Monday, September 9, 2013

THEY WERE NAZIS, DUDE:  A few thoughts on last night's brilliant Breaking Bad, below the fold:

  • Once I realized that Walt was being set up by Hank and Jesse, I was giddy, and the more he confessed, the happier I was. And then I realized how much time was still left after Walt was cuffed, and I worried. Holy crap was that a great half-hour of television.
  • Also: Brock knows. He may not consciously know it, but deep down, he knows.
  • The only thing which didn't ring true to me was how easily Huell flipped. I just didn't buy it, and found it more convenient than plausible. He's never been portrayed as dumb before.
  • So what happens next? I don't think Hank is dead, despite the most foreshadowy phone call of call time, precisely because Gilligan knows we know what that call usually means. Gomez, on the other hand, is likely no longer among the living.

    Here's where I think this is going: I think the Nazis are somehow going to force Walt and Jesse together (the "last cook"?), and force them one last time to trust each other one more time to save their lives, revealing the true character of each. And it will be awesome.  Three hours to go.


  1. I found it pretty plausible that Huell flipped. I don't see any deep connection between him and Saul - Saul's just his employer. Faced with both jail and a "death threat," I see that he'd fold pretty quick. Honestly, we haven't known much about Huell before this except that he's imposing. I think this is the most he's ever spoken in the whole show.

    I really, really hope Hank isn't dead. My entire hopes for the end of the show boil down to: Walt is taken down, Hank triumphs. But the second he told Marie on the phone that he loved her, I thought: he's doomed. I really hope not.

  2. Say what you will about National Socialism...

  3. I thought most of the episode was brilliant -- reminiscent of, and equal to, the Walt/Gus chess match in season 4. My only complaint is that I thought it was really obvious that Uncle Adolph was coming notwithstanding Walt's instructions. This became even more obvious after Hank started doing his impression of the Mark Harmon/Simon Donovan post-bodega-robbery-intervention victory dance from the end of Posse Comitatus. But it's a small problem, because the episode was so amazing.

    Also, I could be wrong, but the fact that Walt is free in the future suggests to me that nobody got ahold of the recording that Hank surely made of Walt's confession over the phone to Jesse, and that Hank is therefore likely dead.

  4. I really thought the Nazis were there to save Walt, because they need him to cook, but they sure were shooting indiscriminately.

  5. Andrew2:33 PM

    New Mexico Nazis. I hate New Mexico Nazis.

  6. Randy5:09 PM

    Or... and this is where I thought things were going... Walt goes on trial for all his crimes, but gets off because the evidence is ruled inadmissible. We know in the flashforward that Walt is publicly known as Heisenberg, and feared (at least by Carol): what better way for that to happen than an OJ-like public spectacle of a trial? (The last 10 minutes of last night's ep might blow that theory away, alas.)

  7. Randy5:23 PM

    Ok, so I've been doing my darnedest not to make any sort of predictions about where these last few episodes were heading. I've just wanted to enjoy whatever Vince and the other writers came up with. But last night's episode INFURIATED me - I hated hated hated HATED the ending. It was, of course, expertly made, but this kind of mid-shootout cliffhanger feels like the worst kind of cheat. It OBVIOUSLY feels like Hank's about to die - but I really hope this show is smart enough not to make the obvious choice here. But then, they've got to find a really good way to get Hank out of the shootout alive, and what would that look like?

    Well, if Walt managed to get out of the car, and if the Nazis really do want to get him to cook for them, he could say something like "If they die, I won't cook for you". Walt has, again and again and again throughout the series, convinced people to do things when they really didn't want to.

    But the other wildcard in this scenario is Jesse. The last we saw of Jesse, he was - VERY WISELY - trying to get out of Walt's car. But if he does get out, then what? Well: Walt's gun is still out there on the ground. Walt drops it when he surrenders, and neither Hank nor Gomez retrieves it before the Nazis arrive. It's away from the gunfight, so Jesse can conceivably get to it. (Also, iirc, Walt's never actually fired this gun, so it will NEED to be used before the series ends, of course.) I know there's still this massive 10-person shootout going on, and that needs to stop first, but wouldn't it be wonderfully ironic if Jesse somehow used Walt's gun to SAVE Walt's life?

  8. On trial and acquitted before his 52nd birthday? You, my Canadian friend, have a foreigner's confidence in the American judicial system that I, sadly, do not share.

  9. Randy5:28 PM

    Heh. It's not a perfect theory, of course. Maybe not a full trial. But what if he's arrested, and becomes publicly known as Heisenberg, but then the charges get dismissed or something?

  10. Adam C.6:01 PM

    All props to Hank for his Savini-level work on the gore FX in the photo that pushed Huell over the edge.

  11. J. Bowman7:15 PM

    I'd say a half-dozen or so well-armed men are a good explanation as to why Walt ends up with a large-caliber automatic weapon in his trunk.
    Yeah, I think that Hank can't really be dead, not with three hours to go. But then, neither could Etta Bishop or Deep Throat or Amy Pond or Mr. Eko. Sometimes, playing it straight is the biggest surprise of all. This half-season is all aftermath. Walt has destroyed everything and everyone he's touched, and the only question is when and how horribly it ends for each of them.

  12. The Pathetic Earthling7:43 PM

    I like this theory rather a lot. He's out of jail and free but hardly not under suspicion. I think the belt-fed machine gun is him going after the Nazis who he'll blame for putting Walt Jr and Holly in the sole custody of the widowed Marie.

  13. Or breaks out or runs before he's arrested. After all, he has a new identity, and if he was being sought by authorities, that would explain the publicity.

  14. Cori Faklaris4:25 PM

    I'm surprised I haven't seen more reactions like yours. I read a recap before watching the episode so I knew how it ended before hand -- otherwise I wonder if the in-medias-shootout ending would have simultaneously frustrated and impressed me as much as did the cut-to-black "Sopranos" series close. (Made me wonder too if this abrupt end was a nod to that piece of TV history -- they DID play some classic rock in the ep's intro as well, though "Oh Sherry" not Journey.)

  15. My theory -- Gomez is dead, Hank isn't.

    Although, if Hank is dead, I imagine that the gun from the season premiere is about avenging Hank against the NMN faction.

    FWIW, Cori, my girlfriend jumped up from the couch at the cut-to-black and yelled, "I AM THROUGH WITH THIS SHIT!" ...and then went straight to her phone to read every speculation/recap article she had saved on Instapaper until we got around to watching the episode, so I think she'll be watching the next three episodes anyway.

  16. I don't think the next episode will pick up where this one left off, though -- I think it will pick up with Lydia driving away from the lot, and end with her input into the firefight. I figure she's already got new partners since this conversation has gone so far south already, and the new Forces of Darkness will mow down the NMN while Hank, Walt, and Jesse stand agog, like Kirk watching the bigger leviathan eat his pursuer in the first Jaybrams movie.