Breaking Bad – “To’hajiilee”

Did anyone else have trouble focusing on their jobs on Monday morning because they were STILL thinking about Breaking Bad? Hopefully that wasn’t just me.

Last night’s episode was so good, and so had be on the edge of my seat, that I can’t even fathom what the final three episodes will bring. Hot damn. If you haven’t seen it, get outta here (and come back later). If you have, click through.

breaking-bad-tohajiileeLast week’s episode was slow, but we all knew why. The chess board was being set up, all the pieces were being put into place. Walt and Jesse needed to become more enemies than family.

So much happened in this episode, even without that heart-stopping final fifteen minutes. Walt met with Todd’s uncle Jack about the hit on Jesse. He told them to do it painlessly, “without suffering or fear” because Jesse is *almost* like family. That almost was still going to put a bullet in his head.

Getting mixed up with the nazis, owing them, all because he wasn’t able to do the job himself, that was a big mistake on Walt’s part. Mike was a professional, something these guys are not. These guys are goons with swastikas on their necks, not ex-cops trying to create a nest egg for their granddaughters. When Walt called them off in the desert, we all knew they’d still show up. Because they need Walt to learn how to cook meth better.

Walt’s biggest mistake, though, was underestimating Jesse and Hank. Assuming he was smart enough to keep outsmarting them. Assuming they’d never hate him enough to begin working together. That was a huge mistake. When Walt had Jesse’s ex-girlfriend call him, he never dreamed that Hank would be the one getting that voicemail.

Huell was integral to trying to take Walt down. Hank convinced him that his life was in danger, and they got just enough information from him to know where, generally, Walt’s money was – buried in the desert. One cheesy fake photo and a call from Jesse later, Walt was racing off to the place he’d buried it. He not only led the cops straight to it, but he confessed to some of his most heinous crimes over the phone. It was amateurish, because Walt was blinded by rage and greed.

You could argue that Hank made some rookie mistakes, too. They took their sweet time reading Walt his right’s, letting Jesse spit in his face, and Hank even called Marie before dialing tribal police. I liked that Hank’s call to Marie wasn’t just bragging, it was emotional. It was full of relief, on both ends. Hank thought the nightmare was over, because Hank had no idea that a truckload of armed Nazis were on their way – but he should have left with Walt right away. Of course, Jesse and Gomez likely still would have ended up dead.

So the Nazis arrived, Walt screamed pathetically from the van for them to stop, and the episode ended with an epic, completely lopsided gunfight. We don’t know for sure that  Hank and Gomez are dead, but it certainly doesn’t look good for them. What about Jesse? He was sloooowly opening the car door, I assume to try and hide somewhere. Will he escape? Will Walt just become a meth cooking slave? Will poor Huell ever know it’s safe to leave the motel room?

It was a hell of a cliffhanger, but what really made this episode outstanding was how tense the silences were. Each and every moment felt like an eternity, in the best and worst ways.

Stray thoughts:

  • Walt Jr. meeting Saul was a brilliant addition to the episode. It drove home just how in the dark poor Walt Jr. is, and he played that excitement about meeting a local celebrity perfectly. The kid can do more than eat breakfast.
  • Walt, really? Don’t give Nazis the GPS coordinates to where you hid your money. Come on.
  • Todd’s weird little crush on Lydia was fascinating, and one of those strange details that just might end up being important.
  • Bryan Cranston is always fantastic, but this was one of his best episodes yet. I believed his fury as much as his crippled defeat.
  • Brock did not trust Walt. I wonder if it had to do with the poisoning, or was just a general discomfort?
  • Walt, not Mr. White. Or, “bitch”.

OK, I’ve said enough. What did you guys think of the episode?

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3 Responses to Breaking Bad – “To’hajiilee”

  1. Very good post. Thanks for sharing!

    I love that in the midst of all of the far more tasty drama, your head still goes to Huell. Alone in his room. Poor guy.

    Walt’s cowardice was something he seemingly overcame throughout the course of the series. But now it seems to be coming back. He’s losing it. His days are numbered…

  2. Jose says:

    Yesterday, I was trying to listen to an audiobook in the car, but had to turn it off because I realized I was so preoccupied thinking about Breaking Bad that nothing was registering. True story.

    This was one of those episodes where it is difficult to talk about anything but the ending. It was very gripping to see Walt fall for the set-up. One of the things I remembered about a previous episode is that Walt lost cell reception driving out to where he buried the money, but it is understandable that Walt was panicked and forgot that detail.

    Looking ahead a bit, the title for the next episode is Ozymandias. That is the name of a poem about the fall of a powerful empire. AMC released a video of Bryan Cranston reading it to promote the final episodes so they are definitely playing up the symbolism. Another thing that stuck with me was the location. They are at the place where Walt and Jesse first started cooking. It seems strangely fitting that his empire starts and falls in the same place. It also really started with two deaths. That is why I think Hank and Gomez aren’t going to make it. It started with two deaths, and ends that way as well.

    I dread next week’s episode.

  3. lifeofmytime says:

    Fantastic episode and review. I, too, noticed Brock’s discomfort. That’s the second time he’s been uncomfortable around Walt. I definitely think there’s something there. Though it’s funny – there are so many details that could come up again. I sometimes focus too much on them. Like Todd’s crush on Lydia as you mentioned. Or little things like how Walt Jr. can’t drive without using both feet. I know that’s random, but it just seems like something that may end up being important.

    Can’t wait to see what happens next!

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