New season, new look to the teaser. Last season was all black and white with the pink bear as the only color. This year’s opener is saturated in color. They must be using a yellow filter to get the sky and landscape to look like that.
I like that this starts out visually different than the year before, because this season has a different feel, some different themes, a change in tone. And this time, we aren’t left hanging for episodes to see any elaboration on the teaser. This time it takes less than an episode. Two super scary dudes are crossing the border and if the ceremony is any indication, they are in search of Walter White.
I actually really love these characters, The Cousins as they’ll come to be called. Scary and deadly quiet but strangely elegant.
After dinner, when the night deepened, we all went and sat around the campfire that Justin had prepared. We awaited our wonderful tale. We were not disappointed. Justin, like Karl, did not stop during his tale.
* * *
Long ago, in Medieval England there lived a vampire named Richard. There had been others, but they had been younger and weaker than Richard and had therefore died in battle. But the same would not happen to Richard. He was six hundred years old, and had drunk the blood of at least seven thousand people. He did not mind killing. Blood gave him strength and agility. He was a master with his sword, the common weapon of the time. He needed no shining armor; his excellent skill, and faster-than-life reflexes allowed him to kill anyone who got in his way.
How does so much happen in one episode? The Earth has moved in the world of the show. So many storylines intertwine and evolve.
And we learn some key things in this one. Like, Combo stole a baby Jesus statue from a Knights of Columbus display. That might be my favorite detail of the whole episode. Also, Walt’s storing his drug phone in a plastic baggie in the toilet tank, another favorite detail.
There is also a lot–probably in part for time, because so many stories are being told at once–that we don’t see. We don’t see Jesse waking up, or the moment he discovers Jane’s body. Or when he calls her death in to the police. We actually don’t even see or hear anything Jesse says to Walt when he first calls him. All of these things can be inferred and don’t need to be shown on screen.
How did Aaron Paul not win an Emmy for this episode? His acting here blows me away. He’s playing crushing grief, detoxing, guilt, drugged out stupor, and numbness, sometimes several of these at once, and he’s so, so raw. Just like he was in “Grilled” but for much longer stretches. Just breaks my heart.
“What are you doing with that paper?” a cold voice demanded.
I whirled around to see Justin, with an expression of anger on his face.
“I-I’m sorry,” I said through chattering teeth. “I-I didn’t kn-know it was y-yours.” It was so cold and I was scared. I had seen pain in his eyes, great sadness, but never the fury I saw then.
“Does it matter?” he asked, a cold hardness in his voice. “You knew it wasn’t yours, didn’t you? And what the hell are you doing down here anyway? Is that what you came here to do? Spy on me? I don’t appreciate that, Andi.”
This is a huge episode. So much happens. Birth and Death, coupled. It’s so emotional. Watching it again, even though I already knew what would happen, it still made me cry. Powerful stuff.
I was thinking about how this episode starts out all fast and loud, and ends in slowness, quiet. And yet it’s the end that’s full of drama. It’s almost the opposite of the norm. Usually tension builds as events heat up and speed up towards the most dramatic moment. In this episode, it’s the opposite arc, the tension rises as the pace slows and the volume lowers from a scream to a whisper.
Walt made his choice, drug deal over being there for the birth. When Walt gets to the hospital, he discovers that Ted was there when he wasn’t. But Walt, I believe, loves his new baby. There has been a lot of love this season between this family, despite all the deceit and lies and the people in positions that oppose each other. As bad as Walt can be, and his heartless side has shown a bit this season, I don’t think that his love for his family, in his own mind anyway, has wavered. Just morphed in ways.
Within seconds, everyone was gathered and ≈assembled in our room. I was in tears. I couldn’t understand what was happening. Everything in my mind was spinning out of control.
I couldn’t comprehend it. I had talked to Eve only the night before. How could she be dead now? How had she died?
“It looks like she died by bleeding to death,” Jill said, speaking softly. She too, was crying. I don’t think there was one of us who wasn’t. Even tough, strong, Karl had tears running down his face. “There is a cut near her left shoulder-blade that looks pretty nasty.”
“Do you think she fell and cut herself or something?” asked Don with a shaky voice.
The whole season has felt like a gathering storm. Like every episode, Walter and Jesse are doing things that are bound to come back in some way and just wreak havoc. Those weird black-and-white flashforwards showing all kinds of destruction and a floating eyeball and a creepy awesome burnt bear in a plastic bag help with the growing sense of dread. And up until this episode, Walt and Jesse have experienced some crappy things, some strong winds but nothing they can’t handle.
But now, the storm is here. And it’s gathering speed. Combo is dead. Jesse’s on heroin. Walt’s missing the birth of his baby for a drug deal. No good can come of this.