Breaking Bad: Live Free or Die
Taking a closer look at the Season 5 Premiere of Breaking Bad
“I can foresee a lot of possible outcomes … not one of them involves Miller Time”. We are in for a wild finish if the long-awaited premiere of the final season of Breaking Bad is any indication. The powerful image of two cars seemingly on a collision course is still resonating with me. In a game of chicken, someone has to yield or there will be a disastrous consequence. In this case, it appears Walter did not yield and Mike swerved to the side in a cloud of desert dust.
On Breaking Bad, every image and story thread is well thought out. Nothing is left unaccounted for which brings us to the video cameras that Gus placed in the lab. I absolutely enjoyed every moment in the planning and destruction of the laptop in the evidence vault. Here are some of my other reactions after watching this episode:
• The Future Imperfect – We first see Walter in thick rim glasses and a dark beard arranging his bacon in what appears to be the Omega symbol which could have several different interpretations. One signifying the beginning of the end or perhaps the demise of Walter White who has taken on the identity of Mr. Lambert of New Hampshire, for which the episode title is taken from this U.S. state’s motto. The two narratives, present day and future, can inform each other and play off of our expectations; building on tension, mystery and possibly misdirection. Why is Walter in disguise as a man from New Hampshire? Is he on the run or on the hunt? What’s the reference to the instruction manual about?
• Skylar’s Breaking Bad – When Walt Jr. tells his mom “You didn’t tell him about Mr. Fring?”, Skylar nonchalantly replies “He knows“. More importantly she knows her husband’s true criminal nature: pathological liar, meth-cook and murderer. Skylar’s admittedly scared of what Walt has become but how self-aware is she of the path she has chosen? Skylar is no longer an innocent bystander or victim of circumstance. She has had previous opportunities to turn Walt in or walk away from him forever. But she choose to launder drug money through the car wash and lied to her sister and Hank. She also hired Saul’s thugs to force Ted to write a cheque but he accidentally trips and breaks his neck. Ted is fearful for his family because he believes Skylar is capable of extreme action. She does feel remorse for happened to Ted. Will this force Skylar into evaluating and taking responsiblity for her choices? What will her actions be when the possible outcomes are no longer for the benefit of her family but to serve her own desires?
• All Hail The King – “We’re done when I say we’re done.” “I won”. “Because I say so”. These are all words from a megalomaniac. For a man that has defeated death (ie. terminal lung cancer), continually escaped the law and is responsible for many deaths including Gus and indirectly Gale, he can’t help but to feel like a demigod. Even Jesse believes in the genius of Walter; telling Mike to give Walter a chance because if there’s anyone that can destroy the laptop secured in the vault it’s Mr. White. Jesse underestimates himself because he’s the one that actually comes up with the idea to use magnets. (His sound-effect explanation on how the magnets work is hilarious!) By engaging in a crime to cover up a previous crime, Walter inadvertently and unknowingly uncovers a piece of information for the police. Can’t wait to see where this leads. In the final scene, Walter tells Skylar he forgives her. This surprises and confuses her because Walter has always tried to justify his actions but never asked to be forgiven. She’s not asking for to be forgiven either.
• Dialogue To Die For
Mike: “You know how they say it’s been a pleasure. Well it hasn’t.”
Mike (palm open): “Keys scumbag. It’s the universal symbol for keys.”
Mike: “I can fore see a lot of possible outcomes for this thing. And not one of them involves Miller Time.” (Did you notice all the Miller 64 commercials?)
Watch Inside Episode 501 Breaking Bad: