September 9, 2013

TPG's Chemistry Class: Season 5, Episode 13 - To'hajiilee (Breaking Bad Recap)

And now the bullets are flying! Last night's peculiarly titled episode "To'hajiilee" saw the story rocketed forward in a major way. It will certainly be interesting to see where things go from here. But outside of the last 15 minutes, there was a boatload of visual metaphors, awesome call-backs, and more just brimming at the surface. So let's send some picture messages and get into it.

1. Todd as a character is completely fascinating. On one hand he is an earnest, hard-working all American boy next door. He wants to make people happy, do good work, and stay close with his family. Just like he was with Mr White, he was so eager to please Lydia during their little brief conversation, I think it made her uncomfortable. Of course it needs to be noted that he is a child-murdering drug dealing neo-nazi, so yeah he's not that much of an all American boy next door. This duality is the backbone of "Breaking Bad." Each character is a Jekyll & Hide situation with their normal self (teacher, cop, drug-dealer) and then their demented other side (kingpin, vigilante, kind hearted do-gooder). These world's can't stay separate forever and we saw that first hand tonight.

2. Why was the first point not about the shoot-out that closed out this episode? Good question because this was one of the best shootouts I've ever seen on television. Slow motion shot gun blasts, cars being torn to pieces, and of course stunning Western cinematography. That being said I'm shocked that Gomez and Hank are still alive 10 seconds into this thing, I mean those Neo-Nazis had some "Expendables" like weapons!

3. MIND BONE WITH EARLY SIDE OF BACON - Did you catch all the mentions of brands during tonight's episode? The show is as much as study in American Business as it is a character study. In the opening we saw Lydia complain the meth wasn't on brand because it wasn't blue. Later we saw Skyler explain the importance of reinforcing the car-wash brand. Just how important is a brand to these people. Well to Lydia it's important enough that those nazi's are damn sure not going to kill Walt in that cross-fire, him/his product is the essential brand. Everyone else? Not so much? And the car-wash? It's just a matter of keeping up the front, and considering Skyler didn't say it when Saul came in, it looks like the brand is tarnished.

4.Who knew that Huell was a stand-up comedian when he hasn't using his "fastest fingers in the west" hands? Just kidding, but props to Lavell Crawford who's acting in his one scene tonight was excellent!

5. It was no accident that Walt went to see Brock and Andrea before the shit went completely sour for him with the neo-nazi. The entire scene was chilling and based off the Brock was acting he either is still recovering from the poisoning or he is aware of what a monster Walt is. Watching this scene was a great way for the writers to remind us of just how demonic Walt has become. When he finally gets arrested by Hank, I actually felt pretty good. Justice served. Yeah! High Five! Oh, who's that on the horizon.

6. MIND BONE CONTINUED WITH MORE BACON - I never noticed before but Walt's white jacket has a blue lining. This is a great visual metaphor to show how the pull of the "blue magic" is, just like the cancer, is getting closer to consuming him. Later when he drives to the desert, he's wearing a blue shirt. I wonder if we'll see him in an even more blue (prison outfit, chemical suit) in the future? Also the influence of the blue goes beyond him, notice just how bluuueee Walter Jr. and Skyler were at the car-wash. Sign up to cook again and the blue evil just seeps right back in.

7. I'm still un-sure if it was being recorded, but a frantic Walt on the phone confessing to almost everyone of his crimes was beyond sloppy writing. If that recording surfaces again, I'll be disappointed. Just feels too easy for a masterful show like this.

8. Every time I see Todd's uncle Jack I get freaked out. There is something so terrifying about how methodical and business like they are with their jobs. What do you call that? Ahh, yes there it is again, being on BRAND. 

9. Again we got some HEAVY western tropes in this episode. Everything from the positing of Gomez, Jesse, Hank and Walt in the desert, to ye' olde time double cross, to of course a big shootout was Wester inspired. However beyond all the visual, I love how in the end, I love how finally it was a double cross by a partner/friend/and "son" that took Walt down. Betrayal's like the one Jesse did to Walt (if you want to call it that) are an essential part of western and crime narratives. So we'll have to see if Jesse can sit there and watch him die or if his moral compass will guide him to saving Walt?

10. CUFFS ON HEISENBERG - How did you feel when the protagonist/antagonist finally felt that cold steel on his bones? Were you sad, frustrated, elated, or something else? As I said above, because I had seen the chilling Walt-Andrea scene I felt pretty great about it. Here is a man that has killed a lot of people and generally truly deserves what's coming. On the other hand, because of the flash forward I knew he wasn't going to get locked up, so it wasn't that satisfying. 

Quick prediction go! Hank & Gomez are toast. Walt says he wont' cook if they kill Jesse, Walt cooks, kills everyone on some science tip and busts out. Final showdown will be him going to save Jesse from whoever is running things (more nazis or Lydia?)

1 comment:

  1. I don't think hank makes it but him calling Marie, telling her he loves her and that it was all over and he might be home late, plus the brains in the garbage, makes it seem so cliche