After last week’s breathless and brilliant opener, presumably this follow-up would see Breaking Bad take its foot off the pedal? Not a bit of it.
Starting off with another of its many classic openings-that-seemingly-focus-on-something-random-before-revealing-what-it-is-about, we were quickly thrown straight back in to the action from last week, with Walt leaving Hank‘s garage.
Immediately the pace was set as he tried to get in touch with Skyler, only to realise that he’d been beaten to it by his brother-in-law. Wasting no time in spreading the revelation around, this set us up for classic scenes involving Skyler first with Hank in a diner and then Marie at home.
The latter turned into a harrowing shouting match as she tried to take the baby (who can even remember her name?) away from the house we know to be on the road to dereliction, but the real intensity was in the diner, where Skyler had to play her cards very close to her chest to cover her own guilt.
Meanwhile, Bryan Cranston got to enjoy some nostalgic moments as Walt headed off out into that desert again and later stripped down to his never-flattering underpants, having spent hours burying his drug money to try and keep it safe from DEA clutches. Whether for himself or his family, depending on how far you think he has fallen.
Elsewhere, Lydia and Todd took matters into their own hands by ousting their business partners in a bloody shoot-out (well, Lydia hid underground and then closed her eyes so she didn’t have to see corpses), suggesting either that Heisenberg will be needed to come out of retirement, or that he will be replaced (in both cooking and Machiavellian manoeuvres) by his former apprentice.
But, as another cruel cliffhanger finale left us with, it’s Jesse he needs to worry about, sat stonefaced in a police cell about to come face to face with his other tormentor Hank, who will have some interesting questions for him. Is it next week yet?