Breaking Bad

Episode Report Card
Joe R: B | 10 USERS: A
The One Who Knocks

The next day, Walt and Junior are at breakfast table. Turns out Skyler is still not home, though she called Junior to tell him not to worry. Junior asks his dad if this is about the gambling, and Walt kind of has to go with that, given the alternatives. Seems Junior has read up on gambling addiction and has decided that it's wrong of Skyler to punish Walt for having a disease. Ugh, the hero worship on this kid is at once adorable and heartbreaking and infuriating. Walt insists that this fight isn't about his gambling. "It's about choices. Choices I have made. Choices I stand by."

Later, as Walt drives Junior to school, Junior asks for confirmation that Walt's not moving home after all. Walt can't deny it. And rather than feel that guilt for more than a moment, he decides that school can wait -- let's go to the used car lot! When they get there, Junior sees through this shabbily transparent attempt at buying his love. "If you're gonna buy me off," he says matter-of-factly, "buy me off." Cut to: Junior returning home in his new Dodge Challenger. It's an obnoxious car, as all modern attempts to recreate classic cars are, but as far as this episode goes, I guess that's the point. Walt's all proud of himself, like an idiot. Short-term gains.

Walt shows up at the laundromat, where Jesse is waiting out front. He gives Jesse shit for actually showing up this time. Jesse wants to go to work, but Walt wants an update on the "field trips" with Mike. Walt wants an intel report, like Jesse's his spy, but he's finding out how seriously Jesse's taking this job. Walt can't believe Mike would pick Jesse for such a job. Not somebody who's actually tough? He essentially mocks Jesse as a poor choice for muscle, so Jesse flips him off. He says he's not an idiot -- he knows that this probably started as Gus getting Mike to babysit him and get him off crank. Like Skyler, Jesse's more perceptive than Walt gives him credit for...until he's not. He reminds Walt that he saved Mike from getting robbed, or maybe killed. "So maybe I'm not such a loser after all." Oh my God, does EVERYTHING with Jesse Pinkman have to break my heart? Here's what's worse: Walt figures it out. In like thirty seconds, he figures out that the robbery very well may have been a setup, to bond Jesse to Mike and to ultimately drive a wedge between Jesse and Walt. He's absolutely right. And it is AWFUL, because the idea of that -- and the idea that Walt so readily believes it -- hurts Jesse like you wouldn't believe. Jesse calls him an asshole, which he totally deserves. Walt then arrives at his own personal epiphany. "This whole thing -- all of this -- it's all about me!" Well! It's a funny, ironic line, I'll give that to the show. But it's another one this week that's just really on the nose. Jesse stomps away.

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Breaking Bad




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