Breaking Bad – “What’s one more?”

I thought that last night’s episode of Breaking Bad moved a bit slowly, but as the mid-way point in this shortened season, it did a good job of illustrating the head space of each main character, and getting them where they need to be emotionally. In particular, with Walt and Jesse.

Last week’s episode ended with Jesse pouring gasoline around Walt’s house in a fit of rage, but it was just that – a fit of rage. A bigger wedge needed to be driven between these two main characters, and that’s what this week was all about.

The first half of the episode was Walt’s story. He fed his family a flimsy lie about the gasoline, and took them to a hotel. Walter Jr. begged him to stop lying, but the poor kid thought his father was lying to cover up his illness. Skyler knows better.

Both Saul and Skyler suggested that Walt kill Jesse, and he wouldn’t hear a word of it. I’ve often wondered if Walt really cares about anyone but himself anymore, but he does indeed care about Jesse. The question was, how much? Where was that line? Walt wanted to try and talk to Jesse, even though reasoning with him about why Brock “had” to be  poisoned sounded ridiculous. Brock was poisoned as part of a grand scheme to manipulate Jesse into subordination. I wonder what lie Walt would have come up with.

Jesse didn’t change his mind about  setting Walt’s house on fire. He was caught in the act by Hank, only moments before Walt arrived. Hank brought Jesse back to his house (Marie offering him coffee was one of my favorite interactions of the episode), tried to sober him up, and videotaped his story.

I’m curious about Hank’s decision to bring his partner in on this now. It was the right thing to do, especially considering Hank and Jesse’s troubled history. But I wish we’d been able to see that conversation. Hank had to tell his colleague that his meek brother-in-law is Heisenberg. I mean, what was that like?

Walt called Jesse to meet, in an open, public space, so they could talk. Hank wired Jesse so that the whole situation would be recorded, but Jesse was terrified. Hank cares so little for Jesse, who he sees just as a meth-head loser, that it really didn’t matter to him if Jesse got killed – either way, they’d take down Walt.

Jesse got freaked out at the meeting place and bailed, but not before calling Walt and threatening him – he said burning down Walt’s house wasn’t enough. He’d get him “where you really live”. What does that mean? The threat was the tipping point for Walt. He’s ready to take Jesse out, and the episode ended with him calling Todd.

Now things are getting good! Like I said, I found this episode a bit slow. But now that Walt and Jesse are officially out for one another, I have a feeling that the next four episodes will be much more intense.

Stray thoughts:

  • Marie is researching untraceable poison, and thinking about it out loud with her therapist. Too bad she can’t go to Walt for advice on that one. This is a decidedly more complex issue to discuss at therapy than her displeasure over the new parking rules at work.
  • I loved Hank’s argument to Jesse about why Walt won’t kill him. It was fascinating because Hank was right, and because it didn’t matter to Hank whether he was right. His words were only to convince Jesse to do something, but he was dead on. Walt has done many, many things in order to salvage the Jesse relationship when it would have been easier and more beneficial for Walt to cut him loose.
  • My favorite quote from the episode: “Mr. White? He’s the Devil. He is smarter than you. He is luckier than you. Whatever you think is supposed to happen, I’m telling you, the exact reverse opposite is going to happen.”

What did you guys think?

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2 Responses to Breaking Bad – “What’s one more?”

  1. Jose says:

    I thought this was a sad episode. The relationship between Walt and Jesse was always one of my favorite parts of the series. I know Walt has been manipulating him for a while, but I was one of the people who thought that he genuinely cared about him under all of that. It was good to see that Walt hadn’t reached the point where he was ready to have Jesse murdered, even though he almost burned his house down. It was sad to see Walt cross that line at the end of the episode, but Jesse didn’t leave him much choice. It was probably too much to hope for that Jesse could be talked down and walk away from this. I also think Skyler might be almost as far gone as Walt now. Asking him to kill Jesse doesn’t seem that much worse than anything he has done so far.

    Hank clearly isn’t worried about Jesse getting killed. I get the feeling that he is probably more likely to get him hurt than Walt is, even now.

    One more thing that might be worth pointing out. Marie talking to her therapist about the situation could be bad news. The law varies, but therapists are required to report serious threats of violence. I’m not sure where Marie’s undetectable poison falls, but keep it in mind. The writers probably won’t go that route, but you never know.

  2. Dana says:

    It was an episode that moved slower compared to this run of episodes but I think it needed to, I think Walt, in Walt’s mind genuinely cares for Jesse. People for Walt are there to be manipulated and that has nothing to do with his affection for them. I thought Skyler’s remarks about Jesse were completely unnerving at how quickly she has gone from zero to bad.

    I also thought about Marie and her therapist and whether or not the therapist might alert the authorities. Kind of cutting it close there and when you think about it, what other purpose does that scene serve?

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