Gus is fucking scary.
Gus is fucking scary.
That's the understatement of the year. He is one of the most terrifying TV villians I've ever seen.
I liked this episode quite a bit. The entire box cutter scene was terrific. Not a word when Gus walks in, walks down the stairs and changes clothes. So very good. That silence and scene reminded me of Tarrantino from start to finish.
I would always want to be on Gus's good side. Yikes!
I'm surprised I can't find a GIF online of the throat cutting... Too gnarly.
Great episode! Can't wait to see what happens with the Lab Notes.
Aaron Paul is on Jimmy Kimmel tonight. I always like hearing what actors I like have to say.
^^^ I saw him at Coachella this year. He had a pretty blond on his arm, looked coked up and happy. I wanted to stop him and tell him how awesome he is, but I respected him too much to bother him.
Aaron Paul is a huge Steve Aoki fan.
Jesse needs to get got.
^ don't ruin him for me!!!!
There's a video of him being interviewed at Amoeba and he picks out In Rainbows, Warpaint, and MGMT. Cool in my book.
This show rules.
Starting with Gale and a boxcutter and ending with a boxcutter because of Gale.
Gale talking Gus into working with Walt.
Skylar conning the locksmith.
The Kenny Rogers t-shirts.
I have no suspicions on where the Hank storyline will go, but knowing the show he'll probably spiral into a deep painkiller addiction or something equally depressing.
I found it amusing that he has some online auction, crystal-buying addiction going on.
the bastard machine write up is as good as it always is:
Breaking Bad wasted little time in its Season 4 premiere reminding everyone of precisely how great it is. But it also clearly and convincingly stated the scales were now tipped inexorably toward bleakness and bad, bad things.
This part can’t possibly be understated. In fact I spent most of my review of the Season 4 premiere getting into just how ballsy creator Vince Gilligan has been from the start and how that loyalty to story will bring Breaking Bad to an end sooner rather than later (he’s now on record as saying five seasons will be it).
By this I mean that Gilligan’s stated attempt to take Mr. Chips and turn him into Scarface is on the fast track, and the Walter White we knew in Season 1 is not even remotely the man we find in Season 4. And this transformation goes beyond wearing a black hat and glasses as Heisenberg.
What “Box Cutter” did was show, starkly, how Walt’s actions – first selfless and now selfish – have destroyed so many people around him. This episode was really where we see just how destructive Jesse’s association with “Mr. White” has been. Never mind nearly getting killed, or getting rid of dead bodies, or losing his girlfriend. We’re in new territory now, as the episode opens up with what we all knew to be true – Jesse, prompted by Walt, rushes over and shoot’s Gale in the face.
What the first three seasons of Breaking Bad did with a wonderfully subtle touch is show, in small instances, that Jesse wasn’t really cut out for the drug game. He was always a kid in over his head. Hooking up – or, rather, being forced to hook up with his former chemistry teacher – is what led to all the trouble. There’s a reason Jesse still calls him “Mr. White.” It’s because Gilligan wanted to remind us that there’s a power/authority gap in their relationship (oh, and it’s also damned funny to hear).
But killing Gale has really put a black cosmic cloud over Jesse and, in turn, changed the dynamic.
Jesse is finally aware the Walt doesn’t really give a damn about him anymore – at least not when it comes to the Big Issue. And the Big Issue is that Jesse’s morality has been stolen and stomped on. It’s not until the end of the episode, sitting in those hilariously awesome Kenny Rogers shirts (Gilligan and his writers have proven especially deft at cutting the dark current of the show with ridiculous humor), that Walt even asks Jesse if he’s OK. Jesse doesn’t respond other than to make hand gestures that say, basically, what the fuck dude, it’s over. I killed him. What do you want me to say about it.
Did you hear how Walt phrased it? “You did the only thing you could.” That’s two you’s, no we’s.
But Jesse gets it more than Walt. Jesse realizes that boundaries have been crossed that can never be uncrossed. He’s so shell-shocked from killing Gale, that he doesn’t say a word for what seems like half the episode. He’s only shocked out of his Gale stupor by witnessing Gus use the box cutter to slash Victor’s throat, with the latter’s blood flying all over Jesse. The kid can’t get away from blood.
Going forward, we’re going to see that Jesse is numb now. He’s numb to it all. He just wants to feel something – something other than death.
A telling moment in the episode came when Jesse, soaking up the fatalistic nature of their arrangement, says to Walt: “We’re all on the same page.” Walt: “And what page is that.” Jesse: “The one that says, if I can’t kill you, you’ll sure as shit wish you were dead.”
No doubt about that. I’ll be back to put some final notes in this post later, including more on the always-relevant Breaking Bad topics of the use of color and sound.
Wow. That's a nice analysis of the series and episode.
Bryan Cranston is on Craig Ferguson on Thursday, as well.
Longest. Week. Ever.
