Breaking Bad: “Hermanos” Review

A look into the past of the most feared drug lord in New Mexico leads to one brilliant episode

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

Photo Courtesy of AMC

    Now that is what I am talking about! Breaking Bad has always managed to surprise and even shock me, but this week’s magnificent episode blew me out of the water. I have always wondered about Gus Fring and how he came to become a drug lord. This week’s episode finally dived into this feared leader, while also providing some great character moments that may make viewers think twice about Gus.

  The episode begins on a strong note, with Gus being questioned by the D.E.A. While he manages to win them over with some classic Gus charm and simply talking his way out of it, viewer’s afterwards come to see a more fragile Gus as he stares blankly at the door in an elevator, his finger slowly twitching. I am so used to seeing Gus being in control, especially after the events of “Box Cutter”, but that one brilliant scene showed  just how human Gus can be, but more importantly how he is no longer in control and knows it.


Photo Courtesy of AMC

    On the other end of the spectrum are good old Walt and Jesse. Once again viewers were treated to crabby, classic Walt as he tells a fellow cancer patient that the only way that one can live is if they are in full control. This perfectly summarised Walt’s transformation over the last four seasons, as he has went from a fragile dying man with no hope, similar to the man sitting next to him, to a man willing to do whatever to survive. This was made all too apparent with Walt’s confrontation with Jesse, after he was asked by Hank to bug Gus’s car.  As Hank is so close to finding out about Gus and thus himself, Walt went into panic mode and demanded Jesse kill Gus at once. This was a great sequence as it showed just how depraved and desperate both characters are. While Jesse is in some ways trying to redeem himself in the eyes of those he has harmed, Walt has continued his ever increasing fall from grace and only now has he truly come to realise just what it will mean to all those surrounding him if he is caught. Never the less, although both Walt and Jesse are panicked about Gus, I am unsure if they will be the ones to take him down. With the D.E.A. and the cartel at Gus’ doorstep viewers now know that Gus will not safely make it out of this. However who it will be is anybody’s guess.

Photo Courtesy of AMC

         While there were a great many highlights in this week’s episode, such as Skyler hiding the money in airtight bags full of laundry (brining a whole new meaning to dirty laundry), or the symbolic nature of Saul wearing white clothing (white liar), while Jesse wears black; the true highlight of the episode came in the last ten minutes when viewers were treated to Gus’ bloody history. Once again it was interesting to see such a young and innocent Gus who was but a frightened pawn, just like Walt and Jesse. Furthermore, it made me feel sympathetic for a character who has done some terrible deeds. Yet, after seeing his friend brutally murdered by Tio (old guy in wheelchair in the present time), it made me realise just how fragile and how smart Gus is. Although he had no power at first, Gus slowly bid his time, waiting for the right moment to strike. This added a whole new layer to Gus’ character how he is truly no different than Walt or Jesse. It’s just now he is the one on the opposing side. Boy talk about coming full circle.

     There is no way I can describe the absolute brilliance of this episode in a mere couple of paragraphs. While the last few episodes returned Breaking Bad to form, “Hermanos” added a whole new level to the shows greatness and set a new personal standard. It seems all the dominos are set in place for this season. Now all that is left is to knock them down in brilliant fashion, which I’m sure Vince and his gang are more than capable of doing.

 The Good: Everything! But more in particular seeing the man behind the legend that is Gus

The Bad: The only reference to something bad in this episode is if I was referring to the title

The Ugly: The way this season is going I may as well get rid of this closing comment

Overall: 10 out of 10