Going down the stretch last year with the last few episodes of BrBa, we had predicted that money issues were going to be a problem for Walt this year, following along with that same theme, really begun when Skylar gifted that $600,000 to Ted. Such was cemented when Walt, hoping to pay Saul’s guy to professionally disappear them, went to get the money out of the crawl space and it was gone. Then Walt laughs maniacally, does the whole unhinged psycho thing, about to further entrench himself as the bad guy even worse than Scarface’s Tony Montana, along with the overlying show theme, “from Mr. Chips to Scarface.” Obviously even Tony Montana drew the line at hurting innocents, and yet Walt was to use a child to reclaim himself with Jesse, when he most coldly poisons Brock with the Lilly of the Valley plant, and then blames it on Gus. Walt chills us with the whole ‘now who do we know who would ever hurt a child’ speech, even more so as we look back to it at the start of season 5 when those in the audience who didn’t already surmise as much at the end of last season got their proof that Walt had indeed one upped Tony Montana.
We also got our confirmation of the Walt/money issues storyline when Walt has Jesse spot him the money for magnet project, citing an “IRS issue” and when Walt shows up at Saul’s, looking for an explanation as to how Saul could okay this idea to give all of his cash to Ted. They obviously aren’t cooking, with the lab destroyed and Gus’s operation no more, and so that grand irony comes back into play, that Walt got involved with these shenanigans in the first place to make money, has broken just about every law including murder to get that money, and had bought a car wash to launder that illegal cash, but now finds himself with no money to launder.
Thankfully Vince Gilligan moves the story along at a fast clip, straightening out some of the heavy Gus aftermath in s5 e1, especially with Mike, while establishing the impetus behind Mike’s need to get back in the game due to his own financial reasons which become clearer in e2, when Gus’s illegal accounts are frozen. By the end of e3, and with the help of Saul, “the three amigos” (sorry Saul), that unholy alliance between Jesse, Walt, and Mike, have not only put a new cook operation together, having worked out both logistics and particulars, but they have already cooked up a batch and gotten paid. Good thing. We were hoping for a quick resolution to last year’s money issues so that the show could concentrate on portraying what it is like for the duo at the top of the game, as the show’s ads have foreshadowed, with Walt centered around stacks of money, along with the caption “ALL HAIL THE KING”.
Great to see them flush with money, or as Badger (Matt L. Jones) says to Jesse after he and Skinny Pete (Charles Baker) rent some musical equipment for the op so they have cases in which their moving lab equipment will be stored, “stacking Benjies til the rubber band pops.” By the way, how great was it to have a scene featuring Badger and Skinny Pete? But that’s what Vince Gilligan consistently provides us with, the kind of moments that hardcore fans of the show just relish. Whether it be Gus being blown up by Tio’s bell, which had been going off to no avail for almost 3 seasons, Merkert (Michael Shamus Wiles), in his final diatribe providing Hank with the ‘not who he seems’ speech, or any scene, for that matter, which features Saul Goodman.
This show has obviously struck a chord with the nation, pardon the pun, Skinny Pete, as we have now Lego sets depicting Walt and Jesse’s Crystal Ship and Laundry Lab, and while last week, Kim Kardashian and Aaron Paul are chatting it up on Twitter about Vamanos Pest.
Aaron Paul @aaronpaul_8
“@KimKardashian: Anyone else think the same thing about those extermination tents or was I just crazy?” Meth lab. It’s always a meth lab.
Whilst we speak of meth labs…
The new lab, a roving lab which borrows from the successful mobile aspect to their RV setup, but which is all the more brilliant and realistic, considering that they do not own the homes in which they are cooking, that they are hiding in plain sight, and that there are frequent stories about temporary meth labs in the news, as that is the latest innovation/industry trend limiting legal exposure for chemists.
Also, a very nice touch it is to encase the temp lab in a Dexter style kill scene bubble tent. Bravo! As brilliant as the new season has been with details, there’s just no getting around how bad Walt actually is, as he continues to further his criminal mastermind. No regular viewer of the show could do anything but marvel at Walt in s5 e1, when Mike asks him why he should take his word that the magnet worked.
“Because I said so.”
Damn. Then when Walt, in a scene eerily reminiscent to Michael Corleone in The Godfather II at the end of e1 tells Skylar, “I forgive you.” (for blowing his money on Ted). Walt is bad, alright. If those aforementioned scenes didn’t do enough to illustrate, then what of Walt socializing with Brock (Ian Posada) over at Jesse’s (“I heard you were in the hospital”)?
Sure, that was chillingly cold, but for us, whatever Walt had to do get his relationship back with Jesse was justified, re-establishing the balance between the two that we most enjoy when the duo’s delicate camaraderie is in place. And we know it’s only temporary, obviously. In this modern Greek tragedy, there is no way for Jesse not to find out that Walt poisoned Brock and no way for Jesse to avoid learning that and feeling the acute misery and anger that will come from that knowledge. If we were to venture a guess as to the real end of days for the show, it would have Jesse perhaps killing Walt over it, as we agree with the many fans who feel that Jesse is going to be the one to take Walt down.
But before that, we think there will be a whole hell of a lot more messes for Walt on the home front. Obviously things have become very sticky with Skyler so forlorn, this week, plunging herself into the pool in a half hearted suicide attempt. Is it only a matter of time before Walt decides a different approach with the wife is needed? Recall that Walt has hidden that ricin in the house, and from what we know about BrBa, sooner or later they are going to have that ricin come back into play.
Mr. White (our Mr. White, not Walt) suggested that Skyler might get a ricin cigarette of her own. Great forethought there. We are gonna add our own to that theory, as we can’t see how things could break any worse for Walt than if Walt Jr., now a fast car driving little bad ass, were to ingest the ricin by accident. We see Jesse, Walt, Mike, and Skyler all breaking much much worse by the show’s end, in true step with classic Greek tragedy.
And for show and Greek mythology enthusiasts, how great was Walt’s line at the end of e3, when he tells Jesse that perhaps, like Icarus, Victor had “flown to close to the sun”? From Gilligan, that’s more likely deft foreshadowing than use of clever reference, though with Breaking Bad, it is no doubt a double entendre.