then Jack shoots Hank point-blank in the head. It was so hard to watch, and the scene cut away before we even see Hank really fall. It wasn’t nice, but it was the what had to happen for the rest of the story to continue. Hank spent the entire time we have known him trying to take down the Heisenberg, and seemingly, he actually did it, because his own death is what set in motion Walt fleeing town at the end of the episode.

Nothing beside remains. Round the decay Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare The lone and level sands stretch far away.
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.

After Hank is shot, Walt falls to his knees. He lays on his side and cries uncontrollably. Todd looks at him and wipes his nose. Again, Todd is a reflection of Walt and feels bad for Walt’s loss, as he says a few minutes later. The similarity between Walt and Gus crying over the death of a loved one must be noted. Through the broken glass of Hank’s suburban, we see a shovel being pulled out of a car. Jack tells Walt that his directions were so specific. He knows the money is buried at those coordinates because Walt was too specific on where to go. He goes to look for Jesse by Hank’s car, but says there is no sign of him. I find this odd because we find out that Jesse is under the car. Who wouldn’t look under the car for someone? One man is sent to look for Jesse and the others uncover Walt’s money. They pull out the barrels and move Gomez’ and Hank’s bodies into the grave that Walt dug. Amazing imagery of the place that once held Walt’s money now holds his family. Jack tells a catatonic Walt that he is leaving Walt a barrel of his own money. Jack then tells Walt that Todd would be unhappy if anything were to “go the other way.” In this scene, Jack leaves Walt little choice to accept his terms, and in the same way that Walt embraced Jesse when he asked him to “start over” in “Rabid Dog,” the handshake here is a symbol of submission. Walt better accept that the two parties are even, or the Neo-Nazis will murder him and his family with the same reckless abandon that they just dusted two highly-ranked lawmen. Walt then does something unexpected; amongst all the calamity of watching his family member die in front of him, he reminds Jack that the deal is not complete until they kill Pinkman.

Why the importance of ending Jesse’s life? It’s evident that Walt holds Jesse accountable for Hank’s death (although it was Walt that figuratively and literally dug Hank’s grave), but why is it so paramount that Jesse is the last loose end? Even as they brush off his request with a “sure, if you find him, we’ll do it,” Walt has already spotted him underneath the Chrysler 300 and orders they end his life. The drag Jesse who is kicking and screaming from underneath the car. After a season of spiraling out of control and being lost in the abyss all fifth season, it was gut-wrenching to see Jesse finally fight to live. As Jesse kneels on the ground before Walt, he looks up at two black birds flying free in the sky, almost poetically, to explore the unknown blue, wild and free. I was almost convinced they would end his life there, until Todd saves the day, suggesting that perhaps they should find out what Jesse has told the feds before “doing the job.” Todd says that Jesse and he have “history,” which should somehow help him get information more easily, I guess. Having a history with Todd hasn’t been too much help for anybody thus far in the series and it no doubt insinuates torture and death for Jesse, a fate that Walt agrees with. As they drag Jesse’s defeated body away, Walt has one last anecdote to share with his former partner. “I killed Jane. I was there and I watched her die. I could have saved her, but I didn’t.”

I could have saved her...
I could have saved her…

I am not sure he said this line just to spite Jesse. The look in his eyes and the tone of his voice say that he is saying it to make himself feel better. It is something Walt has held in for a long time and this is his moment to get it off his chest. Jesse is put in the Aryan’s sedan and they drive away leaving Walt in the desert. The scene pulls back and we get a long shot very similar to the end of the teaser, this time Walt alone in the desert.

By the time we come back, the episode is at his halfway mark, but we just now get the credits. It doesn’t mean much for the episode, but it is worth noting. Walt looks at his reflection in the rear view mirror and quickly turns the mirror to look behind him at the desert. Not only does Walt not want to look at his reflection (reflection is a common theme in this episode), but he is looking at the scene behind him where Hank now rests. As Walt drives away, his car makes strange sounds and he sees he is out of gas. He gets out of the car and looks under it to see a gas leak. The next shot is so great because it is exactly the cinematography that matters in Breaking Bad. Walt stands to look at the bullet hole in the side of his car. The sole intent of the scene was not to show that we know why the gas is leaking, but we see Walt’s reflection in the car several times over. The most obvious reflection is Walt’s face with the bullet hole in his forehead. And for me, this confirms that Walt dies at the end of the series.

Good thing this show doesn't ever use foreshadowing... oops!
Good thing this show doesn’t ever use foreshadowing… oops!

