Breaking Bad – Box Cutter
It’s hard to write about Breaking Bad for a number of reasons: for one it is a show that pleases so much on a phenomenological level and not an intellectual one – it’s a rush, an experience – and it is so much a plot driven program – you simply don’t see it for a chance to analyze layers or see what it has to say about a certain topical issue – mostly though it is hard to write about because it is just so god damn good that I oft struggle to say much more than ‘Oh My God! What the What?! *Squeeeeeee!*’ and that’s not exactly the kind of prose that draws in readers (hell, looking at the internet it probably is, but unlike Walt I still have some standards … maybe).
So it is that I won’t be saying much about the show at this stage except that this episode, the season four première, is remarkably good. It’s a very clever episode in that it calls back to the beginnings of the past three seasons, every event was a repetition of something that occurred previous; an approach reminiscent of what Wright does in his films. More than that though it is the best thriller of the year to date, it had me literally on the edge of my seat. I was so tense that my body instinctively readied itself to run, it was only the pleasure centers of my brain that kept me sitting there, watching in awe. It is an amazing start to what looks to be an amazing season of a truly amazing show; I said back in early season two that the show was starting to remind me of The Soprano’s and people scolded me but by the end of this year David Chase will likely be honored to hear his work mentioned in the same breath as Gillian’s.
So if you haven’t seen the episode yet that means that you also haven’t seen the show yet – because no fan would have missed it – and if you haven’t seen the show yet it is unfair of me to keep you hear reading when you could be out there experiencing the plot-based, phenomenological pleasures of Breaking Bad. So go, and I’ll join you back here next week when you’re all caught up and ready to watch.
As for the rest of you, those who did watch, what more is there to say except thank-you; thank-you AMC, thank-you Cranston and Gillian and Paul and everyone involved for giving us the gift of this show.
Now i’m going to stop because from here the praise will only start to get creepy and overwhelming, the rest of TV needs to lift its game.
P.S. : Breaking Bad undoubtedly has the best episode titles of all time – since the first two episodes after the pilot, The Cats in the Bag and The Bag’s in the River – though the cleverness is often hidden from us until the end of the season. So are we thinking that the title of each episode this season is the name of that week’s murder weapon? So next week we need to keep an eye on the Snub Nose and see who it takes out. It’s a rather clever technique I think and one very befitting of BB; making us think we know something and then , most likely, twisting it against us. If this is true than we are probably looking at a large list of corpses, which sounds great to me.