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Season 1, Episode 2

23 Jun

Breaking Bad, 1-2: “Cat’s in the Bag”

Opener

Walt and Skyler finish having sex. Walt gets up, coughing, and goes to the bathroom. Washing his face, he looks in the mirror. It’s as if he can’t recognize himself.

“Twelve hours earlier…” Walt picks up his wallet and Jesse’s camcorder while an Indian on a backhoe tows the RV out of the ditch. The Indian says not a word as Walt thanks him profusely, with made-up excuses as to what happened. Walt looks in his wallet for money, and there is none, so he takes a handful from Jesse, who’s giving the Indian “mad props!” When the Indian still stands there, Walt takes a second handful of bills and stuffs it into the man’s hand.

When they’re alone, Jesse asks (re: the bodies), “Can’t we just dump ’em here?”

“People have seen us.”

They argue about Walt’s efforts to start the RV. J: “You’re gonna flood it!” He has to agree to park the RV at his house.

W.: “After we clean up this mess, we’re done.”

J.: “That goes double for me.” They’re both heartily sick of their new enterprise. Still, having bonded and cooperated in spite of it all, they exchange high fives when the RV finally starts.

The opener ends with shots of Walt’s left-behind gas mask and Krazy-8 showing signs of life.

Scene 1

Walt has spent the night, naked, on the bathroom floor. He’s coughing as Skyler knocks, asking, “Walt? You comin’ out?”

Scene 2

The three Whites are eating breakfast together again. The phone rings as Walt, clearly inspired by Skyler’s low-cut top, tells a lame story about girls’ yearbook photos nixed on account of “cleavage.” Are the Whites waking up from their bland, middle-class routine?

The phone rings again, and Jesse leaves a message pretending to be A.T. & T.

When Walt, still in the kitchen with his family, calls him back, we see Jesse in his kitchen, wearing a yellow jacket over black clothing. Jesse: “He’s not dead! Where the hell are you? We got loose ends here!”

Walt says he’ll deal with it after school, and for his family’s benefit: “So annoying, these people.”

Because her sensors have detected changes in her routinized husband, and she has a keen bullshit detector, Skyler dials *69 after Walt and Junior leave for school. She hears the crazy message on Jesse’s answering machine, which has lots of “yo”‘s in it and “representin’ ABQ,” and ends, “What’s up bee-yotch? Leave at tone.”

Scene 3: Walt’s classroom

His mind only half on his teaching, Walt mentions “chiral polarity,” and gives “good and bad” as an example. (In chemistry, chiral polarity describes a molecule that has a non-superposable mirror image. In geometry a figure is chiral if it’s not identical to its mirror image. So, Walt’s not what he seems, or has an evil twin…)

When class is over, Walt goes into the supply area and takes two jugs of clear liquid, which we later realize is the acid he and Jesse need to dissolve the dead bodies.

Scene 4: Jesse’s house, etc.

Jesse’s putting something on his bad eye when he hears a strange noise. He goes outside and sees Krazy 8 stumbling down the street. Walt, driving up at the same time, almost hits the zombie-like figure. He turns around, and 8, seeing him, runs away, hitting a tree. As Walt puts Krazy 8 in his car, and brings him back to Jesse’s, a woman’s voice is singing “Baby, you knock me out,” and “You know you’re movin’ me.”

Skyler, at home on her laptop, has gotten Jesse’s name and address from an online reverse telephone book, and found his website, which looks wild and garish. “Milf? What’s a milf?” she muses. (According to Wikipedia, “MILF, an acronym for ‘Mom, I’d Like to Fuck,’ is a vulgar colloquial term denoting a sexually attractive female, usually several years older than the person using the term.” This suggests a weird connection between Jesse and Skyler. It also indicates that Jesse needs mothering. He’s a Lost Boy, in need of parenting in general. )

Krazy 8 is now in Jesse’s basement, breathing with difficulty, a sound scarily amplified through the heating vents for those on the first floor. On the first floor, Walt questions Jesse about their prisoner, concluding from Jesse’s answers that he’s a drug distributor with a reputation for violence. (J: “He did try to kill us both yesterday. There’s that.”)

“Would he listen to reason?”

“What kind of reason?”

Hearing 8 rampaging around the basement, Jesse says, “We need to bounce!”

Walt goes down the unlit stairs with Jesse’s baseball bat while Jesse goes to the garage and takes the U-lock off his motorcycle. He tries it on his own neck for size, and the next time we see Krazy 8 he’s locked to a basement post with it.

Walt and Jesse argue about whose responsibility it is that they’re in this situation, then move on to what they should do about it. Walt describes the process of “chemical discorporation” – dissolving Emilio’s body in acid. Jesse: “Oh, man, that’s messed up. You serious? Who’s gonna do that? I’m not good with dead bodies.”

