Breaking Bad: The Journey Journal

Funny threads throughout the site's history.

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Post by Bugs » Wed Aug 08, 2012 7:58 pm

I thought about going back and rewatching all the episodes from the beginning, but this thread is an excellent substitute for that. I like reading your interpretations of some of the little things and how they may or may not come up again later. You're dead-on with some, not so much on others. I envy you in a way, getting to enjoy this great show from the beginning.

Sopranos is still my favorite for Best Show Ever, but BB is at the top of the list.

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Post by Flack » Thu Aug 09, 2012 6:50 am

Cool, I'm glad you are enjoying them. I am enjoying writing them. It's making me really focus on each episode. Speaking of which ...

S02E06 - "Peekaboo"

In this episode, Walt gets "busted" when Skyler ends up talking to Gretchen on the phone and thanking her for paying for Walt's treatment. Walt dances around the issue and comes up with another lie to cover a previous lie, but we get the feeling that Skyler still doesn't trust Walt 100%. Based on the way Walt ended his conversation with Gretchen ("Fuck. You.") it would appear this particular story line with Gray Matter is done. Walt mentioned to Skyler that they covered "90% of his treatment costs" so maybe that's good enough for her to move on to the neck stack of lies.

Meanwhile, Jesse is across town, taking care of his "breakage" problem. After breaking in to a house where a couple of junkies live, Jesse hangs around all day, watching TV with their toddler and playing "Peekaboo" (at least I figured out where this episode's title came from!). Based on the amount of squalor in the home I didn't see how Jesse thought he was going to get his money or his dope back.

Jesse and the Junkies (now there's a band name!) spend a bunch of time trying to break into a stolen ATM. Jesse ends up taking a glass bottle to the head (he got off light; he had his back turned the whole time to the guy with the sledgehammer ...) and it's almost lights out for him when ... well, we learn not to store precious things (like our head) under heavy things (like an ATM machine). Boom boom boom, out go the lights.

At the very end of the episode for a moment I thought Jesse was going to leave with the kid. Thank God he didn't. And Pinkman almost got arrested two episodes ago when a guy ringing a bell almost identified him. Now he's got a crackhead (don't call her a skank!) who knows what he looks like ... her husband is dead, lying under a stolen ATM that they killed someone to take. I guess that's why the show is called "Breaking Bad" and not "Lying Low".

It's amazing how after one "breaks bad" how easy it becomes. One has to assume that only a few short months ago, Jesse wasn't a cold blooded killer and Walt wasn't a lying sociopath. Being bad seems to be coming a little easier for both of them each episode.
"Jack Flack always escapes." -Davey Osborne

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Post by AArdvark » Thu Aug 09, 2012 9:19 am

" It would only take a little nudge to push you out of the light."


---Belloq

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Post by Flack » Fri Aug 10, 2012 7:30 am

S02E07 - "Negro y Azul"

This episode opened with the most awesome music video ever. I completely dug that song! It appears the legend of Heisenberg has made its way from New Mexico to Old Mexico. And even though we didn't see it on this episode, it would appear that the Cartel is a'comin' ...

Hank went to El Paso, met Danny "Tortuga" Trejo, and later got to meet Tortuga's head strapped to the back of a turtle before it blew up. Hours (maybe minutes) later, Hank found his way back to ABQ. The language barrier was nothing compared to the social barrier. They do things differently down in El Paso, to say the least.

(Big picture question: I'm not sure what the purpose of Hank going to El Paso and being sent back was. Was it a plot line that didn't go anywhere? Was it just to show us that the cartel is brutal? We already knew that.)

Skyler got a job. I'm guessing this is as much about the money as it is about needing to be needed (she's sure as hell not getting that from Walt at this point). She applied and got hired by a guy who sexually harassed her a few yeas ago. Just like there's no such thing as bad press, I'm guessing there's no such thing as bad attention, either.

Pinkman spent most of this episode checked out in pot land after seeing Spooge's head splatter. Maybe it's more than that, because he already had a tub-o-Emilio bust through his floor at the old house, and he didn't have to clean Spooge's head up with a bucket and scrub brush and flush him down a toilet. Walt's pep talk about Jesse being a blowfish seemed to bring him out of his funk.

Walt is all about expansion in this episode. By using the rumor that Jesse smashed a guy's head in with an ATM, the two of them plan on expanding their territory and their workforce underneath them. I guess drug dealers are really afraid of having their heads smashed in with ATMs? I'm guessing every drug dealer in AQB has a nine in their waistband; death is a real possibility (just ask Tortuga!) so Jesse's ATM story must've really made an impression on people.

