Breaking Bad: Back on the Grind

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Photo: Courtesy of AMC
Episode Title
Breakage
Season
2
Episode
5

This week begins with a close-up shot of Walt's blood, rushing through chemo tubes. As everything fast-forwards around him, Walt's blood remains, red and gushing. Whenever we see Walt throughout the tense hour, this image remains: He is mad. He's mad at Skylar, he's mad at Jesse, he's mad at his lot in life. The good news for us is that he's back where he should be: cooking pure meth.

Walt and His Family
Walt and Skylar's standoff continues, and their estrangement takes its toll on Walt's well being. He finds her pack of empty cigarettes in a clogged toilet, and confronts her about it. "Perhaps I smoked them in a fugue state!" she yells at him, referring to his dubious blackout period. "This is so unlike you!" says Walt. "How would you know?" Skylar hisses back at him. Ooof. Meanwhile, Hank is suffering from PTSD from his shoot-out with Tuco. He has a panic attack in an elevator, and thinks popping beer cans in his basement are gun shots. Sklyar and Marie make up after Marie apologizes for shoplifting Skylar's baby-shower gift. The fact that this is the only functional family moment in the whole episode is saying something.

Walt and the Drugs
Aaaaaand ... we're back to selling drugs! Most of this week's developments center around Jesse, who's actualy starting to clean up his life (relatively speaking). He rents an apartment and meets a potential love interest who's perhaps a million steps up from meth-head Wendy (by which we mean she has all her teeth). Walt and Jesse cook a new batch of meth and decide to cut out the distribution middleman — instead, Jesse's ratty friends deal the drugs for them. In an amusing montage, we see the drugs exchanged all over Albuquerque. One of the dealers, Skinny P, gets held up by a couple of freaky meth heads, so Walt and Jesse end up $2,000 under where they thought they'd be. Walt flips out about the money in a menacing way. The more the show progresses, the less sympathetic Walt is becoming. Why is he so hard on Jesse? He's clearly taking out all his anger on the one person who has no choice but to take it.

What Next?
Walt and Skylar need to have some sort of breakthrough for their marriage to survive. They haven't really spoken to each other for weeks, and Skylar's not going to budge until she hears some semblance of the truth from Walt. But how can that happen? We end the episode with Walt bringing a gun to Jesse's apartment, telling him to "take care of it." So Walt's now encouraging Jesse to use violence to control their drug trade. This can't end well.