Breaking Bad Review – “Rabid Dog” S5E12

Spoiler City ahead.

Poor Jesse. No one cares about him. This makes me really sad. I care about Jesse. Skyler wants him dead, Saul wants him dead, Hank doesn’t care if he’s dead or alive, and Walt just put out a hit on him (it can be assumed the last statement is true). Everyone’s reaction to Jesse throughout the episode is as if he is a “rabid dog”, except for Walt (until the end), and maybe Marie’s gesture of coffee. Hank even points out that Walt cares about Jesse, as proven by Jesse’s confession tape and Jesse responds:

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It’s not only funny, but draws back to when Jesse calls Walt gay for stripping down in the RV before cooking the meth. Funny enough, Walt strips down in this episode, too. But instead of stripping down to avoid the toxic smell, he strips down to add the toxic smell. He even has his gun tucked in the back of his whitey tighties like in the Pilot episode. After coming home to find his home broken into and soaked in gasoline, Walt devises a plan. Before I get to that, the beginning teaser was the best scene of the episode. The suspense that was built when Walt is walking through his home with a gun entering the different rooms of his home until he gets to his bedroom was exhilarating.

walt

So Walt devises his plan to cover the gasoline smell. He tries getting the carpet cleaned and when that doesn’t work, he douses his clothes and car in gasoline. Then he tries to pass off the worse lie ever, a gas pump malfunction, on Skyler and Walt Jr. Even Walt Jr. can see through it. Jr. thinks Walt may have passed out while pumping gas. That would have been a better story than a “malfunction.” Why is the lie so bad? Perhaps this is the first time that Walt has really ever been scared of Jesse. He was very close to going through with burning the house down, and Walt thinks he had a “change of heart”, but isn’t sure what that change was. He is still banking on the fact that their partnership means something.

Several times through the episode, Walt proves his love for Jesse. He calls Jesse after he finds his house gassed down and tells him he wants to talk and to fix whatever it is that’s wrong. He calls again and sets up a time and meeting place to hash it out. And when Jesse shows up, it looks like Walt has brought backup, but really Walt did show up to talk. He may actually care about Jesse, in his own sick manipulative way.

What about those keys? Why was Walt so crazy about those keys? It makes sense that he doesn’t want Skyler to know the truth, but in great BrBa fashion, there is a reason that Walt was so bent on the fact the keys had to stay the old set. This will come up again. Along those same lines, when Walt and Jr. are talking by the pool, Walt tells Jr. that cancer will not kill him. I know I’ve thought it before, but what if Walt really does die of cancer? It wouldn’t be the best ending, but ironic, no? And Marie casually mentioning to her therapist that she thinks about poisoning Walt. She has even gone so far as to look up different ways to poison people. Well, at least she’s not stealing anymore.

Because of the carpet ordeal, the Whites go to a hotel. Outside of the hotel, Walt meets with Saul and Kuby in a car. Saul utters the best line of the episode to Kuby, “I never should have let my dojo membership run out.” Yeah that dojo membership would have really helped contain Jesse last week. To Walt’s surprise, Saul’s face is the work of Jesse and Saul says, “Yeah, but you gotta understand that deep down he loves me.” The subject of abuse is used sarcastically here, but everyone is in an abusive relationship, mostly with Walt, a theme that is becoming more and more relevant. It is discussed that Jesse cannot be found, not even with Badger (Beaver?) or Skinny Pete, although they have moved away from Star Trek and have moved on to Babylon 5. Saul then suggests that once they find Jesse, he should be put down like Old Yeller. Later when Skyler goes all Mrs. Heisenberg and suggests that talking to Jesse is not enough, Walt becomes very defensive to both Saul and Skyler. He insists that killing Jesse is not an option, even though they both think it is. His reaction to it suggests he is as loyal to keeping Jesse alive as he is Hank.

When Jesse is in the midst of dousing the White residence down, Hank enters. I gotta say, I knew that Hank was leaving work to go to confront Walt. I am glad I was right, but from here on out, I am not happy with the result. It would have been nice to see Jesse and Walt team back up like the good ole days, but it seems that will not happen again. Jesse goes back to Hank’s house and eventually tells his story to Hank and Gomey, who is now in on the investigation. Jesse being allowed in to a DEA agents home is interesting for two reasons. Its safer for Jesse, but more dangerous for Hank. Not only does Jesse, a meth addict and murderer, know where Hank lives, but Hank could also be fired for harboring a known criminal and not turning that known criminal in. I think what Hank did there was illegal. And he and Gomez both agree with Jesse that there is no physical evidence in Jesse’s account, though Jesse did give them a lot of info. They still have the possibility of Lydia, Saul and Todd. Instead, they decide to wire Jesse. Jesse tells them that wiring is not going to work. He fears that Walt has set up to kill him. He lets Hank and Gomez know that Walt is smarter than they are. He is still a little enchanted by Walt. He calls him The Devil, but makes it clear that Walt is very intelligent, lucky and is capable of anything.

Jesse’s confession isn’t seen on camera, but we do know that he gave up a lot based off things Hank mentions after the taping. But the one thing we do see is Jesse say that Walt was his teacher. Has Jesse finally learned from Walt how to beat Walt? When he goes to the Plaza with the wire to talk with Walt, he thinks he will be killed by a guy who turns out to be a random bystander. Instead, he calls Walt from a pay phone and tells him that next time he is going to go after Walt where he “really lives.”