Walt and Jesse are doing a terrible job of laying low. Jesse gets randomly identified by a guy driving by on a motorcycle, which gives up his (terrible) fake alias of Jesse Jackson to his hot neighbor/landlord. Walt gets identified as Heisenberg by the three dealing stooges at the museum. Tuco had a kick ass compound with locking doors, security guards, and henchmen. Walt and Jesse have two hatchbacks, an RV, and recognizable faces.

At least their heads are still on their shoulders. For now.
"Jack Flack always escapes." -Davey Osborne

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Post by Flack » Fri Aug 10, 2012 8:26 am

"Jack Flack always escapes." -Davey Osborne

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Post by Flack » Fri Aug 10, 2012 8:37 am

S02E08 - "Better Call Saul"

"I'd have to tell you if I were a cop. It's in the Constitution, or something."

So Badger, who is barely smarter than a real life badger, got busted. And who do you call when you get busted? YOU CALL SAUL!

It really only takes one card to fall to realize how flimsy this whole house of cards these guys have built is. Too many people know their faces, their names, where they live ... it's just a bad deal.

Saul, for what it's worth, seems to know more about the drug trade than our cook and our dealer. After being threatened by the two of them, Saul flips it around and becomes a silent partner. It can't be long before these two need legal advice anyway, so this is probably a smart move on their part. Financially they're back to ground zero, but maybe this will give them a new start.

When looking down the barrel of a gun, Saul starts speaking Spanish and referring to things in the past and the cartel. This could be a red herring, it could be just to let us know that Saul has been around the block a time or two, or it could lead to a story arc of its own. Bad boys, bad boys, whatcha gonna do, whatcha gonna do when they come for you ...

At the end of this episode, Saul hooks the duo up with a stooge to go to jail posing as "Heisenberg," although it doesn't appear that Hank entirely took the bait.

I'm amazed at how many times the suggestion to shank Badger came up. I have to admit, there have been a few times where I wouldn't have minded shanking him myself.
"Jack Flack always escapes." -Davey Osborne

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Post by Flack » Fri Aug 10, 2012 8:49 am

S02E09 - "4 Days Out"

Well, this is the first episode that made me cry. Not waterfall tears, but when the doctor told Walt that he was in remission at the end of this episode, I got choked up. For realz, yo.

This episode begins with more deception so that our boys can get some time alone out in the desert to cook. Saul realizes that he might be dealing with the biggest fishes in the pond (yet), but if the DEA's interested in what Walt and Jesse are in to, maybe he's getting in on the ground floor.

For as smart as Walt is, he doesn't think a lot of things through. A few years ago for Christmas, my Dad bought me a stand alone car battery jumper. You plug it in at home and take it with you and if you need to jump start your car while out on the road, it'll do it. Why wouldn't a guy with above average intelligence pack the rear of that RV with one of those, along with a gas can and a case of bottled water? I take all those things with me in my truck when driving cross country. And I'm not a meth dealer who can't call AAA when my RV won't start.

The funniest part of this episode was Jesse's desperation after Walt had given up hope. "Maybe you could build a robot, or a signal flare, or take apart the RV and build a dune buggy out of the parts." One part delirious, one part desperation, one part Jesse.

Through science and a little luck our boys get the RV started and head back to civilization. If nothing else, I think this episode shows us that, at least in the drug trade, the only two people Walt and Jesse can count on are each other.

Big picture moment: The doctor's advice to Walt: "no more secrets."

Loose ends: Walt now has two unexplained calls on his phone bill to Skinny Pete.
"Jack Flack always escapes." -Davey Osborne

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Post by pinback » Fri Aug 10, 2012 9:43 am

Flack wrote:S02E09 - "4 Days Out"

Well, this is the first episode that made me cry. Not waterfall tears, but when the doctor told Walt that he was in remission at the end of this episode, I got choked up. For realz, yo.
Was that the part with the paper towel dispenser?
Above all else... We shall go on... And continue!

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Post by Flack » Fri Aug 10, 2012 10:24 am

S02E10 - "Over"

The whole reason Walt began cooking was to provide a financial future for his family after his "departure". Now that he's in remission ... will he continue to cook? (I'm guessing so, since the show runs for three more seasons.)

Skyler threw a party for Walt. At it, Walt gave (at best) an awkward speech, and followed it up with a showdown with Hank over getting Walt Jr. (Flynn) drunk on tequila. This could be taken a few ways, I think. Hank already said he would take care of Walt Jr. if and when Walt passes away. Was this a way for Walt to take his family back? Or, was it a way to start distancing himself from them ...

