1) The keys fall
I will give Vince Gilligan and company all the credit they deserve, but it may be a bit too far to suggest any attempt on their part to be topical by opening the episode with a little grand theft auto. Still, it’s a terrific opening, beginning from the very first shot of snow on the car window. It almost appears as though Walt is about to be caught, and he makes a desperate plea to some sort of deity, a prayer to the deus ex machina, to get him back to New Mexico. Never before has a man so desperately wanted to get to Albuquerque.
The show has always been a complicated combination of the stars aligning in characters’ favor, or sometimes out of their favor, as well as the characters being beholden to the consequences of their actions. Walter’s fate has been the result of factors outside of his control, most crucially his cancer diagnosis, and of the host of choices he made in light of this news. This scene is a subtle recognition by the character of the horrors of his own choices, and a commitment to some kind of attempt at redemption. He asks the universe for one last favor, and he gets it from an unexpected yet absolutely appropriate, bordering on cliché place: up above. Either that or he is new to stealing cars in remote areas of New Hampshire.