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Breaking Bad Fantasy League: Episode 5, “Dead Freight”

This latest round of Breaking Bad Fantasy League was a real nail-biter. As the Heisenberg crew pulled off a daring and slightly comedic heist, both teams scored big. Boy, that heist was exciting, huh? And, if you turned it off ten seconds early, no cute little boys got shot to death!

Los Pollos Hermanos

Walt:

Alright, yes, this is what I like to see! More crazy capers from the Hairless Trio! First building magnets, now robbing trains, next perhaps reflecting sunlight off their shiny heads to momentarily blind a DEA agent??? Whatever it is, a good old-fashioned Science Adventure will always be a welcome respite from things like Character Development and Emotional Resonance (which are great things also, and this episode still them, but let’s face it, stealth train robberies are always gonna be more fun to watch than the perhaps more literary moments. SORRY, ALL MY COLLEGE ENGLISH PROFESSORS.). Sadly, these adventures tend to have unforeseen side effects, such as secret off-shore bank accounts being revealed or children getting shot in the face. Whoops! We’ll get to that soon. First, though, let’s talk about Walt. He had a pretty good episode, I think!

Badassery: Last week, I theorized that perhaps Walt needs to become slightly less of a sociopathic asshole for him to be truly badass, because badassery is typically considered to be an admirable thing and there’s not much to admire about a sociopathic asshole. But as it turns out, all he had to do was steal 100 gallons of methylamine from a train! Oh, and matter-of-factly tell his (still pretty bummed out) wife that he’s gonna go rob a train, the way you or I might tell our significant others we’re going out to do something not at all related to high-stakes criminal enterprise, such as everything you or I might possibly go do. Walt also managed to smoothly bug Hank’s office, look pretty menacing in that crappy basement they almost killed Lydia in, and generally just carry himself in an effortlessly badass way. He’d started to look like he was merely huffing and puffing last week; this week, he blew the house down. (There’s a literary reference for ya, College English Professors! HAPPY?!?)   6  POINTS

Humor: Man, Walt used to be kinda funny, right? But lately he’s all “making drugs” this and “tearing his family apart” that. I feel like if he said something funny this week, I woulda written it down. I guess his fake crying in Hank’s office was kinda funny. People look funny when they fake cry. Ha ha!  1  POINT

Morality: I almost want to give him a point for not being the one to shoot that kid in the face. But alas, I think Walt is going to have to go an entire episode without actively manipulating somebody close to him before I think about letting him score here. 0 POINTS

Intelligence:  Once again, Jesse came up with the core idea behind the heist, but Walt was the guy who made it all work. (Hey, does anybody else think there might be some parallels between the Walt/Jesse partnership and the old Walt/Elliot partnership? Like maybe Walt came up with all the good ideas for Gray Matter and Elliot made them work, but only really for his own gain, and by the time Walt realized his partner was manipulating/exploiting him it was too late and he left for good? But then I think this would have to mean Jesse ends up marrying Skyler or something and let’s just not think about that possibility.) However, he did leave his fingerprints all over those bugs in Hank’s office, and he very nearly got Jesse run over by that train due to his OCD-ish need for EXACTLY 100 GALLONS of methylamine. Maybe I’ll have to come back and subtract points when Walt’s possibly dumb mistakes produce consequences. But for now,  6 POINTS

Kill Count: He woulda totally been down to kill Lydia or the train crew. He was just chompin’ at the bit, chomp chomp chomp, until there was no bit to be chomped at. But Jesse managed to figure out a way to not have to kill anybody, much to Walt’s barely secret chagrin. Somebody ended up dying anyway, Walt didn’t have the honor, so 0 POINTS

Total points: 13


Hank:

Hank’s wearing a suit now, which means he’s totally SOLD OUT, man. No more rollin’ easy in a polo or a stylish button-down from Sears. No more getting his hands dirty out in the field. No more refusing to learn Spanish. (Actually, he’ll probably still refuse to learn Spanish.) He’s gone mainstream, which means from now on his work is gonna be watered down to appeal to the lowest common denominator (and/or the mysterious higher-ups who may or may not have connections with the Fring operation). Which also means that perhaps he’ll never catch Walt after all? This is flawless logic!

Badassery: Hank didn’t do much except get duped by Walt and pouted at by Flynn. But did you hear the way he talked to that dope over in the Houston office? He was all like “Don’t tell me one of you DUM DUMS put a GPS on the OUTSIDE of the barrel” and Houston was all like “Buh buh buh wha wha wha sorry sir” and Hank was like “Come on, dum dum! THINK!” and Houston was all like “Me, we have problem!” Hank is asserting his authority pretty well already, is what I’m saying.  3 POINTS

Humor: I loved him trying to get Holly to call him “ASAC Schraeder.” Here are some other things he might try to get her to say: burrito breath, taco face, Emo McGee, bean-speak, “just givin’ ya shit,” Burgermeister Meisterburger, “whoa nelly,”   “I wonder if my brother-in-law is the master meth chemist I’ve been trying to catch for the last year… HA HA HA NAHHH” and tuggy.  6 POINTS

Morality: He’s sure doing a nice job of dealing with all of his wife’s family’s shit. Also he doesn’t make and sell meth for a living. 6 POINTS

Intelligence: Good instincts on the Houston thing. Of course Houston fucked up. Buncha dopes! 4 POINTS

Kill Count: Can’t kill many baddies from the comfort of his office, now can he? 0 POINTS

Total points: 19


Todd:

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO.

