The Telefile

Breaking Bad: Our Weekly 8 for 8

by Ethan Alter August 26, 2013 11:43 am
<i>Breaking Bad</i>: Our Weekly 8 for 8

Thanks to the third episode in Breaking Bad's final season, we now know never to ask Walter White to videotape a special greeting for birthdays, holidays and/or Bar Mitzvahs. We highlight that standout moment -- and seven more -- from "Confessions."

8. Stories Todd Tells
If we had participated in a train robbery as bold, improbable and altogether awesome as the one Walt, Jesse and Todd executed in the first half of Season 5, we'd be bragging about it for the rest of our days, too. Hearing Todd repeat every little beat of that heist to Uncle Jack and Kenny (Jesse Plemons' fellow Friday Night Lights vet, and impressive mustache-grower, Kevin Rankin) made us feel like we were back aboard that locomotive with the gang and enjoying that moment of triumph before Todd went and spoiled it all by shooting that innocent kid. (Notice he left that detail out of his recap. His uncle may not have busted out the Burt Reynolds comparison had he known about how the heist ended; after all, Sonny Hooper may have leapt off a train out of a helicopter, but he didn't shoot a kid at point-blank range.)

7. Always Tip the Waitstaff
"Confessions" was a standout episode for the waiters and waitresses of the world. First up was the unnamed coffee pourer in the greasy spoon diner where Todd regaled his partners-in-meth-murder with the story of his Great Train Robbery. Clearly aware that these customers weren't the type who would A) Want to engage in small talk and B) Tip well, she slapped the check down quickly after a cursory "Can I getcha anything else?" and then moved on to more fertile Formica tables. But that was just a warm-up for the standout server of the night, Trent, the overly enthusiastic tableside guacamole-pusher at Gardenia's Taqueria. There the poor guy was just trying to interest these four gloomy Gusses in margaritas and guac and they stoically refused to crack a smile or order anything else besides water. We also noted that Walt failed to leave a tip along with his homemade DVD. Way to make Hank be the one to stiff Trent on the bill.

6. You Are Now Experiencing Jesse-O-Vision
As you may recall, last week's episode had Jesse going an entire hour without saying a single damn thing. This week, we briefly experienced what the world looked like to him during that long stretch of silence: an out-of-focus, overlit realm where swaggering cops move about in fast-motion, their voices a distant buzzing in his ears. He's only snapped back to our conventional reality -- and opens his mouth for the first time in a while -- when Hank drops his info bomb about having learned the Walt = Heisenberg equation. His first words? "Eat me." Nice to see that his monastic vow of silence hasn't mellowed him at all.

5. Feel the Heat
Like everyone else, we tend to place the famous Al Pacino/Robert De Niro diner face off in Michael Mann's Heat in the kind of rarefied atmosphere occupied by McClane vs. Gruber, Balboa vs. Drago and Nic Cage vs. Woman in Bear Costume. But the taqueria tête-à-tête between the Schraders and the Whites instantly vaults to the head of that class -- just a mini-masterpiece in escalating tension, tough negotiating and verbal chess moves. We could watch it over and over again… and, to be honest, we did.

4. Lies, More Lies and Videotape
In hindsight, it's blatantly obvious that Walt would never have videotaped his own confession. Still, we were as unprepared as Hank was when he played that DVD and discovered that his brother-in-law had managed to concoct an elaborate, expansive and almost plausible alternate reality where the DEA's upstanding Agent Schrader was actually drug kingpin Heisenberg while poor ol' Walter White was merely just the cancer-ridden chemistry teacher that cooked his meth lest he be beaten or worse. Walt's performance was so emotional, his storytelling so persuasive, even Hank almost appeared to believe him. Forget Justin Timberlake: that was the video of the year.

3. Was the Pikachu Phone Taken?
We're with Jesse -- did Saul have to give him the phone with the Hello Kitty skin? At least give him the choice between Digimon, Yu-Gi-Oh or Japanese Spider-Man.

2. Look Out, Sarah Palin
Why is Vince Gilligan even contemplating a Better Call Saul spin-off when there's a chance we could be watching Jesse Pinkman: Alaskan Adventurer a year from now? He'll be the most destructive thing to hit Alaska since those skeevy, love-starved bachelorettes. Find a way to make this show happen AMC… even if Vince has to use Khan's blood to bring Jesse back from his almost certain demise.

1. Ricin Coming Home to Roost
It was always gonna to happen one day: Jesse would push through the cotton in his brain and connect the dots between poor little Brock's poisoning and Walt's need to give Jesse a reason to turn against Gus. And now that that day has finally arrived we legitimately fear for every member of the White family's safety… yes, even Walt himself. Hell hath no fury like a royally pissed-off Jesse Pinkman armed with a gasoline canister.

Think you've got game? Prove it! Check out Games Without Pity, our new area featuring trivia, puzzle, card, strategy, action and word games -- all free to play and guaranteed to help pass the time until your next show starts.




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