Breaking Good – A.Ron’s Breaking Bad Instant Review – “Bug” – 209

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Sometimes, making predictions about where Breaking Bad is going seems like folly.  Like the Villigan sits back and reads message boards, internet sites, and email (he's obviously too busy to listen to podcasts, hehe) and just cackles about how far off we are.

Even with the leaked episode mini-synopsis we've had, I didn't imagine things going down quite like this.  For example...

I did not expect to see Hank butcher the Rocky theme (just before Rocky Week on AMC, too!  I'm outraged!) I did not expect to see Skyler with her tits propped up, ditsying it up to keep her and Ted out of federal court (and wiretaps).  I did not expect to see Jesse and Walt in a bare knuckled brawl.

But each was brilliant in it's own way.  I got to say, Skyler haters, what do you have to say for yourselves?  This woman is brilliant.  This was her fugue stage moment, every bit as ballsy and brave as Walt stripping down naked and wandering around a supermarket.  And I imagine more effective.  From the promo for next week, Ted's probably not going to handle the get out of jail card she served up to him on a platter very well, but that's not her fault.  Although I'm not liking, at all, where this longing look into the crawlspace  is going in that regard.

Was Gus being kind of stupid not varying his routine just a little bit?  I wonder if Gus had gone to 4-5 different Los Pollos joints, and maybe a trip to Sam's and to get his haircut, if Hank would have moved on?  Probably not, but if you know you're being bugged by a DEA agent, why not give him a little bit more to run down?  Throw him a stick to chase.  Now he's still hellbent for you, and he's googling.  Not exactly what you want, right?

The show down between Walt and Jesse was brilliant, because to each man it seemed both inevitable and injust.  From Jesse's perspective, he has been nothing but loyal to Mr. White, with little in the way of reward or praise but pain and insult.  I'm on the fence about whether Gus was being straight with Jesse about the plan with the cartel, and whether Jesse was being straight with Walt in the retelling, but the editors of next week's promo certainly want us to believe so.  But if it is all on the up-and-up, he's taking an immense risk to basically save Walt's hide.

From Walt's perspective, it is so fishy that Jesse is lying to him about his meetings with Gus, and all the sudden wants him to help him cook without him, and this story about the cartel seems so cockamamy and Jesse so nervous in the explanation that Walt can almost see the flashing red "You're being setup, idiot" on Jesse's forehead.

Tragic, how Walt's pride and paranoia do this to him, every time. Random observations...

  • Who has two thumbs and correctly called the end of the episode based on the beginning?  This guy.  Was I super clever, or was it obvious to everyone else, too?
  • I'm really leaning toward Walt having cancer again.  He was ballsy and risky this episode, from calling the cops on Tuvok to challenging Mike over the body disposal to bugging Jesse's car and of course the ultimate fighting championship they staged at Jesse's house.  "We're both dead men", indeed.
  • Was it my imagination, or was Gus's eyes moist in the scene where Jesse was asking him pointed questions at dinner?
  • A return of the sped-up scenery this week.  Is this still just a Koyaanisqatsi homage, or is there another layer of meaning here?
  • Gus is such a badass, no?  Jesse called it Terminator shit, but that's the wrong Arnold reference. It was totally Predator.  "I'm right here!  Keel mee!  Do it!  I'm right heere!"
  • Gus sitting in his dark office was a straight up homage to Don Corleone from the Godfather.
So that’s what I thought.  If you missed our post on Twitter/Facebook, shame on you!  You should be following us!  But anyway, I have to leave on business to Chicago tomorrow, so we're going to have to push the cast recording to Tuesday, which means we'll have it out late Tuesday night and NOT Monday night, like we normally do.
But that just means you have an extra 24 hours to tell us what you thought!  Email it to us,  or share it with us on twitter or facebook.  We’ll read and use as much of it as we have time for in the cast. Make sure you get it to us before 6pm EST Tuesday if you want a chance to have it read.  Tomorrow I'll have Breaking Bad News for you at noon.  See ya then!