A lot of us probably barked “bang!” upon watching this ep. Shit was nuts. After a bunch of back and forth of Walt trying to flush out Jesse and Jesse/Hank trying to flush out Walt, both sides acting pretty cleverly we find ourselves in a desert showdown where Walt’s buried his money. Walt makes a couple major tactical blunders and finally accepts his checkmated fate by calling off his hit on Jesse, because he could bring himself to lose Jesse but not Jesse+Hank. Unfortunately, some people don’t take no for an answer, so the Nazis show up anyway to waste Jesse and the DEA bros and the gunfire commences. Then the fucking episode just ends, god dammit. Some things:
1. I know I was complaining about Mopey Guilty Jesse earlier, but what ever happened to Mopey Guilty Jesse?
So much of the last couple seasons has been about Jesse trying to cope with his own guilt, and just four episodes ago he was throwing money into the street in an obvious cry for help, hoping to get arrested and punished. But when he flips on Walt, I don’t really get why he suddenly feels entitled to take the moral high ground. I can understand thinking that it’s the right thing to try to get Walt locked up, but when it comes to spitting in his face while Walt’s handcuffed and taunting him about the first time they cooked, I just don’t understand where all of his personal guilt went.
One of the best moments of the episode was the phone conversation while Walt was speeding to To’Hajilee to recover the money. The stuff Walt was saying, “I killed those gangbangers, I killed Emilio and Crazy8, all to save your life” wasn’t meant to be interpreted as just him trying to get out of his responsibility; I think it was in there to remind the viewer about all the sacrifices Walt has made for Jesse over the seasons. Poisoning the kid was bad and all, but Walt’s kinda right – it’s not like he died, and as a genius chemist, he know how to administer the right dosage to keep Brock safe. I felt it was totally reasonable for Walt to call Jesse a coward during his arrest. Even people on the internet, and people who consider Walt “the weakest character on the show” were expressing sympathy for Walt’s plight, and it seems like Team Jesse may have suffered a hit with their man’s behavior last night. Still, let’s hope Jesse doesn’t suffer his Hit at the hands of the Hit-lers. Which I guess was put on by Walt originally.
2. “Tom, If irony were strawberries, we’d all be drinking a lot of smoothies right now.”
Who can place that quote?
Anyway, Irony might “literally” be the most misused word in English, but here it goes, striking our protagonists one by one. First off, Walt, who has been the fucking master at using trackers (the only one to successfully bug a car), manipulating with the threat of trackers (getting Jesse to believe that Gus could know about the ricin by bugging their houses), and stopping himself from being tracked (removing a bug from his car), ends up finally being undone by them. He is forced to drive to the money spot because Jesse and Hank bluff him into thinking his van was bugged. Then he says all this shit on a recorded and tracked cell phone, completely implicating himself and giving away his location, and boom, he’s done.
Hank also gets majorly ironied. The obvious one is the farewell call to Marie, which took up valuable minutes in which he could have left the scene with Walt and survived the Nazi siege, but instead had to brag to his woman about how he finally got him. The big thing, though, logistically, was handcuffing Walt, which he had been dying to do for a few seasons, but now I guess he “literally” has died to do so. Walt could have used his hands from the car to bang on the windows or gesture to Hank to GTFO, which he obviously wanted to do.
Irony may or may not end up undoing Jesse, and it probably will, but the motif really does just come back to Walt. Walt’s gonna make it out of this shootout alive, and the only way that makes any sense for him to “win” in the show is that the victory ends up out of his control or against his wishes. Walt concedes defeat in a relatively selfless effort to keep his partner and brother-in-law alive, and fate is simply not going to let him lose that easily. Walt is going to die of cancer at just 52, and my guess is that ironically, this means he will outlive everyone in his family.
3. Todd is really really really insane.
He stole the show. The scenes at the beginning and at the end of the episode were hilarious. First, the way he puts his arm on Lydia asking if his uncle should “straighten things out” with the buyers was pretty chilling, because he was at once nonchalant and eerily sexual about it. Breaking Bad is quite notable in its lack of boning, or at least lack of gratuitous boning to advance plot-lines, but I guess I could see Todd and Lydia going at it at some point. I don’t know though. Todd is so fucking awkward and though I trust him to shoot people in the head, I’m not sure I trust him to pull the trigger with the honeys. Anyway, my favorite part of the scene was when they zoomed out and Todd’s arm was still kinda on Lydia’s shoulder for no reason, and he just sorta slides it off. Then the part where he smears off some of the lipstick on her mug and stares at it. What a cold cold bro.
Speaking of a stunning lack of emotional valence, look at this guy’s face in the shootout! I love the fact that they included this shot among the complete cacophony of gunfire. I figured Todd would go down sooner rather than later because of what he did a few episodes ago, but now I’m pretty sure he makes it to the end.
Random Prediction of the Week: I am now like 1 for 4 on these so I don’t really know what I’m doing trying to foresee things. So I might as well be mad specific. Next episode, Walt calls the disappear-er guy towards the end, and tries to convince his family to go with him, but Walt Jr. won’t go unless his dad tells him the truth. But time is running out because the Nazis are on their way to kill all four of them because Walt refused to cook, but Walt is just yelling at his son to get in the car, and finally the Nazis arrive and Walt Jr. looks confused but is still standing outside the car, and ends up hearing the truth and getting shot/kidnapped/something terrible at the same time. That way it’s ironic because Walt didn’t directly get him killed, but Walt Jr. standing up for himself ends up doing him in. There, that sounds reasonable.