Breaking Bad Season 4-01 ‘Box Cutter’ Recap
Walter White is back. Everyone’s favorite high school teacher turned meth manufacturer has returned in the season four premiere of AMC’s Breaking Bad. Last episode left off on a cliffhanger of sorts, with Jesse seemingly murdering Gale. It was drastic times for Walt and Jesse and you know what they say, drastic times call for drastic measures. It was an exciting ending to an otherwise mediocre season and there were a lot of questions left unanswered.
Tonight, the first episode of season four premiered and we finally got a chance to catch up with our beloved characters. We also found out the answers to questions like did Jesse really kill Gale? What is going to happen to Walt now, does Gus still need him? What about Jesse, will there be punishment for what he did to Gale?
Read on to find out what went down in this week’s episode of Breaking Bad.
In an interesting opening scene, we see Gale during a flashback. He’s in the lab un-boxing what looks to be new equipment. Gus walks in and asks him when they will be up and running. Gale tells him a month, although quickly changes his answer to 2 weeks after a quick word from Victor.
Gus and Gale then briefly talk about their competition, to which Gus replies “we have no competition, at least not as far as I’m concerned.” Gale tells him that the purity of their product is only 96% and the competition’s is 99%. He is basing this off of a recent sample that Gus gave him. The sample came from an unnamed man who Gus was considering working with at one point (presumably Walt).
Gale seems worried, telling Gus that the 3% difference is a big deal. Gus doesn’t seem to mind though. Gale continues to tell him that the competition’s meth is the best he has ever seen. Again, Gus seems unconcerned and we cut to opening credits.
We then pick up right where season 3 ended. Jesse has just shot and killed Gale. Victor arrives at the scene and sees Gale lying dead on the floor. He goes outside to find Jesse sitting in his car. He gets in and the two drive off to the lab. When they arrive, Walt is their with Mike. Victor breaks the news to him and Mike goes to call Gus.
The next morning we see Marie head over to Skylar’s house to give her some new medical bills that need to be paid. She tells Skylar that Walt’s car is on the driveway. Once Marie leaves, Sklyar takes Walt’s car and drives it down the street, just so people won’t get the wrong idea.
Back in the lab Walt tells Victor and Mike that they need to start cooking if they want to keep to Gus’ schedule. Victor takes the responsibility upon himself and starts working on the next batch, to prove to them that Walt isn’t as valuable as he thinks he is.
Gus arrives shortly after and he’s not pleased. Walt tells him that he cared about Gale but his death is on Gus, not him or Jesse. He tells Gus that it was foolish to think that he wouldn’t take extreme measures to protect himself.
Victor tells Gus that they don’t need Walt, he says he knows all of his steps. Walt starts testing him and it’s clear that Victor has no idea what he’s doing. Walt tells Gus to just let them start cooking again but Victor says that if you know the steps that’s good enough, it’s just a recipe.
Walt starts getting angry and quickly loses his cool, telling Gus that without him and Jesse, he has nothing. The whole time Gus remains silent, simply listening to both sides plead their case.
In a rather shocking moment, out of nowhere, Gus pulls out a switchblade and slices Victor’s throat. Walt, Jesse and Mike watch horrified as Victor bleeds out. Gus then quietly changes his clothes and walks out of the lab, still not having said one word the entire time. Before he exits though he turns around and tells Walt to get back to work.
Jesse and Walt dispose of Victor’s dead body before heading to Denny’s for a quick meal. They discuss Gale’s murder and plan their next move. Walt knows that their time is short and Gus is going to kill them the first chance he gets. Jesse isn’t too concerned though, he knows Walt is the only man for the job.
As the episode comes to a close, Walt returns home to find his car gone. Skylar comes outside and asks him how he’s doing. Walt tells her “right as rain.” She tells him where she moved his car and he heads off to find it. Before the episode ends, the policeman arrive to survey Gale’s crime scene and we notice that there is a notebook lying on the desk, the title is Lab Notes.
Honestly, I didn’t love the premiere, not a whole lot happened. Aside from the scenes in the lab, everything else was rather boring. The best part was when Gus dropped by but aside from that, there wasn’t anything notable here. The surprising ending may have some excited but I don’t see that going anywhere. Sure, there’s a notebook titled Lab Notes but who knows what’s in it. I mean yes, it could be quite revealing but it could also lead to absolutely nothing and just be an attempt by the writers to keep us hooked.
What I did like about the episode was the tone that it set. It’s clear that things are going to be different this season. Jesse and Walt’s lives are not entirely safe and they know this. Gus is no doubt looking for a replacement and once he finds one, he will have no need for his current employees. We saw with this episode that Gus means business and things are not going to be the same between him and Walt this season. A very serious and almost dire tone was set with tonight. I like the direction that they’re headed in and I truly am excited to see how it all plays out. It’s now Walt and Jesse vs. Gus, which should be very interesting.
Also, once again, both Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul do tremendous jobs as Jesse and Walt, the two of them are just so good together and it truly is a pleasure watching them on screen. There was really only one scene between the two of them (at Denny’s) but it was a great scene and it reminded us of just how well they work together on screen..
Overall, Box Cutter was an alright episode but it wasn’t the explosive premiere that I was expecting. Hopefully next week things will get back on track and start to pick up. Check back next Sunday for our recap of episode two!