12 August, 2013

BREAKING BAD - It's really quiet over here, guys!

It was nice to see the BREAKING BAD crew back in action last night, giving it their all and acting the shit out of the scenery. The episode was a good launching point for the remainder of the series, if a tad bit much on the setup side (since this is supposed to be episode 5.09 and not 6.01, shouldn't there be a bit more going on?).

However, the thing that I walked away from in this episode was the quiet.

I know this show is fond of its quiet moments to build up tension and allow the actors to play around with their reactions. And I'm a fan of that. Not enough shows utilize quiet. There's often way too much talking in scenes. In the real world, people who know each other well have a lot less to say a lot of the time.

No one pulled off the quiet better than Hank (Dean Norris, in the role of his career), who only now realizes that his buddy Walt is the Darth Vader of this universe. If there is an Emmy for projecting the conflict, suffering, anger, and feelings of betrayal without ever saying a word, then Norris should get it. Hell, give it to him anyway.

Unfortunately, the scene between Jesse and Walt had a bit too much quiet and it's not the first time, or even close to it. I've noticed over the length of the series, and specifically since Jesse started becoming the strict moral compass, the quiet between them is used to convey manipulation, distrust, and sometimes acceptance. It's just that in a show that tries to live within the believable real world, that much quiet is rarely seen as a sign of trust. And for a character like Walt, who we are to believe is a wolf of perception, for him to miss that Jesse's quiet is about distrust and disbelief, as opposed to acceptance, is difficult to swallow.

Therefor the only reason for the quiet is to manipulate us into thinking the scene has more weight, when it doesn't. That's when I get pulled out of the moment. That's why that scene didn't work as well for me.

Still, shows need more quiet. Let the actors do that thing they do with their eyes. Unless of course it's an eyeless actor, then give them lots of dialogue.


  1. It was a good scene but we got distracted in desperately trying to remember how much Jesse knew about Walt killing Mike, or if he had simply figured it out based on all the obvious clues around him. We later googled it and it seems to be the latter. We should have re-watched the last couple eps again before this one.

    I'll now have to re-watch that scene again and I'm sure it'll play differently for me. Even with my distraction, I'm pretty sure I agree with your point here though hahah. I certainly did not see any sign from Jesse during that scene that would have made ME feel comfortable, if I were in Walt's shoes, that he believed the "Mike is just fine!" story.

    1. So if you were telling someone that you hadn't killed someone YOU KNEW YOU HAD KILLED and they were looking off in the other direction and then barely squeezed out a "so he's alive", then you'd think they believed your bullshit?

    2. LMAO no!! Did I word my comment in a weird way or something? I am saying the exact opposite of that.

      "I certainly did not see any sign from Jesse during that scene that would have made ME feel comfortable, if I were in Walt's shoes, that he believed the 'Mike is just fine!' story."

      Emphasis on "did NOT see."

    3. I was actually just complaining to someone the other day about how so many TV shows love to end character discussion scenes WAY before there is any sort of resolution on the discussion at ALL ... and this is a great example. They stopped the scene before we saw any sort of sign from Jesse that he believed Walt, and we're supposed to just assume that the two of them came to an understanding somehow. Or that within what we did see, that Walt believed that Jesse believed his (fake) story.

    4. I missed the accent on the syllable or something.

      I love when they have a scene where two people are talking about something and then we cut to a scene where the next logical part of that conversation is being discussed. EXCEPT IT'S AN HOUR LATER if it were in real-time.

    5. Lol gotcha. Hahahaah yeah TV timing really never makes much sense, it drives me insane too. Now I wanna re-watch the ep or at least some parts of it.

  2. The main takeaway from Walt and Jesse's conversation is that Jesse does not believe a single word that Walt says. The main takeaway from Hank and Walt's conversation is that Hank does believe one fucking thing that Walt says. The main takeaway from the Skyler and Walt conversation is that Skyler is still pretty dubious about anything Walt says and does.

    If 5.01 was about Walt in full control and on top....5.09 is about Walt starting to lose that control and the beginning of the end for one Walt Heisenberg White. No one who know Walt trusts him or believes anything he says and most likely hates him.

    What makes this all unpredictable is that no one can do anything to Walt and not get a ton of shit on their shoes. Hank's Career would be over, Skyler would lose everything because of RICHO (including security for their children's future), Jesse may not believe Walt but he is not gonna go to jail for all this shit, etc.

    With Walt dying and almost gone, the only reason Hank will turn him in would be because of his wounded pride and the limited and futile justice that he can inflict on Walt. I have a feeling that the opening act of this episode was Walt's ex-partners going after him because he on the down low has been Hank's secret informant. He will help Hank take down the Lydia's operation in return for letting Skyler and the children to keep the car washes and all the money that he saved.....the ex-partners will then go to war with Walt and Hank and thus Walt has to run....or something like that I think.

    This is going to make AWESOME TV! Look forward to the remaining 7 episodes.