Madrigal, Breaking Bad

According to Walt, there is gold in the streets of Alburquerque and it’s just waiting to be scooped up. In this episode, Walt is in full intrepid miner mode and takes steps to relaunch the meth making business.

Most of the episode’s best scenes center around Mike. At the start of Madrigal, Mike attempts to relax with a movie and a beer, but Mike can’t stay out of the action no matter how hard he tries to separate himself. He’s called into be interviewed as part of the DEA’s investigation. Hank mentions that Mike left the Philadelphia Police Department under dramatic circumstances, but we don’t know what those circumstances are. Hank attempts to use the money in his granddaughter’s name as a means of getting Mike to talk, but it doesn’t work. We also get to see Mike playing with Kaylee, his granddaughter. I always enjoy the scenes that create even more sympathy for Mike.

In one of my favorite scenes in the episode, Lydia, one of Gus’s employees, meets Mike in a diner. However, she doesn’t understand how to order a drink in this kind of establishment. She goes through a list of teas that they simply don’t have. Lydia wants Mike to kill the 11 people on her list who could possibly link her and Mike to Gus. Mike declines, but Lydia hires someone different to do the killing. Near the end of the episode, Mike nearly kills Lydia with her daughter in the next room-a scene that contrasts against the earlier moment of Mike playing with Kaylee. Instead of killing Lydia, Mike uses her to get more chemicals for the cook process.

The episode’s opening also deserves mention. We see a Madrigal employee sampling different flavors of dipping sauce, things like Cajun Kick Ass and Franch, a combination of French Dressing and Ranch. A team of chemists eagerly await his verdict. Instead he’s called out because the police force is here and he ends up killing himself in the bathroom. The sauce scene is a humorous departure that ends in Breaking Bad style violence. The show’s ability to move between those areas is one of its greatest strengths.

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One Response to “Madrigal, Breaking Bad”

  1. Michael K. Johnson Says:

    Yes, we really have no idea where that scene is going when it starts—especially as the chemists become more in more disconcerted that their concoctions are getting no response, and when Cajun Kick Ass and Franch start losing out to plain ketchup!

    It’s also interesting to see the series pull out of the southwest to show us the global scope of Gus’s enterprise. We knew it had to be large, but this is the first glance that we get of it. I’m wondering if Mike is going to tap into the remnants of Gus’s structure, or whether they will start something new. That he doesn’t kill Lydia suggests that he may still find ways to use those employees of Gus that the police haven’t yet tapped.


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