Monday, July 16, 2012

Breaking Down: Breaking Bad - Season Five, Episode One

Meet Walter White, he has a full head of hair, but this is not the same guy we saw in the very first episode. Walt is now operating under a false identity and buying weapons at a Denny's in preparation for Armageddon, but then again, what's new? The episode "Live Free or Die" follows Walt's transgressions as a mad man, Mike jumps back on board, and a plan is hatched to magnetize their problems away. 

There must always be a Stark in Winterfell.
Stan Earnest: The first thing we see is Walt looking like reheated spinach exchanging pleasures with the same guy that sold him the .38 snub. What kind of gun did he buy this time? And is Walt's new mission to end Judgment Day before this season is over?

Craig Scholes: I have no idea, apparently I haven't watched enough Sons of Guns to be up on my fully automatic assault rifles. If I had to guess, I'd say something like an AR-15, but don't hold me to that.

SE: I don't think I will hold you to that because it looked pretty powerful, and he had quite a few rounds. Definitely looks like we could have a Scarface ending.

CS: Thanks to some clever Google work and DVR-manship, I have deduced it is a M6 Assault Rifle. I don't know what Walt is going to do with this gun, but I imagine it will end horribly for him in epic fashion.

SE: Well done, Matlock! I will say, you also called Walt having full-blown cancer again.

CS: It's always seemed to me that for Walt to be truly carefree he would have to be dying. The ability to live with regret would really alter his decision making. Of course, you nailed Beneke still being alive.

SE: I have figured out what the weaponry is for: I am finally going to get the showdown I asked for between Beneke and Walt, because they are clearly rebuilding Beneke RoboCop style.

CS: Your RoboCop reference is way better than my Max Headroom reference. Clearly Saul's A-Team is pretty much a D-Team.

SE: This whole episode feels like another homage to Pulp Fiction like the beginning of Season Four, from the breakfast scene (how much does Denny's pay for advertising, or do they even want that kind of advertising) to the way the night shots in the car were filmed like sequences of Mia driving, which makes it fitting that Mike the Cleaner is the star of this one.

It's the one that says "Aztech Messiah" on it.
CS: I would imagine Denny's paid about as much as Dell paid. I also got the Pulp Fiction vibe in the Denny's. If only Walt's billfold said Bad Mother Fucker on it when he left the tip.

SE: What would Walt's wallet say if it was personalized? Like if it were a gift from Junior?

CS: I dunno, probably something incredibly lame; I'd go with Aztek Messiah

SE: And thus a new rock band name was born. Mike has so many great lines in this one; I can't pick a favorite, but, "Keys, scumbag, it's the international sign for keys" was pretty stout.

CS: That line did get a pretty hearty chuckle out of me. His hatred for Walt is pretty evident.

SE: Mike really deserves his own spinoff show.

CS: I wanna see the buddy comedy spinoff of Mike and Saul.

SE: He does have some balls to question Walt's magnet plan and then go in full-bore without a mask on. I laughed when he asked if they were going to drop out of the sky, and I was thinking, "Well, they did it before wearing snow masks with the little yarn balls on top."

Did you notice Skyler's tone with Beneke went from sad and horrifying to very relieved and bossy when she realized he hadn't talked? She clearly enjoys power, even if she doesn't realize it. I really hope she isn't scared all season long.

CS: I don't know what to think about Skyler. I do know that she isn't aging very well. She is probably my least favorite character on the show, and if she isn't it’s Walter Jr.

SE: Ah, the inevitable Skyler hate has its grips on you. I have no clue what direction her character is going to go.

So, Jesse has a hard time getting his thoughts out, so he plays charades with Mike and Walt. Magnets, yo.

CS: Right, that seemed the obvious answer to me; I'm disappointed that Walt didn't have the idea first. When they first brought up the laptop, I thought they were going to walk into Gus's office with a big magnet on a handle, stick it to the laptop, and leave.

S'all good, man.
SE: Walt was clearly too busy orchestrating his master poisoning plan to worry about the cameras. And I totally called Huell lifting the cigarette; we even got a Saul joke out of it.

CS: I'm surprised a man with such sausage fingers would be such an adept pickpocket.

SE: I like that Mike has clearly underestimated Team Walt/Jesse again and wanted to bail first thing after aligning with them. That discussion made the whole episode for me. It is so dark and so funny that they have to have that conversation.

CS: I find it hilarious how many phones Mike burns through.

SE: Yes, and again they are snapping flip phones in half again! What year are we in on this show? High comedy, the show hasn't lost its touch. I love that Walt really is over the top now. I think he blasted the magnets just for fun. He probably even knew the truck would tip.

CS: 42 car batteries ain't cheap either, but the coyness of Walt takes over, "21 batteries in series works great, lets run 21 more in parallel and fuck shit up."

SE: "Yes, Mr. White let's do this bitch." I don't think we got a "bitch" in this episode, but we got a "Mr. White," so that was fun. And Walt had to ask for money. Now that is a level of comedy I didn't think was attainable. Jesse is clearly enjoying his role as full-blown sidekick.

CS: Definitely. Jesse has demonstrated that he isn't a complete loser and is finally being treated accordingly.

SE: One of the main reasons I love this show I have explained before: it is meticulous and doesn't brain you with explanations of presupposition. I love that Walt has solved a problem and at the same time opened up another. Gus's fortune will now likely be seized by the feds. That was a bank account number to the Cayman Islands, right?

CS: I was going to ask you what it was. I didn't get a good look at it, but that seems like a weird place to keep a bank account number.

SE: Well, maybe it was an account for his boyfriend Max's family, because it was in a picture of Max and him. All I saw was "Cayman" and made some deductions. Vince Gilligan is a tricky bastard; I am really itching to know who Walt is going after. That was one hell of a tease in the opener.

CS: I have a suspicion that whoever Walt is either going after or protecting himself from hasn't been introduced yet.

SE: And them bastards at AMC, tricking me into watching some more of their programming by putting the preview of the next episode of Breaking Bad in the commercial break after the beginning of Small Town Security. Do you remember when Comedy Central first started and all their commercials were for Comedy Central shows? I always wondered how they made money that way. Now AMC has previews to their previews. "Coming up next, the preview that will tell you when to watch the preview of the preview, right after the first 20 minutes of some show you hadn't planned on watching."

CS: How many people do you think watched that horrible Small Town Security show for the Breaking Bad preview and The Walking Dead trailer? I was going to stick through it long enough to see The Walking Dead trailer, but I couldn't do it. I'll just wait for it to be on the webbernets Monday.

SE: Reason #2,098,309,737 the internet was invented. So, any predictions going forward?

CS: My prediction for next week: someone eats breakfast, and we are teased with something ominous without a clue what it is.

SE: Sounds reasonable, as long as Mike says "scumbag" again. I'm hoping Ron Swanson makes a guest appearance in the background with a plate full of bacon. He probably wouldn't draw his age with it, but I wouldn't put it past him to make pornographic images with bacon somehow. This episode definitely didn't toy with its food. It got right to it. Mike is on board, and Walt is back to destroying everything in his path. I am anxious to see where they start cooking again and if Walt changes his formula.

CS: Duke Silver would never reveal his age.

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