Aug 22 2011

Breaking Bad Review: “Cornered”

Published by at 12:43 pm under Reviews,Television

Goddamnit Walter White, why are you such an idiot?

You would think after four years of being a borderline meth kingpin, you would have learned a thing or two, but no, ever still Walt proves that he’s kind of a moron. And about three different times over the course of one episode to boot.

Breaking Bad is becoming the Walter White comedy hour, as he desperately tries to screw up what he has going for himself. Skyler remarked that maybe he WANTS to get caught, or wants it all to end, and after this week, I’m not sure I disagree.

Three times Walter screwed up this episode, the first and most obvious was heavily implying to Skyler that HE was the one who had Gail killed in an exceptionally misguided attempt to put her at ease. Between this and telling Hank that the “true genius” was still out there, Walter’s ego appears to be ultimately what’s going to destroy him.

Yeah, this is in no way a bad idea.

The same goes for the second mistake, buying Walter Jr. a $35K car…why exactly? I have no idea what even inspired that purchase. It’s not like he was even upset. There was some talk of jokingly “buying him off” but it just didn’t make sense in the plot, and felt only like a device to amplify Walter’s stupidity. Yes, because if your wife is upset about the $400 bottle of champagne you brought home, she won’t care about the tens of thousands of dollars worth of muscle car sitting in her driveway, especially when she’s already pissed at you.

And then finally Walter’s ego takes one more swing, this time at Gus where he goes all “in your face” after Jesse is called away and Walt is stuck with the cleaning duties for the lab. You really think that Gus is going to allow ANY unknown person into his multi-million dollar meth lab, even if they don’t speak English? How could Walter have thought that he would allow that, if not have those ladies MURDERED. I actually breathed a sigh of relief when they were ONLY sent packing on a bus.

Walt’s story is just sort of weird these days, and his conflict seems to be mostly against himself. He’s still sparring with Skyler, but now in a different way. She may know his meth game, but she is still in the dark about the truly blackened parts of his journey, including a bevy of murders he’s involved with directly or indirectly. Will she ever actually learn everything? Did she actually need to drive out to Four Corners to flip a coin to see whether she should stay? I’m still trying to process that part.

Meanwhile, the far more interesting storyline now is Jesse. He’s officially awoken from his five episode coma and is interesting again, annoying a new old man, this time Mike instead of Walt. Mike is less of a prick than Walt however, and Jesse actually feels like his services are appreciated for once. A reassuring word from Gus certainly helps as well. I love his scenes with the meth freaks, and it showed that he has the street smarts and instincts to make for good muscle, despite his relatively small stature. The hole digging part had me cracking up.

“Whatcha diggin?”

Breaking Bad is best in small moments like that. Another I like was Walter using Bogdan first dollar to buy a Coke a drink it. Symbolism at its finest. But does Bogdan think he’s getting the last laugh as he believes his property to be worthless? Is he going to find out that isn’t the case and come gunning for Walt?

It looks like Gus vs. the Cartel is shaping up to be the major conflict of the season, though Gus appears to want to avoid conflict at all costs. Unless he’s planning a trap for the meeting where everyone gets slaughtered, he appears to want to work things out with the Cartel peacefully. Yeah, because that always works.

No word from Hank on any new developments from the journal, but I bet he’ll pop up next week with a new breakthrough on the case, bringing him one step closer to Walter.

Things are picking up, but Walter really needs to figure out how to get his head screwed on straight, or he’ll be behind bars or underground in a hurry.

 





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10 responses so far

  • John

    Walt’s been in the game for one year in the shows timeline, but the show itself has been on for four years.

    Just sayin’.

  • Sean

    This week’s episode, after a (finally) great episode, was disappointing.
    I’m not enjoying the stupid Walt we’re seeing. I know Vince said Walt is going to piss you off, but i thought he meant with making slightly smarter choices that have heavy repercussions.
    And everything just feels like cliches and lazy writing. Skyler would never take that pointless drive to the four corners. It was just there to heighten her plot and make it all dramatic. If anything, the least she would have done is take her micromanaging skills to test and research the best place to escape to.
    And Walt should know better. Ugh.

  • bachelormanhattan

    Stupid or not, it was pretty badass when Walt bellows, “I am the one who knocks!”

  • Ozy

    Do any of you know what exactly Jesse was digging for? I still haven’t figured it out!

  • Ugo Strange

    Here’s the thing with Walter. That ordeal with Gus has shaken him up SO badly he still has NO clue how to process it. Walter is acting so stupid because he thinks there’s a big fat target on his back because of Gus’s “message”. Which ultimately I think had more to do with Victor possibly getting caught and being a MAJOR liability than him touching the equipment and such.