We got a bit more of Jesse's relationship with his landlord in this episode. Not sure where that arc is going. How long can a recovering druggie keep dating the biggest dealer in ABQ?

Also in this episode, Walt fixes the water heater. When he sees how it has been neglected, it surely parallels with what Walt is doing with his own family. And the more he tries to fix it, the more peripheral damage (wood rot) he finds. It's good to see Walt dive into a project like this, but I got the impression he was doing this to keep his hands idle.

At the end of this episode, Walt (carrying around two cans of "Kilz", heh) runs into the Bizarro versions of himself and Jesse at the local building contractor store. At first Walt tries to give his fellow meth head some advice, but soon ... well, exit Walt, enter Heisenberg.

Cancer or no cancer, it appears Heisenberg is in it to win it for the long haul.
"Jack Flack always escapes." -Davey Osborne

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Post by Flack » Fri Aug 10, 2012 3:12 pm

pinback wrote:Was that the part with the paper towel dispenser?
... no?
"Jack Flack always escapes." -Davey Osborne

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Post by pinback » Fri Aug 10, 2012 3:29 pm

Flack wrote:
pinback wrote:Was that the part with the paper towel dispenser?
... no?
Really? I... I think it was?
Above all else... We shall go on... And continue!

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Post by Flack » Fri Aug 10, 2012 3:53 pm

S02E11 - "Mandala"

Even if Saul isn't the guy, apparently he knows the guy who knows the guy. Saul hooked Walt up with a big time distributor. Walt's new hookup ("Gus") gets cold feet when he sees Jesse high in the Pollo restaurant. Later in the episode when Walt needs Jesse most, Pinkman is zonked out on the horse. Jesse is great at using drugs; not so great at anything else, it seems.

At the end of this episode, Walt chooses a 1.2 million dollar drug deal over witnessing the birth of his daughter. Everybody has their price, I suppose.

Speaking of Skyler ... will Ted hit it, or won't he? My money's on yes. Emotional, unsteady women trying to lose baby weight. Easy targets, yo.

After thought: we keep seeing clips of Walt's house exploding. I really, really hope Jesse doesn't go and do something stupid at the end of this season.
"Jack Flack always escapes." -Davey Osborne

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Post by Flack » Fri Aug 10, 2012 4:11 pm

S02E12 - "Phoenix"

Well, it's all coming together now, isn't it.

Facing mandatory rehab from her father, Yoko Jane Ono plays her hand against Walt: give Jesse his share of the money ($500k), or she'll tell everybody, everything. Walt now knows that Jesse told Jane everything, which means two things -- Jane "might" talk to people, but Jesse certainly "is" talking to people.

Walt did hand over Jesse's half a million so ... is this the end of a beautiful relationship? In one way or another, it has to be.

The next episode (the final episode of episode 2) ends with an explosion of some sort at Walt's house, and two bodies in body bags in Walt's driveway. I know Walt appears in future seasons but to be honest I don't know about anyone else.

So I guess Jesse and Jane will be on their way to New Zealand and ... OH MY GOD DID WALT JUST STAND THERE AND WATCH JANE CHOKE ON HER OWN PUKE? JESUS CHRIST, WALT! JESUS CHRIST!!!

Normal Walt would get Jesse out of that house now and leave Jane behind. Psychopath Heisenberg would get Jane out, melt the body with acid, take the half a million back, and convince Jesse that Jane ran off with it in the night. We'll see which Walt Jesse gets to deal with in the final episode of season two.

JESUS CHRIST, WALT!
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Post by Flack » Fri Aug 10, 2012 8:35 pm

I did watch the last episode of season two tonight, but I need to sleep on it before writing about it.

BOOM.
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Post by pinback » Fri Aug 10, 2012 9:04 pm

pinback wrote:
Flack wrote:
pinback wrote:Was that the part with the paper towel dispenser?
... no?
Really? I... I think it was?
So yeah, after he gets the news he's in remission, he goes into the bathroom and beats the fuck out of the metal paper towel dispenser. Key scene, man. Key scene.
Above all else... We shall go on... And continue!

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Post by Flack » Sat Aug 11, 2012 4:56 am

Oh, that! Yes, key scene indeed. Sometimes the symbolism in this show is a little vague, but not that time. Walt sees himself, and then destroys himself, leaving a warped image of himself. You can say a lot with only a few bloody knuckles.
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Post by Flack » Sat Aug 11, 2012 5:36 am

Well, here we go.

