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'Breaking Bad' - 'Green Light' Recap

by Joel Keller, posted Apr 12th 2010 12:01AM
Bryan Cranston in 'Breaking Bad' - 'Green Light'(S03E04) Even on cable shows that are tightly plotted because of their short seasons, there are sometimes episodes that feel more like they're setting things up for the episodes to come rather than pushing the story arc forward. This week felt like one of those episodes.

I wouldn't classify it as a "throat-clearing" kind of episode, because, even when treading water, 'Breaking Bad' still retains its intensity and sense of drama. But after the first three rollicking episodes, it was interesting to see the show take an hour to collect its thoughts and linger for a little while.

One of the indicators that this episode was destined to amble instead of run was when Walt went to confront Beneke after Skyler laid the "I.F.T." bomb on him the night before. On another show, Walt would have lunged at Beneke and they would have rolled on the floor. Instead, this is real life: Ted cowered in his office while Walter ineptly tried to throw a plant through Plexiglass.

And in another triumph of not going for the over-the-top jugular, it was good to see Mike come by and grab Walt just before he tried to rip his way into the side door. It was much more realistic to see Walt fighting with Saul over the slimy lawyer's insults about Sky than seeing Walt punch out Beneke. Even though Saul's a sleazeball, he's a pretty persuasive sleazeball. He desperately wants to get Walt cooking again because he knows the money machine he's got there and wants to keep the good times rolling.

Walt really doesn't know the machinations that are going on behind the scenes. Mike told him, "Sometimes it's good to have someone watching your back," because he knows that the Cousins and other cartel bad guys are watching him. And he knows that Gus Frings is doing everything he can to make sure Walt is alive and cooking the blue stuff. Gus is even willing to buy the semi-inferior meth that Jesse has started cooking, just to lure the prideful chemist back into his camp.

Speaking of Jesse... very brazen of him to peddle his crapola meth right in front of that cop, huh? It really feels like, since Jane's death, that he really has nothing left to live for. The fact that he's not using anymore is amazing. Maybe the sight of Jane's vomit-choked body did the trick.

You really have to wonder, by the way, where Walt's head is at. He's so zoned out at school that he throws his career away by hitting on the principal. He tells both Saul and Jesse that he doesn't want to cook anymore, but seethes with anger when Jesse dares to use his proprietary formula and creates inferior product. He doesn't want to be the bad guy, but when he realizes his kingdom is threatened, he attacks. At this point, it's hard to even be sure if Walt knows what he wants anymore.

Let's talk about Hank for a second. Everyone, including Marie, is on to him. He doesn't want to go to El Paso because he can't relive the horrors he saw the last time he was there. But what the interesting twist about this story is, where at first it seems he's holding onto any thread that he can find that will lead him to Heisenberg just so he has an excuse not to go to Texas, he's actually getting somewhere with the investigation.

People forget that Hank is an excellent detective, mainly because he seems so buffoonish at times. Who would have thought of using the ATM camera to try to ID Jesse's RV at that gas station? By the end of the episode, you no longer think the guy just tossed his career down the toilet; you think he might get the last laugh... until, that is, he finds out who Heisenberg really is.

Some leftover thoughts:
-- Sky sleeping with Ted feels more like she wants a sense of normalcy and safety, doesn't it? The scene in Ted's bathroom seems to confirm that. Though she still can't bring herself to keep a toothbrush at his place.

-- Nice throw-in during the final scene at the stop light: Jane's dad shot himself, as Walt hears on the radio. As evil as he's becoming, that aspect of it -- and the realization that he likely caused the plane crash -- is weighing on Walt a bit.

-- Will the 50-50 cut of Gus' deal with Jesse get Walt back in the fold? Stay tuned, folks, it's gonna get interesting...

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Danielle

Why didnt Walt yell to Beneke when he wouldnt get out of his office " you F*** my wife, but you cannot talk to me". That wouldnt been nice to see esp when Skylar was standing at the stairs! But the looks in the copier room seems like her coworkers have a pretty good idea on whats going on. I have no pity for her. It seems like he was going to attempt to get back in the building but thats when that man kidnapped him and took him to Saul.

Im starting to hate Skylar w/ each episode. I wanted to hit her when they are all sitting on the table eating breakfast while shes reading the paper. Love the look on her face when their son suggested Walt can watch Holly since he's home. So she takes Holly to work w/ her....and where was she was she was f***ing Ted at his place?

It looks like Walt is on something the way he was acting in class and I had a feeling he was going to put the moves on the principal...

Loved the ending where Walt is just sitting on the light and he gets money tossed in her lap.

April 13 2010 at 9:17 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Rob

It's interesting to me that Skylar does not have
a major problem with Ted's embezzlement and is willing to look past it, but will not look past Walt's drug dealing. Drug's are obviously worse but Walt was doing it for his family while Ted did it for himself.

April 12 2010 at 6:12 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Scott

Best show on Television, without a doubt. Every episode, every scene is absolutely delicious to watch. It's real, it's gritty, it's funny and sad and sarcastic and ironic and dramatic. Well written, exquisitely acted and produced. I can't wait for each episode, and that hour goes by so fast, I wish there were 2.

April 12 2010 at 1:40 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jeff

The ATM camera is a common investigation technique.

April 12 2010 at 12:34 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jim

Everything you said about this week's episode I would have said last week. To me, last week dragged a bit -- up until Skylar's admission at the end. This week was much better. I can't wait to see how it all plays out!

April 12 2010 at 11:37 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
will

Walt is totally going to go ballistic. He lost his job. His wife is fucking her old boyfriend. Jesse is messing with his reputation.

Walt's all in at this point....

April 12 2010 at 11:28 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to will's comment
Dave

It's worse than that. Ted's not her former boyfriend; he's her former sexual harasser.

April 12 2010 at 12:37 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Crow

I thought Walt was planning on doing something with the air conditioner at Beneke's office after he got kicked out.
Good to see a scene with Walt and Jesse together.....just wish it wouldn't have ended on a sour note.
Damn Mr. White was fired. Now he has to cook

April 12 2010 at 3:20 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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