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Breaking Bad Round Table: "Fifty-One"

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Happy birthday to Walt! Happy birthday to Walt! Happy birthday to this egomaniacal drug overlord! Happy birthday to Walt!

Indeed, Walter White turned another year older on the aptly titled Breaking Bad episode "Fifty-One." But the occasion was anything but celebratory for all involved.

Come along with TV Fanatic staff members Matt Richenthal, Dan Forcella and Lisa Palmer now as we break down another tremendous installment of the best show on television...

What was your favorite scene from the episode?
Matt: It's gotta be Skyler's singular line of telling Walt that she was waiting for his cancer to come back. I audibly gasped. This is a man so self-centered and self-deceptive that he truly believed his wife wanted him back in her bed. Until she told him she really wanted him in the ground.

Dan: Walt and Walt Jr. fighting over the bacon was my favorite moment from the hour. You don't mess with Flynn and his breakfast, but apparently Heisenberg takes bacon now and asks questions later.

Lisa: I loved watching Skyler turn her back on Walter at his birthday party. That shot of him talking about making it through cancer and how tough his last year was - all with the viewer and Skyler knowing how deeply his lies go - was quite striking.

Breaking Bad Round Table Logo

Will Mike kill Lydia?
Matt: No. He just needed an excuse to leave the room and go practice Hungry Hungry Hippos so he can seek revenge where it really counts.

Dan: Oh yeah! He might kill her twice. Honestly, how often does Walter White get his way? Well, sure, there was that time he blew Gus Fring's face off, but pretty soon it's all going to come crumbling down. That all starts with Mike killing Lydia.

Lisa: I'm not so sure. He stopped himself once before because of his emotions, but maybe her uselessness now outweighs his emotional ties.

Do you have any long-term advice for Skyler?
Matt: GO TO THE POLICE! You've laundered some money. Big deal. Your husband is a murderous kingpin in the drug world. I'm sure you can work out a deal for immunity if you turn evidence against him.

Dan: Continue to attempt suicide, but drown yourself in the pool when your friends and family aren't all around watching you do it. Seriously, if Skyler continues like this for the rest of the summer, I'm going to go crazy. I can't stand her.

Lisa: Step up. And take action. And get your kids out of the line of fire. Someone in the family is going to die before this show is over. My friends and I are betting on Junior. I'm pretty sure the boarding school conversation will come back to haunt both of them. 

Is there any chance Jesse is working undercover against Walt?
Matt: I mentioned this possibility in my review, so I need to say yes. But I highly doubt it. Breaking Bad doesn't typically rely on shock or awe. It's more of a very slow, fascinating boil in which character machinations and decisions meld together to move the story along. Outing Jesse as a mole - who would he even be working with? Hank somehow? - would be the sort of "A-ha! Gotcha!" moment that a series of this caliber need not rely on.

Dan: Certainly. There's always a chance. If it were true, however, I would be very upset. I'm loving the bromance between Walt and Jesse, and if that goes down the tubes again, it will be difficult to take.

Lisa: I doubt it, but I do love a great surprise!

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

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I too think that Walter Jr. Is going to die, but I don't think it will have anything to do with boarding school... I think he will simply have way too much fun with that new car...

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I don't think Jesse is scheming or plotting anything with Walt -- but I have to believe he absorbed what Walt said about Victor. I thought Jesse seemed vaguely troubled by what Walt said. Combine that with Walter's greedy money grabbing in a previous scene and I have to think Jesse is at least concerned about how Walt is behaving.

Strawberry fields

Favourite scene - the look on Walt's face when Skyler said she's waiting for the cancer to come back. Almighty Heisenberg did not see that coming? Will Mike kill Lydia? I'm totally with Dan on this one. Plus that woman looks like serious trouble. She needs to go. Advice for Skyler? Stop acting like an idiot! Stop freaking out in front of people! Just suck it up, smile, play a happy wife, try to think of an exit stategy that isn't idiotic and only THEN do something. Is there any chance Jesse is working undercover against Walt? I doubt it, but it's not impossible. It's only a matter of time before even Jesse admits Walter is out of control. I think the conversation about Victor at the end of previous episode made Jesse use his brain.

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Just a follow up thought - perhaps i should have said, Mike, Jesse AND Saul...who is scared to death of Walt and who has all the info needed on the Ricin cigarette to realize the fear/revulsion/dawning realization that was so clear on Jesse's face after the Victor discussion....m

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Its interesting that neither the roundtable or the commenters have considered that it is Mike and Jesse who may be working together - to protect themselves from an out of control Walt. There clearly is a bond between them that is now battle tested and Jesse's reaction to the "flying to close to the sun" comment was overwhelming I thought. Also his tone and clap on the shoulder when he gave Walt his "gift" seemed completely out of "tonal" authenticity. Summary, relying on Walt's hubris Mike and Jesse just gave Walt a "gift" - tho i have no idea what that gift might be...but im thinking not simply a fancy watch.

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I don't think Jesse is working undercover either. That would be too gimmicky. However, I have a deep longing for Jesse to turn on Walter at some point. After Walter's dramatic descension, I have absolutely no desire to see Walt go unpunished.

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Dan,
Do you really think Walter and Jesse have a bromance?! Are you serious when you say that a dissolution of their partnership would be "difficult to take"??? You're entitled to your opinion but I think 90% of us are foaming at the mouth for a Walt/Jesse confrontation!! Do you really want Jesse to be under Walt's thumb forever???? Cause that's all their relationship is based on. jesse is the good guy!