Wednesday, September 21, 2011

AMC's Breaking Bad - 'Salud'

This season is really expanding the universe. We earlier got to see more of Gus's backstory, and now we see him, Mike and Jesse flying to Mexico to face the Cartel, the giant organization that Gus cannot defeat. Or can he? This episode was full of tension, and as much as I love Aaron Paul's work this year as Jesse, I'm falling in love with the calculating, menacing Gus as played by Giancarlo Esposito.

So Jesse flies down south to teach the Cartel how to cook the crystal blue. Jesse's been helping Walter long enough that he should know how to do it by himself. When the Cartel's cook find out he's not even a chemist, I like how Jesse shifted into cocky bad-guy mode, confidently staring the guy down and telling him how it's done. And the shot of Gus's ever-so-subtle proud smile was priceless.

Yes, but what about Walter? He's recovering from the beating he got from Jesse, and Walter Jr. shows up, worried. Here we see Walter break down and apologize for everything, even if the "everything" is his "gambling." But the next morning, Walter hardens up, puts on the Heisenberg mask, and relates to Junior how he does not want to be remembered as weak. Junior however points out that it had been the first time in a year he'd felt real.

Will Walter take the lesson? Even in the first season, if there's one thing Walter had, it was pride. He may have been a mild-mannered chemistry teacher, but he was offended at the thought of taking money from his rich friend to pay for his medical bills. He'd rather cook meth, make a ton of money, and provide that way. Now that Walter's cancer is in remission, does it slow him down? Will he realize his family is the most important thing to him, or will he realize his family is not the most important thing to him? He's resigned to staying separated from Skyler; his double-life is easier to live when she has no idea when he is or isn't home. But where is he on his kids?

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