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'Breaking Bad' - 'Sunset' Recap

by Joel Keller, posted Apr 26th 2010 12:03AM
(S03E06) The word "pivotal" doesn't even begin to describe this episode. When it was over, I let out a "Jimmy H. Carter!" so loud that it freaked out my fiancee -- imagine another name with the initials "J.C." instead of "Jimmy Carter" and you'll get the idea.
Dean Norris in 'Breaking Bad' - 'Sunset'So much stuff went on in this episode that it might be good for us to go in reverse order. Let's start by mourning the loss of a friend, one that's been with us from the very beginning of the series, back when Walt and Jesse were just two crazy kids trying to cook blue meth in the middle of the desert...

Friends, it's time to mourn the passing of the RV. After all that happened this week, it was necessary that it had to go, but it was still sad to see it get crushed.

The scenes when Jesse and Walt were watching their meth factory get picked apart and crushed were actually a little bit moving; they both could and should have gotten the hell away from that scrap yard as quickly as possible after Saul lured Hank away, but they a) wanted to make sure the job was done, and b) pay their respects to the RV itself. That respect, accompanied by the Mexican elegy used as music for the scene, made it feel more like a funeral than the mere crushing of a vehicle.

Of course, how they got to that point was about as tense a scene as there has been in the show's three seasons. It's the closest Hank has gotten to Walt, even though he still has no clue his brother-in-law is the infamous Heisenberg. And, while watching Hank try to bust his way into the RV with Jesse and Walt cowering inside, I had no idea if this was going to be the moment of truth or not.

Were the legal musings of the junkyard guy (played by the wonderfully creepy Larry Hankin) a bit of a convenient way to unravel this plot tangle? Maybe. But the guy's business is to make evidence disappear. This is probably not the first time he's had to deal with the feds on his property. I was just surprised that Hank actually listened to him and waited for the warrant. I guess as hyped up as he was, Hank still wants to do things the right way.

Of course, no one could count on Walt bailing everyone out by leveraging his personal knowledge of Hank and Marie. But, as we've been saying all along, Walt is more evil than even he realizes.

As soon as Jeese ran out of the house after the call from Badger, by the way, I actually shouted "Idiots!" in disgust. That's the twisted thing about this show; I'm rooting for the friggin' criminals. From the viewer's vantage point, you think that it should have been obvious to Jesse that the heat was on him. But, aside from Walt's aborted phone call, how was he supposed to know?

There was an ingeniousness to how Vince Gilligan and company were able to close the loop, with the RV leading Hank to Combo's mom, which lead him to Jesse, which led to Marie reminding him that Jesse knew Walt. But it was also good that he opened the loop back up again; it was too soon for Hank and Walt to cross paths in this fashion. Walt's not done being evil yet.

Notice I didn't mention the very last scene just yet, with Gus telling the Cousins that the person they really want revenge on is Hank, not Walt. It's a clever move on Gus' part, because he wants Walt to keep cooking, and he pretty much knows he can outsmart the Cousins at the drop of a hat. The Cousins want blood-- as the cop in the cold open found out, they're not subtle when it comes to killing -- so Gus gave them someone. Which means that not only is Hank still after Walt and Jesse, but the Cousins are now after him. That's when the "J.H.C.!" came out of my mouth, as the layers keep on being added.

Some random thoughts:

-- Interesting how the intensity of the junkyard scene followed the relative mundanity of Walt in Gus' meth factory. He's got a fantastic assistant in Gale -- I want to try his coffee! -- and he brings a lunch bag with his name written across it, as if he still thinks it's going in the fridge in the teacher's lounge.

-- Where's Skyler's head at now with Walt? She still seems to be struggling not only with Walt agreeing to the divorce but the fact that she and Walt Jr. have technically been accessories all along, because as soon as Walt paid a bill with the meth money, they were implicated.

-- Saul's always good for comic relief, as we saw with the massage table he was on when Walt called him about the RV. But damn if he's not the most heinous person in the bunch. At least Jesse and Walt have some redeeming qualities; Saul's just oozes corruption.

Where this show succeeds is bringing out the complexities of the story without making things confusing. You can envision the Venn diagram of this show in your head, who is going after whom, and who knows what's going on. And, things are only going to get more complex from here.

