Breaking Bad Review: Season Four Premiere “Box Cutter”

I’ll admit, I didn’t hop on the Breaking Bad bandwagon until halfway through the third season last year. I had been hearing about how great the show was and how I just had to watch it so I took a weekend and got all caught up right in time for the explosive season three finale. That probably wasn’t the best idea because these last 13 or so months have been utter torture waiting for this show to come back.

The wait, however, was worth it.

Silence. Breaking Bad is the master of silence. That was my first and foremost thought after the season premiere ended last night. It takes Jesse almost 40 minutes to utter a single word and then there’s Gus, who too only had few lines to say, and this episode was 50 minutes long. I almost wonder what Aaron Paul and Giancarlo Esposito thought when they received their script for this episode. It doesn’t matter because last night they proved that saying nothing meant way more that saying anything and it was freaking brilliant.

There were a couple of thoughts I had during last night’s utterly fantastic premiere.

You do NOT mess with Gus Fring. You know for the longest time, I would have said that one of the scariest actors on TV was Michael Emerson, who played Ben Linus, on Lost. He was a master of silence and a master of manipulation. However, after last night, the torch has passed from Emerson to Giancarlo Esposito.  If you piss him off, try and screw with his business, or try and manipulate him, hewill­cutyou. You do NOT mess with Gus Fring.

Seriously though, how awesome was Giancarlo Esposito tonight? I mean I am still reveling in his awesomeness of being totally cold and silent throughout that entire episode. I mean how awesome was that scene where he walked into the lab, slow and steadily, undressed, put on a lab suit, stood in front of Walt, Jesse, and Mike, then proceeded to cut Victor’s throat with a box-cutter, and then walked back to redress himself again. He then uttered one his only lines of the entire episode: “Get back to work.” Esposito was fantastic last season but I have a feeling this could be his year to shine even more. I will never look a box-cutter the same way, ever again.

Aaron Paul is winning his second Emmy come 2012. It was right around the time when Gus walked into the lab to meet with Walt and Jesse when I realized he hadn’t said a single word yet. I was completely amazed by what Aaron Paul was doing, just sitting there, in a catatonic state as Walt was frantically rambling on about why he had to have Jesse shot Gale. Then when Jesse finally did get to say something he made it count: “At least now we all understand each other, right? We’re all on the same page.” “And what page is that?” “The one that says, if I can’t kill you, you’ll sure as shit wish you were dead.” Jesse has now killed a man, he has crossed over that line that Walt, Gus, and many others have already crossed and you could tell that something in him died as well the moment he shot Gale.

Last night’s episode was a great opener to the season. We now know that Walt and Jesse are now in their own version of purgatory. They aren’t really living and they aren’t dead yet but they are going to want to be, more than anything now that they messed with Gus. I can’t wait to see how they dig themselves out of this one. It sure is going to be an interesting season that is for sure.

Other Thoughts:

~I love Saul Goodman. His paranoia last night was such perfectly timed comic relief.

~I love that Jesse and Walt wore matching Kenny Rodgers shirts and ate at Dennys after their traumatic experience with Gus. That was just brilliant.

~Skyler’s fake panic attack was pretty damn clever. I still hate the woman, but she does know how manipulate very very well. Using they baby as prop, how original.

~For a moment, before I realized that it was a flashback, I honestly thought Gale had survived and Jesse hadn’t gone through with the murder. Vince Gilligan is also a master manipulator. Great cold open though.

~I don’t like when Hank Shrader is unhappy. I have a feeling this is going to be another tough season for him, same for Marie, who doesn’t quite know how to handle all that unpleasentness.

I can’t wait for next week!

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