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The Televangelist: 'Breaking Bad' Season 4, Episode 4

In the fourth season we've passed the question of "what if" a high school teacher manufactured meth to "what now?"

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  • AMC
  • "What's he gonna do, catch you on his Rascal scooter?"


"Breaking Bad" this week recalled to mind two other great shows about drugs and outlaws, "The Wire" and "Sons of Anarchy." In its first three seasons, "Sons" dealt with external foes, which united the club against their enemies even while the cracks within the organization grew deeper. As much fun as some old-fashion Wild West shoot outs can be (or double-triple double crosses in Belfast, in an odd third season turn), its the members of the core club we care about. According to a few interviews I've seen, the upcoming season of "Sons" focuses on internal club issues - who might break away or attempt to change this brotherhood, and at what cost? For viewers like myself who care about the character drama, this is the sweet spot. And so too we have reached a particular point with "Breaking Bad" where Walt, with Jesse in reluctant tow, has found himself "a nice safe lab job" … which of course isn't safe at all. But it's a quieter position than we've seen Walt in for awhile. No more blowing up drug dens, running down dealers, nearly dying in the desert a countless number of times, no more figuring out how to move the product or find the materials. I mentioned in my review of the first episode this season that creator Vince Gilligan conceived of the show from a casual conversation of what if? What if a normal guy decided to manufacture meth?

?Finally, in this fourth season, we've past "what if?" and are on to "what now?"