Walt: “We are in this 50-50.” They flip a coin to see who does what, with disposing of Emilio being the preferred outcome. When Jesse wins, with heads, Walt, asks feebly: “Best two out of three?”

Next, Walt, defeatedly drinking a beer at Jesse’s, answers the phone as Jesse starts leaving a panicked message. He’s at the store and doesn’t know what kind of plastic bin to get for Emilio. He’s afraid the plastic is too “flimsy.”

Walt: “Not for hydrofluoric.”

“You done the thing [killing 8]?”

“I’m working up to it.”

Pulling it into an aisle, so as to be as invisible as possible, Jesse gets into the largest blue plastic bin he can find, knees first, and falls over. Then he gets in again with his legs dangling out.

Walt, in the kitchen, picks up a chef’s knife, then a hammer. Finally deciding on a yellow plastic bag, he goes downstairs, only to run back up when 8 freaks out. Hearing 8 calling for water, Walt makes him a sandwich. He goes back downstairs and pushes 2 jugs of water, the sandwich on a yellow plate, a shit bucket, and a roll of toilet paper toward the prisoner. A container of hand sanitizer follows.

Walt watches 8 take the crust off the bread before biting into the sandwich. “You don’t like the crust?” (Next time, and there will be a next time, he’ll cut off the crust beforehand.)

Walt doesn’t answer when 8 asks, “Where’s my cousin Emilio? Is he dead?” Back upstairs, he rolls a joint – after figuring out that it’s easier to do with two papers glued together – and we realize that the brown, crumbly stuff in the pie plate we’ve seen on Jesse’s counter is prime bud. Walt smokes and coughs.

Jesse, having returned, shuts the gate to the driveway. Reggae music plays. Jesse, in the kitchen with Walt, laughs. “Are you smokin’ weed?” Pause. “Oh, my God – is that my weed? Make yourself at home, man!” He didn’t buy a bin, because none of them were big enough.

Walt: “Get two bins. Put the torso in one and the legs in another.”

Jesse: “You didn’t do it.”

“Not yet. I gotta go. I’ll do it tomorrow – I promise. I have a doctor’s appointment.”

“We flipped a coin!” Jesse’s desperate, being left with all the problems again.

Scene 5: Skyler’s Ultrasound

It’s a girl. Walt’s really happy. “That’s what I was hoping…” They hold hands and kiss. Walter turns away, crying a little.

The nurse has left the room when Skyler asks, “Who’s Jesse Pinkman? He called this morning. Was he one of your students? Who is he to you? What is this big secret you seem to be discussing with a druggie burnout?” There are pauses between these questions, giving Walt time to think.

“He sells me pot…Not a lot…I kinda like it.”

“Your brother-in-law is a DEA agent. Are you out of your mind?”

“I haven’t quite been myself lately, but I love you…” And, then, in the same sweet tone: “Can you climb down out of my ass – just once? I’d appreciate it.”

“I can’t believe it!” Skyler exclaims. He’s never spoken to her like this before.

Scene 6: at Jesse’s

We see Walt at school, giving students a test, then Jesse watching “The Three Stooges” on TV while smoking meth in a glass pipe. We hear 8 coughing.

There are flies in the RV when Jesse goes looks inside. Wearing gloves, he drags Emilio’s trash-bagged, duct-taped body out. It’s lying in the driveway behind his car when Skyler approaches the gate. “‘Scuse me! You! Yes, you! May I talk to you?” Not waiting for an answer, she barges in, standing in such a way that she can’t see the body (though she could easily turn).

Skyler tells Jesse Walt’s told her “everything.” She says she’ll call her DEA brother-in-law if necessary, then insists loudly, “Do not sell pot to my husband!”

Jesse, horrified, but now a bit relieved, says, “I can dig it.”

Laterty, Jesse drags Emilio’s body upstairs and puts it in the tub, muttering, “Yeah, let’s go to your house! Then I’ll send over my psycho bitch wife to threaten you, and leave a psycho killer in your basement.” He’s smoking pot in a pipe when Walt comes in. “You got a brother in the DEA?”

“Brother-in-law.”

“Your freakin’ wife told me – she almost saw Emilio. Good job of wearing the pants in the family!”

When Jesse tells Walt he’s taken care of Emilio, Walt runs into the hall, where red liquid is dripping onto the floor from the second floor. A minute later, pieces of the tub and masses of red gunk fall through the ceiling, leaving a big open oval. Walt: “Hydrofluoric acid won’t eat through plastic. It will, however, dissolve metal, rock, glass, and ceramic…”

Scene 7: the desert

Two Indian kids, a boy and a girl, are kicking and chasing a ball. Finding the abandoned gas mask, the girl picks it up and puts it on.

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