Breaking Bad
Cornered

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Joe R: B | 9 USERS: A
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The One Who Knocks

Inside the lab, they're not even done cleaning up when Jesse gets a call on the Batphone; it's Mike, and he's got a job. So Jesse pretty eagerly leaves Walt to clean up alone, which is more than what Walt deserves. In a huff, Walt charges upstairs and approaches a group of three older Honduran ladies working the washing machines. They don't hablan ingl├ęs, and Walter struggles to find the right Spanish to ask for their help. AYUDA, Walt! AYUDA! So the one who looks like Lupe Ontiveros is all, "No, actually, we're not going into the creepy secret hole in the floor where the scary people with guns are always going and not all of them come back out." But in Spanish. Walt explica that it will only take two hours, and -- "universal language" -- he offers to pay them one "Presidente Grant" if they help him out. Cut to the lab, where the ladies are in haz-mat suits, cleaning up, WHILE WALT SITS DOWN AND DRINKS COFFEE. "Put your feet up," indeed, Bogdan. He raises his mug to the security camera. Might as well be a middle finger.

Somewhere in New Mexico, Skyler drives across the desert, as always with Holly in tow. That kid is going to be hardened before she even knows how to talk. [Note: Here, here! - RS.] Skyler's destination is actually the Four Corners monument, which marks the perfect right-angle spot where the states of Utah, Colorado, Arizona and New Mexico converge. And more importantly, where they sell Navajo frybread! Skyler heads to the big stone disk on the ground where the four states meet exactly meet and flips a coin. Is this maybe a thing the tourists do? To help them make tough decisions? Where their options number no more and no less than four? I feel like this moment is more archly symbolic than actually useful. If we're supposed to think Skyler is contemplating leaving Walt, why are Colorado, Utah, and Arizona her only choices? Or any of her choices? And when she does flip, and it repeatedly lands on Colorado, we're obviously supposed to see her nudging the coin back into New Mexico as her ultimately losing her nerve and deciding to stay. So all that way out for a purely symbolic gesture that ultimately she had no stomach for? It doesn't violate her character or the story, exactly. It just seems too ostentatious given the moment. Also, while I'm nitpicking (hey, the show almost never gives me reason to, so I need to make the most of it), I generally like the ways that Skyler's story departs from the Carmela Myth, but this sequence falls closer to that groove than I'd like it to.

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Breaking Bad

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