TV Discussion: Breaking Bad Season 4 Episode 3: Open House

In the third episode of the fourth season, Breaking Bad is doing it again.  Instead of  having a season packed full of moments, they instead have only a few episodes with a lot of explosive revelations.  In comparison to the last episode, it was a quiet week for Walt, even though things might be spiraling out of control at work, he is being watched every step he takes, and Jesse is faring worse for the wear.

Speaking of Jesse, his hard partying and all night benders are beginning to take a physical as well as emotional toll, and Walt is too preoccupied with everything else in his life to take any notice.  It’s too bad, there is a lot left to mine in the Jesse/Walt relationship, but it seems that series creator Vince Gilligan has to put them through a lot more tragedy first.

Most of this episode focuses on Skylar asking for Saul’s help in getting around the $20 million asking price of the car wash, due to the owner’s hatred of Walt.  Unwilling to do anything outright illegal or intimidating, Skylar opts for the smart approach.  With an aid from Saul, she has a guy pose as an environmental specialist and tells the car wash owner he’s polluting the environment and needs to shut down immediately.

In the end, Skylar got her emotional victory as well as buying the car wash for a price that she knew was actually fair, below even her first offer.  Walt finally realizes her full potential, but my problem was it seemed to take all episode to do this and it felt dragged out.  It feels like there is so much more to get to this season, and a lot of it isn’t getting there fast enough, in my opinion.

In the past that has mainly just meant that what I want to know leads up to a cliffhanger waiting for next season, or one really crazy episode down the line.  What I loved about season 3 was the consistency, each episode had roughly the same amount of progression, with a heavy scattering of crazy revelations.  Maybe they just packed them in too early already, but again, this is only the third episode, I hope next week they pick up the pace a little.

Meanwhile, Marie’s kleptomania is taking over again, this time with added pathological lying at open houses just to cover her minor thefts.  All of this is course motivated by Hank’s predicament, and his obvious bad attitude toward the whole thing.   His demeanor still hasn’t changed, but he’s willing to make the call to get her out of trouble, again.  However, the call has unintended consequences for Hank.

The friend he calls the favor into comes back the next day to ask for the return favor:  if Hank will take a look at Gail’s lab notes and see what sense he can make out of Gail’s murder.  Do I see the beginnings of Hank’s motivation to walk cropping up?  Seems like it took long enough.  Now, the question is, how long until Gail’s notebook is something that is connected to Walt and his entire operation, and what will be the consequences?  Meanwhile, what is Gus planning and what does Walt have up his sleeve to counteract it?  I suppose we’ll see.

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