Monday, September 16, 2013

Breaking Bad Season 5, Episode 14: Toe the Line

Posted By on Mon, Sep 16, 2013 at 10:00 AM

click to enlarge Skyler earmarks some of Walt's $11 million for Holly's future therapy. - PHOTO COURTESY OF AMC.
  • Photo courtesy of AMC.
  • Skyler earmarks some of Walt's $11 million for Holly's future therapy.

Let's just start off by saying that there are no longer lines to toe on Breaking Bad. All rules or sense of order have flitted off into oblivion, like the spirit of a brave Agent Gomez or the right side of Gus Fring's face. It's clear after watching "Ozymandias" that chaos will reign until the series ends in two weeks.

We open the episode with a flashback to one of Walt and Jesse's first cooks in the desert, a time when Walt and Skyler chatted sweetly on the phone about naming babies and taking family trips. As Walt, Jesse and the RV disappear from the frame, we prepare ourselves to pick up from last week's episode.

How did we end up here? Well, we can trace this hellish trajectory by mapping out all of Walt's worst decisions.

1. Summoning the Nazis

Walt should've known that he couldn't just call off his request for the Nazis come out to To'hajiilee, like it was canceling brunch at the last minute on OpenTable. History has taught us that once Nazis feel like mobilizing, they're pretty much ready to go.

2. Telling Nazis where your money is

I suppose we should credit Walt for offering up his prized bounty to try to save Hank's life, though we could all deduce that Jack would stay true to form and kill Hank anyway. Hank doesn't compromise even as he faces death and as Walt futilely begs at Jack's feet. RIP, ASAC BAMF Schrader. Walt is now without a brother-in-law and is left with a "no hard feelings" consolation barrel of money after the Nazis take their cut. Someone's getting their swastika tattoo freshened up tonight.

3. Giving up Jesse Pinkman

You'd think after this little tete-a-tete in the desert, Walt would be ready to just let some shit slide. But no, not only does he order Jesse's death, but he tells him that he watched Jane die and could've saved her. What he didn't predict is that Jesse would be secretly held as Todd's meth cooking slave and now has the motivation to avenge Jane's death and save Andrea and Brock. If he breaks free, there will be a Pinkman reckoning. Possibly with robots and magnets but definitely with science, bitch.

4. Kidnapping Holly

Every unstable family member anyone has ever known eventually has a moment--a "climax of crazy," if you will--which causes once skeptical relatives to finally admit: "Ah, I get it now." For Walt, it was lifting Holly from her playpen and driving off (slamming into another car no less) after engaging in a knife fight. With his wife. In front of their disabled son. I'm not sure why Walt later demeaned and threatened Skyler on the phone with the police present, but when he snapped his phone in two and dropped Holly off in a fire truck, it became clear that even he knew he had long crossed the proverbial line. We end the episode with Walt hopping into the Saul's Vanishing Van, his beloved barrel by his side. What quirky misadventures will they get into before they return to Albuquerque for the final showdown?

For events in San Francisco this week and beyond, check out our calendar section. Follow us on Twitter at @ExhibitionistSF and like us on Facebook.

  • Pin It

Tags: , ,

About The Author

Sylvie Kim


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Popular Stories

  1. Most Popular Stories
  2. Stories You Missed

Like us on Facebook


  • Nevada City and the South Yuba River: A gold country getaway

    Nestled in the green pine-covered hills of the Northern Sierra Nevada is the Gold Rush town of Nevada City. Beautiful Victorian houses line the streets, keeping the old-time charm alive, and a vibrant downtown is home to world-class art, theater and music. The nearby South Yuba River State Park is known for its emerald swimming holes during the summer and radiant leaf colors during autumn. These days the gold panning is more for tourists than prospectors, but the gold miner spirit is still in the air.

    South Yuba River State Park and Swimming Holes:
    The park runs along and below 20 miles of the South Yuba River, offering hiking, mountain biking, gold panning and swimming. The Highway 49 bridge swimming hole is seven-miles northwest of Nevada City where Highway 49 crosses the South Yuba River. Parking is readily available and it is a short, steep hike to a stunning swimming hole beneath a footbridge. For the more intrepid, trails extend along the river with access to secluded swim spots. The Bridgeport swimming hole has calm waters and a sandy beach -- good for families and cookouts -- and is located 14 miles northwest of Nevada City. Be sure to write down directions before heading out, GPS may not be available. Most swimming holes on the South Yuba River are best from July to September, while winter and spring can bring dangerous rapids. Always know the current before jumping in!

    Downtown Nevada City
    The welcoming, walkable downtown of Nevada City is laid back, yet full of life. Start your day at the cozy South Pine Cafe (110 S Pine St.) with a lobster benedict or a spicy Jamaican tofu scramble. Then stroll the streets and stop into the shop Kitkitdizzi (423 Broad St.) for handcrafted goods unique to the region, vintage wears and local art “all with California gold rush swagger,” as stated by owners Carrie Hawthorne and Kira Westly. Surrounded by Gold Rush history, modern gold jewelry is made from locally found nuggets and is found at Utopian Stone Custom Jewelers (301 Broad St.). For a coffee shop with Victorian charm try The Curly Wolf (217 Broad St.), an espresso house and music venue with German pastries and light fare. A perfect way to cool down during the hot summer months can be found at Treats (110 York St.) , an artisan ice cream shop with flavors like pear ginger sorbet or vegan chai coconut. Nightlife is aplenty with music halls, alehouses or dive bars like the Mine Shaft Saloon (222 Broad St.).

    The Willo Steakhouse (16898 State Hwy 49, Nevada City)
    Along Highway 49, just west of Nevada City, is The Willo, a classic roadhouse and bar where you’re welcomed by the smell of steak and a dining room full of locals. In 1947 a Quonset hut (a semi-cylindrical building) was purchased from the US Army and transported to its current location, and opened as a bar, which became popular with lumberjacks and miners. The bar was passed down through the decades and a covered structure was added to enlarge the bar and create a dining area. The original Quonset beams are still visible in the bar and current owners Mike Byrne and Nancy Wilson keep the roadhouse tradition going with carefully aged New York steaks and house made ingredients. Pair your steak or fish with a local wine, such as the Rough and Ready Red, or bring your own for a small corkage fee. Check the website for specials, such as rib-eye on Fridays.

    Outside Inn (575 E Broad St.)
    A 16-room motel a short walk from downtown, each room features a unique décor, such as the Paddlers’ Suite or the Wildflower Room. A friendly staff and an office full of information about local trails, swimming and biking gets you started on your outdoor exploration. Amenities include an outdoor shower, a summer swimming pool and picnic tables and barbeques. Don’t miss the free vegetable cart just outside the motel in the mornings.

    Written and photographed by Beth LaBerge for the SF Weekly.

  • Arcade Fire at Shoreline
    Arcade Fire opened their US tour at Shoreline Amphitheater to a full house who was there in support of their album "Reflector," which was released last fall. Dan Deacon opened the show to a happily surprised early audience and got the crowd actively dancing and warmed up. DEVO was originally on the bill to support Arcade Fire but a kayak accident last week had sidelined lead singer Mark Mothersbaugh and the duration of the west coast leg of the tour. Win Butler did a homage to DEVO by performing Uncontrollable Urge.