This is not the face of someone who is playing nice anymore.
This is not the face of someone who is playing nice anymore.

Where does Walt really live? Is it his family? Is Jesse outsmarting Walt by saying this, or killing himself? When Hank picks him up in the van, Jesse tells Hank he has a “better way” of getting Walt. What is this better way? Hank won’t go for killing the family. It seems a little willy-nilly on Jesse’s part, but I hope he has something fantastical up his sleeve. And of course, Walt has things up his sleeve. The episode closes with Walt calling Todd asking for his uncle to do a job for him. Walt knows that Jesse is threatening his family and as loyal as Walt has been to Jesse, it is clear Jesse is no longer loyal to him.

Little Things

-Jesse drinks his coffee out of a DEA mug.

-Hank calls Jesse “partner” after he puts the wire on Jesse. Jesse pauses for a moment. He will never be Hank’s partner. He’s being used in an even more obvious way than Walt has been working him over.

– Gus Fring also hired other people to do his dirty work, but as we saw in last weeks episode, Todd’s uncle is not the clean killer Victor was. It won’t just go off without a hitch.

– Where is Lydia?

-The Hello Kitty phone. And that awesome ringtone. Is Hello Kitty the mascot of season 5b like the teddy bear was to season 2?

Predictions

I have said that the M-60 has got to be for the Aryan gang and that they aren’t happy with Walt. My new theory is that either Todd or the Uncle come to kill Jesse and Jesse kills them first, leaving the rest of the Aryans to think Walt set them up and now they are after him.

Hush Comics gives Breaking Bad‘s “Rabid Dog” a B+. Too much time was spent on the fake gasoline story and not enough time on what Jesse said to Hank or what he was thinking threatening Walt. Props to the acting, the suspense in the teaser scene, the emergence of Mrs. Heisenberg, and Jesse’s newly discovered leadership.

written by Adrian Puryear

Breaking Bad Review – “Confessions” S5E11

You know the deal.. there will be spoilers.

Breaking Bad‘s “Confessions” started right off with a confession… of sorts.  Like most dialogue in the show and particularly this episode, the confession is only a half-truth.  The “loose end” still running around, Todd, calls Walt from a cell phone off of Route 66.  He leaves a voicemail and is so polite.  That Todd is really a gem.  He, much like Jesse, addresses Walt as “Mr. White” and is cordial enough to consider his “retirement”.  He then confesses to Walt that Declan and he had a disagreement.  But he leaves out some very important stuff.  That Declan was murdered, that Declan’s whole crew was murdered, that Lydia called the hit and and that Todd and his Uncle’s Aryan gang stole Declan’s meth lab.  He also neglects to say that he, Todd, is now the meth cook and that the cook will be coming back to Albuquerque.  I still believe that this could become a factor in the DEA’s investigation, if there is one.  Todd and the two head guy’s of the Aryan gang eat at a diner while Todd excitedly divulges the details of the train heist.  The one he wasn’t supposed to talk about.  To anyone!  And of course the other two are eating up his wild tale.  And I say tale because Todd leaves out the most important part of the heist: Drew Sharp’s murder.  The older men joke about Todd being like Burt Reynolds in a 70’s film called Hooper, about a stuntman who is the best in Hollywood.  Todd is far from Burt Reynolds.

Todd could never pull that look off... even if he can jump off a moving train.
Todd could never pull that look off… even if he can jump off a moving train.

Todd’s Uncle and cohort ask Todd if he is ready to run his own lab and Todd assures them that he is.  Is Todd really ready?  He started a fire at his last cook and no longer has Walt to guide him.  Todd being the cook will not work out well.  The two older Aryans go to the restroom and one of them wipes his bloody shoe with a wet paper towel and then flushes it. Sloppy.  Dirty.  Not a Gus.  Not a Heisenberg.  These guys will be caught or they will continue to play a dirty game.  I’m still guessing that the final showdown will be between Walt and the gang.  I believe the shot of them driving the barrel of methylamine to the Land of Enchantment will be known as classis in Breaking Bad.

We then come to Jesse in the interrogation room.  We see the asshole cops questioning him from his perspective in fast motion.  Then Hank enters.  From this moment on, this episode was a roller coaster.  Such suspense.  Hank turns off the video tape.  Hank then offers Jesse the deal:  He knows the Heisenberg is his brother-in-law… so Jesse must give up Walt and then his own charges will disappear.  Hank reads the situation very well.  He predicts problems with Jesse and Walt.  But Jesse easily throws the last encounter he had with Hank in his face, recalling when Hank beat the living shit out of Jesse.  Hank then says something that becomes very important for Jesse, “He really did a number on you, didn’t he?”  Well of course he did.  He’s done a number on everyone.  Hank then tries to empathize with Jesse and the relationship they both have with Walt and their hatred for him.  He asks Jesse if he wants to talk and Jesse says, “Not to you.”  Does this mean that he will talk to someone else?  It’s a possibility I will not reject yet.  Saul enters the interrogation room and he is not happy.  He also infers that Jesse was told about Hank’s revelation.  We cut to Walt on his cell phone (is it the second cell phone?) demanding Saul use the money Walt paid him to bail Jesse out.  Walt Jr. comes home and asks Walt about his whereabouts the night before.  Walt uses make-up to cover his bruises from his fall.  Walt Jr. tells Walt that he is going to Marie’s because she needs help with her computer.  And then Walt stops his son from leaving.  If you watched “Talking Bad” Sam Jackson said that Walt doesn’t play his family, but he does!  He plays Walt Jr. by choosing the moment when Marie is going to tell Jr. about his dad’s drug business to confess his cancer is back.  The Heisenberg has worked his magic on his son just to ensure that his reputation isn’t damaged.

