Monday, March 29, 2010

Review - Breaking Bad Season 3 Episode 2 Caballo Sin Nombre

There wasn't much not to like about "Caballo Sin Nombre," but I'll get my complaints out first. The episode had many old characters who ended up not having a tight connection. In that way, it felt like a mismatch of great scenes that didn't have much relevance to the overall picture. At times, the Walt-less scenes didn't have direction and could have gone into the following episodes without dampening the terrifying tone of the episode.

Now that Walt has broken bad, he seems on the path to breaking bad. He's becoming increasingly unstable as his actions have destroyed everything good in his life. In the beginning of the episode, he is pulled over and acts belligerent, thinking he can force his way out of the situation with pure arrogance. That's the first indication the normally rational Walt is going off the deep end. He is peppered sprayed and rescued by Hank. Walt still wants to mend his relationship with Skyler and when she turns him away, he throws the pizza onto the roof, so it lands squarely and in plain sight. (According to Vince Gilligan there were no special effects involved which is amazing.)

Meanwhile, Skyler is having difficulty of her own with lying and cheating, except it's about how to break the law without getting caught. For all the grief she's given Walt, she wants to make sure Ted stays safe. Ironically, Ted and Skyler are like an earlier version of Walt, breaking the law, but for a good cause. However, the line must be drawn somewhere, and Skyler doesn't think she's crossed it.

Flynn has taken to calling himself Walter Jr. again, angry at Skyler for separating with Walt. Skyler still isn't talking and Hank thinks he has figured it out. It's an affair and Walt probably confessed. Marie, knowing that her sister would tell her something like that, is skeptical.

The cousins continue to be utterly frightening and the biggest drug trade mystery thus far this season. They don't talk at all, they walk with an intimidating swagger, wear shiny suits, and they carry around shiny axes for fun! They go to a retirement home where Tio (Mark Margolis) is staying, confirming that these are the cousins Tuco was talking about. They cleverly use a Ouija board to obtain the name Walter White. While Tio can't talk or move, his intensity is evident. The timing is also amazing. Each ring is spaced perfectly to create an incredible amount of suspense from some guys sitting around.

The final scene is harrowing and one of many examples why Breaking Bad is the best drama on television. Mike, the cleaner, is sitting outside the White house after being told by Saul Goodman about the "wife problem," listening to the wire he has in the house. While installing the wire, Walt pulls up and sneaks into the house for no apparent reason. He takes a shower to clean himself after getting through the dirtiness under the house and to wash away his sins in the house he wants to live in. To make matters worse, the cousins pulls up, ready to do harm. Mike calls Gus and the cousins receive a text with the word"POLLO" and they leave. Can we assume it was Gus that texted them? If so, what's the connection between Gus and the cartel?

Saul makes his Season 3 debut scheming again. This time, he forces Jesse's parents to sell their remodeled house at a bargain price, knowing they didn't list their house as a former meth lab. Little do they know the buyer is Jesse, supposedly 45 days sober according to his chip.

The first two episodes of the season focused largely on Walt's personal life, and there hasn't been any drug cooking yet. I assume Gus's order is still on the table, but will Walt go back soon?

Score: 8.8/10
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