Breaking Bad Recap – Who Dies First? Jesse Or Walt?
By: Jamie Samuelsen
Let me clear up a few things first of all.
1) Breaking Bad is three weeks old and this is only my second blog. A trip to Disney World with the family prevented me from writing last week, but after Hank walked into the interrogation room with Jesse at the end of episode two, I almost took my laptop on “It’s a Small World”.
2) Two weeks, two headlines – and both ask questions about the eventual demise of the key players in the show. No, it’s not just a grab for page views. (No! Really!!) It’s honestly the biggest question that enters my mind after watching each episode. After week one, I wondered if Walter White would die. And after this Sunday’s episode, I now wonder if Jesse will kill Walt or Walt will kill Jesse because really, doesn’t one of those scenarios seem inevitable at this point?
We’re at this crossroads because Jesse has finally figured out once and for all that Walt is not good person. (More on how exactly he determined this in just a minute.)
Jesse flew into a fit of rage, attacked Saul (Better Maul Saul!) and barged into the White home to start vandalizing it and potentially burning it to the ground. (We know that won’t happen based on the flash forward at the start of episode one. And yes, the fact that Jesse was the vandal was predicted here in my first blog. Hey, when you’re right as infrequently as I am, you have to point out the few times that you are.)
It was great to see Jesse show an emotion other than catatonic (if that’s even considered an emotion.) I long for the old “Yo! Mr. White” of seasons one and two. And it’s amazing to think of all of the one-on-one battles that we have left with only five episodes left.
Walt vs. Jesse
Walt vs. Hank
Walt vs. Skyler
Skyler vs. Marie
Hank vs. his entire office (especially Steve Gomez)
Walt vs. Walter Jr.
So many battles. So little time.
I loved the Walt switcheroo on Hank and the “confession” video that he shot for Hank and Marie to watch in stunned silence. The look on Hank’s face is a lot like the look on Jim Schwartz’s face after he threw the red flag in the Thanksgiving game last year. Hank knows he’s in the right. He knows he’s getting screwed. And he knows that the reason he’s getting screwed is totally his fault.
Here’s what I didn’t love –
Breaking Bad is one of my favorite shows ever made. So to find issues with it is a little like trying to pick apart “Good Fellas” or “Airplane”. When something is an all-time classic, just let it be.
But I found it a little convenient that Jesse figured out that Walt had poisoned Brock based on clutching a pack of cigarettes from his pocket. That scene confused me at first. But after reading some of the recaps online, the consensus seems to be that Saul’s security guy Huell took Jesse’s dope. That realization seems to have spurred a series of thoughts inside Jesse’s head that told him Walt had pulled the stunt on Brock (and Jesse). Did Saul do this on purpose to turn Jesse against Walt? And how the hell did Saul know that Walt had done that in the first place? I feel like I’m missing something big here and if I am, please let me know. There are only five hours of this brilliant show remaining and a lot of ground to cover. So if Jesse turning on Walt gets things going even quicker, I have no real issue. But it did seem a little too easy. (Kind of like Walt checking his car for the sensor after misplacing a book of Walt Whitman poems in the first week.)
As for the question at the start of this blog (who dies first, Jesse or Walt) I’m going to have to guess that it’s Pinkman. First, Walt is just too smart for him and too unemotional. Second, we know that Walt survives long enough to grow his hair out and grow a beard. I always assumed that Jesse would survive the show and Walt would die. Now I’m not so sure about Jesse. It’s almost like he has a death wish.
I got a bunch of emails from my blog from episode one (http://detroit.cbslocal.com/2013/08/13/will-walter-white-die-theories-on-the-final-season-of-breaking-bad/). Here are a couple. Feel free to fire away with more. I freaking love talking about this show, and with DVDs and DVRs, it’s a mortal sin to talk about it on the radio for fear of spoilers.
I think that Lydia makes Walt get back in the business. Skylar finds out and moves in with her sister. He comes to his senses and turns Lydia in. Her people guns down his whole family including Hank and Marie. He then sets up a meeting with Lydia’s people and he goes out in a blaze of glory – IamPutt
Lydia and Todd (a.k.a. Landry from Friday Night Lights) clearly play a role in Walt’s demise. You don’t carry an assault rifle in your trunk to take out Jesse Pinkman or Hank. You do it if a LOT of very bad people are after you.
Marie is a very expendable character and frankly, the majority of the BB audience wouldn’t feel bad to see her go. Imagine how Hank would react if she was killed. Hank would also… break bad… and go to any extent necessary to seek revenge.
ALSO Ricin has actually been experimented with to cure cancer. Could this play into the story line? Will he pull a Gus and “drink the shot of tequila” to deceive whatever enemies he is facing? In an attempt to end his life, will the poison actually become a cure? – Brandon
Vince Gilligan is a genius, but he doesn’t write female characters very well. Either that or he tries to make them easily detestable. Seriously – have you ever rooted for a female character on this show? Marie, Skyler, Lydia, Jane? Are we rooting for ANY of these women? I feel bad for Skyler…and yet I still hate her. That’s hard to do!
The ricin is really interesting. It’s not as if it’s a mass execution drug. It has to be very carefully placed. And if Walt is going to kill himself, why wouldn’t he just shoot himself – why take the time to break into the house to get the drug. I still think his plan is to use it to kill someone in particular. Who that is? I have no idea. Skyler? She’s the only one who might know where the money is? Saul? He’s the only one who knows ALL of Walt’s secrets. Jesse? And here we are back where we started.
Let me know what you think – firstname.lastname@example.org