Breaking Bad: Season 4, Episode 7 – ‘Problem Dog’ Review

This week was all about Jessie trying to cope with Gale’s death, and Hank once again, about to inadvertently save our meth cooks. Walt, despite his massive amount of screen time is actually for the most part filler here. We start out with Pinkman playing video games, in what almost seems like training for the job. In his head he keeps seeing Gale’s face and it obvious that our beloved meth head isn’t quite right…

As the episode progresses Jessie is being pulled in 2 directions. First by Walt, who wants him to kill Gus, and secondly by Gus, who wants to control Walt. Gus’s influence seems to be taking hold too as we see the hesitation to poison Gus’ coffee. Walt treating Jessie like an idiot vs Gus making him feel important, he is torn.

In the middle with Pinkman is Mike, who seems to see what is happening, and to no real surprise is vocal about it in their talk about ‘loyalty’. Walt’s focus in this episode, other than being a catalyst for Jessie’s problems, is acting rather childish as he and Skyler get the car wash operation up and running. His actions with Junior’s car show just how careless he is becoming. No longer the constant source of worry, Walt seems headed down a path of self-destruction that undoubtedly be thwarted  by…Hank.

As foreshadowed in past episodes, Hank has determined that Gus is Hisenberg, which, while not accurate, is close enough to true and should ultimately prove useful for Walt and Jessie…assuming they both live that long.

Maybe the best scene of the episode is where the title comes into play – the ‘problem dog’. Jessie goes to his old support group as a result of his mixed feeling about Gus. He talks about a dog he killed, obviously referring to Gale, and seems to totally break down about it. He can’t vocalize a reason for the dog to be killed, because the ‘dog’ didn’t actually do anything, but was a problem none the less.  Jere Burns (Justified) returns as Jessie’s group leader and he becomes the focus of Pinkman’s outcry, giving us yet another excellent performance from an under-rated actor.

Overall, very good episode. This is without a doubt, one of the best shows on Television, and it continues to deliver week after week. 4/5 Bears.

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