But the more I thought back over s5e1, the more I found something to be missing. It seems to go against the heart of what BrBa is all about. Vince Gilligan has said in interviews that his primary goal with BrBa is to tell a story about how an upstanding citizen transforms into Scarface. He’s explicitly said the show was about character first and plot second, that he never wanted the show to become a “mission of the week” type of series, where every week something disastrous happens to Walt and Jesse and they have to figure a way out of it. And honestly…I felt like this was a more “mission of the week”. For starters, Jesse was barely in it, and he and Walt had no moments together. I’d been waiting all year to see how Walt and Jesse’s relationship would evolve next, and I guess I’ll have to wait another week. On top of that, one of the things I was most looking forward to learning in season five is, what does killing Gus mean for Walt? With his rival out of the way will he retire into safety or will he try to step into the power vacuum. Nothing about that this week, either.
I mean, the fact that they almost called themselves out as doing a Hogan’s Heroes storyline with their Season Five premier to me indicates they know that this episode isn’t what the show is really about. Filler country.
Don’t get me wrong. It was a damn fine filler episode. The magnet stuff was a blast. And there were plenty of nice character moments…I would say this is the first week when Walt has entirely inhabited the Scarface persona. Even going to last season, when Walt heard that Gus was coming to kill him, his first instinct was to run away. I couldn’t imagine Season Five Walt doing that now.
So the good stuff was there, just not prominent enough. Guess we’ll have to wait until next week.
Here are some other scattered thoughts:
-It seems odd to me that Walt finally gave in and showed the waitress his driver’s license. Clearly he’s not hurtingt for money. So, I’m guessing Walt showed the driver’s license not because he wanted the free breakfast, but because he wanted to see if the fake ID was credible. Walt’s not susceptible to pressure to just give in when someone nudges him like that.
-Also, I’m guessing the tip is Walt’s little act of penance. All the mayhem he’s caused the last four seasons has to be eating away at him, so I wonder if we’ll see similar penances going forward.
-Notice how Hank is back on his feet, literally. Last season he was still struggling through his rehab, but now he’s climbing down ladders and moving around the ruins of the superlab with ease. Looks like breaking the Gus case is better for him than any rehab was.
-I loved the “universal symbol for keys” misunderstanding at the end of Act One. To me Mike has always looked and sounded like George Carlin, but now he’s beginning to drop funny, insightful social commentary.
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