Badassery: NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO. 1 POINT

Humor: NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! 2 POINTS

Morality: NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!  0 POINTS

Intelligence:  DON’T DO IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  2  POINTS

Kill Count: What the fuck, dude? 1 POINT

Total points: 6

(Sidebar: An innocent kid got shot in the face, and I got a point. Do I feel super great about that? No, I do not. But them’s the rules.)


Walt, Jr.:

Emo McGee has played a pretty big role so far this season, mostly by getting caught in the metaphorical crossfire of Walt and Skyler’s secret life. Which makes me think he’ll be getting caught in the literal crossfire soon. Which is pretty sad to think about! So let’s not.

Badassery: Flynn got FIERCE with his dad. And he got in a nice pointed dig at his aunt and uncle. But he just didn’t have the swag he’s had for most of this season.  1 POINT

Humor: How sad was Flynn? He was so sad, he passed on Lasagna Bagels, the new breakfast product from the makers of Pizza Bagels. (I know Marie just said “lasagna” but there’s no way she’d be clueless enough to offer Flynn a non-breakfast food.) Anyway, that’s pretty sad. No hilarious dubstep montages this week.    1 POINT

Morality: The confident façade Flynn’s had this season has crumbled a bit as his parents’ issues have begun to interfere with his schedule, which consists of eating breakfast, playing video games about breakfast, and driving off to meet his friends (presumably for breakfast). It seemed as though he might be moving to the dark side (not really but play along with me a little bit, would you?!) but now it’s clear that he’s as pure as ever.  5 POINTS

Intelligence:  At this point, I wouldn’t be surprised if Flynn figures out who Heisenberg is before Hank does. 1 POINT

Kill Count: If looks could kill, his angry eyes would kill a lot of people, because he was super angry. But looks CAN’T kill, because that would be silly. 0 POINTS

Total points: 8


Saul:

A second straight week without Saul, sadly. However, he gets a point for intelligence for retaining a superstar like Kuby. The guy’s a brilliant actor, and his taste in sweaters is pretty good, too.

Total points: 1


BENCH: Huell definitely could have come in handy during that train robbery. Just have him and Kuby go out for a jog. Huell fakes a heart attack and collapses on the track. Nobody, not even the Good Samaritan in the pickup truck, would be able to get him off the track until the job was done. (Huell is a very large man, is what I’m saying.)


The Fightin’ Meth-Heads

Jesse:

Man, Jesse has gotten really good at keeping people from getting murdered. First he prevents Lydia’s death at the hands of Mike and then he devises a way to rob the train without murdering witnesses. He has, like, a PhD. in preventing murders. Or he did, anyways, until Todd shot that kid to death. Given that when Brock got poisoned, he went apeshit and almost killed Walt (and then helped kill Gus) and that when Brock’s brother got shot to death, he went apeshit and tried to kill those two drug dealers (who were then murdered by Walt, which necessitated Jesse killing Gale), I can only imagine that Dirtbike Kid’s death will leave him totally un-scarred.

Badassery: As the moral center of Heisenberg, Inc., Jesse doesn’t threaten to kill people like Mike or brag about Jesse James-esque robberies to his wife, so he’ not what you’d call “badass”. That is, unless you count adding the word “bitch” to the end of every sentence to be badass, which I do. 1 POINT

Humor: Always funny to see a dummy play smart. 1 POINT

Morality: First he lets Lydia try and prove her innocence and then tries to keep the gang from killing her after they mistakenly assume she is guilty. At this point, being sad that a kid gets shot makes him practically a saint in the Breaking Bad universe. 5 POINTS

Intelligence: It’s all about the weight, yo! 6 POINTS

Kill Count: 😦 0 POINTS

Total points: 13


Mike:

Boy, Mike’s kind of fucking terrifying, huh? First he tells Lydia he’s going to shoot her in the head if it turns out she’s lying, then he makes Lydia tell him that he’s gonna shoot her in the head if it turns out she’s lying, and finally says they should shoot her in the head even though she’s not lying. Remember how he got shot, what, a month ago and was in critical condition? Now he’s bringing people into basements, threatening to kill them if they don’t cooperate, suggesting they be killed after they cooperate. With his “no witnesses” mantra, I wonder how he’ll feel about Dirtbike Kid’s untimely death. It’s hard to predict, but it will almost certainly involve shooting someone somewhere on their body.

