Breaking Bad: Open House   Rewatch 
December 5, 2014 8:14 AM - Season 4, Episode 3 - Subscribe

Events spiral out of control at Jesse’s place. Skyler reluctantly asks for Saul’s help. Marie returns to an old pastime and a friend asks Hank for help.

AMC content:
Q&A: Betsy Brandt.
Hank's Blog: We're All Winners Around Here.
Marie's Blog: Puerto Rico is Still Just a Territory is unusually writerly.

Directed by David Slade (Hard Candy, 30 Days of Night, Twilight: Eclipse, and now exec-producing and directing on Hannibal).
posted by We had a deal, Kyle (6 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Marie returns to an old pastime

One of my favorite things about TV/movie synopses is the carefully neutral language they employ to refer to significant events.

"How do we describe Marie's reacting to being emotionally pummelled by her invalid husband by putting on ludicrously-detailed backstories at open houses and engaging in petty theft? We can't mention the confrontation with the Realtor and the meltdown on the street or the awkward police pick-up."
"She was a klepto before, right? Let's call it an old ...hobby? ...activity? ...pastime!"
*high-five, fifth of bourbon*
posted by psoas at 10:09 AM on December 5, 2014 [6 favorites]

Walt, Skyler, Jesse, Hank, and Marie are all self-destructing in some way in this episode, though none of them seem to realize it. Hank is sabotaging his relationship with Marie by generally being a dick (his frustration is understandable, but his decision to take it out on Marie is childish and dysfunctional); Marie's attending open houses and indulging in petty thievery; and Jesse has his interminable party--his own "open house" attended by drunkards, drug addicts, and more petty thieves--and makes himself a mark by showily throwing away a fistful of money.

Meanwhile Walt's just seen someone murdered but decides that being watched at work is such an affront that he'll deliberately offend his murderous boss, and Skyler has decided that it's a good idea to help Walt in his criminality as long as she comes up with a clever plan.
posted by johnofjack at 1:55 PM on December 5, 2014

Marie's attending open houses and indulging in petty thievery

Sorry to revive this, but just in the middle of a rewatch and noticed how much this show pulls on coincidences; Marie engages in petty thievery, gets picked up by the cops, Hank calls in a favour. Which results in the detective calling on Hank for a favour. Which leads to Hank getting Gale's lab notes and reigniting his interest in the Heisenberg case.

Walt will help that along in the next episode, because of his ego and need for recognition, but if Marie doesn't resume old habits, neither does Hank.
posted by nubs at 10:53 AM on April 18, 2017

I think I would have enjoyed a complete episode of Marie's utterly false and beautifully delivered backstories.
posted by rongorongo at 6:25 AM on August 31, 2022

Walt’s criminality is just one count against him. His temper tantrums, impatience, and lack of control (while constantly grasping for control) - plus his ongoing failure to understand the situation he’s in and the people he’s dealing with …

I sometimes wonder if the show is just forcing me to notice that I’m less outraged by crime when it’s committed by patient, competent people.

Or that emotional immaturity is even less appealing than crime.
posted by bunderful at 12:26 PM on April 15, 2023

The part where Skylar and Walt are arguing over his purchase of expensive champagne, and she, trying to explain the importance of details, mentions Watergate, and Walt scoffs, “What, so I’m Nixon?

Oh, Walt. If only.
posted by bunderful at 4:10 PM on April 15, 2023

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