What's Next For 'Breaking Bad?'
When one door closes, 37 open on Breaking Bad -- and tonight's fifth season premiere, titled Live Free Or Die, was no exception. Yes, the immediate threat of Gus Fring has been snuffed out, but Walt and Jesse are in no way out of the woods, despite erasing the footage off the police confiscated laptop.
Although the tilted truck won't actually be the boys undoing, according to Dean Norris, who plays Hank -- he told reporters during Comic-Con's Breaking Bad roundtable interviews on Saturday that the footage and truck simply serve as his entry point to this metaphorical rabbit hole.
But the moment that left me reeling was actually one of the episode's quietest moments -- when Walt told his wife, Skyler, "I forgive you."
"It's pragmatic from Walt's standpoint and very big of him to forgive her," Emmy-winner Bryan Cranston said. "She gave Ted all of our money and nearly got us killed because of it." A choice Anna Gunn, who plays Skyler, admits was "a misstep."
Bryan adds, "She didn't consult Walt. She basically stole the money [he] made and gave it to her former lover. Walt's thinking, let's let that go and move on because things worked out, so I want to tell you not to worry about that. It just so happens at that moment, my words of earnestness became so [creepy]."
"For her, it's utter horror," Anna says. "When he says, 'I forgive you,' going through Skyler's mind is, 'You forgive me?!?'' She thought she was doing the right thing. She thought she was protecting the family. And to realize in that moment, 'Oh my god, what have I done?' That starts to break her down."
As for where things go from here, Bryan teases, "This season really allows the viewer to be conflicted to the greatest degree ever because we open it up and the point of view Walter has taken now is so egregious and desperate and so ego-driven that he's on a plane that's unrecognizable to people around him. Not to Junior so much because Walt's able to change – but to Skyler, it's like living with a schizophrenic."
A sentiment Anna echoes. "When she finds out what she found out at the end of season four, it's like a corner she can't un-turn. It’s absolutely terrifying [because] she thought she knew how deep and dark and bad it was. Last season was a lot of power play between Walt and Skyler – and this season, you get to see what all this has done to her. We start to see [her] cracking open a lot."
Which brings me back to a question I've often pondered: How long can Walt Jr. stay untainted by, and unaware of, all this drug-related drama. "We'll see this season how far the apple falls from the tree," RJ Mitte, who plays Walt Jr., teased.
And for fans who worry that Walt became less of a anti-hero and more of a straight up villain after his shocking season four choices, Bryan says, "We are not going to try to maintain status quo. Walt was self-repressed for so many years that he didn’t know how to properly gauge his ego. All of a sudden, this whole experience happens and it's like him throwing up – he can't control it. It's the same with his sense of power. He's experienced this hubris and greed and intimidation – that's very heady, but it also charges up a man."
Breaking Bad airs Sundays at 10 p.m. on AMC.