Breaking Bad: “Cornered” Review

Viewers come to learn  that no one puts Walter White in a corner in this week’s episode

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

Photo Courtesy of AMC

    Many consider Breaking Bad to be one of the best shows on television, myself included. With great character moments, and plot points, this show has never failed to grab my attention. I was super excited for this season, and now that we are almost halfway through there is one word that can sum it up: mediocre. While this week’s episode had a great many character moments, the plot once again took a hit, as Vince and his gang tread the same ground that we have become all too familiar with in the last few episodes. Never the less, the great character moments, especially Walt’s and Skyler’s, outshined this issue and pulled this episode from out of the corner and into the light.

     This week’s episode solely focused on Walt and Jesse, and their crumbling relationship. As Jesse continues to perform odd jobs around town with Mike, Walt is confronted by Skyler who has now come to piece certain events together: mainly Walt’s connection to Gale and the fear that whoever killed him will come after Walt. As Walt says he doubt it there is some disbelief in his eyes, as that simple doubt reflects his crumbling relationship with Jesse.  Despite not tying that one piece together, Anna Gunn continues to shine as Skyler in this season, as everything she says is so sharp and straight to the point.  “You’re in over your head”, she blatantly tells Walt as he stares at her in disbelief. The thing is she is absolutely right. Walt can no longer hold everything together, especially with Jesse gone. Not only is his family’s reputation in danger, but their lives as well. However, it is after this comment that Walt showed his true colours to Skyler. “I am the danger; I am the one who knocks” This hit me hard and chilled me to the bone for Walt knows his place in his relationship with Gus and when the time comes he’s either going to be knocking at Gus’ door, or knocking at heaven’s gate.

     Walt’s words sustained throughout the episode for not only did he come to show his darker self to Skyler, but to those also working at the carwash and the laundry mat. After purchasing the carwash, Walt harshly let the former owner go, even telling him to leave everything that was technically his, including his first framed dollar that he made in America, “as is” in the store. To add insult to injury as soon as the former owner walked out the door for the final time, Walt simply grabbed the framed bill, smashed it, and bought a cola. What and a$$hole!  The second scene involved Walter paying cleaning ladies to clean the meth lab- only to put his feet up with a nice cup of coffee and a bright smile as he stares directly at the camera. However imeadiatly after they are deported, and Walt is left with a clean lab and a sense of control.  Such simple scenes ultimately showed how relentless Walter now is, but also how much he has grown for the worst since beginning his work with Gus.

Photo Courtesy of AMC

     After his confrontation with Skyler, Walt manages to finally talk with Jesse and what has been going on.  It is unsurprising for Walt to come to the conclusion that Gus is trying to separate both of them, but as he talks to Jesse he comes to the conclusion that the last few week’s events are all about him and his importance to Gus. Albeit egotistical, Walt was absolutely right in this instance. Gus knows about Walt’s plans; however he also needs Walt because of his scientific intellect. This double edged sword is clearly hacking away at Gus and so he clearly needed to find away to blunt at least one side. This was of course separating Walt from Jesse.  How long Gus will need Walt is still up in the air, but the bigger issue is how Gus will deal with Walt when the time comes.

     The final part of this episode dealt with both Skyler and Jesse. After her confrontation with Walt, Skyler comes to question their partnership and overall being with Walt once again. This leads to the possibility of leaving the state, and although she ultimately chooses against it, it is a notion that I believe will continue to linger in her mind for the rest of the season, and perhaps the series. Skyler knows it is no longer safe for her and her family, and so she is now trying to find a reasonable way out that doesn`t involve running to the cops. However not only do I think she`s is running from fear of being caught, I also believe it is of fear of her husband. This came to be made quite clear in the end of the episode when she tells Walt that she must protect her family from the person who vowed to protect them. This was a bold, albeit true, remark on Skyler`s behalf. She truly has two options in her relationship with Walt: get in or get out. There is no middle ground.  If she chooses to stay it can bring nothing but misery to her and her family. However, if she chooses to leave it would be the final blow in Walt`s messed up life. Although she has done some pretty cruel things to Walt in the past, I am unsure if she could actually deliver the final blow. I hope this question comes to be answered sooner rather than latter, because it can either me the end of Walt, or the end of their entire family.

Photo Courtesy of AMC

      As Skyler is left contemplating her future with Walt, Jesse came to once again prove himself to not only Mike, but Gus as well. After an intense situation with some meth addicts, which was not planned by Gus, Jesse was confronted by Gus who `affectionately` congratulated him on a job well done. This was an interesting move on Gus` part for not only does it encourages Jesse to further continue in this line of work; it also further ensures Gus dominion and manipulation of Jesse. Jesse may be smartening up, however he is still unable to see when his strings are be pulled. It was always clear that Gus meant to confront Walt through using Jesse, but now that he is succeeding with ease I wonder just how far he will go before he decides to finally berid of Walt once and for all. Furthermore, how will Jesse take it…that is if he is not the one to do it himself?

   Despite not having as much plot development as I wanted, “Cornered” ended up being a classic episode. With great character development, and  moments, I hope that Vince and his gang can come to expand on the plot within the coming episodes, for it may come to get a little dry. Never the less it seems that the writers have found their stride for the season, and hopefully it doesn’t let up.

The Good: Great character moments add a whole new depth to this episode

The Bad:  Not as much plot development as I wanted, plus no Hank and Marie

The Ugly: Not a damn thing

Overall: 8.5 out of 10