06 August, 2012

Guest Review - BREAKING BAD 5.04: 'Fifty-One'

Shawn Mahone continues to e-mail me reviews and so I continue to post them. Why? Because anyone who writes this much about a show they claim to love clearly needs exposure! Granted, my write-up was clearly superior. Poignant. --HGF

This episode featured a lot of Skyler and my first instinct was to knock it down to a 90 straight away...just because I hate her that much, but that would not really be giving the episode its proper justice nor the proper respect or proper thought and consideration that it deserves because personal feelings aside this was a very good episode. So I am going to make some allowances for Breaking Bad because they are running out of time and are up against it to finish off their story.

So I am going to ignore that Skyler is happy to be a criminal when their house gets renovated (look at how beautiful it looks especially the back garden and pool), when they can buy a business that she controls in and out, when she decides how the money is spent and when, when she can use the money to bail her fucking cunty ass out because she decided to cook the books badly for Ted Beneke and that overall the majority of online fans hate her fucking guts...I will forgo all of that because I feel generous.

Now this episode was laced with symbolism, to name a few:

1) Skyler giving Walt a short bacon 1 in his bacon 51...I guess she is praying that he does not make it that far into his 51st year...lol.

2) The thread sticking out of his hat, his Heisenberg hat. If he yanks it will he unravel the tapestry of his life? will everything come crashing down? how strong are the lies that he has threaded around his life and his family's life? is the end near?

3) The lighting of the pool when Skyler went under water...is she really the angel in this situation? she looked so angelic like until Walt came in and yanked her out. Is she drowning above water as well as under?

4) Back to the Hat..Walt used to wear it when he switched from Walt to Heisenberg but now he wears it all the time...is Walt White finally dead?

5) The Aztec..so Walter White..his new Chrysler...so Heisenberg.

I am sure there are many other symbols that was stuffed in and please feel free to add them because this week we had the same director that directed the "Fly" episode and the same man who directed the new feature film Looper...Rian Johnson. Rian is a wonderful director who has a great eye for detail and he produced one gorgeous shot after another that was layered in beauty and complexity and everything that a top show like this deserves. so kudos to him for an excellent job, to get a guy of the caliber like Rian Johnson to come and do TV when he normally only does film is a huge boon in the cap of Vince Gilligan and co.

The majority of this episode centered on Walt and Skyler's factitious marriage and the effect that his decisions have had on her mentally and physically. She has physically frozen and she has mentally checked out this season so far due to the fear of Walt blowing up a nursing home and killing people and threatening her and just being a total sociopath who has totally and utterly bought into his own bullshit. When in the last episode he was talking to her going on and on about how what she did and what he did was all good because it was for the family it reminded me of Neil McDonough's performance on Justified at the end of "Guy walks into a bar", he is talking to himself basically and his mind is insane and his mind is going from one extreme to the next it is eerie and unsettling as hell and at the same time it is just fantastic. It is said that a great character good or bad believes totally that they are the hero in their story and Walter White has gone beyond this..he is not just the hero he is everything, everything evolves around him and his reasoning.... he has lost grips with reality.

I want to hate Skyler and I want Walter White to be the man who tells others to "stay out of my territory" and be the" one who knocks" and when up against any foe will always be the man who says "I won" in the end (and come Emmy time he will be saying all those things and more because the rest of the Emmy lead actors are his bitches at this moment in time) but I have a scintilla of sympathy for Skyler because she is not worried about her fate...she has accepted her fate.. but about the fate of her children and one thing Walt cannot guarantee is the safety of their children as much as he may believe so. It is one thing to delude oneself when your life is on the line but quite another when a teenager and a little 7 or 8 months old life is on the line and that is where I start to disagree with Walt seriously even though I know this is all fiction...even in fiction I cannot agree with Walt on his family. I asked earlier in the piece if Walt White is dead? and looking at the fight between the two there was a lot of Heisenberg in there as Walt just kept on hammering her and hammering her and pushing her in a corner and being submissive and doing what he has done to Jesse time and time again in order to get his own way. Where Jesse has no one to pull him out of this toxic relationship Skyler has her kids.

I joked on HGF's review that the Rican cigarette should be used on Skyler but I do not know if Vince Gilligan has the balls to do that. If it is between Walt and Skyler...Walt has to win it is his show...Cranston is an Emmy winning god and the lead...Anna Gunn...Skyler White has to go. The story is there for that to happen. Skyler takes the Rican and has a heart attack, Walt tells the police and Hank that she has been stressed about Ted and about his injuries because she fucked him and she was worried about his tax audit because she loves Ted and she was smoking too much and she died because her heart could not take the pressure....it all fits but Vince Gilligan cannot be a pussy about it. Maybe he is not because this episode showed that Hank and Marie can take over care for the kids, Walt Jr will be at college in a year and baby Holly will be the child Hank and Marie do not have so it could work if Vince Gilligan has the balls...do you hear me Vince! Grow a pair!!!!!!!

