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Thursday, August 25, 2011
TV Round-Up: Breaking Bad
"Cornered"
Over the course of the series, Walt's Heinsenberg personality seems to come out with the most force when Walt is backed into a corner. And this week, that trend continues as Walt slowly feels like he's losing control of everything in his life and calls on Heisenberg to push back.

After Skylar pushes him that this could be the time to get out and go to the police because she sees him as just a cog in the meth making machine, Walt pushes back hard. Just as he did last week at Hank's, Walt's ego won't allow him not to take credit for becoming the power player he believes he is. (I'm not sure he's there yet, but it's coming). Walt refuses to allow Skylar to see his criminal side as anything but the lynchpin to the entire empire and without him, nothing could or would happen. Walt's self-delusion is on full display here and for the first time, Skylar really gets a glimpse of the danger that she's invited back into her home. But like a moth to the flame, she is drawn to it, even if it places she and the rest of the family in harm's way.

Walt continues to struggle with the perception people have of him--of his not being the boss. With Jessie getting an expanded role in the operation with Mike, the car wash guy giving him a lecture on how to be the boss and Walt being left alone to clean-up the lab after Jessie goes off with Mike, Walt may think he's the lynchpin, but the reality of things isn't lining up. I'm not sure how he thought bribing the cleaners to come clean up the lab would end in anything good. Gus apparently decides to deport them, which could be a mistake in the overall scheme of things. (Given his issues with the cartel, it's probably not a good idea to leave a loose thread like these three ladies out there). But somehow Walt is genuinely surprised that Gus isn't happy about this development. Walt figures he's got carte blanch to do whatever he wants and Gus has time and again shut that down. At some point, you'd think Walt would learn.

Of course, the season continues to isolate Walt from everyone. Walt reaches out to Walt, Jr by buying him a car. And while Walt learned the lesson in celebrating last week when it came to not buying an expensive bottle of champagne, he apparently didn't have it sink it when it came to buying his son a new guy. I have a feeling the show's emphasis on Walt's lack of forethought on money matters is setting up his downfall when the series ends next year.

And so Walt is now more isolated from the family and Gus is making sure that Jessie is driven away from Walt. The scene where Gus says he sees potential in Jessie was exactly the kind of assurance Jessie has craved all year. He's getting affirmation from Gus and Mike that he only gets from Walt when Walt has their backs against the wall or Walt needs something. Of course, it could all be part of the some bigger game that Gus is playing with Walt (Gilligan has said several time that season four is a chess match between Walt and Gus). If it is, Gus is playing it masterfully because even when Walt correctly realizes that the hold-up last week was all a ruse, Jessie doesn't believe it.

It all leads up to the final chilling moment when Skylar comes back and tells Walt she has to protect the family from the guy who protects the family.

I have a feeling season four is about to kick into high gear....


posted by Michael Hickerson at 8/25/2011 12:15:00 PM | |
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