Tips On How to Entertain Guests –Breaking Bad Season 2 Episode 2 Review (Grilled)

So before I get to this review/rambling diatribe, just want to point out I am switching my format from the previous episodes.  While I enjoyed writing actual reviews, those were taking way more effort than I expected and seeing as I am so damn lazy, it just wasn’t going to happen consistently.  My OCD will force me to eventually update those old reviews so fear not and enjoy the new format!

Summary:  Walt and Jessie have a whale of a time at Tuco’s house, eating burritos, watching Mexican soap operas, bonding with the elderly, and planning trips to Mexico.

Chronological Thoughtlessness:

  • Squeak Squeak Squeak
    • So this is embarrassing but my first thought when this episode started was “why is this episode starting with a car sex scene?”  Maybe its because just two episodes ago, Walt and Skyler had sex in a car but this thought did flash across my mind when listening to the car bouncing around.
    • OMG, Jessie’s car is shot up???  There’s a dead body lying there?!  YOU CAN’T KILL JESSIE!
    • Yeah my reaction to the carnage all around Jessie’s car was one of pure terror.  Jessie had grown so lovable but he was also expendable so this set a grim tone for the rest of the episode.
  • Growing Tumescent With Anticipation
    • Hank is still goofy but I appreciate the competence he shows here.  Not annoying like Season 1 Hank and “grow tumescent with anticipation” is a hilarious line.
    • The troops rallying behind Hank during the Tuco brief is over the top. What kind of a cult is this where they chant “hell yeah!” even after their esteemed leader leaves the room?  I need people who would follow me anywhere.

steven-quezada-gomez-breaking-bad-hank-dean-norris1.jpeg

“I would have followed you to the end…to the very fires of Mordor.”

  • No Record Of It—A Second Cell Phone
    • This show does a great job milking tension out of nothing.  Here it’s a moment where Hank searches Walt’s car. Nice touch with him sniffing the seat–you think he figures something out about Walt’s secret but in reality he’s trying to figure out if Walt is cheating.
    • Anna Gunn plays condescending very well.  Love how thorough the show is and her quiet frustration at the cop is a good touch.
    • Holy shit, Hank knows about a second cell phone??  Nice subtleties with him hiding it from Skyler.  His characterization has had minor tweaks/growth since the first season that increased his likability.
  • It’s Your Ride Retard—I Ain’t Gotta Clean Jack.
    • ….and nice transition from talking about the phone to the phone flying through the air.
    • Jesus Tuco is terrifying, tossing Walt around and terrorizing Jessie.  Aaron Paul is amazing as he switches between asking for Tuco to kill him now to begging for his life when he points the gun in his face.
    • I see that Walt is a big fan of overtly cheesy hallucinations.  Him imagining Skyler forgiving him doesn’t seem to make sense in the context of the episode.

cover26

“Walt–I am your father.”

  • Okay, the Whole Tiara Thing—I Just Find It Bewildering
    • Gotta love Marie’s helpfulness mixed with her selfishness.  It takes a very special person to make a situation about oneself when the situation in question is relating to one’s sister’s husband being missing.
    • Not really a problem but I don’t like them showing the diaper box that Walt stuffed the money in.  I get its to show that there are still dangling threads but nothing comes of it this episode.  If its being used to remind viewers for upcoming episodes, it seems redundant seeing as Walt was shown stuffing the money in at the very end of the previous episode.
    • Fifteen minutes in and the real meat of the episode hasn’t started!  It’s been engaging but dammit, WHAT HAPPENS TO WALT AND JESSIE?!
  • This Blue Magic—This Is Money
    • OH GOD, go back to Marie and Skyler!! My heart can’t take this tension!
    • Tuco’s line about enjoying working with family men when he realizes who Walt really is feels forced.
    • “I’d ice him too yo”.   “Shut up”.   “Ok”.  Hilarious exchange.
    • Ahhh Jessie with the classic oversell!  He just couldn’t resist.  He’s scared throughout the scene but he starts getting into the whole “convince this murderous psychopath to take this poison” so much and really thinks that he’s got Tuco.  Hilarious, but while watching that scene, everyone is right there with Walt, thinking “OH GOD JESSIE SHUT UP!!!”  Bryan Cranston with some awesome facial expressions.
    • Tuco continues to be so damn unsettling.  He’s quiet and methodical for parts of the scene.  Then he gets high and rushes to blow Jessie’s brains out (which Walt thankfully talks him out of).  This episode is all about these slow, drawn out, tense moments followed by sudden explosions.  Be steady, my heart.
    •  This makes no sense though.  Tuco brought them out here because he wants Walt to come to Mexico to cook and he has no need for Jessie to be alive.  Then why the hell is Jessie even alive to begin this episode?!  He would have killed him earlier.
    • I’m sorry, the earlier episodes with Tuco was Tuco being relatively tame.  Tuco wildly stabbing the table at the thought of Gonzo betraying him is INSANE.  Great shot of Walt and Jessie’s reactions and I like that Tuco seems a bit more human here, despite getting more and more crazy.  Makes him a bit more relatable rather than just the insane meth-fueled psycho.

