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Television

Breaking Bad Fantasy League: Episode 3, “Hazard Pay”

This week was light on murders, but heavy on murder-foreshadowing. Check out the mid-season showdown between Los Pollos Hermanos and the Fightin’ Meth-Heads!

Los Pollos Hermanos

Walt:

O Captain! my Captain! our fearful trip is done;
The ship has weathered every rack, the prize we sought is won;
But yeah, let’s just turn right back around and sail into the storm
Just because you think you’re hot shit after blowing that dude’s face off.
GOOD PLAN, CAPTAIN.

Badassery: It’s official: Walt is once again the man of the house.  In weaker times, Walt would have stood out in the rain with his suitcase, pouting like a big bald baby while the large cheese pizza he threw on the roof got all soggy. But Walt is now the one who knocks, lets himself in, and gets comfortable.  When he told Saul to grow a pair, he was evidently speaking from experience. I wouldn’t be surprised to find that Walt used his chemistry smarts to concoct some massive artificial cojones.  Whatever material he used to create said cojones probably has a pretty short half-life, so he better use ‘em while he’s still got ‘em. Right now he’s only using them to scare his wife and shut down Mike’s efforts to vote on important business decisions. But if his super creepy monologue about Victor (formerly Fring’s henchman, currently a barrel of pink sludge) is any indication, he’ll be swingin’ em around for much more sinister reasons . 5  POINTS

Humor: What better way to celebrate a successful meth cook than with a Three Stooges marathon? 1  POINT

Morality: Hey, has anybody else noticed that Walt is kind of a dick now? Like, he finds a copy of a Walt Whitman book, which of course reminds him of Gale… and he kinda chuckles. “Ha ha, I remember when I had Jesse murder that guy. Good times.”  Kind of dickish, right? And then when he met Brock, he was all like, “I’ve heard so much about you”  when what he really wanted to say was “I’ve poisoned so much about you, AND I’D DO IT AGAIN, TOO! BWA HA HA HA!” What I’m saying is, I think Walt may be kind of a bad guy.  0 POINTS

Intelligence:  Not only did he come up with an ingenious solution to his meth lab problem, but he also used a psychology class he took in undergrad to perform two masterful manipulations. First he ran a little double-reverse-psychology scam on Jesse to get him to break it off with Andrea, tying up a potential loose end. Then he used a little-known mind trick known as “lying” to convince Marie that Skyler’s breakdown had to do with Brokeneck Beneke. Last year he was playing chess against a grandmaster. This year he’s playing checkers against a bunch of chumps. KING HIM, YO. 7 POINTS

Kill Count: Oh man, the way he was looking at Brock… he just wanted to bludgeon that poor kid to death with his Nintendo DS. But he didn’t. 0 POINTS

Total points: 13


Hank:

Hank was too busy tacking Walt’s picture to his otherwise perfectly-constructed Fring Case relationship map,  then laughing and taking Walt’s picture right back down  to actually show up this week. But he scored a few points based on hearsay.

Badassery: According to Marie, he’s not even using his cane anymore. I’m pretty sure that whole shootout happened, like, two weeks ago in the show’s timeline. Hank is a beast! 3 POINTS

Humor: Unfortunately, Marie did not mention any of the hilarious/racist things he’s said recently. 0 POINTS

Morality: He’s still the good guy, but we didn’t hear about any new good guy things. 0 POINTS

Intelligence: The DEA came crawling back to him after he proved them all wrong. This might actually be a detriment to his work, since he’ll now probably need to get, you know, warrants and stuff instead of just sticking a GPS tracker to whatever car he feels like following around that day. 2 POINTS

Kill Count: He’s officially got his gun back, but he hasn’t had a chance to use it yet. 0 POINTS

Total points: 5


Saul:

My second favorite show after Breaking Bad is House Hunters, so you can imagine my delight when Saul led Walt & Co. on a pleasant real estate tour in search of their next lab location. Saul did his best to pitch the spacious-yet-steamy box factory, the modern tortilla villa, and of course the cozy laser tag arcade with a spectacular view of the skeeball machines. Walt, Jesse, and Mike picked apart the inadequacies of each place and occasionally bickered like an old married couple and their enforcer/cleaner/business partner. And unlike in the real House Hunters, where everything is fake and planned out, they went with an unexpected fourth choice: whatever local household that happens to have a roach infestation that week. I’d like to see the geniuses over at HGTV come up with a twist like THAT.

