“I don’t like to see you hurting like this. Maybe it’s time for a change.”
There have been many episodes in this show’s run that have left me with my jaw on the floor thinking, “Oh s*** did that just happen?” These moments were about a dime a dozen throughout this whole episode. Come pull up a chair, I’ll order some tableside guacamole, and we’ll discuss the unraveling of the house that Walter built.
First confession of the night goes to Todd, Walt’s heir apparent, who calls Walt and admits there’s been some change in management. We see him talking with his uncle and shady partner as he recounts his glorious train robbery. Let’s for a moment forget about how bad Walter is and think about this kid who so easily shot an innocent boy and participated in the murder of the cartel. He’s going to have a big part to play. The men ask if he’s okay with running the meth lab by himself. He confidently says yes… but clearly he won’t be able to and this will probably blow up in his and everyone else’s face later.
Then long-lost Walt Jr. comes home to say he’s gotta go have dinner with Aunt Marie (you know, just to be a good member of the family), and Walt very deviously confesses to his son that he hid the fact that his cancer came back and brushes it off, saying that everything will be fine, and then Walt Jr. takes the bait and refuses to go to dinner now. The look that Bryan Cranston conveys in this scene is pure brilliance – sympathy mixed with smug satisfaction for outsmarting his in-laws yet again.
But hey, Walt and Skyler arrange to have dinner with Hank and Marie anyway, after Walt films a confession video almost verbatim with his not!Confession video from the first episode. I admit I was fooled thinking that Walt was going to admit that it was all him and that the money is gone and how he was in way over his head. But no, that’s not very Heisenberg, is it? After Hank refuses to let Walt get off easily by dying or killing himself (per Marie’s typical quick fix solution), Walt hands them his video and this became jaw-drop moment number 1.
Here’s the truth, Walt is indeed the great meth cook Heisenberg, but he was directly under the control of his brother-in-law, Hank, who used his DEA knowledge to forge connections in the drug industry. You see, Hank brought Walt for a ride-along and then took advantage of his cancer to “force” him to cook crystal meth. Walt even felt pressured to pay for Hank’s medical bills after Hank got on the wrong side of Tuco and almost got killed. It was gloriously devious and I have no idea how Hank would be able to prove otherwise seeing as how Jesse surprisingly was tight-lipped about the true identity of Heisenberg and refused to cooperate.
But let’s talk about Jesse. I said last week that he would have been better off taking that money and “disappearing” and starting a new life, and apparently Walt thought the same thing and has the closest thing to a heart-to-heart discussion with Jesse in the middle of the desert. Jesse’s no fool though and knows Walt needs him to get out of town forever and this is a convenient way to do it. It was rather heartbreaking to see how far Jesse has fallen that he is comforted by the man who’s responsible for his own breakdown. I don’t believe Walt would kill Jesse though, no matter what, because he always thinks he has Jesse’s best interests in mind. Jesse gets ‘played’ though, becomes convinced about this plan, and seems excited about moving to Alaska. He just won’t let Saul have his pot, which turns out to be everyone’s undoing.
Things seem just a little too perfect, with Jesse about to skip town forever, until he reaches for his joint, but instead he only finds an open pack of cigarettes. How did cigarettes find their way into his pocket? Why, Huell of course, just like he switched out the ricin cigarette. And now the house comes crashing down because Jesse now knows that Walter was the one who poisoned Brock. I always thought that Walt would get away with everything he’s done to Jesse, but oh Saul you well-intentioned goof, now you’ve really proved to be in league with Walter and Jesse is not-too-happy about it. Saul suffers a beating, warns Walt, who very cautiously retrieves his hidden gun from the vending machine at the car wash and casually brushes Skyler off, or at least intended to if she had any idea what was going on anymore.
Jesse meanwhile has reached Walter’s house with a can of gasoline, and goes to town. Before he can light it though, guess what, the episode ends! Oh Jesse, you should have gone far, far away.
Previous episode callbacks:
- Walter’s confession video
- Tarantula crawling in the desert
- Huell’s fast fingers
- Walter’s obvious lying to Skyler
- Confrontation scene in a public place (per Jesse’s Taco Cabeza suggestion in season 1)