30 July, 2012
Guest Review - BREAKING BAD 5.03: 'Hazard Pay'
By perpetual guest reviewer Shawn Mahone.
Last week I talked about how Serialized shows can be at their most effective when drawing on rich source of solid material to move itself forward. I moaned that Mike's decision to move forward with Walt and Jessie felt contrived and bullshitty and that kinda ruined the episode for me, well this week the show did a something similar and it was spectacular! Everything Walter said or did was perfect for him as a character, he said things in a way and tone that makes sense when one looks at his history, he did things physically that makes sense to his history and holy hell was it fucking awesome and kinda creepy at the same time!
Walter White shares a few characteristics with Don Draper apart from being characters on Emmy winning AMC shows they have this huge common flaw...they both believe that they can change their lives at a drop of a hat and move on and people can do the same and if they cannot then they can go and screw themselves, they believe people can do the same and that a better life is always around the corner. Don Draper decided Dick Whitman could die in Korea and he could move on but as we find out his family suffered and it costs his brother his life, Don believed Lane Pryce could start over like him and instead he could not and it cost Lane his life. Walter White felt slighted and so left Elliot and Gretchen and millions of dollars out of Hubris and pettiness and being an asshole and started over. Walter White decided that being small time was no good so he made Jesse and his crew expand and it cost Combo his life when Combo did not have the skills to be beg time. Walter White decided to be Heisenberg and Hank got crippled in the process. Walter White decides to kill Gus the chicken man and replace him but he never thought about Gus current employees, what would happen to them? What do they do now that they have no money? What do they do that they are screwed and it was all because Walter White wants to be the big man in town and wants to feel the emotions of power and control? Watching this whole episode had me smiling ear to ear at the marvel that is Walter White and how brilliantly this show has turned this man in to who he is today . Walter White is an egotistical, self-serving narcissist, arrogant, greedy, murdering, lying (among a million other adjectives!) son of a bitch and how this episode showed that time and time again made me so happy and at times a little sad.
He tells Jesse the Icarus story that if you fly too close to the sun than you are going to pay the price and I think it is obvious that he is talking about Mike and how Mike is taking liberties with their money or he could be talking about Mike's crew as well and how they got caught and should be taken care of like Mike should probably one day be taken care of. But his ego does not see that this line of thinking could make him fly too close to the sun and get burned, I mean Jesse has done a lot of shit over the years for Walt but is he really going to be willing to kill 9 guys plus Mike and whoever else that gets in their way? Will he kill Lydia once he knows she has a little girl? Jesse would never hurt a child. The answer is no, the show has demonstrated that Jesse will not stoop that low and Walt just does not see that he is starting to set himself up for that moment in a year's time where he needs a M-60 gun and Jim Beaver! Don Draper can be Don Draper because the business he is in people like Pete Campbell keeping his secret is no big deal because Pete Campbell will do what serves Pete Campbell best and that is allowing Don to be Don. Walt can do what he wants to do as long as Jesse is by his side, I mean that is the only reason Mike is working with them or probably Saul too. Walt suggesting that they do away with Mike will not wash with Jesse and when he finds out about Jane or Brock than Walt better run farer than Denny's in wherever he was in the season premier.
This is probably why Walter White can never be a kingpin or a boss or a huge success, unlike Mike, Walter does not see that having a huge illegal operation that needs to look legal costs a lot of dough. People need to be paid, things need to be done and employees need to be looked after and respected so that you can gain their trust and loyalty. Walter White never understands this and never has understood this concept and that is where he is butting heads with Mike. When they cooked the Meth in the house Walt and Jesse made a tent within a tent...Walt lives in that little tent and does not understand what they outer tent is for or does...he just believes what he does in his little tent is all that matters and does not understand the bigger tent issues...great metaphor going there Breaking Bad! Top draw! top draw!
Walter White is all about Walter White and the level of Hubris ("Shall we take a vote?" "Why?") he is demonstrating has me worried for the man who knocks and worried in a good way. He is going to die and I cannot say I will be upset too, he sits in front of television with his kids watching Scarface (Yay Scarface! they got the studio and Al Pachino to give permission to use that material! Yay) basically watching his own demise and he does not even see it that magnificent bastard! Hehehe.
Who else will I not be upset about dying...SKYLER, oh please Vince Gilligan let the ricin cigarette people Chekov's ricin cigarette and let Skyler smoke it and die! Serious man that bitch needs to go! Skyler has had her chance to get rid of Walt time and time again she could have signed the divorce papers and did not and now she is paying the price and being a whiny bitch about it, what a cunt.
Walt manipulating Jesse into dumping Andrea and Brock was well done, he put it into a way that made Jesse think it was his choice and then made his mind up for him with the she would love you if she understood but...what a magnificent bastard.
Saul! oh how I love seeing me some Saul and he had some great, great, great lines. Saul continues to do his thing and get paid handsomely for it and does it with a great sense of humor and knowhow, so yay for Saul the man who is only done when Walt/Heisenberg tells him he is done.
The idea for their new business was a fantastic one and I loved how they arrived at the solution the way Breaking Bad arrives at the solution...through a process that takes time and thought! Box company...no, Tortilla factory...no, Lazerbaze!...no err sorry hell no!. So we are left with the exterminators and I got to say the look inside of the house was beautiful when they were cooking...ahh...stunningly beautiful.
Brock and Andrea were in this episode and I think they only did that to show Walt not giving a shit about poisoning a innocent child...die Walter!
The best episode of the season so far and I hear they are going to crank it up majorly in the next few weeks so hold onto your seats people!
So Walt just because you killed Jesse James does not make you Jesse James and because you do not understand that...good luck with the very little life you have left buddy.
Episode Rating 98 out of 100