Wednesday, 2 June 2010

Breaking Bad: 'Fly' & 'Abiquiu' - Spelling it F-L-Y

Due to some outright horrifying internet access issues, I was unable to recap last week's truly stellar episode, and while the traditional me would let that slide in unprofessional ambivalence, It was so good I want to talk about it in some capacity, so I'll be doing a double-bill of recapping this week, with each episode getting a slightly abbreviated space. So without further word count padding, let's do this.


- I love bottle episodes. When writers attempt to save money spent on previous elaboration by using fewer settings, fewer characters and high concept awesomeness. But this might be the best one of these I've ever seen. Seriously. Brilliantly shot by Brick Director Rian Johnson and featuring some of Cranston's best ever work on this show, and that is by no means a thin category, and what began as a quirky chill-out session after the intense plot-mechanics of recent weeks turned into one of the most darkly relevant moments of self-examination that the show has ever provided.

- Basically, the plot of this episode was there's a fly in the meth lab, let's waste the bitch. That's pretty much it. And while this allowed for a near loony tunes type sequence of Walt methodically trying to get the fly as it rose higher and higher within the meth-lab. It was awesome. But what rose this episode above the level of unique curio is the turn it took around the 25 minute mark, when Walt began musing on the night he ran into Jane's father Donald the night she died. It became a pseudo apology for what might still be the most horrific thing Walt has ever done, which was to stand and watch whilst Jane died of an overdose.

- It was tense as fuck, because the possibility of Walt admitting what he did to Jesse was always there and that would have been explosive. But instead it lead to Walt musing on what the right moment for him to die would have been, the night Jane died, coincidentally. This sounds a little smug on the page, but Cranston made it work, and it was of the most sympathetic moments the character has had in a long time.

- It was great to see Walt and Jesse share screen-time for a whole episode again. Many of the more memorable episodes of the show is just these two opposite human beings forced to co-exist, and its always either entertaining or enlightening.

- It's amazing how a show taking a moment to contemplate amidst the carnage allows us to do the same thing, and really appreciate what we are watching. A truly original and insightful episode of television. A testament to what the medium can do when it's forced to be creative

Rating: 9/10


- This one very much followed On from Kafkaesque, in that primarily it exists to lay the pieces in the right places for the final two episodes. But it remained a strong hour, which to be honest every hour of the show has been of late, and depending on your opinion of the dark family drama of the season's beginning, then this year has really been as good as anything I can think of, even the show's own stellar and game-changing second season. That was a hard stable to live up to, but I think the show has done it this year.

- So Jesse's plan to shift his skimmed meth at the NA meetings backfired pretty quickly, because everyone there wants to get better, even Badger and Skinny Pete, who are on step 5 and step 2 respectively. Jesse sets out to show them how to do, but sadly ends up kind of liking his mark, fellow junkie Andrea, and her kid. What a nice guy.

- Well, until he discovers that Andrea's younger brother is the one who shot Combo back in season 2, and the rage of all of his losses comes burning back. Jesse is headed to a dark place, and things aren't looking that great for his future.

- I read somewhere the obvious fact that you kind of forget whilst watching the show, that Breaking Bad, a serialized gangster show on cable, has never killed a regular character. Which is kind of admirable in a way, particularly given the subject matter. Still, I reckon this streak will end painfully, very soon.

- Loved Saul's meeting with Skylar, mostly because it lead to this line.

- " I see Walt has the same taste in women he has in attorneys — only the very best, with just the right amount of dirty.” Awesome.

- Skylar it seems is muscling in on the Meth business, planting herself as runner of the cover business. She gets what she wants does this girl, and if Walt's entire Meth-making adventure came from wanting to regain a little masculinity he's about to be the submissive again. Dissed.

- Another great, if unspectacular episode that leaves me very much looking forward to where this show is going to go. I have truly no fucking idea, and its bliss.

Rating: 7/10

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