I don’t know if you’ve heard, but Breaking Bad was on last night.

NOTE: Spoilers Below

You’ll mock, and I certainly understand, but I was looking forward to last night’s new episode of Breaking Bad like I used to look forward to Christmas when I was a wee little tot. Which, to clarify, means that I’ve been anxiously counting down the months, then days, then hours, and then FINALLY minutes until the episode premiered last night. Sure it’s sad, but everybody has a quirk or two. When I saw the flash forward before the credits ran, I didn’t really hold out hope that we’d see Hank come out of the room-where-privacy-is-essential with his whodunit knowledge all freshly acquired, so when the episode started with just that scene I was very surprised and appreciative. And watching him study Walt with that look of hatred+revulsion+shock+betrayal while quickly collecting Marie and getting out of there was fascinating, although I found myself hoping he wouldn’t give himself away to Walt. I was certain that we were in for a cat and mouse game, and I didn’t want Hank to show his hand to Walt too quickly.

How wrong I was! I certainly didn’t expect to see in the same episode the acknowledgement that Walt is Heisenberg and the ensuing confrontation between Hank and Walt. For that alone, I think Vince Gilligan deserves my undying admiration. The expected approach would be to play the cat and mouse game between Hank and Walt to take us through to the penultimate episode and then use the final episode to finish the series. It would be the easier route to take from a storytelling perspective. So, instead, Vince Gilligan decides to give the viewers the confrontation they’ve been looking forward to since Hank took his seat on the throne and saw Gale’s inscription to Walt. And the scene was just as thrilling as we could have hoped for. Hank got a nice punch in. Walt got to deliver one of his trademark Heisenberg lines, and the whole scene had such a wonderful tension to it. I can’t wait to see where we are going next. “Tread lightly.” Indeed!

Notes:

  • Good job on the smoking, Skyler. Walt’s cancer is back.
  • Jesse knows Walt killed Mike. I found it interesting that Walt wanted Jesse to say he believed Walt’s assertion that he hadn’t killed Mike/Mike was still alive. He really pushed hard on that with Jesse, and I felt like that made the whole thing so much worse. It seemed as if he wanted Jesse to betray Mike while reinstating his allegiance to Walt. Yet, it was lost on Walt that Jesse was merely repeating the words Walt wanted to hear.
  • My favorite character, Jesse, remains the most tortured. In Walt, he certainly couldn’t have found a more destructive father figure, and Walt killed his positive father figure.
  • Hank’s face as Walt drives up before the big confrontation scene at the end is so much fun. He’s clearly torn between being truly frightened and yet relishing the chance to tear Walt apart limb by limb. I think it’s fair to say that you can’t denigrate the acting on this show.

I’m grieving the loss of the show already.

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