Breaking Bad Season 5 Episode 1 "Live Free Or Die"
by, 07-20-2012 at 04:28 PM (462 Views)
I meant to post this sooner but I blew a circuit and lost internet connection when I plugged in an iron. Also, I had this done two days ago, but I had to retype the entire thing, because I clicked preview and it made me lose everything somehow. Hopefully this goes through.
So, even though it's Friday now, I'm still overwhelmed with excitement from last Sunday's fifth season premiere. Last season's finale, "Face Off" left us off with so much to speculate. Where does Walt go from here? Will Hank catch Walt? Will Jesse find out about the times Walt betrayed him? How will Mike react when he returns from Mexico? How will Skyler react to her new relevation of Walt, as well as the "act of god" that happened to Ted? What is left to be revealed about Gus' character? You really could go on forever...
The first episode begins with a compelling flashforward, but I'll get to that later. After the opening sequence, we see Walt which Vince Gilligan describes as, for once, ascendent to this dangerious world he's thrown himself into. After all of last season being a brilliant chess match with the best adversary ever, Walt's alter-ego "heisenberg" is more than just the occasional gut move. Because he was cornered, he was taught to exercise a methodical plan, by thinking several steps ahead. Becoming Heisenberg is more than just wearing the hat and marching up to Gus' front door with a thirty-eight snub. He now knows how to maintain intelligence in such a situation, proving he can achieve anything no matter how manipulative or immoral he must be to do so. This premise for Walt is absolutely dangerous and scary even. As long as his character continues to transform, which seems to be the case in these last 16 episodes, I'm kind of concerned for every other character.
As for the general plot for this episode specifically, I adored it. If there's ever a chance to see the classic breaking bad conflict where Walt, Jesse, AND Mike are on the same page trying to resolve it, then this is that episode. As 'out there' as the concept of using a magnet to tamper with an evidence room was, the build-up and execution for it was pulled off very believably. The direction, writing, and music for that entire sequence with them pulling off such a heist was done beautifully. It really felt reminiscent to the good ol' days of blowing up Tuco's place with fulminated mercury, cracking a heavy duty lock with thermite, or building a battery from scratch to get the RV started. Just an intense, fun episode which feels deserved after the tightening noose of events from last season.
Walt being on top really showed alot this episode. I love when Mike asks, "alright answer man, did all of that work just now?" and Walt replies confidently from a shadowy backseat, "Yesss.. it worked". Then of course his final dominant and authoriative line of, "because I said so" was just as great. You can really feel throughout this entire single episode that his character's transformation is beginning to once again up itself. His exchange with Saul, despite it being used in the promo (which I wish I didn't see), was as equally chilling. I loved how a perfectly timed and sounding clap of thunder rumbled outside my home right after he says, "We're done when I say we're done", because of course there had to be a storm on the night of the premiere. I don't know how Vince and the writers planned that out, but I tip my hat off to them.
Then there's Ted. His "shit happens-esque" trip over the carpet from last season had me split 50/50 on seeing the possible outcomes of him being dead or just really messed up. Either direction would have been great and I'm glad they kept it vaguely in the dark until this premiere. I actually had a bet with my friend who I watched it with and I voted he died just to make things interesting. The anticipation of Saul delivering what's what in regards to that in Skyler's office was alot of fun. Going to commercial right after Saul's "...he just woke up" was also just perfect. I lost that bet, but nonetheless I love the creative decision to keep him alive like that. Skyler's reaction when she first sees him, as well as Ted's current physical state was also something worth anticipating. Anna Gunn and Christopher Cousins did a wonderful acting performance in that part. I definitely wonder whether Walt, as on top of the world as he is, and not wanting to risk anymore mistakes, will see to Ted in order to guarantee he doesn't talk. I have a feeling something permanent is going to occur in regards to that at some point.
Overall the first episode was very satisfying to me and I can't wait to see how everything unfolds. There seems to be a bit of a tug of war between Walt and Mike for taking in Jesse. Hank is definitely going to be hard on the trail for heisenberg. Also, Gustavo's picture revealing something about an account in the Cayman Islands is quite curious. All are things to look forward to, but most intriguing is the cold open. A disheveled, hardened Walt or "Mr. Lambert" looks to be on the run with a whole new look, taking pills (cancer?), and making shady bathroom deals with the man who sold him the snubnose pistol from last season. The new gun Walt finds in the trunk for him pretty much says that some serious shit is about to go down. Has he been found out by the DEA or Hank? Or is Jesse after him from finding out somehow about Jane or Brock (since Walt's alone)? It's really too early to tell, but in the whole grand scheme of things, I'm thinking we are going to be spoon-fed flashforward scenes throughout the season, just like in season 2. Possibly, it all leads up to the second half that airs next year. I'm sure we're in for an extremely epic final season!
Question for this blog: How do you feel the universe of Breaking Bad is going to treat Walt by the end of the series? Will he overcome everything or hit rock bottom? Live or die? Basically, how would you creatively want this great series to end?