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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Today is football day in most houses as the Dallas Cowboys come up short against the Green Bay Packers and our hometown Denver Broncos aim to destroy the Indianapolis Colts. Go local sports team!
AMC is making moves in 2015! First, there is the new extended trailer for Better Call Saul. It looks like the show will depend more on Bob Odenkirk’s range than zany situations, a pleasant surprise to me. Also, it seems that this will be an all-Saul first season, as Breaking Bad stars Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul will not be appearing in the premiere season. Source: EW.
Speaking of Breaking Bad, BuzzFeed put together a list of the “36 Times Breaking Bad Was The Cleverest Show On Television.” And it is awesome. There are even a few that we missed in our BrBa coverage. I’m going through withdrawals of that show. Source: BuzzFeed.
With Boardwalk Empire and Mob City over, AMC’s Making of the Mob seeks to fill your gangster needs. Focusing on the original five families that organized crime, this eight-part mini-series will debut sometime in mid-2015. Source: AMC.
House is back in the house! AMC’s upcoming The Night Manager, a mini-series based off the 1993 espionage novel by John le Carré, has just tacked on actors Hugh Laurie and Tom Hiddleston. As if you weren’t already interested. Source: Nerdist.
Ready for the fanciest movie ever made? Starz is making a movie of the classic play The Dresser, and it will star Sir Anthony Hopkins and Sir Ian McKellen. Bow down to royalty! Source: EW.
Creepers have peeped The Flash‘s Barry Allen locking lips with Iris West. Are people getting a little too invasive with these set photos? We think so. Source: Facebook.
Mythbusters to test the science of The Simpsons. D’oh! How many donuts can a human eat? Source: Screen Rant.
The results from Ubisoft’s survey regarding the setting of Far Cry 5 are in. And guess what? DINOSAURS win by at least 4x the votes of the next closest vote (Spaghetti Western). Source: IGN.
Finally, there is now a Princess Bride game available for iOS. It’s a collection of mini-games that’s full of the spirit of the movie; might be a bit over-priced, but looks like a lot of fun. Source: iTunes.
I say this in all seriousness, if you are a fan of the series and have yet to watch the finale, do not read until you have watched the episode.
It is our great delight to be writing our 100th post on the series finale of one of the greatest television shows ever made, Breaking Bad. It is also bittersweet. BrBa has been an inspiration to us here at Hush Comics to pursue our passion of pop-culture as well as any writing we do for our personal pleasure. Now that it is really over, it is a little overwhelming that this chapter is closed.
At the beginning of the episode, Walt enters a Volvo that is unlocked. Apparently, people in New Hampshire do not fear meth kingpins stealing their cars. After he finds a screwdriver in the glove compartment, he unsuccessfully tries to start the ignition. It is so bitter cold, and his coughing is much worse, so it is near impossible for his hands not to shake while he tries. For a brief moment, police lights can be seen flashing past the snow-covered car he is sitting in. He whispers to himself, “Just get me home. I’ll do the rest.” Walt has a definite plan in mind for what is going to happen in Albuquerque. He takes the screwdriver to pull down the sun-visor and the keys fall into his hands. When he starts the car, the song “El Paso” by Marty Robbins, whose cassette fell out of the glove compartment, plays. The song refers to the narrator’s love, Felina. You can read the lyrics here.
Walt arrives in New Mexico with the stolen Volvo and gets gasoline out in the desert. He grabs some of his cancer medicine out of the trunk that is full of money (we assume he went back for the money still left in the cabin). He then uses a pay phone to call someone named “Susan” claiming to be David from the New York Times. He has already convinced her that he is writing an article on the Schwartz’. The woman easily gives him their address after claiming he needs to get a photograph of them for the article. Walt then looks down at this wrist, takes off the watch Jesse had given him a year earlier for his 51st birthday, and leaves it on the top of the pay phone. As said on Talking Bad by Vince Gilligan himself, this was originally done for continuity purposes, as Walt is not wearing the watch in the flash forward scene at Denny’s. But the “artsy-fartsy” explanation is that he is done with that part of his life, knowing what he is going to do in Albuquerque.
