Season 5 of Breaking Bad has been as captivating as ever so far, even though they’ve mostly been moving chess pieces for now. The chemistry’s simmering, and when those chess pieces transform into bazooka-wielding battlebots, shit’s gonna get bonkers. Will Walter finally bump off Hank? Will collateral damage claim Skyler, Walter Jr., or heaven forbid, Holly? Will it be Jesse, Mike, or both- or more– hunting hairy Walter as he hops from diner to diner a year in the future? And where does Exterminator Todd, played by Jesse “Landry” Plemons, fit into this combustible crucible? Surely it’ll be a dangerous little nook. That dude can kill you if you’re not careful. I’ve seen it.
But for as awesome as Breaking Bad has been and, by all reasonable assumptions, will continue to be, did it really need that scene last night where Walter and son actually watch Scarface with giddy enthusiasm, while broken-down Skyler looks on and wonders if this is the movie where everyone dies? Even for fans less geeky than myself- fans who haven’t seen the phrase “Mr. Chips to Scarface” mentioned roughly 50,000 times in Breaking Bad-related articles– this particular juxtaposition must seem absurdly heavy-handed. It almost makes me fear the show will end as Walter White lay dying, crying out, “Oh how far hath I fallen! For once I was but a mild-mannered, good-hearted school teacher, and now my ambition hath eaten away at my soul, much like the cancer that hath stricken me back in Season The First!”