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October 4, 2015

Breaking Bad: Bit by a Dead Bee

by Jason Hughes, posted Mar 23rd 2009 12:33PM
Bryan Cranston as Walter White in AMC's (S02E03) "Waffle House is good." --Jesse Pinkman

I just love it when a plan comes together. It's a damned shame that old Walter White is dying because he's pretty good at this whole criminal behavior thing. Sure it helps that he's brilliant, but after the shootout last week, I was wondering how he and Jesse were going to get back into town and what they were going to do about their respective situations. Namely that Walter had been missing for a few days and that Jesse's car was at Tuco's place.

I guess I needn't have worried. But just as I was a little saddened to see the Tuco storyline wrapped up so quickly; if only because Raymond Cruz was just amazing to watch in the role; I was a little surprised that things got wrapped up in a nice, neat little package by the end of the hour. No bow though, as there are some residual issues outstanding, Skyler's mistrust in particular. I guess I get worried that things are moving too quickly, but I really need to just sit back and trust the writers. After ten episodes, I'm more engrossed in this story than almost any other on television right now.

It was a bit disappointing that nothing ever came of Walter leaving the diaper box filled with cash and the gun just right out there in the open. At the same time, it is a bit refreshing that traditional storytelling routes were circumvented. For now, it served as a sobering reminder of just how close Walter's insane "side life" is riding to his normal world.

As for that world, I liked how assertive Walt, Jr. was toward the end of the episode when he was insisting his dad drink the apple juice, and that Walter started to comply. I think Jr. is starting to feel the weight of responsibility on his shoulders. Just as with the scene in the house prior when Walter hid the money and gun back behind the vent, Walt, Jr. is taking on a protective and supportive role to his mother in the absence of his father, and in anticipation of that future absence. With a baby on the way, Jr. knows he's going to have to step up and be a major part of helping his mother raise that child and you can see that growth in such a small thing.

Sure, you could say that I'm reading way too much into one scene, but I think these writers are smart enough to know what they're doing with each scene. Though, I'm not 100% sold on Walter's notion that his appearing naked in the supermarket was essential to selling the story of his amnesia. I think it was just another excuse for Bryan Cranston to appear in the buff. It's been too long since we've had a tighty-whitie shot, so he took it to the next level. And while the picture I accompanied didn't happen this episode, Walter rocked that hat in a whole new way, didn't he?

In all seriousness, though, the plan was pretty brilliant. The Walter plan was perfect in its simplicity. The plan for Jesse was far more complicated, and it really only succeeded because he got a couple of really lucky breaks. That the cracked out whore he selected to be his accomplice was the same one Hank and Walt, Jr. encountered earlier only hardened her resolve not to rat out Jesse.

But even more surprising was Tio's refusal to throw Jesse under the bus, even after he saw him try and poison Tuco. That he hated Jesse was more than evident in his every spite-filled glare. I guess he just hates the authorities even more. While absolutely disgusting, I think his "statement" pretty much summed things up. Still, Jesse is one lucky bastard because there's no way Walter could have factored in that Hank would have brought Tio into the interrogation.

Speaking of Hank, I'm starting to really enjoy this character. In the absence of Vic Mackey, I need a bad-ass law enforcement agent to root for. And this one's actually a decent guy. A hardhead for sure, but a good man.

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Damn. I didn't think we'd see Tuco's Tio again. That damn bell.

March 23 2009 at 4:39 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I think the reaction shown on Walt's face when Hank pulled out Tuco's grill (cased in acyrillic no less...classy) was mind-wrenching in the complexities being expressed. Best show on television.

March 23 2009 at 12:43 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Esteban's comment

You've got that right; keeps my interest and the performances, writing, etc. are excellent. I'm really starting to like Hank; beneath his brash manner is the perfect cop for his job - never quite trusting anyone and noticing minor things that add up - not like most characters in these lame cop shows whose "insights" are implausible.

March 23 2009 at 1:24 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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