Sunday, September 16, 2012

Gliding Over All

In the (long and tedious) interval between parts 1 & 2 of season 5, we are given enough to stir about. Just as Hank was when the machinery was clicking in his DEA- fueled brain. Hank from the very beginning came off as someone who meant well and was relentless in his hunt for Heisenberg. Yet he seemed a bit oblivious to clues right in front of him. It was only until the season 5 mid-finale that the puzzle pieces came together for him. All thanks to a book handed to him. A clue dropped all the way back to the beginning of Season 3, when Walt receives Leaves of Grass.

Looking back, the first half of season 5 has proven to been much more than just fallout from season 4. It has introduced us to new characters such as Lydia, Todd and strengthened existing characters like Mike. It also proved to be the most visually stunning season yet. Courtesy of the always on point directing.

If there ever existed a more confident, ego driven Walt than before, then this would be the season where that ego would drive full speed ahead. Gilligan has stated on several occasions that the trajectory of Walt is akin to that of Tony Montana from Scarface. He can't just settle and let it go. He has to have it all. Thus making the 'getting out' part all the more harder to do.

The allegiance to Lydia & Todd and the disassociation with Jesse has tightened tensions on all sides. The trust, loyalty and "Magnets, bitch" mentality is now replaced with fear, betrayal and spiteful secrets. It won't be long until this rubber band snaps back with fierce whiplash.

The homefront is not getting any better either. I have never been a fan of Skylar. Her shift from agitated housewife to accomplice in crime only furthered this feeling. But Anna Gunn must get her due for her performance in the Rian Johnson helmed episode House Party. Nailing the vicious spat between her and Walt and becoming a part of one of the most striking shots of the series. (You know which one I'm talking about...).

Breaking Bad from the very beginning has been a show deeply rooted in morality. People reap what they sew. Mike's tragic downfall is that his daughter will grow up having thought her father left her without saying goodbye. Any doubters to the show's moral stance need look no further than a bombed out hospital room. All of these events exist as signposts leading to something more ominous.

Gliding Over All will most likely prove to be the precursor to the downfall of Walter White. He is now a man convinced things will get better. His boundless arrogance has him convinced hat tying up the loose ends will somehow save him. We've watched children get caught in the crossfire, a head crushed with an ATM, a girl choking on her own vomit. From the beginning it has been a show about crime. Now it's time for the punishment.