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Old August 3 2012, 05:31 AM   #91
Dorian Thompson
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Re: Breaking Bad - Season 5

Speaking of Hank, my sister and I got into an argument about him and Jesse. I said that even though Jesse has become the show's main protagonist, Hank is still the show's moral center.
This. This I agree with. Hank is the moral center. He's got the clearest conscience and the most morally correct path, IMO. He can see beyond his own orbit. Hank could have lied through his teeth about what happened the night he beat Jesse up, but he didn't even though he was encouraged to do so by Marie. That speaks well of his character.

Jesse, however, is the main protagonist. I thought I was nuts to care for the character so much, but I guess I'm not alone in that perspective. He's not evil. He's got some street smarts, but he's not educated or book smart and--unfortunately--Jesse's got a guardian Meth angel who's going to get him killed, already killed his first love and nearly killed his would-be step son. True, he could step away from Walt. He is an adult, but he's so desperate for affection he'll take it from anyone.....even Walt. The question is.....does Walt care about him? Opinions? He seemed to for a long time. Walt ran over those drug dealers who were going to pop him in the middle of the street. He seemed genuinely moved by Jesse's despair in the crack house over Jane's death. Then there was his moaning Jesse's name when he was saying goodbye to Walt Jr. after Jesse and he fought. Good bye "Jesse" instead of good bye "junior." So he was on his mind.

Their relationship is warped. It intrigues, but it's warped. Would Walt sacrifice Jesse himself to save his own skin? I know he'd sacrifice Jesse's family and pretend he didn't, but would he hurt Jesse? What is up with those two?

BTW, Cranston and Paul together on the blooper reels on youtube--oh my GOD. When Cranston pulled out that giant dildo like a gun and told Aaron to grab it, and then squirted him from it.
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Old August 3 2012, 12:35 PM   #92
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Re: Breaking Bad - Season 5

^^^I think the technical term for Jesse is antivillain. What Walt wants and does is driving all the action and drama, so he is the protagonist, even if he is an antihero. Hank is the antagonist.

Skylar has a few antagonist functions and a little antihero too. Breaking Bad hasn't written her too badly by comparison to most TV shows writing women characters but that's an incredibly low bar.
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Old August 3 2012, 06:19 PM   #93
davejames
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Re: Breaking Bad - Season 5

gblews wrote: View Post
But I'm not getting exactly why Skyler is so scared of Walt all of a sudden. Okay, she knows he blew up Gus but why wouldn't she see that as just self defense? She was well aware that Walt's life was in danger at some point.

Walt has shown her nothing but "love" and devotion in the past. I don't think the show has worked hard enough make a convincing case for justifying Skyler's fear of Walt at this point.
Yeah at first I had a bit of trouble with that as well, but now that we see how much more cold and calculating and scary he's become, I think her fear makes a lot more sense.

Before she could tell herself that he was a good, decent guy who was just in way over his head, but now it's clear to her that he's a VERY different man than before. One who can set off a bomb in a nursing home and sound perfectly calm and relaxed about it afterwards.

The fact he still acts like a normal family man on the outside would probably just make the whole thing seem even creepier to her.
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Old August 3 2012, 09:18 PM   #94
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Re: Breaking Bad - Season 5

stj wrote: View Post
^^^I think the technical term for Jesse is antivillain. What Walt wants and does is driving all the action and drama, so he is the protagonist, even if he is an antihero. Hank is the antagonist.
The point of my post wasn't how to categorize Jesse the character, but to point out that Jesse is not the moral center of the show -- Hank is.

davejames wrote: View Post
gblews wrote: View Post
But I'm not getting exactly why Skyler is so scared of Walt all of a sudden. Okay, she knows he blew up Gus but why wouldn't she see that as just self defense? She was well aware that Walt's life was in danger at some point.

Walt has shown her nothing but "love" and devotion in the past. I don't think the show has worked hard enough make a convincing case for justifying Skyler's fear of Walt at this point.
Yeah at first I had a bit of trouble with that as well, but now that we see how much more cold and calculating and scary he's become, I think her fear makes a lot more sense.
Before she could tell herself that he was a good, decent guy who was just in way over his head, but now it's clear to her that he's a VERY different man than before. One who can set off a bomb in a nursing home and sound perfectly calm and relaxed about it afterwards.

The fact he still acts like a normal family man on the outside would probably just make the whole thing seem even creepier to her.
At this point, I know I'm nit picking a bit here because Walt has become one scary dude. But what I'm saying is that I needed a scene in the season opener where Walt actually does something that makes Skylar think that he just might harm her if he feels the need. She seemed to be frightened of him in their first scene together.

