It's tough to be the bad ass. Specially if you want to be a cinematic badass. Reality tends to be uncooperative. Let's look at a classic bad ass scene....
Classic scene. Walking away from explosions as if they weren't happening. The only way it would be more of a cliche would be if it was filmed in slow motion. Well, in last night's Breaking Bad Walter tries to do it himself but it doesn't quite work. Firstly, it's not really bad ass to do something cause you are having a snit fit. Last episode he bought a Charger for his son as a bribe. Skyler, his wife, had a tizzy, two hissy fits, and several cows over it cause it bucked against their cover story. So this episode she has already arranged to have Walter return the car. Her gloaming over the detail just added another perceived level of humiliation to the whole affair so in the end Walter just says screw it. He does some wild driving in a parking lot then stuffs the title in the gas tank and sets it on fire as he walks slowly away.
No explosion though.
In the end, Walter has to call a taxi. THEN the car finally catches on fire, and to be fair Walter looked pretty bad ass. It only cost him something like over 50 grand that his lawyer used to pay off cops before it even got all in the system. So in the end, it was a funny scene but where did it leave Walter? He was poorer. If Skyler ever found out it's going to be hell. Ultimately, it was a useless gesture and that's been Walter's problem lately. No matter what he does, it seems useless. He's in Gus' power and he knows he will be killed sooner or later.
He works on the new, improved Jesse to join in a plan to get Gus. Jesse agrees but his heart isn't in it. He missed at least one chance to poison Gus. Jesse is still working through his murder of Gale. Also, the whole new respect given to him by Mike and Gus are messing with him. He's told that his virtue is Loyalty... he just has to figure to whom.
Gus ultimately was the one in the wringer this episode. He can't be totally unsuspicious of Walt or Jesse. At the same time his meeting with the cartel didn't go as plan as they basically sent the ultimatium "Yes or no." The greatest danger though is from Hank who's back in full force. It was amazing to hear his detective work and certainly earned my respect as a character. Gus is a tricky character, but can he dodge three bullets at once? Or is it four? Is Mike as loyal as he seems?
I can't wait to watch the rest of this season!