Badassery: “I’m gonna pull out my pistol and shoot you in the head” is also what Mike chants during his daily yoga sessions. 5 POINTS

Humor: Mike and Lydia are a hilarious pair, like Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz if Desi Arnaz was always saying things like “I’m gonna pull out my pistol and shoot you in the head, LUCYYYYYY!” 2 POINTS

Morality: What with his concern for “his guys” and not wanting to shoot train engineers to death, it’s really unbelievable how moral Mike is for a hitman. Like, I literally don’t believe a hitman could be that moral. 3 POINTS

Intelligence: He’s got solid business savvy, but even I’m questioning the wisdom of paying those nine guys in jail. He should probably pull out his pistol and shoot them in their heads. 2 POINTS

Kill Count: Stupid Lydia, always coming up with reasons for him not to kill her. She should be dead three times over by now. 0 POINTS

Total points: 12


Skyler:

Welcome, folks, to the White vs. White fight night! In this corner, at 140 pounds, we have Skyler “I Fucked Ted” White! She’s the Mama Lion! The Car-Wash Killer! The Chain-Smoking Charger! Don’t mess with her folks, or she’ll send the kids with their auntie and uncle to somewhere in Albuquerque! Last week we saw a desperate cry for help with her no-holds-barred pool maneuver, but this week she’s got it together. No more dramatic stunts for this mama, she’s just gonna sit back and let nature takes its course. She might be your hostage, Heisenberg, but she ain’t no Patti Hearst!

Badassery: She defiantly stands up to Walt by… Well, she doesn’t do anything. It’s a passive resistance, like, Gandhi, if Gandhi helped people launder money. 2 POINTS

Humor: Humor was last seen in the White family house towards the end of season 3. 0 POINTS

Morality: It’s all about the kids, yo!  5 POINTS

Intelligence: Bein’ smart is kind of her forte, although recently she’s been kind of blah. Might have something to do with her being married to a sociopath. 0 POINTS

Kill Count: Skyler’s gonna let cancer do the heavy lifting on this one. 0 POINTS

Total points: 7


Marie:

Remember when Marie just used to be the bitchy sister to Skyler White? Now she seems like a pretty solid person, thanks in no small part to other characters in the show psychological abusing their wives while expanding their meth business. While Walt seems to want to kids around to show Skyler how powerful he is, Marie takes some time out of her busy schedule to babysit Holly and Flynn, even when one of them is all surly and rude. I am, of course, talking about baby Holly. Snot-nosed little brat.

Badassery: This category is pretty hard for people not involved with committing and/or investigating crimes. 0 POINTS

Humor: She zinged Hank, which, to be fair, is not the hardest thing in the world. 1 POINTS

Morality: Her concern for Walt, Jr., is only maximized by Walt’s attempts to control him. 3 POINTS

Intelligence: She seems smart (she’s a nurse or something, right?) but, yo, you’re gonna need to come up with some criminal plans if you wanna get taken seriously around here. 0 POINTS

Kill Count: Or maybe she’s NOT smart and she kills patients. One can hope… 0 POINTS

Total points: 4


Lydia:

Lydia “Banjo Eyes” Rodarte-Quayle is, if you haven’t noticed, totally bonkers. I don’t know what someone strung that tight is doing coordinating a multi-million dollar narcotics operation, but she’s there doing her thing (in this scenario, “her thing” is “being slightly bonkers and almost getting killed”). Given that our introduction to her involved her asking Mike to kill eleven guys before asking one of the guys to kill Mike, it’s pretty understandable why Mike wants to pull out his pistol and shoot her in the head. If I were a writer on Breaking Bad, I’d give Lydia the catchphrase, “I knew I should have stayed at home today!” Get it? It’s like that kid from “Magic School Bus” except she’s worried about getting murdered instead of bitching about awesome field trips.

Badassery: Lydia ain’t afraid to ask for a cut of the heist! Actually, she is. 0 POINTS

Humor: Maybe we’re all wrong and Gus actually hired her because she’s hilarious. 4 POINTS

Morality: She seems like a pretty good person except  that, oh, right, she’s part of a criminal syndicate and paid to have eleven people killed. 0 POINTS

Intelligence: She not only plans a kickass heist, she uses that same heist as leverage to not shoot her in the face. That’s the kind of competence you do not really expect from people as crazy as she is. Also, she was right about the barrel! 6 POINTS

Kill Count: I was gonna be all “she’s not capable of killing anyone” but then I remembered how she paid to have a bunch of dudes killed. 0 POINTS

Total points: 10


Bench: Everyone sat it out this week, but you know Cancer is just pumping iron and waiting for its chance.


WAIVER WIRE: Alex briefly considered picking up the ghost of the kid on the dirtbike, but he thinks the ghost of Jane might still be the better pick to come back and haunt Jesse and Walt.


The Fightin’ Meth-Heads: 45
Los Pollos Hermanos: 47

Los Pollos Hermanos pulls ahead thanks to a solid week for Hank and Walt, plus Todd shooting a kid to death. Before Todd’s big child-murder play and The Fightin’ Meth-Heads salivating at the prospect of cancer coming back and killing someone, it’s looking like Breaking Bad Fantasy League is not the most moral of sports.

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