There must be something fashionable to the idea right now …
In what has become a Breaking Bad tradition, episode six of season one opens with a great juxtaposition: The pre-credit sequence is a fast forward to the final scene of the episode and audiences are left scrambling for 57 minutes to piece it together. “Crazy Handful of Nothin’” introduces Tuco, a big-time drug dealer who doesn’t quite do business in any professional manner.
Since the very beginning of Breaking Bad, these actresses have been tasked with the most thankless roles on one of the most celebrated dramas in TV history. In the case of Gunn, it’s a repeat performance in a sense: she had a similarly unglamorous gig as Sheriff Bullock’s beleagured-but-upstanding wife Martha. TV historians and prognosticators will be quick to extol the virtues of Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul, along with Dean Norris and Bob Odenkirk (and rightfully so) but in a very real sense, Brandt and Gunn have long provided Breaking Bad with a moral dimension that would otherwise be absent.
It’s important to keep expectations in check at all times, but especially with beloved TV series. There are so many variables at work, so many moving parts operated by so many individuals, that even with the smartest showrunners, the best writers’ room, and the most stellar cast, things can go off the rails when you’re least expecting it, often at the worst possible time. So it’s with a sense of relief that “Blood Money” opens with what might be one of the two or three cold opens the series has ever pulled off (and that’s saying something). And yet it’s the end of the episode that easily slides into the all-time Breaking Bad Holy Shit Canon.