So, Your Actions Have Consequences...

Posted 3/21/2010 by WHayes in Labels: , , , , ,
Take note, "No Mas" is a great example of how a season should begin: a few teases to get us interested in the drama to come, all of which paying service to the central moral quandary that will push us forward from here out: facing up to who and what you are. Its a dilemma bound for a messy epiphany riddled with plenty of red herrings and the occasional dead body, and of course we were presented two sides of the conflict: Walt, who's running from his problems, and Jesse, who's accepted his fate as "the bad guy." Slap me if I'm putting too much weight on the scene, but the darkly funny moment where Jesse notes Walt's debris-damaged windshield says everything we need to know about their new dynamic: Jesse will out the problem, while Walt will let it fester.

If you want further proof, just rewind to his mini-meltdown in the school gym: trying to absolve himself of guilt, and in doing so comes off to the school as the completely maladjusted nerd he'd always been. to those how know better, it reveals how much he'd been thinking of his role in the tragedy. More specifically, he'd been desperately extrapolating on how that role could be smaller. As the A.V. Club's Donna Bowman puts it, "if Walter can make the experimental apparatus complicated enough, then anything in the world could reasonably be construed as affecting the results." I wont go as far to say there's some form of self-hatred beneath his using logic to sweep his failings under the rug, but there's definitely fear. It hurts to call my boy a coward, but if the boots fit...

Speaking of boots, lets talk about the Cousins: their introduction - exiting the Benz to join a stream of worshipers crawling to a desert altar - was weirdly perfect (and perfectly weird) and left me damn intrigued, but I have to admit that they'd be much cooler had I not seen The Matrix Reloaded, which ruined that trope for me. Everything I liked about the Twins was instantly negated thanks to a) the utterly tacky "ghost" ability, and b) their speech pattern, which got old fast. Thankfully, the Cousins are silent so far, and from the way they took a smoke break after gunning down an entire truckload of migrant workers, they don't seem to take the job too deathly serious - and I love them damn boots. The verdict is still out on whether there will be any lightness to the remainder of their appearances this season.

One of those appearances just has to put them face to face with our new Jesse. The question, then, is if Jesse has accepted his bad guy role, how will he react to the new pressures? Which way does he go from here? I could believably see a rise into Human Torch levels of reckless, self-destructive badassery, but maybe I'm selling Vince Gilligan and company short? Jesse hit that note last season, so maybe he really is changed and at some sense of peace. I missed something the first time I watched his fireside rehab epiphany: midway through the group leader's confession, Jesse looks to the guy on his right, giving him the "are you shitting me" face. Whether he was really thinking a) this is bullshit, get me out of here, b) now I understand and can move on, or c) I guess I'm not that bad, I'd bet that what did click won't leave him curled up in a meth den again.

In final notes, thank you for having Walt confess to Skyler what he really does. The cat-and-mouse game that could keep the two running in circles away from the truth would get old fast, and its honestly beneath this show. Now that the hard part is out in the open, we get to see how the second-toughest lady on television (Dushku, its all you, gurl) gets to work the situation. After being led around by her belly for most of last season, our woman scorned is overdue for a Lady Macbeth-style push to get what she really wants. This is gonna be a great season.

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