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Breaking Bad: To Your Health!
As the scene was happening, I didn’t think it was possible to top Walter and Jr.’s heart wrenching father/son moment, but gosh darn it, Breaking Bad went and outdid not only that scene, but also everything else we’ve seen this season. A few weeks back I would have said “Problem Dog” was the best episode of Season 4, but “Salud” blew it out of the water.
That ending was powerful. The very second Don Eladio notices Gus’ gift of respect I knew the mass poisoning was coming. Granted, it was just a hunch, but it became quite obvious when Gus made an excuse to have Jesse not drink any of the tequila. But Gus, in what seems like an attempt to out badass himself every week, drinks the tequila and manages to survive its effects. Granted, he’s not looking to good as the episode ends, but he’s alive. Even with all that poison in his system, he’s got to feel pretty darn good having finally avenged Max. That was revenge 20 years in the making and well deserved.
Speaking of people getting what they deserve, after being under Walt’s tyrannical rule for most of four seasons, Jesse finally gets to call the shots. Jesse is understandably nervous about teaching chemists how to cook meth when he himself knows nothing about chemistry. But you don’t need to know everything if you have a commanding presence. Jesse must have dug deep to bring the boss man inside him out. We’ve always known Jesse has the potential to be in charge, but Walt’s constant belittling really crippled him. If it wasn’t for Gus’ reassurance, Jesse might not have been able to do as well as he did in Mexico.
And while all this craziness was taking place south of the border, a beautiful thing happened: Walt showed remorse. He was utterly wrecked, physically and emotionally, from his fight with Jesse. To see him acknowledge the mishandling of the situation was like a breath of fresh air. Walt’s dickish nature was beginning to wear a little thin (just a little!), and this change of pace was extremely welcome. And may I say, kudos to Bryan Cranston for knocking this scene out of the park. Nuts to every other TV actors out there, Cranston and Aaron Paul are the very best in the business.
This was an episode filled with drastic change and big moves. Aside from Walt’s repentance and Gus’ mass murder, Skyler took a huge risk. She caved and gave Ted money to pay off his debts (given to him via a dead relative Ted’s never heard of). Here we learn that Ted really deserves every ounce of trouble he’s brought on himself. The guy is a child with money, evidenced by the first thing he does is buy a fancy car with his newfound wealth. Of course, Ted’s behavior will draw more attention to him and thus to Skyler. In a last ditch attempt, Skyler comes clean about giving him the money, and now one more person knows about the secret White family wealth.
There are only three more episodes left, plenty of time for Walt and Hank to really get involved with Mike, Gus and Jesse in Mexico. The next few weeks are going to nailbiting.