TV RECAP: ‘Breaking Bad: Caballo Sin Nombre’

Note: This recap is comprised almost entirely of spoilers. Proceed at your own risk, preferably after viewing the episode.

Sunday night’s episode began with Walt traversing a barren desert in his Buick Rendezvous (how perfect is that car for him?) singing along to America’s “Horse With No Name.” There are no cars in sight, until a police car heading the opposite direction flips a u-turn after passing by him, and pulls him over. Walt is bewildered as to why he got pulled over, because he knows that he was not speeding.

The officer explains that he pulled him over because of a cracked windshield. Walt shrugs as if to say “Oh, is that all,” then explains to the officer that his car was in the very neighborhood of the plane crash, and debris fell on it, hence the cracked windshield. The officer says he will still have to cite Walt.

Walt sits in the car for a moment, then unwisely gets out to give the officer a piece of his mind. Walt exploded into a fit of histrionics, ironically expecting the officer to give him a pass because of the plane crash; the officer is even wearing the blue ribbon that everyone is wearing to remember the victims of the crash.

It was a powerful scene, because it symbolizes Walt’s complete loss of control in all aspects of his life, and it demonstrates how different this Walt has become from the Walt we met in season one. If season one Walt were pulled over by an authority, he would cower in the car and break out into a clammy sweat, cursing his bad luck. He would have thanked the officer after the officer handed him the citation.

This Walt literally dares the officer to use pepper spray (which he does), and Walt is hauled off to jail. The whole mini-meltdown was fodder for an emmy reel. Cranston delivered his tirade convincingly. You expect that this is exactly how a man in his position would act. He is frustrated, desperate, lonely, and dying, and then gets pulled over for such a stupid infraction. He can’t catch a break, so he explodes.

His DEA brother-in-law Hank convinces the officers to let Walt go, and Walt sheepishly apologizes for his behavior, just like old times.

Meanwhile, the emotional fallout of Walt and Skylar separating is starting to emerge. Walt Jr. has no idea why Skylar kicked Walt out, so he lashes out at his mother, and shows up on Walt’s hotel doorstep. Anna Gunn’s performance was particularly good, because Skylar is trying to protect her son. A lot of women would be vindicative, and rat their husbands out to their children to avoid being the object of scorn themselves. Not Skylar. She would rather Walt Jr. hate her than be hurt by the truth. That’s a good mom.

Walt spiffs himself up a bit and dabs on some cologne prior to going to talk to Skylar. He shows up with pizza and dipping sticks, but she closes the door in his face. This is where Walt had min-meltdown number two, both tragic and comedic. He shouts out, “but I brought dipping sticks,” like that was going to make everything all right. Once again, he just doesn’t get it.

He then proceeds to have an epic temper tantrum, and hurls the pizza box into the sky. Mid-flight, the box opens, and the giant pizza lands perfectly on the roof. It was awesome. My husband and I spent far too much time trying to figure out how they pulled that off so perfectly.

The next morning Walt wakes up face down in a haze of popcorn and Bud Select on the floor of his hotel room. Darned if that teddy bear eye isn’t looking right at him.

This episode also re-introduced us to sleaze bag lawyer Saul, who is dangerously close to becoming a caricature, he is so despicable. After speaking to Walt, Saul decides to have Skylar watched, and sends a “cleaner” type to go take care of the house. While the man is doing the work, Walt comes and breaks into his own house. The man leaves, undetected by Walt, but sits in his car for a moment.

Good thing for Walt, because the brothers (or cousins, as some are calling them) drove up in their car and pulled an ax out of their trunk (subtle) and enter the house while Walt is in the shower. They found out Walt’s name by visiting a nursing home where Tio (from season 2) is living. Tio uses his ominous bell while the brothers use a Ouija board to point to letters until Tio rings the bell, in this manner he spells out “Walt White.”

Saul’s henchman calls Gus, who calls off the hit at the last second. Walt never knew a thing, but he did find the eyeball staring up at him from the top of his clothes, and it wasn’t there before. Walt thinks that he never gets a break, when in reality he has gotten at least a dozen of them.

Jesse might be returning to his bad ways. He used Saul to blackmail his own parents into selling their house at one-half its value, because Saul threatened to make the meth lab the house had in its basement public knowledge. I couldn’t tell if Jessie just really loved the house, or just really hated his parents. What did you think?

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