Breaking Bad – “Hazard Pay” Review
This week on Breaking Bad’s first half of the 5th season we get an episode that doesn’t include a dramatic scene or a breathtaking moment. This time around we get to see a lighter more straightforward approach on the building of a meth organization. It was another great episode in what is turning out to be another awesome season in this series. *Spoilers Ahead*
Gus Fringe’s dead has given our protagonist a lot to deal with, this isn’t a surprise as we must expect this kind of developments after the head of an organized crime empire collapses. Walter White now seems a little bit more relaxed and has to think that he has everything he need in order to become the next kingpin of the local Meth Mafia. He already recruited all the elements we’ve expected in Saul, Jesse and Mike and we can expect things to get heated between this four from here to the end of this half of the season. Jesse has been a specialist in ticking Walt off, and it won’t be a surprise if he happens to do that again. What we learned this episode is what Mike is able to do to get Walter’s attention. He respects that he is a pro in what he does, but he is not buying in to everything he does. If Walt chose Mike to continue with them in this new business venture its because he knows exactly what Gus was doing in order to be successful. The problem lies in how Walt views himself. His ego is at an all time high and now believes that everything he does is the only way to do it. He doesn’t have a single drop of humility in his blood anymore. Even Jesse seems to be more empathic and understanding than the more mature Walt.
The episode starts off a little bit weak. We later learn that the opening scenes were Mike dealing with associates of Gus that were caught in the aftermath of Fringe’s death. Later on Mike, explains to Walt that these people have to get paid in order for them to keep quite. Walt doesn’t like this and suggests to Jesse that Mike maybe getting to near the fire and could get killed. Walt’s evil thoughts are way more obvious and frequent than before. When we thought we were getting a nice soft friendly moment between him and Jesse we learn what he really wants to get out of him. He knows that the little kid he poisoned last season may have a clue of who did it, and the only way to get him out of the way without killing him is if he convinces Jesse to end his relationship. He does, hinting that not only does he trust Walt more than ever, but that Jesse himself is even more in to the business than before. Jesse already suffered a loss because of this but also knows that this is the only thing that will give him the kind of money he is getting in order for him to exit this lifestyle soon and settle down with someone with the tranquility of economic safety.
We also get to see Skyler breakdown in front of Marie. This sets up another of Walt’s lies as he tells Marie that Skyler had an affair with Ted and thats why she went berserk. I can tell that Skyler will eventually be Walt’s downfall, its pretty obvious by now. And i’m thinking that this will happen sooner than later, probably by this half of the season’s end. The way Mike, Saul, Jesse and Walt set up their new business with the plague company was brilliant, it all made so much sense and gave it a sense of fun. I was smiling the whole time as we saw Walt and Jesse cook their first batch of meth in a while inside that house. It was fun. Another scene that was pretty funny and well thought out was the one of Skinny Pete and Badger at what seemed to be a Guitar Center store buying the gear needed to transport the mobile lab. It was cool to see that Skinny Pete is a good piano player, it gave him another layer that wasn’t expected out of him. Nice touch.
Hazard Pay gave us many hints of what is becoming of Walt. He is downright evil by this point and he doesn’t have a clear reason in his mind of why he is doing it; it all seems pretty normal for him. Skyler is awfully scared of him and he doesn’t have a clue of it. He was having a blast watching Scarface (what a good way to promote this week’s feature of mafia by AMC) with Walter Jr without knowing the implications this had on Skyler’s mind. We also got to see what Walt things of his associates. He doesn’t care for them one bit and we know that he can kill any of them at any moment, he has now become a full time drug lord, a genuine bad guy. As for Mike, look for him to be a step ahead of Walt and evade any possible retaliation by him.