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Breaking Bad Recap: ‘Caballo Sin Nombre’

March 29, 2010

The Cousins await Walt while he is in the shower. Photo credit AMC.

This recap is comprised almost entirely of spoilers.  Proceed at your own risk, preferably after viewing the episode.

Sunday  night’s episode began with Walt traversing a barren desert in his Pontiac Aztec  (how perfect is that car for him?) singing along to America’s “Horse With No Name.”  There are no cars in sight, until a police car heading the opposite direction flips a u-turn after passing by him, and pulls him over. Walt is bewildered as to why he got pulled over, because  he knows that he was not speeding.

The officer explains that he pulled him over because of a cracked windshield. Walt shrugs as if to say “Oh, is that all,”  then explains to the officer that his car was in the very neighborhood of the plane crash, and debris fell on it, hence the cracked windshield. The officer says he will still have to cite Walt.

Walt sits in the car for a moment, then unwisely gets out to give the officer a piece of his mind.  Walt exploded into a fit of histrionics, ironically expecting the officer to give him a pass because of the plane crash; the officer is even wearing the blue ribbon that everyone is wearing to remember the victims of the crash.

It was a powerful scene, because it symbolizes Walt’s complete loss of control in all aspects of his life, and it demonstrates how different this Walt has become from the Walt we met in season one.  If season one Walt were pulled over by an authority, he would cower in the car and break out into a clammy sweat, cursing his bad luck.  He would have thanked the officer after the officer handed him the citation.

This Walt literally dares the officer to use pepper spray (which he does), and Walt is hauled off to jail.  The whole mini-meltdown was fodder for an emmy reel.  Cranston delivered his tirade convincingly.  You expect that this is exactly how a man in his position would act.  He is frustrated, desperate, lonely, and dying,  and then gets pulled over for such a stupid infraction.  He can’t catch a break, so he explodes.

His DEA brother-in-law Hank convinces the officers to let Walt go, and Walt sheepishly apologizes for his behavior, just like old times.

Meanwhile, the emotional fallout of Walt and Skylar separating is starting to emerge. Walt Jr.  has no idea why Skylar kicked Walt out, so he lashes out at his mother, and shows up on Walt’s hotel doorstep.  Anna Gunn’s performance was particularly good, because Skylar is trying to protect her son.  A lot of women would be vindicative, and rat their husbands out to their children to avoid being the object of scorn themselves.  Not Skylar.  She would rather Walt Jr. hate her than be hurt by the truth.  That’s a good mom.

Walt spiffs himself up a bit and dabs on some cologne prior to going to talk to Skylar.  He shows up with pizza and dipping sticks, but she closes the door in his face. This is where Walt had min-meltdown number two, both tragic and comedic.  He shouts out, “but I brought dipping sticks,”  like that was going to make everything all right. Once again, he just doesn’t get it.

He then proceeds to have an epic temper tantrum, and hurls the pizza box into the sky.  Mid-flight, the box opens, and the giant pizza lands perfectly on the roof.  It was awesome.  My husband and I spent far too much time trying to figure out how they pulled that off so perfectly.

The next morning Walt wakes up face down  in a haze of popcorn and Bud Select on the floor of his hotel room.  Darned if that teddy bear eye isn’t looking right at him.

This episode also re-introduced us to sleaze bag lawyer Saul, who is dangerously close to becoming a caricature, he is so despicable.  After speaking to Walt, Saul decides to have Skylar watched, and sends a “cleaner” type to go take care of the house. While the man is doing the work, Walt comes and breaks into his own house. The man leaves, undetected by Walt, but sits in his car for a moment.

Good thing for Walt, because the brothers (or cousins, as some are calling them) drove up in their car and pulled an ax out of their trunk (subtle) and enter the house while Walt is in the shower. They found out Walt’s name by visiting a nursing home where Tio (from season 2)  is living.  Tio uses his ominous bell while the brothers use a ouja board to point to letters until Tio rings the bell, in this manner he spells out “Walt White.”

Saul’s henchman calls Gus, who calls off the hit at the last second.  Walt never knew a thing, but he did find the eyeball staring up at him from the top of his clothes, and it wasn’t there before. Walt thinks that he never gets a break, when in reality he has gotten at least a dozen of them.

Jesse might be returning to his bad ways.  He used Saul to blackmail his own parents into selling their house at one-half its value, because Saul threatened to make the meth lab the house had in its basement public knowledge.  I couldn’t tell if Jessie just really loved the house, or just really hated his parents.   What did you think?

You can read my recap of episode one, ‘No Mas’  here.



8 Responses to “ Breaking Bad Recap: ‘Caballo Sin Nombre’ ”

  1. Dr Jay on March 30, 2010 at 1:10 am

    Great payback by Jesse getting the house back from his parents the same way they got it from him, by blackmail. I loved seeing Saul put it to Jesse’s parents and their stuffy lawyer. I like Saul’s “cleaning” associate. He reminds my of Harvey Keitel’s character in “Pulp Fiction”. His heroics of letting Gus know what was going on, gave us all a sigh of relief. Wonder if we’ll see those cousins again, probably will. Tio will be so ticked off when he hears about this. He’ll be ringing that annoying bell for hours.

  2. dan on March 30, 2010 at 2:09 am

    i don’t think he drives a rendezvous. walt’s supposed to be ‘poor,’ which is why he resorted to meth manufacturing. buicks are for old people, or maybe a classy yet boring middle-aged man.

    i’m almost certain it’s a pontiac aztek (production discontinued in ’05, 3 years before the show aired). but yes, the car suits him perfectly; especially the missing hubcap.

  3. Shannon on March 30, 2010 at 4:48 am

    @ Dan *slaps forehead* Ugh, you are 100% right on the car, that is why it is perfect. I got my make and models mixed up while I was writing. Thanks. I know what I meant to say, I just didn’t get it down right.

  4. Shannon on March 30, 2010 at 12:02 pm

    @Dr. Jay,

    Yes, that storyline with Jesse was a great way to demonstrate that he has not really changed, he still has a bit of bad in him. And yes, the previews from next week look like the cousins will be back.

  5. Enigma on March 30, 2010 at 3:28 pm

    Don’t forget Skyler’s storyline at work. She is now committing grand larceny or embezzlement in a multi-billion dollar book-fudging (whether or not she signed the books, or got any of the money, she is counseling her boss how to cover it up.)

    I love how all the characters have a vice. Which do you think is the worst? Where is your line drawn?

  6. Shannon on March 30, 2010 at 9:40 pm

    I think I kind of subconsciously gloss over Skylar’s crime because it is white collar. Nobody is dying or at least now, really being hurt. I place her crime in a separate category from Walt or Jesse. I’ve got to say that Walt continues to be the worst offender in my book, because he has transformed the most from his original moral center. Look at all the things he has done? And now it appears to be for nothing. I love this show.

  7. stephenv on March 30, 2010 at 10:42 pm

    As far as the pizza on the roof scene, I sort of figured they told him to throw the box up in the air and when it landed on the roof so perfectly they got a camera guy up there quick to frame the scene.

    Not everything in hollywood is planned to the nth degree. Some things are pleasantly spontaneous and just lucky.

  8. Tuco on May 10, 2010 at 12:26 am

    This episode was laughable. Riddled with cliche’s, I couldn’t figure out whats worse, poor dialogue or lack of from the cartel bro’s. Honestly, how cheesy was it when ‘ring ring’ its “El Pollo’s” on the cell phone, and they suddenly, they know it means to back down! Really? REALLY? Other than that, I’m kind of glad someone has a blog up. I’m sure I’ll vent again.

    :( I’m not too happy with the way things are going this season…