July 23, 2012

TPG's Chemistry Class: Episode 5002 "Madrigal"

I wanna be like Mike! I mean, not really, but, seriously, Mike man, dude's got that ice in his veins (or does he, more on that later.) In every other TV show this would be a "setup" episode, and while it does serve that function, it's also an insightful look into one of the show's best characters. And finally also provided me with the first mind bone of the season, but we'll get to that later.

Meaning of Title - Hmmm, while some names on this show are easy to decode - Los Pollos Hermanos - means Chicken Brothers, just kidding, this one is tough. The wikipedia page is full of shit about music, soccer players, and characters, in books. But perhaps if we look at like a "Lost" like anagram we find meaning. Ahh...what's this? I found "A Mad Girl" which could be prophetic considering the woman we met tonight.

Acting! - With the show raking in the Emmy nominations, we got a nice little reminder here from Aaron Paul about why he's just as good if not better than Bryan Cranston. His speech where he broke down about the cigarette was phenomenal.

1. This was far removed from the somewhat zany magnetic antics of last week, instead we got some serious back story on everyone's favorite cleaner - Mike Ehrmantraut. We learn about his past in Philly, that he used to be a cop, and retired under somewhat dramatic circumstances. The scene where he is questioned by Hank & Goateemez was tense and classic "Breaking Bad." But that wasn't even it, the hit he dropped on the assassin was so smooth from the piggy on the door to the quick shots to the chest, it reminded us that aka the ear man is such a great strong vicious character.

2. It's nice seeing Jesse and Mr. White do insipid tasks like tear through apartments for poison cigarettes set to rock music.

3. Also nice to see that Heisenberg is up to his old tricks stashing money/drugs/guns/poison in his house where his family rests their heads.

4. Speaking of family, that's what this whole thing is about right? I when I say whole thing, I mean the entire show. It's providing for family that makes Walt start cooking. It's family that drives Tio Salamanca's rage that takes down Gus. And it's family that makes Mike not ice the Sylvia, the Madrigal woman. But who's family is Mike thinking about. His own, who now has lost that two million the DEA found? Or is it Slyvias

5. Walt is motivated wants to save his family. Mike wants to save his family. Jesse? We haven't seen his family in a long time, and while he may care about Brock and Andrea, we haven't seen them around. And yet, so far this season we have seen Walter get reaaaal creepy with Skylar and tell her the value of family. I'm not sure if Jesse shares those values at this point, this could be a serious asset.

6. Let's talk about Madrigal company for a little bit. If they're above Gus, then it's kind of disappointing,  I really wanted him to be the top dog. But if they are, then what are to make the Germans? They seem just a reserved as Gus in their sit down with the D.E.A and they're also ruthless enough to start icing people right away. Where the story goes from here, I'm not sure, but I don't think we've seen the last of them, and in fact at Comic Con, series creator Vince Gilligan said we will be hearing more German than Spanish this season.

7. MIND BONE WITH PESTO TOMATO SPREAD WITH SOME MOZZARELLA - There are 12 Madrigal associates including Gus. 12! That's some biblical business folks. Does that Jesus the head of Madrigal? Are we looking at a Meth German Jesus? That's almost too much to handle.

8. What's that, a cold wind blows on the New Mexico sands, yes, it's the Spirit of The West chiming in with his Western thoughts:
Last week's classic Western trope, TEAMWORK gives way this week to its counterpoint, BETRAYAL. New character Sylvia -- who works for Gus Fring's (former) multinational chemical supplier, Madrigal -- comes to ABQ looking for assurance that Mike's guys aren't going to rat them out. He assures her they're solid, that they're in no danger of losing their heads. And everything seems fine.…except Sylvia's skittish and hires another hit man to dispatch all 11 partners, including Mike. BIG MISTAKE, LADY. Before you can say "broken friendship bracelet" Mike has dispatched his would-be assassin and confronts Sylvia, like a boss. You see it  in every Western: fragile alliances shattered, so often by money (or the prospect of money). Everyone looks out for #1. There are true friends sometimes, but ultimately the cowboy rides alone -- to his fortune, or to his death. I expect we'll be seeing both this season on 'Breaking Bad'!
9.  Gotta love how Walter says that "There is gold in the streets waiting for someone to scoop it up," and then we cut to a nice game of Hungry Hungry hippos, gotta gobble up that cash!

10. I loved how Sylvia lived in some modern new age glass house. It works as a double metaphor because A) People who live in glass houses shouldn't throw rocks...because bald dudes like Mike will come to your house to kill you B) All these people are under the microscope now, both by their employers and the D.E.A.

11. With Mike decreeing that he's calling the shots now, is he the new Gus? And if he is....I'm totally cool with that.

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