Breaking Bad- “Dead Freight”

In the tradition of great westerns, Walt, Jesse, Mike, and Todd (the new edition to the crew who spotted the nanny cam in an earlier episode) rob a train to gain a flood of methelmine. The robbery takes place in an open area of New Mexico desert and a combination of tracking and point of view shots make it feel like a classic movie robbery.

One of the most shocking moments of the season so far happens at the end of this episode. Todd shoots a little boy riding his dirt bike, because he witnesses the robbery. He does it without thinking. The same boy riding his bike opens up the episode. We watch as he gathers a tarantula into a glass jar. At the end of the episode, the tarantula is still crawling around and waiting for a possible escape.

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One Response to “Breaking Bad- “Dead Freight””

  1. Michael K. Johnson Says:

    It was fun to see both “Breaking Bad” and “Hell on Wheels” stage train robberies on their respective Sunday night episodes, a traditional motif of western film since 1902! It’s always interesting to see how “Breaking Bad” updates these traditional genre conventions. This was not the usual Old West robbery, although there were elements of that, including blocking the track to stop the train, a robber leaping atop a car, etc. However, I can’t think of another train robbery that involves exchanging one fluid for another in a tanker car!

    Killing a child is the line that Jesse will not cross, so it will be interesting to see how he is affected by being part of this murder. The lesson that Walt continually refuses to acknowledge is that he cannot control everything. He arrogantly ignores Mike’s instructions to stop the robbery when someone unexpectedly appears to help remove the truck blocking the track, and for the sake of a few extra gallons of methelmine nearly gets Jessie crushed by the moving train. And had he aborted when Mike told him to, might the operation have been over before the boy arrived to watch?


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