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Old July 23 2012, 08:06 PM   #46
Robert Maxwell
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Re: Breaking Bad - Season 5

Hank might lack faith in the DEA's ability to break the encryption because there are some kinds of encryption you just can't break. There are some that are impossible to brute force in anything resembling a realistic timeframe.
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Old July 23 2012, 08:09 PM   #47
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Re: Breaking Bad - Season 5

Agent Richard07 wrote: View Post
Mike is tough, but he's just a thug, not Walt's spiritual adversary. That goes role to Jesse or maybe Hank.
Yes, but in the end it's all about being badass. Mike is badass.
In principle the writers could be writing, say, antihero vs. antivillain. But those Magic Moments (such as when Gus simultaneously poisoned an entire group of people or when Walt somehow poisoned a child he didn't know or have access to) given to the protagonists indicate the enormous emphasis on badassery. If that's what the show is ultimately about, Walt should get the win. Enjoying our badass heroes' antics, then feeling nicer because we get to moralize when he gets the axe at the very end, is a tacky cliche.

The real kick in the ass for Walt would be to see someone else redeemed, proving that he didn't have to ruin himself morally. But I'm pretty sure that's not going to happen either.
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Old July 23 2012, 08:36 PM   #48
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Re: Breaking Bad - Season 5

Who's the woman - Gus' wife?

I love it when Hollywood shows/movies have german speakers who are actually natives, although the testing guy was clearly Swiss.

Also not sure if Mike made a mistake. He needs the money, he wants to care for his family. When he declined he still thought he was set, now he's not, so the risk is worth it again.
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Old July 23 2012, 08:38 PM   #49
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Re: Breaking Bad - Season 5

stj wrote: View Post
Agent Richard07 wrote: View Post
Mike is tough, but he's just a thug, not Walt's spiritual adversary. That goes role to Jesse or maybe Hank.
Yes, but in the end it's all about being badass. Mike is badass.
In principle the writers could be writing, say, antihero vs. antivillain. But those Magic Moments (such as when Gus simultaneously poisoned an entire group of people or when Walt somehow poisoned a child he didn't know or have access to) given to the protagonists indicate the enormous emphasis on badassery. If that's what the show is ultimately about, Walt should get the win. Enjoying our badass heroes' antics, then feeling nicer because we get to moralize when he gets the axe at the very end, is a tacky cliche.

The real kick in the ass for Walt would be to see someone else redeemed, proving that he didn't have to ruin himself morally. But I'm pretty sure that's not going to happen either.
Whether Walt comes out on top in the end will depend on whether Vince Gilligan considers his story universe a moral one. If it's a moral universe, then bad people get what's coming to them. If not, bad guys get away with what they do, and if they are ever punished, it's mere coincidence.

I admit that one of the more interesting threads in this show has been the contrast between Walt and Jesse. Jesse has developed a conscience, while Walt's been systematically destroying his own.
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Old July 23 2012, 08:39 PM   #50
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Re: Breaking Bad - Season 5

Robert Maxwell wrote: View Post
Hank might lack faith in the DEA's ability to break the encryption because there are some kinds of encryption you just can't break. There are some that are impossible to brute force in anything resembling a realistic timeframe.
Isn't it possible to have the files deleted automatically if someone tries to get into it? If it is, then I wouldn't be surprised if Gus set it up that way.
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Old July 23 2012, 08:50 PM   #51
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Re: Breaking Bad - Season 5

sidious618 wrote: View Post
Robert Maxwell wrote: View Post
Hank might lack faith in the DEA's ability to break the encryption because there are some kinds of encryption you just can't break. There are some that are impossible to brute force in anything resembling a realistic timeframe.
Isn't it possible to have the files deleted automatically if someone tries to get into it? If it is, then I wouldn't be surprised if Gus set it up that way.
There are a lot of ways to accomplish something like that.

One is if the system requires a decryption key to be entered within a certain length of time after boot. If the key is not entered in time, the drive begins to overwrite all data with random 1s and 0s. This is semi-effective, but can be terminated if the analyst realizes what's happening and simply cuts power. It takes a few rewrites to permanently destroy the original data.

A more volatile method would be to pack some plastic explosive with metallic dust inside the drive casing, tied to a hardware trigger/switch. If the switch is ever set off (say, by someone entering the wrong key, or attempting to physically disassemble the computer), the plastique is ignited, sending tiny bits of metal all over the platters, making them damn near impossible to read.

