Breaking Bad "Crawl Space" Review

Season 4 of Breaking Bad has begun its descent into madness. While the season started slower than any seasons of the past, over the last few episodes the show has turned up the suspense factor exponentially. "Crawl Space" takes its time building tension, and allows all hell to break loose during the last 15 minutes.

"Crawl Space" looked like it was beginning with a cold opening, but it wasn't. While some doctors put some surgical tools out and prepared for a surgery, Jesse drove straight up to the front entrance of some abandoned warehouse where the doctors were prepared. The team took Gus in first, leaving a bleeding Mike and stunned Jesse alone outside. The doctor explained that this was because Gus "pays his salary." Its possible that Gus' humanity may die with Mike.

Speaking of Gus, for a character who was originally soft spoken and somewhat likable, has become one my favorite villains in television. On Last week's episode, Gus put a multi-decade plan into action and managed to murder 20+ of his rivals in one sitting. Gus' turn last episode seems to have stuck. He rubbed the murders in Don Salamanca's face -- and for the first time this series, Hector was the sympathetic one. He made sure Hector knew the Salamanca name dies with him and that Jesse killed his last relative. However, the confrontation with Walt in the desert proves how ruthless Gus can be. The line "I will kill your wife. I will kill your son. I will kill your infant daughter" gave me chills.

Walt didn't take this well. In a panic, he asked for favors and pulled strings with Saul, who obliged. The "disappear" plan reappeared this episode, with Walt ready to move his entire family and change every piece of their identities to escape Gus' wrath. Unfortunately for Walt, Skyler used most of their money to pay off Ted (which thankfully was dealt with this episode). Thus begins Walt's descent into madness in the crawlspace.

The writers had no problem expanding Bryan Cranston's range on this one. Instead of getting mad, instead of showing sympathy, instead of running away with his tail between his legs, he panicked. Hard. Cranston was awesome as usual and we're running out of superlatives. You get the feeling it's not acting at some point with him, that it's actually him in the scenes. And that's kind of frightening. My goodness, if you want someone to watch this show, you can show the scene where he's in the crawlspace looking for the money. His descent into madness, starting with the crying and ending with the laughing, was an amazing piece of acting

It's not hard to make a scene like that look silly either—plenty of shows have tried. His laughter over the phone call with the harsh tones... everything added a little more to it and it was shocking and eye-brow-raising and fascinating. Fade to black.

"Crawl Space" was the bridge we needed to begin the ending of the season. With only two episodes left, and a finale entitled "Face Off", this season of Breaking Bad is about to get damn interesting.

Comments 3
Caleb Pass's picture

Totally agree with the end scene.. how the acting is top-notch. There's a delicate line between those scenes coming off as goofy or trying too hard, and total insanity/emotional breakdown. It's always so hard to watch these episodes ONCE a week when they shift gears like this. Haha.

Phil T's picture

I'm taking Gus' side in this one. Walt has been nothing but a pain in the ass to the whole drug operation and he keeps rambling about how he cannot be killed and blah blah blah. I hope he dies (:

Unfortunately, it looks like Walt + Jesse will again prevail and that Gus will meet his demise at the end of the season ;(

Brent Jackson's picture

I hate that Gus may be done for. He is without a doubt one of the greater villains I've seen.