Breaking Bad: Season 4, Epidsode 3 – “Open House” Review

After a stellar start to the season, tonight’s episode was a bit of a let down. I understand the need to spread things out and rebuild tension, I just found this to be a somewhat mediocre showing, relative to the exceedingly high bar it has set. That being said, a mediocre episode of Breaking Bad is still better than a good episode of most shows on TV.

If there was one thing tonight’s episode did, it was further distance Walt and Jessie up their respective paths. Jessie seems to have given up on any chance of a future and is simply throwing money away. I loved the scene when he was on the Go Karts, trying to grasp onto some lost youth and find something to make him feel alive. I was sad Walt turned down the invitation to go with him…

Walt on the other hand is buying $300 bottles of champagne and working (slowly) towards some sort of reconciliation with his wife. They are planning for the future big time as they finally make the move to acquire the Car Wash from Captain Eyebrows.

You knew who I was talking about…

The actual focus of the episode however, is the ancillary characters, which is probably why it fell flat for me. Too much Skyler, Hank, and Marie – Not enough Saul, Walt, and Pinkman.

Best Lawyer in the Biz!

Now don’t get me wrong, in prior seasons, particularly leading up to the shoot-out in Season 3, I couldn’t get enough Hank. He was my boy…but now, bed-ridden and feeling sorry for himself, he’s just no fun anymore.

The episode is titled however, for Marie – Open House. This of course refers to her newest escape from reality, coupled with one of her old ones. Throughout the show she would visit various open houses, pretending to be a potential buyer. Each time making up an elaborate back story about a husband retiring from NASA or a sick daughter, or even a pottery hobby. And with each house and each alias, she got to escape her life for just long enough to recharge and return home energized enough to deal with Hank. The feeling wasn’t enough though as she also felt the need to return to her klepto roots and steal trinkets like Puerto Rican spoons and picture frames. Reminders for later that for a little while, her life wasn’t so shitty.

That is until she hits up the same Realtor twice. Than her charade is busted, and this is maybe the most entertaining part of the episode. She calls the Realtor fat, and then a struggle for the car keys ensues…

“You know what Fatty? You are so lucky I am late for an appointment…”

Overall, not a super eventful episode. Walt Jr, Mike, Steve Gomez, and most importantly – Gus, are never even seen. Walt and Skyler get their car wash, and Jessie continues another downward spiral, but the biggest thing to actually happen here involves Hank, and it’s triggered by Marie’s arrest. Hank is visited by a friend on the force, who asks him to look at a case file and see if he can’t help out. The file of course is the murder of Gale Boetticher. Hank ignored it as pity at first, but as the credit get ready to roll, he picks up the file. This will no doubt be the thing that brings him out of his funk, something he can immerse himself in and once again find self-worth…

I’d give this episode 2.5/5 Bears, on a sliding scale. I would still argue that a 2.5 rated episode of Breaking Bad is still better than a 4.5 episode of anything on CBS, because it’s relative to expectations…

2 thoughts on “Breaking Bad: Season 4, Epidsode 3 – “Open House” Review”

  1. I don’t entirely agree with you here, I think if anything the episode was a little weak in BrBa terms as you note, but it did successfully build the feeling of the ominous undoing of the dastardly duo, with Hanks receipt of the file, the shady car bound character out the front of Walt and Skyler’s house and the cavalier attitude Jesse has developed with his money. You can’t help but feel their downfall has just been accelerated.


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