Sunday, March 21, 2010

Review - Breaking Bad Season 3 Episode 1 No Mas

The new season begins with a haunting image. There's a group of Mexicans crawling on the ground in one direction as everyone else sits by an watches. Later, two spiffy looking get out of a car and join them, crawling and crawling towards a small building. It's a completely bizarre scene--one of the weirdest I've ever seen. The good thing is that unlike the opening scene from Season 2, we found out quickly what was going on. They go up to a Santa Muerte shrine where the two characters, who according to IMDB are cousins, put up a sketch of Heisenberg.

Walt, still reeling from the events from last season, sets his cash on fire (over my strenuous objections) and soon comes to the same conclusion I did. It's a terrible thing to burn money! As much as he would like to ditch the symbol of everything wrong about him, he can't see the tangible result of his accomplishment go up in flames.

At school, there's an assembly where students can tell their innermost feelings to hundreds of other students (like students would actually do that...). A few kids say the usual sentences, and it hits Walter particularly hard as he continues to see the consequences of his actions. The principal gives him the mike after he makes a little too much noise. His words were downright disturbing. I can't remember a time I've been so agitated by television, and it wasn't even an action scene. Walt makes excuse after excuse, trying to convince himself and everyone else it's not a big deal. He deals with the cold facts, statistics, and other niceties no one cares about. His reassurances--and this is a testament to the incredible ability of both Bryan Cranston and Vince Gilligan--turn into a sickening blend of self-delusion and complete detachment pushed by Walt's increasing arrogance. If that wasn't enough, he later tells Jesse to blame the government which may have had a role in the planes not detecting each other. The details, however valid they may be, get lost in Walt's disgusting way of thinking.

On the homefront, tensions boil over and Flynn (if Walt Jr wants to be called that, I'll go along) erupts, understandably, over the situation. Skyler refuses to tell anyone anything, including her sister. Skyler shows up at Walt's house, and in perhaps the most revealing scene of series, confronts Walt about drug dealing. She's figured it out, only she thinks he's dealing marijuana. Walt decides to come clean, but that doesn't work, and Skyler is even angrier than before an leaves.

Jesse is at a wacky New Age drug rehabs center where the counselor, a man with an equally trouble past, tells him to accept who he is and be content. Jesse knows he is a bad guy. Can he live with that? Probably not.

Awesome season premiere of what I consider the best drama on television. The Mexican guys seem really badass, and according to Vince Gilligan, the final scene with the explosion was all real and the actors were there. Holy sh*t!!

Score: 9.6/10
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