Around the halfway mark, someone on Twitter said that tonight's episode of Breaking Bad, "To'hajiilee," was this season's "One Minute." Pretty dead on.
"One Minute" ended with a showdown that left Hank in peril, and so did this episode. After his joyful call home to Marie and their exchange of "I love yous," I felt the end was near for Hank. I pictured Uncle Jack and his posse pulling up and putting a bullet in Hank's head without warning. But instead, Jack and friends pulled weapons on Hank and Steve and asked them to show their badges. No one flinched, so Uncle Jack gave his buddy, Mustachio, the go ahead to start shooting. And shooting and shooting and shooting, probably right through the first commercial break of Low Winter Sun.
If waiting for Hank to get into the interrogation room with Jesse a few weeks ago was mean, the cut-to-black in this episode was down right sadistic. Who lives? Who dies? Where's Jesse? Does Jack know that Walt is there? How bad is Landry at holding a gun? Estelle Getty held a weapon with more authority than our sweet Todd.
This episode was a master class in plotting. We knew from last week that Jesse was planning on getting Walt "where he lives." Over the past seven days, we discussed what that meant. Was it his family? Was it is pride? Turned out, it was his money.
And when Walt found out his money was in trouble, holy hell did he drive that car like a maniac. Jesse, whom Walt knows like the back of his own hand, knows Walt just as well.
So Hank, Jesse, and Steve put together an elaborate ruse to trap Walt. They kidnapped poor Huell and stuck him in a safe house with an Officer van Nostrand (the writers employing one of Cosmo Kramer's aliases; a fake name for a fake story). They told Huell that Walt was after him and Kubie and probably Saul. They told him Jesse was already dead (showing him a picture of "dead" Jesse lying in a pool of blood and brains on Hank's kitchen floor). Huell bought the whole thing, telling Hank and Steve everything he knew about where Walt's money was hidden -- he and Kubie packed it in seven giant black barrels (the kind you'd buy at Home Depot), they rented Walt a van, he brought it back dirty, they washed it and returned it to the rental shop. They thanked Huell and told him they took the battery out of his phone to hide his GPS. (This comes back later when Walt wants to hide his location in the desert.)
Hank checks up on the rental car. There was no GPS on the vehicle. Steve is about to give up, but Hank gets a lightbulb. "Walt doesn't know we know he doesn't know there was no GPS on the van." Or something like that. So Hank fills a Home Depot barrel with money, takes a picture of it in a pile of dirt next to his backyard BBQ, and sends the picture to Walt. Walt calls Jesse, who says he found six more barrels just like it out in the desert. Jesse tells Walt to meet him at the money or he's going to burn it all up, and Jesse keeps him talking on the ride over. He brings up Brock, and gets Walt to confess to poisoning him and killing Gus Fring. Hank has a wire on Walt's phone and hears the entire conversation. Evidence! Walt is toast.
But of course it's not that simple. Walt tries to hide, to figure out a way to get out of this. But he can't. And it's probably the first time we've seen Heisenberg's ability to improvise fail him. He's in the middle of the desert, down three to one, and he has no choice but to turn himself in. It's what he should've done right after Hank figured out the truth about Heisenberg, but better late than never.
Hank takes much glee in locking Walt in handcuffs and reading him his Miranda rights and putting him in the car. Gomez puts Jesse in the other car (because Walt and Jesse might kill each other if kept together -- ha ha ha!). And then Hank, instead of calling the police to tell them what's up, he calls his wife. So now there's no backup on the way and only Marie knows what Hank and Steve have been up to.
So many other things:
- I mentioned "One Minute" before. That episode, as well as this one, was directed by Michelle MacLaren. Who is awesome.
- The way Landry put his arm on Lydia and traced the outline of her lipstick on her cup (oh, and finished her tea), I could see him popping up on Hannibal this season as a serial killer.
- I loved Landry, Uncle Jack, and friends trying to convince each other that the burned meth was good enough. It was bluish in the right light. An aquamarine color. Maybe if they just added a little food coloring, like they do to farm-raised salmon...
- Uncle Jack doesn't like rats, but he does respect Walt's insistence that Jesse not suffer when he dies. "There are too many savages out there," says the man with the swastika tattoo on his neck.
- Walt tries to #flushhimout (Jesse) by going to Andrea and Brock's house and getting her to leave Jesse a message to call back. This totally would've worked if Jesse and Hank hadn't been trying to #flushhimout (Walt) first.
- Brock and Junior should totally get together to discuss breakfast.
- I'm hoping the Breaking Bad spinoff involves Junior, fifteen years in the future, running the car wash with Holly, the sister he's raising, who's too wild for her own good. Call me, Hollywood. I've got ideas.
- When Jesse told Walt that he had ignited the money and was looking at "nice orange flames," I seriously thought Walt would say something science-y, like, "Money burns blue, not orange," and he'd totally be on to Jesse's game and that's when he'd finally go on the lam.
- So now Uncle Jack has the money coordinates. But so does Hank and the DEA, since they were tapping Walt's phone. Hank knows where the money is, he just doesn't know he knows it yet. (Assuming Hank makes it out of the showdown alive. Which he won't, I'm guessing.)
- What is going to happen? I'm guessing that Jesse will hide and then let Walt out of the car, after Steve and Hank are killed and the remaining members of Uncle Jack's posse head off into the sunset. That's when Walt and Jesse will go on the run (separately). There might be a hug involved. But Uncle Jack will get pissed that Walt is not around to cook for him, and he'll kidnap Junior (because who cares about Holly?). Walt will find out that his family is in danger and that's when he goes on the search for the heavy artillery we saw in the Season 5 premiere. But I'm probably totally wrong.
What did you think? How is this (both the showdown and the entire series) going to end?
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