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The Heisenberg Files: “Live Free or Die”

Posted on July 16, 2012 by

Hey folks. You know the drill. Like I did for “Mad Men”, I’ll be recapping the fifth season of “Breaking Bad”, which is also it’s last. As always, these recaps assume the reader is all caught up with past seasons of the show. If you are, go right ahead. But we’re done when I say we’re done.

If it’s one thing we’ve learned about “Breaking Bad” over the years, it’s that actions have consequences.

For Walter White, his bold actions have mostly resulted in good consequences. At least for him. He got rid of the crazy dealer Tuco, save Jesse’s life at the hands of murderous kingpin Gus Fring, and even ended the reign of Fring himself.

The result of Walter’s “success” is one man who is very proud of himself. Once a cancer-stricken husband and father with noble (if somewhat dirty) ambitions, we’ve seen Walter grow from a former chemistry teacher living the routine to a monstrous creation of his own design. Enter Heisenberg.

Before we can see the aftermath of Walt’s bombing, we are treated a very interesting out-of-place cold open. White, using an alias of New Hampshire resident Lambert, exchanges cash for weapons with a man at an Alberqueque  Denny’s. The fact Walt has a full head of hair and beard, plus the fact it’s his 52nd birthday, shows this to be some kind of scene later in the future. It raises more questions than answers.

Next we are treated to the aftermath of the bombing. Walt heads home; destroying any evidence linking him to the bombing and to his poisoning of Brock. Skyler and Walt Jr. return home — Junior in awe of his detective uncle’s apparent genius, while Skyler is afraid not of drug dealers, but of Walt himself. It’s at this moment Walt realizes one shred of evidence that he didn’t take care of: Gus’ surveillance laptop.

Walt teams up with Jesse again, and bump into a furious Mike who is done his recovery in Mexico and is rushing back after hearing news of Gus’ death. He is about to shoot Walt, but a frantic Jesse calms him down. The three meet up to discuss options. Mike wants out of Dodge, while Jesse’s idea of destroying the laptop with a strong magnet near the evidence room finally winning out.

Meanwhile, slimy lawyer Saul Goodman pays Skyler a visit at the car wash with news that Ted survived his run in with his goons. A horrified Skyler visits Ted, who has been severly injured but promises to tell no one. Skyler’s action last season was to “silence” Ted, and she seems to have what she wants. But the consequence is too much for her to bear.

Walt, Jesse and Mike pull off the magnet plan to near perfection. The evidence room is destroyed, but Mike wonders if they pulled it off. Walt assures them, but refused to explain, only giving the reason “because [he] said so”. Heisenberg the peacock preens again.

This opening episode just shows how corrupt Mr. White has gotten. After taking down the biggest threat to himself and the business in Gus Fring, who else is there for him to battle except the seemingly-inept DEA? We don’t have an answer, yet. But in the meantime Walt will celebrate. But as we’ve seen in the opening scene — using an alias, swapping cash for high-grade weapons — the reign of Heisenberg may be short-lived.

Breaking Baddest:  Mike, who hits the road immediately following the news of Gus’ death. He is a huge fan of leaving well-enough alone, so it makes sense that him and Walt are always butting heads.

Now We’re Cookin’… With Science: Walt’s first post-Gus-killing plan seems to work without a hitch. Jesse’s loving those magnets.

MIA: A small appearance from Hank this week, as he discovers the laptop as evidence. Looks like a biggest role next week.

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