Breaking Bad

Episode Report Card
Joe R: A- | 1 USERS: A+
The Gambler

Walt says they're both adults, and while he knows this mystery person is Gus -- WHAT??? -- Walt still owes him his life. And beyond that, "I respect the strategy," he says. "In your position, I would have done the same." Immediately, you know it's true. And from the look on Walt's face, he does too. That can't be a happy realization for him. Walt moves on to the reasons he's here: "I don't know what happens when our three-month contract ends." He wants security for his family. Without hesitation, Gus extends the $3 mil for 3 months deal out to $12 mil a year. "Call it fifteen," he says, employing the spontaneous largesse if a man rolling in chicken 'n meth money. He also proclaims his agreement with Walt now "open-ended." So ... good news? Walt's not in business with Gus for the forseeable future?

Obviously, this was the move Walt felt he had to make, but as we see him speeding down the near-empty desert road away from the Chicken Shack, Walt's obviously not entirely happy. Is it the regret of the man who made a deal with the devil? Is it the loss of control over his life that he's now ceded pretty much entirely to Gus? Is it the shame of knowing he's not only not going to punish the man who had his brother-in-law shot but that he's going to cook for him permanently? Probably all those and more. So he drives, and he gets more upset, and he pushes harder on the gas. As he passes 90 MPH, he closes his eyes, and the car drifts over the center line. The soundtrack shifts to ethereal "My mind is at peace and it could stay this way if I die in a heinous car wreck right about now" music. Walt's now headed directly towards an oncoming 18-wheeler, which really can't do anything to move out of his way. And honestly, why should it? It's big enough to survive the impact with Walt. So it blares its horn, warning the oncoming car not to fuck with it. And at the last possible minute, Walt swerves out of its path. Imagine having to swerve like that while going that fast. It's not exactly easy to regain control of the car. Walt careens all over the road before sliding to a stop off to the side, miraculously unharmed. I'd say this is a decent metaphor for the position Walt now finds himself in -- heading down the road towards inevitable catastrophe and doom and going far too fast to stop easily -- only in Walter's life, that road is littered with cars; cars like Skyler and Flynn and Hank and Marie and Jesse. And even if he tries to swerve out of the way, he's sure to take one or more of them out in the process. Also, seriously, how much is Walt gonna put that poor car through before it's all over?

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Breaking Bad




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