‘BREAKING BAD’ REVIEW: Season Two, Episode Three

Bryan Cranston and Aarol Paul in AMC's 'Breaking Bad' -- Photo courtesy of AMC

Review of “Bit by a Dead Bee” (02:03)


Let’s bring you up to speed (or up to meth, for that matter).

Walter (Bryan Cranston) and Jesse (Aaron Paul) have escaped the clutches of the mean old Tuco (Raymond Cruz). Their knight in shining armor was an unexpected DEA agent by the name of Hank (Dean Norris); you may have heard of him.

Now comes the really hard part: It’s easy for Jesse to lie about his whereabouts, but Walter needs an alibi. We quickly learn that when all else fails: Strip naked and head to the supermarket.

Walter decides to take the lunatic approach and is brought into a local hospital for some tests. Skyler (Anna Gunn) and Walt Jr. (RJ Mitte) comfort him at his bedside, but Mamma Meth Dealer seems extremely mad that Walter skipped town and apparently has a second cell phone.

Our favorite chemistry teacher plays them like a fiddle: I don’t know what happened. Who are you? I have no memory of taking off my clothes. I have cancer?

The only person that Walter reveals the truth to is his hospital-assigned psychiatrist, who is bound by law to keep the details of his shenanigans a secret. But although Walter thinks he’s a slick cat, Skyler isn’t so easily fooled. She gives her husband the cold shoulder and refuses to play game.

Meanwhile, in Gotham City… Jesse is picked up by the police in Meth Central, along with a hooker he’s paid to keep his fake story straight. To pscyh the suspect out, Hank and company bring in Tuco’s sick uncle (Mark Margolis) to confirm Jesse’s identity.

Instead of saying yes or no, the old man leaves a parting gift to the agents that is too nasty to describe. No dice. Jesse is let go.

“Bit by a Dead Bee” is an entertaining cat-and-mouse game that serves as a fitting conclusion to the Tuco storyline. I love that the show plays everything as realistic as possible. If Skyler was too delusional and believed every word coming from her husband’s mouth, Breaking Bad wouldn’t work as well as it does. There needs to be some healthy skepticism; after all, Walter is acting quite strange and raises many red flags along the way. Eventually, I imagine, he will be caught.

One could say that the whole naked-in-the-supermarket sequence is a bit over-the-top, and I would have to agree. It seems to come out of nowhere and doesn’t fit Walter’s usually thoughtful mind and moderated personality. Still, it gets the episode’s adrenaline running from the get-go, and it’s hard to slow this plot down.

Breaking Bad will be remembered as the show that dared to move fast. It’s up to the audience to hold on for the wild ride.

By John Soltes / Publisher / John@HollywoodSoapbox.com
  • Breaking Bad

  • AMC

  • Created by Vince Gilligan

  • Starring Bryan Cranston, Anna Gunn, Aaron Paul, Dean Norris and RJ Mitte

  • Rating: ★★★½

John Soltes

John Soltes is an award-winning journalist. His writing has appeared in The New York Times, Earth Island Journal, The Hollywood Reporter, New Jersey Monthly and at Time.com, among other publications. E-mail him at john@hollywoodsoapbox.com

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