Hank comes home and tells Marie that he didn’t tell the DEA.  She is very upset.  Hank’s pride gets in the way and he tells her he needs to follow his leads.  We cut to the White bedroom.  Skyler asks Walter if he is “sure” and he assures her “it is the only way”.  He sits down on the bed and Skyler has a video camera set up in front of Walt.  Is this about to be the worst sex tape ever, you ask?  No.  It is Walt’s confession, homage to the pilot episode and Walt’s selfie video-taped confession.  But that was back when Walt was still Mr. White.  This is Heisenberg’s confession laced with the weavings of Mrs. Heisenberg.  Also, Walt’s middle name is said again.  Hartwell, in case that ever comes up.

Skyler and Walt wait at a table in a brightly colored Mexican restaurant in silence while festive music plays in the background.  Hank and Marie sit with them and the tension is thick. Everyone is sitting stiff and staring at each other. And then in the most uncomfortable, yet much needed way, the server Trent welcome the group in a very excited way.  Can anyone say a w k w a r d?

Not the family dinner I'm used to.
Not the family dinner I’m used to.

Walt tells the Schraders that this meeting is not about the business or a confession, but rather about the safety of Walt Jr. and luring him is not going to work.  There is a lot of back and forth about the investigation and the children’s safety and Walt’s cancer.  And then Marie says the most extreme thing possible.  Walt should commit suicide.  To which Hank and Skyler both say no, obviously for much different reasons.  Hank tells Walt to be a man and then Walt and Skyler leave, leaving the DVD of Walt’s confession on the table.  I am hoping because of this discussion and what winds up being on that tape, this is the last family moment we see.  Nothing good can come for anything like that again. UPDATE: After re-watching the episode, I notice during this scene that Skyler and Walt are both wearing white while the Schrader’s are wearing dark colors. Good vs Evil?  Who should we be rooting for here?  It’s been something viewers have been asking themselves for years.

Hank and Marie go home and watch the tape.  It begins with Walt saying that if the tape is being watched, he is dead and has been murdered by Hank himself.  He then so intricately goes into the details as to why Hank is the ring leader of the meth empire.  He links Hank to the drug bust he and Walt went to in the first episode, to Gus Fring as his partner, to the money used to pay for Hank’s medical bills, Hector Salamanca, Walt’s children staying with Hank and that Hank used Walt as his cook the whole time.  Hank quickly realizes this is Walt’s threat if Hank continues the investigation.  Hank also figures out that Marie knows about the specific amount Walt mentions in the tape.  Hank now knows that he can very easily be pegged as the Heisenberg because his medical debts were paid with meth money.

Saul and Jesse are in the desert waiting for Walt.  A tarantula crawls by.  The last time we saw a tarantula was when Todd kept the one that Drew Sharp had been keeping in a jar, just like Walt holds on to his murder victims “trinkets”.This tarantula is loose here because the secrets are out, or they will be.  Walt arrives and checks Saul’s car for bugs.  Jesse and Walt discuss Jesse’s meeting with Hank.  When Saul mentions that Jesse’s antics cost Walt a lot of money, Walt asks Saul to step away.  Walt then suggests to Jesse that if he wants to be happy, he should start over and not look back.  He then mentions the man Saul knows who can create new lives.  Walt tells Jesse it would be a “clean slate.”  Walt says that he wishes he could do the same.  But now we know, that the future scenes are exactly that: somehow they have “switched” and Walt has opted for a clean slate.  Jesse sees through Walt and tells him to drop the act.  Jesse knows that he needs to leave or Walt will kill him, just like Mike.  Jesse flips Walt’s own words on him saying “Tell me you NEED this!”  Jesse breaks down and Walt gives him an awesome hug.  It was a sincere moment in acting.  Jesse is broken and Walt is still playing Jesse for a fool, or so he thinks.

At the car wash, Walt assures Skyler their plan worked.  As he talks to her, he is standing in the shadows and his silhouette looks incredibly ominous while Skyler sits in the light.  When She turns to look at him, half her face is covered in shadows.  The imagery is a beautiful way of saying that without Walt, Skyler wouldn’t be bad.  At the station, Gomez asks Hank why there are DEA agents following Jesse.  Hank tells him to remove the agents without explanation.  At this point, Hank is at a standstill with his investigation.  Saul and Jesse discuss the importance of the call Saul will make for Jesse’s new life.  Saul calls and asks for a new dust filter for his Hoover Max Extract PressurePro model 60.  Ya know, in case you need to know that too.  Saul gives Jesse money to start his life while Jesse lights up a joint from his pocket.  Saul gets very stern about not smoking pot.  Jesse is clearly nervous about starting over.  Is it because of what he is leaving behind?  Is it the uncertainty of the future?  We will never know.  Saul gives Jesse a phone in case anything happens.  Jesse is not happy with the Hello Kitty phone.

