The marketing tagline for “Breaking Bad’s” fourth season was “Walt is not in danger. He is the danger.”
Going into Sunday’s (Aug. 21) episode, “Cornered,” it seems fair to ask, “A danger to whom?” The strain Walt (Bryan Cranston) has been under over the first five episodes this season has been unrelenting, and it doesn’t get any easier in this week’s show. A few things to look out for and keep in mind as you watch:
Seriously, a danger to whom?: Walt actually utters the line “I am the danger” at one point in the episode, but we’re really starting to wonder if he realizes how over his head he is. His drunken ramblings in last week’s episode give way to another reckless act in this one. Add to that his continuing tone-deafness in the way he treats Jesse (Aaron Paul), and it feels like the deck is stacked more and more against him.
The family dynamic is strained: It’s also becoming clear that the
lie Walt and Skyler (Anna Gunn) constructed about Walt’s money didn’t really take
Walter Jr. (RJ Mitte) into account. “Cornered” features a good amount of
White family scenes, and to say things are a little uncomfortable is to
Gus’ plan for Jesse: The robbery ruse that Gus (Giancarlo Esposito) had Mike (Jonathan Banks) orchestrate in “Shotgun” seems to have worked even better than he might have thought. Jesse is at least partly aware of what Gus is doing — keeping him away from using — and you’ll see more of the Jesse-Mike pairing this week, leading to some interesting results. So while that’s gong well …
The big picture is still muddy: Mike’s dispatching of the goons who tried to rob a shipment last week has evidently not caused anyone to back off. Is Gus being outmatched, or is he running a longer game?
There hasn’t really been a bum episode of “Breaking Bad” yet this season, but “Cornered” is right up with the best of the lot so far. It airs at 10 p.m. ET Sunday on AMC.