Breaking Bad Roundtable 5.4: Fifty-One
It finally happened, we got a Skyler episode. How do you see the conflict between Walt and Skyler playing out?
Dave: For a second there I thought she might have just drowned in that pool. I think suicide is a real option at this point, although Walt pretty much pointed out to her that any solution she had come up with isn’t going to work. I certainly don’t see Skyler changing her mind about Walt the same way Jesse did.
Kevin: For a Skylar episode, it wasn’t THAT bad. Probably because of the tease with the pool, but at least the scene between her and Walt finally happened, and oh what a scene it was. Walt can now add domestic abuse to his list of crimes.
Chas: I think she will eventually be his demise, or at least instrumental in his downfall. She has every reason to be his enemy now. He’s cornered her and the only way out is his death. He is the danger. That has never been clearer at this point. As much as I’d like her to die I think this episodes puts her on a path toward heroism. That makes me sad. Also, like Kevin I will continue spelling Skylar incorrectly to show her my lack of respect for her character.
Burner: Anyone else getting a rape-y vibe from Walt? At some point this whole wife/power conflict will spill over, would it be so unthinkable for him to go from petting that cold shoulder to something much much worse. We already been teased that Walt will do something this year the audience will see as unforgivable. I will be deeply disappointed if Sklyer turns out to be a hero. Might as well end the show by cutting to black right after showing the glowing pool that taught Walt the secret of the blue meth.
Hank received a promotion that will take him off of Walt’s trail for awhile. What do you make of this?
Dave: It seems to me this is just to give Mike some room to operate. I think there’s no getting away from the final confrontation of Walt and Hank.
Kevin: Yeah I can’t imagine Hank not being involved in the investigation going forward. He’ll put his buddy in charge but I’m sure he’ll continue to think about the case. If anything this will give him the authority to work the case however he wants, including adding that surveillance team on Mike.
Chas: I agree with Dave. This is an obvious plot machination to postpone the Walt / Hank confrontation. Before the promotion we already knew Hank was adding a surveillance team on Mike so not sure what Kevin’s point is there. Maybe Kevin has intimate knowledge on what rank DEA agent you need to be to order surveillance? No, he probably doesn’t. I’m hoping that this space also allows Hank’s partner get himself killed by Mike. Have you noticed how pretty much everything that guy says is incorrect? It’s like he’s built into the show to provide contrast to illustrate how smart Hank is…god do I hate that guy.
Burner: I’ll agree with everyone. Like Dave and Chas I think this is a stalling technique as Hank will need time to settle in to his new job. Like Kevin I think that eventually Hank’s position will give him the freedom to dictate how his office uses it’s resources which will allow him to pursue the blue meth as hard as he can.
Mike wants to kill Lydia, Jesse doesn’t for moral reasons, and Walt is the deciding vote in allowing Lydia to live? What’s your over/under on how many episodes it takes before Lydia completely screws this entire operation?
Dave: It has to be one. It seems to me that there’s little doubt as to that’s where we’re heading.
Kevin: I’m not sure, it looks like in the previews for next episode she’s telling the guys to go for the source of the methylamine. If they can do that successfully there’s no point in keeping her involved. So she either gets killed at that point or is done with the whole thing. I don’t think she’ll be the end of these guys either way.
Chas: I didn’t see the trailer for the next episode. I don’t see her screwing the entire operation. I think she’s a speed bump, and by speed bump I mean a receptacle for one of Mike’s bullets. She’ll be a non-factor soon enough.
The trailer for next week looked like we’re going to have another heist on our hands. Thoughts?
Dave: There’s no way this one goes as smoothly as the magnet. I’m anxious to see how Jesse Plemons (Todd) plays into the next episode.
Kevin: It’s Breaking Bad, when hasn’t a heist worked out well at the end? Might be some collateral damage, but I have no doubt they’ll obtain a new source of methylamine and continue cooking. Otherwise there’s a lot of season left without them working.
Chas: I didn’t see it. I don’t like watching the trailers and would rather watch the episode when it comes out. Why do you guys watch those damn trailers? Plus for Breaking Bad it’s extra risky because you may inadvertently be exposed to Small Town Security. You know how you improve Small Town Security, AMC? You buy the rights to Reno 911 and run repeats of that superior comedic cop show right after Breaking Bad. Easy.
Burner: A heist should be fun but I don’t see anyway this goes well, if it gets off the ground at all. There’s nothing that really says they have to keep cooking. It’s not like infighting plus law enforcement plus fall out from something gone wrong couldn’t provide enough incidence to get us to the end of the season.
What was your favorite scene from this episode?
Dave: I’d have to go to the scene at the beginning of the episode with the cars. As everyone should know by now, I’m a huge fan of the music Breaking Bad selects for its episodes and Knife Party’s “Bonfire” is a great dubstep song and the editing there was pretty cool too.
Kevin: Um, I think it’s gotta be the Skylar pool scene. I loved the symbolism with Walt rambling on about how great his life is because of the people he has supporting him, even pointing out Skylar’s help with the chemo specifically, all while Skylar is behind him, slowly drowning in the water. Very cool cinematography in this episode.
Chas: I thought the pool scene was too blatant. This show isn’t always subtle but I the juxtapostion between Walt’s reality and Skylar’s reality was overwrought and ridiculous. She may has well have stood behind Walt during his monologue on the last year and shook her head no, put her hand over her nose like someone farted and given a thumbs down. I’m going with the dubstep car scene because it had the best editing and was the most fun. Fun is the Anti-Skylar
Burner: I guess I’ll go with the brief scene between Jessie and Lydia. Funny, weird energy, 21 Jump Street joke, that’s pretty much the best you can do in a Skyler episode. Having driven not one but two Chryslers, I can’t personally conscience endorsing what was essentially a commercial for the auto company.
What were your overall thoughts on this episode.
Dave: Despite the fact that we received our dreaded Skyler episode I still enjoyed it. It was probably my least favorite episode of the season but it’s still Breaking Bad and it’s still awesome.
Kevin: Solid, nothing spectacular. For a Skylar/Marie episode, not bad at all.
Chas: It was good overall. A tremendous one for a Skylar episode. Another necessary episode to drive the plot toward to the inevitable chaotic ending.
Burner: This was perfectly fine for an episode where nothing cool really happens. I hope that the Skyler issue resolves itself soon rather than later. More Jessie, Mike and Hank please.