Breaking Bad Recap: Episode 8 “I See You” Sharpens the Public Facade of Walter White Inside a Hospital
Posted on Thursday, May 13th, 2010 by Hunter Stephenson
/Film will be recapping and discussing each episode of the third season of Breaking Bad. A spoiler warning applies after the jump for the recaps and for the comments section. Meth heads welcome. For previous recaps, click here.
In movies, when bank robbers and gangsters grumble, “I’m never going back to jail, they’ll have to kill me,” the statement does not uniformly rule out visiting peers who are incarcerated. On the other side of the glass, a visit can be a sobering reminder against surrender, and a satisfying reassurance of dominance to the criminal mind—”Better him than me”—all the while keeping the enemy close. Walter White has never served a prison sentence, but he’s weathered a death sentence as a patient confined to a hospital. The time served there, the loss of freedom and control over his life, forever skewed his outlook on mortality and morality. The hospital is a sort of prison in Walter’s psyche, and in season three, he seems to gain an introspective satisfaction in visiting others there—standing over their beds, his hand—or in the enemy’s case his eyes—on theirs.
Episode seven, and especially episode eight, entitled “I See You” (a play on the acronym for “intensive care unit”) demonstrate how smoothly Walt operates in this setting when he’s not the patient. “I hide in plain site, same as you,” Gus Fring tells him. And in this episode, Walt is never far from a character who is bruised, bloodied, unconscious, emotionally scarred or confused, characters snagged directly or indirectly in the wrath of Walt’s crimes, and thus weaker than him. The hospital scenes in “I See You” are an affirmation for Walt of a reality in which he’s the patriarch of survival, his facade the armor.