Posted on Monday, September 16th, 2013 by Joanna Robinson
8. The Mighty Flynn Just two episodes ago I was begging for a badass moment from Walt Jr. Truth be told, I wasn’t a fan of RJ Mitte‘s performance when he discovered the news, or in the car with Skyler or even when he heard about Hank’s death. (In fact, I think he was easily out-acted by Baby Holly.) “It’s not true, it can’t be true.” But in the heat of the moment? When he threw down his crutches and jumped his dad? When he called the police on his father? His hero? I was Team Flynn. The shot above, a domestic violence pose we’ve seen in countless films and TV shows, hammers home just how far The Whites have fallen. Someone has to protect this family from the man who protects this family.
9. Where’s Hank? Where’s the boy? Oh, Anna Gunn. Who absolutely slaughtered her scenes in this episode? Anna Gunn. Sure, she was given two bits of dialogue that made my TV-junkie senses tingle. Her “Where’s Hank?” recalled The Wire‘s “Where’s Wallace” and her screams of “Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaalt” during the loss of a child was 100% Lost. But Anna Gunn made this whole thing entirely her own. (With a tip of the hat to Betsy Brandt‘s own tragedy mask at finding she’d lost Hank.) I don’t understand you Skyler White haters, I never have. But I especially don’t understand anyone who wasn’t on Skyler’s side as she brandished that knife.
10. The Three Redemptive Acts Of Walter White I’ve been struggling all season about how I’m supposed to feel about Walter White. I came out of last year hating him and calling him a monster. But Vince Gilligan and company are telling a more nuanced story than that. And so all season long they’ve been chipping away at that notion of mine. Walt’s still reprehensible. He’s still Heisenberg. But last week we had Walt choosing his brother over his own freedom. And this week we got three redemptive acts as Walt gave up his most important possessions. 1) He gave up his money to try to save Hank. 2) He gave up Holly, the one member of his family who hadn’t turned on him. 3) By confessing on the phone and using language that exonerated Skyler, he gave up his ability to go home again. Legacy, family, home. All gone.
Let’s talk about that phone call for a second. First of all, Skyler Haters, this one was for you. Not in a “cheer along with Walt” sort of way, no. But I think violent language in this call was meant to hold up a mirror to your viler commentary about Skyler’s character. “What the hell is wrong with you. Why can’t you do one thing you say? This is your fault, this is what comes from your disrespect…you stupid b*tch.” If you found yourself agreeing with Walt? I can’t help you. There’s no saving you.
Secondly, how amazing was Bryan Cranston? We’ve seen him use that Heisenberg snarl before. (Earlier in this episode in fact.) But we’ve never seen him do it with tears dripping down his face. Recalling his confession from the pilot, Walt puts on this performance to save his family. But in doing so, he scorches the earth and we see, on Cranston’s face, all the facets of Walt. He was talking out of both sides of his mask, and it was incredible.
Crackpot Theories Of The Week: As we know, Breaking Bad loves foreshadowing deaths. The handwriting was on the wall for Hank all season. (“Marie, you’ve killed me”; Marie black wardrobe.)
We’ve also seen some indications that Pinkman will die. (And I was certain Skyler was going to fall on that knife.) So what does the image below mean for Walt’s future? Does he take a bullet to the brain? At this point, would you want him to?
Musical Moment Of The Week The following lyrics accompanied Walt as he rolled his $10/$11 million through the desert: “Had a job a year ago, had a little home. Now I’ve got no place to go, guess I’ll have to roam.”
In Memoriam Agent Steve Gomez, Assistant Special Agent in Charge Hank Schrader, The Case Against Skyler White, Walt Jr’s Hero Worship, Marie Schrader’s Tenuous Grip On Her Sanity, The Left Side Of Jesse Pinkman’s Face and Walt’s Pants. Despair, indeed.