Oh Breaking Bad, where will you take us this week?
Last week you left us off in quite a terror. Walt, having completely lost all clarity and control over his id, threatened his wife's life, stole his baby only to then leave her at a fire department and finally called Saul's "guy" who makes people disappear. But can Walt really ever disappear or has he disappeared already?
As the second to last episode of Breaking Bad ever opens, Saul has also resigned himself to fleeing the coop. He and Walt, now bunk buddies, have a little disagreement over what's next. Apparently, last week's hellfire and brimstone rant was all a ploy for the cops. I guess I believe it, but it didn't occur to me at the time, I will fully admit. Saul suggests Walt turn himself in, running will only put his wife and kids in a worse situation. This way, at the very lest, Skyler may get away scot-free with the something of a normal life - if that is at all possible. But Walt won't budge. Nazi Uncle Jack needs to go and the seven barrels of money must be returned to their proper owner. It's not over, says Walt, just as he falls down in a coughing fit. Or is it over?
Skyler, oh poor Skyler (or not so much because Anna Gunn won an Emmy for Best Supporting Actress). She has become the most complex characters on the show, love her or hate her. She has been put through the ringer, rung out, air-dried and then dumped back in a hot vat of liquid. It's not all that fair. Every action that she has taken, every decision she has made has been the wrong one, but what else was she supposed to do? Now, threatened by both the police for not knowing enough and Todd et al. for knowing too much, her options are limited to basically none. Of course she's started smoking again, wouldn't you?
In terms of character turns and developments, Todd, who was never what you might call "working with a full deck," has become the most diabolical of them all. Torturing Jesse physically and emotionally, threatening Skyler, and what is his deal with Lydia? Of all the twisted characters in this show, he has absolutely no redeeming qualities. Even if he did bring Jesse some ice cream, he also killed his ex-girlfriend.
Walt on the other hand, and the other side of the country, has to get used to a new kind of evil - the cold weather of New Hampshire. It's a nice change of pace from the dry heat of New Mexico and, as usual, Vince Gilligan and the show's cinematographers have found beauty somewhere in the middle of death.
Holed up in the middle of nowhere, Walt's only comfort is a monthly visit from Saul's guy, now unofficially Walt's guy, who brings him food, chemo and company. But Walt's time is short; he tells the guy that one day he will come and find Walt's dead body. We know that this isn't going to happen because we've seen the future. Walt has finally found himself at the beginning of the end (of his life, yo!).
But first, while Walt's down, why doesn't the entire planet, Walt Jr. included, come over and kick him a few 100 times with some steel-toed shoes. As the 75-minute episode closes, the once mighty Heisenberg gets smacked harder than any murder, meth, and psychological cruelty he may have inflicted over the years; he gets straight-up dissed by the couple who started this entire mess, his old partners the Schwartzs of Grey Matter Technologies. He gets told that he never mattered to their success. And right at that moment, it's apparent that Vince Gilligan isn't just a mastermind of television creation, he is a genius. Everything, everything is coming together and sadly, this is also just when it's about to end.
I'm debating not watching next week because of fear that my brain might implode.