Gretchen and Elliott arrive home. They are bickering about the difference between pizza and Thai food. Their home’s entrance is so grandiose that they don’t even notice that Walt is waiting for them in the shadows. As they enter their home, Walt follows them. It is so creepy the way he easily allows himself into their house, just by hiding in the shadows. The shot of him gently touching the wall was a brilliant showcase of Walt realizing what could have been his, had the circumstances been different. He finds their collection of photos and picks up one of he and Elliott back when days were better. Gretchen and Elliott make reference to having not been to Napa Valley in two years, which has been too long. Ironically, our story started exactly two years ago. Gretchen goes to turn on the fireplace and when she turns around, she sees Walt and screams. Walt acknowledges the Schwartz’ and compliments their home. Walt hold up the picture of he and Elliott and remarks on their view of the Sangre de Cristos Mountains. This may be a geography error, since we assume they live in Santa Fe, and the Sangre de Cristos are in our home state of Colorado. But the reference to the mountains named after the Blood of Christ are more important here. The blood of Christ will play a major role in the following moments of the episode. Walt compliments Gretchen on how she looked on Charlie Rose, giving a nod to the fact that Walt regrets not being with her in the end, perhaps. He then asks them to walk to his car to show them something, a very eery invite from a man wanted in multiple murders. Elliott raises a small knife at Walt, to which he responds with one of his final great Heisenberg lines, “Elliott, if we’re gonna go that way, you’ll need a bigger knife.” Elliott promptly drops the knife.
Back at the Schwartz house, Gretchen and Elliott stack piles of cash on their coffee table. Walt informs them the total is nine million dollars. When they want to know where it came from, Walt demands they give the money to Walt Jr. on his 18th birthday, which is less than a year away. He instructs them give it in the form of a trust fund. It really is the smartest way to ensure his family gets some money. He knows any other way and the government will take the money. He also knows that the only people who won’t steal his money are the people who have more money. Elliott and Gretchen reluctantly shake with Walt on the deal. To ensure they will do as he has asked, he sends a signal out the window to two people who then set laser guns aiming for the couple.
He tells them it cost him 200,000 dollars to hire the “two best hit-men west of the Mississippi.” It seems so laughable he would use that term. Only cowboys in old movies say west of the Mississippi. Also, a thought ran through our heads… the two best hit-men cost ONLY 200,000 dollars?! And then the way Walt touches their shoulders as he threatens them and Gretchen’s reaction made me root for the Heisenberg master mind behind this act. Notice that he also mentions that if they don’t give the money to Jr., that they could be anywhere and be shot. He says Prague in a number of places he lists; Prague is the largest city in … the Czech Republic. He ends his speech by telling them, “This is where you get to make it right.” Walt clearly feels that they did him wrong and by giving the money to whom it belongs, they will redeem themselves.
Walt drives away from the house and the two hit-men run to Walt’s car. Badger and Skinny Pete reveal themselves and hand their regular laser pointers to Walt. When they question the morality of what they just did, Walt hands them their share of the $200,000. Immediately, they say they are feeling better about what they just did. Walt questions Jesse’s two best friends about the blue. They genuinely think that Walt has continued to stay in the game. Walt gets visibly upset that Jesse is still cooking; meanwhile, Skinny Pete and Badger are stunned he isn’t in Alaska, but proud of him for cooking, yet upset that he isn’t giving them any. Aww.. I’m gonna miss those nerdy meth-heads.
Jesse is in a wood-working shop making a box. He is being careful with his craftsmanship and takes a moment to sniff the final product. He cares about the art, just as he once did with the meth. Is Jesse like Jesus, a carpenter? Well he snaps back to reality when he realizes he is caught on his chain in the meth lab. Walt is at Denny’s and we are in the scene we started the season in. He arranges his bacon into the “52” and then goes to get his ricin. He stands in his now empty living room and remembers when it was full of life at his 50th birthday party. Hank tells him he should go on a ride along to get some “excitement in his life” and Walt responds “someday.” Two years later, Walt has gotten most of the excitement he will ever get in his life.
