"In cooking, as in all the arts, simplicity is a sign of perfection." - Curnonsky

Monday, July 20, 2009

Breaking Bad: 4 Days Out

When a cancer patient awaits the results of a PET-CT scan, the anxiety can be overwhelming. Walt deals with that anxiety by preparing for the worst, which in his case means cooking. And cooking in mass quantities, though even he wasn't prepared for just how massive it turned out to be. As for poor dumb Jesse, I'm just waiting for his whole life to fall apart again.

Jesse is a nice guy, but he's not that smart and he has the absolute worst luck of almost anyone on television. So now that he's getting into this semi-serious relationship with the landlord/neighbor, I'm just waiting for something horrible to happen to him or her or both. It's inevitable. Nobody suffers like Jesse suffers. Well, except for tonight. There was a whole lot of suffering going on from everybody. I'm sure Skinny Pete was suffering too, wherever he wound up.

It was nice to slow everything down and get an episode of just Walter and Jesse. Their relationship is so complicated, co-dependent and destructive at the same time. With his imminent death on his mind, because he was prepared for the worst out of that PET-CT, Walt essentially forced Jesse to take off into the desert and get some mad cooking going on. He had to lie to get him there, but Jesse wouldn't have appreciated Georgia O'Keefe anyway; though he would have seen a lot of vaginas in her work.

As soon as Walt told Jesse to put the keys someplace safe, I knew they were in trouble. As many times as Jesse screws things up, you'd think Walt would have learned by now. As it turns out, the keys might have been better sitting in their work area. What followed was a bizarre near-death experience in the desert that actually brought the two of them closer together, in a bizarre way. It also brought them more than a million dollars street value of meth, and they weren't even done.

I loved how when Walt was building the battery to save their asses, he was quizzing Jesse like he was a student, and then was ultimately disappointed when Jesse proved himself again to be kind of an idiot. It's those moments that really make these characters live and breathe on the screen. There was some amazing performances by both Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul in this episode.

Surprising to me was the results of Walt's PET-CT. With his tumor reduced by 80% and his cancer in remission, the ticking clock on this show's life expectancy just got extended. Hell, theoretically it could be extended indefinitely. I'm ashamed to admit I never even considered remission as a way to extend the show. And considering AMC is already on board a third season, it makes sense to slow down Walt's decline, though I don't think they can stop it altogether. That would just change the tone of the whole show.

No comments: