TV Recap: 'Breaking Bad: One Minute'

TV Recap: ‘Breaking Bad: One Minute’

Wow! That’s the first thing I would like to say at the conclusion of this episode. The last ten minutes were were easily some of the most riveting moments that I have ever seen on television. As always, there are heavy spoilers ahead. These recaps are meant to be read by fans of Breaking Bad who have already seen the episode, and trust me, you don’t want this one spoiled.

I absolutely love some of the opening sequences that Breaking Bad has featured since the inception of the show. My favorite is still the teddy bear in the pool, but the opening scene of “One Minute” will stay with me for a long time. We finally get to see a bit of back story on the cousins (who are referred to as brothers in the opening.) It is obvious that the two men basically have ice water running through their veins, and in a chilling (in more ways than one) flashback, we find out how their steely detachment runs in the family.

The two young boys are playing in a yard with some sort of doll, and one of the boys tears a limb from the toy. The other boy approaches his Uncle (who is talking on a satellite phone) and tells him that he hates his brother, and wishes he were dead. The Uncle calmly tells the second boy to fetch him a beer from an iced down bucket. When the boy leans down, he holds his head under the ice water while the first boy frantically struggles to make him let go.

That’s a harsh lesson for some impressionable boys, and the Uncle tells them to remember that “family is all.” Guess who dear old Uncle is? It’s our bell-ringing snitch Tio, albeit a bit younger and sans wheelchair.

Flash forward to present time, and the cousins are placing Hank’s photo front and center on their creepy little voodoo shrine. Meanwhile, Hank busts into Jesse’s house and beats him senseless. He is frustrated over the loss of the RV evidence, and is livid about the phone call that falsely led him to believe that Marle was in the hospital. Hank suddenly seems to come to his senses and looks horrified when he realizes the severity of his actions. He calls the authorities and turns himself in.

Saul practically breaks into a jig when he visits Jesse’s hospital room. Wearing an appropriately sleazy velour tracksuit top, Saul explains to Jesse’s that his face is a “get out of jail free” card, and starts snapping photos of his client. Soon Walt shows up in the room, and Saul announces, “You’re now officially the cute one of the group.”

Walt offers his apologies, and Jesse breaks into a tirade about how he is going to haunt Hank and make his life a living hell. This was a rare misstep for the show, because the speech just didn’t seem like something Jesse would say. Normally, he is not very articulate. It came across as written dialogue until Jesse threw in his signature “bitch'” at the end. Jesse assures Walt that he will turn him in (as Heisenberg) if he gets caught by the police.

Hank is interrogated by his superiors, and ends up taking the 5th to protect himself. His wife Marle meets him in the elevator, and Hank completely breaks down, sobbing on her shoulder. It is very real and heartfelt moment. I felt like this episode served to humanize Hank, and to demonstrate that he has recognized and put some of his personal demons to rest.

Back at the meth lab, Walt becomes irrationally annoyed by Gale, who appears to be the perfect lab assistant. Walt insists that Gale got a temperature wrong just to make him doubt himself. Shortly later, Walt is speaking with Gus, and asks him to allow Jesse to take over the lab spot, citing their “experience” together. Walt visits Jesse again, and offers him a 50/50 partnership, which Jesse turns down.

Aaron Paul is wonderful in this scene as Jesse, who tearfully tells Walt that everything he cares about is gone since he joined forces with him. It is gut wrenching, and Walt finally looks a little remorseful over everything. Later, Jesse calls to accept the partnership offer. Anyone else see a train wreck coming?

Now, we get to the “One Minute” scene, which was really fantastic. Hank has been formerly suspended from the DEA, which includes having his firearm taken away. When he gets to his car, he gets a cryptic phone call from Jigsaw an anonymous man, who tells him two men are coming to kill him in one minute (it’s 3:07).

Hank thinks it is a joke, but is visibly shaken. He reaches for his gun, but he doesn’t have it. At 3:08, the cousins emerge and start firing on Hank’s SUV. In an “OMG” moment, Hank thinks on his feet and quickly backs up the SUV going full speed, pinning one of the cousins between his car and the car behind him.

In a lucky break, the cousin’s gun is knocked out of his hand into Hank’s vehicle. Hank crawls out of the car and ends up shooting cousin #2 several times. Cousin #2 is fine, because the cousins had just purchased bullet proof vests from a truck driver earlier.

Hank is hit in the chest several times, and the cousin (#2) hesitates before shooting him point blank. He thinks that is too easy, and goes to fetch his axe. Just as he is about to kill Hank, Hank shoots him with a hollow bullet he found on the ground.

So, the cousins appear to be dead, and Hank looks like he might die. What do you think? Did you love the ending as much as I did?

  • Mick
    May 5, 2010 at 12:57 pm

    Shannon – I believe the satellite phone you referred to is really a cell phone from the time period that the flashback went back to – yes, they really were that big in those days (and, no apps) *grins*

    Also, I thought next week’s preview showed on of the “cousins” in a hospital bed – I could be wrong though……..

    • Shannon Hood
      May 5, 2010 at 8:19 pm

      @Mick, see this is why I shouldn’t listen to my husband. He insisted it was a satellite phone. 🙂

  • Shannon Hood
    May 4, 2010 at 9:33 pm

    @Linda. Thanks for clearing this up concisely! That makes sense.

  • Shannon Hood
    May 4, 2010 at 8:55 am

    @Jen, yes, the whole brothers/cousins thing is confusing. They are brothers, but even the AMC website refers to them as the cousins. I’m guessing that was some type of name the cartel gave them, like a nick-name. I’ve seen a lot of people referring to them as the brothers/cousins.

    • Linda
      May 4, 2010 at 6:11 pm

      They are brothers, referred to as “the cousins” because they are cousins of the late “Tuco” who was killed by Hank. The brothers are avenging the death of their cousin.

  • jen
    May 4, 2010 at 8:03 am

    i thought at the beginning flashback it said they were brothers…