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Breaking Bad “Granite State” Review (5×15)

23 Sep

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“Stay a little longer?”

Walter White is afraid of isolation. He’s always needed something: his family, his money, his business. However, he’s never been more utterly alone; he’s trapped in a cabin in the snow, forced to sit there all day and contemplate what he’s done. It’s the ultimate coffin for Walter White, a man that will be killed by cancer, but destroyed by his own mind.

Walt’s never been the kind of criminal mastermind he aspires to be. I don’t mean that he isn’t a force in his business, but rather, he can never really become Heisenberg. That’s certainly what he wants, but it’s not something that will come to fruition unless he loses everything. At heart, he’s always been Walter White. He’s made poor choices and been overcome with desperation, but none of the actions that result are truly Heisenberg’s. He’s poisoned his mind, deluding himself into thinking that all those around him should be grateful for everything he’s done for them.

In “Granite State”, he’s still reaching out for that one speck of sympathy, paying his caretaker $10,000 to stay for two hours. Cranston is magnificent here, portraying a disheveled and depressed shell of a former man. No matter how hard he tries, he can’t let go of his past. He dons his Heisenberg hat, but isn’t able to leave the property for months. He tries to use his “We’re done when I saw we’re done” schpiel on Saul, but he breaks down coughing. He, one last time, tries to contact Flynn, but is verbally assaulted in a perfect bout of acting from RJ Mitte. This is the final straw. Walt can’t get any money to his family. He can’t feel useful. He can’t feel needed. He calls the police, fully intending to turn himself in. However, he sees something that gives him pause.

The Gray Matter folks surprisingly show up again, and they’re looking to bury Walt. Everything’s changed. Walt’s going to live out his Heisenberg persona for the first time, ready to prove to the world that he’s truly a man to be feared. He’s not weak. He’s not gone. He’s angry. What’s getting him into this is what got him into the situation in the first place: a sense of honor. It’s always been about the chemistry.

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It’s a slow place-setter for the finale, but the theme song closing out the episode makes you excited to see what will happen to the once-great Walter White. The eye of the storm has passed.

GRADE: B+

Other thoughts:

-Jesse’s been so brutalized that we just can’t help but wonder if he’d be better off dead. Andrea’s death feels so cruel, pointless, and terrible, and Aaron Paul’s face after that scene reflects the anguish, the horror, and the gravity of the situation in a brilliant light.

-Jesse’s escape is extremely nerve-wracking, too…here I am, yelling “RUN JESSE RUN!” all Jenny-like.

-Todd has really become a terrifying character. He’s entirely happy to be a pawn in all of this, and his infatuation with Lydia is becoming stranger every day. Lydia’s interesting as well; she expects everything to be handed to her on a silver platter, and she avoids trouble when she can.

-In addition, Todd appears in Holly’s room and threatens Skyler. That’s a no-no.

-“I watched a few Youtube videos..the trick is finding the vein.”

-Ice cream for Jesse

-I hope Huell’s still just sitting in that room.

-If Walt had just listened to Saul, he could’ve avoided all this. What’s terrible is that his seemingly decent phone call last week turns out to be for naught, as Skyler will always be a target as long as Walt stays hidden.

-Walt has Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium...just two of them!

-Congrats to Anna Gunn and the show on their Emmys. They’re well deserved.

-“If you look around, it’s kinda beautiful.” Walter White will never be able to fully appreciate his surroundings.

-Seeing snow in the show is weird. However, it makes sense thematically. Walt’s always been stuck in the  snow, but he hasn’t been able to realize it. Now that he does realize it, he can strip away his Walter White layer and embrace the Heisenberg. Watch out, Carol.

Credit to AMC and Breaking Bad for all pictures. I own nothing.

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One Response to “Breaking Bad “Granite State” Review (5×15)”

  1. crowdoffullpockets September 24, 2013 at 3:40 pm #

    My favorite part about the DVDs was the disappearer saying, “I’m not really a movie guy” as though you need to know movies really well to know how silly it is to give him two copies of the same movie and that’s it.

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