Walt goes into a self-imposed exile as solutions fly out the window, while Jesse helplessly attempts to escape from Uncle Jack’s nightmarish agony-fair. Meanwhile, as the White family suffer the aftermath of the investigation, Lydia and Todd rise as the new rulers of the blue empire.
THE CRYSTALLINE KING
Having fallen from the powerful, intimidating kingpin who gloriously rose as Gus’s successor, to a faint shell of his former self, desperately trying to plan his way out of his self-made cage, with an exponential decay disintegrating the remnants of his existence, Walt once again becomes the lonely man from the beginning of the series who had lost the will to live . I bet Mike’s final words of wisdom ring in his ears everyday “All of this, falling apart like this is on you! We had everything we needed and it all ran like clockwork…but no, you just had to blow it up! You and your pride and your ego…”; if only he hadn’t bought another lottery ticket and stayed out of the business…
Similar to Walt, Saul is too forced into oblivion, with a clean slate. The man who had deliberately made himself a part of the team from the very start after being seduced by imagining the immense profits of the meth business, who wanted to be Heisenberg’s Tom Hagan, has to leave the glamour, the witty remarks and above all, those colorful shirts behind. I love how in this season, with each episode, Bob Odenkirk downplays Saul’s wonderful extravagance a bit, until here that we see him probably at his most cheerless. And of course he offers the best, most logical advice once again; the only way Walt could save his family from facing hardships would be to give himself up in a final act of redemption. But of course, Walt’s arrogance gets in the way…
Robert Forster as “Ed” the vacuum cleaner repairman or, the disappearer we’d heard about all this time is a great addition to this amazing penultimate episode. He shines in the scenes and his performance perfectly fits the serene atmosphere of Walt’s side of the story. The cabin scenes in New Hampshire played out marvelously. It felt like you were watching the first half of a captivating mystery flick. This new cold scenery also fits Walt’s inability to find a way out, figuratively and literally, and the theme of repentance. Consistent, profound writing in “Granite state” once again proves that taking characters out of their context works magic. For one thing it improved the quality of the plot even further by creating new conflicts and challenges for Walt and Jesse.
We also realize how Walt’s downfall has affected Skyler and Junior, as they’re both enduring shame and humility, having to watch over their shoulders round every corner. Same goes for Marie, who appears distant, as a fleeting shadow of herself. It would have been better if we’d actually seen some of the TV coverage on the manhunt, as in the aftermath of the Wayfarer incident (3.01). From Walt’s side, not seeing the entire media frenzy makes perfect sense as he’s spent months disconnected from the world, only keeping newspaper clippings (a nice visual touch, by the way). However, since we actually follow Skyler’s story to an extent as well, I guess we could have seen a bit more of it from her point of view as well.
Next: “The Crystalline King” (Cont.)