Thoughts on Breaking Bad: Say My Name

The king rises up to take his crystal crown

Photo Courtesy of AMC

First off I was going to have the subtitle to this review be “F**k you Walt”, but I thought it would be too ambiguous. However, it never the less aptly describes my sheer hatred for Walt now and the position that he has placed himself in as king of an empire.

This was perfectly shown in the intro of the episode, when Walt met with the opposing drug manufacturers looking to buy Mike and Jesse’s half of the methylamine. He was so quick to rip there form of meth apart, and dub it a knockoff. I particularly enjoyed the comparison of their meth being grade school t-ball and his the Yankees. It was also interesting to see how fellow competitors are trying to manufacture Walt and Jesse’s meth, but are ultimately failing, thus resorting to cheap parlor tricks like dying it blue. However, this whole conversation led to one question: who is Walt? “Say my name,” he demands the dealers. “You’re Heisenberg,” he humbly replies finally tying the pieces together. “You’re goddamn right!” Wow just wow. Walt certainly has made a name for himself and his arrogance in this light certainly shows. More, importantly this signified another turning point in his meth career. No longer is Walt taking orders. He is now delivering them and will make damn sure that his underlings know who they are dealing with.

While this was a great way to begin the episode, the remainder of the episode was focused on another character: Mike. Last episode Mike put a gun to Walt’s head, but in lieu of everything that happened with the dealers he decided against it. This was a mistake. A big one.  After everything that Mike has endured at the hands of Walt, he is still willing to give the guy a chance. And why not right? He is supposed to be out right? I wish I could say this were true.

The scenes in which Mike was putting his affairs together were great. I mean Mike’s lawyer asking for the lock boxes, and then placing all the cash in different ones- genius. It was also really touching to see that he was in fact leaving a hefty amount of money for his granddaughter when she turned eighteen. Then getting rid of all of his weapons and items that could lead him back to Gus and Walt mere hours before the D.E.A search his house to find nothing. I actually thought for a minute Mike could make it out free and more importantly alive, but why of all people did he get Walt to deliver the goods he needed to get out of the country. Did he know that this was the end? That Walt would not let him walk especially after his lawyer was caught and his men in jail were at their tipping point. Is that perhaps why he left the gun in the duffle bag? He must have, for Mike is far too clever to realise he would meet his end at no one else’s hands but Walt’s.

The meeting between Mike and Walt was a humble one.  A beautiful field beside a lake: the one place, aside from being with his granddaughter, where Mike felt at peace. It was sad to see the realisation in Mike’s face when he saw the gun was missing- as if he knew it could only end this way. And the way he simply gives up, even after escaping his car only to sit near the lake. It was a humble scene, even as Walt pleaded for forgiveness. “Shut the f**k up and let me die in peace,” Mike utters as his final roar, and what a bellowing roar it was. Not too often I’m I unnerved by people dying in shows, especially in such a cheesy manor. But the way in which both Cranston and Banks acted it out added such a beauty and sadness to it. This was unlike any other graphic death in the show. This was personal and will likely haunt Walt until his empire crumbles about him, which I think will be coming quite soon.

Say My Name was more than a capable episode in which will lead wonderfully into the mid-season finale. While it may have closed doors for some, it also opened up plenty of window. Walt is at the top of his game, and with all the pieces set in motion it is only a matter of time until someone decides to fight back, and with the sheer lack of friends Walt has been making I am not so sure if anyone will be there to fight with him.