Putting the BA in Bada$$
**Warning this review contains spoilers and inappropriate content from the season premiere of Breaking Bad. Read at own risk **
After a torturous year away from the small screen, Breaking Bad returned tonight, and in quite the bloody fashion. Rather than open with a flash-forward, as previous seasons have done, season four kicked off with a flashback revealing that it was Gale whom requested for Walter to help him cook. It is interesting, to see how a mere meth cook has the power over someone as powerful as Gus. However this admiration for Walter ‘scientific abilities’ quickly changes to the present time where Gale lays dead on his apartment floor, the result of Jesse’s (Walt’s partner in crime) deadly decision from the season three finale. Although unsurprising, it was still horrific to see Gale sprawled out dead on the ground as his kettle lay hissing in the background. It is at this moment that Jesse realizes what he has done, and rather than run, he simply waits in his car, like a loyal canine, waiting for the inevitable to happen.
Once Jesse is brought back to the lab and is reunited with his fellow cook Walter, played by the ever so talented Bryan Cranston, the gloves come off. As Walter begs for forgiveness for his and his partners actions, while still trying to place the blame on others as per usual, Gus simply walks around gazing at his crystal palace. Although not a lot of dialogue is spoken in the lab, Giancarlo Esposito, who plays Gus, manages to show just how serious the situation that both Jesse and Walt by slowly browsing the laboratory in absolute silence before slowly putting on a raincoat and grabbing a box cutter. It is at this moment that things get crazy as rather than kill either Jesse or Walt, he chooses to brutally kill one of his own men in cold blood. While not going into detail, it is quite a gruesome scene and shows that Gus is no longer taking sh!t from anyone, especially his cooks. Although he lets both live to see another day, Walt and Jesse now know that they must watch their every move, or else it might be there last.
On the other side of this equation are Skyler, Hank and Marie. While Skyler is still dealing with the fallout between her and her meth making husband, Walt, and his sudden disappearance, Hank is trying to recuperate from his injuries in which he received last season, with little success. Once a great DEA agent, Hank is now bed ridden and very bitter. Although I can sympathise with what he is going through, Hank was very annoying in this episode, more so than his wife Marie, whom has greatly evolved as a character from the whinny, annoying one she use to be. Marie is now a woman of action, and is willing to support and do whatever she can for her husband, which I greatly prefer. This being said, I hope Hank is able to overcome what has occurred to him, and soon, for he is the only morally straight character in a show in which everyone has in some way become corrupted.
Albeit a quiet premiere, Box Cutter ended up being exactly what I wanted to see after a year and a half wait, and more. It will be interesting to see where these characters go from here, especially Walter and Jesse, as there days may be limited. However, knowing this show things can only get worse from here.
The Good: After more than a years wait, Breaking Bad is back and in quite the bloody fashion.
The Bad: The pacing of this episode may have been a bit slow for some, but it was very much needed.
The Ugly: The sheer goriness of what Gus does is pretty damn ugly.
Score: 9 out of 10