Breaking Bad 3.03: I.F.T.
Moira Walley-Beckett on Instagram: “Peter Gould just sent me this lovely pic of me & soul sister Anna Gunn on Emmy night”
Screencap Meme: Breaking Bad - Silhouettes
Breaking Good Companion: 1x06 - Crazy Handful of Nothin’ rewatch
This week A.Ron and Jim discuss the birth of Heisenberg, the introduction of the menacing Tuco, Jesse and Walt’s relationship evolving, more questionable ethical and moral compromises, the “likability” of Walt, Skyler, and Hank, keep track of Jr’s Breakfast-ometer, and much more. Here’s my collection of links and notes for deep dive enjoyment:
Mentioned on podcast:
- Writer: This is the first of 11 episodes written by George Mastras, including “Grilled,” “I.F.T.,” “Kafkaesque,” “Crawl Space,” and “To’hajillee.” He wrote, directed and won several awards for Season 5’s “Dead Freight.” Prior to Breaking Bad he had only written on two shows, The Dresden Files and The Evidence. Other than Vince Gilligan, who wrote 13 eps, only Peter Gould has matched the output of Mastras (also with 11 eps). For more on George, check out this fantastic two-part interview (Part 1, Part 2) and his web site.
- Director: This is a one-and-done episode for Bronwen Hughes. Previous to BrBa, she directed for The L Word and Kids in the Hall. She later worked on HBO’s Hung and several USA Network shows, including the upcoming Stalker.
- The title of this episode is a reference to a quote from the film Cool Hand Luke (1967). In the context of the episode, its a referece to Walt’s poker bluff, as well as his bluff with Tuco.
- Heisenberg: We see the birth of Walt’s pseudonym, “Heisenberg,” a reference to Werner Heisenberg, a German theoretical physicist. Like Walt himself, Heisenberg was a school teacher who was diagnosed with cancer. Today, Heisenberg is mostly known for his uncertainty principle. Here’s a great thread on Quora about why the Villigan chose this name for Walt’s alias. Bonus trivia: The real Heisenberg died of cancer.
- Life out of balance: Again, they compare the time-lapse shots in this episode to that of the film, Koyaanisqatsi (1982), and the comparison here is spot on. Meaning “life out of balance.” Koyaanisqatsi is the first in a wonderful triology of films that you should check out if you haven’t seen them. Bonus: Check this fantastic supercut of all the time-lapse sequences from the series, some of which are reused in the Ozymandias trailer for Season 5B.
- Representin’ the ABQ: They mention that Breaking Bad “feels like a love letter to Albuquerque,” in the way it’s shot and how beautiful it can look. Vince has explained the choice of setting was financially motivated, but, “Albuquerque—light and dark, yin and yang—was, in hindsight, the only conceivable location for Breaking Bad. It teems with all the personality and flavor our postmodern western could ever need. I think of dark blue skies dotted with cotton-ball clouds hanging over an endless desert plain. I try to picture what our show would be without those skies, and I can’t.” More Vince on ABQ here.
- The MythBusters Breaking Bad Special aired in 2013 and sought to test two myths, one focusing on this episode: Will a chunk of solid mercury fulminate explode if thrown on the ground, and will the blast kill/injure bystanders and break the windows without injuring the thrower? Answer: Not even close. Maybe if Walt threw the whole bag of fulminate, it would get an explosion on that scale, but then he would’ve killed everyone on that floor, including H-berg himself. A fun episode. View it here.
Additional 1x06 notes & goodies:
- Editor: This is the first of 27 episodes to be edited by Skip Macdonald, the shows other primary editor with Kelley Dixon. Skip won an Emmy this year for his work on 5x16, “Felina.” Most recently Skip has been editing Fargo on FX.
- Breaking Bad Observations for 1x06. Aria Mohtadi’s in-depth visual analysis cleverly dissects clues, and provides a comprehensive look at callbacks and parallels that reference the pilot throughout the show’s run. Always an enjoyable read.
- The Science of Breaking Bad: John Preece talks about mercury fulminate and the chemistry of explosions.
- You can find a ton of fan art, gifs, callbacks, locations and factoids in the Chronicles’ rewatch project for 1x06 from last year. I’ll be reblogging some of my faves separately.
- Subscribe/listen to Breaking Good: iTunes / Stream on web
- Support Bald Move and all their TV podcasts on Subbable.com
- Support Breaking Bad Fan Fest
– Companion by Shayne Bowman, Heisenberg Chronicles
Observations: “For the first time, Walt’s crimes lead Hank to his doorstep, thanks to the investigation into stolen chemistry gear from the high school. There’s also an amazing poker-face-off between Hank and Walt that demonstrates Walt’s secret loathing for his brother-in-law. This foreshadows how little he comes to think of Hank’s sleuthing abilities, and shows how much the megalomaniacal Walt relishes beating Hank, whom he considers a blowhard as well as a threat to his relationship with his son.”
– Jeremy Stahl for Slate
When you have children, you always have family. They will always be your priority, your responsibility. And a man, a man provides. And he does it even when he’s not appreciated or respected or even loved. He simply bears up and he does it. Because he’s a man.
Breaking Bad (2008-2013)
Breaking Bad 3.02: Caballo Sin Nombre
Breaking Bad 5.14 - Ozymandias
I promise you, everything—
Don’t say one more word. Get out of here. Now.