Breaking Bad: To-hajiilee (S5E13)

“Coward.”

Well it took 5 years but Walt was finally legitimately outsmarted by someone else. Oh how the tables have turned. If there’s one thing that hasn’t changed throughout this show, it’s that Walt will protect what remains of his family. His one remaining sympathetic quality turns out to be his only weakness.

It’s a chess game between Walt and Hank as Walt tries to get Jesse to come out of hiding so that he can get Todd’s white supremacist uncle and friend to kill Jesse (talk about tough love) in a quick and pain-free manner. He offers a ton of money, but they only want one thing – Walt to teach Todd how to cook meth the Heisenberg way, because although Todd’s purity levels are higher than the cartel’s they disposed of, his batch wound up not being blue at all, as Lydia points out. And in a bit of economic logic, they know that if they know how to cook, they can make more than whatever Walt has buried in the dessert. We get a disturbing scene of Todd assuring (slightly coming on to) Lydia that he’ll do his best, and then if you didn’t think Todd was creepy already, he rubs the lipstick she left behind on her coffee mug.

Walt reluctantly agrees to cook one final batch, and disappointingly we are not treated to a music video of blue meth production since Walt says he’ll do it only after the job is done. I guess it takes a couple of swastika-tattooed white supremacists to make Walter look like the innocent guy in a scene. Walt thinks he has the perfect bait for Jesse by visiting Brock, but little does Walt know that Hank has Jesse’s phone and got the call instead. Seriously we had a 5-minute build-up of Walt charming Andrea and that led absolutely nowhere. Hank just heard the message and said, “Nope.” But hope you enjoyed the guest casting for nostalgia’s sake! Also Brock is always so suspiciously quiet with Walt you almost get the feeling he knows somehow.

Hank and Jesse need evidence that Walter is guilty, and Jesse knows above all that Walt will protect his money to the bitter end. They outsmart Walt the entire episode, first by convincing Huell that Walt is out to kill him, and even providing a picture of what looks like Jesse with his brains blown out. Huell caves immediately and gives up the rental van and details of when Walt took the money. (C’mon Huell, better call Saul!) They fake Walt out with a picture of a barrel of money, which Jesse says he found from the rental van’s GPS, and that he will burn it all unless Walt comes out to meet him. Walt falls for the trap hook, line and sinker and I couldn’t help rooting for him to stop while he was frenetically driving to actually think about how plausible the whole situation was. If Walt gets caught, it needs to be in a deviously brilliant manner.

Walt realizes too late that he’s been set up, and calls Todd’s uncle again to rally the cavalry and save him – otherwise his cooking skills will die with him. Once Walt realizes that Hank is the one with Jesse, however, he gives up. He still won’t let Hank die no matter what. We get a long scene of Walt’s slow arrest, and Jesse’s face seems to range from nostalgia of being at their first cook site, to vindication that Walt will finally get punished for his crimes, mixed with the slightest tinge of guilt. Walt only has one look for Jesse – the look of, “I can’t believe I just saved your life again.” After adamantly stating Jesse wasn’t a rat at the beginning of the episode, Walt is proved wrong.

Everything seems to be wrapped up, except in the way where everything happened too easily so you know some shit is going to happen. And it does. Todd & Co. have arrived with guns ablazin’ (either they missed the part where Walt called it off or didn’t care because they still need Walt to cook). We get a tense standoff, and I would have bet money on Hank being killed because he was just too happy and made the mistake of taking time to call Marie to tell her that Walt was caught. (Not with 3 episodes left he’s not). Walt tries to call it off but no one’s listening, except Jesse who wisely decides to get out of the other car. Then the shooting starts. And continues. And continues. Except no one is getting shot. And I mean no one is getting shot or injured in any way. For like 2 minutes. Is this an episode of The A-Team? And then the episode ends.

This episode was better than last week’s but I just can’t believe that everything fell so easily in place for Hank, including the caving of Saul’s henchmen and Walt’s gullibility. Also the way Walt buried the money was so brilliant I was disappointed that the location was so easily revealed. We’re still no closer to knowing why the ricin or the M60 is needed and there’s only 3 episodes left.

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