Wow the 4th season of Breaking Bad grabs your attention from the get-go and is not about to let go.
Not that the previous seasons were lacking, but man, the current season is definitely not for the faint of heart. If "it's hard out there for a pimp" it is downright calamitous for meth cooks and anyone involved in their lives.
Soft-spoken and seemingly mild mannered Gustavo 'Gus' Fring will put the fear of god in you. Gus will slaughter a man just to make a point, with the same ease and skill that he would butcher chickens for his Los Pollos Hermanos restaurant franchises. Brilliantly chilling performance by Giancarlo Esposito.
Matching Gus stare for frigid glare is Jonathan Banks' hit-man Mike. Mike is very good at what he does. Nothing personal, it's just a job.
Skyler White---just when i was ready to not like you, given your behavior in previous seasons---you have turned into one bad mamma-jamma. Taking the 'if you can't beat them join them' mind-set, Anna Gunn's Skyler has embraced her inner moll---taking care of business and her man.
Skyler's sister Marie. Gotta say i was never too keen on this character, but Betsy Brandt's performance is so heartbreaking i can't help but find her endearing. Poor Marie, she's always had issues [kleptomania for one] but now she's dealing with her husband's paralysis, on top of just the day to day quirks that can sometimes make a relationship more burden than bliss. Lately Marie's life doesn't have much bliss. i feel sad for her. Marie is taking the "in sickness and in health" part of the marriage vow to a gold standard level. i'm hoping the writers will get her involved in a support group because the stress of dealing with Hank is manifesting it's self in extremely unhealthy behavior.
Hank, Hank, Hank. Yes you've been dealt a really crappy hand. And P.T. is beyond hard. You're understandably frustrated and your only joy right now is purchasing rocks er i'm sorry minerals. But your hobby has become a self-destructive and cash depleting obsession. Not to mention your passive-aggressive emotionally abusive behavior toward Marie. Dean Norris is doing a terrific job. Hank is infuriating but you can't help but want something good to happen for the guy. Looks like studying chemist Gale's notebook, and helping his former law enforcement mates might be just what he needs.
A show that has as much heaviness as Breaking Bad needs an occasional comedic release. Thank goodness for attorney Saul Goodman. Bob Odenkirk's Saul is ridiculous and brings balance to what could otherwise be dreary. Ditto Jesse's pals Badger and Skinny Pete
Last, but by no means least, we have Walt and Jesse. Walt's cook yields the purist meth Gus distributes. But even that skill does not guarantee security. Ah the irony. Long before he met Gus, it was to insure security for his family and himself, that caused Walt to make the choice to get involved in the business of making meth in the first place. Now Walt can no longer deny the catastrophic and fatal consequences of that decision. Walt is a bad-ass but he is no longer the baddest ass. Bryan Cranston's performance is as pure as 'Heisenberg's' glass.
Jesse has seen horrors that would be hard for anyone to deal with even if they weren't trying to stay sober. Now he's not just had a slip, he's jumped off the wagon, grabbing the hands of his buds Badger & Skinny Pete & pulling them along with him. Jesse is a hybrid---an enabler and an addict. And Aaron Paul's performance is flawless.
Breaking Bad airs Sundays at 10:00pm est on AMC Please check your local listings.