Breaking Bad - Season 5

Discussion in 'TV & Media' started by Agent Richard07, Jul 7, 2012.

  1. stj

    stj Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    ^^^Taking the pills suggests to me that Walt gets taken down by a recurrence of his cancer. (I don't think there are any pills that treat ricin poisoning.) Not seeing Skylar, Junior and the baby is suggestive too, that he sacrificed his family in some fashion or other too.

    A gun doesn't suggest that he's facing off against Hank. Even a big gun isn't going to help against the US government. Besides, as last night's episode showed, even when or if Hank figures it all out, he's a huge loser. The big faceoff, if that's the finish, has got to be against somebody who's at least a respectable opponent. My guess is Mike.

    Jesse is just too well established as a weakling puke to be a worthy foe. Just look at how he cried like a girl. A sentimentalist might think that having decent, humane feelings are a plus. But the true secret to a compelling character in these modern times is winning. Walt's a winner and Mike's a winner. Jesse's a loser. Chances are that Mike will lose, because he wavered at killing Lydia just because she was brave for her daughter.

    Mike's return centered upon the feds taking everybody's money, which didn't just hurt him in the wallet, but opened him up to people turning. They may be standup when they're paid, but when they're supposed to do it for free? And obviously they could take the money because they got the account information. Thus we have the situation where the whole plot is technically motivated by the chance discovery of the bank account numbers when Walt wrecked thed evidence room! There's enough irony there for an anvil.

    PS Good episode for showing Jesse and Mike. The most "interesting" moment with Walt was the threat of marital rape. Skylar needs to think through what she's going to do. Wanting to remain pristine was really too late when she helped Ted cook the books. That is a crime after all. And she's the one who did Ted, in more ways than one. Playing shrinking violet now seems both stupid and a tad hypocritical.
     
  2. Temis the Vorta

    Temis the Vorta Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I liked that the scheme with the magnet was probably unnecessary after all, since the laptop,was encrypted, but exposed what will no doubt lead to Walt's downfall.
     
  3. Agent Richard07

    Agent Richard07 Admiral Admiral

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    Mike is tough, but he's just a thug, not Walt's spiritual adversary. That goes role to Jesse or maybe Hank.

    Better safe than sorry. They probably would have gotten in somehow.
     
  4. CaptainCanada

    CaptainCanada Admiral Admiral

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    The DEA would have the resources to break that kind of encryption, if anyone would; it's just a matter of time.

    Another strong episode. I liked how Walt handled planting the cigarette, in a way that would make its absence during past searches seem logical.
     
  5. Temis the Vorta

    Temis the Vorta Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I interpretd Hank's line about the encryption to be the writers telling the audience that the DEA would not have gotten in. Not because it's more realistic, but that there's no other reason to put those words in Hank's mouth besides that they want us to see the irony that Walt's downfall will be caused in the end by his too clever and audacious plans. Why would Hank lack faith in the ability of the DEA to crack the encryption?

    As for the cigarette, what would Walt have done if the Roomba had broken the vial, supposedly exposing them both to ricin? Which of course was really salt, but Jesse can't be allowed to know that.
     
  6. Robert Maxwell

    Robert Maxwell Comfortably Numb Premium Member

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    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.
     
  7. stj

    stj Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    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.
     
  8. Roger Wilco

    Roger Wilco Admiral Admiral

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    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.
     
  9. Robert Maxwell

    Robert Maxwell Comfortably Numb Premium Member

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    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.
     
  10. sidious618

    sidious618 Admiral Admiral

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    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.
     
  11. Robert Maxwell

    Robert Maxwell Comfortably Numb Premium Member

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    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.
     
  12. sidious618

    sidious618 Admiral Admiral

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    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.
     
  13. Robert Maxwell

    Robert Maxwell Comfortably Numb Premium Member

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    Anybody can do the sort of encryption I'm talking about with free, rather user-friendly tools. TrueCrypt is perhaps the most well-known.
     
  14. Mojochi

    Mojochi Commodore Commodore

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    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
     
  15. Temis the Vorta

    Temis the Vorta Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    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.
     
  16. sidious618

    sidious618 Admiral Admiral

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    That's amazing. Now if only I had anything worth encrypting. :(
     
  17. Robert Maxwell

    Robert Maxwell Comfortably Numb Premium Member

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    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!
     
  18. stj

    stj Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Quoting in full because it's so well said.
    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.
     
  19. Harvey

    Harvey Admiral Admiral

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    Well, either it poisons somebody -- or its discovery ends up implicating Walt somehow. It's going to reappear in some capacity.
     
  20. stj

    stj Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    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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