We then see Walt rolling his one barrel of money through the vast desert. Several things are of note here. 1. Walt has finally learned to roll the barrel, unlike his grand theft of the barrel of Methylamine with Jesse. 2. He passes by the pants he loses in the Pilot episode, the same episode Ozymandias” flashes back to. 3. The song playing to the epic rolling. It is called “Time’s a Gettin’ Hard” by Eddy Arnold. In the lyrics played, we hear the chorus of the song, “Take my true love by her hand/Lead her through the town/ Say goodbye to everyone.” The rest of the song that we don’t hear is just as interesting, mentioning being happy a year ago, having a house, the money being scarce and having no place to go. My question is, who is his true love? It isn’t Skyler. Is it the money or the blue? This will most likely be answered once we find out why Walt comes back to Albuquerque.

Walt rolls the barrel to a man’s home on the To’hajiilee Reservation. The man looks out his window and sees Walt’s reflection coming up to his property. Walt offers to buy the man’s truck, and the man says its not for sale. But Walt is actually able to buy his way in this situation offering the man a stack of cash. Walt has the truck and loads up the barrel of money.

In the next scene, Marie enters the carwash to talk to Skyler. I love the production’s attention to detail. Marie is wearing black in this scene, a very rare occurrence when she normally wears her signature purple. The death of Hank touches everything. The two sisters sit in Skyler’s office. The shot of them sitting across from each other, Skyler wearing white, Marie wearing black and a purple orchid sitting between the two is striking. With a smug look on her face, Marie gloats that Hank had won, “dead to rights,” she believes was the way Hank put it. As much as it pained us to see Hank go, I was personally satisfied to see Skyler’s world turn to shit by it. Marie corners Skyler, telling her to give up the fake videotape she and Walt made and give up everything she knows to get herself off the hook, on the condition that Skyler tell Walt, Jr. everything. Of all the things I dislike Marie for, the prospect of making Jr. find out the truth from his family before a random officer was the closest endearing moment she’s had this season. Skyler goes from kingpin’s wife and accomplice to total victim in five seconds flat. In my opinion, she’s a total wuss and is willing to sell her husband down the river to save her own skin, using the children as a shield to hide behind.

The scene shifts to Jesse, who is chained like a dog in an empty cellar and has had the utter shit beaten out of him. Again. It seems as though the Aryans have already interrogated him for information, or fun, when the gate opens suddenly, sending Jesse whimpering and crawling into the corner. The right side of Jesse’s face is so beaten in that his eye is swollen shut, and it almost looks like it is missing. The symbol of “one eye” has recurred throughout the series and particularly in this season.

Eye See You.
Eye See You.

In total gentlemanly fashion, Todd lifts Jesse out of the grated pit and shows him their super secret meth hideout. Classic Bond villain mistake. Which brings the comparison of Jesse and James Bond in last week’s episode a little more to fruition. After chaining Jesse to a sliding ceiling pole, it becomes apparent that Todd’s plan all along was to have Jesse teach Todd to cook the blue. Now, while the words “Todd” and “plan” are seldom mentioned in the same sentence, it shows that Todd is not just a pawn in his uncle’s scheme, but is capable of his own actions outside of Jack’s posse. It can be assumed that he’s keeping Jesse a secret from the rest of the Aryans and we predict that, since thinking is not Todd’s strong suit, his journey will end in death during the next episode, in the way of some good old fashion Red Phosphorus to the face via Jesse, especially since Jesse sees a picture of Andrea and Brock hanging in Todd’s lab. This would give Jesse even more reason to kill the guy who either has a creepy obsession or is planning a future hit.

Back in the carwash office, Jr. is visibly upset and calls Skyler and Marie out on lying. But really, who is telling the customer’s to have an A1 day now that no one is manning the cash register? Anyway, Jr. calls them out and demands to talk to Walt. After realizing that Walt is supposed to be in jail, he wants to call Hank. Hank and Marie have always been better parents to Jr. than his own parents have been. Back at the house, Walt frantically packs his clothes and his family’s clothes. In the car, Jr. tells Skyler she is “as bad as he is.” It’s about damn time someone told her that. The shot of them in the car is also ominous. It’s usually not a good thing when the camera is following someone from behind, because they usually die soon after. We see the back of Skyler and Jr.’s head and Holly faces the camera. Is Holly the only one to make it out alive?

As the family comes together in the house, Walt yells to everyone to pack the things that are most important to them, Jr. wants to know if what Skyler and Marie told him was true, and Skyler is bent on why Walt is there and what happened to Hank. Walt tells her he negotiated and Skyler becomes increasingly angry demanding to know what happened. Walt says, “everything’s going to be fine,” the same thing Hank told Marie on the phone in their last conversation. Walt also tells Skyler that he “needs” her to trust him, just like he needed Jesse to trust him regarding Mike. No one trusts Walt anymore. Continuing the reflections of past conversations, Walt also tells Skyler that he has 11 million dollars and they can go and do whatever they want, very similarly to the conversation Jesse and Jane have when they want to take their money and go to New Zealand. Skyler then calls Walt out for murdering Hank. He yells that he didn’t but that he tried to save him. Walt will never blame himself for anything.

