OTC: Breaking Bad Opens Final Season With Series’ Best Episode / Tread Lightly

“I was seriously worried tonight wouldn’t live up to the hype. I’m stupid.”
Dan Wolken, @DanWolken, after viewing the long-awaited first of the last eight episodes of Breaking Bad, Twitter
GH: Few television series have been as consistently entertaining as Vince Gilligan’s Breaking Bad. We all have our favorites. The Wire, The Sopranos, St. Elsewhere, all have delivered great writing brought to life by incredible actors who make us care about their characters. This episode, Blood Money, was as good as it gets…with a final ten minutes that removed all pretense of Walt and Hank not knowing what the other was up to. Seven more to go? Bring it, bitch!

“Hello, Carol.”
Walter White, to the White’s neighbor Carol, after he returned to his abandoned suburban home after he had been publicly outed as Heisenberg, Breaking Bad
GH: I sat on our coach and howled with laughter as on-the-run Walter acknowledged his neighbor as she stood in her driveway and dropped her groceries at the sight of Heisenberg. My wife turned to me and asked, “Why is that funny?” Men are from Mars and women sure as hell don’t speak Martian.

“I was just wondering, who washes a rental car?”
Skyler White, after Lydia Rodarte-Quayle, the Madrigal logistics head, stops by the car wash to try and pressure Walt to return to the Meth making business, Breaking Bad
GH: So we are to now believe that Skylar’s detective skills have now been honed to sniff out the likes of Lydia? I didn’t buy this jump in logic. I’ve washed a rental car before. Some people just like to have things in order…and if you check out Lydia’s flawless make-up, meticulously matching outfits and her anal-retentiveness – she definitely fits that persona. Remember how she pleaded with Mike not to shoot her in the face? Lydia can’t stand messy.

“So you’re telling me that every time (Captain) Kirk went into the transport room he was killing himself? So there’s like 147 Kirks?”
Skinny Pete, while he is listening to Badger talk about his yet-to-be-written Star Trek episode, Breaking Bad
GH: Out of all the hundreds of people who have been killed in the almost five full seasons of Breaking Bad, I find it fascinating (and very entertaining) that Skinny Pete and his buddy Badger remain not only alive but still contributing to the storyline. To find out that these two are Trekkies was not a surprise. To find out that Badger’s idea for a pie-eating contest on the original Star Trek episode was actually good was shocking.

“Scotty beams (Chekov’s) guts into space!”
Badger, Breaking Bad
GH: All because of Ohura’s “big pointies.”

“Theoretically, Scotty could compare the pre-contest Chekov pattern with the ‘new’ Chekov and remove any foreign contaminants from the transporter stream, much the way it would filter out any dangerous new micro-organisms or parasites. However, that depends on him continuously scrambling and dematerializing all of Chekov and not just beaming the pie from his gullet into space.”
John Van Citters, Star Trek’s resident fact checker, when asked to validate or dispute the possibility of Badger’s premise being plausible on Star Trek, Vulture.com
GH: I found this on the Internet while googling Bader and Star Trek. Is this a great country or what?

“Barn door open.”
Saul’s masseuse, Breaking Bad
GH: Saul is close to my favorite not-ready-for-prime-time character on Breaking Bad. He’s smarter than his strip-mall office would lead you to believe. He has multiple plans for every dilemma. And he oozes sleaze with every scene. If I had to bet on what character is still alive at the end, Saul would be atop my short list. Along with Badger and Skinny Pete.

“Like you said, it’s blood money.”
Jesse Pinkman, as Walter questions why he wants to give his $5 million to Mike’s nice and the family of Spider Boy, Breaking Bad
GH: Jesse is imploding before our eyes. He has the one thing that Walter does not – a conscience. While the lack of a conscience allows Walter to revel in his Heisenberg self, Jesse’s conscience has him deteriorating into a recluse who is so distraught by his actions he spent the night chucking $5 million at homes from my old neighborhood. Jesse looks like he might not last until episode eight…or even three.

