Fans have heaped lavish praise on Sunday night’s Breaking Bad premiere–and with good reason. One of the greatest television dramas of all time continued to toy with audience expectations, dishing out the catnip of great moments from beloved characters and ever higher stakes in the conflicts they’ve created.
So I’ve decided I’ll be that jerk who will point out every little nitpick, because universal praise is boring. Read on for spoilers, spoilers, and more spoilers.
AGAIN, WARNING: MUCHO SPOILERS AHEAD
Nitpick #1. We learn in an opening flash-forward that Walt has apparently been exposed to the world. His house is abandoned, ransacked by vandals, and his pool is occupied by skater punks. BUT THEY ARE NOT SHOOTING THEIR XTREME TRICKS WITH A GOPRO.
One of the visual hallmarks of the series has been the GoPro: attaching a camera to a shovel, a tube in the lab, a lawyer’s arm as he opens safety deposit boxes, etc., for a shot where the camera is very noticeably moving but maintains a constant perspective affixed to an object. GoPro was actually one of the advertisers during the show’s first commercial break last night. And yet these riff-raff were using a DSLR to chronicle their hooliganism. GoPros are cheaper–$400 vs. probably $1200–and they’re wide-angle! How does this make any sense?
Caveat: one opening shot appeared to be from a GoPro affixed to the underside of a skateboard. The ruffians may have been using both.
Nitpick #2. In the garage confrontation between Hank and Walt, Hank utters the lines, “It was you all along!” and “I don’t know who you are anymore.”
Caveat: still a great scene.
Nitpick #3. This one actually bugs me a lot: if Walt almost instantly recognized it was a problem that Leaves of Grass went missing, why did he leave it out in the first place? He knows firsthand that Hank studied Gale Boetticher’s notebook from Fring’s lab closely–and that he made a big deal out of the W.W.-Walt Whitman reference.
Now, if Walt knew this but overlooked the risk that gift from Gale posed to him, it would make sense for him to leave the book on his toilet but not for him to think something was wrong if it went missing. If he knew it could connect him to Fring and expose his drug empire, it makes no sense to have kept the book–or, if he kept it, not to rip out the note from Gale–or to place it where it would very likely come into contact with people who are not him or Skyler and/or run the local office of the federal Drug Enforcement Administration.
Caveat: you tell me.