Breaking Bad's Season 3 premiere doesn't begin exactly where we left off, but rather with a strange and bizarre cold opening - a ritual in rural Mexico with people crawling on their bellies on a dirt road in an orange, hazy twilight. It is mad Breaking Bad-ish. At Paley Fest last week [to see our cast interviews from that event, Click Here], series creator Vince Gilligan said that it's a ritual from a religion -- something to do with celebrating or worshipping the dead, but my 20 minutes of Google searching didn't find anything -- and that 4 million people celebrate it in Mexico. The people who crawl to the alter like that are a particularly devout sect-fractionalists, I guess, though Gilligan stated the religion is not just for criminals and murderers. That'll make more sense after you watch the episode. I have no idea if he was telling the truth, but it sounds so cool I would rather believe it's real than find out it's not. It's yet another little diamond of a sub-culture the producers throw at us that most viewers know nothing about.
Breaking Bad comes back after its eight-month hiatus with "No Mas," a wonderful and wonderfully-titled episode. The show is mixing its pitches in the season 3 premiere. After a hard plane-crashing fastball, we're getting an emotionally impacted change-up that lands softly into the catcher's mitt. Some shows can have an unforgettable incident like the "Seven Thirty-Seven Down Over ABQ," but only a rare few can make the next episode just as interesting without resorting to more physical fireworks. In "No Mas," the characters are struggling with the existential dilemma, a student at the high school even asks in a crowded auditorium why a just and righteous God would allow this to happen. Almost every character's first line in the episode is how they feel about the crash, except, most notably, Walt (Bryan Cranston).
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