The slow pace and solemn mood of this episode mirrored Walt's life as he pondered what to do after the awful events that ended season two of Breaking Bad.
At the end of last season things looked bleak for Walt. Rival meth dealers were becoming a problem as Jesse, his partner, was hooked on drugs himself. What is more Jane, Jesse's girlfriend, died of a drug overdose. And it gets worse. Donald, Jane's father, was an air traffic controller and he was so distraught over her death that it seems he was responsible for a mid-air collision over Albuquerque that killed nearly 200 people. The whole city appears traumatized now.
Walt's personal life is not much better. His wife, Skyler, wants a divorce and she knows that he's making and selling meth. In addition to all of these problems Walt's brother-in-law is a Drug Enforcement Agent who's unit is closing in on him.
So what does Walt decide to do as he sits in a hotel room, estranged from his family? He makes the fateful decision to stop producing meth. I bet this will be easier for Walt to say than do. Gus, his major buyer, did not seem happy about Walt ending production. Gus asked for just three more month's worth of production but Walt still said no.
Something tells me this is just the beginning of a whole new set of problems for Walt. Those two mean hombres have left a wake of destruction as they appear to be heading straight to Walt's front door.
An anti-hero like Walt needs some redeeming quality in order to have viewers relate to him. With Walt that quality is his love for his family. He made drugs because he had terminal cancer and he wanted to provide for his wife and children, something which his low-paying teaching job made difficult. I like that the producers and writers are taking his family away from him and yet he is still motivated by them. Walt is losing his family because of the drugs so he is giving them up to try to keep his family. However I am worried that the story will become a bit predictable, that while he wants out of the drug business events and situations will keep him in it - and away from his family.
So while this first episode of the third season may have seemed a tad slow to develop, Breaking Bad is laying the ground work for some serious drama later on and I intend to stick around to see what happens.
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You can watch full episodes of Breaking Bad online at the official AMC website. Full episodes are not available on Hulu but they are available on OnDemand.