But really, the most effective method is just using very strong encryption that can't be broken in a practical amount of time. Fourteen rounds of AES-256 is unbreakable within the age of the universe, so that's "good enough" to keep the government from ever reading something you've encrypted with it.

Ideally, an effective encryption system is invisible to someone searching for encrypted data. Why encrypt the entire disk when having the data spread among numerous "temporary"-looking files lets it hide in plain sight?

Generally speaking, TV writers haven't the first clue about encryption, namely by assuming you either encrypt everything or nothing at all, and that all encryption is breakable in a reasonable amount of time. In reality, someone who knows what they're doing can encrypt to a degree that is impossible to break in any practical sense. That's where less ethical authorities bring in the "rubber hose" decryption method.
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Old July 23 2012, 08:52 PM   #52
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Re: Breaking Bad - Season 5

Wow, that's pretty interesting. I'd imagine if Gus didn't know all that then he at least knew someone who did. He's a pretty capable guy, after all.
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Old July 23 2012, 08:59 PM   #53
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Re: Breaking Bad - Season 5

Anybody can do the sort of encryption I'm talking about with free, rather user-friendly tools. TrueCrypt is perhaps the most well-known.
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Old July 23 2012, 11:14 PM   #54
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Re: Breaking Bad - Season 5

Robert Maxwell wrote: View Post
I admit that one of the more interesting threads in this show has been the contrast between Walt and Jesse. Jesse has developed a conscience, while Walt's been systematically destroying his own.
My perspective on this is that it's more than just a thread. It has been the entire counterbalance of the show. The show is called Breaking Bad. Walt, the lead, has been breaking (Steering toward) badness throughout, schmuck teacher into Scarface. Jesse, the foil, is essentially meeting Walt on the same road, traveling in the opposite direction, from worthless junkie & drug dealer, to being heroic

Mike is badass, yes, & Walt tries desperately to be, which makes him unstable & Mike knows it, but Mike is OLD, ok? He's old, injured, broke, & desperate too. In the end he spared the woman because he's desperate to find a way out of this, for all of them, especially her daughter, & his grand daughter, & against his better judgement. It's probably going to be his undoing

Jesse is not weak. Watch his reaction to Gus murdering Victor with the box cutter. Walt looks like he might puke. Jesse doesn't even bat an eyelash, & gives Gus a hardcore stare down. Not weak. He is naive, & at his core he is a good person, which we've been witnessing the emergence of. He is only weak looking when he is required to be villainous or when reflecting on having been so, unlike Walt, who doesn't even care that he poisoned a little boy. He is surely more dangerous than Jesse, but Walt is weaker than Jesse. Of the two, which do you recall begging for their life? Not Jesse

Mike wishes Jesse would wise up & see Walt for what he truly is, dangerous & unscrupulous, because Walt's influence is hazardous to them all. Walt needs Jesse, but Jesse won't remain naive forever, & I suspect the final showdown is Jesse finally understanding that he is meant to be a good person, & in order for that to happened he has to put down Walt once & for all, because no one else will be left who can do it

Unless they throw us a curveball & have Skylar kill Walt, or let Walt live. Either of those would surprise me though

As for Hank. He's really just a supporting character. He hasn't even been as integral as Mike in the past couple seasons. He'll get deep into this eventually, & find out all about Walt & whatever they do with that story arc will be interesting, but I seriously doubt he'll be the one to put down Walt

Not good enough. Having Jesse come to the point where he must be the one to do it is fully epic
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Old July 24 2012, 02:16 AM   #55
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Re: Breaking Bad - Season 5

Hank couldn't know all that stuff about encryption, especially not after merely glancing at the laptop. And the writers may not know either.

The intent was just to foreshadow the irony of Walt's downfall being precipitated by something that wasn't necessary anyway - which would be in line with the philosophy that if bad guys are punished, it's just a coincidence or a cosmic joke.
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Old July 24 2012, 05:43 AM   #56
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Re: Breaking Bad - Season 5

Robert Maxwell wrote: View Post
Anybody can do the sort of encryption I'm talking about with free, rather user-friendly tools. TrueCrypt is perhaps the most well-known.
That's amazing. Now if only I had anything worth encrypting.
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Old July 24 2012, 01:27 PM   #57
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Re: Breaking Bad - Season 5

Got around to seeing this last night. Great episode. I think we've seen Mike's first major mistake, though. He knows Walt is a time bomb--said so himself--but is now going to work with him, presumably for the sake of the money. This will not end well!
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Old July 24 2012, 05:53 PM   #58
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Re: Breaking Bad - Season 5

