Breaking Bad Episode 501 – Image Source: AMCTV.com
Final Score: The Supermagnet wins the night! Walter White and his junkyard team created the most powerful magnet known to man, causing a near-seismic event in Albuquerque. The federal building’s security team gets an assist for enabling an unmarked van to drive up to the side of the building. Plausible? Well, I want the series to continue for another 15 episodes, so we’ll allow it.
Walt is becoming an angry drug kingpin, which seems like a faulty strategy. Gus Fring was calm and composed, allowing him to build a large supply chain network across the Southwest. His one vice was his anger over the death of his business partner, Max. He kept feeding his anger by visiting Hector Salamanca over and over, just to brag about how effective he had been at killing everything Hector cared about. And in the end, Gus paid for his anger with his life.
Where will Walt’s anger take him? It appears that New Hampshire is one destination, so the Granite State’s lack of an income tax isn’t enough to soothe him. I believe we’ll see Walt flame out by the half-season’s end, most likely with Hank and Skyler conspiring to take him down.
Thanks for reading my Breaking Bad live blog! See you next week.
11:00 pm: Yep, that’s it for this week’s Breaking Bad. The final score is coming up.
10:59 pm: That’s it? We have another minute!
10:58 pm: Walt is now confronting Skyler about the payoff to Ted by … giving her a hug and forgiving her? But is he forgiving her infidelity or the payoff?
10:57 pm: Walt to Saul: “We’re done when I say we’re done.” But you knew he said that, because it’s been in all the promos.
10:56 pm: It appears that Walt paid Saul to give Brock (the poisoned kid from Season 4) the Lily of the Valley.
10:55 pm: Walt to Saul: “You’re not Clarence Darrow, Saul. You’re a two-bit bench lawyer, and you work for me.” Walt is ascending pretty quickly to the throne here, huh?
10:54 pm: Better call Saul! Walt is in Saul’s office as Saul details Skyler’s plan to pay off Ted.
10:52 pm: We’re back in the evidence locker. Good news for Walt: Gus Fring’s laptop has a broken screen and appears damaged. Bad news for Walt, potentially: Gus had a Cayman Islands bank account, which was revealed after a picture frame broke because of the Supermagnet.
10:51 pm: Mob Week is coming to AMC! Do Walt, Jesse, and Mike constitute a mob?
10:50 pm: Commercial break. We just saw an ad for Small Town Security, which looks like Reno 911! without the intensity.
10:48 pm: Mike drives the getaway car and asks Walt how he’s so sure that the Supermagnet worked. Walt’s response: “Because I say so.”
10:46 pm: Walt is too super of a supergenius, as he cranks the Supermagnet too high, tilting the Supermagnet’s truck to the side and leaving a big vat of evidence to the police. Walt is confident that everything’s untraceable, of course, which is why he has a New Hampshire driver’s license in the future.
10:45 pm: Hey, the Supermagnet appears to work! Computers are getting wiped and metal’s moving everywhere inside the evidence locker. Walt is a Supergenius.
10:44 pm: Jesse drives the Supermagnet over a sidewalk, which is also a totally fine thing to do and would not disrupt the intricate magnet in the back of the truck.
10:43 pm: Mike is outside the federal building (presumably), spraying masking liquids on cameras and hotwiring garages. This happens at important government buildings – there’d be no security, right?
10:41 pm: Ted to Skyler: “I haven’t said anything to anyone.” Does this mean that he’ll need some more blackmail money? It’s a little unclear, because he seems terrified for his children, which works well for Skyler and her serial murderer husband.
10:40 pm: Skyler’s at the hospital, seeing Ted. Maybe she shouldn’t have reacquainted herself with Ted in Season 3. Anyway, she probably wouldn’t do the same now, because Ted’s in a full neck brace.
10:39 pm: Hey, the Supermagnet works! Unfortunately, it also violently moves anything metal, which will make “one hell of a noise,” as Mike points out.
10:38 pm: The Supermagnet has destroyed the test vehicle, but not the test laptop. More power!
10:37 pm: Breaking Bad is back from commercial break. They’re about to test the Supermagnet (son of Superlab!) at the junkyard. Is this where Walt’s glasses break?
10:34 pm: We’re still on a commercial break in Breaking Bad. There was another Bing commercial, but good news on that front – it looks like Microsoft is launching its own news service after breaking away from MSNBC.com. This seems like a genuinely exciting opportunity for online reporters.
10:33 pm: Commercial break. It’s worth nothing that Ted is not dead.
10:31 pm: Better call Saul! Saul is meeting Skyler at the car wash, informing her that the Albuquerque police may call her involving Ted’s death. Remember Ted slipping and hitting his head and the falling oranges and everything? Yeah, I didn’t find that plot like compelling, either. Anyway, Ted’s not dead.
10:30 pm: Walt has mentioned to Jesse that he doesn’t have the cash to purchase the magnet from Season 3′s junkyard proprietor (see the photo for this blog). Slight problem.
10:29 pm: Jesse has the idea to use a high-powered magnet to wipe the laptop clean of any video footage. It’s apparently a good idea, physics notwithstanding.
10:28 pm: Walt has a plan! He wants to blow up the laptop. His mind’s set on getting a bomb into the evidence locker.
