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Breaking Bad

Breaking Bad is a drama about Walter White, a chemistry professor who is diagnosed with lung cancer. He enlists the help of his former student Jesse Pinkman to manufacture and sell methamphetamine. AMC 2008-???

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Episode 11 - Abiquiu

22 May 2016

Credit AMC

Synopsis: Jesse is annoyed that Badger and Skinny Pete aren’t selling to their NA group. So he determines to do so himself when he hooks up with new member Andrea. However he feels differently when he meets her son Brock and then is left furious when he discovers that her brother Tomas killed Combo. Meanwhile Hank’s therapy bills are arriving and Skyler wants to make sure that the money she’s using will look clean. She is unimpressed with Saul’s laundering plans and suggests they buy the car wash. Gus invites Walt to dinner to advise him not to make the same mistake twice.

The Good: Jesse hasn’t had much to do this season and suddenly comes a flurry of activity here. His ability to play the ‘Bad Guy’ only lasts as long as he sees Andrea as just another customer. When he meets her son and begins to develop feelings for her his conscience kicks in. That concern we saw at the Spooges (206) for the innocent mattered more to him. His rage over seeing Combo’s killer clearly animated him in a way he hasn’t been for some time. I’m not sure what his next move will be. It was certainly that twisty Coen brothers style storytelling which brings Jesse back into the path of his friends’ death.

Skyler shows her fierce intelligence in dealing with Walt and Saul. As a book keeper she wants to make sure that the money she’s handing over has been legally accounted for. But more than that she wants a story, that like the gambling addiction, she can sell to her friends and family. It’s a concern Walt has given little thought to and of course Saul is worried about controlling the launderer more than what lies must be told. Skyler is now volunteering to be a part of Walt’s whole life including being his wife, at least legally. She’s accepted his money and the comfort he brings to her children and so she wants to make sure that they are fully hidden from the world.

Skinny Pete and Badger’s inability to sell meth to recovering addicts revealed a similar level of morality to Jesse, much to his irritation. They have no desire to see people struggling with pain and in a fun moment both admit to beginning the twelve steps.

The argument between Hank and Marie was sad but understandable. She wants to take him home and care for him while he doesn’t want to be crippled in his domain. He wants to stay in the safety of the hospital until he is whole again.

The Bad: Nothing in particular.

The Unknown: Gus’ dinner invitation fitted with the patient professionalism we’ve seen from him so far. He is as meticulous in the kitchen at home as he is in his chicken restaurants. And he continues to be cordial to Walt while a dark threat hangs silently in the air. His advice to not make the same mistake twice must be directed at Jesse right? Did he overhear something from the lab or notice the missing ounces? Is he telling Walt not to let Jesse do it again or else? It seems like Walt’s fears, expressed last episode, are being realised.

Does Gus have a family that we didn’t see? There were kids toys on the floor and he talked of the “kids” not wanting to eat his favourite dish.

Our teaser showed us Jane taking Jesse to the museum which she told him about last season (209). Her conclusion on the repetitive image of doorways was that the artist was trying to make a feeling last. As the episode unfolded I looked for examples of that with our characters. It seemed to fit Jesse’s desire to recapture the rebellious reasoning for becoming a drug dealer. Something he couldn’t maintain once he met Brock. Gus’ cooking brought him back to childhood, a feeling he wanted to keep. Could it refer in a wider sense to Walt’s decision to keep being Heisenberg?

Best Moment: A really tough choice for once. There were a lot of good moments but nothing stood out. Jesse’s growing fury was probably the most emotive but I don’t know what it means yet. While Hank’s pain and irritation was very understandable.

The Bottom Line: More logical developments but something is being built with relation to Jesse and I don’t know what it is.

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  • Was the opening scene in the waiting room of a doctor's office a silent commentary on the brain-dead human response to a baby who is being circ'd without anesthesia? Because even a dog would have registered that god awful sound and looked worried. It was a testament to the human condition - not knowing and not caring.

    Viewer score: 1 / 100

    Posted by christine, 22/05/2016 2:23pm (3 years ago)

  • This is an impressive episode, connecting Combo's murder to Gus not only makes sense but also makes you remember that no detail is ever forgotten.

    However, and this is not a really a problem but more of a nitpick, having Skyler on board to assist Walt in the drug business is slightly disappointing. For almost three seasons, Skyler stood out from other TV wives in her role as family antagonist to Walt and his secrets. While the writers did a great job at preventing the "wife changes her mind" card for as long as possibly, seeing Skyler take this position does give off a slight cliche vibe.

    On a more bright note, Walt's dinner with Gus is another endlessly watchable example of the perfection that is Gus's professionalism.

    Viewer score: 69 / 100

    Posted by Ben F., 26/06/2013 12:20am (6 years ago)

  • I think Gus's line "Never make the same mistake twice" definitely refers to Jesse. When Gus and Walt first met, Gus refused to work with Walt because Walt had chosen Jesse as his partner. If choosing Jesse as a partner is Walt's mistake then it's a mistake Walt has now made twice. Gus never openly threatens Jesse, but Gus cooking dinner for Walt is a form of seduction. With the meal Gus is saying that if Walt stays in Gus's good graces then Walt will be rich and he will live his final days in luxury. We see Gus attempting the same seduction with Jesse in S4's 'Bug' when Gus decides that Jesse is the cook he wants to keep and Walt is the liability he wants to get rid of. In the same situation, Jesse does a better job of sticking up for his partner and calling out Gus's manipulation, but Walt isn't taken in by Gus's bribery either. Maybe it's Gus who needs to learn not to make the same mistake twice?

    Viewer score: 70 / 100

    Posted by Kelly, 23/06/2013 8:54am (6 years ago)

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