Breaking Bad – Season 4, Episode 5: Shotgun

4 Sep

(A few weeks ago, I started these Breaking Bad recaps, and then fell a bit behind.  Not one to give up without a fight, they’re still coming, just a tiny bit late.  I’m going to dump a few of them today, so read them if you wish, and if you don’t watch Breaking Bad, turn off your computer and start it today)

The episode begins with Walt, realizing Jesse’s not in the lab, becoming immediately concerned that Jesse has been harmed, or is about to be.  Honestly, I can’t blame Walt for that reaction. In his position, I would think the exact same thing.  However, he goes about it in a naïve, impulsive and foolishly headstrong Walt fashion, driving right to Los Pollos Hermanos to confront Gus, with the thoroughly unrealistic expectation he would just walk in unharmed and kill Gus.  Before he can do anything even dumber, Mike calls and lets him know that Jesse’s all right.

Jesse’s a passenger as Mike picks up cash at a bunch of different drop spots throughout the state.  He can’t figure out why he’s here, and even though Mike knows what the plan is, he really doesn’t understand it either.  Eventually, at the last drop, while Jesse’s in the car, a couple of armed gunmen come down towards Mike’s car, and Jesse is moved from his malaise to back the car into one of them and make a clean get away, realizing that maybe he’s not quite ready to die after all.  When Mike meets Gus later in the episode, we learn what I had suspected right away, that the attack was part of a plan to make Jesse feel like a hero and stop fucking up, and even better, that it seems to have worked so far.

Walt and Skyler are getting along again, and after a heated bout of love-making, Skyler suggests Walt move in again.  Walter Jr. seems pretty excited about that prospect, but Walt, not as much.  While right after he was kicked out all he wanted to do was come back home, Walt has changed in the past couple of months.  After a family dinner, Walt finds himself drinking a glass of wine by himself before rejoining the party.  I at first thought Walt is now bored by this sedentary suburban life that he was apart of for so many years before his cancer, but I think it’s more at least that he’s so terrified of Gus and Mike harming him or his family but doesn’t want to let his family know about it.

Hank notes at the dinner table that it looks like Gale was Heisenberg after all, and notes what a true and real genius Gale must have been.  Walt’s ego is shattered, and Walt feels like he must pipe up, no matter the fact that it would have been awfully convenient for his criminal enterprise for Heisenberg to have been thought dead.  Walt suggests Gale’s work shows he was a mere student, and that the teacher, the true genius must still be out there.  Walt’s desire to speak up is obviously partly a product of ego, but it might be of boredom as well.  Too much stress may be frustrating, but Walt may need a little bit to get excited anymore.

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