Posted on Monday, September 9th, 2013 by Joanna Robinson
As we promised in “The Ones Who Knock” Kickstarter, I will be doing weekly recaps here for each episode of Breaking Bad. For those of you unfamiliar with my recapping style, it’s less of a straightforward plot summary and more a distillation of the most interesting elements of each week’s episode. The recaps will spoil everything up through the current episode (S5E12 “Rabid Dog”), but won’t spoil any future episodes or even scenes from the “Next Time” segment of the show. There will, however, be some light speculation and straight-up crackpot theories. No theory or speculation is based on foreknowledge of the show. So hold on to your pork pie hats, because here we go.
1. I Wonder How You Say “Blue-ish From A Certain Angle If The Light Hits It Aquamarine Sky Meth” In Czechoslovakian?: The show opened with Uncle Jack and the Nazis again and by hour’s end, we knew why. But this scene did a number of things quite effectively. In addition to making me laugh at all the wacky Nazi antics, it established the stakes for Jack et. al. Despite Todd’s best efforts, he sh*t the bed and burnt the cake and now they need Walter if they’re going to get their hands on any of those sweet, sweet korunas. Basically Todd made the New Coke of meth batches, and it simply won’t do. Speaking of Todd, let’s address his creepy little crush on Lydia.
Todd has been, throughout, a fantastic and enigmatic character aided in no small measure by both Jesse Plemons, the performer, and the association many of us have with him (Landry, the world’s cuddliest kicker from Friday Night Lights). Dressed in this episode in a red and black striped shirt and looking for all the world like an overgrown Calvin (of And Hobbes fame), his polite, bashful aw-shucksing has always been so amazingly incongruous with his line of work and willingness to whack little motorbike kids. But in addition to giving us another creepy window into Todd’s inner life, I think this business with Lydia and the tea also kept Miss Rodarte-Quayle’s penchant for Stevia and Bergamot fresh in our minds. The perfect receptacle for that ricin vial, no?
2. Lydia’s Not The Only One Concerned With Brand: There were a lot of things I loved about the White Family scene at A-1. Skyler and Walt obviously have everyone holed up at the carwash with the idea that hiding in plain sight is the safest thing they could possibly do. And though Flynn would rather be at home, you know, chillin, he gets rewarded for learning the family business on a Saturday by a visit from a local celebrity. Star-struck Walt Jr. is pretty adorable. But, to me, the most relevant aspect is this parallel between Lydia and Skyler and the way they both discuss the idea of branding and marketing a product. (Not to mention all the chatter around Saul and his business’s slogan.) But to Lydia the business of trafficking meth is just that. A business. Her callow, cold-blooded attitude might be just the thing that gets her got.
3. They Should Have Called This Episode “Confession”: Oh Huell, buddy, I can’t believe you fell for the ol’ cow brains on the kitchen floor gambit. The oldest trick in the book. Conveniently, when Huell (last name Babineaux? Amazing) starts to babble info to Hank and Gomez he conveniently outlines every little thing they need to know in order to stage that other photo. “Oh the barrels were black? And this size? Hmmm.” At that point Hank isn’t even thinking about reenacting the photo making this the luckiest bit of slick exposition you could ever hope for. Huell even told him where to shop. So thoughtful, Huell.