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'Breaking Bad' - 'Mas' Recap

by Allison Waldman, posted Apr 18th 2010 11:32PM
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.

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Jim-Saul's office is at the corner of Eubank and Montgomery NE, 9800 Montgomery NE in an almost vacant strip center.


I took all the photos I posted on this website after researching the locations via watching the eps, DVD commentary, a google map posted in the ABQ Journal last summer, and contacting a couple of actors on FB.

April 19 2010 at 9:59 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

God, I love this show. It's undeniably the best, most riveting, most interesting hour on television.

April 19 2010 at 12:54 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Great, as usual. Got to be the best show out there...the extraordinary little moments and unexpected twists just keep coming.

April 19 2010 at 10:24 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I realized last night. Can't Gus just find another guy who knows chemistry? Obviously Walter taught himself how to make meth, couldn't someone else do the same?

Gus will let the Cousins have Walter after three months once he steals the formula.

April 19 2010 at 8:51 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Steve's comment

Gus could probably find another cook for his lab, but he knows that Walt can already produce 'The Bomb' that everyone wants. No trail & error, the formula is complete.

April 19 2010 at 5:38 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I've been to that strip club years ago when it was called "Chapter Two".
I was taken back when they started the episode with old Walt. Weird.
I liked how they framed the dinner scene. The window pane barrier between Walt and the rest of the family.
I really don't think Walt and Jesse are done as partners. At least I hope not.

April 19 2010 at 2:43 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to Crow's comment

The preview to next week's episode seems to suggest that Walt and Jesse are even more inextricably linked than ever and both in a fight to escape being toppled. This show doesn't work without their ongoing relationship.

I know most of us are pissed at Skyler's character but I love how she's been evolving over these past two episodes. Orgasmically scrunching her toes on Beneke's floor at the beginning of the episode then needing a towel 'barrier/restraint' by episode's end tell me that she is on the brink of 'Breaking Bad' herself. Not with the affair but with her growing acceptance that she has a history with Walt, loves him, and is as intoxicated by the darkness as he is.

There isn't a single character on this show that isn't flawessly flawed, written or acted. This show often shocks me but I am more unsettled by how the small quiet moments (like Walt holding Holly tonight) and the outrageous faux pas made by each character create humor and pathos simultaneously.

April 19 2010 at 3:47 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I didn't catch the name of the club in the show... I lived in that neighborhood as an elementary school student. I remember it was called "Elliot's Nest" and had a Village Inn right next to it...

Does anyone know where in ABQ Saul's office is?

April 19 2010 at 3:35 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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