Best of Breaking Bad #10 (tie): “Problem Dog” and “Tortuga”

*Spoiler alert: as always, do not read or watch unless you have seen this before or don’t mind spoilers. You have been warned*

(a copout, yes, I know, but as some of you are surely aware, I missed a few days due to a personal issue, so the need to catch up didn’t determine calling a tie — as both scenes are worthy of being on this list — but I can’t say it wasn’t a factor)

Let’s start with “Problem Dog,” Jesse Pinkman’s (Aaron Paul) incredibly powerful monologue is the scene in question here, though the whole episode is incredible. I mean, an episode that begins like this? (from “Inside Breaking Bad,” couldn’t find video for the exact scene, but you get the picture. As always with this show, when it’s intense — and when isn’t it? — it lets you know and wastes no time letting you know):

Walt also does something along these lines this episode (couldn’t find the footage from 04×07, but this works too… both those scenes would be on a future “Best of Breaking Bad” extended list, or even just a “Walt As Heisenberg” list), but here we are:

Everything about this scene, from the interplay between Jesse and the Group Leader (Jere Burns and yes, that’s actually his technical title) to Jesse’s crazy eyes to the crosstalk to the denouement, with “Jesse”/Paul just doing an astonishing job is perfect. The dialogue is pitch-perfect, the metaphor on point, the mood entirely on target. And the sense of foreboding, of Jesse trying to say what he wants to say without actually saying what’s on his mind, the combination of regret, guilty, and the need to move forward… it all adds up to a scene that’s practically flawless, and an acting performance worthy of an Emmy on its own.

…oops, he’s got one of those:

Ah and then “Tortuga.” Not much that needs to be said about this scene. It pretty much speaks for itself. Hank shows a vulnerability here that we haven’t really seen before, yes, and the shocking conclusion is incredible.

*As always, all footage is the property of AMC, and has been embedded from media in the public domain; should that change or should AMC send me a written request to remove said footage, said footage would be removed immediately.*

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~ by Benji on 7 July 2012.

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