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October 4, 2015

Breaking Bad: Breakage

by Allison Waldman, posted Apr 6th 2009 3:37PM
Jesse Pinkman(S02E05) You know that things are really bad when even a stalwart rock like Hank starts to break down. All around Breaking Bad, the characters have been crushed under the weight of problems that seem to be unsolvable. I mean when this episode was over, the most together person was Jesse. Imagine that. Apparently last week's trauma in the Port-a-John left an lasting and therapeutic impression.

The image of Walt laying awake in bed was haunting. It was also universal, because I would bet there are a lot of people unable to sleep with the economic woes they're facing.

For Walt, that sleepless night just underscored the need he has to get back to work, back to cooking. Without the meth business, Walt can't pay for his medical bills, and from the looks of the very long printout at the hospital/cancer center, he's deep in the weeds. His blow up at Jesse, when he declared that after all dealing and everything they've suffered with Tuco, he had nothing to show for it was startling...but only if you're unaware of life without health insurance. Even if you have coverage, you can find yourself up all night with worry. And Walt's thinking about Skyler and Walt, Jr. and the new baby, too.

The situation between Walt and Skyler has continued to deteriorate. Walt finally asked about the smoking, after finding the crushed cigarette box in the toilet, but she let him know in no uncertain terms and he did not want to challenge her about who's been keeping secrets, not when Walt has a closet -- or should I say air duct -- full of them. Walt backed off.

At least now we know that it's not just Skyler's feelings about Walt that have made her act so recklessly. She's been acting out about Marie. The scene where she demanded that Marie apologize and forced her to give her back her sister was key; Sky needs her sister, even if she's a loon.

Sky should give Hank a lesson in how to get to Marie. Poor Hank. All that bravado and bluster couldn't protect him from the after effects of killing Tuco. Someone who's head is on straight doesn't react to a promotion -- a reward for bringing down the drug dealer -- by having an anxiety attack in the elevator. He tried to sound all chipper, changing the lyrics to the Lowenbrau jingle while he bottled his home brew, but inside he has been scarred. Chucking Tuco's glitzy grill work into the river was his attempt to shed himself of Tuco's ghost. Good luck with that.

The episode contained a subtle shift in power between Jesse and Walt. For the first time, Jesse has a handle on the operation and Walt's not the decider. They have divided the work responsibilities, which should please Walt. He wanted Jesse to grow up and grow a pair.

After their encounter last week, when Jesse had Walt by the throat, Jesse has done just that. Setting things right with Klovis and arranging for a place to park the RV, organizing his slacker buds into a meth network, getting a new bungalow (and didn't you love him talking feng shui with his goofy friends), and then explaining to Walt that even in the drug trade, breakage happens (like shit happens, man), Jesse was a revelation.

Walt's answer, however, to the question of breakage crosses a line. He told Jesse to handle it and then gave him the gun. You'll note that Jesse didn't take it. He won't either, because if you remember season one, Jesse's a lot of things, but he's no killer. He's not a Tuco. He may have shot Tuco when his life was on the line, but he didn't kill him. When he had the chance to -- while Tuco was lying in the ditch -- Jesse walked away.

So, will Jesse take the gun and do as Mr. White instructed? We'll see, but I would doubt it.

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Jesse does take the gun, they showed that much in the preview for next week.

April 07 2009 at 5:32 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Hollywood, pay attention and take notice. This is how tv drama is done.

April 07 2009 at 1:51 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to MIke's comment

I agree, it's the best drama on T.V. bar NONE..

April 07 2009 at 12:34 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Yeah...but Walt was the one who told Jesse to let Tuco bleed to death. Great episode. Surprised to see Hank succumb to the pressure, but it keeps things interesting.

April 07 2009 at 1:38 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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