BREAKING BAD 5.4: “Fifty-One”

Watching BREAKING BAD is usually a much more visceral experience than viewing any other show; when it’s over, I often feel like I’ve been punched in the gut, and my lungs hurt because I didn’t realize I had been holding my breath so often. An hour of BB on Sunday night is like a week’s worth of cardio for me!

This week’s episode had me at a couple of points, as Walt (Bryan Cranston) celebrated his 51st birthday and Skyler (Anna Gunn) neared the end of her rope. Meanwhile, Hank (Dean Norris) was offered yet another promotion — at this rate, he’ll be speaker of the house by the end of the season — and Lydia (Laura Fraser) started to come unglued in Germany.

The birthday gave the episode its spine, with Walt using it as an excuse to try to prod Skyler back to life, and her using it as a method to passive-aggressively strike at him. Instead of the usual big party she invited only Hank and Marie, and instead of a fun dinner with friends and family, Skyler threw herself in the swimming pool.
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