Breaking Bad: Grilled   Rewatch 
September 1, 2014 1:31 PM - Season 2, Episode 2 - Subscribe

Walt and Jesse find themselves in close quarters with an unhinged Tuco. Marie and Hank comfort Skyler, who is distraught over Walt’s disappearance. Hank pays a visit to Mrs. Pinkman on some not-so-official business.
posted by scody (12 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Hooray! I jumped the gun in the previous thread; this is such a good -- and intense -- episode. Requoting my oops-wrong-episode comments from there:
Watching this again, the blocking in the scenes in Tuco's shack is really clever: Tuco's prowling around like a caged tiger, Walt and Jesse are crammed into a corner under Hector's immobile gaze. And notice also in most of the confrontations Jesse remains seated, making him appear more small and vulnerable; Walt stands more often such that he and Tuco are at the same eye level.

(I think also they styled Aaron Paul's hair and maybe make-up in this one to make him look slightly younger and scared; but that may well be more about his acting.)
and also in response to last ep's "first appearence of ricin":
Also the first appearance of Hector, who also becomes very significant. It makes me wonder how far out they had plotted from here: did they know they were going to use Hector again, or was it more that they had an brief opportunity to use Mark Margolis here and went for it?
Also: Tuco's multipurpose big-ass knife: good for both meth and burritos.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 3:22 PM on September 1, 2014 [2 favorites]

Ah Jesse and his chilli powder. A cook determined that his recipe is better, but sadly not even Tuco agreed. This a great episode, very thrilling.

Yeah I don't know about Hector. From what I know about the show they didn't actually plan too far ahead (which actually is why the last season plays out the way it does) so he may have just been introduced as this weird element to the scene. That said they must have had some idea of his back story to introduce such a surreal tableau.

Hank tracks down Jesse's car here, which will start his obsession, especially after his gunfight with Tuco.
posted by Cannon Fodder at 12:01 AM on September 2, 2014 [1 favorite]

Hector! wow. He doesn't say a word, and only moves one finger, but he carries so much of the story. I love the moment when Walt realizes that Hector isn't just a senile old man in a wheelchair.
posted by Corvid at 11:45 AM on September 2, 2014 [2 favorites]

So this time around I'm listening to the Breaking Bad Insider podcast for each show, which was started by editor Kelley Dixon in Season 2.* Hector comes up in the last few minutes of the conversation, and it sounds like they may have initially conceived of him only showing up in this episode -- Vince Gilligan mentions that when they were first thinking of casting Hector, they figured that an extra would be sufficient. But when Mark Margolis was cast, he realized what a great actor could really do for portraying a character, even one that can't speak or can barely move.

He doesn't say anything specific about expecting to bring Hector back further down the road -- it may be that he didn't want to give away any spoilers, or it may be that they hadn't really decided by this point -- but it does seem like the potential significance of the character may have emerged only after Margolis's performance.


*My take on the podcast, after two episodes: mostly very interesting, but also a little irritating at times, as they sometimes veer away from the topic at hand into tangents that are mainly about praising other cast and crew members or high-fiving each other for a job well done. Which feels churlish to object to -- it's obvious the everyone involved in the show has a ton of fondness and respect for each other, which is awesome -- but I have already started to get a little weary when someone is juuuust about to say how a particular scene was shot or how a particular plot point came to be, and then suddenly the conversation swerves back into another go-around in the mutual admiration society. Maybe this is something that fades away over time, though.
posted by scody at 12:10 PM on September 2, 2014 [1 favorite]

No, the podcast was always very luvvy: you could pretty much make a drinking game out of Gilligan describing cast and crew as "our wonderful <role> <name>". It's worth sticking with though; the view into the writing process is interesting, and there are a few really good ones later on when they have some of the actors on.

(joseph conrad is fully awesome has opinions about the podcast so I'll stop here to leave some room.)

it may be that he didn't want to give away any spoilers

Seems likely. The podcast originally came out shortly after each episode and he always was strictly scrupulous about spoilers.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 12:23 PM on September 2, 2014 [1 favorite]

Scody your perception and comments about the podcast are spot-on; I particularly took a dislike to Kelley Dixon as the host, as I think she was quite awkward with people and lacked the social finesse that would've kept the podcasts more interesting for the listener.

DAMN she irritated me. Okay, breathing now, in... out...

(oh and if Vince Gilligan says ONE MORE TIME he's "been blessed to have a" good editor / special effects person / director / writer / whatever...! Gah!)

It is weary, all the back-slapping, but I did hang in there because of the scoops and occasional behind-the-scenes trivia / tidbits you glean. But you have to earn it.
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 3:14 PM on September 2, 2014 [1 favorite]

Regarding intention on the part of casting: Vince Gilligan has said that they were "very good at mining our own history" - meaning, looking at earlier episodes and reworking some characters/ideas/situations/threads.

So make of that what you will. Hector casting may have been a case of "hey that guy was really good with very little to work with - let's see if we can capitalize on that..."
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 3:16 PM on September 2, 2014

Yes, there is that.

Another thought: this episode introduces the idea of the Cousins. Tuco tells Walter that his cousins are coming to bring them to Mexico.

They get quietly dropped this time, but they come back into play strongly in Season 3.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 3:50 PM on September 2, 2014 [1 favorite]

Oh yeah, the cousins! I got a chill this time around to hear Tuco mention them...
posted by scody at 3:56 PM on September 2, 2014

I had a problem with suspension of disbelief with the very end of the last scene in this episode the first time I watched it, and again just now: even with the tunnel vision that must come on just after shooting someone and approaching the body, wanting to make sure they're dead, I can't believe Hank would see Jesse and Walt running away, directly in front of him, across a wide open space. That's especially so since, right before it cuts to black, you can see Hank look up.

Still: a great episode, very tense and thrilling.
posted by johnofjack at 5:44 AM on October 15, 2014

^"can't believe Hank would not see Jesse and Walt," I mean...
posted by johnofjack at 3:56 PM on October 20, 2014

Hello from the future, great_radio. I am finally binge watching the series and can report that Hank knew about the Jesse/Walter connection because previously, when Skyler questioned Walt about how he knew Jesse after Jesse called their house and she did a reverse look-up on Jesse's phone number and found his ridiculous Myspace page, Walt told her that Jesse was his pot dealer. Later, as Walter's behavior became more erratic, Skyler disclosed to Hank and Marie that Walt (told her he) had been smoking pot, and then I believe when Walter disappeared she told hank that Jesse was the seller.
posted by acanthous at 12:26 PM on September 16, 2021

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