A very solid episode as the season starts to pick up the pace, and set the course for what could be a few shocking episodes. This turned out to be a surprisingly long review, but it's nice to have another show to over analyze.
- Great cold open. Get it? Cold?
See, Mike was sitting in a cooler
. Sometimes, I impress even myself.
- Uh, speaking of Mike, that is one tough mother fucker. How tough is Mike? He reacts to his ear almost being blown off as if it were nothing more than a paper cut. Mike is hard. Maybe the coolest character currently on television. (HA! I brought it back to "cool" again!
- It's funny to see Walter and Skyler go over their lines as if they're acting in some play. Cranston really sells the scene. He looks so utterly bored, so frustrated at the ordeal. Sklyer is still trying to cover their bases, but it's also a little embarrassing to see Walt be so emasculated by it all.
- It's nice to see Hank not be a dick for once this season. He seems like a cool guy. Hank has gone through his own emasculation this season, forced to live in mundane solitude in a wheelchair. He's energized by being around people he can let loose with. There's still the look of minor annoyance at Marie with the use of the word "rocks" when she describes his mineral collection hobby, but here he's mostly relaxed.
- I'm glad we didn't see the conversation about Walt and Skyler's car wash. It would have been too embarrassing to see Walt awkwardly lie a lie so needlessly complicated.
- Once again, we see Gale from beyond the grave. It's interesting, most shows make you forget that someone has died by the third or fourth episode. Here, we see Gale joyously (albeit, probably lonely) filming himself doing karaoke. Gale was such a sweet, harmless guy, filling his school notebook with recipes (regular, and illegal) and Far Side cartoons. Someone on another forum once compared him to Martin Prince from the Simpsons, a happy go lucky kid with a love of science and culture. How could you not like the guy, even a little? And how could Jesse kill him in cold blood?
- Later, we get a surprisingly tense scene between Walt and Hank going over Gale's folder. The moment Hank tries to speculate that the W.W in Gale's notebook might refer to Walt was like seeing a lion size up his prey. Walt plays it off, and Hank goes back to being easy going, but does he suspect Walt, yet maybe not consciously know it?
- Jesse's home continues to look like the Dawn Of The Dead. Walt refers to Jesse's living conditions as Skid Row, and it's an apt description. There's a skid row in Vancouver's East Hastings, which incidentally inspired a song by Godspeed You Black Emperor, which was used in the zombie flick 28 Days Later. East Hastings is a neighbourhood home to a few hundred homeless drug addicts. It's a very grim situation, and that's a reality you rarely see on network tv. I sometimes see ads warning of the risks to using Crystal Meth, where you see a before and after photo, where the person using Meth had aged 10 years over a much shorter time period. They're not just addicted to it, it physically changes their appearance. This is the world Walt and Jesse are supplying. Doesn't Walt ever consider that?
- Mike and the new guy clean up Jesse's situation. I was surprised by that since I thought Jesse being robbed would be a plot line in itself. Jesse just shrugs. Earlier in the episode Walt carelessly tries to make him relive the moment he killed Gale, and there's a great closeup of Jesse's face. Who needs flashbacks when you have Aaron Paul's face to tell the story? Great acting.
- The final scene where Mike and Jesse drive off at dusk is eerily reminiscent of the final 20 minutes of Se7en. While I doubt Jesse is going to be killed off, just what does Mike have in store for him?