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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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78
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Episode 2 - Caballo Sin Nombre

22 March 2014

Credit AMC

Synopsis: Jesse buys his Aunt’s house from his parents, much to their surprise. Skyler helps Ted cook his books while refusing to see Walt. Walt is pepper sprayed by a police officer after being pulled over for his broken windshield. The brothers visit Tio and then Walt’s house as Mike watches. Mike calls Gus who then calls them off.

The Good: The fallout of the White marriage continues in strong fashion. Walt remains deluded about how easy it will be to win Skyler back. He puts on scent and uses mouth wash, hopelessly unaware how far she has turned from him. She manages to ask Ted the question we’d all like to see her ask Walt (how can you justify your crimes?) and although the answer is the same (that he was trying to provide for his children) there’s a big difference. Ted admits that he hasn’t thought about it and is just scrambling to keep his company together. Whereas Skyler knows that Walt has thought it all through and spent plenty of time working out ways to deceive her.

Walt’s comedic responses to rejection were entertaining (waking up in filth or flinging a pizza on the roof) and for now he’s still refusing to be “the bad guy.” You can see him wrestle with the idea of cooking (when Saul suggests it) but wants his family back too much to contemplate it. His furious reaction to the police officer (who pulled him over for his broken wind shield) seemed equal parts frustration with the divorce and anger that he was being held responsible for something to do with the plane crash. Poor Walter Jr continues to beg for answers and finds none. While Marie is the one who can see it’s not an affair that is behind their breakup.

The brothers reveal themselves to be Tuco’s cousins as they approach Tio for a name to put to Heisenberg’s face. Their silent approach to Walt’s bedroom was not tense but was fascinating nonetheless. It seems that Mike (Saul’s PI) has some connection to Gus who in turn has some control over the brothers.

Jesse’s story is not as easy to follow but very interesting. His decision to buy his Aunt’s house could be taken multiple ways. On a basic level he is reclaiming “his” home and sticking it to his parents that he has the means to do so. He also leverages his own criminal acts (in the basement) to force his parents down to a price he can afford. I’m not clear how emphatic a “screw you” this was meant to be. Does being the “bad guy” mean Jesse plans on being bad or will he use his new base to begin turning his life around?

Hank remains smart when it comes to police work, picking up on the mass murder border crossing as the work of the Cartel. You have to feel bad for Walter Jr as no one will tell him anything. The teddy bear’s eyeball has become a very interesting prop or motif. It survived as a curiosity last episode but now seems to be watching Walt as he stumbles from one incident to another.

The Bad: The brothers’ silent assassination attempt mixed Tarantino with the Cohen brothers in a way which was always going to feel like a shift out of the reality that Breaking Bad established in season’s one and two. However given what we saw of Tuco it’s not that great a stretch. I’m fine with some dramatic exaggeration but as I mentioned above their approach was not tense because Walt is clearly not departing this world any time soon.

The Unknown: A load of questions come tumbling out of this one. Saul’s decision to bug the White house is pretty interesting given that Walt knows nothing about it. It’s yet another unintended consequence of Walt’s criminal deeds. Saul now has a vested interest in Walt staying in business and Skyler keeping quiet. His arrogant speech about blowback (all the legal consequences were Skyler to go to the police) isn’t the comfort Walt was looking for but makes you wonder whether Skyler has considered any of it.

The chain that connects Mike with Gus with the brothers will need to be explained. I wonder when Skyler worked out that the money raised through Walter Jr’s website was not legit?

Best Moment: Probably Jesse’s entry into his old home. It was the moment when I was most engaged as to exactly what was going on in a character’s mind.

The Bottom Line: More solid stuff as Walt and Jesse get used to their new reality. It has become far more complicated and has far more players in it than it did before.

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  • What about the eyeball made White immediately suspicious? One of the brothers replaced it in virtually the same place he found it. Beyond that, it's round and could have rolled elsewhere in White's case had he bumped against it or shifted it.

    Viewer score: 87 / 100

    Posted by Robert, 22/03/2014 3:16pm (6 years ago)

  • Glad you're enjoying it :-)

    Posted by The TV Critic, 26/11/2013 9:35am (6 years ago)

  • I watched episode 1 & 2 of BB some time ago and thought it was rather silly. Now 5 seasons later and with much praise and not much else good to watch I have revisited BB and am now into season 3 watching an episode each day. It is certainly very clever, quite riveting and original.
    This is my first comment as I’ve only just found your website and it’s great having a podcast for each episode.

