'Breaking Bad' recap: Ep 2 Madrigal
Published: Monday, July 23, 2012
Updated: Friday, May 17, 2013 13:05
“There is gold in the streets just waiting for someone to scoop it up,” says Walter White (Bryan Cranston), with urge to continue cooking meth as soon as possible.
The second episode of the fifth season revolved around Mike and how he is dealing with the destruction of Gus’ empire, including getting an offer by Walt and Jesse. It is going to be interesting following his arc.
Mr. Shuler, in charge of Madrigal Electromotive (the head of Los Pollos Hermanos restaurant chain) kills himself, since authorities went in to question him about everything involved with the Fring Empire.
The episode written again by show-runner Vince Gilligan and directed by Michelle McClaren, shows once again how great “Breaking Bad” can be even if it doesn’t focus entirely on Walter. While it didn’t have a lot of the big moments like the premiere, the episode still delivered in their continuing exploration of Mike (Jonathan Banks) and their attempt to pickup the pieces of Season 4 while moving forward.
There is a scene where Walt and Jesse are looking for ricin (the poison Walt gave Jesse to kill Gus in Season 4) that devastatingly proved just how deep Walt has taken his lie. It is painful to see Jesse (Aaron Paul) crying and blaming himself for the “incident” with Brock (his girlfriend’s son, poisoned and hospitalized at the end of Season 4).
The episode also explored Walt and Jesse’s desire to get cooking again and their want to fill that market as soon as possible. Their idea of trying to persuade Mike to join makes sense along with them becoming owners and not partners (different from how Gus managed his business). The “You are a time bomb…” speech by Mike was delivered so earnestly and was proved right. Walt did decide to brake bad, now he has truly gone out of control.
Hank goes back to work and takes part in the Madrigal investigation involving the now deceased Dr. Shuler. At this point it also is clear that the DEA thinks that Hector Salamanca killed Gus, although by now they’re asking themselves: who gave him the bomb?
Mike meets with a woman who knows about Gus’ death, her name is Lydia and she has a paper that has 11 names of men that could, as she said “sink us.” Lydia is scared and wants to know how Mike will handle the situation. Mike’s decision to protect his “guys” was understandable. Lydia thinks the whole world is falling apart and the only thing Mike can do is to tell her that his team is solid and won’t do anything to hurt them.
Mike decides to be interrogated. He passes for Mr. Chow for the police. Mr. Chow works as corporate security for “Los Pollos Hermanos.” This is kind of a nice nod to the fact that Mike, besides being Gus’ right hand man, was kind of a security person.
One of the standouts of this episode was of course the interrogation, where Mike perfectly handled Hank and Gomez (Steven Michael Quezada). It proved a great scene and showed great and intimidating work by Jonathan Banks. But of course just when you think that Mike has the upper hand, Hank and co. flip the situation. They know his name, they know what he did and they know his grandkids.
Mike’s assault towards the end was good, not only in direction but it also showcased how great Banks is in the show. Every single frame of the episode, he was on top of his game. We found out that Lydia hired an assassin to kill the names of the list, including Mike. Let’s just say what happens afterwards is subtle and fantastic, amplified by the great cinematography, the standout direction, Gilligan’s scrip and Banks’ performance.
While the last 10 minutes remained tense, unsettling and hinted at things to come, especially Mike now becoming part of Walt’s group. But the last shot (a great long continuous take) wonderfully performed by Bryan Cranston and Anna Gunn just show how uncomfortable the situation has become for Skyler and Walt.
Oscar Garza may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.