'Breaking Bad' - 'Mas' Recap
by Allison Waldman, posted Apr 18th 2010 11:32PM
(S03E05) If you've been waiting this season for the switch to be flipped, for the seemingly inert Walter White to snap back to life, this was it. The show was called "Mas," Spanish for more. Looking ahead, that's what we're going to be seeing. For "mas" on the shifting tone, the parting of the ways and Ted's heated bathroom tiles in this episode, follow after the jump.
This was the end of Jesse and Walter. They're done as partners in crime, partners in need, even surrogate father and son. Whatever good will between them -- like Walt getting Jesse into rehab after Jane's death -- it's over. They are now adversaries. Jesse felt Walt had betrayed him on the Pinkman meth deal, but as the prologue showed, Jesse had betrayed Walt from the start by squandering Walt's life savings at a strip club. Jesse wasn't lying; he is a bad guy.
Jesse's RV is definitely on Hank's radar now, but when the camera pulled back to reveal there are dozens of RVs just like it in New Mexico, it was a great gag. The RV became like Moby Dick to Hank. He has to nail the great white meth lab. He has to because he's too afraid to go back to El Paso.
If Gomey dies in El Paso, Hank will never get over it. He's already so traumatized that he can't even recognize how hard Marie is trying to help him. Hank's efforts weren't in vain; the last RV lead was a link to Combo. And in Combo's bedroom was the photo Jesse at the strip club. Hank's going to connect the dots soon enough.
Sky's completely confused by her feelings and actions. The initial bliss of her affair with Ted has worn off. The symbolism of her luxuriating in the heated floor of the bathroom -- which was obviously paid for with embezzled funds from Beneke -- was later echoed in her fascination with Walt's duffle bag of money.
Sky used her attorney as a therapist, and acknowledged that what she was doing wasn't working. Walt wasn't leaving, and Sky's actions were foolish. And by concealing Walt's crimes, she was an accessory after the fact. But perhaps Sky's softening towards Walt a bit had more to do with Marie than Ted or the attorney. Marie told Sky how Hank had been transformed by the things he saw in Texas -- facing death -- and perhaps Sky realized that Walt had also changed when he faced imminent death from cancer.
After weeks of being emasculated by Sky, sabotaging his career at school, prostrating himself over his decisions, Walter finally turned the corner. It was Gus's gamesmanship that baited the hook. The words: "What does a man do, Walt? A man provides for his family." Gus played Walt. Walt had to do what a man had to do. It was very John Wayne, and it restored his dignity and self-worth.
It might not have worked, but Sky's one bit of kindness, allowing Walt to care for Holly after dinner, cinched it for him. He held the baby and realized he had to do whatever necessary for his family even if they hated him for it. That's why Sky returned home to find the nursery tidied up, the money and Walt gone and the divorce papers signed. He took control and took back his manhood.
Then, in Saul's office, there was one more divorce to be enacted. Walt gave Jesse the bag from the stoplight and rejected him as a partner. Walt spurned the 10% Jesse offered him to use Walt's formula -- "And sit on your fat ass" -- for something more. Like the title said, "Mas." Walt told Jesse in cold, hard words: "I'm in; you're out."
Other Points of Interest
-- There's a role reversal between Marie and Sky. Sky is letting Marie care for Holly while she's running around. Marie confided in Sky, but she was worried about Hank. Sky has her head too far up her ass to help anyone.
-- Jesse's revenge was to destroy Walt's windshield. The windshield again! If the window is the eyes onto the world, Walt's again seeing a shattered, skewed view of reality.
-- Gus is a brilliant character. He's like Satan, tempting Walt with a brand new lab, top of the line ingredients, security and millions of dollars. But Gus worked Walt's mind. Played on his pride. "Chemistry must be respected." And, finally, Walt's Achilles' heel -- family.
-- Will Gus really let the Cousins kill Walt after three months? You have to wonder.