    Viewer score: 75 / 100

    Posted by Robertinspain, 26/11/2013 8:55am (6 years ago)

  • The re-watching of Breaking Bad is fantastic. . .you'll find and discover so many different things that you may have missed initially. . . I know I sure have. Its why Breaking Bad is the best TV series ever and will be re-watched by many generations.

    One catch that I may have found in this re-watch episode is concerning Walt's tendency to take on characteristics of people he has killed. . .
    . . Krazy 8's cutting of the crust of sandwiches.
    . . taking on the color yellow and physicality of Gustavo. . (at times.)
    . . drinking whiskey on the "rocks" like Mike Ehrmantraut, in stead of "neat".

    The scene where Walt is walking passed the pool to his apartment . .he stops . . hesitates . . then almost obsessively takes the pool skimmer and cleans out a used bandage. This has got to be a call back to the plane crash . . why else would this scene exist.

    Walt's hesitation to clean the pool may be due to his indirectness of causing the plane crash via Jane's death, which he did not directly cause.

    Walt did not kill Jane, he allowed her to die. . .there is a "hesitating" difference. J

    Just some thoughts,


    Jim A

    Viewer score: 85 / 100

    Posted by Jim A, 19/04/2013 10:13am (6 years ago)

  • For episode 302, I give a 79, as for me, this was near-perfect filler. So many little things that I loved, such as Saul cooly turning the tables on the Pinkmans, the "pizza clock" showing the passage of time, and the continued Cold War between Walt and Skyler, to name a few. But my favorite thing about this episode was how perfectly it showcased the shades of grey that are truly the meaning of this show. Breaking Bad, to me, is all about how an individual's chosen perspective contrasts with actual, indisputable fact. Walt embodies this idea, somehow managing to be the protagonist AND the antagonist of this story, depending on the viewer's chosen perspective.
    Also, I did notice the run-together of mine and another's comments last week :) To clarify to Kelly and anyone else, I am not trying to argue against Skyler; rather, I am just trying to point out how people seem to canonize Skyler or hate her venomously. She did not ask for the trouble that Walt stupidly brought to their lives, but also she did not immediately turn him in when she had suspicions confirmed. She has a nice list of lies that could've been brought to Hank's attention, but instead tries to HAVE IT BOTH WAYS. Just like Walt, she knows how it might turn out if they continue to lie, but is convinced that she can handle the situation. We know more than her, so obviously we know that she needs to be worried, but it just kills me that people seem to forget that this is a TV show and that Skyler is being used dramatically to create tension. Why try to force Walt to bend to her will after he admitted to cooking meth, if she knows the level of danger it is bringing, instead of just going to Hank? These are the shades of grey that I mentioned, and they can be applied to every character on the show. Hank is the most heroic character on the show, making only one mistake: seeing Walt through the clouded lens of his emotions, but it is still a mistake and still is leading to trouble. The Cousins, silent serpents, are almost comically portrayed as being bad guys, but from their perspective they are just playing by the rules they were taught: sangre por sangre, blood for blood.

    Viewer score: 79 / 100

    Posted by Matt E., 14/04/2013 6:05pm (7 years ago)

  • I think some of my Skyler comments were wrongly attributed to Matt in the latest podcast. I wanted to add a little more to the Skyler debate. I can understand Skyler not being sympathetic to Walt's "I did it all for my family!" justification. Skyler knows full well that this wasn't a last resort for Walt to get the money he needed. He could have taken the job and money offered by Elliot and Gretchen, never breaking any laws, never putting his family at risk. Drug dealing is a more alarming crime than Marie's shoplifting or Ted cooking the books. Having a DEA agent in the family has made Skyler hyper aware of the dangers of that world. At family dinners they have talked about the drug cartels who litter the desert with human heads. Skyler isn't just being disapproving and judgemental towards Walt. She is terrified by what Walt has been doing. And this episode proves that Skyler's instincts are correct. She was right to want Walt out of the house. Walt being in the house meant there were two axe-wielding killers sitting in the White's bedroom preparing to hack her husband to pieces. If Skyler or Walt jr. had walked in, the Cousins would have murdered them too. How can anyone say Skyler is over-reacting when we get to see this horror that Walt has brought into their lives?

    Jesse's subplot in this episode made me very sad. I know some viewers see Jesse scamming his parents and getting his Aunt's house back as a triumphant moment. But part of me wonders if Jesse might have recovered and turned his life around if his parents had been willing to give him just one more chance. Jesse being rejected by his father even after he got clean just seemed to convince Jesse that he was beyond redemption so he might as well just embrace being the bad guy.

    Viewer score: 66 / 100

    Posted by Kelly, 11/04/2013 11:20am (7 years ago)

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