EDITOR’S NOTE: Matt Zoller Seitz recaps another episode of Breaking Bad. Last night’s episode conjures The Godfather and suggests a possible ending for the grim, great series.
By Matt Zoller Seitz
Press Play Contributor
If you think season four of Breaking Bad has too much Skyler in it, that Skyler is way too involved in Walt’s business affairs, that Skyler and her sister-in-law Marie are the least interesting characters on the show, and that almost any given minute spent in the presence of the show’s women is a minute that could have been spent on something cool, then last night’s episode likely made you ill.
I kid, sort of. The “Skyler should shut up and butt out” chorus does seem to be growing online — and as someone who applauds the idea of Skyler’s involvement in the family business, if not necessarily the writers’ execution of it, I was intrigued by how last night’s episode accidentally baited this chorus, along with the stereotypical gender posturing that feeds it. The first Walt-Skyler scene courted comparisons between Breaking Bad and the most famous male-centered crime story of all, The Godfather saga. Ditto a bookend scene that happened later in the episode, with the Godfather gender roles reversed: instead of Walt closing a literal door in Skyler’s face and shutting her out, a la Michael and Kay, Skyler shuts a metaphorical door in Walt’s face and traps him in the house — leaves him standing alone in a dark hall, diminished by a wide shot, a man put firmly in his place. (Skyler to Walt: “Someone has to protect this family from the man who protects this family.”)
You can read the rest of Matt’s recap of Breaking Bad here
PressPlay founder and publisher Matt Zoller Seitz is the staff TV columnist for Salon.com. His video essays about Terrence Malick, Oliver Stone, Kathryn Bigelow, Budd Boetticher, Wes Anderson, Clint Eastwood, Michael Mann and other directors can be viewed at the The Museum of the Moving Image web site..