Breaking Bad Season 5, Episode 4: Fifty-One
From the gut: Skyler doesn’t hand-mash?!; Since Mike seems to be always right, why does he keep taking Walt’s shit?; Molly thinks Skyler smiled slightly when she was underwater; Skyler’s ruse was not worth smiling about; Did Hank look at Lydia’s shoes because he is an observant detective or FOOT FETISH?; Steve Gomez is wrong a lot.
Walt enjoys his new, powerful car almost as much as Walter Jr. enjoys breakfast. The king doth not ride an ass, the king ought mount a noble steed. And the prince, let him gallop to IHOP on a stallion.
I am almost weary of the lengths the show is going to prove that Walter’s pride is totally out of control, but I think the cars have significance beyond that. Walter has always been able to keep Junior on his side. Junior is like Ohio: the politics between Walter and Skyler often hinge on him. Skyler must risk alienating Junior forever if she separates from Walter without explaining why—unless Walt somehow screws up his relationship with his son in the mean. Walt has other advantages over her. He is cold-hearted while she is cowardly, and he has no scruples about stalking her around the room while she retreats in terror. (That entire scene was the best part of the season so far.) Skyler clearly knows this, because she admits all she can do is wait for him to die in cancerous agony. Well, not exactly: she can smoke cigarette after cigarette to try to expedite the process.
Perhaps you wish you got a better look at Hank’s DEA board. I know I did. Thankfully, AMC has an interactive version. Go there to scroll and shit or just click my picture to embiggen if your computer is slow. We can see the scope of his investigation so far. Mike is the only live lead, and I doubt he will break. But Hank has voiced his suspicions of Lydia, the quintessential loose thread. As Walt voted that she live, the show gave us a bit of heavy-handed symbolism: him playing with a loose thread on his Heisenberg hat. (Generally, if lowly, untrained I can spot symbolism, it is too explicit.) Loose threads unravel criminal conspiracies, especially ones as hysterical and prone to exaggeration as she.
No, not okay. The look he gave me was the antithesis of okay. Mike, there were like 14 of them, screaming and yelling at me. One of them drew his gun, suggested we play Russian roulette, and lost; another had lasers for eyes. They affixed a GPS to my arm with silly puddy—silly puddy!—and I heard in my bones the Doom of Mandos.
Meanwhile, Jesse still seems to be a good guy. That’s a nice watch. Molly thinks the ticking at the end was artificially accelerated. I think some watches just tick like that. In any case, it’s another bit of crude symbolism. Time is running out on Walt. Skyler’s wish (the best line of the episode) reminded him of the death clock inside him. Perhaps that’s why he insisted nothing stop the train. If that knowledge pushes him to make more foolish decisions, it’s hard to say what will kill Walt first: the cancer or his decisions. Then again, he started cooking because of the cancer, so it’s hard to say that the two can even be separated.