Monday, July 16, 2012

"Breaking Bad" recap -- Magnetic attraction

Spoilers for the season premiere of "Breaking Bad" below. Don't click through if you don't want to know.

 Well done, "Breaking Bad." Not a lot of shows can make feel tense during a discussion in which a chatty, pushy waitress tries to nudge a customer into accepting a free meal. But the opening scenes of "Live Free or Die," in which a follicularly replenished Walter White waits for a gun delivery while having yet another Denny's breakfast, made me fear for that poor waitress as soon as Walt took out his ID.

We don't yet know why Walt is buying that machine gun from Jim Beaver or why he's changed his identity. But, this being "Breaking Bad," we can only assume that things have gone horribly, horribly wrong.

In the present day, things are seemingly going well for Walt, though the cracks are showing. Ten Beneke, as it turns out, is NOT dead, just paralyzed (and kudos to Anna Gunn for that look on Skler's face that reveals everything before we even see Ted). Skyler and Saul are terrified of him. Mike, returning from exile in Mexico, is horrified, angry and ready to be done with Walter White. And yes, there's the small matter of the security camera files, which are dispatched with in true "Breaking Bad" fashion.

As I said in my review, what other show would spend a significant chunk of camera time watching a bunch of guys calibrate a magnet? Let's be glad that this one does, particularly since it leads to that crazy heist scene where magnetically propelled evidence flies all over the storage room at the police department, much to the horror and confusion of the security guard.

Still, Walt's triumph is sure to be temporary. Mike is still a wild card. Skyler seems ever closer to blowing town with the kids and taking her money laundering skills with her. Jesse still could find out about Brock and Jane. And, of course, there's the drug business itself, which could provide ample reasons for Walt to need a machine gun.

On balance, this wasn't the show stopper that season four's "Box Cutter" was, but it throws a lot of interesting balls in the air. What did you think?

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