10:27 pm: Walt wants to break into the Albuquerque federal building to steal the laptop. Mike to Walt: “What are you going to do?” Well, Walt has orchestrated the assassination of many key drug kingpins, so maybe he has a plan.
10:25 pm: Mike is on the phone pretending to work for the Postal Service (or something), claiming that he needs Gus Fring’s computers to prosecute mail fraud. Even with the feds, mail fraud is less important than drug dealing. But yes, Mike confirms that the feds have the computer, which presumably has footage of our trio.
10:23 pm: Commercial: It’s a new Will Ferrell movie called The Campaign, in which Ricky Bobby runs for Congress.
10:22 pm: Commercial break, leading to a side question: how did Mike get out of Mexico? He didn’t enter legally, and when Gus and Jesse were faced with re-entry in Season 4, they had to walk across the border in Texas.
10:21 pm: It appears that Walt/Mike/Gus are too late, as Hank and his team are already at Los Pollos Hermanos recovering a computer.
10:20 pm: Walt points out to Mike that the video cameras Gus installed everywhere recorded all three of them, so they need to go find the recorded videos and destroy them.
10:19 pm: Mike to Walt/Jesse: “What is it with you guys?” Good question!
10:18 pm: Speaking of pollos, Mike is feeding some chickens in Mexico as he recovers from his shooting in Season 4. He then learns that Gus is dead, so he drives like mad to find Jesse and Walt, then threatens them with death. It’s good to see Mike back.
10:17 pm: Hank found the camera into the lab, which means it’ll be a matter of time before he finds videos of Walt at Los Pollos Hermanos.
10:16 pm: Hank and Gomez are back together again, and Hank is taking absolutely no guff. There’s no joking around – Hank is on the march, and he’s determined to find out who’s behind the Superlab’s demise.
10:15 pm: Hank is in the remains of the Superlab, walking around reasonably well. Like Skyler’s massive one-day weight loss, it appears that Hank has also staged a miraculous recovery. One day can be magical.
10:14 pm: Laura has noted that Skyler appears to have lost 20 pounds from the end of Season 4 to the beginning of Season 5. In other words, she dropped 20 pounds in a day.
10:11 pm: Walt Jr. and Skyler are back at the White house, and Walt Jr. is breathlessly recapping the news that: (a) Gus is dead; (b) Gus has been exposed as a drug kingpin; and (c) Hank was the first agent to connect Gus to meth.
10:10 pm: Walt is back at the White house (ha!), removing all traces of his meth production and his Lily of the Valley plant.
10:09 pm: Laura is breakdancing. This is incidental to the show.
10:08 pm: We’re back at the end of Season 4. Walt to Skyler: “It’s over. We’re safe. I won.” New Hampshire has no state income tax, so yes, I’ll say he did, in fact, win.
10:06 pm: For a recap of the first few minutes, Walter White at age 52 is a New Hampshire resident named Mr. Lambert. He has new black plastic glasses, an apparent hair transplant, and a brand-new Uzi that he purchased from a sketchy guy in a Denny’s bathroom. Also, it appears he still has cancer. So, all’s well.
10:05 pm: Hey, Walt’s new car contains a automatic rifle. Things must be going well for him in the future. Commercial break!
10:04 pm: Walt’s name is Mr. Lambert. He’s from New Hampshire! He grabs a duffel bag from his New Hampshire car and goes to another car (he purchased the keys from the old man in the bathroom).
10:03 pm: This is looking like how the series will end.
10:02 pm: Hey, it’s a shout-out at Denny’s to Swampscott, Massachusetts! In other news, Walt’s doing some sort of illicit drug deal with an older man in the Denny’s bathroom.
10:01 pm: Walt has his hair back! He starts his 52nd birthday at Denny’s by playing with his food. His new state ID: New Hampshire. Hence, “Live Free or Die.”
10:00 pm: It’s on!
9:58 pm: Hey, it’s Alien vs. Predator on AMC. This is a natural lead-in to Breaking Bad, though I might have gone with…oh…the Season 4 finale.
9:52 pm: Breaking Bad is minutes away. I hope we get a “Previously on Breaking Bad” recap before the start of tonight’s episode. This isn’t Mad Men. Stuff happens on Breaking Bad.
9:19 pm: Tonight’s the start of Breaking Bad‘s final season! Well, it’s the start of half of Breaking Bad‘s final season, which really sounds like two separate seasons of eight episodes each. British television shows run for six or eight episodes in a season, yet we need at least double digits in the US to make the season feel real.
The first night of Breaking Bad is delayed for our friends with Dish Network, as AMC and Dish work out a carriage dispute. AMC blames Dish, Dish blames AMC, and I blame Gus Fring.
Fortunately for Walter White, his plan to kill Gus at the end of Season 4 worked perfectly (apparently?), leaving him alone at the top of Albuquerque’s methamphetamine empire. Walt and Jesse Pinkman burned the Superlab and all its evidence (apparently?), which means they’ll need to start over at Season 5 begins. There appear to be no competitors left, since they were all killed in Season 4 (apparently?), so the US Southwest is wide open for Heisenberg.
Will Walt and Jesse build a bigger empire than Gus ever dreamed? Will Mike help them out? Will Marie ever stop wearing purple? These questions will probably not be answered tonight, but at least I can watch the show. It’s Breaking Bad time!