Breaking Bad, “No Mas”: You’re a drug dealer.

From the very beginning, Breaking Bad was a show that really went from 0 to 60 in less than 10 seconds. After seeing promos before it premiered in 2008, with the dad from Malcolm in the Middle standing there in his underwear, I never would have thought it would so quickly become one of the best dramas on TV. Judging from tonight’s episode, the show isn’t looking to let up one bit.

A little time has passed since the end of season 2. Walt’s recovered from his surgery, Skyler’s suspicions about her husband and where he’s been getting the money to pay for his medical bills have finally come to a head and Jesse’s finished his stint in rehab. During all of this the community is still trying to come to terms with the plane crash we saw at the end of last season. As all of these things come together, we’re seeing Walt play a sort of “two steps forward, three steps back” game in regards to far he’s willing to go in his role as Heisenberg, and it’ll be interesting to see how the show deals with that as it moves forward.

Like Tony Soprano before him, Walter is incapable of owning up to it when he’s accused of doing anything wrong. Now that Skyler’s kicked him out of their house, he’s realizing that Jesse is the closest thing he’s got to a friend right now, so it’s important that he make him believe — like he believes — that he’s not to blame for Jane’s death and the resulting plane crash. We saw this same thing before, during the rally in the gym, in which Walt tried to downplay the crash and tell everyone that they would survive and move on, because that’s what people do. It eventually became painfully clear that Tony Soprano was a sociopath who could never accept responsibility for the things he had done, and to be completely honest, I’m hoping that Breaking Bad doesn’t go down the same road. There was that great moment from last season when Walt finds the two meth dealers in the parking lot of the hardware store and tells them to stay out of his territory. I feel that, regardless of the fact that he’s since tried to duck responsibility for his actions, Walt will eventually embrace who he is and what he’s doing.

Of course it’s possible that absolutely none of this will happen, but it looks like season 3 may be paving the way for just that. Skyler’s pushing for a divorce and Jesse’s come out of rehab accepting of the fact that he’s the “bad guy.” Gus has offered Walt three million dollars for three months of work and a couple of Coen-esque drug cartel boys are looking for Heisenberg, and the bodies are already starting to drop. So it looks like this season will be even larger in scope than the show has been so far. Now, with the offer Gus has made him and the high-level guys who are out to get him, Walt is going to have to make a decision about whether or not to jump into the deep end. I’ve been binging on Breaking Bad DVDs these past few days, so going back to one episode a week is going to be rough.

Stuff I liked:

  • Look, I realize that he’s a drug dealer and lying to his family, but can Skyler lay off the guy for five minutes? When I’ve seen the two arguing before, I’ve always rooted for Walt, so I took special satisfaction in seeing how pissed off Walt Jr. got at his mom now that she’s kicked his dad out of the house.
  • Although it didn’t take 13 episodes for us to understand going on, I really liked the teaser from tonight’s episode, with the villagers, and eventually the cartel boys, crawling on hands and knees to the shrine…or whatever that was supposed to be.
  • The campfire scene with Jesse was obviously a turning point for his character. Before, it’s seemed like he could walk away from Walter without a second thought. Now, I think the two of them may be even more joined at the hip.
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