Lydia annoyed me and I agree with Mike that she needs to be killed and hopefully Walt will do that when need be to satiate his murdering side. But nothing memorable happened to be honest.

I understand that an episode like this happened because the good stuff (i.e. Walt and Jesse doing their thing)is saved for the final 4 episodes of the season and so like season 1, 2, 3 and 4..the shit is served up first and the best is served up later. Anna Gunn and Skyler is the shit we have to deal with so whatever. Rian Johnson saved a lot of this episode for me...gorgeous just gorgeous.

I am a little concerned that we have waited 4 seasons to see Scarface and we are skipping through a lot of the victory lap due to lack of time and so I feel that maybe we are getting a little short changed. The downfall will come and so be it but I hope they spend the remaining 12 episodes on Walt and Jesse and Mike and Saul and Hank and let the shit fly...no more stalling lets fucking do this already!


  1. I forgot to mention how funny it is that Walt got into this for the sole need to provide for his family and Jesse got into this to be a playa and make fat stacks...the irony....look at the car Walt drives and the shit heep that Jesse drives...lol.

    1. What does one have to do to become a full time writer? Would I have to review some more shows like Suits or Louie or god forbid Burn Notice? Please let me know.

    2. At this point, I'm not looking to take on any more "full time" writers.

      In fact, you will probably start to see that "Staff Writers" list decrease in size. I already took one person off the list this week... and they're one of my besties!

      It is not personal. Just looking to change how I run this blog.

  2. I forgot to mention something important about the bacon, in the pilot Skyler gives Walt veggie bacon because it is healthier...now she does not give a fuck if he is healthy or not...real bacon it is! Also I think her smoking more maybe two fold...one where it helps her deal with the stress and secondly maybe it will give Walt back the cancer via second hand smoke.
    Walt in the pilot did not want a party but got one and now he does want one and does not get it. Oh Walt...your wife just hates you so much maybe you should give her some rican...just a thought brother.

  3. Last point! I loved the watch that Jesse gave Walt. Now some people could say that he gave it to Walt because it had a bug and he wants to keep an eye on him or he gave him the watch because the writers needed that watch for the final shot or he could have given it to him because many other duplicitous reasons. I just think he loves Walt and simply believes that Walt has had his back no matter how many times he has screwed up and wanted to get him something very nice and expensive and thoughtful...I read somewhere that it is a watch make and model that was used in a Bond film or something like that...

    Besides I loved how in the final shot the handle went passed 51 then 52 and then dark...is 52 the end? hmmmm.....

    1. Another thought would be that Jesse gave Walt the watch because he knows it will mean something to him. And Jesse wants to make it tough for Walt to hurt him should it come to that some day.

      But I also think they both care about each other and that there is a father/son relationship between them.

    2. I forget a lot of the time that everything that has happened has been contained within a year...that is a lot of shit for 2 people to go through in such a small amount of time and the way he still calls him Mr White...oh Jesse. Jesse maybe the only person who still likes Walt at this point...well likes or loves him who actually knows about some of the shit he has done...and it probably reinforces that Jesse finding out who Walt really is will be the final moments of the series..and maybe Walts life...excellent.

  4. FYI for those who are Skyler haters (including myself at times) go over to the AMC website and listen to the 5.04 podcast and listen to Anna Gunn talk about her role and her experience in the episode specifically and she is such a wonderful person...very sweet and nice and insightful. She understands why fans hate her character and accepts that critism very well, also Vince Gilligan thinks reading blogs is a bad idea...artists huh!

    All the people Walt has killed and survived from...Crazy 8, Emilio, TUCO!!!!!! love TUCO!!!! Gus, the airplane victims, the 2 drug dealers in half measures, the cousins, etc....makes me laugh...Walt is a badass!

  5. I just thought of something about Jesse.

    Jesse being a drug addict that's now going through a period of sobriety.

    Isn't it a bad thing for him to be around drugs and that business because he'll just relapse again.

    everybody wants him to stay sober but they got him making drugs lol.

    If you are an alcoholic is it a good idea to get a job in a bar.

    1. That is a good point but I think Jesse taking drugs has always been linked to his personal life and using drugs to escape the pain. I do not think Jesse does drugs because he is addicted to them and has a craving for them, I think he takes them when he needs an escape from his life being in turmoil.

      I see that with smokers..some are regular smokers who smoke 20 a day because their body craves it and I have seen people who smoke socially when in a bar (if you are in a state or city that allows you to smoke) and only do it once in a while.

      Being around drugs will not make Jesse want them I do not think...being around Walter White though? hmmmmm......a relapse is not far away.

      I think that maybe the way it is but I could be wrong.