S02E13 - "ABQ"

This is it, the end of season two. Show opens with more footage of the explosion. More focus on the teddy bear and the bodies, with fires burning in the background as well. Must've been a hell of an explosion.

It appears Walt took neither of my two suggestions. Show opens to Jesse performing CPR on Jane. (Spoiler: unsuccessful.) Jesse called Walt, Walt called Saul, Saul called a cleaner. It's the first time this team has shown any common sense in a time of crisis, so yay. At least the cleaner has the common sense to wear gloves. Walt and Jesse's fingerprints are all over half the crime scenes in ABQ at this point.

Wow. I don't know what awards this show has won but the acting in the scene when Jane's father sees Jane while Jesse talks to the authorities ... wow. It's so tense that you keep thinking Jane's dad is going to attack Jesse, or at least hit him, or at least acknowledge him, but he's too broken hearted to do so. Riveting.

Hank's back on the meth case. I was right, Hank didn't buy the fake Heisenberg arrest. Having such an identifiable product (blue sky?) is making is easier for the authorities to track its distribution. Goes back to the chili powder and the "wet bandits" think I mentioned in season one.

There are times when I think they should have named this show "awkward random encounters". Gus in the police station, talking to Hank while donating money to Walt's cancer fund ... yeah, there's one. Walt sharing a drink in a bar with Jane's father ... yeah, there another one.

So, let's get to the meat of this one.

While Walt's been driving around trying to save Jesse from, well, Jesse, Skyler's been busy unraveling all of Walt's bullshit. She all but figured out what Walt's been up to. It's funny that she still thinks it's infidelity, because in a way, it is -- Walt's married to the drug trade now, instead of her. After nursing a man she doesn't trust back to health, she's kicked him out. In yet another dramatic scene, she tells Walt that he's busted a dozen times over. There's the lying, the disappearances, the second cell phone, but the big question she has now is, now that she knows Gretchen and Elliot didn't give Walt the money ... where did the money come from? In a desperate plea to get her to stay, Walt offers to tell Skyler the truth, but just like Jack Nicholson, Skyler determines she can not handle the truth, and leaves.

Walt's world implodes. Can anything else come crashing down on him? Oh, how about a 737?

In the opening scene of S01E01, we got our first glimpse of the pink bear. For 13 episodes we've been teased with bits of information: damage at Walt's house, evidence bags, the bear (missing an eyeball) in Walt's pool, Walt's glasses, and eventually, two bodies in Walt's driveway. For 13 episodes I've been trying to put it all together, and at the end of episode 13 the truth is revealed -- it wasn't an explosion at all. It was an airplane collision, right over Walt's house. And, indirectly I suppose, Walt caused it.

The parallels are there, too. There's been a lot of indirect collateral damage from Walt's drug business as well -- fallout, you could say. Just a few episodes ago, Jesse came face to face with Spooge and Skank (and their son) and got to see first hand what his product was doing to his customers. Walt got to see it in the heroin den that he pulled Jesse from.

The whole plane thing was very "Butterfly Effect" in my opinion. Walt let Jane die, Jane's dad went back to work distraught, Jane's dad makes a mistake that causes a plane to crash that, in turn, rains down bits and pieces on Walt's house. Rarely in life to things happen so directly. When that guy races past us on the way to work we always secretly hope to see him pulled over later. It is unlikely Walt will ever know that, at least indirectly, he is kind of responsible for that airplane crash. Maybe Skyler will make some phone calls from Hank and Marie's place and figure it out.

So, how many episodes into season three before Skyler throws herself into Ted's arms? Two? Three? C'mon man, I know that's coming.

At this point in the show, everybody is lying or has lied to somebody they are about to cover something up. Marie was the klepto (I'm glad that storyline got dropped). Hank is the police hero with secret freakouts in elevators. Jesse was lying to Jane about being a drug dealer. Walt ... well, Walt is Walt. Saul the attorney is really Saul the underworld connection guy, and Gus the chicken man is really Gus the meth mover. Hell, even Walt Jr. wants to be known as Flynn now. The only person who hasn't told a lie yet is Walt and Skyler's new baby, and that's because it can't talk. Wait til that kid starts talking though and I'm sure it'll be full of shit!

Season two ended with both a bang and a whimper. Jesse's in rehab getting cleaned up. I expect it wasn't the first time and probably won't be the last. Walt is, at least temporarily, freed from the bonds of living a double lifestyle. Part of me thinks that's the only thing that was keeping him from become a total psychopath, but we'll see in Season three I suspect. The irony that Walt is losing his family by trying to save them financially is not lost.

