"Breaking Bad" Season Three, Episode Eight: "I See You" Review

5/11/2010 Posted by Admin


"Breaking Bad" Season Three, Episode Eight: "I See You" Review

By our guest blogger, Rob Stammitti

Wow, three top-notch episodes in a row? Never would've expected it, but after the two best episodes in the season, "Sunset" and "One Minute," came one after the other, I fully expected a bit of a toned down follow-up. Not so. "I See You" shows us the aftermath of the cousins' assault on Hank and takes us further into the dealings of Gus, who may be more sinister than we might have thought.

Spoilers herein.

As plot heavy as the previous episodes were, "I See You" does bring it back a bit to focus on character interaction. It takes place in the hospital directly following Hank's fateful confrontation.

One of the best things about the episode is how subtle it depicts every character's current relationship with Walt. Skylar, holding back the urge to blame Walt for what's happened to Hank, stares coldly, baffled at the words coming out of his mouth as he babbles on about how he felt when he was in the hospital and how nobody is to blame for what happened to Hank but those who attacked him. Skylar's reactions to Walt's dialogue in this episode, even the smallest little smirks or eye rolls she gives, say so much. Now that she knows the truth about Walt, every lie he says is 10 times harder to take and 10 times more pathetic.

Walt Jr. sits beside Walt and holds back tears--his family is falling apart and his uncle, who was practically a second father to him, is in critical condition. He has a book that Hank gave him about the fall of Pablo Escobar, and he explains to Walt that villains always get more publicity than heroes. Everyone knows Escobars name, but nobody knows a thing about the men who helped take him down. The look on Walt's face here is just perfect--here's our own little Escobar sitting there, his Heisenberg persona known and feared all around town.

As the family sits and waits for news on Hank, Gus deals with the aftermath on his end, receiving calls from the cousins' mafioso boss blaming him for the mess. We get to see Gus in a whole new light in this episode. As we've seen previously, he puts forth great effort in maintaining an innocent public persona, and he continues that here as he brings lunch to everyone visiting Hank at the hospital (having met Hank in season two).  But even with the kind face he puts on, there is a truly dark side to him--his true reason for going to the hospital is to order a hit on the surviving cousin. And when his boss finds out, Gus denies his involvement outright, but not before nonchalantly hinting that he may be responsible for some narcotics officials that gun the Mexican cartel leader down at the end of the episode.

Basically, Gus gets things done. Never thought I'd say it, but even as such a toned-down, soft-spoken, and actionless character, Gus may be more badass than any other character on the show. And it doesn't hurt that Giancarlo Esposito's performance is absolutely amazing.

A side plot to the episode follows Jesse as he takes in his new surroundings at the new and improved meth lab. It doesn't add much to the plot, but we get some amusing moments of him flying across the room on rolling chairs and filling his clothes up with the equipment and then bouncing around like a little kid. The vast difference between Gale and Jesse is made apparent pretty quickly.

So, "I See You" might have been kind of light on plot, but it did so many great things for the characters that it definitely deserves to be ranked just as highly as the previous two. In fact, this little pseudo-trilogy of episodes has probably been the best line-up of episodes in the entire series, and it's a real testament to the strength of the season, which could easily turn out to be the best by the very end. The best compliment I could give this season, though, is how utterly unpredictable it's been. One second you think the season will be about Walt getting hunted down by a Mexican cartel, next thing you know it's about Hank's downfall and Walt's return as Heisenberg. It's fascinating and it gets more intense and entertaining by the minute.

Grade: A

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