Breaking Good – A.Ron’s Instant Take – “Thirty Eight Snub” – 402

Spoilers ahoy.  Do not read this unless you’ve seen the episode or don’t mind it being blown wide open.

I knew half way through this episode that this one was going to be tough to write about.  Vince Gilligan seems to be intent on moving around his pieces on the board and slowing things down while he does it.  He’s playing with where we think loyalties lie, and who’s got it into for whom, and who is on their game.

For instance, Jim and I clearly thought from last episode that Walt and Mike were going to team up.  And they probably will, but taking that road is going to be very bumpy and dangerous.  Walt went in to demand a meeting, and got an asskicking instead.  Also, what to make of Mike with blood on his sleeve?  Not only did the discovery provoke some angst from the usually stoic Mike, but that makes him uncharacteristically sloppy, doesn’t it?

Hank is all gung-ho positive energy with the PT, but when that guy is around, he seems to take delight in being sadistic with his wife.  Also, how expensive is this rock habit getting?  You don’t think this is part of the bills Skyler is talking about on the phone call that sends Walt up the wall.  And it was interesting how Walt hasn’t sent a check in a while.  I mean, Walt has money, but we’re talking on the order of a few million dollars.  Hospice care is expensive, as is maintaining two homes, as is whatever the hell Jesse is doing.  Running a 24×7 party house?

But I digress.  Let’s get back to the analysis of where the pieces are moving on the board.  Walt tries to put on his gangster persona and even the shady gun dealer selling him a piece doesn’t take him seriously as a bad guy.  And humiliatingly, he gets a call in the middle of his assassination attempt and told to go home.  Heisenburg was tough enough to take one Crazy 8 and Tucco, but they’re really emphasizing how different this conflict is going to be.  He can’t even handle a phone conversation about his soon to be LEGIT enterprise.  I loved Skyler’s “if you’re not willing to pull the trigger on this” in reference to the car wash; it’s almost like now that she’s in the saddle on the family business she’s right back to emasculating Walt.

It was probably too much to ask for Skinny P and Badger to be the rocks that Jesse needs to keep his life together, and sure enough they revert to follower status soon enough.  I thought it was great how intent they are about their Zombie debate, while Jesse, who’s actually put someone in the ground, could care less.

Jesse is in serious trouble.  He’s like a shark now, if he stops moving for an instant, he’ll drown.  I thought the scene with him at the end of the episode was fantastic, using the sub-woofer to sonically scrub his brain of all the things tormenting him.  And yet he looked remarkably clear eyed in dealing with Andrea unexpectedly calling.

Other random notes:

  • You know, I never realized the pizza that Walt through on the roof was uncut.  It must have been the same as the pies that Jesse had delivered.  Is this a real thing?  Why do I want some uncut pizza right about now?
  • Hank obsessing about blue crystals. Hmmm…
  • I love Roomba cam.  I wonder if we’ll see it again, or if the tweaker with the screwdriver will do it in?
  • The Aztec in the background of Skyler’s recon of the car wash:  That’s a pretty bad tail, if even the audience can spot it!
  • I enjoyed Eyebrowman’s “haggling” with Skyler.  There again the show’s throwing me a curve ball.  I assumed that would be a done deal and running it would quickly become Skyler’s biggest part of the season.
  • Mike’s a complex guy.  He’s clearly got a lot of conflict going on in his head right now, but honestly right now I can’t say who’s side he’s on or what he’s going to do.
  • This double weigh thing is going to put a damper on Jesse’s playing fast and loose with the scales.  Although maybe seeing Gus’s handiwork last episode already had him rethinking the wisdom of stealing from the man.
  • Saul’s new commercial. Wow, man.  Just wow.
  • Who’s voice told Walter to go home?  I say Mike, Jim says Gus.
That’s it for the instant take.  Jim and I will get together tomorrow to record the cast, and it’ll probably be up late tomorrow night.  We’d love to get your feedback on our show!  And we are SO CLOSE to hitting our goal of 20 iTunes reviews.  We’ve got 18 so far.  If you could spend a few minutes giving us some stars and a brief review it would really help us out.  You can also follow us on Twitter and Facebook so you’ll know exactly when we drop our reviews and news.  Breaking Bad News at noon Monday and the podcast later that night.  See ya then.