Breaking Bad – “This is my confession.”

breaking bad

Walter White and Jesse Pinkman

Oh man. Every week, Breaking Bad is outdoing itself. This week delivered in two very major ways, and there’s so much to talk about. So if you’ve seen “Confessions”, click on through.

So far this season, Jesse has kind of taken a backseat to the drama of Hank discovering the identity of Heisenberg, and Walt and Skyler dealing with that. This week, the focus was split and Jesse made a breakthrough realization that will change everything.

The scene relied a lot on viewers remembering past episodes, which with the Breaking Bad audience is a fair assumption. If you’re watching Breaking Bad, you’re probably paying pretty close attention. And if your memory fails you, you’re likely interested enough to go online and piece the information together. For the most part, I knew what was going on – not just because I remembered the episodes, but because I read so much online that I recalled a few things the creator of the show had said about Walt, Brock and ricin online.

“For once, stop working me”

The scene with Walt and Jesse in the desert was fantastic. Walt has become a much better liar and manipulator through his transition into Heisenberg, something that served him well several times in this episode. With Jesse, the lines are always a little blurred – Walt’s advice to Jesse is always self-serving, but is there any percentage of him that genuinely cares for the guy? Walt convinced Jesse to get a new identity and start over somewhere else. Sure, that fresh start was probably in Jesse’s best interest, but Walt was suggesting it because it served him to have Jesse disappear.

Jesse knows he’s being manipulated, and he knows he has no one. That Mr. White barely cares about him, if he cares at all. But he has so little that he still breaks down when Walt hugs him. It was so sad.

After a déjà vu moment in Saul’s office, Jesse finally realized something – that he’d been right, that Walt had been the one behind poisoning Brock. It’s rather convoluted, involving lifting a cigarette off Jesse yet not actually using that cigarette as poison. The only thing I care to remember is that for Jesse, Brock wasn’t poisoned all that long ago. And for Jesse, this has been something he’s been obsessing over. So I believe that Jesse figured this out, particularly because I feel that Breaking Bad has always required a certain amount of suspension of disbelief.

I don’t think Jesse will rat on Walt, even though I wish he would. But he was so angry when he stormed back into Saul’s office, and he was angry enough to consider burning down Walt’s house, so I do wonder what he will do. One drawback of the fantastic flash forward we got in episode one, is that we know Walt house remains unburnt. Still, it was quite the revelation.

“What would really help me out is if we all stayed positive.”

Jesse asked Walt to stop working him, but Walt is a master manipulator now. I don’t think he knows how to interact with people without working them anymore.

Walt used his cancer diagnosis to prevent Walt Jr. from visiting Hank and Marie. He did it without a second thought, and was a perfect liar. But the real masterpiece was his “confession”. Equal parts brilliant and frightening, I was captivated the entire time.

On camera, Walt wove a completely believable story about how Hank is Heisenberg, and Walt has been acting as his lowly lab geek. The story interwove real life events like the ride-along after Walt’s cancer diagnosis, and paying Hank’s medical bills, and pinning terrible things that Walt did on Hank. It was a genius move, and Hank clearly felt stunned and outplayed. It was exciting and fascinating to watch.

I have a teensy problem though, in that I don’t really believe that Hank would have sat on this knowledge for so long. Hank is not dumb, the show established that. Hank had enough evidence to interest the DEA, to warrant an investigation. Hank would know that the longer he sat on the knowledge, the riskier it would become. Hank wouldn’t want to go down with Walt. Sure, Hank is a prideful man but I do not think he would so stubbornly refuse to report what he knew. But he had to sit on the information to allow Walt the opportunity to make this brilliant move, so here I feel that the seams in the storytelling were allowed to show.

That said, the acting performances from the lead and supporting characters were outstanding, and I remain on the edge of my seat. I’m interested to hear what y’all have to say, so please leave a comment!

Stray thoughts:

  • In the flash forward we saw, Walt is risking returning to the house to retrieve the hidden ricin. Given Jesse’s realization this week, that’s even more intriguing.
  • Skyler seemed less confident this week about her “stand by your man” tactic. Will she crack?
  • Todd has become what Jesse once was – a student, eager to please Mr. White.
  • I’ll have some tableside guacamole, please! The whole Mexican restaurant scene was a great mix of tension and humor.

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4 Responses to Breaking Bad – “This is my confession.”

  1. Dana says:

    I am not so sure Hank would have gone in with what he knew, he doesn’t have proof and without it Walter cannot be brought to justice. Also, even before the confession Hank knows that exposing Walter means the end of his career, I mean, he’s been chasing Heisenberg for years and the whole time it was his brother in law? Plus I see Hank not really thinking clearly at this stage, he is in shock, reeling from what he has learned and not really thinking about how he can catch Walter. He is reacting emotionally and not using his head, in a weird way, quite similarly to Jesse. If those two would only stop and think.

    I’ve long since thought that Walter’s humanity is gone, but we now have confirmation of that. His move to manipulate Walt Jr (who I thought played that scene wonderfully, they really ought to give that kid more to do than eat cereal) by using his cancer shows that absolutely no one is above his manipulations. Every single person in his life exists only in relation to himself.

    I don’t know where we are going yet but I certainly hope that Walt gets the justice he deserves.

    Aaron Paul? Unbelievable acting. All of them really, but he is the standout this episode.

    • polarbears16 says:

      True, Hank’s afraid for his job and his reputation, which prevents him from turning Walt in. The difference between him and Jesse, though, is that Jesse is unpredictable. He has no family to worry about and no restraints, just full blown fear and rage. Hank definitely has become caught up in the Heisenberg takedown, but he still tries to outsmart Walt, something not even Gus Fring can do at the end.

    • John says:

      Dana- agree with most of what you say, except that Hank hasn’t been chasing him for years. So far on the show we have only seen a timeline of a little over a year. Everything has happened fairly quickly.

      I had tor laugh about Jesse picking Alaska. I’m not sure when it happened, but somebody asked him about TV shows and he said he liked Ice Road Truckers.

  2. Jose says:

    I thought that the actual confession in the episode was incredible. I know that the phrase might lose its meaning if I keep saying one of the best moments in the show’s history, but that is what it was. I had a feeling that there was some trick behind his confession when he recorded it, but the execution was flawless.

    One of the things that you mentioned was whether or not Walt’s feelings for his family are real. I think that is one of the last things we can be sure of with him. It was pointed out in the Talking Bad session after the show that Walt has become an amazing liar with everyone except his wife. He pulled off a lot of convincing deceit this episode, but had the most awkward sounding cover story to open the vending machine. I think that is telling. I also think Walt probably cared about Jesse, at some point at least. The scene where Walt was groggy and called his son Jesse has always stood out for me.

    Speaking of Jesse, I don’t think he is going to rat on Walt. At least, not to the DEA. From the flash-foward in the first episode, we saw Walt go back to the house for the poison. To me, that says he needs to kill one person where he can get close enough to poison them. If Jesse were a witness, the DEA would probably have him in a protection program.

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