Quoting in full because it's so well said.
Mojochi wrote: View Post
Robert Maxwell wrote: View Post
I admit that one of the more interesting threads in this show has been the contrast between Walt and Jesse. Jesse has developed a conscience, while Walt's been systematically destroying his own.
My perspective on this is that it's more than just a thread. It has been the entire counterbalance of the show. The show is called Breaking Bad. Walt, the lead, has been breaking (Steering toward) badness throughout, schmuck teacher into Scarface. Jesse, the foil, is essentially meeting Walt on the same road, traveling in the opposite direction, from worthless junkie & drug dealer, to being heroic

Mike is badass, yes, & Walt tries desperately to be, which makes him unstable & Mike knows it, but Mike is OLD, ok? He's old, injured, broke, & desperate too. In the end he spared the woman because he's desperate to find a way out of this, for all of them, especially her daughter, & his grand daughter, & against his better judgement. It's probably going to be his undoing

Jesse is not weak. Watch his reaction to Gus murdering Victor with the box cutter. Walt looks like he might puke. Jesse doesn't even bat an eyelash, & gives Gus a hardcore stare down. Not weak. He is naive, & at his core he is a good person, which we've been witnessing the emergence of. He is only weak looking when he is required to be villainous or when reflecting on having been so, unlike Walt, who doesn't even care that he poisoned a little boy. He is surely more dangerous than Jesse, but Walt is weaker than Jesse. Of the two, which do you recall begging for their life? Not Jesse

Mike wishes Jesse would wise up & see Walt for what he truly is, dangerous & unscrupulous, because Walt's influence is hazardous to them all. Walt needs Jesse, but Jesse won't remain naive forever, & I suspect the final showdown is Jesse finally understanding that he is meant to be a good person, & in order for that to happened he has to put down Walt once & for all, because no one else will be left who can do it

Unless they throw us a curveball & have Skylar kill Walt, or let Walt live. Either of those would surprise me though

As for Hank. He's really just a supporting character. He hasn't even been as integral as Mike in the past couple seasons. He'll get deep into this eventually, & find out all about Walt & whatever they do with that story arc will be interesting, but I seriously doubt he'll be the one to put down Walt

Not good enough. Having Jesse come to the point where he must be the one to do it is fully epic
From your mouth to Vince Gilligan's ears.

I wish I thought that was where the end was going. But remember the greatest moments?

When Jesse single-handedly goes up against the two dealers responsible for killing a child, the cool climax is Walt mowing them down with a car.

Sure, Jesse wasn't intimidated by Fring cutting Victor's throat. Doesn't matter, because Fring's badassery was the coolest season opener yet.

In one way Jesse's most heroic moment was really opening up in therapy, almost to the point of confessing. (You remember the scene.) Walt's most heroic moment might be throwing little nitroglycerine bombs to awe Raymond Cruz's gangster.

Jesse didn't flinch facing Fring? Jesse had his gun to Walt's head leaving an imprint (a touch stolen from ER but still good, not used up yet,) not just standing firm, but taking control of Jesse. Considering that he had collapsed into hysterics just hours (in universe,) that is a truly awesome comeback, something that casts any of Jesse's heroics into the shade. It's much harder to pick yourself back up, after all.

There's a reason Giancarlo Esposition is nominated for best supporting actor, and I venture to predict that if Breaking Bad has a supporting actor Emmy, it'll have Esposito's name on it.

I think you should be right, and I wish you were right.

But it seems that they've left things hanging a little too long, and, like Dexter, have committed themselves, even to the point of contradicting the good things they've already done. It's all over but the shouting (and the weeping) and a good portion of this is going to be Walt, not just stepping into Fring's shoes, but conquering his own empire. Don't get more badass than that.

PS The ricin is a Chekhov's gun. They got away with its non-use being a pivotal part of the plot (very clever!) once. But it's really got to poison somebody this time.
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Old July 24 2012, 11:11 PM   #59
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Re: Breaking Bad - Season 5

Well, either it poisons somebody -- or its discovery ends up implicating Walt somehow. It's going to reappear in some capacity.
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Old July 30 2012, 02:16 PM   #60
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Re: Breaking Bad - Season 5

I thought Andrea dumped Jesse because she was sure that Jesse's "work" led to Brock being poisoned. I suppose that was retconned so that Walt could show how cleverly he could manipulate Jesse away from a support network?

PR says Doug the exterminator/thief has a bigger role to play.
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