Breaking Bad: “Thirty Eight Snub” Review

Despite the name, the only ones that feel snubbed are the viewers in this week’s episode

**Warning this review contains spoilers from the second episode of Breaking Bad. **

Photo Courtesy of AMC

     The season premiere of Breaking Bad was intense, albeit lacking plot wise. However, I was alright with this as that was exactly what the series needed after last season’s insanity. Unfortunately this week’s episode, Thirty Eight Snub, once again chooses to play it safe , despite its name. This isn’t to say that this week’s episode was terrible, but was simply a tad bit less intense than expected.

     The episode begins with Walt and his shady dealings with a gun salesmen. Despite Walt lying to the salesmen, and himself I might add, that it is for protection, we all know that it is but a means to eliminate Gus. It is interesting to see Walt try to get the higher ground over Gus once again. Gales death no longer means much, especially after what Gus did to one of his own men in last week’s episode, and so Walt must look into other means to get what he wants- even if that means killing Gus.  This ultimately leads Walt to Gus ‘house’ where he plans on killing him. However, before he can even cross the street he receives a call from Mike, played wonderfully by Jonathan Banks who, to horribly misquote, tells him to back off if he knows what’s best for him.  Although I can see a final showdown between Gus and Walt at some point in this season, I was happy that it didn’t happen in tonight’s episode, and for a number of reasons. For one Gus is not stupid enough to not have people watching his back, as clearly seen in tonight’s episode. Secondly why in any way would Gus have brought Walt to his real house (as seen in an episode last season when Gus invites Walt over to his house for dinner)? Gus is far too clever to slip up like that, and sure as hell isn’t going to die by such a simple mistake. Gus is both a cold hearted killer and businessman, and it’s going to take a lot more than simply strolling into his house to get rid of him.

     Despite not being able to get to Gus, Walt does end up confronting Mike in a bar where Walt proposes working together to end Gus’ reign of terror once and for all. As expected, Mike beats the living hell out of Walt for bringing up such a preposterous idea- after all Gus is both his boss as well as Walt’s. However, after the events of last week’s episode Mike clearly fears for his life, as he knows that Gus is willing to kill off his most loyal of allies. It is for this reason that I believe he beat up Walt; not because he is loyal to Gus still, but because he knows it is what is expected of him to do. Ultimately it will be interesting to see if this partnership goes anywhere, and if Gus is willing to as easily betray his boss as Walt is.

Like this episode and its title, amongst other things, Walt’s Thirty Eight Snub is small and misleading.

     On the other side of this equation is Skyler, who now seems to be Walt’s partner in crime. As shown last season, Skyler and Walt were looking to purchase the carwash where Walt used to work as a means to launder money.  Well Skyler finally posed the question to the owner, with unsurprising results once again. Despite knowing the annual sales that the carwash made and what have you, the owner was still pissed about how Walt decided to quit (throw air fresheners everywhere and tell him to wash this as he classily grabbed his crotch for those interested).  Although it’s nice to see Skyler taking action, I don’t know how much more she will be willing to help Walter. Both had a harsh falling out, and it seems strange for her to all of a sudden want to start helping him out. Never the less it will be interesting to see if she continues down this path of deception and lies or if she will ultimately straighten out and go back on the path of the straight and narrow.

     While both Walt and Skyler are scheming and deceiving, both Jesse and Hank continue to come to terms with what has happened to them. Over the last season Jesse has went through quite a bit, and so it seems natural for him to want to throw a party and simply forget his past. Yet, despite a three day binge Jesse is still forced to face what has occurred to him, and suffer the consequences for his actions. Jesse can be a bit stupid and self absorbed at times, which is why I like the character. However, it was interesting to see this new side of him; one full of remorse and guilt as to what he has done over the course of the last two seasons.  Aaron Paul played this off amazingly and it will be interesting to see whether his character truly recovers from the atrocities he has seen and been a part of, or if he will simply continue his downward spiral of self destruction.

     While Jesse slowly drank his problems away, Hank instead chooses to continue being a complete a-hole to everyone, especially his wife Marie.  As I mentioned last week, Hank has turned into a whinny jerk, who is not willing to face what happened to him and it is quite frankly annoying. I still have hope that he will straighten out, but things are not looking good.  On the other hand, Marie continues to gain my affections as she is still super supportive of her mineral obsessed husband, and is willing to do anything for him. Although Hanks actions are clearly starting to take their toll on her, I truly hope she chooses to stick by his side for she is truly the only good thing that Hank has in his life, and at this moment that is what he truly needs.

     Despite the name and Hank’s tagline: “Get me in a room with him, and I’ll do the rest”, Thirty Eight Snub was far quieter than expected. Although better than most programs, with only thirteen episodes a season each episode has to pact a serious punch  plot wise,  yet so far the impact has only been a small slap to the face rather than a full on knockout.  Hopefully Breaking Bad can recover for round three in next week’s episode.

The Good: Seeing the much more fragile side of Jesse, Mike being a badass as per usual, and the hopes that  Walt’s decisions will lead to something far bigger.

The Bad: The general quietness of this episode, and Hank being whinny again.

The Ugly: Can I change this to annoying and is and if so take a guess who I’m going to say

Score: 8 out of 10