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Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Breaking Bad 4.11: Tightening Vice

Breaking Bad has been a little sluggish for a lot of this 4th season, but all that changed last week, with Gus, Mike, and Jesse wiping out the cartel in Mexico - Mike and Gus nearly being wiped out themselves - and Jesse being the hero.  Episode 4.10 was a quintessentially scalding Breaking Bad, but episode 4.11 was even better this week.

Skyler finally gets Ted to take her 600 grand and pay the Feds - and that was a superb, delightfully nasty little story in itself - only to be confronted at the end of episode by Walt, who now needs the money for an even more desperate reason: to save their lives with brand new identities.   And how did this come to be?

Hank's closing in on the cooking factory, Gus tells Walter that Gus is going to kill Hank.  Not only that, But Walt knows that only Jesse's insistence is keeping Walt alive, given that Jesse can do the cooking just fine all on his own now.   Walt gets Saul to warn Hank, but Walt knows that Gus will realize that Walt tipped off Hank, which will mean that Gus will kill not only Walt but his family, as Gus told Walt he would do if Walt gave Gus any more problems.   Which is why Walter needed all that money to pay for the new identities.  Money now in the mail to the IRS to pay Ted's bill.

So the vice is right where we like it best on Breaking Bad - closing in inexorably on Walt, who seems to have not only no money but no options left.   The genius of this show is that either Walt or lucky breaks will conspire somehow to get Walt out of this mess, and maybe even in better shape than he was before.

But it's hard to see how Walt or events - barring another plane falling from the sky, this time on Gus - will do this, and that's precisely what's making this season so adrenalin evoking at last.  It may be that, like last year, Jesse will somehow save Walt and the day.  Mike could be a wild card - will he be as devoted to Gus, in the aftermath of what happened in Mexico, if and when he learns that Gus's docs were focused on Gus and in no hurry to save Mike, and Jesse was his greatest advocate?   Or, maybe the IRS Feds, looking into what happened to Ted, can somehow be leveraged into serving Walt's purposes.

Just two more episodes to see how this all works out.

See also My Prediction about Breaking Bad ... Breaking Bad Season 4 Debuts ... Breaking Bad 4.2: Gun and Question

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The Plot to Save Socrates

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