After a very long month, AMC’s Emmy-winning drama Breaking Bad returned Sunday night, and absence made the heart (and viewers) grow fonder. The season 4 premiere was watched by 2.6 million viewers, the highest rating in the show’s history.
It didn’t hurt that Breaking Bad also delivered one of its best episodes ever. The season 4 premiere picked up right where the show left off, with Walter being held and Jesse shooting Gale. Indeed, Jesse shot and killed Walter’s former meth cooking assistant, and the murder of a good man is a cold and brutal way to start a new season.
Breaking Bad may have great writing, but the show is even better when it doesn’t use words. Large portions of the season 4 premiere featured no dialogue as the camera simply showed characters acting or reacting to their dire circumstances. The tension that silence created was beautiful.
Here are my four favorite moments from the Breaking Bad season 4 premiere.
The show has always had great opening scenes that often play with the timeline, and it was great to see the season begin with a flashback to Gale opening the fancy meth lab and talking his boss, Gus, into hiring Walter. There was a bittersweet humor to Gale’s insistence that Gus bring in the man who makes the 99 percent pure meth, since we all know that it spelled the death of Gale.
Gus Kills Victor
If there’s one scene from the premiere that defines the show, it was this one as Gus walked into the lab, removed his clothes, slit Victor’s throat, washed up and left, all without saying a single word. If actions speak louder than words, then Gus is an air horn.
Aaron Paul won an Emmy last year for his amazing work as Jesse, and after Walter, he’s the second most prominent character. Even though he appeared in a large chunk of the season 4 premiere, fans who paid close attention will realize that the character didn’t say a single word until the last 10 minutes of the episode. That silent reflection following his execution of Gale said more about his character than any dialogue could.
A Sick Sense of Humor
Breaking Bad is a very dark show, but it also has a wicked sense of humor when it wants to. My single favorite moment from the premiere came when Walter was mopping Victor’s blood in a circular motion on the floor, and the scene cut to a man in a diner swirling his French fry in a pool of ketchup. The jarring juxtaposition of those two images was perfect and makes me permanently reconsider by enjoyment of ketchup.
What did you think of the Breaking Bad season 4 premiere?
(Image courtesy of AMC)