Seriously?  Thank you to the Heisenberg Chronicles for this one.
Seriously? Thank you to the Heisenberg Chronicles for this one.

Jesse says he wants to go to Alaska.  Maybe Jesse is a fan of “Into the Wild”.  As Jesse leaves Saul’s office, Huell very quickly takes Jesse’s baggie of weed out of his pocket.

Since there was so much speculation on this on the net tonight, I wanted to show the baggie being taken.  Jesse is a smart guy.
Since there was so much speculation on this on the net tonight, I wanted to show the baggie being taken. Jesse is a smart guy.  He did not jump to conclusions.

As Jesse waits for his ride to Alaska, he looks for the baggie, but realizes it is gone.  He looks at his pack of cigarettes and realizes this isn’t the first time that someone has taken something out of his pocket.  He realizes the ricin in the Roomba couldn’t have been ricin and that Walt really did poison Brock.  He chooses not to take the ride in the red mini van, but walks back to town.

Jesse in a rage busts into Saul’s office and confronts him about Huell taking things out of his pocket.  Saul tries to reach for a gun, but Jesse is quicker at grabbing it.  Jesse then clarifies that the ricin cigarette is what Huell stole.  Aaron Paul’s acting in this scene is phenomenal.  He is so scary, so outraged it is palpable.

That is the face of a desperate man.
That is the face of a desperate man.

Saul admits the ricin was lifted but that Walt made him.  He also claims to not know about Brock being poisoned.  Jesse steals Saul’s keys and as he leaves, Saul calls Walt.  Walt then speeds to the car wash and tries to act cavalier to Skyler, talking inanely about the latch on the soda machine.  He opens the machine up and gets a gun out of the bottom.  The gun is frozen.  Would a frozen gun really work?  I’ll tell ya, I’m not gonna keep my guns in the freezer.  It’s just not trusty.

Then in the last scene, Jesse pulls something that I’m not sure whether to cheer or yell W.T.F.?!  He speeds to the White residence (saying house sounds too weird), takes a gas tank out of Saul’s trunk, kicks in Walt’s door (like Hank threatened to do earlier in the episode), and starts spreading the gasoline throughout the living room. AHHHHHH!  What will happen now?  It is doubtful Jesse will be able to pull off torching the house.  It isn’t burnt in the flash-forwards.  Will Walt’s children strike a chord in Jesse’s heart?  Will he narc Walt out?  Will Walt kill Jesse?  I don’t know, but I do know that this episode was fantastic!  I am super stoked for next week.

Hush Comics gives “Confessions” an A +, for Heisenberg coming back in true form, for the return of the Hello Kitty phone, ultimate suspense throughout, and for the phenomenal acting that Aaron Paul put on as the tragic Jesse Pinkman

written by Adrian Puryear

Breaking Bad Review – “Buried” S5E10

Tonight, Breaking Bad‘s new episode “Buried” aired.  After last weeks big confrontation, it was expected this week’s episode would have some big bangs.  But there weren’t big bangs.  There were a lot of small bangs that seemingly is setting up for big things to come.  And with as many loose ends as there were last week, there seem to be even more after tonight.

Now.. here be spoilers..

You tell 'em, Huell.
You tell ’em, Huell.

The episode starts with one of the recipients of Jesse’s money finding it on his front lawn and seeing other neighbors who have stacks of cash on their lawns.  The man then finds Jesse in the park beyond the neighborhood.  Was Jesse purposefully waiting there?  Did he want to be arrested?  Is he still empty inside?  Unfortunately, we don’t find out in this episode, but Jesse obviously doesn’t care about anything anymore.

Next, Walt and Hank have a pretty good stare down on Hank’s driveway.  Walt tries to call Skyler, but Hank beat him to it.  Skyler then meets Hank at a restaurant.  The scene, like many throughout this episode is a lot of Hank talking at Skyler rather than an actual conversation.  Hank is very calm towards Skyler, almost babying her to give Walt up, yet when he talks about Walt, he gets angry, gritting his teeth, and he never calls Walt by name, but rather “animal” and “monster”, distancing himself from Walt by not calling him by name.  Skyler is calculating as Hank talks to her.  She wants to make sure she isn’t involved in Hank’s mind.  When she realizes she is not on Hank’s radar, she states she needs a lawyer for her own protection; she is not thinking about Walt or the kids.  She is thinking of what her crimes are and, I think, she is really thinking about Ted and how she is responsible for his injury.  Then Skyler does the very Skyler thing and causes a scene in the middle of the restaurant yelling, “Am I under arrest?!”  very much like her outburst to Marie to “SHUT UP!”

The comedic break of the episode was my favorite.  Saul’s henchmen, Huell and Kuby, go to the White storage unit to move the money.  Upon seeing the amount of cash, Huell feels it absolutely necessary to lay down on the bed of money.  After making fun of Huell with “We’re here to do a job, not channel Scrooge McDuck”, Kuby lays down in the money, too.  Really, who wouldn’t lay down in a bed of money if they saw it?

