This week, we once again see how differently Walter and Skylar are approaching their life of crime together. Skylar is all about planning things out, making sure no i is undotted and no t is uncrossed. Walt is much more reactionary, scheming on the fly and generally not looking at the bigger picture until he's forced to do so because of a fear for his safety or long term future.
The visit to Hank and Marie's to come clean about how Walt earned all the money they have coming in highlights this. Skylar is all about having an exact script of how things will go and then following it to the letter. She's even written out how the conversation and confession will go and what she and Walt will say at each point along the way. Her plan even goes as far as having Walt try to play a hand or two of blackjack to see if he can really count cards and has a method to winning back as he says he does. The result is that Walt isn't really any good at counting cards and he probably thinks its as easy as the movie 21 made it look like it could be.
On the other hand, you've got Walt who is adept at thinking on his feet and being reactionary. The last couple of episodes have shown that isn't always a good idea, as we see when he tries to recruit Mike to his side against Gus. But here, we see Walt thinking on his feet and trying to figure out just what Hank knows and suspects about the super lab. We even get to see Walt crafting a lie to cover up that Gale dedicated his notebook to Walt and that Hank wonders who W.W. could be. Walt's quick cover up that it was Walt Whitman, a poet referenced in the pages and not Walter White was fascinating--and it seems like one of those details that could come back to haunt Walt.
Again, the show makes a huge point about how blind some of these characters are to what's really going on. Hank can't seem to fathom that Walt could be Heisenberg. Skylar can't fathom how her affair with her boss could possibly play into her version of the drama that unfolds at dinner. And Walt can't see how there will be a positive end game in all of this for him and his family. At some point, Walt or Skylar will have to realize that their survival will depend on selling out the other person. Which one realizes this first could be interesting....
I did love the scene with Saul where Saul points out that no where in Walt's grand scheming of how to end the game and come out ahead is Saul even considered.
I also think we're slowly watching Walt fade away and Heisenberg emerge to take over. It may be a necessity to ensure Walt survives what's to come. It does feel like Walt isn't reacting well being chipped away at piece by piece this year--from Gus, from Mike and from Skylar. At some point, Heisenberg will reach a breaking point and begin to push back.
Meanwhile, Jessie is spiraling more and more out of control and becoming a greater liability. Jessie's lack of caring about whether he left clues at Gale's murder scene that could link back to him or that his money was stolen are telling. Jessie seems to have given up on everything and is just going through the motions. At some point, Jessie could become such a weak link that he either turns in everyone or has to be taken out. Mike meets with Gus about this and then takes Jessie with him out into the desert. The interesting question lingering is was this Mike's idea to try and reach Jessie to save him or was it directed by Gus? And no matter whose idea it was, what is the final end game for Jessie? Is it a wake-up call to scare him back into the fold or is it to be the end of Jessie?
At this point, I wouldn't put it past Vince Gilligan and company to bump off Jessie.
Labels: Breaking Bad, tv shows
posted by Michael Hickerson at 8/09/2011 11:33:00 AM