The fourth season of Breaking Bad commences the way the third season ended. Many would’ve been picking themselves up off the ground to see whether Jesse Pinkman (played by Aaron Paul) pulled the trigger.
Naturally, there are no happy endings in this thing. True to form, producer Vince Gilligan (helped by Bryan Cranston for the first time throughout the series), didn’t disappoint, heaping misery onto the viewer.
Opening episode, ‘Boxcutter’, produced one of the most gruesome scenes yet, with a certain Gustavo ‘Gus’ Fring (played by Giancarlo Esposito) going to town on one of his soldiers with, indeed, a boxcutter. Fring is also the central figure in yet another defining scene of season four later on in the series.
After this scene, I found the beginning of season four a little meandering, going through the motions in the next two to three episodes. Walter White (played by Cranston) takes measures of protection, which was always going to come at some stage and ‘Thirty Eight Snub’ takes us through this, while Jesse tails with the dark side (not for the first time), leaving his newly acquired home open to anyone who wants to party.
The episode ‘Open House’ sees Marie Schrader (played by Betsy Brandt) pilfering contents from open real estate for sale, feeding her previous addiction of shoplifting due to her husband, Hank (played by Dean Norris), continuing to wallow in his state of immobility, thanks to the Cartel’s twin assassins taking him down in a local car park (confusing enough?).
It’s not until the back end of episode, ‘Shotgun’, in which things really start to take shape. This is thanks to the consumption of too much red wine from good ol’ Walt. In the company of his family, “Don” White starts rendering his theory as to why Gael Boetticher (played by David Costabile) isn’t Heisenberg: the bane of Hank Schrader’s professional career as the spearhead of the D.E.A. The very reason as to why Hank is cooped up in a wheel chair due to the Cartel’s handiwork, as mentioned above. Prior to Walt’s rant, Schrader thought he had his man.
Naturally, this gets the creative juices of one Hank Schrader well and truly bubbling, leaving the sequence of events to unfold in catastrophic circumstances.
Does this have you intrigued? The above analysis fails to even scratch the surface of the problems greeting the cast of Breaking Bad (I haven’t even mentioned Saul Goodman, played by Bob Odenkirk).
I won’t go on. Just go and grab yourself a copy of one of the most electrifying series since television went to another level thanks to The Wire, The Sopranos and Six Feet Under.
All that’s left to say is this: bring on season five; the final season, according to Bryan Cranston. It can only end one way.
By Simon K.