By Jamie Samuelsen
There has been a time in baseball history when Miguel Cabrera went 0-for-4. Every now and then Pavel Datsyuk is a minus-two. And yes, even Barry Sanders once carried the ball 13 times for minus-one yard in a playoff game.
So I’ll allow Vince Gilligan a mulligan for Sunday night’s episode which accomplished nothing…moved the plot along in no way…and basically just brought us an hour closer to the end of this brilliant series.
Last week at this time we knew that Jesse was furious with Walt. Nothing changed there.
Last week at this time we knew that Walter Jr. was concerned about his father’s health. Nothing changed there.
Last week at this time, Hank was consumed with finding a way to nail Walt. Very little changed there.
Last week at this time, Marie was a paranoid shrew. Absolutely nothing changed there.
Part of the problem is that the first three episodes were so dynamic that Breaking Bad had nowhere to go but down. In other words, I’m probably being a little bit too harsh on the episode. Hank did get Jesse on his side and got him on tape laying out the entire story of his relationship with Walt. And he did bring Gomez back into the fold so at least Hank won’t be a lone voice in the wild for the stretch run here. Hank and “Gomie” have always had some of the funniest scenes in the show that don’t involve Saul, so it’s good to see them riding together again.
And I can’t disguise the fact that I’m angry that my original prediction that Jesse was the one who vandalized the White home is now in a little bit of jeopardy. Right as Pinkman was going to torch the place, Hank just happened to barge in and convince Jesse that together the two of them could “burn” Walter White “down together.” For the record, I still think Jesse does the number on the house. He said to Hank in the car at the very end of the episode that, “I’m thinking there’s another way, to get him, there’s another way. A better way.” Consider the fact that Jesse paused to look at the Christmas photo of Walt and Skyler before he tried to burn the house and maybe he realized (duh!) that family is literally the only think Walter cares about more than himself (and even THAT is up for debate right now).
The question of course is whether or not Jesse will even get the chance to do that after Walt placed his ominous call at the end of the episode to Todd telling him that he may have another job for Uncle to do. This is clearly spurred on by Skyler’s rather remarkable comment that they’ve come this far – “What’s one more?”
No. I don’t need that translated for me the same way I needed the scene for episode three translated for me. Thanks to the dozens of emails who took the time to point out that I was an idiot and it was obvious how Jesse knew that Walt had stolen the ricin cigarette at the end of Season 4. I’ll cover my eyes and choose Chris in Salem to explain to the rest of us.
When Jesse rummaged through his pockets to get his smokes, he realized his pot was gone. He realized the only time this could have happened is when he brushed up against Huell on the way out of Saul’s office.
The wheels start turning and he remembers right before the ricin cigarette turned up missing, he was to Saul’s and Huell had frisked him. They made sure they was pointed out as peculiar when it happened because as Huell was patting him down, Jesse complained loudly and incredulously that he was doing it.
Coming to the conclusion that Huell, thus Saul, thus Walt was responsible for the disappearing ricin he made the leap that Walt had actually poisoned Brock in order to spur him into action against Gus.
The Huell took the ricin so Walt must have poisoned Brock was a sketchy leap, but Jesse was already coming to the conclusion that Walt was all lies, all bad and capable of anything so its not wholly unbelievable.
Makes perfect sense.
In my defense, I still think it’s very convenient for Jesse to put that ALL together based on stolen dope. Chris is correct. It’s a rather sketchy leap. But again, to question Gilligan is to tug at Superman’s cape. So I’ll stop.
Here are some other emails from the trenches…
I am thinking it ends with Walt redeeming himself, somehow, perhaps, going Rambo and saving his family after they have been kidnapped by Lydia and or Todd’s crew. Part of the reason I think something like that will happen is its one of the few ways the ending would come as a surprise. – Karl
Karl. I like the way you think in terms of the ultimate surprise. That would certainly qualify. But I don’t think that would be consistent with the show. First, it’s clear that Gilligan wanted Walt to start good and “break bad”. This would be kind of a cute, Hollywood ending and it would go against everything Gilligan wanted to do with the show. Secondly, and I think this is the most interesting issue out there in Breaking Bad nation – is anyone rooting for Walt anymore? I know I’m not. Tony Soprano remained sympathetic up until the very end. So does Don Draper on Mad Men. But Walt is everything Gilligan wanted him to be. I hate him. And if there are any holdouts out there, killing Jesse (or attempting to kill Jesse) would be the final straw. Walt will die. I really think he needs to. And perhaps even that is too ‘Hollywood’ of an ending for this brilliant show.
Hank is a fan of the movie Tombstone. He has a poster in his home (or office). A theory is that the tombstone scenario will play out. Walt will agree to help Hank to take out Todd and the international dealers. So the cop and the bad guy team up, like in the movie. Walt agrees to turn himself in afterwards in exchange for no charges against Skylar, but then uses the ricin on himself so he can go out “on his own terms” and thus, he wins. Because in the end, he has to win. Just a theory…can’t wait to see how it plays out. – Michael
I like this theory too, especially because you’re using context clues from the set to piece it together. That said, I can’t see Hank doing ANYTHING with Walt going forward (tableside guacamole aside). I don’t think Hank even cares about any larger drug trade. He said himself that his DEA career is over because the biggest dealer in New Mexico was sitting RIGHT under his eyes. Hank is consumed with Walt. So consumed that, as I said before, he’d be willing to “break bad” to get him. I just wonder if Jesse’s idea is to harm Walt’s family in some way the way that Walt harmed his. If that’s the case, would Hank be willing to see Skyler get hurt. I doubt it. But that’s kind of the theme of the show.
See! As bad as Sunday’s episode was, we’re still totally consumed with what’s going to happen.
As always, I welcome any thoughts or questions you have. Thanks! Jamsam22@gmail.com