[Follow @joelkeller on Twitter.]

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by marali, posted Apr 26th 2010:

> God forgive me for admitting to it but I'd rather
> Skyler get offed before Hank.

I'm totally with you.
I really love Hank's character and especially the actor...
The moment hank found out he was set up totally creped me out!
You could see the furiousness in his eyes, he didn't needed to say something.

I was thinking that if he would stare at me this way i would most probably assume my life would end any second now.
I had never such an experience in a tv show. never.

May 21 2010 at 9:32 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Great show, as always - the coffee was a clever idea that allowed Walt to appreciate his new partner right away. They come through like two nerd kids with a chemistry set. Walt looking at the picture that fooled me into thinking it was an actual scene at first was well done - again, one of those little touches. The set with Hank waiting for the warrant was nerve-wracking and showed once again that Walt does have it in him. Still love the cousins. (I usually answer late because I tape the program to watch when I can - somehow I think watching it at 2 AM while coming off anesthetics gives it the right feel.)

April 28 2010 at 4:20 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I donk think Gus will betray Walt. He has been fair all the way and i think thats his secrect for staying in business so long. Always being an upright partner in business and never betraying anyone.

Finally this was an episode where those in my opinion stupid and boring family problems of Walt didn't play a big role and we finally got to see what we came for. Drug cooking, good science and criminal activity by "normal" people.^^

April 27 2010 at 9:48 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Saw last week's episode on sunday and saw sunday's episode last night. Gah! Now have to wait another week or more to watch the next episode. Love it! OMG..I thought Walt was gonna get out of the RV and tell Hank that he located the RV. The phone call to Hank telling him his wife was in a serious car accident...brililant! Jesse doesnt have any brains...he was too worried that Walt was destroying the RV so Jesse couldnt produce anymore.

Def something fishy w/ this Gale character. I was disappointed when Walt wasnt suspicious. I thought for a moment when Gale started talking to him during their break that Walt realized what was going on until he asked him to recite whatever it was. Come on Walt...you are much smarter than that! Im hoping too that he doesnt leak all his secrets to Gale. Walt is def smarter than that!

Those twins creep me out. I think this last episode was the most theyve said all season.

April 27 2010 at 9:18 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Layla Alvar

My mouth dropped when ONE of the cousins finally spoke! I was like holy sh#% he speaks! he speaks! I believe he had like three or four lines? That was a highlight for me. I was getting used to the fact that they never talk. Now if we can get the other one to say something..

I honestly prefer them quiet. Makes em' much scarier!

LOVED the music in this episode :)

ps- I was shitting in my pants when Walt and Jesse were in that RV.

pps- Bad is good and good is bad.

April 26 2010 at 8:47 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

all time

April 26 2010 at 7:03 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I can't believe how this show keeps getting better. It is the greatest television drama of amm time.

April 26 2010 at 7:02 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Keeps getting better and better. Can't wait till next Sunday!
There will come a time when Gus decides Walt is expendable. Walt will "have something". He always does.

April 26 2010 at 5:01 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I wonder how long it will take Hank to figure it out... Hank calls Walt for info on Jesse, then suddenly Jesse is hightailing it to the junkyard where the white whale of an RV is off to meet its end. The phone call; obvious to him now as a ruse to draw him away from the junkyard, but from someone with knowledge of Hank's life outside the DEA.

Will Hank put 2 and 2 together before the Cousins take him out?

April 26 2010 at 1:49 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to dec2006's comment
Che Che

Thank you! Initially Hank will accept any plausible answer from Walt concerning the Jesse Junkyard showdown because Hank can't wrap his brain around Walt's involvement in cooking meth.

There is foreshadowing; I believe Marie *will* be killed by the Cousins while they search for Hank, sending him over the edge. Jesse will become even more of an obsession and Hank will connect the dots to Walt - too late. But I think he's going to get inadvertently iced by his old DEA partner who sees he's off the tracks.

April 26 2010 at 2:20 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

It's crossed my mind that Gus will double cross the cousins. Not only are they trying to kill Walt, but they also intruded on his business. He doesn't care for them and he could set them up very easily. Life would be easier for Gus without them.

We think of Gus as not using a heavy hand. Perhaps it's time for us to see him in a different light.

April 26 2010 at 12:03 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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