Tuned In

Mini Breaking Bad Watch

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Quick thoughts on last night’s installment of Breaking Bad (mild spoilers below): 

* “I’ll admit to a certain learning curve.” I’m enjoying the role reversal between Jesse and Walt here, with Walter admitting that he’s responsible for the fact that his nest-egg scheme has gone nowhere, and Jesse reasserting himself as manager of their crystal-meth operation. It’s not that Jesse has suddenly become smarter. In a way, it’s the opposite; Jesse is dumb, but knows his limitations, and thus–as he points out–knew well enough not to overreach before Walter came along. He may just be dumb enough to succeed, as we see when he scams himself into an apartment, giving the fake name “Jesse Jackson,” and yet suggesting that he may not actually know who Jesse Jackson is.

* Conversely, Walter’s brother-in-law works much better as an overstressed, conflicted human being than the macho jerk he started out as, and I’m glad the series has fleshed out his character this season.

* We tend to look a lot at Walter’s choices and deceptions as being the result of his illness and his financial circumstances. But are they really? The more I see how he relates to other people, the more it seems that his decisions are an outgrowth f the character he already had. Walter is a very decent guy in many ways, but he’s also bitter, and seems to have contempt for much of the world outside his immediate family—the way he speaks to Jesse being just one example of that. If that’s how he sees much of the rest of the world, is it surprising that he would decide to take care of his own and not care about the larger effects of his drug dealing?

* Not that the irony was lost on anyone, but seeing Walt get righteously angry at Skyler’s tiny lapse—three and a half cigarettes—was perfect. If only she knew.