Walt is in Saul’s office and Saul is calling Jesse.  He tells Jesse’s voicemail to hide the money, but obviously, they don’t know what Jesse has done with it.  Saul suggests to Walt that he give Hank the same vacation Mike is having in “Belize.”  It is funny that this is how Saul words it, but it also proves that Saul knows that Mike is dead.  Walt’s reaction is important for two reasons: 1. He doesn’t deny that Mike is dead and 2. He exclaims that Hank is family.  This temporarily puts the kabosh on the theory that Walt will kill Hank.  This could change, because everything in Breaking Bad changes, but Walt is so angry when he says it, I think he may actually stick to not killing his family member.  There is a knock at the door, and Walt casually says “Belize.  I’ll send you to Belize.”  Does he??? If Walt kills Saul, that would be pretty messed up.  I hope this was not foreshadowing.

Huell and Kuby return with the money in barrels in a white van.  Walt gives them and Saul a cut, adding they need to find Jesse before he drives to the New Mexico desert.  He drives to what looks like the same spot he and Jesse do their first cook.  He pulls out a pick axe and shovel and begins digging.  Back in the ABQ, Marie approaches Skyler at the White residence.  Marie talks at Skyler about how long she has known Walt was the guy, without Skyler saying much if anything to Marie.  And then Marie slaps the shit out of Skyler’s face.  Those Schraders sure are violent people.  Marie yells “You won’t talk to Hank because you think Walt is going to get away with this.”  Which is the truth.  Then crazy klepto Marie tries to kidnap baby Holly.  After Hank intervenes in that hot mess, Marie gives Holly back to Skyler.  Later, Walt is still digging to some pretty awesome Mexican music.  He makes sure he finds his GPS location and memorizes it.  When he returns home, he pins a lotto ticket to the fridge marking the same numbers of where his money is buried.  Two thoughts on that lotto ticket.  If Hank is able to get back in the house, and sees that ticket, he will be smart enough to wonder why the Kingpin of Albuquerque is playing the lottery.  Also, what if Walt won the lottery?  Wouldn’t that be kinda cool?

Walt then goes to take a shower and Skyler talks at him asking if he moved the money and that Hank knows nothing.  Walt does not respond, per usual, but then he collapses half naked in the bathroom.  When he comes to, Skyler tells him she knows the cancer is back.  He asks her if she is happy that the cancer is back and she says she can’t remember the last time she was happy.  The scene is touching in a way because it seems that Skyler still does love Walt.  He tells her that he wants to give himself up as long as she and the kids have the money.  After everything Walt has done, its hard not to feel sorry for him.  At the crux of it all, it was all for her and their families well-being.  I think Skyler knows that.  Plus, she won’t narc if it means being rich, which we know Skyler wants.  Skyler informs Walt that Hank doesn’t seem to have real proof, and echoing Walt’s “best move” speech from last week, she advises Walt that their “best move is to stay quiet.”

Lydia arrives blindfolded to a junky looking desert area.  Once Declan appears, we can assume this is the desert of Phoenix, AZ.  Lydia is told she can take her blindfold off and confronts Declan about the low-quality blue his cook is producing as the Czech’s aren’t happy.  She asks to see the lab and she is taken to a man hole.  She goes down and comments on the filth of the place and that Todd (who by the by I was wrong about last week) should be cooking as his quality was better.  Lydia then clicks a button on her watch.  Instantaneously, there is a problem above and Lydia stays in the lab.  She checks her phone and then seeks cover.  There is a struggle above and then gun shots.  Lydia set up this hit.  When the dust settles, a voice so politely asks Lydia if she is ok.  Todd is above and helps her out of the hole.  She refuses to look at the bodies of the dead men (even though she virtually pulled the trigger), so Todd navigates her through the carnage as her eyes are closed.  Todd is freakishly polite for someone who is quick to kill little children.  We see that the Arizona guys have been taken out by the White Supremacist group who orchestrated Walt’s prison hits.  It seems to me that these are the people Walt must be at war with in our future scenes.  He wouldn’t bring a gun like that to a one man show.  Also, now that Todd will be cooking again,  it seems that the blue stuff will be coming back to Albuquerque, which could throw the DEA off it’s investigation as to who Heisenberg is.  Just a thought.  But the killing of the AZ guys by the Aryan guys is where we have created so many more questions.  There are a lot of holes to fill between now and the final moments of the series.

At the Schrader residence, Marie instructs Hank that he must involve the DEA into the investigation of Walt.  Hank knows that if he tells his partners and boss this information, he will be done in his career.  He insists that when he brings it up, he will have the proof and be the guy who brought the Heisenberg down.  And I think this may be Hank’s undoing.  Just like Walt, Hank is a prideful man.  He must be the hero and the winner.  Will he do something illegal in order to get Walt and in the process not be able to get him behind bars because of it?  Marie tells Hank he must tell or else he will be in trouble for not once the DEA finds out.  Hank goes into work asks Gomez to set up a conference call with their boss.  Before Gomez does, he tells Hank that Jesse is in interrogation for throwing money.  We cut to Jesse and see his favorite douchebag cops talking at him.  Jesse doesn’t respond.  Hank, going against Marie’s demands,  asks the cops to go in and then we get the credits.  The credits!  So upsetting, but a brilliant cliffhanger.

