Breaking Bad: Salud   Rewatch 
December 24, 2014 5:18 PM - Season 4, Episode 10 - Subscribe

Walt's family worries when he doesn't turn up for Walter, Jr.'s 16th birthday. Jesse is forced to put his lab skills to the test without Mr. White's help.

"I knew things about my father. I had a lot of information. It's because people would tell me these things. They would paint this picture of my father for me, and I always pretended that was who I saw, too, who I remembered, but it was a lie."

James Poniewozik, TIME:
Jesus, that monologue: I could just sit here and quote the entire thing: the recollection of the (ironically, chemical) hospital smell, “like they didn’t want you smelling the sick people”; his memory of how people would tell stories of his father, “and I always pretended that was who I saw, too, who I remembered”; and his last, horrific memory of his father’s dying breath—”This, this rattling sound,like if you were shaking an empty spray paint can. Like there was nothing in it.” But my lingering memory of Cranston’s speech is less his words than his face when he gives it; you can see him going away in his mind, back to his father’s bedside, as if he’s not even in the room with Walt Jr. anymore.

His formative memory of his dad is weakness, so the memory Walt wants to leave Walt Jr. with is one of strength, honor, wholeness—that’s why he’s so mortified that Jr. should have come across him in his truly unsettling state, beaten, bloody and sobbing over his mistakes. But Walt Jr.’s response is, in its way, sadder in its implications than Walt’s bloodied face or his childhood memories. He likes the dad he saw the night before better than the one that Walt has been the entire time that he’s been working to leave his legacy. “At least last night, you were–you were real, you know?”

I doubt that Walt Jr. has any inkling of the scope of Walt’s lies. But like a son and a teenager can, he can sniff out inauthenticity. His father smells of it as badly as any patient smells of illness in a hospital. And with this, Walt must face the possibility that, by the very acts he has taken to preserve his children’s memories of him, he may have ruined them.
"I promise you this: either we're all going home, or none of us are."

Daniel Carlson, Pajiba: "The Mexico trip felt like Michael Mann's The Darjeeling Limited: self-discovery, bonding, and gang-on-gang murder."

Todd VanDerWerff, LA Times:
One character finally defeating his worst enemy while the other realizes just how far he’s fallen? That’s the stuff of season finales, and “Breaking Bad” is giving it to us with three episodes to go. That means even crazier stuff has to be waiting in the wings.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle (6 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
Incidentally, the AMC Marie's Blog was particularly and wonderfully odd this week; somebody had a lot of fun writing these.
Sugar gliders don’t make good pets. I think there should be a law that pet stores have to tell you that when an animal is “extremely nocturnal,” that’s actually code for “will run around in its habitat for eight hours a night, carrying on like a tiny Ewok full of espresso.”
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 5:21 PM on December 24, 2014


I love the scene between Jesse and the chemist, and that slight smile Gus has watching it. He's genuinely impressed, and Mike has gained some grudging respect as well.

The scene with Walt Jr. is another example of Walt's delusion that he can control how others remember him.

I didn't quite believe the poison scene the first time through, or the second, mostly because I don't believe that everyone would collapse at the same time regardless of body weight and/or how much they'd eaten and/or been drinking, but I know I can be really picky about things even when there's no percentage in it. And I'm willing to overlook the implausibility for what the scene does: Gus gets to settle an old score with the cartel, deepening his characterization but causing some self-harm leading to his reliance on Mike and Jesse, and Jesse proves himself again but in doing so he kills another person. Really exciting, gripping developments.

Also, the writers on this show really know how to end an episode.
posted by johnofjack at 6:26 PM on December 26, 2014 [1 favorite]


I love this episode. Don't have a ton of other observations to make, but I was at the edge of my seat throughout.

I didn't quite believe the poison scene the first time through, or the second, mostly because I don't believe that everyone would collapse at the same time regardless of body weight and/or how much they'd eaten and/or been drinking, but I know I can be really picky about things even when there's no percentage in it.

The show repeatedly steps into dramatic license territory where Gus Fring is concerned. I think it really worked for them, but I could see it feeling a little ridiculous in contrast with most of the show.
posted by mordax at 10:58 PM on December 26, 2014 [1 favorite]


The VanDerWerff "three episodes to go" comment echoes something I've always felt about this season: the pacing is a little strange. It spends a lot of the first half of the season at a very measured, almost languid pace: the arc of Jesses's fall into chaos and his rise back as Mike's protege. And then at the tail end, in the last 4 episodes, it kicks into high gear, a breakneck pace of bang-bang-bang big-hitting scenes and huge events.

I don't know if this is a deliberate decision or a genuine reflection of the writers realizing they were running out of time: S3 was plotted out ahead of time (the plane-crash arc) but I don't know if S4 was or if they were writing concurrently with shooting.

(There was also a big contract dispute between AMC and Sony at this time over Breaking Bad S5; so maybe Gilligan & co were plotting the end of S4 to serve as a satisfying series finale if they weren't able to get to S5.)
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 9:27 AM on December 27, 2014


I love this episode. Don't have a ton of other observations to make, but I was at the edge of my seat throughout.

This is why it is my very favorite episode of the season. And Jesse gets to be the hero. That whole story line was so intense I really didn't notice how incredible Walt's scenes were on my first watch.
posted by LizBoBiz at 6:47 PM on December 27, 2014 [2 favorites]


That whole story line was so intense I really didn't notice how incredible Walt's scenes were on my first watch.

Me neither. Hehe. :)
posted by mordax at 11:19 PM on December 27, 2014


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