Monday, May 24, 2010

Walt & Jesse: Chemical Bonds are hard to Break

If you hadn't noticed, last night was a pretty wild TV night. There was the Series Finale of Lost (a show I have still never seen) and the Season Finale of Family Guy. There was Yankees/Mets and NBA Western Conference Finals.

There was the up and coming Treme' - created by David Simon, who is the brains behind Homicide - the best-ever network TV drama and The Wire - the best-ever overall TV drama. And Treme' is off to a great start with it's gritty, authentic look at New Orleans through the sound (and lots of subtext) from the music. But it's only a few episodes in.

Breaking Bad, the ultimate can't miss-TV has been ramping up the intensity in every episode of its 3rd season: complete with drug cartels, assassination attempts, law enforcement brutality, divorce, lies, more lies, and lots of money.


But last night's episode took a break from all of that, and returned to the very soul of the show. And from the previews last week you could see it coming. The "scenes for next week" contained only our two main characters: Walt and Jesse - and they were in a lab.

While circumstances boil around them, it is the "chemistry" between Walt and Jesse that made and continues to make the show what it is. And last night was a return to that.

It was so reminiscent of the previous seasons when the two mis-matched partners were cooking meth in the RV in the desert for their lives. Now they're both millionaires, cooking in a state-of-the-art chemical lab behind the curtain of a powerhouse wholesaler. But at the core, their relationship is the same.

The two may bicker and fight, but they also share their deepest feelings and regrets, things they would never tell another human being. They solve problems. They take turns being the reckless one or the irresponsible one. They're co-dependent. They're soulmates.

Just to surmise: A 50-year old high school chemistry teach gets a cancer diagnosis that is essentially a death sentence. He finds by happenstance a junkie, drop-out former student of his who shows him the ropes in the world of methamphetamine manufacturing and distribution. They catch the eye of the southwest's number one kingpin, who makes them both very, very rich.

As Walt ("Mr. White" as Jesse still calls him) would say, "sub-atomic particles that are constantly in random collision. Science dictates this." So what are the odds? They're astronomical, incalculable.

But as the money piles up, their problems get deeper and more complicated, and get more and more tangled in the web they have woven.

The fly, the "contaminant" they were trying to kill in the lab was a metaphor. They killed the fly which enabled them to complete their work, their quota. But don't worry, there will be a new fly in the ointment soon enough. The mathematical probabilities dictate it as a certainty.

No comments:

Post a Comment