Breaking Bad: Open House

7 Aug

This week on Breaking Bad, the theme of control of one’s life, and lack thereof, is still going strong in “Open House.”   Jesse and Walter are not at the center of this particular narrative, although the episode starts with Walter noticing the surveillance cameras that are now up in the lab.  This episode is more about Skyler and Marie’s attempts to control their environment which is starting to spin out of control.

While Skyler uses her education and business experience, Marie uses her criminal inclinations to assert herself.  Ironically, both use lies in different ways to achieve their goals.  For Skyler, there is a positive outcome.  For Marie, it is less certain.  Watching these characters flounder is fascinating but I hope there will be more action soon.  We can only watch Walter brood with a gun he can’t use right for so long.  The strung-out losers at Jesse’s house are, quite frankly, getting more than a bit creepy and it’s even more disturbing that he finds comfort surrounding himself in such chaos.  We also see that Gus is watching Jesse, which is not good news for Jesse.  It seems that besides Skyler’s business victory, the only other person moving from a negative space  is Hank, ignoring his mineral cataloguing to instead study the ‘lab notes’ from Gale’s apartment, found by the police.


Perhaps the most well-written scene of the episode is when Skyler is negotiating over the phone for the car wash.  I won’t tell you about how she wears down the owner.  It’s too enjoyable to read about.  You should experience it first-hand.  Watching Skyler, calm and cool (ok she’s a bit nervous but compared to Walt, she could be the ice queen) is a revealing moment for the two characters.  Up until this point, we’ve watched Walt under extreme pressure.  We’ve seen him forced to kill.  We’ve seen him figure his way out of horrific situations.  So… it’s almost humorous watching Walt and realizing he does not seem to have any business sense for negotiations.  Which begs the question:  what would Skyler be like if she were in Walt’s position?

Marie’s actions aren’t half as intriguing.  She goes to open houses and lies about who she is, then steals items from the people’s homes.  Yes, she gets caught after probably the funniest scene in the episode as the real estate agent realizes she’s seen Marie before and tries to stop her from making an escape.  Marie is arrested but Hank manages to get the charges dropped.  Between Marie’s lying and stealing and Skyler’s negotiating, I’m wondering how they would fare dealing Walt’s meth.  Now, if only Hank would get on board.

Watch “Inside the Episode” from AMC.

My Vlog Review of the episode on YouTube.

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