Breaking Bad
Thirty-Eight Snub

Episode Report Card
Couch Baron: B+ | 8 USERS: A
.38 Special
In a hurry? Read the recaplet for a nutshell description!

Hi there! Joe R is on vacation this week, and since he took a Mad Men for me last season when the situation was reversed, I am doing him the extreme favor of subbing in for him in return. I mean, it's not like I just did a series rewatch in anticipation of the new season, or that I still look back on Aaron Paul's Emmy win with unmitigated hands-rubbing-together glee. It's not at all like that.

Anyway, we get an uncharacteristic cold open in that it (a) appears not to be screwing with the episode's timeline and (b) actually involves our protagonist, as Walt is asking a grizzled man whom we've never met before, "Can you see it?" Considering the guy seems to be training his eyes on Walt's pants, you can be forgiven for wondering what new directions this scene may be exploring, but it turns out that Walt is modeling concealed weapons, so apparently the idea is not for a bulge to be visible. Unfortunately, the guy opines that "any lawman worth his salt" would spot his piece through his jacket, and goes on that if stealth is something Walt is after, he'd be wise to pick something more compact, such as the small black job he sticks in Walt's hand. ".38 special, snub nose. Got a concealed hammer so it doesn't catch on your belt when you draw." That does sound like a selling feature. After we learn that Walt will only have five shots before he has to reload, the guy gives him a stylish leather holster and tells him the snub will conceal nicely in his waistband, and while it may be a bit harder to draw, it's the best option for "foolin' a vigilant eye." After a bit of discussion over the possibility of drawing the thing across his body (dude is against it except when the shooter is seated, for the record), the guy counsels Walt to spend significant time practicing his draw before explaining that the high price of this particular ware of his is attributable to the fact that the serial number has been filed off, making the weapon untraceable. I assume there's more to this removal process than just scraping metal on metal, but then again it might take a really long time. Walt supposes that the obvious conclusion is that he doesn't want to be caught with this particular weapon on his person, and after the guy most assuredly agrees and lets us know that he's come to Walt through Saul, he asks if Walt is "strictly talking defense" as far as his intentions with the gun go, and Walt assures him the yes, absolutely that's the case, and why would he even ask? But even though the guy isn't quite familiar with Walt's slightly-higher pitched, too-casual voice of LIES LIES LIES, he does point out that if the issue is merely personal protection, Walt might want to opt for a legal weapon (i.e., one with a legible serial number), given that in matters of self-defense, New Mexico law is very liberal in allowing the use of handguns, so why risk a "felony two-spot"? In response, Walt takes a long moment before simply reiterating that it's for defense. He zips up his jacket and repeats, "Defense," and given how much he sounds like he's trying to convince himself I'm surprised the guy doesn't ask if he wants to be alone. Walt then tells the guy, "I'll take it," and of all the questions I might have thought were in doubt in that scene, that was not one of them. Credits.

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Breaking Bad




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