Badassery: I can’t wait for Saul to actually do something badass. It’ll be the best moment in the entire series. 0 POINTS

Humor: Saul continues to score consistently here. “Why can’t you just pop down to Costco and pick up a few dehumidifiers?” 6 POINTS

Morality: Saul is obviously still dirtier than a G.G. Allin record, but he doesn’t seem as passionate about his work these days. This might just be because he’s wary of pushing his luck in the meth biz again, but is it possible ol’ Saul is developing a conscience? Will he leave his practice behind to become a pro bono lawyer for civil rights protesters? 0 POINTS

Intelligence:  He’s quite  good at greasing palms and making strategic connections with various local businessmen. Saul for Mayor?  3 POINTS

Kill Count: It appears as though, in addition to his probable diabetes, Saul’s uninsured henchman Huell is a narcoleptic with sleep apnea. The countdown to his inevitable untimely death continues, but for now, 0 POINTS

Total points: 9


Walt, Jr.:

Flynn only showed up briefly to chow down on a late popcorn breakfast and watch a thematically resonant film with his family, but he certainly made the most of his appearance.

Badassery: When Flynn yelled “SAY HELLO TO MY LITTLE FRIEND!” I got CHILLS. 1 POINT

Humor: How does he eat so much without ever gaining weight? 1 POINT

Morality: He seemed a little too into Scarface. Is he being slowly sucked in by the allure of drugs, wealth, and violence? 2 POINTS

Intelligence: Seems smart enough to not be sucked in by the allure of drugs, wealth, and violence. 1 POINT

Kill Count: At first I thought Flynn was playing a violent video game when all that shooting and yelling snapped Skyler out of her shut-up-shut-up-shut-up stupor. I totally would have counted those kills. 0 POINTS

Total points: 5


Badger:

Badger is back! Unfortunately, it looks like he probably won’t be back again for a while. Why won’t Mike hire him? He seems like a solid dude, and he totally didn’t snitch when he was arrested back in season 2. I mean, the man’s resume speaks for itself.

Badassery: “Biggest you got.” [badass guitar lick] 1 POINT

Humor: I want to see a Badger ‘n’ Skinny Pete spin-off where they just run errands around town by day and play gigs with their hybrid classical/hard rock band by night. 6 POINTS

Morality: I mean, he’s a nice guy, but then again he’s knowingly helping somebody manufacture and sell highly dangerous and illegal drugs, so… 1 POINT

Intelligence: He’s not dumb. He’s, like, overly enthusiastic.  1 POINT

Kill Count:  He totally slayed on that double guitar, but no confirmed deaths came as a result. 0 POINTS

Total points: 9


BENCH: No mention of Gomez, but my other two reserves left some points out of the floor. Huell probably would have scored at least 8 points for his hilarious snore-breathing, and my sleeper pick Todd made his first appearance and scored some intelligence points for disabling that nanny cam. Look for him to become a full-time starter beginning with next week’s episode.


The Fightin’ Meth-Heads

Jesse:

Remember when Jesse’s main purpose on the show was to get beat up and antagonize Walt? And he wore those goofy stoner clothes? Haha! Good times. Now he divides his time between getting manipulated by Walt into isolating himself and trying to keep Walt from murdering everyone. Jesse feels indebted to Walt because he believes he owes him his life and he still has some guilt over (correctly) accusing Walt of poisoning a child and the subsequent threats to shoot him in the face. Boy, is his face gonna be red when he finds out Walt has been playing him for a sucker! Specifically it will be red because of all the blood exploding from Walt’s body.

Badassery: He didn’t do much that was explicitly badass, but walking around in a leather jacket and shooting down Saul’s suggestions is always fun to see, plus he looked like a big shot to his stoner friends. 2 POINTS

Humor: He stole a tortilla! 3 POINTS

Morality: He broke it off with his girlfriend to keep her out of harms way and then tried to give up his share of the loot to keep Walt from reaching over the table and strangling Mike. What a swell guy! 6 POINTS

Intelligence: Between his designs for transporting their meth-cooking equipment and his Cartel-inspired tent setup, Jesse was the real brains behind the cook this week. Plus, he was able to do basic math and knew that 50 pounds a week is less than 200 pounds a week. 5 POINTS

Kill Count: Nothing, but I would have given him a point if they had actually flashed back to him killing Gale. 0 POINTS

Total points: 16


Mike:

Mike Ehrmantraut: Gangster Administrator. It’s a good thing Mike looks and sounds like he was cut out of solid stone or he might get mistaken for a manager at Starbucks. Between his meetings with “my guys” and explaining to Walt the concept of personal identity vis-a-vis the criminals you murder, Mike is easily the most competent and emotionally stable member of the show. So, y’know, Walt is probably going to try and murder him.

