- Time is Running Out for the Future of Game of ThronesPosted 8 days ago
- HBO Grants Game of Thrones Epic Season 4Posted 77 days ago
- Dispute Gets Game of Thrones Actor The Tyson VS Holyfield TreatmentPosted 84 days ago
- Game of Thrones: George R. R. Martin Makes a Cameo in Season 4Posted 87 days ago
- Jon Snow & Ygritte Get Cozy In Game of Thrones Portraits!Posted 90 days ago
- Watch The Newest Game of Thrones Trailer!Posted 91 days ago
- Game of Thrones Season 3 is a Beast Waiting to be StirredPosted 93 days ago
- Game of Thrones Recap: Get Caught Up On Season 2Posted 99 days ago
- Game of Thrones Extended Season 3 Trailer Has Bears, Sex, Flaming Swords and Everything ElsePosted 106 days ago
- Game of Thrones: Shadowed Cast in New Season 3 PostersPosted 108 days ago
BREAKING BAD – Walt Meets His New Adversary When He Turns “Fifty-One”
Out of all the episodes of Breaking Bad, “Fifty-One” is the most suited for taking a look back at the dark and terrible journey Walter White has been on since the day he was diagnosed with cancer. This show – this wonderfully written, beautifully shot show – began with Walt’s fiftieth birthday. At the time he was an unhappy man, teaching high school chemistry and working at a car wash just to make ends meet. His intellect went unappreciated by just about everyone in his life. He finds himself in the business of cooking meth when he realizes his family will be left with nothing if he dies and begins his work with Jesse Pinkman with the good intention of providing for his wife Skyler, Walt Jr., and soon-to-be-born daughter Holly. It’s an act of necessity. Flash forward to Season 5 – roughly one year chronologically – and Walt is unrecognizable. His cancer is in remission, taking away his justification for his criminal life, yet he continues to cook and sell meth. He’s killed many men who gotten in his way, even endangering the life of a child just to save his own skin.
Walt started out on the bottom, but through sheer force of will and cunning he has perched himself on top of Albuquerque’s drug world. His blue meth is still a hit and only a handful of people know of his illegal activities, Skyler being one of them. All those feelings of animosity Walt has felt toward those who disrespected him have warped him into a man driven purely by his own ego. He has come to believe so absoluetly in his own brilliance that he has become barely human emotionally. Instead of empathy, his immediate reaction when put in a room with someone is either intimidation or manipulation, but usually it’s a combination of the two. Skyler receives the worst of it. She’s in too deep, knowing everything he’s done and even helped in laundering his money to avoid suspicion from the IRS. And she’s terrified. This man Walt has become is not the man she loved and married. He is the danger, to her and her kids. And there’s nothing she can do to stop it. She can’t even keep Walt out of her own bed. But she has found a way to fight back, even if it’s only a temporary victory for her.
Skyler doesn’t say much for the majority of the episode; she saves her best dialogue for near the end of “Fifty-One,” but this is without a doubt a Skyler-centric episode. We track her state of mind throughout, beginning with a general numbness at her situation. She knows she’s a lost cause, but there’s still hope she can save Walt. Jr. and Holly if she can just get them away from their father. She tries to be subtle, suggesting sending Jr. to boarding school, but Walt gently shuts that idea down. “Where are we sending our eight-month-old, the Peace Corps?” he says, a hint of amusement in his voice. Skyler just has to accept the situation. Walt is here and he wants his family. He even expects a birthday party. And why shouldn’t he? He killed the drug king and took his crown. Every day should be a celebration of Walt’s ingenuity. You can imagine his disappointment when he comes to find there isn’t a giant party waiting to surprise him, just Jr. flipping through the TV channels and Skyler preparing a regular dinner. Oh, but Hank and Marie are coming over and there’s a chocolate cake.
They enjoy their dinner and each other’s company, but Skyler can only take so much of Walt. As he reflects on the last year of his life to Hank and Marie – leaving out the drug dealing of course – Skyler leaves the table to stand over the pool. It’s as she’s staring down into its blue depths that she realizes how to beat Walt at his own game: endangering her life. She walks slowly into the chilly water, not so much as saying a word to anyone else, letting herself be submerged as everyone watches uneasily. Is she going to come back up? No one is sure, so Walt jumps in to drag her out. Now it’s clear to Hank and Marie everything is much worse than they thought. Skyler should probably talk to someone, a professional, and the kids should stay with the Schraders for a few days. That last one was Skyler’s idea. It’s not a perfect solution, but that’s okay because at this point a victory is a victory for Skyler.
But she can’t beat Walt forever. In the best scene of the season thus far, husband and wife go back and forth challenging each other’s plans. If she Skyler tires to harm herself, Walt will have her committed. Then Skyler will accuse him of abuse. Fine, but Walt will expose Ted and his financial fraud. It becomes clear as Walt stalks Skyler around their room that she cannot outthink him. “I don’t have your magic Walt.” All she can do is bide her time and wait for Walt’s cancer to come back and let his own body kill him. Now if that’s not the most chilling thing you could say to someone, I don’t know what is.
Between the drama between Walt and the new enemy he has found in Skyler, Hank and Jesse had some of their own interesting developments. Hank was offered – and accepted – a promotion that would take him off the Fring case. Taking the new job is a smart move for his career, but will Hank really be able to say goodbye to the investigation that got him out of bed and away from mineral collecting? I foresee a bit of trouble stemming from not being able to let go of Fring, blue meth, and Heisenberg. And Jesse has his first run in with the crazy, up-tight Lydia. Lydia, who we learn is unraveling under the pressure of losing Fring’s empire and working for Mike, is paid a visit by Hank and the DEA who have come to arrest Lydia’s methylamine guy, Ron. The whole situation gives us a nice look into who Lydia is. Yes, she’s anal and probably suffers from OCD, but she cracks under pressure way too easily, evidenced by her mismatched shoes – Hank picked up on those by the way. And she’s prone to exaggeration, telling Mike she was yelled at by 14 DEA agents who surrounded the warehouse.
With Ron gone, Mike sends Jesse over to help Lydia with the methylamine. She tells him to grab a very specific barrel, which turns out to have GPS tracker on the bottom. She claims the DEA must have put it there and calls the operation off, but Mike knows better. How could the DEA know that specific barrel would be taken? No, this has Lydia written all over it. She’s a coward and is trying to get as far away from Mike and his business as possible. To Mike, who is big on loyalty, this is a major affront to him and the second one she’s made. He let her off the hook before – he says because of sexism, but we all know it was because he didn’t want Lydia’s daughter to find her mother’s corpse – but this time Lydia needs to die. Luckily for Lydia, Jesse isn’t too keen on killing her just yet. He asks Walt for his input, who bluntly states they will not lose their methylamine source. “Nothing stops this train. Nothing.”
Of course, that’s just another sign of how ill suited Walt is to be making any kind of business decision. Carrying on without giving any thought to the consequences is what will be Walt’s undoing. He believes he cannot be stopped, but even a train can be derailed.