Breaking Bad – “Mas” – review

amc breaking bad masThis week found Hank, Skyler and Walt paralyzed with fear over “taking another step,” as Skyler says late in the episode to her lawyer.  Jesse, on the other hand, desperately wants to move forward in his working relationship with Gus, but is paralyzed by outside forces he cannot control.  But though the episode may have been about the impotency of our characters once again, by the end of it Walt was most definitely back in the game again.

Hank has been working like a dog trying to track down Jesse’s RV only to fail with every registered vehicle on his list.  To add to his shit pile, Gomez ends up taking the job in El Paso that Hank previously turned down.  Marie is concerned about him, but Hank just shuts her out, no matter how hard she pushes him (the shower scene was arguably the most tense scene of “Mas”).  This leads to Marie confiding in Skyler, relating her experience with Hank to Skyler’s with Walt, supposing that it’s natural that a brush with death is bound to change a person.

This gets Skyler thinking about what she and Walt are going through.  She likes fucking her boss mainly as a retreat from being thought of as a bitch by everyone in her family, the affair also hopefully hurting Walt enough to move out.  But she sees no future with her boss and also softens up some to Walt after the phone call with Marie, even lets Walt comfort the baby in a very touching scene.  After a conversation with her lawyer and an admission that she’s kind of conflicted about the massive bag of money she finds in Walt’s room, it almost seems that Skyler might really understand Walt, that she wants to patch things up.  But before she ever gets a chance to work something like that out, she comes home to find Walt has packed his shit and signed the divorce papers.

Which is a nasty bit of miscommunication, though at least someone was taking action at last.  Walt spends the episode being hounded by Jesse for the money Gus gave him and hounded by Gus into getting back to work on the meth.  Gus even offers Walt his own lab hidden under an industrial laundry he owns, but Walt still resists.  His actions have hurt people and he wants no more of that shit (or “No Mas,” as a previous episode was titled).  But Gus points out that if people got hurt in Walt’s quest to provide for his family, so be it.  A man provides, he says, even when his family doesn’t appreciate it, even if his family doesn’t love him.  And as long as he has kids, he’ll always have a family to provide for.  So just as Skyler seems to be coming around on her own to the fact that Walt is simply providing for his family, Walt comes to the same conclusion and ends up leaving the house and divorcing her – cold shit, dear reader.

Not only does Walt get back in the game (because, sorry to belabor the title significance shit, he wants “Mas” dinero, if you will), but he rubs it Jesse’s face, assures Jesse that with Walt back in, Jesse is no longer working for Gus.  Hell, the only reason Jesse got an in with Gus in the first place was so that Gus could use Walt’s chemistry pride against him.  This prompts Jesse to smash Walt’s windshield, the cracks recalling the damage done to the Aztec (god I love that Walt drives one of those ugly pieces of shit) by the plane crash debris.  In other words, the guilt and the shame are right back on Walt once again.

But though Jesse may be out for right now, Hank is going to be heading right for him now that he has solved the mystery of who owns the RV, the owner being decidedly not Jesse but Jesse’s late buddy Combo’s mom.  The awesome flashback cold open (which, kick ass as it was, missed an opportunity to bring back fan favorite Badger for a bit) brought us back to the first season, showing us that Combo stole the RV from his mom for Jesse and she never reported it missing, not wanting her son to go to jail.  Hank finds a picture of Jesse in Combo’s room – cut to end credits.

So for next week predictions, I’d say it’s definitely a good thing that Jesse is out of the game and sober at the moment, seeing how that way when Hank inevitably finds him, Jesse won’t have any evidence on him (fingers crossed).  After all, if Jesse gets taken in, who knows what kind of loyalty he’ll have toward Walt any more?  Also, I’d imagine we’ll see some cousin shit next week after they were particularly absent this episode.  And is it just me or did the whole secret lab thing feel a bit much for this world they’ve created, a little too James Bond-ish?  I mean, Gus is smart as shit and very wealthy (and they mildly set up the existence of Gus’ laundry in a very brief scene previously in the season), but it was kind of goofy, a little over-the-top.  Hopefully my feelings on point will change soon, because it looks like the secret meth lab is Walt’s workplace for the time being.

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Nerd of Noir

I love crime/noir fiction, comics and movies. I think my opinions are web-worthy. Then again, what asshole doesn't think that their opinions deserve a blog?

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About Nerd of Noir

I love crime/noir fiction, comics and movies. I think my opinions are web-worthy. Then again, what asshole doesn't think that their opinions deserve a blog?

5 Replies to “Breaking Bad – “Mas” – review”

  1. Jessie and Badger were old acquaintances, but hadn’t communicated since high school (I believe) until they reunited after jesse’s failed sales interview. Badger was outside dressed in some ridiculously awesome mascot attire… fan favorite indeed.

  2. I don’t think the “secret lab” was over the top. Gus has the money and has product that needs to be made so that he can sell it. Why would Gus want Walt to cook meth in an RV and risk getting caught? Makes perfect sense to me.

  3. John

    It makes sense, certainly. But something about the presentation of it, the secret passage with the giant laundry machine rising up on hydraulics, felt a little too Dr-Evil’s-secret-volcano-lair to me. Yes, no doubt if anyone could swing a secret volcano lair, Gus would be the man with the means, but it just “feels” Roger Moore-era James Bond to me.