BREAKING BAD NOTES BECAUSE GET THEM OFF OUR BRAAIIIIIINNNNN

WALTER WHITE CARES ABOUT AIR FRESHENERS

1. Carol dropping some oranges because she is the worst, and also because more Godfather jokes. Carol doing this with brown paper bags because she doesn't care about the environment, and proves it by watering her plants in the middle of the desert in an earlier scene, which happens later because timejumps. Carol, just sitting there not suing the Feds or the Whites because the house next door is clearly a property values nuke placed right in the middle of a residential neighborhood. Good god, Carol, you are seriously the worst person in Breaking Bad, and that includes Todd, who shot a perfectly nice kid just for looking at them and then bottled him in acid like a snake in cheap Chinese rice wine.

1a. But yes, the episode begins with a tumbling of oranges, and ends with Hank in a betrayal clutch with Walt, and hooboy more Godfather references.

2. But yes, more oranges, more doom, and Walt in his Mr. Lambert phase is just a big ball of a.) invincible tumors, b.) wired snitchin' evil, c.) needs the Ricin for um...weight loss, d.) has that kind of burnt fleshy pork rind neck you only get from living outside in a sunblasted climate for several years, e.) is all of the above.

3. Saul's green silk shirt ensemble was unfuckwithable, and was green, which in the Breaking Bad universe means something very complex like "Saul Goodman, graduate of the University of American Samoa, is a toadstool that spits cash when you kick it." It's not that hard sometimes, Kremlinologists. Also good to see Saul's still getting hand jobs from his middle-aged Asian masseuse. Most dependable, loving relationship on the entire show.

4. Jesse would make a great hype man for an ICP-style rap act, if he's looking for a second career. The form on his cash tossing was impeccable.

5. If Hank had just stumbled out of his truck, flopped onto that stranger's lawn, and then groaned and released an anvil-sized turd while primal screaming in the arms of his terrified wife, Breaking Bad could have made the greatest poop joke ever, and confirmed my belief that Hank had been sitting on the toilet for well over a year in real time at that point, just waiting for the cameras to start rolling again. It would explain the freakout, but Vince Gilligan is clearly a better man and writer than I will ever be. (See mailbox for rejected Breaking Bad script "Anvil Poop.")

6. Walt and Skyler running the car wash was the best scene in the entire show. Oh, sure, you might like Hank and Walt showing their hands in the garage. (And finally, a legitimate reason to own a garage door opener: dramatic huis clos capabilities!) I did, too, but that's something that had to happen, was going to happen. Walt nitpicking the layout of the air fresheners, and Skyler--clad in new, expensive beige clothes like a cloaking device--mooning over new car wash locations was what the show does best. It showed that evil can be spectacular, but also is usually deeply banal. When you have a pile of blood money in a storage facility just collecting silverfish and moaning with the echoes of dead souls, what does the heart want? It wants to worry about the car wash, and the air fresheners, and perhaps dream of buying...another car wash, just like that, skipping over the whole BLOODY METH GOD OF THE SOUTHWEST like it was grad school or something.

7. Oh, nice Gus Fring act, Walt, continuing the string of killing people, and then wearing their personality traits like a fleshmask. Mr. White would like to play humannnn tetherball, and then lie badly to Jesse, who clearly knows what happened to Mike, and clearly doesn't believe a fucking word of what Walt says. Jesse, as the loose end for a lot of people at this point, is the most dangerous human being in the show, and simultaneously the most endangered. At least poor Holly the baby has a sibling and a mother to look out for her. Jesse has Skinny Pete and Badger, and they're busy writing the greatest Star Trek scripts ever.

8. This is not a lie: I would watch an entire season of Star Trek written by Badger.

9. The framing of people in mirrors was a recurring thing. Walt saw himself in a broken mirror; Jesse saw himself in the drug, booze, and cigarette clogged reflection on his glass table; Hank saw himself in the mirror he'd slapped a Schraderbrau sticker on in his garage. Hanks was the saddest, because man, there used to be this Hank, out there in his garage, just living that sweet Fieri lifestyle of brewing your own beer, wearing Tommy Bahama shirts to everything, and grilling on the patio while cranked off a few Schraderbrau, thinking about ass, or football, or maybe goin' low carb for a while. He's broken, and the person who broke him is Walt. Remember the bottles of beer popping in his garage when this all started? It's Hank's sanctum, those were metaphorical warning shots, and now it's come full circle with the source of the pressure walking right in the door and threatening him.

10. It occurred to me while watching this that Walt would probably end up in Supermax in Florence ADX if convicted. So, yeah: cancer/flight/living like a dog in the desert would be preferable to that, Walt.

11. "Low Winter Sun" came on afterwards, and went 29 minutes without a commercial break to string you out before showing scenes from next week's episode. Prime dickery by AMC, but a valuable counterpoint in one sense. Everything in the show--set in Detroit--was dark, oppressive, ruined, and framed to emphasize the rusty grandeur of post-apocalyptic Detroit. This was meant to be DRAMATIC and SWEEPING and indicative of RUIN AND ROT.

You can't ask Detroit to be subtle. However, consider that final scene with Hank and Walt, and the setting: a garage made of painted sheetrock and aluminum framing with the name Tyvek under there somewhere, stacked with well-organized tools undoubtedly purchased from a nearby Home Depot (the same one where Walt buys his corpsebarrels,) arranged in a circle of identical homes at the end of a cul-de-sac. It's not the whole appeal of Breaking Bad, but part of it for me has always been the very average, accessible, and utterly familiar surroundings. You know how that shitty stapler Walt is fiddling with in the office sounds, and can smell the weed coming off Jesse. You know all the glassware on the table, because it's all mobbed off the same three places your Mom buys her glassware. I've always known how the carpet in the White house smelled, a kind of old, eighties carpet giving off a faint smell of ambient dust and degenerating chemicals oozing out of the carpet. The devil met Hank in your dad's garage, and was wearing a khaki windbreaker when he was thrown into a pile of Office Depot file boxes. That's way more disturbing to me, and always will be.

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