Tuesday, April 10, 2012

My Five Favorite Moments From Breaking Bad's Fourth Season

I've literally been putting off writing this for six months.  Well, maybe I've been meaning to write this for six months.  Anyway, it's been six months since Breaking Bad's fourth season wrapped and I've finally decided to share my favorite moments of the season.

I guess I should add the disclaimer that these are literally my five favorite moments of the season.  They aren't going to be huge spectacular moments, but they are my favorite moments.

Creepy Tyrus

I loved Victor and while I understood that his death was completely necessary, it still hurt.  So when Tyrus hit the scene, I was reluctant to embrace him.  But the guy won me over.  His towering presence, his constant glowering and his utter silence, I couldn't get enough of the guy.

But my favorite Tyrus moment was the scene with the cattle prod.  Walt's tried to reconcile with Jesse, who's dejected him.  Walt turns to leave Jesse's yard only be be surprised by Tyrus and a couple of goons. It's horrifying.  It's a genuine horror movie moment and Tyrus plays it creepily cool.    

Between A Rock & A Hard Place

Much of Breaking Bad's tension has come from Walt trying to keep the two sides of his life separate.  The fugue state.  The second cell phone. Heisenberg.

So when Walt gets recruited by Hank Schrader to help investigate the death of Gale Boetticher, it was a tricky proposition.  The clues lead to Los Pollos Hermanos. Walt sits in the parking lot trying to convince Hank that it's a dead end.  And then Mike pulls up.

That scene was crazy tense.

96.2% Pure

While, over the seasons, we've witnessed Walt's moral decay as his criminal enterprise has grown, we've also witness the further corruption of Jess Pinkman.  Yeah he was a meth cooker before he linked up with Mr. White, but he was strictly small time.

But that's what made this scene so gratifying.  For seasons we've had to watch Jesse endure attacks from Walt that his product was inferior.  So when Jesse has to do a solo cook, and to impress The Cartel no less, he passes with flying colors.  It's bittersweet, because what it really means is that Jesse's just a superb meth cook.

Walt's Breaking Point

Season four was a huge pressure cooker. It began with Walt and Jesse drawing the ire of Gus.  And the pressure mounted from there.

After a fateful meeting with Gus in the desert, Walt decides it's time to cut his losses.  He plans on taking his money and disappearing.  Only when he goes to his stash of cash, he finds most of it is missing.  And then Skylar tells him where the money went.  Walt collapses in his crawlspace and finally goes over the edge.

Life Lessons From Saul

There were a ton of awesome moments in season four.  Gus vs Don Eladio.  Skylar gets the car wash.  Gus vs Hank.  Jesse's NA rant. Tick/boom. It was season full of powerful moments.

But my favorite moment is a quiet moment.  It's funny and it's tender.  It's revealing and it's pure.  It's when Saul recounts his tale of lost love to Brock.  It's a simple story that imbues Saul with such humanity.  But it's also hilarious. Telling a grade school kid to "carpe diem" is pure comedy.

And there you have my five favorite moments from Breaking Bad's fourth season.  I'm sure before the summer's out I'll have some predictions for the fifth and final season.  But for now this will have to hold you over.

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