'Breaking Bad' Recap: Going Off the Rails on a Crazy Train

Breaking Bad(Warning: as always, spoilers ahead.) You know, I've seen a lot of messed-up things on Breaking Bad. The liquefied body that dropped through the ceiling in season 1, for instance. Jesse's girlfriend Jane choking to death on her own vomit in season 2. Tortuga the drug runner in season 3, who was decapitated and then had his head placed on top of a turtle. But the opening scene of tonight's episode, with the kid fondling a live tarantula before placing it in a jar and nestling it in his jacket right next to his body? OH MY GOD THE WORST I CAN'T LOOK TELL ME WHEN IT'S OVER.

What a strange intro, right? The boy and his horrible giant-ass spider made absolutely no sense until the methylamine heist plot got underway. Only then did I remember the train whistle before the scene ended ... and I knew something Very Very Bad was going to happen to that kid.

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But before we talk about the kid and his unhappy fate, let's back up to Walt's twisted performance in Hank's office. You know, I actually bought it at first: the tears, the pained confession that Skyler thought he was a bad father. I figured Walt had ulterior motives, of course, but I thought he was dredging up some real emotions to Hank -- until he dropped the act completely as soon as Hank left the room. "Everyone sounds like Meryl Streep with a gun to their head." Indeed, Mike.

So thanks to Walt bugging Hank's office, Lydia managed to prove that she had nothing to do with putting a tracking device on the methylamine. She did, however, have an intriguing suggestion for how they can get an "ocean" of the stuff. It's so super easy! All they have to do is rob a train as it passes through a convenient dead zone outside of Flagstaff!

Fast-forward to Mike and Walt arguing about the impossibility of it all while Jesse, Unlikely Boy Genius, sits in the background thinking before interrupting with "MAGNETS, BITCH!" Well, not really, but it was basically the same as the evidence room heist earlier this season, right? Pinkman's got mad problem solving skills, yo.

The heist itself was pure nail-biting perfection. Even as all the elaborate, and perhaps unrealistic, pieces got underway -- the measuring, the pit-digging, the siphoning, the Good Samaritan truck driver, etc -- it never felt like a cheat. The action progressed and Walt deliberately let things come down to the wire out of greed and Mike was yelling at him to get out of there and Jesse had the train barrel over the top of him and holy SHIT, they got away with it! Massive tension increase followed by cathartic war-whoops!

Followed by ... that kid from the intro. Sitting there on his dirt bike, a witness to the entire thing.

Oh no. No no no no no. Noooooooooooo.

The foreshadowing was there for a reason, obviously. Yet I still sat there in dropped-jaw shock at what happened next. Maybe it's because of the way Todd (who I am finally recognizing as Landry from Friday Night Lights) tentatively returned the kid's wave. They'll let him go, I thought. But no. Todd pulled a pistol out of his pants and shot him dead in the dirt.

Well, I guess it wasn't likely we'd end the episode on a happy note. But man oh man, what a punch to the gut. And what a final image to leave us with: that tarantula, skittering helplessly in its jar, completely trapped. Who can move on from this definitive, can't-take-it-back moment? Walt, probably. Mike, maybe. But what about Jesse?

What did you think of tonight's episode?


Image via AMC

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