TV Show Review

TV Review: BREAKING BAD: Season 4, Episode 13: Face Off

Bryan Cranston, Aaron Paul, Breaking Bad

Breaking Bad Season 4 Episode 13 Face OffBreaking Bad: Season 4, Episode 13: Face Off ended one of the greatest seasons of the series, possibly the best. Season 3 may have equally have been as good. Throughout the episode, Walter White (Bryan Cranston) showed an increasing amount of shrewd decision making, a byproduct of his time always being in Gustavo ‘Gus’ Fring (Giancarlo Esposito)’s wake, always behind, never in front of Gus’ three-steps-ahead mind.

All throughout Face Off it was a chess match, pawns being moved around by two kings.

I had no idea what Walter was cooking up with his alliance with Tio Salamanca (Mark Margolis) until Gus showed up at the retirement home. Then I knew and it was ingenious, as ingenious as any plan Gus could have thought up.

I also did not realize Jesse Pinkman (Aaron Paul) was Walter’s pawn until the very end of the episode. When Jessie and Walter were talking in the parking garage, I knew it was Walter who had poisoned the boy. Walter has become more like Gus then I realized, even worse it would seem. He killed over a child being killed by Gus’ men, initiating the degradation of their relationship, now he uses one to his own end. He crossed his own line just to save himself.

There is the one outlier that Walter White and Jesse Pinkman have forgotten about: Mike (Jonathan Banks). He is still alive and in Mexico. He was Gus’ go-to guy, extremely loyal. Walter White and Jesse Pinkman might have cut the head off of the snake and covered their tracks but the snake’s main appendage still lives. His detective’s mind might be able to piece together what has happened.

Now that the super meth lab is destroyed, I wonder if Walter will try to go back to teaching chemistry. What will Jessie do? No more meth money then again, he barely spent the money he has already made.

Breaking Bad this season was far more compiling than True Blood and Entourage, both of whom seem to be following the same formula over and over again, especially True Blood.

Vince Gilligan has created a gem and its sad there is only one more season.

What did you think of the season finale of Breaking Bad: Season 4?

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Rollo Tomasi

A Political Science and MBA grad who started FilmBook during an eCommerce B-School course in 2008. Cinema and TV addict. Former writer at Empire Movies, Blogcritics, and Alternative Film Guide. In addition to writing for FilmBook, he also edits the copy published on the website, manages its writing staff, manages the back-end operations, site finances, its social network accounts, and works with publicists, actors, and companies on press coverage and promotions. He has also created and Trending

  • Anonymous

    Walt has now become the new Gus — a cunning killer willing to use anyone and anything to accomplish his purposes. Gus died because he violated his own rules of caution, blinded by his hatred of Tio. He wanted to have the pleasure of injecting the fatal shot into Tio himself, so he exposed himself in the one place where he was not protected. He did not realize that Tio hated him so much that Tio was willing to cooperate with another enemy — Walt — and give up his own life, to kill Gus. Truly, “Mr. Chips” has become “Scarface,” as Vince Gilligan has said, especially since Walt, asked by Skyler as to whether he was involved in the death of Gus, answered laconically “I won.” He also killed without hesitation at the laundry. I have been watching television over 50 years, and I cannot think of a better show that “Breaking Bad.” The recent episode “Salud” was the best hour of television since the moon landings. The only show that comes close to “Breaking Bad” woud be the early episodes of “The Sopranos.” I think that the show lost something when Big Pussy went to sea. But no other show comes close. I fear that “Breaking Bad” has lost something irreplacable with the death of Gus. Giancarlo Esposito deserves great praise for creating a great villian without histrionics, a gloriously evil, yet courteous, monster, killed by a vicous, if crippled, beast, Tio Salamanca. What’s next for “Breaking Bad”? Will Walt, perhaps with Mike’s help, try to reconstitute the distribution network of Gus? Will he have to fend off a hostile Mexican cartel or rogue biker (“Get out of my territory!”) meth dealers? Will he look for a new RV? He will still need a way to distribute his product in bulk. Will Jesse find out the awful truth about Walt — that he left Jesse’s ideal woman, James, die when he could have tries to save her? That perhaps he poisoned Brock? That he has been manipulating Jesse to get to Gus? Perhaps Jesse will cook, while Walt becomes the new drug lord. I am full of anticipation, yet hate that the series has only one year left.

  • “Gus died because he violated his own rules of caution, blinded by his hatred of Tio.”

    You are absolutely right. Good point.

    “The recent episode “Salud” was the best hour of television since the moon landings.”

    That was a great episode. I was going to review that but other issues got in the way.

    Gus was a great villan and his presence will be missed.

    Walt will never have Gus’ distribution because Gus had a fleet of legitimate chicken trucks delivering his products across the nation. Walt does not have that. If he is smart, he retires, runs the car wash and maybe goes back to teaching. Perhaps though, he has gotten used to the easy money.

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