Losing it

Posted 4/06/2010 by WHayes in Labels: , , , ,
With all respect to Ms. Bowman, control may be the game, but I don't think any of our antiheroes is in it at the moment. As Walt grows aggressive in his fight to preserve his family, Jesse more desperate to stay some shred of sanity, and Hank more afraid of his own inadequacies, shit's likely to get real. Things will spiral so far past that point of inevitability that the moment everyone reaps their harvest will probably be one of the more memorable series of events ever shown on TV -- and you know how I try and use hyperbole responsibly.

Sundays episode, "I.F.T.," was, of course, outstanding. With the deliberate momentum the show builds, its hard to make a misstep at this pace. Not much action aside from a nice and bloody barfight -- Hank kicking the shit out of two larger bikers made me wanna throw some blows myself -- but again, considering how the episode was more introspective than explicative, not much was needed; Gilligan and company are stacking bricks for now. Bricks like:

Walt finalizing his move back in through outmaneuvering Skyler's threat of police intervention. She still called him in, but Walt put on all the right moves in the officers' presence to appear as perfect as possible at the exact wrong moment. I'm no expert on the accurate portrayal of the abused family dynamic, but I think it was well done here. Skyler's sense of powerlessness was pretty palpable, and the scene itself avoided feeling cliche, despite toeing the line a few times. As much as I love some Walter, it was hard not to feel like he'd gone too far here. I'm actually interested in seeing the cooking operation go back online, if only to watch how the business dynamic changes, but having the head chef play so handily into his desperation makes me think he might not get a chance to reunite with Jesse in the RV after all. As Skyler's lawyer says, "drug dealers have a way of getting caught," and Walt can't get much more reckless before he irreparably screws up.

The tension's got our anti's showing some regrettable personal tics. Jesse has been calling Jane's voicemail, maybe several times an hour, just to sate the profound loneliness thats surely been burning a hole through his gut. We can all empathize with his sinking feeling when the number finally gets disconnected -- the sting from losing that last link. Hank gets his El Paso gig back, but clearly has doubts. The panic attacks could prove debilitating unless he does something drastic to get over them, something like smashing a dealer's teeth in on a countertop. Skyler's smoking again (same room as the baby, no less), but the shoe really drops when she reveals what the episode title acronym really means.

"I fucked Ted."

I had my doubts on just how much Walt's heavy-hearted confession over how every dollar in that duffel bag weighed on him would affect her, and clearly his regret wasn't enough to reset the marriage dynamic. How could it be? So yes, she fucks Ted, and Anna Gunn sells the internal conflict behind reaching out for something, anything (even if it's just a revenge fuck), pretty well. Here's the thing, was telling Walt a satisfying release, or just welcoming another burden? More importantly, if Skyler's dilemma is a microcosm of this season's entire thematic stance, will coming clean save any of our characters? Maybe there really isn't a way out.

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