Breaking Bad – “Salud” – review

This was a week of characters stepping up.  Some, like Skyler, stepped up only to have it back-fire right in her face.  Others, like Walt, stepped up without even knowing it and then put up the wall again once sober.  Then there’s Jesse, who stepped up at every opportunity, really came through for Gus and Mike when it counted.

But though Jesse’s storyline was obviously the most exciting this week, let’s talk Skyler first.  She’s made a deal with Saul wherein Saul will leave a bunch of money for Ted to pay off the IRS (thanks fake-ass Aunt!).  Ted, being a fucking heel of the highest order, immediately gets a Mercedes and tries to get the band back together, says he’s gonna fight the IRS with some good legal counsel instead of taking their deal.  Skyler, already in over her head with the lies and secrets, tells the truth to the exact wrong person: Ted himself.  Will this lead to Skyler finally having to get some blood on her hands in the near future?  Skyler killing Ted would be fucking brilliant.

Walt, still recovering from the pounding he took from Jesse, gets a visit from the newly sixteen Walter Jr while he’s high on painkillers and looking like shit.  While in his underwear, making him appear even more sad and vulnerable, Walt somewhat opens up to his son, talks about making a huge mistake and cries in front of him.  Yeah, he’s not exactly being completely honest, but it’s still a pretty big moment for Walt.  The next morning, no sober, Walt tells his son about how sorry he is that his boy had to see him like that, that he hates his memories of his enfeebled late father more than anything.  Walter Jr, however, points out that he’d rather remember his father the way he was the day before because at least he was being real.

The Nerd has to say at this point that this is also a big episode for Walter Jr, a character who usually gets dick to do in a given episode other than have breakfast.  He turns sixteen and shows himself to be very mature, not even being snotty about his mom getting him a PT Cruiser, a car that is even lamer than his dad’s Aztek somehow.  Then he looks after his old man and comforts him, realizes what an important moment they shared instead of getting weird about it, even has the balls to tell it to his dad straight the next day.  Nice little episode for Walter Jr all around.  (Though I was kinda hoping that he would find some shady shit in his old man’s townhouse, though I dunno what that could be.  The way he was looking at the pill bottle then looking around the empty kitchen felt more significant than it seemingly ended up being.)

But Jesse was the character who got to really show some stones in “Salud.”  First, though clearly nervous, he schools the chemists down in Mexico on the meth science, making a great product for them and throwing it right in that smug douche chemist’s face.  Then, at Don Elario’s digs, he steps up and doesn’t freeze when the shooting breaks out, even manages to kill a guy.  Yeah, he’ll probably be fucked up by it in the coming weeks, but now he’s gonna be aces with Mike and Gus like never before.  Walt is really gonna have to step up his own game to live now.

Gus wasting the entire Cartel with his tequila was a great sequence, but is that really the end of the Cartel as a threat?  If it is, and Mike and Gus can just concentrate on business matters instead of turf war shit, what does that mean for Walt and his irrational, troublesome ways of late ? (I mean, the guys missed a couple days of work as it is, Jesse obviously unable to cover for him as he was in Mexico.)  Also, how are Jesse and Walt gonna work with each other after the big fight last week?  Are they gonna do opposing shifts or something?  Then there’s the question of when is Walt gonna find out about the bullshit Skyler’s been going through with Ted, not to mention how is Ted going to handle whatever story Skyler gives him about why she has so much cash to throw around?  Lots of questions for you this week, Broke Baddies, let’s hear your theories.

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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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3 comments for “Breaking Bad – “Salud” – review

  1. September 21, 2011 at 4:38 am

    Best episode of the season, and about time. I’ve been a bit frustrated by the glacial pace of S4.

    I think this episode signals a turn in Walter’s character, perhaps swinging him back toward his original humanity. What price that will pay is anyone’s guess, but it’s high time that Walter becomes the smart guy in the room again. Of course, smart can also be equated to setting the world on fire.

    I dunno. He’s vulnerable as ever at the moment, and he’s out of a job. Not sure at all how they move through that dynamic. My best guess is that Walter has to make his new moves through Hank. It now remains his only leverage, right? A chess move coming up for sure.

    I’m curious how Gus can walk away from this without a serious war on his hands? I mean, it couldn’t be over with the cartel. That would all be too easy.

    Also, push comes to shove, regardless of Jesse’s new status, he’s shown that he has been thinking well lately, and I don’t imagine he is ever going to buy into whatever plan Gus might be selling. He wants out as bad as Walter, so those two still have that common interest.

    I’m just trying to imagine a scene somewhere in S5 where Jesse and Hank are sitting in a car together solving a problem. It could happen.

  2. broken baddie
    September 21, 2011 at 6:36 am

    You said you wished Walt Jr. found some shady shit in walt’s apartment.. I wished it too, but then Walt did call him Jessie, which I think could lead to some serious problems later on. Maybe Walt Jr will mention this to Hank, who can start connecting the dots.

    Hank has been quiet this episode.. could be the calm before the storm. I think something huge is going to happen soon as it’s nearing the end of the series (sob).

    Fantastic episode.. best one of all the seasons in my opinion…

  3. Brian Lindenmuth
    September 21, 2011 at 3:57 pm

    From Nathan Pettigrew:

    I agree with Boden as far as the glacial pace of S4 -I’ve voiced that before -however for me, the season picked up with episode seven when Hank got back into the game and raised the stakes. I’ve enjoyed the parallels with episodes 7 and 8 to season 3 episodes 7 and 8 as well -Plus episode 9′s relation to Fly from last year. All that said, this was definitely my favorite episode -this was the kind of show that I was expecting to see before S4 started. I have no idea if the Cartel’s out for good or not, but Gus took out their leader and All of his captains, with fury and balls on their home turf -there’s some serious reconstruction for the Cartel to do first before reacting. I mean Gus did a pretty good job keeping the Cartel at bay just by his actions with killing the twins and Juan last year when he cut them out of the loop and brought them under the DEA’s radar. I imagine that, sure, the remaining Cartel soldiers or whoever takes over will know who’s responsible for what happened in this last episode, but they have to rebuild and restructure first, and then come up with a serious new strategy -so I think Gus bought himself some serious time and we’ll at least finish season 4 without any further cartel threat.

    Who’s to say that Gus is even going to live? I would hope he does, because I think it needs to come down to Gus and Walt, but… I definitely agree that when push comes to shove, Jesse will side with Walt. I know he’s come to hate Walt, but the best point that was made here is that like Walt, Jesse wants out. You see it on his face -especially whenever someone gets their head blown off in front of him. He can’t stand it. He likes how he’s rising up, sure, but he doesn’t like the work. But Walt treats him like a fuckup teenager whereas Gus and Mike treat him like an Adult who can get the job done -so it’s very complicated -which is awesome.

    And right on. Walter Jr. is going to ask Skylar “Who’s Jesse?” That’s definitely coming back to bite Walt in the ass. If Hank doesn’t figure out Jesse’s (real) connection to Walt first, then Skylar will -However she’s becoming quite the criminal herself, isn’t she?

    Slowly but surely, we’re at a good place with this show where everyone’s in deep and the tension’s only growing at alarming levels. Really good stuff.

    And I hesitate to make a prediction about this show, because really, I Can’t predict it and that’s a big reason why I love it so much.

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