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Breaking Bad Recap: The Home Front

Here’s Walt, minding his own business, cruising down the road mumbling half-remembered lyrics to “Horse With No Name,” when a cop makes a U-turn and pulls him over for his broken windshield. Doesn’t this clown care that the glass was broken by the hellfire that rained down when those planes collided? Doesn’t he have any concern for a person’s First Amendment rights? “It’s time for YOU to listen to ME,” rages Walt. And Breaking Bad scores another one of its deeply resonant shots: Walt’s pepper-sprayed face, a scarlet rictus slick with snot and tears. He looks, as much as anyone can, like he literally boiled over.

And who should be in the next room, wielding a chrome ax? The Twins — or, more to the point, Mexicans. Meanwhile, his wife’s putting her cleavage on a platter for Ted, the respected businessman who’s actually cooking his books. One needn’t remember that Walt feels he was screwed out of a fortune to know that he’d hold such corporate shenanigans in much lower regard than his kind of cooking — honest American-outlaw work. Walt’s not a racist or a woman-hater, but he’s desperately grasping for what little power he can find in his life, and in the shifting world around him.

And who should be in the next room, wielding a chrome ax? The Twins — or, more to the point, Mexicans. Meanwhile, his wife’s putting her cleavage on a platter for Ted, the respected businessman who’s actually cooking his books. One needn’t remember that Walt feels he was screwed out of a fortune to know that he’d hold such corporate shenanigans in much lower regard than his kind of cooking — honest American-outlaw work. Walt’s not a racist or a woman-hater, but he’s desperately grasping for what little power he can find in his life, and in the shifting world around him.

Walt winces when lawyer Saul — Bob Odenkirk once again in perfect sleaze mode — suggests that he import a new wife from Thailand or the Czech Republic, but the fact remains that scuzzy Saul’s the closest thing Walt has to a friend — or business partner. (Saul follows the mail-order-bride comment up by telling another associate that “we might have a wife problem.”) Which brings us to old partner Jesse, who’s busy reading Time magazine and unnerving his parents. He forces his way back into his home, too, but you want to cheer him for the way he does it: by having Saul cite the onetime meth lab in the basement, and buy the place for more than half off. Screw you, mom and dad! But a house is not a home — what’s Jesse gonna do with that place, anyhow?

And what will happen over at Walt’s? Gustavo saves him, calling his phone and scaring off the Twins before they can get their ax wet. But that’s an awfully dark cloud hanging over the place. And while the Twins get Walt’s name with a little help from Tuco’s bell-dinging uncle and a Ouija board — which promises insanely creepy things to come — we find Skyler trapped with Walt to be an even more frightening prospect than the return of the bad men. Sometimes, it’s the lone bad man you have to worry about.

Photo: Courtesy of AMC