Theories:

Will Jesse flip on Walt?  In the past we have seen Hector flip on Gus because of Walt’s way with words (and bomb making).  Will Hank’s smooth talking get Jesse to talk?  I think he may.  But I fear that means Jesse will die.

Next week’s episode is titled “Confessions.” This may not refer to Jesse talking to Hank, but it could mean Walt confessing some if not all his infractions to Jesse.

Lydia just has to die.  Maybe not next week, but eventually.

Neither Hank nor Walt will bring each other down.  Their own pride will be their own downfall.

“Buried” gets a B+.  Jesse had practically no screen time and no dialogue.  Otherwise, Hank is treading hard, Blue Sky is on its way back to ABQ, making money angels, and Walt and Skyler 2gether 4eva.

written by Adrian Puryear

Breaking Bad Review – “Blood Money” S5E9

Warning!  Major Spoilers ahead…

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The long awaited (a whole year!) 9th episode of Breaking Bad‘s season 5 premiered on AMC tonight, and opened where we left off at the beginning of the episode 5.01 “Live Free or Die” prologue.  We hear loud noises and see skateboarders.  As the camera pans out, the skaters are using the White’s now empty family pool.  Walt, with hair and new glasses (proving this starts from where we left off) gets out of the car he was given the keys to at the Denny’s.  He is parked in front of the White home, which is now gated, boarded up, and obviously abandoned.  He opens the trunk and we get a glimpse of the gun he illegally bought at Denny’s (and who hasn’t seen some crazy shit happen at Denny’s?) and pulls out a crow bar.  Walt then breaks into his own home.  As the camera pans out, we see that someone has graffitied on the main wall in the living room in bright yellow “Heisenberg”.  The house is empty, yet trashed.  None of the furniture is there, but there are papers scattered and the home has been vandalized.  Where did the furniture go?  And clearly, it is well known who the Heisenberg is, since his name is so glaringly scrolled across the wall.  Walt looks through the blinds after hearing laughter and sees the teens skating in the pool.  He slowly walks down the hall, and in a symbol that has appeared throughout the series, flies are seen and heard in the kitchen.  Walt continues to the bedroom and the door has been been knocked off the hinges, is laying on the floor in the room, and what seems most odd is that it is really bashed in.  Walt then heads for the outlet, unscrews it with a quarter, and pulls the ricin pack off that he left there after bringing it to his Czech Republic meeting with Lydia.  He closes his eyes and seems to reflect for a moment.  On what? Perhaps on everything that we don’t know that has happened to get to this point.  Maybe on what he is about to do with ricin?  Who does he plan to use it on?  Is it for himself?  Is he ready to go out, guns-a-blazin’ and then end himself with the ricin?  He then goes back outside, puts the crow bar back in the trunk and turns to see his old neighbor.  She is holding bags of groceries.  Walt says, “Hello, Carol.”  She drops her groceries (Trivia: When Carol drops her groceries, oranges roll out of the bag and down the driveway. This could be a shout out to The Godfather, where oranges often symbolize death. Earlier in Breaking Bad, when Ted puts himself in the hospital, several oranges fall on his body when he slams into the kitchen cabinets).  And it was almost as if she had seen a ghost.  Why would the house be in this condition?  Number one, shit has hit the fan.  Heisenberg is not only caught by Hank, but he is outed by other people in the biz, and they are mad.  Where are the kids?  Where is Skyler?  My guess is that Skyler is dead, and most likely, the kids are either being taken care of by Hank (if he is alive at this point) and Marie, or also dead.  And more than likely, people either know that Walt fled, or that he may have faked his own death.  Perhaps the reason for Carols’ reaction.  EIther way, he is now back, and it looks like he is out for vengeance.

Coming back to present day, we come back where we left off at the end of 5.08 “Gliding Over All”.   Hank leaves the restroom, his breathing is labored and he is visibly upset. He puts Leaves of Grass in his bag and stares at Walt through the sliding glass door.  When he finally opens the door, we hear Marie jokingly tell Walt, “You’re the Devil!”  Not only is this what Hank is thinking, but it is a continuation of a Breaking Bad theme: God.  It seems odd that in a story about meth and many an un-Godly thing, that God could be a theme, but here he is.  In the past, we have heard Walt say he prayed to God the RV wouldn’t crap out and that if Jesse believes in Hell, they are both going there.  We will hear more about God in this episode, but I’ll get to that in due time. Hank goes out to the patio where the family is having a fun time and tells them he doesn’t feel 100%.  Hank and Marie leave and the White family walks them out.  Walt asks Hank if he is alright to drive, which we will find out he’s not.  As the White’s go back up their driveway, Walt turns and greets the neighbor, “Hello, Carol.”

