I noticed on Wikipedia that the viewership of Breaking Bad is rising again. This season started at a record (for Breaking Bad) of nearly 6M viewers. The viewership dropped to over 4m until last week when it shot up over 5M again. Given the cliffhanger in S05E13 and I HOPE the massive amount of web buzz that it generated last Sunday will push them over the 6M mark. This show is SO good, as a friend who had never watched the show before commented on my previous post, even he was immediately drawn in by it without the context or character development.
I listen to a lot of podcasts about Breaking Bad. The best of which is the Breaking Bad Insider with Kelly Dixon and Vince Gilligan himself. You MUST listen to one of these and the one about S05E13 is excellent. They talk about the casting with two of their casting directors and it is fascinating. They also break down the episode and you won’t believe some of the stuff you will learn about how TV is really made. I used to like Behind the Cutting Edge a lot, but I think those guys are drinking WAY too much before hitting the play button because they have become nearly incomprehensible and I have dropped that from my list. Breaking Good has two casts per episode: an Instacast immediately after the episode that captures their initial reactions in a bite-sized 20-minute version just after the episode airs on Sunday and then a longer 1h30 to 2h30 long full podcast on Tuesdays. I find their humor is great and their analysis is pretty good too. A new classic is also Afterbuzz TVs Breaking Bad cast is pretty good as it also is recorded (as all of Afterbuzz vast catalog of podcasts) immediately after the episode, but unlike the previous two, rather than just two or three guys chatting, it has a larger group of commentators that are of varying ages and ethnicities which makes for a more diverse feedback loop that I rarely miss each week. Two other casts with two guys conversing over the episode a few days after the airing that are also worthwhile are Talking Bad: The Final Season and Rob Has A Podcast (RHAP) – A Breaking Bad Podcast. Both are about an hour or so and feature good analysis as well. I also found that The Nerdist had a few interesting interviews with Vince that were fun to listen to. Perhaps appropriately last, The Ones Who Knock is one cast where I am at odds with much of their analysis and as apparently are the guys over at Breaking Good and Cutting Edge because I recall them ragging on that one a bit. Its not bad, I just take issue with how they view the world I suppose. Sorry, no concrete examples to cite.
Now, some takeaways from those casts: one of them (was it Talking Bad perhaps?) called Todd “Meth Damon”. I love that because I also think he resembles Matt Damon and find their nickname hilarious! I believe it was Breaking Good that pointed out how hilarious Gomey’s name for Jesse was – “Timmy Dipshit”. I already talked about the humor in the episode last time so I won’t belabor the point. I also liked that one of the podcasts called Todd’s nasty meth, “snot yellow”. It was pretty gross wasn’t it!
Here’s my take on E14, take it or leave it. First off, I called the fact that E13 would be about Walt’s buried money. Now that they are there, several questions arise: why did the Uncles disobey Walt’s order NOT to show up and then ignore his pleas with them NOT to start shooting? Did the Hank call to Marie mean that he was going to Belize? I loved the French Connection wave to Walt in the car but it seemed like he was WAY TOO HAPPY for Breaking Bad and that things may go poorly for him. It was totally awesome that Gomey gave him congrats for being right and catching Heisenberg/Walt, but why did Walt surrender so easily? Perhaps, he was banking on the fact that they are on sovereign Indian land so an arrest isn’t legal until it is handled by the tribal police? One of the podcasts surmised that maybe he moved the money elsewhere and this was HIS trap for Jesse but I don’t see him unburying 7 barrels that each weigh 70kg or more. Unless we saw him burying in one place and taking GPS coords in another but we did see the van, the shovel, and I really don’t think he expected that to get flushed out – certainly not from Jesse who he has NEVER considered his intellectual equal.
So, what is going to happen? Do Hank and Gomey become coyote food and Walt goes into indentured servitude for the Uncles? In that scenario, what happens to Jesse? Now, I am sorry to say that I do think that Hank and Gomey are not long for this world – this is the third time that Hank is in heavy gunfire and he already has a miraculous back-to-life experience from the Cousins, so I don’t see him having a third life here. So, let’s assume they are gone. That leaves the Uncles, Walt, and Jesse. Now Walt is handcuffed in the car, so he won’t die (plus we say the flash-forward so we know at LEAST he does survive). Jesse is in the car but did he grab Walt’s gun? I am watching the scene now to check. No, the gun wasn’t dropped and Hank wouldn’t have trusted him with one. So Jesse is in the car. Does he lean over and start the car and drive it into the Uncles – like Walt did when he saved Jesse from the dealers at the end of S03? Maybe he takes out one or two, but there were what six of seven of them with bullet-proof vests? Six of them, I checked. And Walt’s car is parked behind the Hank’s truck and backwards so I don’t see that happening either. The confession of Walt as he is driving is freaking amazing. So how does episode E14 go? Well, I think that we start with Hank, Gomey and Jesse listening to Walt and homing in on his GPS signal. We then have their arrival and a quick recap with some camera cutting magic to get to the shoot-out (Michelle MacLaren who directed E13 said they expended several thousand rounds for that scene!) and then…I think Hank and Gomey go down but that something unexpected – like perhaps the tribal police showing up? – interrupts the Uncles and briefly gives time for Jesse to escape…with Walt? Somehow, I think the tape of Walt’s confession – the real one to Jesse, not the setup on the DVD – gets out so that the Ozymandias line comes true in him getting revealed. Beyond that, it is anyone’s guess.