Badassery: Thrilling meetings! Heart-pounding instructions! Gut-wrenching interviews! 4 POINTS

Humor: Mike and Walt’s banter is hilarious when not tinged with unspoken threats of murder. 3 POINTS

Morality: Mike rewards loyalty like a motherfucker. He’s really got a lot of heart, like Rudy if Rudy was a sixty year-old gangster instead of a plucky Notre Dame student. 4 POINTS

Intelligence: Mike is behind the scenes making sure everything runs smoothly and tries to explain to Walt how a major drug dealer operates, but his allusions to 19th century outlaws just aren’t making it into that bald head of his. 5 POINTS

Kill Count: Nothing, although he is still the league leader in shooting people to death. 0 POINTS

Total points: 16 


Skyler:

Listen, Skyler, I get it. Like, I get it: You’re upset that your husband has become a megalomaniac crime boss and murderer. I get it. Your breakdown in the car-wash was totally understandable. I mean, who doesn’t want to yell at Marie to shut up? The thing is, the team is counting on you to bring in points in morality and intelligence and maybe badassery, like that time you strong-armed Bogdan into giving you the car-wash. Haha, Bogdan, what a chump. Anyways. It’s probably not going to help that Walt told your sister about your extramarital affair without filling her in on the surrounding circumstances (your husband being a drug supplier) so I don’t see next week being your week, but, for the love of The Fightin’ Meth-Heads, pull it together! Or at least find Bogdan and scam him some more. That’d be fun.

Badassery: Y’know, when Walt was afraid for his life in season 3, he turned the tables and had Gale murdered. You should try something like that! 0 POINTS

Humor: The first “shut up” directed at Marie was a solid four points, but then you started crying. 3 POINTS

Intelligence: That car-wash sure seemed efficiently run, despite Marie’s protestations about the ethnic workers. 1 POINT

Morality: Man, your situation with Walt is so absolutely fucked that banging your former boss kind of makes you seem like a good person by comparison. In fact, Walt’s descent into pure evil has started retroactively making you a better person. Just think, if he kills you, BLAMMO, a solid 10/10 for that week! 3 POINTS

Kill Count: Alternately, killing Walt would also score a 10/10 in three out of five categories. 0 POINTS

Total points: 7


Beneke:

Fuck you.

Badassery: Hey, ol’ Beneke really took one for the team when Walt blamed him for Skyler’s breakdown. Way to be, Beneke! Also, fuck you. 1 POINT

Humor: Remember when you tripped and broke your back? Hahaha! Fuck you. 1 POINT

Intelligence: Why are you in the hospital again? Oh, that’s right: Fuck you. 0 POINTS

Morality: Fuck you. 0 POINTS

Kill Count: Ugh, just die, you chump. 0 POINTS

Total points: 2


Lydia:

Lydia was kicking ass and taking names this week as she stormed her way through the methylamine factory, firing off RPGs and quips at equal rates. Of course, as we didn’t see of that this week, we’re gonna have to settle for how her behind-the-scenes work affects the Heisenberg operation.

Badassery: Lydia’s not what you’d call “tough”. 0 POINTS

Humor: Lydia’s gonna need to order some extra soy milk next week to make up for this. 0 POINTS

Intelligence: First barrel of methylamine’s free, after that you gotta pay. Shrewd business model, Lydia. I can see why Mike didn’t shoot you in the face! 2 POINTS

Morality: Lydia is supplying methylamine to protect herself and her daughter, not unlike Walter White in his early days. Unlike Walter, however, she hasn’t strangled anybody to death in her basement or tried to melt people in plastic tubs. 2 POINTS

Total points: 4


Bench: Marie and Skinny Pete finally come off the bench and score a 7 and 6, respectively. Hopefully there’s an upcoming episode where Skinny Pete plays classical piano at Carnegie Hall for a points bonanza.



Final Score:

Los Pollos Hermanos: 41

Fightin’ Meth-Heads: 45

Despire a score of “fuck you” from Beneke, the Fightin’ Meth-Heads managed to pull ahead thanks to strong showings from both Mike and Jesse. Skyler needs to start throwing her weight around, though, if the Fightin’ Meth-Heads want to stay in the game. That, or Marie needs to show up every week to make vaguely racist comments about her sister’s employees.

The Fightin’ Meth-Heads are one ahead as we go into the fourth round of the Breaking Bad Fantasy League.


WAIVER WIRE Having already drafted Todd, the clear favorite to become Vamonos Pest’s biggest star, Alex will stand pat and hold on to his first-dibs status.

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