Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Walter White Wednesday 27


So Walt thinks of himself as being in the "empire business" and he sees the meth enterprise as being some sort of "see, I told you so" to Gretchen and Elliott who took Walt's ideas and kicked him out of Gray Matter all those many years ago. Only we know from Gretchen's uncomfortable conversation with Walt (really, is there any other kind of conversation with Walt in the last year?) that his version of events and hers are vastly different.  And referring to his letting Gretchen and Elliott buy the "birthright" of his children?  I'd be careful about throwing around Old Testament concepts when you just got finished dissolving a kid's dirt bike, among other things.  Note:  that lingering shot of the child's upturned hand in the mound of dirt in the dump truck is going to haunt me.

On the other hand (bad pun there), Walt seems perfectly okay with it.  Yes, it's a shame, so sorry it happened, don't want to have to deal with that again, but well . . . business.  Jesse is clearly having a hard time dealing with his part in the murder of a child and Walt claims he's been losing sleep over it, too, so Jesse - hey, rough couple of days, partner, go on home and I'll finish up here.  Then he starts whistling.

I think that's when Jesse makes his decision.

So Walt is faced with the breakup of the band - Mike is sick of the DEA tails and he's found a buyer for the methylamine, but Declan also wants the blue off the street, so the whole thousand gallons needs to be part of the deal.  (Declan - what's an Irishman doing in the Southwest?  Oh, right - the desert is a place with no memory.  Declan's built up quite a nice meth empire one state over in Phoenix and he has designs on expansion.)  Jesse, Mike, and Walt each stand to clear $5 million from the deal and have the ability to walk away.  Jesse's happy, Mike's happy - but there's Walt.

Walt's come a long way from just wanting enough cash (which he once estimated at $737K) to leave his family secure. He's not in it for his family - who's fractured beyond repair anyway.  That excuse just won't fly anymore, and Walt's really not even bothering.  Skyler can barely stand to be in the same room with him (Marie's spilling of the beans guaranteed that) and the kids are off at Marie's.  Walt has no allies and his wounded pride and greed are swelling him up like a puffer fish.  It's not about family and it's just barely about the money.  What's driving Walt right now is a desire for power and a desire to be feared.  he's a long way from the nebbishy chem teacher of Season 1.  And while I don't think Walt's as clever as he thinks he is, I have to give him badass points for his Mission: Impossible style escape from being zip-tied to the radiator.  As Jesse might say, "Yeah - science!"  See, Walt's got a plan.  And regular viewers know how much joy that usually brings.

Two episodes left in Season 5A.  I don't see this turning out well.  Especially since Mensa-reject Todd kept the spider jar.  You know, the one that has the kid's fingerprints all over it.

Could you please pass the domestic discomfort?
Also note to self:  Never accept a last-minute invitation to dinner at the White house.  What an uncomfortable dinner and what great comedic chops Aaron Paul has!  Did you notice that the ex-junkie is the one gulping ice water while the two supposed grown-ups are swilling liquor and guzzling wine from a glass the size of a colander?  The icy disdain at that table was enough to make me squirm, but I was enjoying watching Jesse try to bring the conversation around to the neighborhood of normal too much to not watch it.  Breaking Bad has always done a masterful job of mixing comedy with probing the darkness of the human soul and this scene in "Buyout" has that light touch that makes it possible to watch a show that so often goes so dark.

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