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Saturday, 31 of October of 2020

Catchin’ Up with Breaking Bad – The Rest of It, Pt 2 (Episodes 3.07-3.13)

I would say my verbosity on the subject of breaking bad knows no bounds but WordPress took care of that for me. The rest of season 3 below:

The Hospital Stretch (3.07-3.09)

Jesse smiles at Hank's fate when Skinny Pete picks him up.

Can Jesse make it through a season without his face getting massacred?

I hate it when Jesse and Walt are in a fight. It felt like after that last episode that they might be on the same page again, after Walt tried to save Jesse and they watched their history crushed into a little wood-paneled cube, but Hank ruined everything by coming down on him with the wrath of the ancients. Hank is not a dude I want beating on my face. Not that I want anyone to beat on my face — I’m just saying those meaty fists would crush me in an instant. As they do to Jesse and he’s carted away on a stretcher. Thus begin the hospital-heavy episodes as karma sweeps its Fujisawa Fist of Justice through the Land of Enchantment.

There are some important highlights for these episodes. Firstly, the aforementioned beating of Jesse Pinkman despite there being no evidence that he did anything wrong. Hank bloodies him up in revenge for what Walt did (using Marie as a reason to get Hank out of the junkyard). This, of course, leads to Jesse wanting to ruin Hank and his family, by extension Walt’s family, and, suddenly, Jesse and Walt are at odds again. Although in retrospect I understand why Jesse felt so strongly and why he was so awful to Walt but, at the time I was watching it, the scene seemed — off. Not that it wasn’t performed well but it clashed with the capital raised by “Sunset.” Suddenly they’re in a fight again and I hate it.

This will play into renewing their partnership eventually and ends Gale’s short stint as assistant. Gale’s presence really spoke to Walt’s character in in a very interesting way since Walt’s pathos interrupts his abilities and foresight as a chemist. Gale is perfect in a chemistry lab, the level of professionalism Walt has always demanded of Jesse. But Gale doesn’t provide the back and forth Walt needs nor does act as a punching bag well enough. How can you lash out at a guy that looks so pathetic? All he wants to do is learn. Walt needs someone he feels comfortable belittling. No one takes a punch better than Jesse.

In BAMF news, Hank totally kills the Brothers Elf-Boot by backing through one and blowing out the back of the pther’s head. This show does such a great job of building up scenes like this. Remember the march of terror the brothers exhibit as they rip through Mexico and New Mexico, setting fires, stealing clothes, and you shall know them by the trail of blood and designer threads. They seemed unstoppable, terribly intimidating, less like two near silent twins and more like a force of nature. And Hank, with some pretty serious injuries, downs them both. Great scene in general but further demonstrates the kind of man Hank is: a natural at his job if he struggles elsewhere.

Also important: Skyler’s relationship with Ted gets a little more serious — for him. It’s clear that this adultery is just lashing out against Walt and means very little in the grand scheme. She’s becoming more and more comfortable with Walt’s employment, more accepting of Walt’s presence. Reconciliation in the future?

Run. (Episodes 3.10-3.13)

Walt saves Jesse and tells him to "Run"

Mr Heisenberg looks just like Dr White!

People had been telling me for weeks that the ending of the last episode of season 3 would make me holler for hours. I heard tales of people hopping up and down, running through their houses, screaming at the television. I got to the end of “Full Measure” and felt none of those things.

Jesse being made to shake hands with the people that convinced a kid to take out Combo? I sighed loudly, tapping into Jesse’s frustration. The scene at the beginning of “Abiquiu” made my heart hurt. Walt running over the people that took the kid out and telling Jesse to run? I stood up and just gawked at the television. But the ending where Jesse points the gun at Gale, wavering on whether he should do it or not, listening to Gale’s monotone pleas for his life to be spared, did not incite the strong feelings everyone else had. Maybe that was because I took the camera movement at the end not to be us put into the position of Gale but to be Jesse shifting his trajectory. Maybe I’m wrong about that but, in my mind, Jesse still is not a killer.

So much goes down in these final four episodes that it’s hard to amass them into a review. There’s the annual bottle episode, this time in the lab, where Walt and Jesse hash out their feelings for each other and develop the strongest bond on the show, despite their pissing contests. Skyler becomes more heavily involved with Walt’s trade, insisting that, if his money is going to pay the bills, it’s in her life and she needs to be a part of it. There’s trouble with Gus as Jesse strikes out on his own for some vigilante justice only to bring everyone down with him. And we finally get the picture that Gus has an elegant plan to dominate (at least) the region and, as Walt and Jesse become more troublesome, the clocks on their lives are ticking.

The big question from the bottle episode, that I just knew was coming even if it never did, was whether Walt, intoxicated on sleeping pills, would spill on being in the house when Jane died. Jesse’s feeling to take care of the ailing man was sweet and demonstrative of how close these two have become but we’ve also seen Jesse show us his broken heart over and over again. The calls to her voicemail? Later, keeping her cigarette in the ashtray? Surely, confessing that he let Jane die would be the end of their partnership for good. Way to keep me in suspense the entire episode.

I’m not sure how I feel about Skyler becoming involved in the drug side of Walt’s life. It’s a slippery slope Chuck and, more importantly, Weeds contend with. Once you implicate one of your loved ones into your clandestine, morally-bankrupt life, where does it end? How do you justify letting on person in and not everyone you know? It’s hard to keep the secret but harder to keep it when more people know about it. How long until Flynn is a mule? When will Marie have to start hiding this information from Hank? Will Hank turn out to be like Peter Scottson and get Walt a neighborhood?

What brings this season to a climax, though, is Walt and Jesse brewing mistrust with Gus. With Gus being as tight as he is, their situation, as long as Walt has an affection for Jesse, is untenable. After outright defying Gus by not keeping the peace and then, presumably, cutting down Gus’s choice for lab assistant, there’s no way Walt can stay in that environment and feel comfortable. Walt’s plan seems to rest on the fact that this lab assistant is the only one Gus can find when there’s a dang plethora of chemistry lab tech willing to give this a shot for the amount of money Gale probably gets paid. So are Walt and Jesse going to off all of them until the chemistry brain drain into New Mexico finally runs dry? Where can they go from here? Assuredly, Gus needs Walt for the time being but there’s no way his life there could be reasonably stress-free. Where do they go from here?

To be honest, I figured that, by this point in the series, Walt and Jesse would be on their way to empire. That’s the only way I can think they can go from here. But how can they find the resources to compete with how flush Gus is in both product and wealth? Where is there room for competition? Do they move to New York like Weeds? Montana? Pittsburgh? I swear you people that’ve waited thirteen months for this must have nerves of steel.

I hope you guys watch tonight’s premiere. I sure will be. What could possibly go wrong?

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