Breaking Bad

Episode Report Card
Joe R: B+ | 739 USERS: A
Dead and Loving It
In a hurry? Read the recaplet for a nutshell description!

Previously: I won't even dignify that with a response.

With only 75 minutes of show left, I'm glad we kick things off with one last POV shot for the road. This time, we're inside a car that's been snowed in. We can see a shadow outside the driver-side window, and of course that figure is Walter White. Now that he's made the decision to storm the castle back in New Mexico, he needs to escape the coming onslaught of authorities he called moments before his big change of heart. He jimmies his way past the lock and starts using his brilliant chemistry brain to try and hot-wire the car. Like they do on TV! POV from under the dash shows Walt hard at work, to the point where he cuts his hand open (again) on the screwdriver. Suddenly, the swirling lights of a cop car approach. Walt holds his breath (as best he can, what with the cancer) and tries not to move. Lucky for him, the snow is still caked on the windows of the car. Once the cops have passed, Walt exhales and, perhaps having had a moment to clear his thoughts, pulls back the overhead mirror flap and down fall a set of keys. Just one more example of how calm planning beats haphazard thrashing every time.

With a functioning car, a box full of money, and a ticking clock full of tumors in his chest, Walt pounds the driver-side window and the snow drops off of it. Like a boss! That's probably the first indication of the flavor of Walt we're going to get this week. Walt the wheezing Houdini. A cassette of Marty Robbins singing "El Paso" (from which we get our episode title) starts playing in the tape deck and Walt prepares to take this bitch to the end.

Credits. Elements.

I'm oddly heartened by the fact that Dean Norris is in the credits, still. I guess he does show up in one brief flashback. So by the next time we see Walt, he's driven this New Hampshire Volvo clear across the continent to New Mexico. He pops open the trunk (carefully), and we see he hasn't get acquired the gun that we saw him with at the beginning of season 5. So we're closing in on convergence, but we're not there yet. Here's where I maybe should mention that -- now that it's all been said and done -- I'm not entirely sure what purpose the flash-forwards at the beginning of "Live Free or Die" and "Blood Money" served, in the end. Besides stoking fan speculation, of course, and driving the engine for a flurry of excitement going into the finale. Which is all well and good, I suppose. But it did contribute a whole bunch of loops that needed to be closed before the finale was over, and there is a certain degree of obligation in this episode. Or else maybe they knew ahead of time that they didn't want to spend a lot of time showing Walt acquiring the gun and the ricin, who knows?

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Breaking Bad




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