Breaking Bad
Live Free or Die

Episode Report Card
Joe R: B+ | 9 USERS: A+
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Magnets, Yo

Skyler gets off the elevator in the hospital, looking scared as shit. She makes her way to Ted's room and kind of peeks inside and asks the nurse if it's not a good time. Oh, it's a wonderful time to see Ted, head-shaved, in an elaborate halo collar, looking like maybe he can't speak or think. Skyler's voice breaks up as she says, "Hey Ted." Turns out, he can hear and speak and think just fine. And he's as scared of Skyler as she is of him. As she tries to stammer out some kind of an apology, he assures her that he knows what happened was an "accident" and the he's said nothing to anyone and will say nothing to anyone ever. He's got children, a family; he doesn't want any more trouble. Skyler sees how he sees her and it freaks her out, maybe more than Walt did earlier. "I will never breathe one word of this" he says.

What can Skyler even say to that? She can try to set the record straight, even though given everything that's happened, Ted is very right to be afraid of her. Tell him she's has a change of ruthless heart? What good does that do, anyone? She says the only thing that she can say right now: "Good."

Certain Breaking Bad episodes can come heavily on the thematics, but this one hits it just right, I think. It's clear that much of this episode is about how we see our own power reflected in other people. Walt sees how Skyler is afraid of him. Skyler sees that same fear (if not worse) reflected in Ted. Jesse, at least to me, seems aware of the power he has over Mike -- that if he asks him to, Mike will stick around. Not in a malevolent way, but Jesse still knows it. It's a nice way to tie the storylines together.

That night, at the police evidence compound, Mike wearily sets about his tasks: spraying over the security cameras and hot-wiring the gate open. He signals Walt and Jesse in the U-Haul, who make their approach. They drive up to the exterior wall they need, but the curb and the carport canopy make for an awkward fit. They're a good few feet from the wall. No matter, Walt turns the dial on and starts the magnet. Inside, a cute bald cop is entering data when his computer screen fritzes out. Inside the evidence room, a telltale paper clip slides off a desk. One by one, the metal objects in the room start moving. Pretty soon, it's everything that's sliding, tipping, and crashing over. Jesse is antsy to leave, lest they get caught (he still calls Walt "Mr. White" which I find so adorable and sad). Walt is relentless, though, and he cranks the dial up as high as it can go. Inside the evidence room, everything metal is stuck to the wall in a circle. Outside, the force of the magnet is so strong that it tilts the U-Haul over. Jesse hollers as Walt struggles to turn the magnet off; inside, the cops assemble, assess the damage inside the locker, then rush outside to find the culprits. But by the time they do, the U-Haul is empty and Walt and Jesse are long gone.

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Breaking Bad

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