Skyler turns and in the same shot from the flashback, we are facing Skyler and into the hallway of the home. The phone and the block of knives are sitting on the kitchen island. Skyler grabs a knife, enters the hallway and puts her hand on Jr. to block him from her future attack. She tells Walt to leave and when he refuses she slices the palm of his hand. In a very dramatic scene, Skyler and Walt wrestle to the ground with the knife. It was terrifying to think that either one of them could be mortally stabbed in the fight. Due to Jr.’s abnormal forearm strength, he is able to put his dad in a headlock and save his mother. Jr. then calls 911 and lies that Walt attacked Skyler with a knife. Walt gets his bags, grabs Holly and goes to his new truck. Skyler realizes he has taken Holly and runs out of the house screaming. Walt backs out of the driveway, pushing Skyler’s car out of his way while she chases after the truck screaming. It’s a scene that the neighbors definitely overheard, as is the Amber Alert then put out on Walt for baby Holly.

Walt takes Holly to what we assume to be a restaurant bathroom (Koala Kare stations are usually only found in restaurants and airports) and changes her, taking an intimate moment out of his frantic life to be the father that, up to that point, he has not been. In large, Holly has been but a prop to Walt – a means to justify the monstrous acts committed throughout the series. Holly begins saying “mama” repeatedly, showing Walt that Holly is indeed not his, but Skyler’s. He has effectively missed the very precious moments that he hoped to cherish by making and selling meth in the first place. With his terminal cancer back and currently a fugitive on the run with no place to turn, Walter White commits the single most selfless act throughout the series. He calls Skyler and berates her for being a terrible person, mother and accomplice, implying that she could not follow instructions and that she should “toe the line, or end up just like Hank.” While viewers can follow that he is upset with her, he is uncharacteristically violent in his words towards her. It’s not until you see tears streaming down his face that the audience realizes that he knows he is being recorded and that he is going out of his way to clear her name of all charges, an act that Skyler would never do for her husband. He fights back the sorrow as he explains to Skyler that they will never see Hank again, sending Marie into hysterics and, in turn, accepting responsibility for his murder. Accepting that a lonely and shameful end is not one to be shared with his estranged infant daughter, Walt leaves Holly inside of the cab of a firetruck with what can be considered the least-attentive fire-fighters in the world.

Yes, I'd like one Hoover Max Extract PressurePro model 60 and a piece of my soul back, please.
Yes, I’d like one Hoover Max Extract PressurePro model 60 and a piece of my soul back, please.

As Walt takes his last barrel of money to meet the disappearer the following day, it brings up the question of where Walt was the previous night. It’s a pretty big blank page to fill; we know that he had to have called Saul to arrange for a new vacuum cleaner because he meets at the same spot Jesse met Saul’s “guy,” but we don’t get many answers as to what links this moment to the flashbacks in the beginning and mid-season premieres. It’s great symbolism that the viewers don’t even get a glimpse of who the guy doing the disappearing is. What we do get, however, is a closing season of the van driving away, likely to the Granite State of New Hampshire, and a dog running across the scene – noticeably without a leash. This has been a symbol for Jesse, the “Rabid Dog,” a “Problem Dog” and now a dog on a leash while Walt is the stray dog with no place to go. The news of Jane’s death being a play of Walt’s hand will not be taken without vengeance. We both firmly believe that Jesse will follow Hammurabi’s Code, taking a lover for a lover and, gulp, a son for a son.

Predictions for the rest of the series are wild in theory, but one thing is for certain – the secret is out. Marie, by way of Skyler and the confession tape Jesse made for Hank and Gomez, will out Walter White as the notorious meth kingpin of Albuquerque, and Carol will lose her oranges somewhere in the process. We believe in a future where Jesse or the Aryans murder the remainder of Walt’s family, save for little Holly, and spray “Heisenberg” sarcastically in yellow. We also predict a ricin-flavored cup of tea for Lydia, who is really the only loose end that needs to be dealt with subtlety. And we believe an epic showdown between the Whites and the whites are going to bring the series to a close.

Hush Comics gives Breaking Bad‘s “Ozymandias” an A+(++…+). A beautifully shot and written episode that tugs at the heart-strings and makes you cheer for others’ misfortunes. After watching the episode, the viewer feels like a true Heisenberg. There’s no going back now, as we are two weeks away from ending this tragic journey. Thanks to The Heisenberg Chronicles and AMC for the pictures in this week’s review.

written by Adrian Puryear and Sherif Elkhatib
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