My Favorite Episode of Breaking Bad

15 Oct
Peekaboo

Peekaboo

I have finally watched the entire series of Breaking Bad, a feat I accomplished in two and a half weeks. Do I have a favorite episode? Well, “Peekaboo”, Season 2, Episode 6, is one episode that I think really encompasses what the show is all about.

Like the episode “Fly”, this one has a claustrophobic feel, all taking place inside the filthy home of two methheads. Throughout the episode, Jesse tries to get money back from an addict who goes by the name Spooge. Yet he alternately waits patiently for the methheads, a married couple, to come to their senses, while looking after their son, giving the episode its title (Jesse plays peekaboo with the unresponsive boy). The episode drags a bit, and yet it ends with a surprising act of violence. Spooge gets his head crushed by an ATM he is trying to bust open. His drug-addled wife does the honors.This episode is significant because we see the soft spot that Jesse has for children, which will be a key motif moving forward. But many people talk about the violence wrought by Walter White, and as evidence they list the crash of Wayfarer flight 51, Walt watching Jane die as the life sputtered out of her, the flashy deaths of Tuco Salamanca and Gus Fring.

But from the moment he decided to cook meth, a decision made rather impulsively, Walt contributed to the destruction of lives through drug addiction. We get a glimpse of addiction in Hank’s visit to the Crystal Palace, but it is only in Peekaboo that we see up close the effects of Walt’s choice to make himself a vital link in the meth food chain. A neglected, dirty little boy. A mother and father who can do nothing but get high. The casual violence with which Spooge dies. This is what Walt got into. Many debate when Walt went over to the dark side and became evil. I am not the Breaking Bad fan who watches and “roots” for Walt. I watch and am fascinated by the destruction, both large scale and small, that Walt unleashes. Large scale, like killing Gus Fring and being indirectly responsible for Hank’s murder. Small scale, like the millions of lives ruined by meth addiction.

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