‘Breaking Bad’ Returns, And We Have Some Burning Questions

We take a look at Walter's ricin and the other mysteries that remain after last night's suspenseful premiere.

Spoilers below!

“Breaking Bad,” one of the television most suspenseful shows, returned last night with an episode that makes even some its past seasons seem light by comparison. Future Walt is back, and he’s got the ricin. Hank knows his secret, and the DEA agent had no problem confronting Heisenberg himself about it.

With only seven episodes until the end, it seems that Vince Gilligan and company don’t plan on wasting any time, so before the story continues next Sunday, we have a few burning questions we’re going to need the answers to.

How was Heisenberg unmasked?
Though it might seem like this beginning of the end of “Breaking Bad” was made of nothing but mysteries, it opened with a pretty big answer. Heisenberg has been unmasked. His house is empty. His family is gone. Walt got what was coming to him and lost everything, but how much lower will he go? Where are Skylar and the kids? Are they still alive? Walt has clearly got some of his comeuppance already, but the premiere indicated that this story is far from over.

Who is the ricin for?
Walt didn’t return to his former home for the fond memories. He came for a small vile of potent poison that never quite found its way into Gus’ coffee. The ricin is now the second Chekhov’s gun in Heisenberg’s arsenal. He’s packing some serious heat between this and the M60 in his trunk, and it’s clearly meant for someone big enough to justify both. Walt’s a man on a mission in the flash forwards, and we have just seven more episodes to find out exactly what that mission is.

Will Jesse find out about Mike?
He has to find out eventually, right? Jesse once again came a little unhinged and attempted to give away his small fortune first to Mike’s granddaughter once he seemingly took off and then to the lucky residents living on his paper route. We’re not sure yet what Walt did with Mike and his car, but he’s only one guy and he likely had to rush whatever disposal he could manage. Even the great Heisenberg can’t make a dead man and his vehicle disappear entirely by himself, so maybe this is less of a “will” question and more of a “when.”

How sick is Walt?
Have you caught your breath yet? The final scene where Hank confronts Walt ranks among the series’ best. During the unbelievably tense exchange, Walt casually mentions that in six months, Hank won’t have anyone to prosecute, implying that the cancer, which has returned, will kill him by then. But we know that’s probably not the case, since the flash forward takes place on Walt’s 52nd birthday, almost a year after the scene in the garage. Is the cancer strong enough this time to finally finish off Walter, as Skylar hoped it would, or is this just another Heisenberg trick?

What’s Hank’s next move?
The secret is out, and Hank Schrader is on the case! But as he told Walt himself, he doesn’t know who he is dealing with, but there’s no way that Hank lies down as Walt is hoping he will. Hank is the most likely reason Walt loses his home life, but how do we get there? Hank discovered Walt’s secret on the previous episode and confronted him in the very next one. That shows how quickly things will move during the remaining eight episodes. All that’s left for us to do is to wait until next week and see how much closer it takes us to Walt’s 52nd.

Until then, tread lightly, folks.

Writer/editor for MTV. If it involves cowboys, spies, or hitmen, I'm there. All three would be ideal.
@KPSull