Breaking Bad: “End Times” Episode Review

9 Oct

Only one episode left until the season finale of Breaking Bad and the big question is: who is going to die? Because there is far too much tension that has built up to not pay off the audience with a spectacular death. My money is on Gus (Giancarlo Esposito) or at least Tyrus (Ray Campbell), his right-hand guy, as Mike (Jonathan Banks) seems to still be recovering from his gunshot wounds after the Cartel encounter.

SPOILER ALERT:

The displacement of familiar space and surroundings seems to permeate this episode.  What do I mean by that vague sentence?  I mean, everything that is familiar to Walt (Bryan Cranston), Skylar (Anna Gunn), Junior (RJ Mitte), Hank (Dean Norris) and Marie (Betsy Brandt) functions in a different way.  What was once simply ‘home’ is now a barricaded fortress awaiting attack.  Home is no longer a haven, it is a space awaiting hostile forces to invade.  Jesse (Aaron Paul) isn’t immune to this phenonmenon, as he lies on his couch, smoking and waiting because this episode is primarily about waiting for the inevitable, his ‘attack’ comes in the form a phone call from his girlfriend, Andrea (Emily Rios), informing him that Brock (Ian Posada), her son, is in the hospital.  Saul (Bob Odenkirk) temporarily shuts down the shop and desperately tries to get rid of incriminating evidence knowing that his bodyguard is not enough to keep his storefront law firm from being attacked.  Finally, Gus, the instigator of all this angst also loses his safe space, his car, where Walter has planted a bomb.

I don’t necessarily believe the way the story went down about how Gus knew about the ricin cigarette and had Tyrus steal it from Jesse and set Walt up.  Why?  Because Walt just argued with Jesse about how Gus was a child killer and although Jesse is currently thinking the worst of Walt, even Jesse wouldn’t believe that Walt is capable of poisoning an innocent child for revenge.  I also don’t buy that Jesse believes only he and Walt knew about the cigarette since, as Walt pointed out, Gus had cameras everywhere and Jesse pulled that stupid cigarette out enough times over the past few episodes to let Gus get a glance at it and wonder why he kept looking at it and not smoking it.

Hank’s obsession with the laundry is only the beginning of the end for the superlab.  His heckling of his former colleague, Gomez (Steven Michael Quezada), and the subsequent search of the laundry premises sets up the initial investigation into what might be the real breakthrough for bringing down Gus – and possibly Jesse, Hank or both.  Hank and Jesse are losing everything important to them and no matter how hard they fight back, Gus is still one step ahead, evidenced by his sixth sense when he can feel someone is watching him and has tampered with his ultimate safe space, his Volvo station wagon (symbolically a car long-associated with safety).  I have a feeling in tonight’s season finale, nobody will be safe, wherever they hide.

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