“There’s nothing for us to do except try to live ordinary decent lives.”
Walter, to Jesse, as he tried to talk his former partner into keeping the money, Breaking Bad
GH: You have to love the writing in BB. Walter really believes he can go from Heisenberg to repositioning the pine-scented air fresheners at the car wash without a single repercussion. Jesse…not so much.

“Like you said, (Mike’s) alive.”
Jesse, to Walter, Breaking Bad
GH: All along Jesse has been the gullible student to Mr. White’s year-long tale of lies (even believing Walter when he swore he had nothing to do with poisoning Andrea’s son, Brock Cantillo, with Lily of the Valley berries). But Jesse now appears to understand just who and what Walter is. Can Walter get Jesse back in the fold? He has every other time. I expect Jesse to fall in line once again – or die resisting.

“You don’t think Junior…?”
Walter, asking Skylar if she thinks Flynn took Walt’s Leaves of Grass book from the bathroom, Breaking Bad
“You’re kidding, right?”
Skylar, in response to Walt, Breaking Bad
GH: This was another too-quick-leap for me in the storyline. Does Walter really keep that good of inventory on the reading material in his crapper? And who has a book of Walt Whitman poems – especially one autographed by a guy you had killed – in the shitter? This just fell into place way, way too easy for Walt.

“What’s wrong with Hank?”
Walter, to Skylar, as he starts to realize it may be Hank who has his book, Breaking Bad
GH: When it was revealed to us that Hank realized Walt was Heisenberg, season 5A ended with a cliffhanger to end all cliffhangers. When Walt realized Hank was on to him, it happened in his bedroom as Skylar lay next to him. This is the jumping off point for the next seven episodes.

“Here, take it. Take it.”
Jesse, as he hands a homeless dude a stack of blood money, Breaking Band
GH: For a brief moment I thought the homeless dude was going to pass on taking the money from Jesse. Talk about a leap in reality…

“I better get back to it.”
Walter, as he tries to hurry Lydia away from the counter at the car wash, Breaking Bad
GH: Again, just deliciously worded double-entendre dialogue that makes you want to savor each sentence of this show.

“It was you! It was you all along! You son of a bitch!”
Hank, to Walter in the garage, as he clocks Walt with a hard right hand to the face, Breaking Bad
GH: Hank is just brilliant in this episode. When he first walks through the White’s sliding glass door he gives Walter repeated looks of utter disgust that look as real as anything on this show. His wordless facial contortions in his SUV as he drives away from the White’s home and eventually crashes into a yard, are Oscar worthy. But Hank’s scene with Walter in the garage is simply epic television. Read on.

“You lying two-faced sack of shit!”
Hank, to Walter in the garage, Breaking Bad
GH: I have been imagining all the pieces that have been falling into place for Hank as he sat glued to that toilet the past few months. All the things that Walter must have done to continue this charade and play him as the dupe. Hank let it all out here in his garage.

“I swear to Christ I will put you under the jail!”
Hank, to Walter in the garage, Breaking Bad
GH: I had to replay Hank’s dialogue a number of times to hear exactly what he was saying to Walter. He was that emotional. That enraged. That good.

“Rot you son of a bitch! … I don’t give a shit about family.”
Hank, to Walter, after Walter informs him his cancer is back, Breaking Bad
GH: The spit flew from Hank’s lips onto Walt as he spat out his lines.

“I am a dying man who runs a car wash. My right hand to God! That’s all I am.”
Walter, denying it all to Hank, Breaking Bad
GH: Walter is just the epicenter of denial. Even when caught as guilty as Hank has him, he tries to calmly work Hank – just as he has so successfully worked Jesse and Skylar. Hank ain’t buying, though.

“I don’t even know who you are. I don’t know who I’m talking to.”
Hank, to Walter, Breaking Bad
GH: These words are almost inaudible. Hank’s eyes and voice are trying to determine just what this hideous form of life is before them.

“If you don’t know who I am, maybe your best course would be to tread lightly.”
Heisenberg, to Hank, Breaking Bad
GH: Walter immediately and seamlessly changes from the denying Walter to the intimidating Heisenberg – a role that Walter has come to relish as the former high school chemistry teacher fades from memory. This line, more than any other line, is the one that viewers repeated, retweeted and remembered as the opening episode came to a crashing and spectacular close.