Hank and Marie’s drive home does not end well.  Not only is Hank tuning out Marie’s surprise at Skyler’s idea of going to Europe, which she apparently mentions on the patio (is this where the White family is in the future?) but Hank is having tunnel vision.  He Is mad.  He is mad at Walt.  He is mad at himself.  And he is afraid.  Because he knows who The Heisenberg is and what exactly he is capable of.  Hank crashes, and then is taken to the ER for a possible heart attack.  Hank and Marie return home and Marie is warned to not tell Skyler about the incident.  Then Hank goes to the garage and pulls a single manila envelope off a top shelf with the label “Boetticher, Gale.”  Isn’t it odd that this file is at Hank’s home and not the office?  He has continued to obsess over it because he knows the story doesn’t fully add up.  He pulls the copied notebook of Gale’s and matches the handwriting to the inscription in Walt’s book, confirming something we have long known.

Walt comes to work at the car wash and opens the garage.  And then something happens that hasn’t happened in SEASONS.  Skyler greets Walt.  And they are nice to each other.  And they are working together.  When did Walt start actually working at the car wash?  He has obviously quit being the cook.  And something else of note, yet another symbol.  The color they are wearing.  In the past, Walt has been notorious for wearing green (money) or red (blood) and Skyler wears blue (pure, her name is Skyler, or the reason in the first place for cooking the blue stuff) but here, at the car wash, with all their niceties, the Whites are wearing… White, to keep up with their lily-white facade.  The facade that Walter White is a good man.  The facade that Walter White still really exists.  And that Skyler is just as innocent.  But then Walt tells her, “The story is”.  And he ropes her into the facade again with the car wash (even though the car wash was all Skyler’s idea) because Skyler has been and always will be Walt’s greatest alibi and he trusts her more than anyone.  But why this moment to talk about what their story is?  Walt doesn’t know that Hank is on to him.  Walt has been out of the business for a little while.  What is he scared of that he reminds Skyler of the “story”?  TIme will tell.  Enter Lydia, the lovely basket case who is Walt’s old connection to the Czech’s and all that money.  She tries to speaking to Walt about coming back because the product is only at 68% pure rather than the 99.1% that Walt used to make.  So who is making the new stuff?  Todd?  The people from Phoenix?  My bet is on Todd.  And Todd knows too much (The train, the kid at the train, the meth recipe, and Mike).  More than likely, he will be a liability later.  The best part of Lydia pleading for Walt to come back to fix things, because she is scared for her life, is that Walt has an extremely Gus Fring attitude toward her.  She talks meth business, he talks car wash business.  Not too long ago, Walt was talking meth business and Gus was talking fried chicken business.  Skyler realizes something is amiss because Lydia brought a rental car to be washed and Skyler sees an ulterior motive.  When Walt admits who she is, Skyler gains the upper hand over everyone and tells Lydia to never come back.  Not only is Lydia Skyler’s bitch right then, so is Walt.  As much as Walt can suggest moving soda cans, or buying another car wash, Skyler is running the show right now.

Hello!  We're the White Family and we are upstanding people wearing our white clothing!
Hello! We’re the White Family and we are upstanding people wearing our white clothing!

At the Schrader house, Hank has the DEA bring him boxes of evidence, much to the dismay of Marie, as Hank should be “recovering.”  As he opens the boxes and files, we see a lot of things we haven’t seen in a long time bringing many things full circle.  Here are some things I noticed: a picture of the DEA and Gus shaking hands over a check for an anti-meth program, a close up of Gus, a Los Pollos Hermanos bag with the Madrigal serial number, The Salamanca brothers, the cars at the Hank/Tuco shoot out, including Jesse’s license plate “THECAPN”, Combo’s dead body and his grade school picture, Tio Salamanca young and old, Mike Ehrmantraut, Chow close up and Chow dead, gas mask found in desert, close up of Gale,  Ron (the guy Lydia gives up the DEA), Gus’s guard Tyrus, the burnt meth lab below the laundromat, the guy who was cut in half at the junkyard who Hank poses with, the video of Walt and Jesse stealing a barrel of methylamine, which is too grainy for Hank to see who it is, and of course, the sketch of Heisenberg himself (For the full list of case files, click here).

About halfway into the episode we finally see Jesse sitting in his living room and high.  Skinny Pete and Badger have really funny banter about Star Trek and Badger’s screenplay he wrote for it.  In the middle, Jesse gets up, goes to the bedroom, comes back with the two bags of money Walt gave him not so long ago, and leaves the house.  As a side note, who thought that Badger and Skinny Pete would be Trekkies?  And to know the difference between the original and Voyager?  Impressive.  Jesse takes the bags to Saul Goodman’s office.  After finally making it into the office (after blatantly smoking weed to be let in ahead of the packed room) and catching Saul at a bad time with a lady friend, Jesse gives Saul the money to give to two people: Albert Sharp and Kaylee Ehrmantraut.  Albert Sharp turns out to be the father of the little boy, Drew, who was killed after the train robbery.  Again we see Jesse’s affinity for children, proving Jesse’s moral compass compared to the rest of the characters and maybe even how feels about himself, a misguided child.  Saul strongly advises Jesse not to give the money away as it may tip people off as to why.  He also asks Jesse if he has had contact with Mike.  Walt and Todd still are the only people to know what happened to him.  Jesse leaves Saul’s office and tells him to take care of it.  But as always, when Jesse is in trouble, Saul calls Walt to clean Jesse up.  As a side note, when Saul opens up his drawer of phones, does anyone else notice that one of his phones has Hello Kitty on it?!  When Walt talks to Saul and assures him he will take care of it, we find out for sure that Walt’s Cancer has returned.  This is something I have predicted for a while as we have never found out the test results of Walt’s MRIs.

