The final eight episodes of Breaking Bad are a mere brajillion hours away, but as is our semi-annual ritual, we can fill that time by wistfully contemplating the journey thus far and awaiting its denouement with an unquestionable eagerness, yet patient politesse. Or, we could ravenously consume these newly released promo images and spend every moment until then arguing about what they mean, the winner of each debate advancing along the bracket to eventually be crowned the king of Breaking Bad fandom, with all the spoils that implies. Then the rest of us will watch while that absolute power corrupts absolutely, the winner’s expertise in interpreting the symbolism of network advertising calcifying into a reckless arrogance until it becomes their undoing. They are left with nothing. They’ve become a monster.
It’s not too late to turn back.
Okay, now it’s too late to turn back.
Jesse looks desperate, having grown a desperation beard and donned sadness flannel. Has he finally learned the whole truth about Walter’s manipulations, and decided to respond with violence against everyone close to him? Or has he holed up in the desert to record a Bon Iver-like album about his hurt feelings?
Hank looks inquisitive, possibly because he plans to inquire into something. Possibly the difference between rocks and minerals. Possibly the fact that his brother-in-law was a drug kingpin.
Saul looks contemplative, as though scheming about how to escape all of this to his own television show. He would also like you to notice his cuff links.
Todd looks like a sociopath. He will probably die.
Lydia looks oddly happy for someone complicit in so many recent murders. The photographers probably forgot to remind her what show she’s on.
What are Skyler and Walt burying? The hatchet? Their baby? The car wash, which they had crushed into a cube? A chest filled with jade and doubloons, which they pillaged from the Dutch East India Company, because this season they’re pirates now?
Hank is watching Jesse closely. Jesse is once again looking over his shoulder. It seems really hot to be wearing so many layers in the desert. And yet, Breaking Bad is multilayered.
Walt Jr. is thinking about breakfast. Mmm, breakfast. Will he get it? Tune in August 11 and begin the eight-week process of finding out.