"One Minute" Review
“One Minute” is an amazing episode of Breaking Bad - across all fronts. I can write about every scene, and every minute (not just “one minute”). They were all so memorable… but I don’t want this review to go on for pages.
“One Minute” is pretty much the definition of Breaking Bad. It has everything the series is known for, and it delivers an incredibly memorable hour of television. We’re given slow-placed, moving character moments, and then provided with some of the most intense action shown on television.
The episode starts with Hank beating Jesse to an inch of his life (the writers used that violence warning from the very start). Jesse uses this opportunity to get back at Walt - he does so by threatening to ruin Walt’s brother-in-law, Hank. He explains that he will haunt Hank for the rest of his life.
Walt and Jesse’s relationship is pretty much a backstory to “One Minute.” It’s given careful attention, but it doesn’t get much screen-time. There’s a great scene where Jesse explains to Walt how Walt has literally ruined his life and left him alone and scared. By the way, I suspect that camera work was inspired by Batman’s Two-Face. There’s a lot of truth to what Jesse says, so it’s a little peculiar that Jesse still agrees to partner up with Walt again. I feel like that could have waited until next week, but who am I to outguess the Breaking Bad writers? They have proven time and again that they know what they’re doing.
Walt and Jesse’s relationship is good and interesting… but it’s nothing compared to Hank’s story. I’ve said in the past (particularly in earlier episodes, such as “Green Light”), that Hank’s storyline had me a little nervous. Well, this is what it’s led to. And damn, I feel sorry for Hank.
In “One Minute,” Dean Norris again plays the role of Hank fantastically. Hank started as a very one-dimensional character in Season 1… and he kept that through most of Season 2. But this season, Hank has become so raw and emotional. There are some really powerful scenes between Hank and Marie - the elevator scene in particular. In addition, the scene with Hank explaining to Marie his decision to tell the truth is fantastic. Hank is becoming the most moral character on Breaking Bad. He’s a vulnerable guy, who’s been joking through the first two seasons to cover up these deeper emotions.
Sadly, all these noble decisions lead Hank to a very dark place. He’s forced to turn in his badge and his gun and go on indefinite leave (without pay). And then, when we least expect it, Hank gets a call from a mysterious stranger (likely Gus), warning him that he’s got one minute before he’s killed. Hank doesn’t heed the warning and all hell breaks loose. I was literally (and I hate to use this expression) on the edge of my seat for those final few minutes. I still can’t believe how crazy things got.
Hank will likely live to see another day, but I don’t know about Tuco’s cousins. One of them is definitely dead (I mean, we watched his head explode), and the other one is in critical condition. Breaking Bad has a habit of killing off important villains sooner than we expect (just like the great Tuco in Season 2).
“One Minute” is a phenomenal episode all around. Again, there’s so much I haven’t mentioned here (like poor Gale!), but I think I touched on the most important scenes. It’s going to be interesting to see where the show goes from here. I suspect there’s going to be a lot of drama with Hank in such critical condition.
Let’s just hope that woman who wasn’t killed in the parking lot called the police!