Lydia enters the cafe in Albuquerque wearing her Christian Louboutin heels, rolling her very expensive luggage, and very unsuspecting that Heisenberg has been sitting there waiting for her. She orders her standard chamomile tea with soy milk and looks for her package of Stevia in the sugar caddy. I think everyone was rooting for the fact that this package of Stevia was different than most and just praying that bitch would get the ricin treatment. Todd comes and sits down, attempting to compliment Lydia on her shirt..er… blouse. She not so slyly slides the bag of money to him under the table, just as she had done with Walt at one point. Walt then pulls up a chair to sit with them at their table. I like this Walt. He is so cavalier, he does not give a flying fuck if people are afraid of him or that he is just out in the open. He seems to think that the methylamine is running low and can teach Todd a way to cook without it. As he goes into a coughing fit, it is hard to believe him as a viewer. We do know the truth, but it would seem that in real life, Walt is dying. He says he needs money and Lydia, being afraid of being caught by the police, offers to have Walt talk to Jack. When the waiter comes, Lydia shoos him from the table. She asks for more Stevia. Todd and Lydia agree they are not going to do business with him. But little do either of them know, Walt has done his business with them both. Lydia pours the Stevia in her tea and stirs her poison right into her drink of choice. Being a schedule-oriented person isn’t always a positive thing.
In the New Mexico desert, Walt uses his science skills to build a motorized device to set the famed M-60 on. It was so great to see the use of science and logic by Mr. White. And it made me root for him again. I don’t want to. He is an evil and terrible man. But we know he is going after the Aryan’s. And we know he is smarter than they are. And we just want him to beat them so badly.
We cut to a very small town home. It has familiar furnishings: the painted photographs of Skyler and Walt Jr., the couch with the knitted afghan draped over the back, the china cabinet that used to sit in the living room of the White residence and the large wooden spoon that used to hang on the dividing wall in the kitchen. The phone rings and Marie leaves a message asking Skyler to pick up the phone. Noticeably, Marie is wearing white, much Skyler does in season 5b because the life has been sucked out of her. Skyler is smoking as Marie tells her that Walt is back in town, as the car he stole was found at Denny’s. Marie says that Carol, their old neighbor, or was it Becky, saw him at the house and he looked like the Unibomber. There are calls about his “manifesto” being made to several different agencies. It is hard to believe that Walt is making these calls, as he seems preoccupied, but it is plausible because it would throw the police off so he can carry out his plan. Marie’s house is being watched as is Flynn’s school. Skyler is warned that her house is probably being watched, too. Marie says that she knows watching the houses is what Hank would do. As annoying as she can be, she is still a good wife to Hank. She then goes on and on about how dumb Walt is and how he isn’t a mastermind. Blah Blah Blah. But he is.
The next scene is one of the most beautifully shot out of the whole episode. Behind the wooden post, Walt stands waiting for her to finish her phone call. Skyler lets him know he has five minutes. He is wearing his favorite outfit, a green button-up with khakis and his beige jacket. Skyler lights up a second cigarette, her great coping mechanism, commenting on how Walt looks, terrible. The camera pans and we can see Skyler’s face reflected in the microwave with the smoke flitting over it. I wish Vince Gilligan had never admitted it was a happy accident because the symbolism of her fading away in the smoke was the perfect touch on this good-bye. Walt tells her that he wanted a proper goodbye, not their last phone call. Calling your wife a stupid bitch probably isn’t the best way to end things. She asks if he is turning himself in and he says, “They’ll be coming to me” solidifying the hope that the gun is going to do some serious damage. Skyler expresses her fear of the people who came and threatened the family. Walt assures her that they aren’t coming back, after “tonight.” “What happens tonight?” Haven’t we all been wondering that for years now? Walt hands her the lottery ticket with the coordinates of the desert on it. He tells her what to say to the DEA. He tells her what really happened to Hank and Steve and that they are buried where the money used to be. Walt tells her to use the ticket to get herself a deal with the prosecutor. Walt and Skyler’s next exchange is the best of the episode and could be added to the best quotes list.
“Skyler, all the things that I did, you need to understand..”
“If I have to hear one more time that you did this for the family..”
It is the first time Skyler ever gets the truth from him. And it was the first time Walt admitted it to himself. As the camera pans back, the wooden pillar divides the two, showing the wedge that has always existed between the two.
Walt then asks to see Holly. How gut-wrenching to see this man rub his child’s head for the last time, knowing that he never really was a part of her life. Cops are waiting outside of the town house. Flynn exits the school-bus, noticeably not the Dodge Challenger. Walt watches Flynn enter the home through the glass of a nearby window. It seems so gutsy of him to be out in the open with the police nearby looking for him specifically.
