Breaking Bad: Seven Thirty-Seven (season premiere)
by Jason Hughes, posted Mar 9th 2009 12:26PM
(S02E01) Three hundred and sixty-four days after the first season finale, the second season of Breaking Bad finally began last night (Damn you, writers strike!). While we only got seven episodes last year, the show still made a huge impact on the television landscape, primarily by being just amazingly produced and acted. The action and tone pick up here as if we've never been away, and despite a year since new episodes, it feels like only last week that we first saw Tuco go ballistic and viciously beat his own man.
Of course, if it had been last week then I doubt we'd have rewound the scene and replayed it in its entirety. Still, it was a nice reminder of just how crazy and unpredictable Tuco is. And it was the problem of Tuco that pretty much drove the entirety of the main plot tonight. It says something as to how perfectly disturbed Raymond Cruz portrays Tuco that despite being in the episode only during two sequences, his presence hovered over every moment.
I'll be honest, he scares the crap out of me. And for two guys like Jesse Pinkman and Walter White, who are already in way over their heads with this meth thing, he has to seem like a destructive force of nature. Maybe it's the writers way of trying to remind the viewers at home that the meth lifestyle isn't even worth trying because you'll run across elements like this guy. I'm shutting down my lab right now.
When a show is off the air for awhile, you forget some of the things that make it special. Breaking Bad can carry silence better than any show on television. Bryan Cranston is working the minimalist approach to the cerebral Walter. And yet, with so few words spoken you can read just volumes on his face. Those one-way conversations he doesn't really have with Skyler throughout this episode are so richly done.
In the closing moments, I think he was so very close to telling her what he's been up to. As he said, though, where do you begin with a confession like that? Of course, now he may not have to considering he kind of left the diaper box just sitting in the baby's room. Which means either Skyler's going to find it and slaughter him with questions, or Walter Jr. is going to find it and then who knows where that could go.
We got a little more of a showcase on Hank, Walter's brother-in-law who also happens to be a DEA Agent, than we've gotten in prior episodes. I think the investigation is going to be bringing these two closer and closer to an inevitably explosive meeting.
Speaking of which, let's talk about that ending. As I said,Tuco's presence dominated the episode. When Hank and the gang pulled Gonzo's body back to see how he died I was thinking that either it went down like they said, accidental, or Tuco set it up to look that way. My money's on the latter which means as batshit loco as he is, Tuco is still one smart cookie.
The question now is how much does he like that blue meth the boys made him. Enough to somehow let them live, despite the fact that they're obviously very green, or do they still need to die for witnessing him kill the first guy? Poor Walter, with that family of his, is in a really tough spot.
Damn AMC! It took you long enough, but with quality like this I can't stay mad at you. No sophomore blues for Breaking Bad. Looks like it's just going to be continued excellence. Right on!
|Even better than last year||94 (36.4%)|
|Every bit as good as last year||152 (58.9%)|
|Looks like it's slipped a bit||8 (3.1%)|