Breaking Bad, "Confessions"

Breaking Bad, "Confessions"

This episode of Breaking Bad was called "Confessions," but it was really all about Walt's lies disguised as confessions. Which lies did Walt tell?

1. Walt tells Junior he wants to let his son in on everything that's been happening. Then Walt tells Junior about the cancer, but nothing about the fact that Hank is trying to figure out a way to get Walt behind bars or, oh yeah, Walt is Heisenberg, the drug kingpin of the southwest, and has been cooking meth for over a year now. This lie works in Walt's favor. Junior is so concerned about his father's well-being that he opts to stay home with his family and let Marie take care of her own damn chores. As Heisenberg intended.

2. Walt tells Junior that his cancer is beatable. The doctors are optimistic. The chemo is working. Walt just overexerted himself the night before, and that's why he passed out. So either Walt was lying to Junior or he was lying to Hank in the season premiere. I'm guessing the former, based on the smashed-in paper towel dispenser we saw in the first half of the season. This whole cancer situation is dire.

3. Walt tells Hank and Marie that his reluctance to confess is all about Junior's well-being. Junior, Junior, Junior. The kid just found out his dad's cancer is back. How would he ever survive the knowledge that his dad is also a felonious millionaire meth cook? He wouldn't. Period. And Hank and Marie are dicks to even consider ruining poor Junior's day with this kind of information. Basically, this whole thing -- from the cancer to the meth cooking to the guy who got his head strapped to a turtle shell -- is their fault.

4. The confession itself. Walt records a confession in which he names Hank as Heisenberg, a crooked DEA officer who used his drug connections to start up one of the most successful drug empires of all time. Walt blames Hank for Gus Fring's death and Walt's new bruises, among many, many other things. Because Marie took Walt's money to pay for Hank's medical bills, Walt's confession looks all the more legitimate. Hank's pretty much screwed, unless he can find concrete proof that Walt is Heisenberg.

5. The hug. When Walt meets Jesse out in the desert to discuss things, Walt tells Jesse to get out of town and make a fresh start. He waxes poetic about how nice it would be to start over in a new place, around new people. I truly think Walt believes this sounds like a fabulous idea. The lie comes in when Jesse tells Walt to stop working him, stop bullshitting him. Jesse wants Walt to tell the truth, to be straight and tell Jesse exactly what he wants him to do. If Jesse doesn't skip town, will Walt kill Jesse, like he killed Mike? Jesse just wants to hear Walt say it. But instead of saying anything, Walt gives Jesse a hug. It's exactly what Jesse needs, what he wants, what he hopes for, but it's also exactly what will get Jesse to do what Walt wants him to do. And even if Walt does have some iota of affection left for Jesse in his body, this hug was much, much more about manipulation than about showing Jesse the love.

6. Walt tells Skyler that everything worked and things are fine. She remains unconvinced, but I think Walt actually believes this lie (or really, really wants to believe it).

7. Walt tells Skyler that there's a problem with the hinge on the soda machine door. And then he pulls out a frozen gun and heads off to pickup a "prescription." The lies are starting to catch up with him. And there are some big ones lurking around the corner that are threatening to bite Heisenberg in the ass.

Other things having less to do with lies:

  1. Landry was doing some of his own lying by omission in this episode. He played down the incident in the desert in his voicemail message to Walt. And he told his uncle all about the great train heist, but neglected to mention anything about the young boy he killed.
  2. Will the blood on his uncle's shoe come back to haunt anyone? Or was all the evidence flushed away?
  3. This episode started with a cigarette (Landry's) and it ended with a bunch of hullaballoo on account of a missing cigarette.
  4. Landry's uncle's lackey on the nanny state: "When I see a kid with his bicycle home alone, I want to smack the shit out of him, like for his own good."
  5. Not gonna lie: The big Hank vs. Jesse showdown was a bit of a letdown.
  6. Though, maybe now that Jesse knows the full extent of how awful Walt is, he'll go looking for Hank on his own so the two of them can team up like super friends. But probably not, because I'm never right about these things.
  7. Where was Holly in all this? I kept expecting her to toddle out of a bedroom while Jesse was dousing the Whites' house with gasoline.
  8. To be fair to that waiter-guy, table side guacamole is pretty great.
  9. Skyler is so distracted that she can't even make proper change right now. That's character development.
  10. But Walt gives perfect change all the time, because he's a cool cucumber. That's juxtaposition.
  11. The whole "Jesse coming to the realization about the ricin cigarette" thing felt a little bit forced to me. Jesse's waiting out on the side of the road for the Toyota Previa that will take him to his new life, when he realizes that his drugs are gone. Huell lifted them off Jesse in the car or whatever. But at least Jesse has his cigarettes. He stares at the cigarettes for a while, deep in thought. Drugs. Cigarettes. Huell. Drugs. Cigarettes. Huell. Somehow this leads him to the conclusion that Huell lifted the ricin cigarette off Jesse back in the day. And somehow this leads him to suppose that Walt poisoned Brock. The whole thing is only slightly less convoluted than the end of The Cuckoo's Calling, but still. I'll go with it.

What did you think of the episode? Did Jesse's moment of realization work for you or did it feel kind of forced? Where to do you think the show goes from here?

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