Gus is going down. Not tonight... but soon. And it will be delicious.
I'm pretty sure Mike has turned into my 2nd favorite character after Walt... I really hope they continue to develop him this season.
Mike's not long for this world if that cough was any indication. I doubt he makes it out of the season.
Gonna say it now: Breaking Bad is the best show since The Wire.
yeah, i'd agree with that.
Yeah, I got the same feeling about Mike with his cough.
latest Bastard Machine breakdown is good as always:
Sorry for the late post -- had to fly down to Los Angeles for the beginning of the Death March With Cocktails (aka the Television Critics Association summer press tour).
Isn't it amazing when everyone around him -- particularly Jesse -- seems beaten down by life or the turn of events that took place in "Box Cutter," Walt is still unaware, just shy of blissfully so, of all the danger afoot and angst that abounds? Despite all of his changes since Season 1, there's still a very naive -- dangerously naive -- part of Walt that allows him to think he's a badass now. That ever since he broke bad, no matter how scary and awful things got, he could take care of himself. Here are three examples from this last episode:
1. Only Walt appears to miss the fact that the .38 special, the "Thirty-Eight Snub" of the title, is something that can get him killed instantly. Him buying it is absurd. He's going to try to kill Gus? What level of clulessness must one man attain to get to that point? And as much as he practices -- perhaps he looked fast and rushing long the learning curve to you -- it's unlikely he'll ever get it unholstered.
2. When Walt talks to Mike in the bar, it's like a teenager talking to a con about plans for a big score. The gap between what Walt thinks he can do and what Mike can actually do is immense. The only thing larger? The gulf between what Walt thinks he can do and what Mike knows Walt can't do. So when Mike smacks him -- and it looked like he held back a lot -- Walt curled into a ball like a frightened boy. Like some bully just knocked his glasses off without really trying.
3. When Walt showed up, with the gun, at Gus' house, he exhales a moment to put his badass face on and then slowly puts on the Heisenberg hat and runs his finger along the brim. See, Walt's playing at this tough guy thing. And when he walks toward Gus's house, he gets the call from Mike. Go home, Walter. This is how you speak to a child when their plans seem so ridiculously ill-fated that an adult needs to step in before it ends in tears.
Much has been written about creator Vince Gilligan's go-to phrase describing his intent with Walt -- to turn Mr. Chips into Scarface. And there are so many examples of how this is happening -- from running over rival thugs to avoiding saving Jane's life, etc. I have no doubt that Walt will get there. He's broken bad. He's embraced some dark elements. But I'm not sure that Gilligan will present us with a wholly transformed Walter White. By that I mean, you can break bad but it's not like you can master it. I doubt we'll ever see Walt string together a bunch of those blow-up-Tuco's-clubhouse type moments.
A man like Walt has to be pushed to those extremes. His are always reactions. Any time he tries to think of something on his own, like purchasing and concealing a weapon to kill someone as ruthless as Gus, or to walk toward Gus's house without thinking that Mike will be guarding it, Walt stumbles and looks both pathetic and way out of the arena in which be believes he resides.
To me, the most intriguing part of these early episodes is Walt's indifference to what's going on around him. Namely the impact on Jesse. The numbing down -- and down, and down -- of Jesse that we witnessed last week just took a strange turn this week. He feels nothing. He wants to connect in a way he can't. For the people who believe that Jesse wants to feel numb, rewatch the episode. His psychological disconnect is really taking a toll. He doesn't want this life. He doesn't want to be numb. What he really wants is what he almost got with Jane -- something that approximated a tolearably normal existence with someone who got him, who understood he wasn't the druggy screw-up his parents thought he was....Now Jesse's a killer. In his short life he's already dissolved two human bodies in acid. He's trapped in a "profession" that lost its allure for him a long time ago. What's the upside with being owned by Gus? Staying alive -- if you can call that living.
This is why Jesse wants people around. A guy could go crazy just watching a Roomba. And if you're going to be locked away doing the devil's work, might as well buy some sweet speakera and a sound system to rock your world (and maybe make you feel something).
Here we are four seasons into Breaking Bad and I shouldn't still be amazed at the innovated visuals or perfectly honed sense of sound. These are masters at work, people. Professionals in the industry love what Breaking Bad is doing with its look and feel. High quality artistic achievements tend to garner that respect. So from the Roomba to the throb-out house parties that Jesse puts on to be both not alone and to feel -- excellent across the board.
Anyone who thinks Jesse's going to get better soon better think again.
I had some thoughts on Skyler, but it's late. And her foray into breaking a little more bad is still too early (though I did like that steely look she gave when being rebuffed about the car wash). And for those of you thinking there's a methage (see what I did there) in the madness of Hank looking at minerals, I'm not sure the connection is there. They might be a metaphor for something, but probably not meth. And Marie ... oh, Marie. More in later posts on that B storyline.