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Badger gets all philosophical-like with Skinny Pete about Star Trek.

Jesse looks at his reflection in his dirty coffee table and another bug crawls across, this time a cockroach.  Walt knocks on the door and brings back Jesse’s money.  This is one of the most important scenes of the episode.  Walt asks Jesse if he has an explanation to which Jesse replies, “It’s like you said, it’s Blood Money.”  And now we know the meaning of the title of the episode.  But then Walt says a curious thing, something i don’t believe Walt has ever said before.  He admits he said it was blood money in the heat of the moment and that … wait for it… that Walt was wrong.  Since when has Walt admitted fault?  The scenes layers unfold as Walt begins to tells Jesse to let bygones be bygones.  He places his hand on Jesse’s knee and calls him “Son”.  Jesse isn’t looking at Walt.  For a long time, Walt has been a very twisted father figure to Jesse, giving him guidance in a world that Jesse knew, but Walt recreated.  Is this why Jesse has such empathy for children, because he still is one?  Has Walt been more of a father to Jesse than to Walt Jr.?  Walt tells Jesse that he has been out of the business for about a month and Jesse looks at him.  Then Walt does something he has always done: push buttons.  He asks why give the money to Kaylee Ehrmantraut.  And then short dialogue, very common in Breaking Bad, leads to Jesse letting Walt know that he thinks Mike is dead and he thinks Walt did it.  Walt is adamant that he did not kill Mike.  Again, Walt is not lying to Jesse to protect Jesse, but to protect himself and his newly adopted pure persona.  Walt tells Jesse he needs to believe him, that Walt needs this to happen, placing Jesse as his partner, his son, and his friend again.  But the silence that Jesse gives Walt fills in the blanks.  Jesse knows this is Walt’s classic way of manipulating him.

Jesse doesn't believe Walt anymore.
Jesse doesn’t believe Walt anymore.

During a rare family dinner, Walt runs to the restroom; the effects of the chemo are hitting him.  As he sits on the floor by the toilet throwing up, he notices the Leaves of Grass book missing (Trivia: Walt places a towel under his knees while vomiting, an act that Gus Fring did while at Don Eladio’s home to expose of the poison he ingested. Walt’s behavior is consistently imitating Gus’ even in subtle ways.  And this is not the first time this has happened.  Since season 1, Walt has eaten crustless sandwiches, like his first victim Krazy-8 and now drinks scotch on the rocks like Mike.).  Later he asks Skyler if she has seen the book.  Walter puts it together.  In the middle of the night, he goes out to his car and finds a GPS device attached the back passenger wheel.  He knows Hank knows.  Jesse, presumably high, is passed out in his car in a parking lot when a homeless man begs for change.  Jesse gives him a stack of cash from the bag.  He then drives down a street that looks similar to the street Andrea used to live on and throws stacks of cash onto the lawns of the neighborhood and crying as he does so.  Is he now the Robin Hood of the meth business ala Omar from The Wire?

In the last scene, (which happened a lot sooner than expected) Walt comes to Hank’s house to “check on his health”.  They have small talk about the other one’s life, and again as so often, the silence fills in the blank.  They both know why Walt is really there.  Walt even makes it apparent by resting his hand on one of the boxes of evidence.  As Walt leaves, he stops himself and confronts Hank about the GPS.  He chooses his language carefully to note the bond Hank and Walt had chasing Gus Fring.  He asks if it is the same device they used on Gus when it was “just the two” of them.  Hank closes the garage and then does the best thing Hank has done since collecting minerals.  He punches the shit out of Walt’s face.  I mean he reared back and that fist smashed hard.  He picks him up and lists all the things he could think of that Walt had done to throw Hank off and ends by declaring he knows that Walt is the Heisenberg.  Again with God, Hank says “I swear to Christ, I will put you under the jail!”  Walt then uses his manipulative tactics to choose this time to tell anyone, much less Hank, that he has cancer again.  Hank doesn’t sympathize that easily, though.  Walt declares he is fighting like hell and then let’s Hank know he has 6 months to live, and therefore will have no way to be ever put behind bars as he will be dead before it happens.  “I am a dying man who runs a car wash. My right hand to God, that’s all I have.”  Hank tells Walt that he doesn’t know who he is.  And Walt, or rather Heisenberg, tells Hank, “If you don’t know who I am, then maybe your best course would be to tread lightly.”  As Hank looks at him, it becomes clear he can’t look at Walt and see this monster, all he sees is the brother-in-law who betrayed him.  Will Hank tread lightly?  Or will he be looking for revenge?

Walt tells Hank he's the Heisenberg without saying much at all.
Walt tells Hank he’s the Heisenberg without saying much at all.

With all the classic Breaking Bad devices used in this episode, the flash forward and the inevitable Hank/Walt confrontation I give “Blood Money” an “A”.

written by Adrian Puryear (with mad props yo to Sherif Elkhatib, Taylor Lowe and Evan Lowe)

*All pictures and video content courtesy of AMC TV.