First of all, where did that poor doomed boy get his jean jacket? Seriously, those pockets that could hold a big glass spider jar? I could totally use a jacket like that! If I had a dollar for every time I'm encumbered with oversized mason jars that leak in my purse I'd be able to afford a sweet denim jacket with big pockets.
Second of all, I've been watching a lot of The X-Files lately (mostly because of Baby) and who should show up as a plucky US Marshall but Uncle Hank! Pretty exciting! Also a bit of an x-file how Dean Norris has not aged at all since at least 1994. Spooky.
Third of all, this episode. Guys... I wasn't super enamoured. Obviously it was still better than just about any other show ever and certainly better than the other shows I'm watching right now (WHAT IS EVEN HAPPENING WITH TRUE BLOOD, ALAN BALL? Are all the mirrored surfaces covered in your home so you don't have to look at yourself? You created Six Feet Under!) but in terms of Breaking Bad episodes, it really wasn't one of my favourites.
Everything that happened with Walt's family was rehashed and just felt like warmed over dialogue from the last couple episodes. When Skyler made the comment about Walt telling her that just a few days ago someone held a gun to his head it took me a couple seconds to realize that wasn't the exact same scene as last week when she reminded him of his crawlspace giggle-breakdown. And we had to sit through another Walt Jr tantrum with no resolution, another smarmy Walt-Hank interaction and another episode in which Hank "Drug Conspiracy Whisperer" Schrader is still completely in the dark. And I am getting increasingly agitated about Lydia. Who is she? I have a hard time believing that Gus would have ever been in business with such a loose canon just because she had a tenuous connection to methylamine. I was essentially disappointed with the lack of forward momentum and seemingly stagnation of development.
That being said, the train heist was pretty great. I found it to be meticulously planned (and the brainchild of Jesse!) and nail-bitingly tense. I've read criticisms that it was unrealistic but the only thing I find to suspend belief is that Mike hasn't killed Walt. Really, that Walt wouldn't listen to Mike (ultimately making Mike's role in the caper redundant) will only serve to further strain their tenuous relationship. I am really starting to appreciate that Walt's plots are getting bigger and bigger and that he refuses to listen to any sort of reason and that so far it has (sort of) worked out. Refusing to pull the plug on the operation even after the engineers were starting the train up again was yet another mark of Walt's hubris but there are only so many times that Walt can cheat/tempt fate. The less he listens to reason and the more he depends on his own distorted vision (at the cost of his partners' voices), the closer we come to seeing his downfall. That I cannot wait for.
Despite my dissatisfaction with this episode, I will say that the ending was perfect and I can't wait to see what happens next. My guess is that Landry (Todd?) will attempt to replace Jesse as Walt's right hand man but Walt isn't looking for a fellow psychopath, he's looking for his surrogate son to bully. This will not end well for Landry but I'm hoping it will help draw Jesse and Mike closer.
Only three episodes left before the end of the season and I have a feeling that things are about to get real.
RIP Adventurous spider-catcher, you couldn't have known that Landry Clarke already had a taste for blood.
Alex Snider knows a lot of people probably disagree with her on the merits of this episode. When not writing stuff here, she writes stuff here and she can be tweeted at @what_freshhell.