“I still want Walt to get away with it. He kind of represents something in all of us that’s animal and greedy.”
Julie Bowen, star of Modern Family, Talking Bad
GH: I too am still on Team Walt. I’m guessing his neighbor Carol is not with me.

and Twitter / @greghall24

About Greg Hall

Software guy who has been writing my Off The Couch column in KC newspapers, publications and websites since 1994. Has been bounced from some of the finest media establishments this side of State Line Road. Dad first and everything else second...and there are a lot of everything elses.
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16 Responses to OTC: Breaking Bad Opens Final Season With Series’ Best Episode / Tread Lightly

  1. Renton says:

    Saul may get his own spinoff after Breaking Bad ends, so he’s likely to be standing when it’s all over.

    • JimmyD says:

      I’ve read where the Saul spinoff may be a prequel focusing on his time with Gus. Vince Gillian has said he’d love to work with Gus again. Bob Odenkirk is fantastic in everything he has done. Mr Show with Bob and Dave is classic tv that was way ahead of its time. Future Walt has the ricin and an M60…can’t wait for the blaze of glory!

  2. hammy says:

    who keeps a book of poems signed by a guy you had killed? Probably a really arrogant guy, full of hubris. Probably…Walter White.

  3. Gavin says:

    If you can accept that Lydia is tidy enough to wash a rental car (and, not for nothing, but she did NOT wash that car because she is tidy; she washed it so she could talk to Walt. Just sayin’.), then you shouuld be able to accept that an intellect like Walt can put two and two together when: a) Hank goes to Walt’s bathroom; b) Hank emerges from bathroom very “unwell”; c) Walt find the book missing from his bathroom; and d) Hank hasn’t been at work lately because he was still “unwell” after the barbecue at Walt’s.

    Did Walt absolutely know that Hank knew? Meh. Maybe. But he clearly had a finely enough attuned Spidey Sense to know that he should at least go to Hank’s and see how he was doing and whether he’d gotten into some bad potato salad.

  4. Aaron says:

    I think Jesse actually said “Like you said, it’s blood money”

  5. Cardinal Ry says:

    Here’s my burning question? Who takes a dump in their in-laws master shitter? That’s kind of arrogant isn’t it? If I caught my brother-in-law dropping a deuce in my hall of solitude, I grab my box cutter and go all Gus on his ass!

    • Hot Carl says:

      Seriously? I shit in my brother’s master can just to piss him off!

      • Renton says:

        If you’re at a family party and you know you’re going to foul the air, you might be inclined to seek the throne that Skyler and the others might be less likely to immediately use

  6. Joe says:

    “Here, take it. Take it.”
    Jesse, as he hands a homeless dude a stack of blood money, Breaking Band
    GH: For a brief moment I thought the homeless dude was going to pass on taking the money from Jesse. Talk about a leap in reality…

    I thought the homeless guy was going to refuse the money too. It would have been a good twist – just reinforcing (to Jesse) that the blood money is tainted, cursed, and worthless – even a homeless guy doesn’t want to touch it.

  7. Herb says:

    Walt kept the book because it was a trophy. Don’t you watch Dexter?!??

  8. BS says:

    Walt has faked his death; that’s why Carol reacts the way she does. My best guess for what the next 3 months has in store for us.

    • Slim says:

      Carol reacts much more like she’s seeing a monster than a ghost…I think something terrible happens(d) at that house

  9. Slim says:

    You left out Saul’s best line…’that whole business in the jails, I mean, when they start to whack the lawyers…that’s where I draw the line’

  10. Pingback: OTC: Breaking Bad “Buried” / The Monkey’s In The Banana Patch & Skyler And Jesse’s Aren’t Talking | GregHallKC

  11. Brummy says:

    I’ve been holding off on reading this page bc I was waiting for my son to catch up with me. It’s been very hard not to watch the new episodes…and very hard not to read this page and the last one. Both have been worth the wait.

    Bob Odenkirk (Saul) was brilliant in the Office too. He brought what was missing after Steve Carell left. I know they didn’t want another manager just like M. Scott, but Odenkirk made the show funny again, temporarily.

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