Walt pulls up to the Aryan’s headquarters for his meeting with Jack. Kenny comes out and admires the Cadillac that Walt picked up at the Denny’s lot from Lawson. Kenny directs Walt to the “clubhouse”, but Walt carefully parks his own way, despite Kenny’s protests. The Aryan’s come out to greet Walt in a not so friendly way and take his keys and wallet. They ask him to lift his shirt to show he isn’t wearing a wire. I was surprised that Walt wasn’t more emaciated. He asks for his things back, but they don’t budge. A lookout is told to stay outside. Inside, Jack comments on Walt’s hair, and Walt’s things are thrown onto the pool table. Walt asks if Jack knows why he is there, but declines to do business with Walt. Jack lets Walt know that Lydia sends them small amounts of methylamine and the system is fine. Todd tells Walt that he shouldn’t have come back, referring to him as “Mr. White” still. As the men decide to take Walt outside to murder him, Walt brings up that he knows Jesse is still alive. Instead of killing him, he is now their partner. It is a little unclear whether Walt truly thinks he is their partner or prisoner. Either way, the use of the word partner sets Jack off. Jack wants to know where “the rat” is. A good reference for how many viewers have been feeling about Jesse because he has been a snitch. Todd tells him he is finishing a batch and goes to get Jesse. Jack makes his fatal flaw by being an arrogant son-of-a-bitch. He is going to prove “how wrong” Walt is. This is a proven way to die in recent history with Walt, but to each is own. Jack then says that he will put a bullet in Walt’s head. Todd and Jesse come back to the clubhouse and in the time the rest are waiting, Walt makes a move for his keys, clearly the trigger for the machine gun waiting in his trunk. Just when the door opens, he his able to grab his keys. Jesse comes in full view of Walt, and, out of the two, is the one who looks truly terrible. His face is badly scarred, his hair is long and matted and he looks very scared. He looks at Walt as Jack mockingly calls him his partner and then quickly looks away. In the background, Kenny reclines in a massaging chair, making for very annoying noises. Walt lunges at Jesse landing on top of him on the ground. To the Aryan’s, he looks mad, but really he is the sacrificial lamb to save jesse from what is about to ensue. He pushes the remote for the keys and the machine gun goes off. In one of his most epic moments, the Heisenberg sets off the machine gun that kills all but two of the Aryan gang. The whole scene seems to last forever as the M-60 goes off, and in the process seems to hit Walt. The bullets go back and forth and as the gun stops, there is a line of bullet holes along the homes exterior. In the ceiling to floor shot inside, we see Kenny’s dead body still being bounced on the recliner, calling back to Jesse’s hydraulics’ in the season 2 Tuco shootout. Walt rolls off Jesse and Todd goes to look outside, because lets face it, he is NOT SMART.
He calls “Mr. White?!” and Jesse comes up behind him strangling him to a slow and miserable death with the chains he’s been locked in for months, finally breaking his neck. It was so reminiscent of how Walt killed Krazy-8 in season 1. If you weren’t screaming “Yeah, Bitch!” and clapping, you’re a robot, and an evil one at that. Walt picks up a gun and approaches Jack. Jack puts a cigarette in his mouth and tells Walt that if he kills him he’ll never find his…. BAM. Walt shot him in the head first. The blood splatters on the camera and we know that this isn’t about Walt’s money.
He turns and faces jesse. Walt slides the gun to him and Jesse aims it at his head. When Jesse hears him say “I want this,” he drops the gun and tells him to do it himself. As Jesse said in “Confessions” he will never do what Walt tells him to again, and he doesn’t. A ringtone calling “Lydia, oh Lydia” is heard and Walt approaches Todd’s pocket. Walt answers telling Lydia that he has poisoned her using her own Stevia and his ricin. She is left alone in her room with her sick face and humidifier. Walt exits the house and looks on at Jesse. They give each other a small nod, the yep only desperados can give each other. Jesse gets in Jack’s car and speeds away, half crying, half laughing. As he drives away, Walt opens his jacket, showing the blood from the wound he did receive in his side.
