Purposely Vague Thoughts On Last Night's "Breaking Bad"

(NOTE: Based on time elapsed since the posting of this entry, the BS-o-meter calculates this is 7.236% likely to be something that Ferrett now regrets.)

I have to write in vague terms, as my blog doesn’t have an easy “LJ-Cut” functionality to shield the unwitting from spoilers.  Fortunately, it’s pretty easy to obfuscate things, as if you saw “Ozymandias,” you know what happened.  Still, if you’re really avoidant (which is understandable), I’ll give you a bit to get out.
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Okay.  It’s go time.
1)  I wonder how much of Breaking Bad’s audience got that Walt’s call was a gift, not a mistake.  He had to know what was happening on the other end of the line.  I suspect some percentage of the audience thought, “Oh ho, Walt’s finally cracking!” – but not many, as I think that a) Breaking Bad’s audience is reasonably sophisticated, and b) Walt’s carefulness has been established.  Though I love that the show is smart enough that they don’t drop an anvil to explain it.
2)  The show is filled with Chekov’s blanks – which should be a cheat, but miraculously doesn’t feel like one.  We’re all so tense by things that could go wrong in deadly ways – seatbelts! knives! struggles on kitchen floors! – and only a few of them turn out to matter.  But at this point Breaking Bad will do anything to ratchet up the suspense, up to and including breaking the “normal” rules of drama which says if you hint at danger and don’t follow through it feels cheap.  We’re so invested, any threat will do.
3)  Marie gets flack, but really, she’s the only decent person (aside from Walt Jr.) left on the entire cast.  What she did was actually kind, and caring, and concerned for the family as a whole.  Considering how she could have just thrown them under the bus (assuming what she knew was true), her actual actions were commendable, given that Walt had gone out of his way to shit on her family.
4)  I fucking love Todd.  He’s like a young Mike: cheerful, doesn’t take anything personal, does his job.  Some have said that Mike has heart, but we get to see Mike at the end of his career, trying to retire, with a granddaughter to even out his edges; I’m pretty sure some day Todd will deepen as well.  The error is considering Todd to be at the end of his journey when really, he’s just starting out.  And assuming that gentle, loving Mike didn’t do some pretty fucking despicable things when he was off-camera and young and hungry.
I don’t.  Call me cynical.

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