Carmella Soprano knew Tony was a scary dude too. She knew he was capable of murder and worse, but she was "reasonably" sure he wouldn't harm her for the most part. Being a "dangerous" guy in and of itself isn't necessarily a reason for a loved one to fear that person.

I just haven't seen where Vince has let us see whatever it was Skylar saw that made her feel about Walt the way she was shown to feel about him in the season opener. I mean we know Walt is scary because we've seen what he is capable of, but Skylar hasn't seen any of this. All we have been shown her seeing is Walt being a loving Dad, a loving (sometimes overbearingly so, and manipulative) husband.

I can accept that she is afraid of him now, I just think it would hav made more sense to show us something in the season opener that would explain her fear of him in that first scene in their bedroom in the season opener.
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Old August 3 2012, 09:24 PM   #95
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Re: Breaking Bad - Season 5

stj wrote: View Post
Skylar has a few antagonist functions and a little antihero too. Breaking Bad hasn't written her too badly by comparison to most TV shows writing women characters but that's an incredibly low bar.
Personally I could never quite work out if we were supposed to like Skylar or not. She is absolutely a believable character, but Walt seems to mostly be attached to her because she is -his- and not out of any love he holds for her anymore. The writers certainly haven't given us any reason to empathize with Walt's affection for her.
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Old August 3 2012, 10:34 PM   #96
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Re: Breaking Bad - Season 5

gblews wrote: View Post
At this point, I know I'm nit picking a bit here because Walt has become one scary dude. But what I'm saying is that I needed a scene in the season opener where Walt actually does something that makes Skylar think that he just might harm her if he feels the need. She seemed to be frightened of him in their first scene together.

Carmella Soprano knew Tony was a scary dude too. She knew he was capable of murder and worse, but she was "reasonably" sure he wouldn't harm her for the most part. Being a "dangerous" guy in and of itself isn't necessarily a reason for a loved one to fear that person.

I just haven't seen where Vince has let us see whatever it was Skylar saw that made her feel about Walt the way she was shown to feel about him in the season opener. I mean we know Walt is scary because we've seen what he is capable of, but Skylar hasn't seen any of this. All we have been shown her seeing is Walt being a loving Dad, a loving (sometimes overbearingly so, and manipulative) husband.

I can accept that she is afraid of him now, I just think it would hav made more sense to show us something in the season opener that would explain her fear of him in that first scene in their bedroom in the season opener.
It would seem like she is a smart woman, & being so, she's been able to piece it all together. I think the worm really turned for her when he gave her the "I'm the one who knocks" speech

That speech was almost entirely for her character's benefit, because it was, at that time, still somewhat bullshit that Walt was spouting out of his ass for dramatic effect

It worked, & then coming out on top of the chicken man in bloody brutal fashion was the kicker. His whole attitude has changed, & everyone has noticed it

Even Jesse looked concerned at the end of last week's talk about Victor. Certainly the wife would pick up the clues much sooner & in her case be much more worried about it
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Old August 3 2012, 10:39 PM   #97
Mojochi
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Re: Breaking Bad - Season 5

stj wrote: View Post
^^^I think the technical term for Jesse is antivillain. What Walt wants and does is driving all the action and drama, so he is the protagonist, even if he is an antihero. Hank is the antagonist.
YES! & as an antagonist, Hank is fascinating, because he IS the one with the strongest moral center, but it's worn on him, & made him a serious asshole. The way he treated his wife during the recovery was brutal, & there's been no reconciling of that either
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Old August 3 2012, 11:00 PM   #98
davejames
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Re: Breaking Bad - Season 5

Mojochi wrote: View Post
It would seem like she is a smart woman, & being so, she's been able to piece it all together. I think the worm really turned for her when he gave her the "I'm the one who knocks" speech

That speech was almost entirely for her character's benefit, because it was, at that time, still somewhat bullshit that Walt was spouting out of his ass for dramatic effect

It worked, & then coming out on top of the chicken man in bloody brutal fashion was the kicker. His whole attitude has changed, & everyone has noticed it

Even Jesse looked concerned at the end of last week's talk about Victor. Certainly the wife would pick up the clues much sooner & in her case be much more worried about it
Yeah, when he says "I won" in that cocky, arrogant way he did, it was probably the first time she realized that "Oh shit, this isn't just him putting on an act anymore. He really HAS become a different and more dangerous guy now."