Walt then enters the meth lab. He taps the pressure gauge. He walks and finds a gas mask. He is reminiscing on the one thing he was perfect at in his life. He looks at his reflection in the pressure cooker, as he has done so many times in his time as The Cook. In that reflection, we see the cop cars approaching. He touches the cooker and as his hand slips away, his bloody handprint is left.
He falls to the floor and we see his blank, dead stare. He lays dead with his arms out and the police slowly surround him as the song “Baby Blue” plays. Was Walt Jesus, as he posed like in the final scene? Hardly. Remember, Mr. White is the Devil. But the way he died, it was on his own terms, and he was able to save the only family he had left. A friend of ours mentioned that Walt looked more like Leonardo DiVinci’s Vitruvian man. Walt is every man and every man is Walt. We are all capable of being heinous people, yet we are also capable of being our best selves. Dying in the meth lab after saving Jesse, letting Skyler off the hook and giving his money to Walt Jr. was Walter White at his best self.
It’s hard to grade perfection, but we will give what is the only grade to give:
Hush Comics gives Breaking Bad’s“Felina” an A+. There was no other way for the great Heisenberg to die but than to die in a meth lab. There was no other way for Todd to die but for Jesse to choke the life out of him. Bringing the episode full circle, from the classic green shirt to allusions of the past. It was the perfect end to a very imperfect chapter in the lives of those effected.
Breaking Bad has been a series to help define modern television. It is one of the smartest series to exist to date. The writing is impeccable, bringing a myriad of literary techniques to the screen. Not only is the dialogue memorable, but so is the vast amount of symbolism. The character development is of such high caliber that it becomes obvious how the characters changing has also influenced the show changes. With that being said, we felt there were certain episodes that changed the course of the series in the most dramatic ways. Here are our Series Defining Episodes:
7. Blood Money
“Tread lightly.” The quote still sends shivers down my skin. This is the turning point of the series; Hank had just gotten the epiphany (or rather, the epoophany) that Walt had been the Heisenberg all along. Instead of quietly searching through the evidence for any proof, or telling anybody at the DEA, his pride leads him to confront Walt after Walt asks him about the LoJack he sloppily placed on the Chrysler 300. He decks Walt in the face and lets out all his anger to him. We can see the hurt and anger in Hank’s face, but Walt is still calm and in command. He advises Hank that he needs to drop the case, because he has no idea what the Heisenberg is capable of. It sets the rest of the season in motion, and truly marks the beginning of the downfall of the empire – all ironically when Walt is finally out of it. It’s also the end of Jesse and Walt’s relationship. Jesse knows that Walt killed Mike, the only true father figure to him through the series, and we realize that Walt has no power over anybody anymore. He pleads Jesse to believe that his hands are clean, because he needs him to.
Gus Fring represented a new type of “bad guy.” Unlike Krazy 8 and Tuco, Gustavo Fring didn’t have to be the villain. Gus gave Walt several opportunities to be a good asset to the business, and Walt was the one that proved to be the the sloppy, unpredictable one. It’s a theme that is consistent through The Walking Dead comics – it’s the realization that maybe our protagonist isn’t a good guy. A lot of fans were polarized by this because Gus Fring (an oddly charismatic character) didn’t have to be the villain, but Walt’s arrogance and greed put Gus in a situation with no choice in the matter. Walt poisons a little boy and throws Jesse right into the fire to save his own ass. He even literally uses Hector Salamanca to do his dirty work in killing Gus. “Face Off” marks Walt’s fall into villainy. While he does what he does out of the fear of his family’s safety, Walt proves that it’s little more than a pissing contest to him, telling Skyler “I won” after the deed was done.
5. One Minute
This episode is about much more than Hank’s parking lot stand-off with the Salamanca cousins. It marks the turning point for when Hank stopped being a jerk off and became a hero that we all rooted for. Hank Schrader was simply caught in the web that Gus Fring and Walter White had weaved for him. Hank was the sacrificial lamb Gus gave to the cartel hitmen, Marco and Leonel Salamanca, or so it seemed. The episode really showed us that Gus Fring is not simply your neighborhood “Chicken Man.” He is a manipulator, and with the botched attempt at agent Schrader’s life, he causes the death of a major cartel capo. More importantly though, this episode marks Hank’s true cross into lawlessness. The beatdown that he gives Jesse can be interpreted as his frustration that a junkie got the better of him, and not as much being about Marie. As we see later in the series, Hank hates to lose and will bend the law pretty far to make sure that he doesn’t. “One Minute” also captures the tragedy of Jesse; while Jesse undergoes even more tragedy, he never words his feelings quite as honestly as in this episode.