So, Jesse is free from Jane and Walt is free from Skyler (for now, one assumes). Turn those frowns upside down, boys. It's time to cook.
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Post by Flack » Sat Aug 11, 2012 4:23 pm

S03E01 - "No Mas"

Season three kicks off with a pretty major paradigm shift. In a desperate attempt to save his family -- and let's not forget, this is all for Walt's family (or at least it was in the beginning) -- Walt confesses to Skyler. Not everything, but enough. Skyler responds by telling Walt he will have no contact with her or her children in exchange for her not telling Hank, Marie, the kids, or anyone else.

Walt likes to put his spin on things, doesn't he? First, he tries to justify his part of the business to Skyler by saying he's just the cook, not the dealer. (I'm sure, if confronted about Crazy 8's murder, he would simply say that it was in self-defense.) When talking to a cafeteria full of grief-stricken high school students about the airplane crash over ABQ, he tells him it's not that bad and that they'll get over it. Whatever future career Walt is considering post meth cook, I'm guessing "grief counselor" is off the list.

Early on, Walt makes an attempt at burning his money as a solution to his problems. It doesn't work. It won't work. The money is just the physical outcome of the actions.

My favorite part of this episode was the juxtaposition between Jesse, who's not really a bad guy but keeps telling himself that he is, and Walt, who's definitely a criminal but keeps telling himself that he's not. It would appear these two have run out of people to lie to and have begun lying to themselves.

I also liked the part where Walt got pepper sprayed by the state trooper and arrested. I liked it because it put Walt in his place, a little bit. Like the blowfish (to use his own analogy), Walt has learned when he raises his voice he can take command of a situation. He did it to Hank while filling his kid full of tequila, and he's done it to Jesse multiple times. He did it to a cop and got some pepper spray in the face-ay. Walt needs to get his anger in check and remember that there are always bigger fish in the sea.
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Post by Flack » Sat Aug 11, 2012 4:57 pm

S03E02 - "Caballo sin Nombre"

I actually watched these two back to back and got mixed up. Walt got pepper sprayed in this episode, not the last one.

Well, well, well -- speaking of bigger fish, two "pescados de grande" have come looking for Walt. After dropping off a drawing of Heisenberg at the Patron Saint of Crawling's casa, these who Hermanos of Doom stashed themselves inside some hollowed out bales of hay to cross the border.

I haven't worn cowboy boots since I was 4 years old, but if I could find some with silver skulls on the tips, I might go back.

POW! See? These guys know how not to leave witnesses. Dead men tell no tales ... or ring bells. AH right after making that joke, these two harbingers of sorrow arrived at the old folks home and ... "WALTER WHITE". Well that can't be good.

So let's get to the end here. Through a bit of TV magic (there are 12 "Walter White's" listed in the OKC phone book; there are more, I imagine, in ABQ) our two friends find Walt's house, let themselves in, and while wearing gloves (see? These guys are pros!) they wait in Walt's bedroom with a shiny silver axe, waiting for him to get out of the shower.

Fortunately the "cleaner" is still outside. The cleaner calls "somebody" (either Saul or somebody else) who calls Gus who, somehow, calls off the hit. The two guys only see the word "pollos", so they couldn't possibly know it was Gus, could they? If Gus really has the ability to call off a hit from the Mexican drug cartel ... Walt had better think that $3 million/3 month offer long and hard.

Tonight Jesse arc had him buying his parents' home for less than half the asking price. I liked the fact that Jesse won one, but it's hard to feel too good for him. I mean, he didn't outsmart them ... Saul did. Don't get me wrong, I appreciate the revenge angle (they tossed him out of multiple homes) but it's not like Jesse applied himself, got a job, and was able to buy their home. He bought it with drug cash.

Loose ends: Well, for one, Walt now has some business with Gus, I'm thinking. Also, there was that conversation in the driveway between Marie and Hank that makes me think ... I just got this feeling Hank is going to start tailing Walt or hire someone to tail Walt.

PS: I finally saw "the pizza" episode! :)
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Post by pinback » Sat Aug 11, 2012 5:51 pm

Yay pizza!

It's a credit to the show and to Flack that this thread already qualifies for Best Of. I've seen the show twice through to completion (so far) but am still enjoying the recaps just as much.

Have you ever watched a show this quickly, Flack? Do you feel it has addictive qualities?
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