Breaking Bad's Fifty One, revulsion and contempt a perfect storm, thoughts
By April MacIntyre Aug 6, 2012, 5:01 GMT
Contempt and revulsion are what\'s become of "Breaking Bad" for Skyler, who finally snaps in taught, claustrophobic scenes and lays it out for Walt tonight, hurry up and die already.
Do not read unless you've seen Season 5, Episode 4 of AMC's "Breaking Bad," "Fifty One," Sunday's episode of "Breaking Bad."
Walt's (Bryan Cranston) hubris is an unseen cancer that has consumed his marriage to wife Skyler, convincing him that he can control everyone in his life, whether it's Jesse, Mike or Skyler.
Contempt and revulsion are what's become of "Breaking Bad" for Skyler, who finally snaps in taught, claustrophobic scenes as she lays it out for Walt tonight: Hurry up and die already.
Anna Gunn (Skyler) has turned in an outstanding body of work this entire series and this season she is on fire. Her family in danger. Gunn's Skyler is a maestro of body language that reveals her despair at the slow death of Walter White, her once loved husband who has turned into a murderous bully.
For his 51st birthday, her wish is for Walt's cancer to come back and take this new construct of her husband away from the family. Walt of course is in salesman mode. When talking to her about a gunpoint scenario where a man wished him dead, he says, "He changed his mind about me, Skyler. And so will you."
"Fifty-One" is loaded with visual and dialogue references to past events — to the Heisenberg hat, the car, a past birthday surprise party Walt didn't want and then the intimate birthday dinner that leads to Skyler's meltdown.
The dinner party culminates with Walt's speech to Marie and Hank about kicking cancer to the curb with Skyler's help, and the truth of all his nefarious doings is swept under the bathroom mat where he rested his head in Skyler's lap, according to his reveries. This blatant whitewashing of course sends Skyler into the drink, literally.
Skyler in the pool is framed in a halo of light around her, as she looks serene and ready to go until Walt leaps in, then the imagery is cut away in a second. This scene is exemplary from a DP's standpoint and one of the many reasons this series is head and shoulders better than anything on the air. The series is full of cinematic excellence that should be commended for all the below the line craftspeople on the show.
Jesse (Aaron Paul) buys Walt a wristwatch, the sound it makes, a tick-tick-ticking- foreshadows the pending demise of Walt, either by cancer or his trade.
Phenomenal episode in a season that is building a tremendous landscape of troubles for all looming.