601px-BreakBad-202-Jericho-1He’s relatable because he cooks him lunch immediately after this

  • What Do You Want Me To Say?  It Means Walt Has a Secret
    • Man this scene exemplifies how good this show is.  Skyler learns about Walt’s second cell phone, which is a horribly shocking thing to learn about one’s spouse.  Though she is clearly rocked by this news, her priority is still to find her husband.  Great acting and you know that this isn’t the end of this.
    • Dean Norris is awesome here when Marie keeps bringing up the cell phone. This is a man truly devoted to the bro code.
    • Marie’s flippant line about Skyler not knowing about the second cell phone feels like forced humor.  Other than that, Marie is great in this scene.
  • Yeah Walt’s That Way—He’s a Good Man
    • Hank showing more of his competence and his ability to tone it down is definitely great for his character.
    • Awful line from Jessie’s mom about Jessie’s bouncing car.  Terrible writing and delivery and it is solely there to give Hank the hint needed to find Jessie.
  • You Should Be, Like, All Sacrificial, Jumping On a Grenade, Yo
    • Hilarious banter between Walt and Jessie.  The above line, the bum-rush plan, Walt mocking Jessie for his salesmanship in the last scene, its all good.
    • Wow the tension is close to unbearable throughout the scene.  The whole burrito scene is expertly handled and when Tio starts ringing that bell…
    • That bell will haunt my dreams.

Breaking-Bad-season-2-episode-2-Grilled-screenshot

Walt hates the food and rushes to hide it and pretend he finished his meal, thereby sparing Tuco’s feelings.

  • Why Don’t You Trust Them Tio?
    • ENOUGH WITH THAT BELL!  I CANNOT HANDLE IT.
    • Absolutely amazing acting from everyone in that scene.  Tuco slowly figuring things out, Tio silently accusing them, and Walt and Jessie having to feign ignorance while quietly freaking out…it’s all incredible.
    • This scene just works so well…and I’m not sure if it would have worked with any other sort of villain.  Tuco was tailor made for a scene like this.
    • Wow, I really thought Jessie was dead.  Aaron Paul is an incredible actor.
    • Things escalate very quickly and I love Walt’s quick thinking to give Jessie time to hit Tuco over the head.
    • I buy that Walt and Jessie would hesitate to finish the job with Tuco here because neither is a cold-blooded murderer but what were they planning on doing?  Leave while Tuco was still writhing in pain??  Would Walt have been comfortable without knowing that Tuco was dead, especially when Tuco knows about his family and his address.
    • This episode keeps escalating.  The cousins are here?!
    • OMG NO THAT’S HANK!!! GOD NO!!!   This is the first time Hank was in immediate danger and it all happened so abruptly with Hank showing up that I feel like I had a complete system failure.  I had just started to like Hank and now it felt like he was going to die.
    • That was one of the most intense gun-fights I have ever seen on television.
    • Dean Norris’s subtle acting when Hank realizes its not Jessie Pinkman but Tuco is fantastic.
    • Tuco dying was probably a little early in the series for my liking but holy crap, what an episode.

This was an absolutely incredible episode.  It went away from the standard Breaking Bad formula and eschewed a lot of the character scenes for straight up tension and it worked.  My favorite episode up to this point and this rivaled the intensity of anything I had ever seen.

Rating:  94 Second Cell Phones Out of 100

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