TV Review: Breaking Bad—”Gliding Over All”

“GLIDING o’er all, through all, Through Nature, Time, and Space, As a ship on the waters advancing, The voyage of the soul–not life alone, Death, many deaths I’ll sing.” —Walt Whitman, Gliding Over All

A popular motif this entire season has been the idea that one can only go so far without being brought down.  In particular, we have Walter White’s speech to Jesse at the end of Hazard Pay, in which Walt referenced the Greek figure Icarus.  In the myth, Icarus’ father, Daedalus, constructed him an elaborate pair of wings so he could escape from the island Crete.  Daedalus warned Icarus not to fly too close to the sun, due to the fact that his feather and wax wings would melt.  But over confident in his abilities, Icarus did anyways.  And doing so caused his death.

BreakingBad Jesse

Is Walter White flying too close to the sun?  Yes, very much so.  Here, we see him do things that five seasons ago would have appaled him to no end.  We see him organize a mass murder.  Dispose of a former partner’s body.  And a bounty full of other things.  For Walt, he can do these things because just who the hell would stop him?  But there’s always a sun out there, waiting for you to get high enough to burn—and be brought back down to reality.

In this episode, we finally see that happen with Walter White.  At the end of the episode, he visits Jesse to reminisce about “the old days.”  He finally observes the massive amount of money he has, of which even Skylar has no idea what to do with it.  And after months of cooking, he realizes that he has built his “empire”, that he can finally quit and have his family back.  But it was too late.  He already flew to close to the sun.  

The last scene of this week’s Breaking Bad is arguably the turning point of the entire series.  Hank, who’s been mere steps behind Walt this entire series, has finally put two and two together.  He finally knows who his “Heisenberg” is.  What will Hank do now that the truth is in the palm of his hand?  Who knows (although something tells me he won’t be exactly eager to reveal the secret, due to what happened with the former ASAC of the DEA).  But now, we’re finally set up for the final season.  And if Season 6 will truly be Walt vs. Hank, I can’t wait to see the sparks fly.

Score: 8.5 out of 10

BreakingBad WaltWaits

Loose Ends:

The only reason I gave this episode a lower score than usual is due to the fast pace of it all.  At least three months are summarized in montage, which is something Breaking Bad has never really done before.  Time is just moving a little two fast for my liking.

-The show delivered probably the two bests montages it has ever done, though.  The first one in particular was fucking amazing, and one of the most brutal scenes I’ve ever seen on a cable TV show.

-The fact that Hank found out about Walt’s identity whilst taking a shit is so low key it’s brilliant.  We all expected some big The Usual  Suspects-esque moment, but what we got was the exact opposite.  Loved it.

-Has Walt really turned over a new leaf?  I don’t know, but it sure was fun to see him and Skylar be happy again, even if it will just be for a moment.

-I have no idea what Breaking Bad is going to do with Jesse next season.  Seems like the focus will really be shifting to Walt and his family drama.  Hopefully he’ll have something of purpose to do, other than kill Walt, that is.

-Well, we’re officially done with this season of Breaking Bad.  Even though this season hasn’t been perfect, I’m still super sad to see it go so quickly.  One year folks.  One year, and the final season of Breaking Bad will really begin.

—Matthew