Spoilers for "Breaking Bad" episode two coming up just as soon as I flip a coin...
When you have an offbeat drama that ends its first episode with an unexpected murder or two, chances are your second episode is going to be about disposing of the corpse(s). "The Black Donnellys," for instance, followed that pattern last season, but at least they had solved the dead body problem by the end of show two, where here "Breaking Bad" is stretching out the problem -- with the wrinkle of a body that should be dead but isn't -- into next week.
I'm not saying it's necessarily a bad idea in this case. You hear a premise like "chemistry teacher starts cooking crystal meth," you might think wacky hijinks (even with the whole lung cancer issue), something as relatively lightweight as "Weeds." Clearly, Walt thought something similar: he'd hang out with his ex-student, cook some meth and make money for Skyler and Walter Jr., no fuss, no muss. The show and Walt's life of crime are both turning out to be a lot uglier than that, and so spending a few episodes depicting the inefficiency of corpse disposal -- and, more importantly, the ethical dilemma of what to do with a man who once tried to kill you but isn't an immediate threat right this second -- doesn't seem like a bad idea.
But, man, is it dark. And slow. Vince Gilligan has adequately put me into Walt's head to experience the horror of all this, but there's a part of me that wishes he would take the easy way out and just tell a lot of jokes about Bryan Cranston in his tightie-whities, you know?
In fairness, Gilligan mixed in some very funny moments, like Jesse's obnoxious ghetto boy answering machine message (which got more amusing the second time), or Jesse ranting about the sanctity of the coin flip, or (my favorite) Walt sliding their prisoner an entire bathroom's worth of stuff. (That gag reminded me, oddly, of Ned Flanders' elaborate hot chocolate making scene in "The Simpsons Movie.") Cranston and Aaron Paul have very quickly established a comic rhythm -- see also the "Because somehow it seemed preferable to telling her I cook crystal meth and killed a man" argument -- and Cranston was superb again in the darker scenes, like Walt at the ultrasound appointment realizing that he wouldn't be around for his daughter's life.
I just feel very adrift when I watch the show. I recognize that's the point. I just don't know if it's a feeling I'm ready to experience on a weekly basis.
What did everybody else think?