Jun 27, 2013

Breaking Half: "Bit By a Dead Bee"

Bryan Cranston
Are you tired of long, tedious accounts of Breaking Bad episode recaps? Then look no further than Breaking Half: a weekly column that takes the good and bad from each week's episode of Breaking Bad and dilutes it down to the core necessities. Each Monday, Breaking Half will attempt to take a few key moments from the episode and boil it down to one juicy paragraph.

Season 2, Episode 3
"Bit By a Dead Bee"

"What if you were to disassociate while you were driving? What if you were to get into a situation where you could be shot by the police? You understand we can’t allow you to leave until we’re certain what happened wasn’t a nonrecurring event. Saying you’re fine doesn’t solve this."
- Dr. Chavez (Harry Groener)

After escaping from Tuco's house, Jesse (Aaron Paul) and Walter (Bryan Cranston) decide to split ways. This results in Walter being found nude in a grocery store, which puts him in the hospital for claiming to have blacked out. Jesse manages to clean out his house of the meth equipment with help from Badger (Matt Jones) and hang out at the Crystal Palace with Wendy (Julia Menesci) before Hank (Dean Norris) and several D.E.A. agents arrest him. He also gets the RV towed away for $1,000 with the help of Badger's cousin Clovis (Tom Kiesche). However, Jesse can only afford half and promises to pay the rest later. Walter wants out of the hospital, but is forced to stay and claim to Dr. Chavez (Harry Groener) that the reason he ran away was because he couldn't handle a family and cancer. This gave him some freedom to leave briefly and attend to the money. Meanwhile, Jesse gets interrogated by Hank and lies his way out of the case. However, he loses $75,000 that he claims isn't his. Also, Tio (Mark Margolis) refuses to rat Jesse out and as Gomez (Steven Michael Quezada) claims, help the D.E.A.. This results in Jesse being paranoid. Walter sees his family at the hospital and is eventually let out.

Rating: 4 out of 5

Top: Matt Jones, Bottom: Aaron Paul
MVP: Jesse (Aaron Paul)
Talk about fantastic acting. For those doubting that Jesse was nothing more than a cursing, drug slinging fool, this episode should change your mind. From the intense interrogation to him going off on Badger, Jesse rules this episode and makes it understandable why he wasn't killed off as originally intended. He also sets a lot of ideas in motion for the remainder of the season. He is neurotic and in many ways, becoming more and more sympathetic as the show progresses, especially as he tries to leave behind the old image of bad-ass in order to escape having to deal with cops and thugs. 

Left to right: Dean Norris and Aaron Paul
Best scene: There's nothing quite like watching Hank and Jesse fight it out. This show has played close to the chest, and here, it is only moments away from a tragic ending for Jesse. Even with Tio possibly ratting him out, it is all about playing the cards correctly. Hank puts on his tough guy charm, and the results are frightening, even though Jesse ends up getting freed at the end on a suspicion that Gomez think he's innocent. Still, in that one scene, we manage to get an effective depth of acting, and none more so than when they are close up face to face watching a bag of $75,000 disappear from Jesse's hands and creating more financial problems. 

Come back tomorrow when we recap "Down"

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