Breaking Bad: “Crawl Space” Review

8 Oct

Things on Breaking Bad are heating up.  The noose is tightening around Walt’s (Bryan Cranston) neck in this episode aptly named “Crawl Space”.

SPOILER ALERT:

If you were wondering if Gus (Giancarlo Esposito) survived ingesting the poison, that would be a resounding yes.  Apparently, if you are a rich enough drug dealer, you can have a pop-up hospital in the middle of the Mexican desert with a top-notch doctor and surgical team on your payroll.  Both Gus and Mike (Jonathan Banks) survive the Cartel ordeal.  Jesse (Aaron Paul) is impressed with Gus’s planning abilities when he discovers the doctor probably knows more about Jesse’s medical history than Jesse.  After recovering from surgery, Gus and Jesse set off to walk across the border to get back to the US.  On the journey, Gus announces his intention of promoting Jesse to Walt’s position which promptly causes Jesse to insist that Gus not kill Walt.  Later, just so we see how much Gus enjoys revenge, he visits Hector (Mark Margolis) to inform him all the key members of the Cartel are dead, including his grandson and only heir.

Hank (Dean Norris) is stirring up more trouble.  Walt is stuck helping him on stakeouts, trying to dissuade him and steer Hank away from Gus and the operation.  Unfortunately, Hank does more digging and discovers the laundry facilities that Gus owns and asks Walt to take him there.  In a sheer panic, Walt does the only thing he can to prevent the inevitable… he causes a car accident.  Both Hank and Walt are fine but this prompts Hank to order a car he will be able to drive and conduct his own surveillance.

Skyler (Anna Gunn) has mounting problems with Ted and her monetary ‘gift’ to him.  He refuses to use the money to pay the IRS and essentially tries to blackmail Skyler for more when she visits him and attempts to persuade him to write a check and pay the back taxes.  She resorts to enlisting Saul (Bob Odenkirk) who sends over his bodyguard Huell (Lavell Crawford) and another associate, Kuby (Bill Burr) to strong arm Ted into writing the check, which, in the end he does.   Later, as Kuby explains to Saul, “an act of God” occurs when Ted trips on his throw rug while trying to escape and injures himself on a piece of furniture.  He’s either dead or in bad shape but we don’t get to find out.  I’m hoping for dead but if he lives, that would be more stress for Skyler and better drama.  And possibly a great death/torture scene for Ted.  If he died by tripping like a klutz, that is a waste and really a moment out of a Coen Brothers’ movie.

Walt discovers Jesse has been cooking in the superlab without him.  He goes to confront him and it’s clear although Jesse secretly wants to protect Walt as much as Walt secretly wants to protect Jesse, they are still hurt from their altercation.  Jesse yells at Walt, reminding him what he said when he last saw him.  It’s more like a lover’s quarrel than a fight which reinforces the idea of Walt and Jesse’s friendship functioning as the most significant relationship in the show.  After Jesse stomps back inside, Tyrus (Ray Campbell) and one of the henchmen from Gus’s crew taser Walt and bring him to a meeting with Gus in the middle of the desert.

Gus informs Walt that he’s fired and warns him to stay away from Jesse.  He also says he’ll be killing Hank and if Walt intervenes, he’ll kill Walt’s family.  Walt runs to Saul who gives him the contact number for the guy who can help him and his family disappear.  He convinces Saul to call in an anonymous tip to save Hank’s life.  Surprisingly, Saul does this.  Walt rushes home to get the money together in the crawl space only to discover most of it’s gone.  Skyler admits to Walt that she gave the money to Ted.  Walt loses it as he begins to laugh like a mad man, and in a very film noir-ish cinematic moment, the camera slowly pulls back to frame Walt’s face in the crawl space, causing him to look more and more like a corpse until we fade to black.  I can’t wait for the next episode.

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