(Spoilers ahead!) Oh man, let's talk about Breaking Bad, shall we? Last week's premiere episode set us up with Walt, Jesse, and Mike teaming up ("Yeah bitch! MAGNETS!") to destroy Gus's laptop -- and the meth-lab security footage it contained -- but they also inadvertently revealed a bunch of damning offshore bank account numbers in the process. We got an unsettling glimpse into the cancer-recurring/gun-purchasing Walt of Some Unknown Time From Now, so we can assume some pretty terrible things are going to happen in this last season.
Here's a roundup of tonight's most WTF moments, of which there were MANY:
Das Germans. Oh hey, it's Madrigal, the once-faceless German parent corporation of Pollos Hermanos, with an Herr Somebody who transitions from robotically tasting a dipping sauce called "Franch" to taking his own life in the men's room via defibrillator so as to avoid being interrogated by the cops. Hell of an open, Breaking Bad.
Lydia. Mike's meeting with the bumbling, nerve-wracked Lydia in the diner was pure comedy, which made the later events of the episode even more shocking. Lydia (who works for Madrigal, I assume? I was never entirely clear on this) is worried about loose ends, Mike is disgusted at her pussy-footed implication that all eleven of Gus's high-level guys should be killed. Drink your dumb hot lemon water, Lydia! You're clearly not cut out for a life of crime! In fact, I bet we never even see you again! *foreboding music*
Walt's evil subterfuge. Walt plants the fake "missing" ricin cigarette so that Jesse has a breakdown over the fact that he nearly shot his good faithful buddy Mr. White over it, and holy shit, at this point I'm starting to think the entire last season has to be building towards the epic showdown that will occur when Jesse finally learns about all the increasingly horrible ways Walt has deceived him. Or do we even want such a painful revelation to happen to Jesse, who we all kind of love?
Walt's pitch to Mike. Walt tries to sell Mike on Blue Meth Kingpin II, This Time We'll All Be Owners! Boogaloo. Mike declines, saying he wished Jesse saw it too, but, "You're trouble. You're a time bomb, tick tick ticking away."
Hank inches closer to the truth. Hank and his partner are going full speed ahead on the Fring investigation, and they drag Mike down to the station to answer a few questions. Bad news for Mike: thanks to those uncovered bank account numbers, Hank's team now knows about the $2 million that was socked away for Mike's granddaughter. Mike's in hot water, but worse, Mike's now incentivized to earn a bunch of cash. Say, for instance, with an egomaniacal, unscrupulous meth dealer.
Lydia's second act. Mike learns Lydia was paying a guy to kill those 11 loose ends, including Mike himself, and he shows up at Lydia's house. A chilling scene ensues in which we see Lydia begging him to spare her face and to leave her body where her daughter can find it so that the little girl doesn't believe she was abandoned, and I was positive Mike was going to shoot her. Positive. But no, he spares her life ... and asks her if she can get methylamine, which Walt needs to make his high-end, non-Sudafed-based meth. Oh, Mike.
Yet another profoundly creepy scene between Walt and Skyler. I never thought I'd feel sorry for Skyler, but my skin literally crawled when Walt climbed in bed with her and started giving her those gross, sticky-sounding kisses as she lay there, completely traumatized. It was so invasive and awful and how about that placating line of his, "There's no better reason than family"? (Which cleverly underscored Mike's motivation, by the way.) Can you even remember the Walt of season one at this point? Goddamn, what a show.
It seems like last week's episode was mainly intended to wrap up any dangling plot points after the season 4 finale, and tonight was the true kickoff to season 5. The focus on Mike was masterful, not only because Jonathan Banks is such a fantastically talented actor and a pure joy to watch in this show, but because we're rooting for him. We like him, we want him to break free, yet he's getting sucked into Walt's vortex along with everyone else. Unlike everyone else, however, Mike knows exactly how fucked the situation is ... along with the price he's likely to pay.
What did you think of tonight's Breaking Bad episode? Are you hoping Mike manages to extract himself from Walt?
Image via AMC