The Telefile

Breaking Bad: Our Weekly 8 for 8

by Ethan Alter September 9, 2013 11:17 am
<i>Breaking Bad</i>: Our Weekly 8 for 8

Don't worry -- unlike last night's episode of Breaking Bad, "To'hajiilee," we won't be stopping our 8 for 8 highlights reel in mid-sen

8) Blue is the Snortiest Color
Under Todd's only slightly experienced cooking hand, Heisenberg-branded meth is back up to 76 percent purity, a "marginal" improvement over the dude who looked like Wolverine's batches, which never cracked 70. But that signature blue is absent -- heck, it's not even "blue-ish" or, for that matter, "aquamarine," no matter what Kenny claims. Based on that level of intentional color-blindness, if and when their meth business goes south, setting up a house-painting business is probably not the best career path for these guys.

7) Hank's Finally Using His Brains
Having been outmaneuvered by Walt's lies all this time, Agent Schrader decides to experiment with fiction himself, substituting a package of bloody meat for bloody brains and making Jesse lie on the floor with his head just below the animal-based grey matter for a special photo op. That's the picture he then flashes to Huell in order to convince him he's been given up by Saul and is next on Walt's hit list. Sounds like a special DEA-branded calendar idea just waiting to happen. Gomez could be September!

6) The Shortest Handshake Ever
Despite being royally pissed off about the price tag Jack has attached to the cost of killing Jesse softly (one professional meth cook for apprentice chef Todd), Walt nevertheless can't simply ignore the Neo-Nazi's outstretched hand. But he makes sure to only grasp it for a second -- grimacing the whole time like he's touching the animal brains Hank doubled for the stuff in Jesse's skull -- before dropping it like a hot meth pipe. That's just barely a handshake deal, but it's still a deal.

5) Bring Your Son to Work Day
Reluctant to let Walt Jr. out of her sight, Skyler keeps him close by under the guise of showing him the ropes of the family business. That means collecting tickets from the car washees, giving them their change and making sure to say, "Have an A1 day!" on their way out in order to "reinforce the brand." The kid's understandably bored, but there are perks to spending your day at a mom-and-pop car wash. Perks like seeing local celebrity, Saul Goodman, at the register! And hey, if you're really lucky, he'll even deliver his signature pitch for your aural pleasure and pass along a "Don’t drink and drive" PSA (followed by a business solicitation). See, Flynn? Like the song goes, when you're at the car wash (girl), "There ain't no tellin' who you might meet/A movie star or maybe even a Indian Chief."

4) Lord of the Lies
Hank's not the only one who has unlocked a new capacity for lying. Working with yet another doctored photo that Schrader concocted (specifically a barrel filled with money, like the ones Walt buried in the desert, only strategically placed in his backyard), Jesse tricks his ex-partner into thinking he's found his stash o' cash and intends to burn it all in "one big bonfire." Had he been in a less crazed frame of mind (like that's been possible for the last three seasons, at least), Walt might have realized that Jesse was putting one over on him, but the photo combined with the kid's gleeful "Fire in the hole, bitch!" is enough to get him on the road, with Schrader, Gomez and Pinkman on his tail. What's that old saying about the student becoming the master?

3) "Do not come."
Having placed a Hail Mary call to Jack with orders to bring his goon squad to the desert to take out Jesse, Walt puts a kibosh on that battle plan when he sees Hank step out of the car as well. Accepting that he has to kill Jesse -- who he's come to consider a family member -- was hard enough. He can't bring himself to also kill Hank, an actual family member. By making such an inconvenient, emotional and altogether human choice, one can see a flash of the old, pre-Heisenberg Walter White… just before his life as he currently knows it seems about to end.

2) Smile Time
Breaking what must have been a world record for not smiling, Jesse's perpetual frown at last turned upside down as he watched Hank slap the cuffs on Walt, tears of joy welling up in the corners of his eyes. Naturally, that smile -- even more than Hank's ill-timed, "Hi honey, I’m probably about to die" phone call to Marie -- indicated that some serious shit was about to go down. If there's one lesson we'll take away from Breaking Bad, it's that Jesse Pinkman is never, ever allowed to be happy.

1) Gunfight at the New Mexico Corral
Although it wasn't at all surprising to see Jack's crew roll up and spoil Schrader and Gomez's celebration party, the subsequent firefight was a blast, right up there with the apocalyptic shoot-out at the end of The Wild Bunch. And thanks to that sudden, Sopranos-style hard cut to black, there's still more of it to come next week! Sorry, David Chase, but gunfire > Journey.

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