“Breaking Bad” captivates viewers once again

Henry Doherty

Contributing writer

“Breaking Bad” never disappoints. This week’s episode, “Granite State,” started out with Jesse being forced to cook by Todd’s Uncle Jack, even though they promised Walt they would kill him. With Hank dead, Skyler, Flynn, and Marie are all a little scared and angry. Skyler just got her daughter back from Walt, and Walt had just gotten into the van which we learned is how to get off the grid for good.

The episode begins with Saul Goodman walking out of the van. We can see that this is after Walt got in the van (we see Walt in a cramped dorm-style room figuring out his next plan). Saul is forced to share a room with Walt, which leads to a heated argument between the two about what the future holds. Luckily for Saul, he holds his ground and refuses to help Walt. This is naturally the smart choice, considering whatever plan Walt comes up with will probably get Saul killed. As sad as it is, I feel like this was our goodbye to Saul Goodman, unless Breaking Bad is yet again tricking us.

“Breaking Bad” wouldn’t be what it is if they didn’t think outside the box. This late in the series, Vince Gilligan is developing a new love interest between Todd and Lydia. We start to see Todd’s interest in the previous episode “Ozymandias,” but now we see him protecting her at all costs, exhibited by him breaking into Skyler’s home to make sure she does not mention Lydia to the cops. This could have been pretty stupid considering Skyler probably forgot about Lydia at this point. Now it’s on her mind, and something could slip to the DEA considering the pressure they are putting on her.

Even though Jesse ratted Todd out, Todd made sure Jesse lived just so he could cook with him and impress Lydia. When Todd and Lydia met in the restaurant, Lydia was coming to tell him that she’s out. But when Todd mentioned that the last batch was 92 percent and blue, she got interested. I honestly have no idea where Gilligan plans on taking this story line. All I’ll say is that I will be extremely surprised if Todd and Lydia both survive this next episode.

For Jesse, he is captured and being forced to cook. He takes advantage of Todd’s generous mood and gets the top of his cage left open to the stars. Thinking ahead, he stole the picture of Andrea and Brock that had a paper clip attached to it, and used that to escape the handcuffs. Unfortunately, he doesn’t escape. Being as evil as they are, Todd says they will threaten Brock if he tries to do that again. To prove to him that they are serious, Todd kills Brock’s mom, Andrea, right in front of Jesse. Poor Jesse can’t catch a break. First Jane, now Andrea. It’s unfortunate to see a character we love suffer this much.

For Walt, the van driver drops him off at a log cabin in snowy New Hampshire in the middle of nowhere, secluded from all communication and the real world. There is a town a few miles away, but Walt made a deal with the van driver that Walt would get food and supplies delivered by the van driver once a month if he doesn’t go into the town. For the first time, Walt actually listened to him. Even though he went to the gate shortly after the van left, he stopped and walked back inside.

The next scene is slightly eerie. Walt is more rugged looking, after what we can assume has been a few months, and still has not left beyond the gate. Here, we see Walt desperate and alone, trying to find peace and comfort in the van driver during his monthly visits. It’s a side of Walt we aren’t used to. We’re used to Walt being power hungry, but we see him in a state of weakness.

Walt finally finds a way into town, which we all knew was bound to happen eventually. He finds a payphone and discretely calls Flynn, who surprisingly told Walt off when Walt offered him money. Go Flynn! One of the few times he did something that the audience agrees with. Anyway, if we thought Walt was in a bad state before, this threw him over the edge. At this point, he’s given up. He calls the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) from the bar phone to have them find him. While sitting at the bar waiting for the DEA to arrive, he sees his old friends and business partners Elliot and Gretchen on TV being asked about him. She said two things in particular that really seemed to anger Walt. The first was that the only contribution Walt had to the company was the name and the second was that the blue meth, Walt’s signature formula, was still being sold. From this, Walt knows that Jack and his gang have not killed Jesse, since he is the only one besides Walt who knows how to cook it. By the time the cops showed up, Walter was already gone.

The best part about “Breaking Bad” is the fact that we are almost completely done with the series and yet viewers are still unsure as to what will happen. Even though we’ve seen a snapshot what is to come, we’re still left with the mystery of how it will happen. We know Walt is at a Denny’s on his 52nd birthday with a new car and more importantly a giant gun. We know that he goes back to his house in order to get the ricin that he had hidden away. While we want to guess about the future, there’s really no point because even if you’re close to right, “Breaking Bad” will take your prediction and completely turn it on its head. At this point, even though Walt and Jessie hate each other, it seems like they both share a common enemy whom they both hate more.

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