The Moth Chase

Elevating the Art of Procrastanalysis – Academics wasting time on pop culture

Archive for August 2012

Say My Name

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Breaking Bad, Mike, Walt, Say My Name,

Dear Bryan,

I’m not going to pull a Walt here and make you say thank you for having pointed out for the last several episodes that we were headed to this dark conclusion. A gun in the hand, or within the reach of Walt’s hand, was clearly headed in one direction. But did it really come down to such a seemingly small case of wounded pride? And what do you make of what seemed to be fear, panic, and regret in Walt and Mike’s final moments?
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I’m in the empire business.

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Starting at the beginning, I love how Breaking Bad is never willing to gloss over the details of the aftermath. I think a lot of shows would have said, “And then, they got rid of the evidence.” Instead we got to see a beautifully haunting and detailed deconstruction of the motor bike. The scene was full of details like slicing the hand grips off of the handle bars and sawing the wheels in half to fit them in the barrel. And the haunting sound design of only non-diegetic music floating around was really wonderful. Did you think that Walt actually showed some real remorse during the cold open? I thought there were moments when his face looked like he actually was bothered by what had happened. Then in the next scene we get to hear how he has already rationalized himself into believing that Todd probably did the right thing. Walt has really toned his rationalization reflex muscles. Read the rest of this entry »

It’s always darkest before the dawn.

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“It’s always darkest before the dawn.” Hank says this to Walt in an attempt to console him about his marriage with Skyler. But, if you read it as a foreshadowing about what is coming, this episode takes a quick turn towards the darkness. It gets damn dark. Todd has shown initiative to help out the operation. He sought to impress Walt by telling him about the nanny-cam in the house they are about to cook in. And in an attempt to impress Walt and Jesse with quick thinking about keeping the heist a secret, Todd decides to shoot the little boy who sees the end of the heist. I wonder how Walt and Mike are going to react to this terrible situation. Read the rest of this entry »

Nothing stops this train

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Breaking Bad Watch Nightstand S05E04

So, Skylar’s slow burn finally paid off this week. And in wonderful fashion. Round 1 didn’t really have a winner; it mostly just had both sides laying all the cards on the table (analogy 1: cards/poker). Skylar openly admits that her best plan is to suffer through Walt’s mania, trying to keep the kids as far from him as possible, and waiting for Walt’s cancer to resurface and kill or debilitate him. Her strategy is to take as many blows for as many rounds as possible and then strike when her opponent is too weak to retaliate like Muhammad Ali (analogy 2: boxing). This is a terrible thought to Walt because cancer must seem like something that could actually slow him down. But, he sure does seem confident that no other person could threaten his reign as Lord White of Downton Crystal. He believes that he is always a move ahead of his competitor, calling all of Skylar’s potential, future moves (analogy 3: chess). Read the rest of this entry »