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Breaking Bad Review: "Crawl Space"

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What can one even say about a conclusion such as that?

"Crawl Space" would have been yet another classic episode of Breaking Bad if it had simply ended with Walt collapsing in the desert. But then there was the utter panic in Saul's office; the frantic search for the money; the admission from Skyler that it's gone; the bawling; the maniacal laughing; the slow drum beat in the background; the call from Marie; the panning away of the camera to reveal Walt in a makeshift grave.

I said it last week, but what other reaction can one have here except... WOW.

Gustavo Fring Picture

It seems impossible to comprehend that last Sunday night concluded with Gus being rushed to the hospital and here he was more alive and in control than ever before. That's what happens when you take out the head of the cartel.

He taunted Hector, he threatened Walt - the infant daughter truly sold his steady, menacing warning - he made it clear that Jesse really is part of the family. Seriously, both Walt and Skyler could learn something from Gus. This is a man that plans for every conceivable obstacle, preparing a blood supply for each important member of his team while having a fully-briefed, loyal doctor on call.

The contrast with Walt and his reactionary fits of anger couldn't be more stark. Same for Skyler, now that her desperate plot to force Ted to pay the IRS went as wayward as possible. (Between this and her infamous "I f-cked Ted" line, Walt really must be sick of hearing about that guy.)

It's also worth noting, as I have before, the differences in how Gus has treated and molded Jesse. Walt used intimidation and manipulation, while Gus has actually crafted a new chemist and a committed soldier. Ironically, Walt likely cares more about Jesse than Gus ever could - that appeared to be a hint of a legitimately grateful smile on Walt's face when Jesse opened the door to his house - but his hubris and ego get in the way of forging any kind of true father/son bond. And now we see where that has gotten him: pushed away from the only ally he ever had.

Somehow, though, Jesse still won't abandon his first mentor completely. When this series started, could you ever have envisioned Jesse being the show's moral compass? He really is a good guy.

But it all comes back to that incredible ending. It was the stuff of (terrific) season finales. But that doesn't even take place next week. There are two more episodes remaining this season. And then 16 more after that. Something major has to go down because Walt has finally reached his breaking point. There's no Heisenberg any longer, there's simply the realization of all he has wrought on himself and his family. That can't go on for too much longer.

Yet what separates Breaking Bad from almost every other show on TV is that I don't care what happens next. I'm not thinking about next season or next Sunday. I'm just reveling in the fascinating hour I just witnessed, capped by as tense a final five minutes as I can imagine and saying to myself... wow.

Review

Editor Rating: 5.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.8 / 5.0 (258 Votes)

Matt Richenthal is the Editor in Chief of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter and on Google+.

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Comparing Walt to Gus and saying Walt could learn a thing is not really fair: Gus has been in the game 20 years, Walt has been for what a year or two? Also, this show is about Walt, not Gus. It seems unlikely that they'll let Gus win in the end. Although it's not out of the question (see Deadwood). I have to say, the way Ted died seemed a bit cheezy. They even called it an 'act of God' in the show, a deus ex machina ("a plot device whereby a seemingly inextricable problem is suddenly and abruptly solved with the contrived and unexpected intervention of some new event, character, ability, or object"). That is a tactic which is justifiably reviled amongst critics and authors alike; however, I wasn't really annoyed because (A) the rest of the episode was great, and (B) everyone knew Ted was dead anyway.

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Why do most fans want Walt dead? I wouldn't want Walter White to die but being realistic, he probably will. I honestly think that this season will end with anyone other than Gus dead. To me, Gus represents what Hiesenberg (if thats how you spell it) would be like. Smart, capable, vicious. Gus is the eternal enemy of Walt, what Walt could have had if not for the family constraints. Say if Walters family is killed, then in the end Walter would become Gus. Gus was just the same as Walter and seeing his brother murdered forged the cold, stoic figure that he is now. I think the fifth and final season will only have Gus and Walter, the two ends of one spectrum, fight. And in the end, as real as this show is....no one will win. Either way, this show deserves a shower of Emmys

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Oh, and I also liked that rather than just being tased Walter was literally Prodded, with a cattle prod.

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Walt does have another way out, kill Pinkman. I think that would take a big step towards fulfilling Gilligan's statement of viewers wanting Walt dead by the end. Great episode

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The most gripping ending I've ever seen. This would make Alfred Hitchcock very very impressed. I can't sleep now. Man, how can the writers top this? I'm speechless.

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Finally, Ted's annoying mug gets snuffed.

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The final scene was outrageous. Maybe the best ending to an episode yet honestly. How can I fall asleep after that madness?!

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Pinkman has got to kill Gus. It's the only possible way to save Walt, Skyler, their kids, Hank, and Marie. Gus' Achilles' heel is that he trusts Pinkman, and that'll allow Pinkman to get in close enough for the kill. Mike will be out of commission for a while, so he won't be able to protect his employer. P.S. Bryan Cranston is the greatest actor of all time. This is not just an opinion. It's a fact.

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First of all you are all welcome...
I'm here to give you the only review that matters...Mine
Breaking Bad continues to be the greatest Tv show of all time as the episode crawl space gets you almost having a heart attack!
I would not say this was the best episode of the shows history but it does setup a very mysterious 2 final episodes. The one thing I did not like was the car wreck...I just find it hard to believe that Hank would not be upset or question the whole thing. Vince Gilligan has said the viewers of the show will want walt dead and he will be the bad guy but I think that is going to be a really tough thing to do.. For 4 episodes the viewers have been rooting for Walt so all of a sudden now the writers will want us to hate him?
I just hope they don't mess this thing all up! This show continues to be great and tomorrow I will have more of a full review but right now I just got to catch my breath....
I thought no show would ever be better than the shield but Breaking Bad is making a strong argument to get my vote..The only Vote that matters
The Reviewer

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Bryan Cranston has just extended his Emmy run to four after tonight. Actually, just hand over the Emmy's to him, Aaron, and the show right now.

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