'Breaking Bad' recap: The Godfather

"Keep your friends close, but keep your enemies closer."

That's how Walt sums up Gus's plans in this week's episode, by quoting Michael Corleone inThe Godfather Part II. But that line says a lot more about Walt, who's quickly become the anti-hero of his own gangster epic, a would-be kingpin who's caught between his professional ambitions and his responsibility to his family, between what's business and what's personal. And just like in The Godfather, everyone's starting to turn against one another, forcing Walt to make some bold moves against Gus. (Those poor cleaning ladies!) It's just like some old Italian guy once said: real power can't be given, it must be taken.

Breaking Bad creator Vince Gilligan is a bigGodfather fan—"I admit to borrowing liberally and being inspired by The Godfather and The Godfather Part II," he recently told the New York Times—and it's easy to understand why those movies influence his own show. If theGodfather series popularized the idea of a villain that fans will continue to root for, far beyond the point when he becomes unlikeable, then Breaking Bad is pushing that concept closer to its limit in its fourth season. Like Michael Corleone, Walt started out wanting nothing to do with "the business." He got involved only because he felt it was the best way to protect and provide for his family. But over time, money became way less important than power. Now Walt's willing to waste the car wash's first hard-earned dollar on a Coke, just to teach Bogdan who's boss. Read More...


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