Breaking Bad Review: “Salud”

Now that’s what I’m talking about.

It’s been a monumentally slow build, but at long last we have vindication this season of Breaking Bad. The pieces have been falling into place for a while now, and this week we got to see Gus’ master plan in action, and I genuinely didn’t even know he had a master plan.

The mass assassination of Don Eladio and his capos was without question one of the show’s best moments, and almost balletic to watch as fat Mexicans keeled over left and right from Gus’ poison liquor. I was initially upset when it appeared after all that grooming, Gus had essentially sold Jesse into slavery and surely the next entire season would be about Walt trying to somehow rescue Jesse from Mexico.

But it turns out Gus’ most admirable trait is loyalty, to Jesse, but also to his dead brother and partner whom Don Eladio killed those many years ago. To be able to exact revenge on the exact spot on which the original atrocity was committed was just an added bonus.

Beautiful.

This entire plan seemed very un-Gus-like however. There is no one more meticulous and calculating than him, and there were so, so many things that could have gone wrong with this plan. You would think that a Don of the Cartel would take a little more precaution when presented with a drink from a man who has every reason to want him dead. A simple nod from his bodyguard that said “don’t worry, we looked, it’s just liquor not a bomb” and the fact that Gus drank some doesn’t seem like enough. Hasn’t he seen The Princess Bride? Maybe Gus had taken the antidote previously.

Also, I found it fortunate for Gus that the Don would share such a rare drink with every single one of his fat friends, thus expending the entire bottle in one go. It’s also fortunate that outside of the capos, the villa didn’t seem to have actual average Joe security guards the way one might expect to find in a Cartel mansion.

I did however, appreciate the fact that Gus’s vomit-up-the-poison trick didn’t work smoothly. I doubt there are very many fast-acting deadly poisons that you can puke out before they have debilitating effects, and I’m glad to see that fact wasn’t ignored as Gus is now in dire straits. The same goes for Mike, who was shot by the mansion’s lone security guard, and now Jesse is tasked with…what exactly? Driving them back into the States in a drug lord’s stolen Mercedes? Something tells me they’re going to be in Mexico for a while.

Mike’s seen worse. Right? Right???

The assassination overshadowed everything else in the episode, which didn’t consist of anything too major. Walt continues to be useless, as he has been all season, but on his pain meds he seemed to come to Jesus so to speak and see the error of his ways. I almost thought he was finally going to let Walter Jr. know what the hell was really going on, but I guess he’s going to ride that gambling story into the ground. And Walt Jr. gets a PT Cruiser? With that and Walt’s Aztec, I’m astonished with how bad this family’s taste in cars is.

I liked that Ted continued to be a complete dumbass, using free money raining from the sky as an excuse to get a Mercedes and restart his business, kicking the IRS payment down the line. Skyler thought she was fixing the problem by ghosting him the cash, but once she realized his dumbassery knows no bounds, she revealed her hand and now Ted’s going to have some very serious questions. Halfway through their conversation, the thought occurred to me that I think Skyler might actually end up having him offed down the line, thus completing her transition to the dark side.

“Ahhhhhhh you’ve got to be f*cking kidding me.”

What happens if Gus and Mike die? Who takes over the meth business? How high up was Don Eladio in the Cartel? I mean, it’s THE Cartel isn’t it? I don’t think they let stuff like this go. But if Gus is gone, who will they go after? I assume they’d burn everything he owned to the ground, including the meth lab, so where would that leave Walter and Jesse, who also incidentally absolutely hate each other? God forbid Gus does survive and the Cartel actually has a clear target. If the show simply tries to play it off like “Gus killed everyone so there’s no retribution” that’s kind of bullshit, so I hope they enact realistic consequences to this declaration of full-on war on the world’s most terrifying crime syndicate.

Jesse proved himself to be awesome in every way today whether it was ordering around Mexican meth cooks like a boss, or filling someone full of lead when the moment called for it (albeit while his gun magically had about 23 rounds in it). Now we need to see a similar transformation out of Walt who appears to have hit rock bottom with his little painkiller moment. This would have been a great season finale, but the fact that there’s three more episodes left is even more exciting.

 

11 Comments

  1. mike September 19, 2011
  2. Steven September 19, 2011
  3. BobaFett September 19, 2011
  4. JohnC September 19, 2011
  5. JoshW September 19, 2011
  6. CPLane September 20, 2011
  7. Borgesian September 20, 2011
  8. Chris Woodward September 20, 2011
  9. Jacob September 20, 2011
  10. duke September 20, 2011
  11. Jesse September 21, 2011

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