Breaking Bad

Season 1, Episode 4 “Cancer Man” (February 17, 2008)

Well, we finally go back down to earth in this fourth episode of Breaking Bad. The first three episodes were crazy, non-stop fun but now we need a quieter episode that will set up the building blocks for future episodes. Mostly, this reflective episode succeeds. Although it’s an episode based on the future, it’s still plenty of fun to watch. There are several cool one-liners (mainly by Jesse). “Check out these mad Pop-tarts. They’re mad tight.” See, isn’t that awesome? But this episode does have moments of sadness. After all, this is where Walt finally tells his family about his cancer. He tells Skylar at first, but her breakdown at a family dinner forces him to let Hank and his wife, Marie as well as Walter Jr. in the scoop. It was interesting to see how his family make up ways for him to get treatment although Walt does not believe it’s the right thing to do.

In this episode, Walt finally tells Skylar about his cancer. After she breaks down at a barbecue, he is forced to tell the rest of his family. His family sets about on finding the best oncologist available and they are ready to pay the money required for treatment. However, Walt is worried about putting financial debt on his family especially if the treatment is proven to be unsuccessful. The DEA discovers the car of Krazy-8 that still has some meth in it, and Hank agrees that there is a new drug lord in town. Jesse returns to his estranged parent’s house but is immediately in conflict with his parents because of a marijuana joint. Finally, Walt reconsiders working with Jesse in cooking more meth when he receives his money from the first batch.

Overall, this is a somber but still entertaining episode of Breaking Bad. There is nothing incredibly special about the episode, as its concerned about moving pieces for the next big event. This is a necessary episode, however. It’s important that Walter finally discloses the cancer information, because it will have a profound impact on what happens next. The acting remains impressive. Bryan Cranston collected himself a niche as Walter White. I was onboard with Cranston from Day 1, and he remains great as ever. Anna Gunn can improve on her dramatic acting, but this episode is a start. Aaron Paul as Jesse remains an ass as usual, but I do love the conflict that arises between him and his family. The ending of his storyline this episode is quite cool. I enjoyed this episode, but I know things will get crazy again soon.

My Grade: A

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