Breaking Bad – “Blood Money” (Season 5, Episode 9)

“Then, maybe your best course would be to tread lightly.”

Man.

That was satisfying.

Breaking Bad has always been primarily about plot, with some compelling characterisation carried along in the wake of amazing storytelling. And the strength of that storytelling is on display in a taut, tense premiere that’s a welcome return to Albuquerque. Perhaps the narrative won’t be as consistently successful as “Blood Money” across the final seven episodes, but if the execution is as perfect, I don’t give a damn.

Aaron Paul under a coffee table in Breaking Bad Season 5 Episode 9 - "Blood Money"

Everything works: the cold open’s stunning reveal that, yep, Heisenberg’s identity is uncovered is wrought with essentially no dialogue (I’m ecstatic that Breaking Bad is avoiding the “Walt dies in anonymity” angle). The way Hank’s earthshaking realisation is conveyed with the magnitude it warrants, Walt’s hand gripping his car door with the implacability of a horror movie villain. That implacability is also on display as he rejects Lydia’s pleas at the car wash, mirroring Gus’s “May I help you with your order?” from season four. The confidence of the show to display every thought running through Walt’s head as he puzzles out Hank’s agenda. Or that unforgettable stare as the garage door rumbles closed. It’s just … perfect.

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