The science of Breaking Bad: Fifty-One

Breaking Bad | Season 5 | Episode 4 | “Fifty-One”

The methylamine...must flow. Baron Heiskonnen sent me, yo.

The methylamine…must flow. Baron Heiskonnen sent me, yo.

Hank begins to unravel the various Gus – Madrigal Electromotive connections, while the leaner meth operation manages to dance around him for another week. Walt’s overconfidence is also beginning to look even more misplaced; commentators are just waiting to see how and when the wheels are going to come off.

This episode is reviewed at Emilia Jordan and the A.V. Club, and you can read more about it at AMC and IMDb.

Random thoughts

No science to write about this week, unless you can think of something I’ve missed.

“It’s like a sex scene between Walt and his son!” shudders my viewing partner as Walt and Walt Jr. celebrate their muscle car driveway-driving prowess. Inappropriate?

Was there a significance in the sound Walt’s new watch made as it ticked over the minute mark? I thought that it sounded like a camera shutter at first (my viewing partner like a pump-action shotgun), but it’s much more ambiguous on re-watching. Seeing as this is the show where everything means something, could Jesse and Mike be keeping tabs on Walt? Are we just being reminded that Walt is running on limited time? Or is everything about to kick off?

Elements in the credits

Breaking Bromine
Bad Barium
Created Chromium
Bryan Cranston Bromine
AnNa Gunn Sodium
AAron Paul Argon
DeaN Norris Nitrogen
Betsy Brandt Beryllium
RJ MitTe Tellurium
BOb Odenkirk Oxygen
JonAthan Banks Astatine
Laura Fraser Francium
Steven MicHael Quezada Hydrogen
Kelley Dixon Potassium
Mark FreeboRn Radon
MiChael Slovis Carbon
Dave Porter Polonium
Sharon Bialy Sulfur
Sherry Thomas Thorium
BrYan Cranston Yttrium
Diane MerCer Cerium
Moira Walley-Beckett Molybdenum
Thomas SchnAuz Gold
George Mastras Germanium
PeTer Gould Tellurium
Sam Catlin Calcium
Melissa Bernstein Beryllium
MicHelle MacLaren Helium
Mark JOhnson Oxygen
StewArt A. Lyons Argon
Michelle MacLaRen Rhenium
SAm Catlin Americium
Rian JoHnson Hydrogen
Vince Gilligan Vanadium

7 Responses to The science of Breaking Bad: Fifty-One

  1. drekker says:

    its a camera watch. I’m ceratin of it. DEA!!!

  2. JP says:

    A real Rolex doesn’t “tick”. Or in their own words, “the truth is, genuine Rolex watches do, in fact, “tick”. However, they tick at around 5 to 6 times per second, so it gives the illusion of “sweeping” or “floating” around the dial. If you watch the second hand with a loupe you can see it.”

    Jesse’s gift is as sincere as his regard for Walt.

  3. The sound at the end is a gunshot (if you listen to the podcast for the episode, Kelley Dixon talks about that). As for the meaning, I think it was meant to remind us that time is running out. I think it’s also a reminder that Walt is a time bomb, tick, tick, ticking away. I don’t think there is anything actually suspicious with the watch. Jesse is thoroughly on Team Walt for right now; I think the gift was genuine.

    • John says:

      Aha! I knew that I should probably be paying attention to the meta-episode and all of the extra bonuses AMC takes the time to give us. Perhaps I’ll have time while they’re writing the second half of the season. ;)

  4. Grin says:

    I’m new here, but just my 2 cents..At the end of S5:E4 “Fifty One”, the sound of Walt’s watch ticking ends with what I first thought was a camera shutter sound.

    Is it possible that Jesse could of given Walt a watch with a camera planted in it? It doesn’t seem plausible unless Jesse was wanting to spy on Walt for his own interests. Too crazy? Yes, probably. As we know this show evokes crazy ponderings.

    Then I listened to it again. The second or third time around it sounded more like that of a gun being cocked back. This is a more likely scenario. A tie in sound effect perhaps. Or maybe Skylar walking in the room and pointing a gun at Walt just as he lays down to go to sleep.

    Probably just an effect. Maybe we will see in Episode 5??

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