BREAKING BAD “Shotgun” Review

Breaking Bad “Shotgun”, Season 4 Episode 5 – Well, I guess we aren’t messing around anymore, are we? Breaking Bad started out this week’s episode, “Shotgun”, with yet another awesome opening action scene. Walter’s repair bills for his poor little Pontiac Aztec have got to be through the roof! First it gets hit by some debris from the plane crash in season 2, then he runs over two gangsters to save Jesse in “Half Measures”, and now he’s tearing down the streets of Albuquerque in order to confront Gus. As it turns out, Gus wasn’t even at his restaurant, and Jesse and Mike were out on the road picking up dead drops of cash, so that leaves Walt all by himself!

While the rest of the episode didn’t necessarily keep up the high octane excitement of the opening scene, we still got some great story developments that helped push us forward. Skyler and her new haircut finally sealed the deal with Walt by officially purchasing the car wash, and then Skyler and Walt sealed the deal in a completely different way in the bedroom. This led to one of the best Walt Jr. moments of all time. That face he made when he realized what his separated parents were doing in the bedroom was hilarious. I’m really enjoying the extra screen time we’ve gotten for Walt Jr. I lamented the show only giving us a handful of Walt Jr. scenes in the first few episodes, because I really do think that Walter Sr. interacting with his son brings out a much lighter side of his personality that is so often lost on this dark show. RJ Mitte has also clearly grown up so much on this show, that we as viewers feel like he’s a member of our family as well.

I liked Jesse and Mike’s road trip as well. Not only did we get even more scenes of great deadpan humor from Mike, but even some lighthearted playfulness from Jesse! Jesse Pinkman, who up to this point in the season has been drowning his sorrows in house parties, cocaine, and giant sound systems, was wrapping his seatbelt around his head like a blindfold and breathing on the window like a little kid! It was great to see some levity from his storyline as well, since he’s been such a downer so far. It really did take me a while to figure out what this road trip was for, but we finally got the answer when Gus asked Mike how the trip went. Mike telling Gus “Just like you wanted, the kids a hero”, leads me to believe that Gus wanted Jesse on this trip to make him feel useful outside of the lab and hopefully lead him away from wasting his potential back at the house. He hopes that hanging out with Mike will help teach Jesse some discipline and teach him to be more smart and discerning. If you got another meaning from this road trip, then please let me know in the comments.

For all of the great scenes in this episode, there had to be some that didn’t really ring true. For me, I guess that would be the penultimate scene of the dinner party at the Schraders house. Listen, I get that we’re trying to get Hank to suspect Walter of being Heisenberg, and I get that we need to push this seasons overarching story forward, but Walt being so careless and stupid to speak up and demean Gale just seemed out of character. First of all, we saw last season how devastated Walt was to see Gale singing karaoke last episode, so for him to turn around and say that he didn’t think he was a genius was just too hurtful for me to believe. Then he goes so far as to say that Hanks genius was “still out there somewhere”. I know he’s drunk, but for a guy who is so paranoid and so careful the rest of the time, you’d think you wouldn’t get so drunk when you’re having dinner with your DEA agent brother-in-law. I usually laud Breaking Bad for having such incredibly well developed and consistently written characters, so for Walt to act so out of character came off as disappointing to me. Although pride has always been Walt’s biggest downfall, but it looks like he’s bit off more than he can chew now that Hank is close on his tail.

One more thing I wanted to note that I wasn’t a big fan of. The camera work in Breaking Bad as a whole is usually incredible, as it’s usually so subdued and simple. Therefore, I wasn’t a big fan of the fast-motion collage of the road trip images, as well as the first person view of Walt cooking in the lab. It came off as a bit gimmicky, but I guess that’s more just me nitpicking at an otherwise great episode.

What did you think of this episode? Sound off in the comments section below!

Random Thoughts:

– Yes, I would love to try a breakfast chicken chalupa combo meal. If only Los Pollos Hermanos was real…

– I love the double entendres of the episode titles these last few weeks. “Bullet Points” last week of course referring to all of the bullets in the opening scene, as well as the bullet points in Skylers script. This week we get “Shotgun”, which of course refers to Jesse riding shotgun on his road trip, as well as the shotgun that Gus’ hitman carried to try to scare Jesse into action.

– So what do you guys think? Does Hank find out about Walt this season? Or do we have to wait until next season? Sound off in the comments!