The second of our eight Breaking Bad installments for the summer focuses a bit more on Mike and his role going forward with the new crime organization Walt wants to create. Just how that will unfold remains to be seen, but I’m slowly beginning to think that it will be Walt’s own ego and arrogance that brings him down.
I’ll get into greater detail on “Madrigal” but only after we find a new way to use a portable defibrillator…
With Gus out of the picture and the laptop destroyed, Walt is making a lot of assumptions. Last week, he figured that the plan to wipe the laptop can and would work, simply because thought it did. This week, Walt figures there’s going to be no further complications with Gus out of the way and the streets filled with gold waiting to be mined.
Of course, that arrogance prevents Walt from going back to his old ways of cooking, using what he sees as inferior ingredients. Walt wants to continue producing the product he and Jessie did while working for Gus. Only now Walt is going to assume greater risk and possibly have a greater financial reward.
The only cost is his soul…but he’s pretty much lost that at this point. In two chillingly effective scenes, we see the price Walt has to pay for his deeds. Early in the episode, we see Walt manipulate Jessie with the planted riccin capsule (putting it inside the Rumba after he helps Jessie tear the house apart to try and find it) and as the episode ends, we see Walt, in a moment of triumph, try to seduce Skylar. It echoes a scene early in the series when Skylar found the new Walt sexy and the two acted on it. Here, Skylar is clearly horrified at Walt has become and too scared to move for fear of what Walt might do to her. And yet in both cases, Walt doesn’t see the damage he’s done or is doing to the people closest to him.
I find myself slowly of the opinion that Jessie will somehow help in bringing down Walt if and when the double whammy of Walt’s compliance in Jane’s death and his using Brock to manipulate Jessie off Gus’s sided and back to Walt’s comes to light. Walt thinks he’s won, but he’s really lost everything that mattered.
And he’s $40,000 in the hole. Once again, Walt never plans well enough to find a way to get out on top of the game….at least money wise. As Saul points out, the fact that he escaped Gus’ reach alive should be win enough.
But it’s never quite enough for Walt. And it probably won’t ever be enough….
Meanwhile, Mike contemplates his future with Walt and Jessie. At first willing to refuse the offer, Mike quickly discovers the corporate higher-ups for Gus want to eliminate all ties to themselves–and that includes Mike. Add in pressure from the DEA and Mike is in a similar boat to Walt–all his work adds up to very little reward in the financial department.
And yet, just as Mike could get out or turn in Walt, he chooses to get back into the business, only with reservations. If and how Lydia will play into the bigger picture remains to be seen.
This doesn’t even take into account that Hank is on the trail and is putting the pieces together. I think we had a bit of foreshadowing with Hanks’ comments about the culprit being right under everyone’s nose and someone taking the fall for it. Oh the day when everyone pieces together the full story on Walt is going to be a glorious and compelling bit of television. And knowing Vince Gilligan it will be more amazing than I imagine it will be….and I’m imaging it as pretty darn amazing.
But, as always, the series left me wanting more…
Bad days are ahead for Walt….and I can’t wait to see how it all unfolds.