I've wanted to write about Breaking Bad for a while now, an urge reinvigorated by its excellent fifth season debut (made even more encouraging by its strongest ratings ever, so Dish Network can suck it). Whenever I rack my brain for something about it to focus on, I always return to the imagery: potent, subtle, dark, occasionally surreal. The visuals of the show exemplify its unique qualities, serving as the grim scaffolding upon which its writing and acting and sound rest. This is a collection of scenes from last night's episode that I think drive home what makes this show so special.
Vince Gilligan has this odd way of making New Mexico look like an alien planet. The show and its characters are often locked into interchangeable suburban monotony, but shots like this give character to the stage for all this drama. It isn't Weeds or Law and Order, but something far more harsh, barren.
...and the second exchange, by this sequence. You get about two seconds to laugh at this ridiculous turn of events before you realize how screwed Walt and Jesse actually are. The show derives absurdity from misfortune regularly, to the point where control simply becomes an illusion. The life of each character is ruled by chaos, a reality that none of them can confront. What do you think made Walt laugh so hard at the end of Crawl Space?
And this isn't from last episode, but just because I love it, here's the opening to Fly from the fourth season.