"Problem Dog" Review
This is a very Jesse-centric story, as we continue to see the fallout of murdering Gale. “Problem Dog” opens with a great teaser. We watch Jesse playing Rage, as the Breaking Bad editors creepily cut in footage of Gale’s murder. The footage effectively cuts between video game and reality, blurring the lines in the process.
The only thing that bothers me is that Rage sponsored this episode, so yes, it was product placement. However, it made sense contextually so it didn’t hurt the show in any way. The writers of Fringe should pay attention (or at least get a sponsor other than Sprint).
Jesse’s loyalty is being tested, and it’s hard to tell exactly where his sympathies lie. As Mike hints, Jesse is loyal to Walt, but it’ll be interesting to see if that obedience switches to Gus. Frightening, yes, but it seems possible. Let’s face it, Walt hasn’t been too likable, either. At least Gus fakes respect: something Walt has never given Jesse.
Jesse’s story-arc culminates at the rehab meeting, where Jesse confesses to his crimes (albeit using a dog in substitute of Gale). That was a fantastic scene and Aaron Paul gave it his all. It was great to have the counselor return, too. He provides such an honest portrayal, playing the role with a certain coldness but strong presence - it was very effective.
Meanwhile, the rift between Walt and Gus continues to grow, even without them seeing one another. As an emotional outlet, we see Walt blow up his son’s car (which was pretty badass, by the way). He also decides with greater certainty that Gus needs to be killed, and Jesse is the only one with the opportunity.
We’ll find out in the weeks ahead whether or not Jesse goes through with the hit, but at this moment, it’s pretty uncertain. Also, Gus seems to have a lot on his plate as another rift between Gus and the cartel seems on the verge of chaos. There are a lot of people who want Gus dead; I guess that’s to be expected in this line of work.
And let’s not forget that Hank, too, is closing in on Gus. That end scene was fantastic as Hank slowly unfolds all the evidenced he’s accumulated these last few weeks while bed-ridden. I loved the line: “If a meeting occurred in KFC, would you assume it was with Colonel Sanders?” And Hank’s fingerprint reveal was just perfect. We knew it was coming, but it was effectiveness, nonetheless.
We’ve passed the halfway point of Season 4 and I imagine things will only get crazier going forward. I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait.