Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Walter White Wednesday 68

It may have been a long time coming, but "Blood Money" was worth the wait!  Breaking Bad has a lot to do in only eight episodes, and it certainly started with a bang!  My co-author, Ensley F. Guffey, has written about the episode (and his squee-worthy interview with director of photography Michael Slovis!) over in his blog, and I strongly encourage you to read that.  As for me, I'm going to discuss just a couple of aspects of this episode - you'll have to buy Wanna Cook? when it comes out next spring for all the juicy details!

Naturally, there be spoilers ahead.

"Blood Money" has an amazing cold open.  This is the Walt of last season's "Live Free or Die" - a Walt with hair, a beard, heavy glasses, and an almost Mike-like attitude of being deeply tired, but having a job to do.  Walt's gone home, but home isn't "home" anymore.  The house that once had blocks of cash stuffed into the very walls is now abandoned - no Sky, no kids, no family dinner around the table.  Everything looks dead - the pool where family cookouts were held (and where Sky waded in too deep that one memorable time) has been drained and is now a makeshift skateboard park.  The dark paneling of the living room is decorated with the name Walt wants people to remember - "Heisenberg" - spray-painted in bright yellow.  The next-door neighbor, Carol, is horrified to see Walt in the driveway.  Just what the hell happened here?  The one thing - and at this point, the only thing we know for sure is that Walt's precious vial of ricin was still behind the faceplate in the bedroom and that he now has it, along with the M60 in the trunk.

In the present day, Hank knows that "W.W." isn't Willy Wonka and it's not Woodrow Wilson, either.  Life changes for everyone when he steps out of the bathroom with Walt's copy of Leaves of Grass.  But knowing isn't enough for Hank - he has to prove it and he painstakingly builds his case.  Walt learns that Hank knows and, while he may try to intimidate his brother-in-law with his advice to "tread lightly," Hank's having none of it.

So who's the weak link?  Lydia, who can't cook meth as good as the now-retired Walt?  Skyler, who's willing to run Lydia off?  Saul, who intends to not go to jail?  Or is it Jesse, who's throwing money away in a bid for some sort of late-night redemption?

That house didn't get empty because Skyler decided she didn't like the paneling.

Seven to go.

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