Let's talk 'Breaking Bad,' episode #502 [updated]
After last night's episode, we have a good idea of what the shape of season 5 will be. Walt and Jesse are back in business, or at least back with a business proposal. We got a tantalizing glimpse of the Madrigal operation. And we have a new, presumably major character (not a vengeful baby Tio, but I am keeping my hopes up). Meanwhile, back at the White household, Skyler missed breakfast, which is a definite sign that all is not well. On the plus side, she has learned the difference between Raisin Bran and Raisin Bran Crunch. (Or maybe Walter Jr. is doing his own grocery shopping now.) And baby Holly continues to exist unobtrusively in the background, very much like Jesse's Roomba.
Of course, all the new answers have brought more questions. I have some more specific thoughts to share after the jump, and then I want to hear yours.
[Update 7/24: I was struggling to stay awake the first time this episode aired - what can I say, my kid is a lot more exhausting than Holly -- so I rewatched it last night because I was pretty sure I'd missed some important details. And I was right. Some additional thoughts are in brackets below.]
So, the German guy who enjoys his potato chips [update: or chicken nuggets? tater tots?] sans dip: was he working alone, or is there more to the corruption at Madrigal? (I think it's the latter.) [duh - see below.]
What do we know about Lydia, the previously unseen partner in Gus's operation? She lives a pretty comfortable lifestyle, as evidenced by her nanny and her unfamiliarity with the Denny's menu. And she's useful to Mike. Predictions about how that will play out? [update: I was so sleepy the first time I watched this episode that I managed to miss Lydia's presence at the DEA sitdown with Madrigal's CEO et al. Kind of important. So we know the corruption extends at least to her. Does it go higher?]
I loved Hank's boss's speech about how he had been deceived by Gus. I woke up this morning trying to tease apart the layers of dramatic irony there -- we got a long shot of Hank looking reflective. But was Hank thinking about Walt -- or getting closer to it? ("Gosh, I wonder if anyone I've had over for dinner is leading a double life.") Or does it just seem like he must be because we are?
Does anybody else suspect Gomez of being dirty? I spent all of season 4 waiting for him to be exposed. Something about the way he kept trying to talk Hank out of pursuing his investigation of Gus, plus Gomez's general uselessness as an investigator, plus his increasingly sinister facial hair, just has me convinced. But if he were a double agent, wouldn't Mike know about it? And couldn't Mike have gone through him to get the laptop out of the evidence room, rather than go to the trouble of setting up that whole magnetized-truck caper? So maybe Gomez is just bad at his job. Or, maybe it was Gomez, and not Walter, that Hank thought of as he listened to his boss's regretful speech? And if so, it could be that Gomez isn't actually dirty, but Hank may come to suspect he is. I mean, look at that goatee. It's way evil-er than Walt's.
About the Author
Mollie Wilson O'Reilly is an editor at large and columnist at Commonweal.