Breaking Bad, Recapping Worse: Season 5, Episode 2 "Madrigal"
I was iffy on the idea that Germans might be the new "big bad" on the show, but this is BB, so I will always give Gilligan & company the benefit of the doubt.
Loved that much of the episode focused on Mike. The interrogation scene with Hank -- you know both those guys LOVED doing that scene. Definitely one of the highlights of the show.
Any and all scenes with Bob Odenkirk are automatic gold.
Hard for me not to critique anything about any episode of Breaking Bad -- but there was one thing that bothered me. But let me preface this with a (not-so) brief defense of Skyler White.
I've decided that -- for the most part -- I like Skyler. Hey, she may be the only decent mom on any AMC TV show.
I'm not sure I quite get the hate some feel for her. She's not Carmela Soprano -- she didn't know what she was getting when she married this Milquetoast chemist/teacher. And she became an accomplice when it looked like that was the only way to keep her family together, protect her son and also keep her brother-in-law from becoming the laughing stock of the DEA.
She was a little annoying when dealing with Walt's cancer. But it's hard to fault anyone for wanting to do anything to keep their loved one alive. And she shows an early talent for lying when she acts her way out of the store where she's busted due to her sister's shoplifting.
Yes, those who felt ardently about Walt probably were appalled at her cheating on him. But in all honesty, Walt's lack of honesty -- and then the actual truth -- jeez, what would one expect?
Her scenes with Saul Goodman are always priceless. She has a better head for financial details than Walt, and SHE's the one who comes up with:
(1) the excuse that Walt built up a huge nest egg of money due to gambling;
(2) conning a locksmith to get into Walt's apartment when he's missing:
(3) buying the car wash where Walt used to work as a money laundering operation as opposed to the laser tag joint Saul was pushing (and grinding her heel into the former asshole owner to boot);
(4) running the car wash & doing the books to insure everything is done correctly
I suspect she does even more, but I'm only one episode into my Season Four re-watch, so I can't remember what else she may do of note that season (beyond covering for her husband). In any case, unlike women on a lot of these shows -- she's neither an idiot or a bitch. She's not shrill or silly. She's actually pretty smart (which makes sense -- Walt would marry an intelligent woman, after all) and often more than holds her own in scenes with Walt.
So back to this season and this episode...
I get that we're watching how Walter descends that much further down the road to being a master criminal. The excuse that he was "doing this all for his family" almost seems like a distant memory -- even when he says he's broke (which is mostly Skyler's fault -- but she did it for the right reasons at the time). And I can appreciate the challenge the show is presenting -- at what point can one simply no longer care about or root for Walter White.
But the downright creepy way he's treating his wife -- actually bothers me more than any attempted or fully realized murder, depraved indifference or indirectly causing the death of hundreds of people. Walt's not a moron, so he must be able to see just how frightened and fucked up she is over realizing her husband is not simply a meth cook, but a murderer. That last scene in bed -- felt like it was bordering on rape.
So hats off for making me uncomfortable, but "boooo" for making me seriously question my feeling about Walt when there's still so many episodes to go of Breaking Bad. Or maybe that's the new thing at AMC: where the highest quality shows treat women like shit.
But other than that one note in the closing two minutes of the show -- I loved the rest of it.
Big shocker, right?