Monday, August 22, 2011

Review - Breaking Bad Season 4 Episode 6 Cornered

I liked plenty of "Cornered," but overall I just wasn't feeling it. The episode focused on the pathology of Walter White with regard to Skyler and Jesse--how he deals with them and their problems and how he continues to isolate himself. This is all fine stuff and the episode has plenty of great scenes, but it's a transition episode which lacks the urgency the stronger episodes have.

Fundamentally, Walt does not fully understand humans, yet he believes he has the answers to everything. He believes he can talk to Skyler, explain the situation, and everything will be fine. But he doesn't who Skyler is or what she wants. First and foremost, she wants safety for her family and when Walt basically tells her that he's high up in the operation, she realizes Walt is not the guy she thought he was. This leads her to run to the Four Corners where she flips a coin. Both times it lands in Colorado, but she moves the coin back to New Mexico. It's a beautiful scene, and when she returns home, she is once again trapped by circumstances--by Walt.

With Jesse, Walt fairs even worse. The first thing he does when he sees Jesse is to berate and belittle him. Even when he figures out that Mike and Gus are running a game on Jesse, his words are utterly insensitive, making Jesse know it's all about him. His words may hold truth, but clearly he now has no means by which to convey them in a manner conducive to another human being. Mike and Gus, meanwhile, know exactly how to handle Jesse. Mike allows Jesse to go on another job, and Jesse actually does some good work.

And Gus later tells Jesse, "I like to think I see things in people." See, Walt, that's how to do it. Gus can refer to himself in the sentence while heaping praise on Jesse. The Walt that once propped up Jesse by calling him a blowfish is now gone, replaced by the self-centered narcissist Heisenberg.

Score: 8.8/10
  • I was so sure that Walt Jr. would die at the end of the episode (partially because I remember Walt Jr. driving with two feet on the pedals back in season two) that my heart actually started beating faster. Needless to say, my heart was very disappointed.
  • The camera on the shovel was really cool. Maybe there could be an episode next season called "The Shovel," which is spent following Walt and Jesse vis-a-vis a shovel.
  • Walt was really terrible to the three laundry women, confirming what Bogdan said about him being a boss. Of course, Walt is so myopic that he thinks he can control the situation. Tyrus promptly sends them back to Honduras, or maybe to their deaths.
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