(Continuing my assessment of Breaking Bad‘s fourth season. Find the first installment here.)
7. “PROBLEM DOG”
In my last installment, I bemoaned Walt’s twin stupid choices — letting some Honduran maids into the meth lab, and buying his son a flashy new sports car. In “Problem Dog,” Walt makes a decision that’s ten times stupider and more reckless than either of those. It’s the kind of moment Walter White and Breaking Bad do so well — Walt decides to take the new car for a joy ride before taking it back, and, naturally, wrecks it. Rather than do any one of ten more sensible things, he decides to blow up the car. This in no way solves the problem — there’s still a record of him buying it, and it also gets him in trouble with the law (briefly, before Saul makes it all go away). I groaned and gnashed my teeth when Walt took the car for a spin, knowing he was fucking himself over yet again, but this behavior felt more in character than what happened last week in “Cornered.” When Walt makes a stupid move, it tends to be colossally stupid. Not the kind of dumb thing any parent or husband or meth dealer would do, but the sort of thing only Walter White, a man at the end of his rope, would do. Blowing up a brand new car definitely falls into that category.