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Monday, July 30, 2012

Yeah Bitch! Magnets, Oh!- Breaking Bad season 5, episodes 1-3

Breaking Bad season five started three weeks ago and Ern is thrilled, obviously. *Start first person here.* Leeard didn’t catch up in time. While these episodes didn’t blow me away, they are setting up some real shit, I can tell. Plus, this show is pretty consistent. There are few, if any, lemons. The biggest problem for most people with this show is pacing. It’s deliberate, thoughtful, and always starts out slow in the beginning of seasons, ramping up the tension until the finales just make everything explode (often literally). The individual scenes are long, and there will be 30-40 seconds without dialogue. In short, this show takes patience. This isn’t The Vampire Diaries (not to knock the expertly paced TVD. That show is the tits).

Live Free or Die
We start the season a little over a year in the future. Walt coughs and takes pills, showing us that his cancer might be back. He is alone, travelling, on his birthday. The show wants to give us a peek at the direction in which Walter is heading. It’s nowhere good: Walt has an M62 in his trunk. That’s Big Nasty Gun for all of you non-gun nerds. Even worse, Walt has a full beard, and it's nasty. It's not as gross as Jack Shepherd's pube beard at the end of LOST season three, but it's close. Bright side? Walt has hair on his head. The show cuts right back to where last season ended, and Walt informs Skyler that he “won.” Now Skyler is really scared of her husband. The show hammers that point home by having her tell Walter that she is scared of him. Oh, Breaking Bad, your heavy-handedness is your Achilles heel, even to the critics sucking your meth-filled chode. But I forgive the show, since it is awesome.

The rest of the episode focuses on Walt, Jesse, and Mike teaming up to get Gus Fring’s laptop back from the police evidence storage room. Remember the camera watching them cook? Well, all of the footage went to that laptop. Jesse has the idea of the night: Magnets. So the three new amigos get this giant magnet and use it to destroy the laptop from outside the police station. That scene was great. I don’t even know how to describe it. It was just a lot of fun. If you are wondering how the Mike-Walter reunion went, you must know that they still hate each other. Mike almost shot Walt, but Jesse stepped in front of the gun, convincing Mike to hear Walt out. Heartbreaking. Walt is so nasty, even Saul tries to quit working for him. Walt walks up to him, menacingly though, and Saul cracks.

Possibly my favorite moment of the night (because I’m a horrible person) was seeing that Ted Beneke was alive. “WHAT?!!” you say. “But Ern, you hate Ted, as does every other Breaking Bad fan.” Yes, yes, this is so. But Ted’s current position is delicious. He looks like freaking Voldemort. He is sitting stiff in a hospital bed, head-shaved, with his entire torso in this giant halo/collar device. He looks like he won’t be able to talk, but he can. He’s terrified of Skyler and promises that he won’t say a word about his “accident” and that he will stay on her good side from now on. Skyler says, “Good.” Good on you, Skyler. Damn, it feels good to be a gangster, right? Admit it, fans. Death was too good and easy for Ted. And that's why you should always pay your taxes.
Episode grade: B+

An opening scene COMPLETELY IN GERMAN? Is this show trying to get me from “going steady” to “married to it.” Because I DO. I love German. Walt wants to get back into business. He easily enlists Jesse. Jesse begins the episode freaking out that he still can’t find the Ricin cigarette. He’s terrified someone (maybe a kid) will find it, smoke it, and die. Jesse, I just want to hug you, take you home, feed you sandwiches, and tell you to forgive yourself for your entire life. No one on this show has that kind of conscience. Jesse knows that cigarette was his responsibility. Walt plants the cigarette in Jesse’s house so that they can find it together. Upon finding it, Jesse breaks down, crying and apologizing to Walter for not trusting him last season. Walter’s pants do not catch on fire nor does God strike him dead.

Walt tries to get Mike to team up with him, for business, and Mike tells Walt to go pound sand. The DEA is grabbing all Gus Fring’s people, who are paid not to talk. However, Lydia, one of Gus’s people, is freaking out that they might. She calls Mike and basically asks Mike to kill his men who could take her down. Mike is like, “Lady, you’ve been watching too much TV.” So this crazy ho decides to kill the 11 guys herself. Mike goes to Lydia’s house to kill her. This woman is blue-blooded, white, smart, rich, and a mother. She has this huge, beautiful house, a Latina maid, and a very little girl named Kaylee. Mike spares Lydia in exchange for an ingredient Walt needs to start cooking again. You see, Mike has a granddaughter he cares about. He needs to provide for her. In other news (okay, this isn’t really news) Mike is a stone-cold bad ass when being questioned by the police.
Episode grade: B

Hazard Pay
Landry from Friday Night Lights appears. Ugh. I never liked him on FNL. Mostly because he isn’t good-looking. This show is in desperate need of a hot guy. It’s a testament to how good Breaking Bad is that I even continue to watch it, despite the lack of hotness. My sister would say, “Ahh, but Walt Jr. is pretty cute.” Flynn? I’m sorry, but if this is true, I’m having trouble seeing it past the sheer annoyance, obliviousness, and uselessness that is Walt’s son. I’ve been awaiting his death since season one.

The slow, but necessary, part of the night was Mike, Walt, and Jesse finding a place to cook. The do, it’s clever, and now that’s done with. When Mike takes too big of a cut to pay his loyal men, Walt considers getting rid of Mike. He eerily mentions the way Gus got rid of Victor. Please. Walt would poison Mike or bomb him (since he probably can’t send Jesse to shoot him like with Gale). Walt is like a cowardly snake in the grass. He won’t physically get his hands dirty. That reminds me of Hitler, who I heard turned away from concentration camps whenever he passed them in a vehicle. Jesse ends things with Andrea because he knows that he can’t be honest with her about everything in his life.

Marie has lunch with Skyler. Skyler ends up yelling, “I CAN’T BELIEVE YOU DON’T SHUT UP! SHUT UP SHUT UP SHUT UP.” Well, can’t say I blame her. I like Marie about as much as I like Walt Jr. Marie takes Skyler home and questions Walt about Skyler’s life stress. Walt blames the meltdown on Ted Beneke, solemnly informing Marie that Skyler cheated on him. Then Walt proceeds to watch Scarface with Flynn while Skyler naps. Skyler comes out of her room just in time to see Walt laughing at a violent scene. Walt ominously notes that everyone dies in the movie. Skyler is losing it. My cousin texted me last night: “I’d feel a heck of a lot more sorry for Skyler if she hadn’t been such a massive skank for the last four seasons.” Preach.

Episode grade: B

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