Breaking Bad Review: “Cornered”

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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