The episode starts quite jovial as Walter and his son set out to purchase new vehicles, but ends with an ominous tonality that only leaves the audience wondering what’s next.
The feel of the episode is different than that of most in the show. The camera pans quickly between the cars and gives the audience a sense of fun as the engines rev and roar. This “Fast and Furious” style is not what we’re used to on this show but is a nice addition of levity to a drama-heavy show.
After the title sequence, Hank is treated to a promotion, which means he’ll oversee all the cases in the office and have to give up work on the Gustav Fring case. I’m sure he’ll still keep a watchful eye on that case, it is his baby.
Walt expects a lot out of his 51st birthday and is sadly disappointed when he returns home from work to find only his family there to greet him.
Things take a turn for the worse as Skyler decides to go for a swim, fully clothed, in freezing cold water. Hank and Marie chalk it up to her breakdown, but it was part of her plan to isolate the children from the world where Walt is back in the meth game.
There’s a pivotal moment when Skyler and Walt are arguing. Skyler just wants her kids away and to be safe, but Walter pokes holes in all her plans and basically tells her what is going to happen. She proves that she just can’t compete with Walt and he will think circles around her and demolish any of her plans.
The transformation is in full effect. Mr. White finds his Heisenberg hat, puts his wife into a place where she’d rather kill herself than let their life of crime affect their children and he tells Mike and Jesse that the methylene will flow no matter what.
The character of Mike has grown on me quite nicely. Yes, he’s brash and will murder you at the drop of a hat, but those are the things that make him so likable.
If you need someone to go missing, Mike will find a way. If you need a connection, Mike probably knows a guy. And if Mike doesn’t, Saul will.
Lydia tries to get out of the business in a sneaky way and Mike plans to kill her for it, but Jesse steps in and calls for a vote. This is where Walt says that the methylene will not stop flowing and business will not halt. Walter is asserting his dominance more and more.
The ominous ending is of a closeup on a wristwatch that Jesse gave Walt for his birthday. As the camera zooms in, the ticking gets louder until the last two ticks are overshadowed by the sound of a gun cocking.
So, what does that mean for poor Walt, who’s just lying there in bed. Well, we know better than to think he’ll die soon.
We do know that Skyler is unstable and wants out, there are many enemies in any drug game, but we also know that the season opened up in the future, at Walter’s 52nd birthday. Unless the show takes a turn into sci-fi, Mr. White will live through the watch’s incessant ticking.