We’re not recapping Breaking Bad until Dexter wraps up its final season (I’m just one man) but here are some quick thoughts on last night’s orgasmic return for AMC’s finest show (yeah I said it).
Obviously, if you haven’t seen the episode, don’t be a dick and expect to be unspoiled here. Everything else here is me and some other sources from around the Internet baselessly speculating based on the clues showrunner Vince Gilligan and team have given out.
-The look into the future introduced in season five premiere “Live Free or Die” gets more clarity. Previously we knew that Walter White has hair, his cancer has returned but not taken his life, and he’s wielding a machine gun. Now we know that Walter White is back in the ABQ, his house has been abandoned, everyone knows that his former alias was the famous “Heisenberg” drug kingpin, and his neighbor Carol thinks she’s seen a ghost.
We also see Walt taking the famous Ricin capsule from behind the electrical socket of his now-abandoned home, killing one theory that baby Holly White would stumble upon it and kill herself accidentally at some point.
-Another theory brought to life by the flash forward…previously, people have speculated that Walter White takes a trait from everyone he kills. An odd fashion choice in the episode may provide a glimpse into what’s to come this season related to one emotionally unstable Jesse Pinkman’s future:
Vince Gilligan doesn’t exactly run from the foreshadowing. In a telling post-episode interview with Vulture, Gilligan says, “Jesse Pinkman is too moral a person to be doing this job…he’s having a hard time living with the memory.”
-On the same topic, Walt seems to have taken Gus Fring’s penchant for laying down a towel for his knees when he has to vomit. Is this a common thing? I’ve never vomited on a knee towel in my life. Feel like I’ve been missing out.
-The “showdown” between Hank and Walt happens much faster than you might expect. Personally, I’m inclined to think it’s all a diversion from the true end game with Walter White. Hank’s shock and frustration with the understanding that Walt is the white whale Heisenberg whom Hank has chased for years came out in one gloriously violent punch.
The tension built throughout the scene is something that only Breaking Bad nails so beautifully. Hank’s come too far in his personal journey to bring the great Heisenberg to justice to heed Walt’s warning to him to “tread lightly.”
-One hope I had for this final season was that maybe there would be a chance at redemption for Walt. Both the showrunner Gilligan and star Bryan Cranston have made clear that we should not be “Team Walter White” given all of the atrocities he’s unleashed upon society. But if he was out of the game — as the final moments of last year’s finale and 75% of this week’s premiere seemed to indicate — would there be a chance at him fixing the karmic balance of the evil he unleashed?
The confrontation with Hank — and Walt’s bold faced lies to Jesse about whether Mike is still alive or not — seems to show that there will be no hope for evening out the score. When cornered, Walt regressed to his Heisenbergiest in both cases. It made for a pair of amazing scenes but neither augers well for Walt being the man Skyler hoped he could be with his druglord past behind him.
-Walt tells Hank in the confrontation that he has six months to live, max. Based on the timeline established by the show and Walt’s 52nd birthday, Future Walt makes his return to New Mexico about nine months in the future.
-If I were a betting man, I’d wager that Hank has a part in the Heisenberg secret hitting the public. But whomever Future Walt is going to war with probably did not show their face in the episode.
-One question remaining: Who’s the new cook for Lydia’s Czech-bound meth syndicate? Logic would point to Todd but, given the three months he worked with Walt at the end of last season, he’d have to be better than a 68% purity at that point, right?
-Despite how mousey she may seem, given how Lydia responds when she doesn’t get her way, I’m not sure I’d want to be on her bad side.
-Another open thread: Lydia’s obviously pissed that Walt is leaving their Czech money on the table. Another guy who’s probably pissed that his new golden goose bailed after just THREE months? Druglord Declan who was on the receiving end of this famous sales pitch at the tail end of season five:
Something tells me that after giving five million in cash to Mike and cutting off their own cooking network to get in bed with Walt’s crystal blue persuasion, Declan would not be too pleased with Walt’s decision to turn tail.
-If you’re like me, you were probably not at all happy to be forced to watch a half hour (seriously, a fucking half hour) of new AMC show Low Winter Sun to see the preview for next week’s episode. Here it is. And seriously, come on AMC. Fifteen minutes for the preview, fine. Thirty? Dick move. Dick. Move.
So there you have it. Great reintroduction with everything moving as quickly as we could possibly hope. We’ve now got a lot of the pieces around the Future Walt mystery in our hands and I’m exceedingly thankful to their creative team for not making us twist in the wind too much longer on that.
Either way, shit seems to be ready to hit the fan at a breakneck pace. Leave your predictions in the comments.