“Phoenix” was defining in so many ways. Walt just missed the birth of his daughter. He claims to be doing everything he does for his family for the entire series, but it is a rare occurrence when he is actually there for his family. Missing Holly’s birth continued Walt’s dead-beat daddy routine. Walt Jr. sets up a website for Walt’s cancer treatment, savewalterwhite.com. It highlights Jr.’s kind heart and what he thinks of his dad, or probably the man he used to know. But as so well stated in this episode, Walt is not the man he used to be. He mars the point of Jr.’s website and allows Saul to use it as a money laundering technique for the meth business. Walt will continue to ruin nice things for the sake of the money he makes. Most importantly, “Phoenix” defines the series because of what happens to Jane Margolis, Jesse’s girlfriend. In the duration of the episode, Jane lies to her father about using again, lies to him about seeing Jesse, blackmails Walt into giving Jesse his fair share of money, and helps Jesse shoot up a combo of meth and heroin. She shoots up the mixture herself. Walt goes to Jesse’s house while the two are both passed out due to the drugs. Walt tries to wake up Jesse, seemingly to talk about his drug abuse, and in the process of shaking him, causes Jane to roll onto her back. She begins to vomit and choke. Walt looks on at her with his hand covering his mouth. He knows he has every opportunity to roll her on to her side, but instead he chooses to let her choke and die on her own vomit. This act, or rather, lack of act, set in motion not only the pain that Jesse endures from Walt, but the fact that Walt is willing to let go of anybody as long as it benefits him.
3. Dead Freight
“Dead Freight” is the episode that really changed the game. Not only was it masterfully pieced together, it influenced the rest of the series up until the tonight’s finale. With a serious lack of methylamine, Walt, Jesse and Mike devise a plan using Lydia to get what they need. According to Lydia, there is “an ocean” of the methylamine in trains that run in the northern part of New Mexico. The three men plan to rob the train, replacing it with water to make up for the weight difference when the train is weighed. With Todd, the worker from Vamanos Pest, in tow, they are able to stop the train with a road block. Todd is at the top of the train with the hose to release the water, Jesse is on the bottom of the train to release the methylamine, Mike is radioing Walt to tell him what is happening at the front of the train and Walt is counting off the gallons. The train starts moving with Todd still on the top and Jesse still on the tracks. In the end everything goes off without a hitch. Except that Walt made it clear to Todd that no one can know what they did. So after their short celebration, they turn and see a young teenage boy on his motorbike. Todd without hesitation raises his gun and shoots the boy, killing him. The episode ends there, with Jesse screaming “No!” but the effects of that one action have continued to take their toll. Jesse got out of the meth-game because of it, Todd has been revealed to be an even bigger piece of trash since, Walt killed Mike, and Hank is dead. And it all leads to Walt’s stupidity of trusting Todd at the train heist in the first place.
2. The Pilot
In a 45-minute period, we meet a normal high school chemistry teacher, Walter White, who turns into a meth cook. We saw his life quickly spiral out of control in one episode. He is diagnosed with cancer, turns 50, quits his part-time job, goes on a meth-lab bust with his DEA brother-in-law, reunites with an old student of his, and decides to cook meth with said student, Jesse Pinkman aka Cap’n Cook. Walt and Jesse cook meth together, and Jesse takes it to his friend Krazy-8, who was part of the meth bust Walt was a part of. Krazy-8 is upset with Jesse about the bust for leaving his cousin, Emilio to be caught by the cops, so he questions the high quality of the cook. Jesse is forced to take the two druggies out to the desert to the RV he and Walt bought to cook meth in. Jesse lets Walt know they are in danger, promptly trips and Krazy-8 and Emilio beat him up badly. Then they force Walt to teach them how to cook the meth he made. Instead, he uses red phosphorus to kill them. Or at least just Emilio. There are so many decisions made in this episode that could have avoided the decay of this man everything he touches. Without being on the car ride with the DEA or seeing Jesse, or decided to cook meth at all, Walt may be dead because of cancer, or he may be alive and just in debt. But for such a prideful man, we know that he couldn’t live with constantly being at the bottom of the food chain. His pride alone set in motion the consequences of the rest of Breaking Bad.