    However Walter still believes what Jesse said “If I can’t kill you I’ll make you wish you were dead.” and technically that’s where Walter’s head is right now, Gus is making him WISH he was dead OR caught. However, Walter doesn’t understand the power he has, one anonymous phone call to Hank and Walter can (in a single stroke) make Gale out to be Hisenberg, bring down Gus’s organization and escape forever using Saul’s Vanisher (I’m sorry but Disappeareer sounds stupid).

    Walter’s not stupid just panicked as all hell. But that shot at Jesse was uncalled for. Those two REALLY haven’t had the best relationship from Season One. DAMN, I really hoping those two can bond AT LEAST ONCE! GEEZ! Jesse’s comin’ back in Rare form this Season, he’s not all “YO BITCH!” he’s actually using his head and Gus seems to respect him, considering Gus treated Jesse with absolute disdain last Season.

    Some of it I think IS in fact to cause a riff between Jesse and Walter, but ultimately I think Gus knows that if Jesse is doing something he won’t be using. That’s just my take. Good Stuff Paul !

  • Cody

    I miss the days when Walt actually had redeeming qualities. Still love the show, but its just not the same.

  • http://varolo.com/village/cassandrasipad BobaFett

    Did Walt do a couple of stupid things? Yes.

    Was buying the car for his son one of them? No.

    Buying an 800k car wash is a much bigger “red flag” than a sub 30k car. (product placement?)

    Since Walt is a “supposedly” a gambler, he could EASILY afford to buy a car that financed would be around $450/mo with little down payment. I know teachers who drive nicer cars.

    But, my real issue with this episode, is with the Pollos evidence and the body count piling up. Wouldn’t some law enforcement notice people being shot up, in Pollos trucks? My other issue with the “cartel murders” (although we don’t truly have confirmation of that, yet), is that Mike and Gus have differing opinions about what to do. Could that lead to a rift?

    And in closing, on my wishlist to close this season, can someone PLEASE Kill Off Skyler? Jesus…Talk about a controlling “c word”.

  • Buxxy

    Yes… Please kill Skyler. She was never “ride or die”. I think she is only in it for the money even though she spent a season or two sleeping with her boss to prove that she didn’t want anything to do with it. She is just messy.

  • breakingbadstartingtosuck

    @bachelormanhattan badass how? Walt pisses his pants every time he thinks he is going to die.

    @author
    I seriously thought this show was going to be about his ascension meth kingpin of the SW. Apparently not. I don’t know what the writer’s are thinking. After letting Jane die, Walter has ZERO redeeming qualities. Maybe this is what the writers are aiming for, but for me, it is really hard to watch at times. The episode before, he was crapping his pants scared about how he thought Gus was going to kill him, and then the next episode he goes off buying a sports car and doing those various idiotic things you mentioned. There is NO consistency with this character whatsoever, and I’m starting to get tired with him constantly arguing with anyone who dares to speak sound logic in front of him. It is also simply not believable that Skyler hasn’t left him for good yet. Period. I just don’t buy her motivation for staying, nor do I accept his motivation for acting like an idiot man child. This show is just starting to come off its hinges, if it hasn’t already. Screw Walter, I hope he gets the Columbian necktie by the end of this show, I’m so sick of him.

    I also agree with you on the return of Jesse Jackson ya’ll. For awhile, his character was going the way of Walt’s as a boring, repetitive, moron, but I really liked his interactions with Mike this episode. Anyways, I love the Saul Goodman character. Hands down the best sleazy lawyer EVER, and Saul has become the only reason I watch the show anymore.

    Some questions I have:
    1. Why doesn’t Walt hire a contract killer to take out Gus @ 500 yards with a rifle? You may say he might fear the blowback, but obviously he doesn’t, since he’s gone to kill Gus like three times.
    2. Wouldn’t Walt and Skyler be a little bit more afraid that Gus or a rival cartel would take out his entire family? His brother’s a DEA agent for freak’s sake, so they would know what the cartels would do. So they stay in the same house, drive the same cars, and have the same phone numbers. Yeah, makes tons of sense.

  • breakingbadstartingtosuck

    @ugo strange That’s an interesting theory on Walt’s mindset.

    Walt can’t anonymously turn Gus in. Walt has fingerprints all over the operations, and since Gus has no chemistry background, it would be a hard stretch for the DEA to believe that he would be Heisenberg.

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