Half Measures

8 Jun

My magic screenshot delivery service is down again this week (but hopefully should be back for the finale), so I’ve gone with an old AMC promo shot. Take a second to look at Walt and compare him to the Walt we now know- he’s practically unrecognisable. Walter White and Jesse Pinkman may be the most fully realised characters to have ever been on television, ranking at least amongst Tony Soprano, Vic Mackey or the Krause Family.

What I’d planned on using was the opening shot of the Crossroads Hotel. Sometimes this show likes to be heavy-handed with its metaphors, but this was a good one. The format of this this episode followed season 2’s somewhat, in that it had some sense of conclusion to ongoing stories (a.k.a Marie’s Miraculous Handjob) and a cliffhanger ending that would have been more than enough on a different show. But, much like last year, we have to stick around to see the terrible, terrible consequences.

So to did both episodes end with Jesse higher than Zimbabwe inflation, and Walt killing somebody (he’s putting his windshield repair guy’s kids through college), presumably for Jesse’s benefit. The difference is we now have the benefit of hindsight, and Mike the Cleaner’s big speech. Breaking Bad has had a lot of great monologues this season (most of them Jesse’s) and to give so much dialogue to a relatively minor (not to mention quiet) character is a bold choice, but Walt would not have listened to anyone else. I can see why most shows don’t use so much dialogue in one sitting, as the camera is often static and you need someone damn good to pull it off. Luckily, this is not a problem for them.

One question remains:  how far will the damage spread this time? Another plane crash seems unlikely, and if anyone’s going down it’ll be someone we’ve met. The episode title, “Full Measure”, indicates a conclusion to this seasons overarching themes of uncertainty and confusion. Jesse tried to get out of his bad guy role and lost, and now could pay for it with his life. Walt (thanks also in part to Skylar) remembered why he even started cooking in the first place, and that for all his bluster and delusion he realised that Jesse’s problems are also his own.

Now seems as good a time as any to start a death poll. Badger and Skinny Pete are still out there, but they’re on their 12 step program and have probably been out for days. Hank, Marie and Walt Jr are too nice to murder out of nowhere,unless the remain quarter of the cousins gets any ideas. My bet is on Skylar- everyone expects Jesse to die next week so it seems unlikely that it’ll actually go down like that. She’s the only one who’s impeding on Walt’s ability to care for his family, and it would be all the worse now that they’re actually getting along again. In the last few weeks Skylar has shown a lot of interest in Walt’s business, and I think she may, tragically, find the whole truth.

MINOR SPOILER FOR THE FINALE DON’T READ UNLESS YOU WANT TO KNOW

I’M SERIOUS

The hat is back.

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