The final moments of last year's half-season finale of AMC's Breaking Bad seemingly set an impossible task for the show:
(What follows is a spoiler — I wouldn't normally put this alert here because we're talking about something that aired last year, but I already ruined the following development today for one person who's very behind in his Breaking Bad viewing. That's enough bad karma for today.)
With Hank finally aware that his brother-in-law Walter White is Heisenberg, the DEA agent seemed poise to pounce on his drug-kingpin Moby Dick once and for all. And yet, there were still eight more episodes to fill. Luckily, things aren't so simple on Breaking Bad (especially given Hank and Walter's family dynamic). The show resumed last night not with Hank arresting Walter, but with Hank backing off in shock. For a show that generally hurtles through plot points, the first episode of the second half of the season was relatively still, checking in with all of its surviving characters (or, in Jesse Pinkman's case, barely surviving) and sort of biding its time as Hank reexamined evidence in the Heisenberg case he had already solved.
And then just when you thought the Hank-Walter information dance was going to extend into the next episode, possibly for episodes to come, we got the perfect four-minute confrontation above, which fundamentally satisfied, summarized the enormity of Hank's revelation, and provided a turning point for Walter and Hank's dynamic. This show is a perpetual motion machine of plot. It sucks that this is the beginning of the end, but I couldn't be more excited for the journey ahead.