And again, exploding a bomb in a building usually does make people question your sanity and judgement, I find. Regardless of the threat Gus posed, that was still an extremely reckless thing to do.
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Old August 3 2012, 11:31 PM   #99
Dorian Thompson
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Re: Breaking Bad - Season 5

It would seem like she is a smart woman, & being so, she's been able to piece it all together. I think the worm really turned for her when he gave her the "I'm the one who knocks" speech
EXACTLY. Skyler's fear isn't out of the blue. Women pick up cues and subtleties and meanings in words quite well. Skyler knows he's different now; the bomb in the nursing home made it all crystal clear in a way that she can no longer ignore. Plus, the way he was slithering all over her in bed....Walt knew she was tense and unreceptive. He didn't care. Being sexually intimidated is a terrible thing for a woman; it doesn't matter if you know the man or not. I understand the scene was originally filmed a bit more explicitly but the director decided it wasn't necessary to see?

Jesse's an antivillain? Is that a more compassionate villian with whom you can empathize emotionally? Hmmmmm....that might fit Jesse the character. It's hard to imagine Jesse terrorizing a woman in bed or killing just to prove he's "the man" like Walt. Jesse really suffered after he offed Gale--at Walter's request. Yes, it's very bad that he did it, but still, you're able to feel sorry for him while bemoaning Gale's fate. No one forced Gale into that lab to cook either. He was in it for profit. The fact that you can feel for Jesse's internal strife when he couldn't bare to be alone in his own house lest he be alone with his thoughts is testament to Aaron Paul's talent, IMO.

The only other character whom I can think of who might have fit the "antivillain" mode was Chris Keller of HBO's "Oz." Violent and deceitful, yes. Yet I totally empathized with his feelings for Beecher and fear that he'd burn in hell.
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Old August 4 2012, 12:52 AM   #100
davejames
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Re: Breaking Bad - Season 5

Dorian Thompson wrote: View Post
I understand the scene was originally filmed a bit more explicitly but the director decided it wasn't necessary to see?
Yeah according to the podcast, it originally ended with her reaching over and, um... finishing him off before he could have sex with her.

Which, personally, I really glad we didn't have to see. Lol
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Old August 5 2012, 01:30 AM   #101
Dorian Thompson
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Re: Breaking Bad - Season 5

Oh. Actually, I think it played better the way it aired. You're left wondering exactly what Walter did to her, whether she wanted to have sex or not.

I had to post links to these two blogs I came across. They're both very recent postings as of July this year. The first centers on the character of Walter; the second is about Jesse. The first blog, IMO, has some startlingly spot on observations about how Walter manipulates Jesse, and the second is a quite interesting take on Jesse's despair and "feminine" traits in a hyper masculine environment.

Walter White-abuser

Jesse Pinkman-male self hatred

Walter does isolate Jesse. He's like a possession to him. He damn well doesn't want Jesse to have any loyalties to anyone other than himself. One wonders if that's what's really motivating Walter's latest tirade and threatening thoughts about Mike, who seems to have Walter's number and, even worse, Jesse's attention.
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Old August 5 2012, 07:13 AM   #102
Borgminister
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Re: Breaking Bad - Season 5

Just got caught up... don't think there's as good a show on t.v. right now. Loved the reaction by Walt to Jesse's breaking up with his girlfriend... Legacy costs, indeed.

Looks like it'll really hit the fan tomorrow!
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Old August 5 2012, 07:20 AM   #103
Dorian Thompson
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Re: Breaking Bad - Season 5

What I loved about the whole bit was that Walt actually did the right thing--telling Jesse that having to keep secrets from Andrea would be impossible and eventually would doom their relationship was good (if painful) advice--but he did it for totally selfish prick reasons, so that Jesse would have no divided loyalties. He said all the right things, but I don't think he meant a word of what he said. Andrea might warn Jesse off of Walt if they got serious; Walter isn't going to take the chance that Jesse might eventually listen. Jane was coaxing Jesse to assert himself and get away from Walt with his share of the money.....and we all know what happened to her.

Oh yeah, the shit will definitely hit the fan. Walt's delusional with this power trip of his. Hank sniffed out Gustavo, who was pretty slick. How is it that Walt thinks he's so good that Hank will never catch him? His arrogance is off the charts.
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Old August 5 2012, 05:33 PM   #104
Borgminister
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Re: Breaking Bad - Season 5

He certainly ain't no Jesse James!
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Old August 5 2012, 06:15 PM   #105
Dorian Thompson
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Re: Breaking Bad - Season 5

Didn't Jesse James end up getting shot?

Walter is such a malevolent prick. I can't believe I'm so fascinated by the character. He's like a book I can't put down. I don't have cable anymore to save money, so I have to wait 2 hours after broadcast for "other means" to watch, and I'm feeling put upon for having to wait the 2 extra hours...
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