Jun 25, 2013

Breaking Half: "Seven Thirty-Seven"

Left to right: Raymond Cruz, Bryan Cranston, and Aaron Paul
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 1
"Seven Thirty-Seven"

*NOTE: This is a fan video that uses footage from episodes beyond "Seven Thirty-Seven." However, within the context of the video, nothing is spoiled.

"We are going to process them into ricin... 
It's an extremely effective poison"
-Walter (Bryan Cranston

Finishing off the drug deal at the junkyard, Tuco (Raymond Cruz) has killed a man and causes Jesse (Aaron Paul) to think that he is going to kill them next. This is backed up by a roaming car that appears in their neighborhoods. Meanwhile, Skyler (Anna Gunn) is ignoring Marie (Betsy Brandt) for almost getting her arrested. She even tells Hank (Dean Norris) that she needs help and everyone seems to be ignoring her. With the great idea to poison Tuco with ricin, Walter (Bryan Cranston) creates the product and plans to use it upon the next encounter. However, Walter becomes paranoid when Hank sends him photos from the junkyard of Tuco's assistants both found dead. He goes home to try and make sure his family is okay, only to move the money from the air vent in the baby room to a diaper box, including a gun that he stole from Jesse. As the episode ends, Jesse pulls up in a car with Tuco in the backseat pointing a gun at him. Walter is forced to get in and they all drive away.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Left to right: Cranston and Anna Gunn
MVP: Skyler (Anna Gunn)
Not a lot happened in this episode in ways of advancing the plot. However, it was a milestone for the intimidating Tuco, who even with limited screen time, gave a haunting vibe over the other events. However, this episode really is a chance to establish Skyler as the sympathetic character. She has been taking Marie's nonsense for most of last season and is being ignored by Walter and her son. It's crazy, and in a scene that basically allows her to prove herself as a dynamic performer, she opens up to Hank. It easily covers the ground that helps us to understand who she is as well as where she goes. While some could complain that this helps to establish the women as shrill, it helps to give them more personality than just being wallflowers in the story of men trying to break bad.

Left to right: Paul and Cranston
Best scene: As established, Tuco is one scary character that you do not want to mess with. While it has become expected of him to snort anything from a bag and kill someone, it never felt as important to the plot as it does here. While it is the show's introduction to ricin that may be its lasting impact, there's nothing more haunting than that last moment before everything goes haywire. When Hank sends pictures of Tuco's men lying in a junkyard, the tension reaches a new high and almost everything after is on the verge of collapse and danger. Still, without that moment that fantastically manages to balance chaos and humor, this episode wouldn't have worked as effectively. It almost must be credited to writers that the ending features quite a cliffhanger, which becomes the show's trademark after numerous seasons.

Please come back tomorrow when we cover "Grilled"

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