Arrrrrrrrgh. Here be spoilers.
1. The Confession
The title of last night’s episode is “Confessions”, so I thought we could start with the moment that serves as the episode’s namesake.
I, for one, was completely blindsided by the turn this confession took and watched the whole thing with my mouth gaping open like Huell when he’s sitting down. I think the most revealing thing about this moment isn’t that Walt would stab his brother-in-law in the back in such a despicable way (we already know how darn evil Walt has become), but the fact that, this whole time, all along, Walter White has had the acting chops of Meryl Streep in Kramer v. Kramer. Seriously. Don’t be surprised if, come Emmy time, the ATAS is still sick of handing all the hardware to Cranston and instead gives the award directly to Walt.
In all seriousness, this confession represented a big shift in the way I personally view Mr. White. It was during the commercial break after this confession that I found myself for the first time referring to Cranston’s character primarily as Heisenberg, rather than Walter. Maybe I’m getting senile in my old age, or maybe Heisenberg has finally taken hold of 100% of Walter White’s soul.
2. Trent is a useless waste of human
This week, Breaking Bad’s Anna Gunn wrote an op-ed for the New York Times on her experience playing one of the most openly hated characters on television. I, for one, think Skyler White is the bees knees (how boring would it have been if she just hopped on the drug train right from the beginning?) and believe the viewing audience should entirely re-direct its dislike toward this worthless character:
Look at him. The waiter in the Mexican restaurant of last night’s episode was perhaps the only bit of light-hearted fare Gilligan & Co had to serve up, and boy did he stick out like a sore thumb. Here are 3 great reasons to hate this character instead of Skyler:
1: His name is Trent
I’m not trying to say that if your name is Trent, you are a horrible person. I’ve known my fair share of great guys named Trent. But, historically, there have been a lot of insufferable Trents:
If you’re going to have hostile feelings toward anyone, it might as well be someone named Trent.
2: He has TERRIBLE timing
It’s impressive how perfect Trent is at showing up at the exact wrong time. Sure, he’s just doing his job, but don’t we all hate that pushy waiter who keeps trying to get us to order the table-side guac? Make that nonsense in the kitchen, Trent, that’s what it’s for.
And we haven’t even gotten to the best reason yet:
3. Everything is SO MUCH DARKER NOW
Here’s a picture of the first time Walt wanders into Saul’s office:
And here’s a picture of Saul’s office last night:
Here’s a similar comparison of the White family’s house (see if you can guess which was from last night):
I think the significance of this shift is pretty clear, but it’s still worth acknowledging.
4. Opposite of a smoking gun
The frozen gun IS going to come back to bite someone in the ass. It may not be Walt, but there’s a good chance that somebody dies pretty much just because he chose to store his firearm in a freezer.
5. The final nail in the coffin
Well, it’s official: the price of a miracle is somewhere around $177,000.
Remember a couple seasons ago (maybe half a year in Breaking Bad’s timeline), when the doctors told Marie that Hank may never walk again? That he’d been shot in the spine a bunch of times and that the road back is a long and arduous one that may not be possible at all?
Well, Here we are six months later and Hank is not only scooting around on his own two legs, but also vowing to personally kick down Walt’s door once he gathers enough evidence for an arrest. While the screwiness of Hank’s recovery timeline is something I’m willing to overlook for this roller coaster ride of a show, I don’t think we should overlook Hank’s potential for darkness.
The poor guy has been through a lot between his psychological trauma from El Paso, his near-paralysis, his soul-shattering realization that Walt is Heisenberg and, of course, growing facial hair that looks like pubes.
We know that he cares about bringing Walt to justice almost as much as Walt cares about keeping his money. When Hank learns that Walt shelled out the $177,000 for his remarkable physical therapy, he calls it “the last nail in the coffin”, but at the Mexican restaurant (when he wasn’t being pestered by that insufferable asshole Trent), Hank says Walt shouldn’t be able to just die and take the easy way out. Now that Hank sees his investigation as six feet under, what’s to say he doesn’t decide that the secondary vindication of throttling Walt is the best option he’s got left?
I think we can all agree that Hank’s physical therapy realization is in fact the last nail in the coffin — the question is, whose coffin?
6. Huell’s Magic Fingers Strike Again!
In the end, it wasn’t anything Walt did that gave away his hand in little Brock’s “illness”, but Huell lifting some Mary Jane from Jesse’s pocket. When Jesse realizes his bud is gone, it confirms both that the big man does in fact have the nimble fingers of a piano player half his size AND that Huell had previously lifted the ricin cigarette from Jesse’s pocket, which could have only been for one reason: so that Walt could frame Gus for Brock’s poisoning.
Jesse’s realization alone makes this moment pivotal to how the rest of the series plays out, but it also serves to show how far Jesse has come. Much like Walt, he’s nearly unrecognizable from his season 1 counterpart. Gone is the high-flying, lingo-spitting bravado; replaced by a hollow apathy even unmatched by his previous stint in rehab. Obviously, some of Jesse’s reckless fire remains within him (see: tossing away his money / dousing Walt’s house in gasoline), but it also shows that this is no longer the goofball who screws up the simple job of purchasing a plastic tub for proper corpse disposal. This new Jesse can put two and two together, and he means business.
If you read my recap of last week’s episode, you’re familiar with my theory that someone who knows of Walt’s lofty financial status will find his lottery ticket and subsequently steal Heisenberg’s buried treasure.
Well, guess where we left things this week? Jesse (who knows of Walt’s riches) is alone inside of Walt’s house, which we know he ultimately doesn’t burn down (because we see it uncharred in the flash-forward) and has every motivation to hurt Walt in the most meaningful way possible. Plus, we just got a refresher course in how keen Jesse has become in piecing together seemingly unrelated pieces of information.
So what keeps Jesse from actually torching the house? The lottery ticket. I think Jesse is about to have himself a good long dig in the desert!
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