Breaking Bad: "Shotgun" lab notes

Things are falling down around Walter White, it would seem. In the latest episode, "Shotgun," another wedge between Walt and Jesse seems to have been opened, and Walt is falling behind Gus in terms of strategy. The last moments of the episode ratcheted things up another notch after a solid hour overall. 

jesse pinkman

Walt's Self-destruction
I might as well start at the finish. Just hearing Hank lay praise on Gale, whom he thinks is Heisenberg, as Walt sits there drunk and bitter would have been good enough. Hearing Hank lament the fact that this genius hadn't put his efforts in elsewhere was a nice touch. Then, Walt couldn't bear somebody else getting praise for his work any longer, thereby putting Hank back on the trail that could eventually lead him right to Walt. This was sort of necessary, because if Hank isn't looking for Heisenberg he doesn't have much to do on the show, and the tension is lessened, and they probably couldn't have handled it any better. Plus, Hank's no longer a gloomy, self-loathing mess, which is good for both him and Marie.

Jesse the Hero
The intensity and tension of Mike and Jesse's car ride was quickly dissipated, until the "ambush" on the two at least. I'm sort of ambivalent about finding out that it was all staged by Gus. It felt like a bit of a stretch, but it isn't too unreasonable. It certainly seems to have worked, as Jesse now feels loyalty to Gus and Mike. The question is, to what end? If I may hazard a guess, I figure they are trying to cause conflict between Walt and Jesse, because if the partnership dissolves, one of the could easily be disposed of, presumably Jesse. Also, Mike and Jesse make a nice pairing, given the difference in their personalities.

Mike Coughing
This may be nothing, but I thought I'd mention it anyway. I first heard this posited on Alan Sepinwall and Dan Fienberg's Firewall and Iceberg podcast. When Mike was in the bar in "Thirty-Eight Snub," he coughed. Generally speaking, when a character coughs, it means that before all is said and done they will be dead. Then, last week, despite being in a cold truck, there was nary a cough. Then, this week he coughed again. So, do these coughs mean anything? Is Jonathan Banks just coughing during takes they decide to use. Is it all a red herring? I've mentioned before that I can't see anybody ever getting the drop on Mike. However, if he were to get sick, that would be a way around that. Just something to, maybe, pay attention to.

 

Walt and Skyler
Admittedly, I don't have much to say about Walt and Skyler, but considering they slept together that certainly is worth mentioning. They have a strange dynamic now, but it is certainly interesting.

Hunting Hank
Hank is on the trail, having gotten a nice piece of evidence. Walt has no allies left. Gus has some ploy playing out. As things are falling into place, I expect Breaking Bad to rev it up in the upcoming weeks.

By Chris Morgan

About the author

Chris Morgan has written for an abundance of websites. He once cowrote a show for The Second City in Detroit. It was closed soon after. He has a podcast: http://cheers.libsyn.com/rss He wrote a novel: http://www.amazon.com/Smoke-Gets-Your-Eyes-ebook/dp/B00961KJNW/

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5 Comments
On: Monday, August 15, 2011
Eric - TV Geek Army "Revered Leader" said:

As I mentioned on Mike's review, I think Walt's moment at dinner was incredibly entertaining, tense, and fitting given what we know of Walt. His ego is absolutely his fatal flaw as anti-hero, his need to be recognized. What's awesome about that is that it's not an unreasonable need -- or at least understandable -- given how obviously bright he is and the subsequent trajectory of his career over time. 

Really, just realized that Walt is at the top of his profession and wants everyone to know it !

On: Monday, August 15, 2011
Lucas High said:

The final scene was no doubt great. But was it really "fitting"? I kind of felt like it was really out of character. Sure Walt has a massive ego, but he wasn't THAT drunk. He has gone to extremely great lengths to keep from getting caught, why would he do ANYTHING to arouse suspicion? I don't usually like to criticize plot devices on this show, but it seemed a bit like a convenient way to get Hank more involved directly in the action.

On: Monday, August 15, 2011
Eric - TV Geek Army "Revered Leader" said:

I hear you Lucas but I bought it. 

Your comment made me think about how I loved how we saw the two sides of Walter in this ep: the brutally efficient Heisenberg walked into Los Pollos Hermanos... before having to awkwardly wait at a booth, ha! And then Walter White left to his own devices with a little too much wine up in him. He's had to eat a crap sandwich from Skyler and family let's remember about his gambling problem (Walt Jr is proud of dad, lords love him) whereas he's DESPERATE to be recognized for bring smart and tough enough to bring in real money to take care of the family. It's not enough for him that he "got away" with what he's doing -- he wants the credit as well. And that will be his downfall. I feel like the series has been laying the rails for this arc since the beginning, and I'm super impressed with how it's playing out. 

On: Tuesday, August 16, 2011
tim said:

i think Hank has finally put 2 & 2 together, concerning Walt.  When that cop asks Hank to weigh in on things Hank says he's done, because that 's his ahah moment.  Look at Hank's expression...it's so subtle you could miss it, but it's all starting to register that too many things are starting to point to Hank. 

I also think somehow Walt knows that Hank knows...or maybe he just knows Hank isn't dumb, or suspects Hank is just telling him he caught Heisenberg in order to see if Hank will let his guard down more

.  We are meant to think he blabbed about Hank not catching the real Heisenburg out of pride, but i think Walt wants Hank to think "why would I have said that if I'm the cook?"  Walt is becoming advanced in the art of deception and this is a preemptive strike in order to throw Hank off his trail.

On: Tuesday, August 16, 2011
Eric - TV Geek Army "Revered Leader" said:

Wow, that's many levels deep tim, very interesting !

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