Soap Opera Weekly: Read at Joe’s 6/1/09

I have been waiting 13 weeks since the season premiere of BREAKING BAD to find out how a scorched, one-eyed pink teddy bear came to be floating in Walt’s swimming pool. And now we know: It plummeted from the sky after the midair collision of two small planes high over Albuquerque.

Well, even I didn’t see that one coming…

When last we saw Walt, he had just let Jesse’s blackmailing girlfriend Jane drown in her own vomit. That’s a long way from the mild-mannered chemistry professor who was looking to cook a little crystal and leave his family a nice nest egg when he dies of lung cancer. Now Walt is in bed with a major regional drug lord and his cancer is in remission so completely that he was able to have the (still giant) tumor removed. John de Lancie (ex-Eugene, DAYS OF OUR LIVES ) did a fine, sympathetic job as Donald, Jane’s grieving father. Don is the air-traffic controller who inadvertently put the planes on a collision course because he was so distracted by Jane’s demise. De Lancie was particularly moving as Don watched while his little girl was zipped up in a body bag like so much garbage.

Series star Bryan Cranston won the Emmy last year, and while he was terrific again this season, I don’t think he was given enough quality material to repeat. Cranston got perhaps his best scene of the year when Walt Jr. was being interviewed about the Web site he developed to raise money for his ailing dad. Walt had arranged to launder his drug money by funneling it into the Web page anonymously, and as Walt listened to his son praising him with words like, “My dad is my hero,” Cranston’s silent face was a mask of guilt, shame, pain and embarrassment. He looked like he didn’t know whether to cry or throw up when he was lauded as a decent guy. What kind of decent guy sells crystal, even for the best of reasons? What kind of decent guy allows someone he (sort of) knows to die horribly, even a blackmailing junkie?

Walt probably felt like he deserved it when Skylar walked out on him and took their new daughter with her. After all this time, she finally connected the dots between all his myriad little fibs, big lies and bizarre behavior. At first she assumed he was having an affair (of course she did — she’s a wife on TV), but soon realized that something else was going on. “Whatever it is,” she sobbed, “I’m afraid to know.”

Will Walt tell his wife the truth? Will Jesse get his act together? What will Gus do with the knowledge that Walt has a brother-in-law at the DEA? Will Hank figure out that Walt is “Heisenberg,” the maker of “Blue Sky,” the best crystal meth on the market? I, for one, cannot wait to learn what happens next season.

Originally published on

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