If you’re a family member of Walt’s, sorry, you don’t get any free trips to Belize. After several offers to off his brother-in-law, Walt’s twisted sense of morality keeps him from taking out his one real threat to him and his empire. Picking up at the end of the shootout that began in “To’hajiilee,” we see a very weak Walter White pleading the Uncle Jack and the Aryans to spare Hank’s life (oh, and Gomey’s dead already). This is the same man who was a hardened criminal that ordered Jack to murder ten men in prison. In a panic, Walt offers Jack and crew $80 million to turn their back. The Aryans counter Walt’s offer by killing Hank and taking all of him money for themselves. Walt’s two treasures are his family and his money – and in just one segment, they are both stripped from him. It’s not as satisfying as I thought it would be, and is instead terrifyingly tragic. In a panic to make his family disappear with the remainder of the cash that Todd convinced Jack to leave him with, Skyler deduces that Hank is dead and that it is Walt’s fault. When Skyler and Walt get in a tuft over the kitchen knife, Walter Jr. becomes the man that must protect the family from the man that protects this family (cue Inception music. Baauumm!). Not to mention Walt’s ultimate sacrifice of absolving Skyler and saying goodbye to baby Holly, who he realizes he does not even know due to his exploits of the Heisenberg. Plot aside, there is so much symbolism in this episode, most of it stemming from the first cook. The call-backs to the Pilot remind us of a simpler time, a simpler lie. Walt has been broken by Hank’s murder, and in turn, his wife and child have abandoned him. “Ozymandias” does a superb job of making a full-circle to the beginning of the series. Not too be hyperbolic, but this is one of the best episodes of any drama. Ever.
Tonight is the last episode of the Breaking Bad. How will our lives go on? There is nothing on cable as high of caliber of writing. Vince Gilligan, sir, you spoiled us. Thank you for such a rollercoaster of emotion through your writing. “Felina” an anagram for finale and the chemical symbols for Iron, Lithium and Sodium or as the internet has deemd it, Blood, Meth, Tears will surely by the final piece of the puzzle of “Growth, Decay, Transformation.” Be sure to read our recap and review later tonight.
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.”
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
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
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”
Walt: “You’re God damn right.”
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
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 $80 million dollars to the Aryans, he walks away from the family after he realizes he can’t be with them ever again. He tries his best to absolve Skyler of any involvement in the meth empire. He takes all the blame, something his arrogance and pride wouldn’t have let him do earlier in the show. In the ultimate sacrifice, he leaves Holly in a semi-safe place that will allow Skyler to get her back, it’s sad to see Walt, leaving alone with his money and nobody to give it to.
Honorable Mention: The great thing about Walt in Breaking Bad is that he is always responsible for bad things that happen, but he never seems to find himself responsible for events that happen. There’s no greater example of this than when Walt watches Jane die. He did not, in the strictest sense, kill her. But his inaction, Jane chokes on her own vomit and dies – a death that makes her distraught father cause the crash of Wayfarer 515 and the death of 167 people. This isn’t the only time Walt causes somebody’s death without actually killing them, as the demises of: Tomas Castillo, Gale Boetticher, Victor, Hector Salamanca, Gustavo Fring, Tyrus, the ten of Mike’s men in prison (including a lawyer), Steve Gomez and Hank Schrader are all due to Walt rocking the boat. The list isn’t complete either, as there’s sure to be plenty more rockin’ to do.
I hope you all liked our character defining moments. Stayed tuned for tomorrow’s Top Quotes. Let us know in the comments if there are any other character defining moments for the characters we didn’t list here.
Holy Mother of *@&#^$*!!!! 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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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…”
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!
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.
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.”
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…
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.
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.
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.
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 byJohn Sowetosprinkled 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.
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.
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 theBreaking 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.
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 annualInternational 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.
5.) The internet is for pornBreaking 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 Chronicleson Tumblr, or deviantartfor 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.
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.
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.
We hope you liked our article! Join us tomorrow as we discussJesse’s Top 7 Bitch Moments… BITCH!
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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’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.
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.