'Breaking Bad' recap: Ep 3 Hazard Pay
Published: Monday, July 30, 2012
Updated: Friday, May 17, 2013 12:05
Breaking Bad’s third and excellent episode, “Hazard Pay” written by Peter Gould and directed by Adam Bernstein, sought to address the issue that Walt and company have dealt with throughout the season—where to find a new place to cook.
In the opening teaser, Mike (Jonathan Banks) is visiting some of his guys who were working for him under Gus’ empire. He is there to offer Dennis, now a prisoner, a new opportunity. Then we return to the White home and get a glimpse at Skyler’s (Anna Gunn) reaction when Walt says he might be moving in. Her reaction was, to put it in simple terms, terrifying. At this point it’s safe to say that Skyler feels terrified of Walter and what he has become. Gunn portrays that terror fantastically well. This, at the end of the episode, really takes a toll on her.
Walt and Mike’s reactions while disagreeing over different plans were interesting to see in this episode. In one scene at the beginning Mike says that he handles the business and Walt responds, “and I handle him.” Yet another confirmation that Walt is in that dark side and he isn’t afraid to show who is in charge with a sense of complete authority.
Throughout the season, “Breaking Bad” has shown more of its sarcastic dark humor, and this episode was no exception to that. Just the idea of Walt, Jesse (Aaron Paul), Saul (Bob Odenkirk) and Mike looking for a new place to cook was darkly hilarious. They almost treated it as if they were shopping for a new house. And while Walt’s idea of pretending to be pesticide employees (“Vamonos Pest”) was somewhat skeptical at first, Gould, the creative team and Cranston sold it. It was completely plausible and after seeing the execution of it, it would make a very interesting dynamic this season, but better yet it makes complete sense. It also brought up just the perverse aspect of them cooking inside another person’s house; the idea of them creating this drug inside a nice family home just spoke to how dark and twisted “Breaking Bad” is not afraid of getting.
One of the episode’s many outstanding dialogue sequences was of course the meeting between Walt and Brock. Andrea arrives at Jesse’s house with Brock and as he sits down so does Walt. This moment was almost unbearable in its tension as Walt slowly looks at Brock and almost gives him the why-are-you-still-alive look. It was truly a tense moment in an already tense episode that had plenty of tense conversations.
But one of the highlights was Walt and Jesse’s intimate discussion about Jesse's relationship with Andrea. It allowed them to think about their personal lives; how Jesse not wanting to tell anything to Andrea differentiates him from Walt.
Overall, this episode continued to showcase Breaking Bad’s storytelling at its finest, quickly setting up the rest of the season: including the dynamics between characters and how Walt and company will cook, in other words, start a new empire. With another batch of great performances, character moments and beautifully directed and scripted moments, so far “Breaking Bad” is firing on all cylinders. After three excellent episodes, the buildup for the endgame continues in this incredibly promising final season.
Oscar Garza may be reached email@example.com.