Bad Ass Quote of the Week
“Walter White you have a right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. You have the right to speak to an attorney, and have an attorney present during any questioning. If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be provided for you at the government’s expense. Do you understand these rights as I’ve just recited them to you?” – Hank Schrader
Thoughts on “To’hajiilee”
At the end of my article on Episode 512 – “Rabid Dog” I referred to that episode as a “stutter-step” in the sprint of the final eight episodes. Now I know why we had a stutter-step episode – to get ready to take a high jump!
Todd’s meth looks awful, like something that oozes out of an infection. No matter how hard I squinted or adjusted the ambient lighting, I didn’t see a hint of blue, green or aquamarine, despite the opinions of the “free to breathe what they want” Uncle Jack and Kenny. By using a pipette and a kaleidoscope (guess they didn’t have a mass spectrometer handy) they determine it is 76% pure, despite its appearance. At that point I kind of thought Uncle Jack might just dip the tip of his little finger in the meth mixture, dab it on his tongue and say, “Mmm… yep! 76%!’, like Yukon Cornelius prospecting for gold. Lydia isn’t pleased, although she remains diplomatic… blue is their brand. About the only thing that did look good in that lab was Lydia, who is attractive even in a respirator.
Jack and Kenny don’t seem to think the colour is a concern, but will use food dye if it is an issue for Lydia. Uncle Jack uses almost the same words he did in the opening of Episode 511 – “Confessions”, “All right, let’s make some money.” The potential amount of money he can earn from this is more than he ever thought he would have access to, and that’s become his purpose.
Todd has an almost adolescent-type crush on Lydia as underlined by the high-school dance favourite “Oh Sherry” playing in the background. Lydia takes advantage of this to try to motivate him to produce better meth. She is calm here, but it seems to me that there are problems lurking with her European buyers.
His offer to have Uncle Jack smooth things over with the buyers made me wonder if this was just Todd earnestly wanting to help Lydia, or if he suggested this because of earlier prompting from Jack? If they want to meet the buyers, they could be wanting to cut out the middle-woman to earn even more money for themselves – more danger for Lydia.
We are given two little character developing images. First, caressing Lydia’s lipstick print on her tea mug just adds to Todd’s creepiness, and I suppose he will add that mug to his “collectibles” along with Drew Sharp’s tarantula (see Episode 506 – “Buyout”). Then Lydia’s tentative driving style as she leaves in the background, was just like her rather hesitant, choppy speaking manner. I noted that she was in a red car also… danger!
I love that Todd uses Thomas Dolby’s “She Blinded Me With Science” as his ring tone for when Heisenberg calls. We hear the other side of the conversation that Walt initiated at the end of “Rabid Dog”, and it’s confirmed that he is putting a “hit” on Jesse.
i should know better. I really should. When I discussed how Jesse would go after where Walt “really lives” in the “Rabid Dog” article, I was very dismissive of the possibility that it would be his money. I thought his family or his ego were much more likely targets (and Walt’s ego does enter into the equation later in the episode). I should know that Vince Gilligan and his great writing team are going to find a way to make the least possible option work. With three episodes left to air, I hope I have finally learned my lesson!
I thought Jesse and Hank’s plan was great. Hank showed the fake photo of Jesse just long enough to panic Huell (Babineau!). I haven’t been able to find a copy of that photo online, but on television, it looks like Jesse is trying hard to contain a smirk. Huell sings like a canary, giving up all the details he possibly can on Walt’s money, including where to buy the barrels. Heck, I think he would have confessed to kidnapping the Lindbergh baby after he saw that photo and if he was asked about it.
I noticed Hank said, “if I were you, I would not call Goodman”, first because the last thing they want is Huell to “lawyer up”, second because that will alert Walt to what is going on, and third because “don’t call Saul” would have totally ruined the moment! I also loved, “How much money are we talking about?,… “Seven barrels worth.”
The next scene is an extremely important moment. Walt negotiates the hit on Jesse with Uncle Jack. Even to the end, Walt insists that Jesse isn’t a rat. ”Angry, non-rat. Got it”, says Jack. Walt won’t do it himself, Jesse’s like family to him, and he wants it done quick and painlessly without suffering. Jack respects that because “there are too many savages out there”. Jack’s a sinister guy, but you have to like his dialogue! Walt offers to pay triple the rate he did for the prison killings (Episode 508 – “Gliding Over All”), but Jack’s price is tutoring Todd on cooking meth to bring the purity up and restore the blue colour. Jack’s line, “Don’t skimp on family, I always say” has just turned Walt’s family remark back on him, a very thinly veiled threat. At this moment, and in his reluctant handshake with Jack, Walt has ceased to be the kingpin… he has transferred power to Jack.
Walt has been on the precipice of the plateau of his power for the last few episodes, but this moment marks the beginning of his fall.
Visiting Brock and Andrea, and using them to try to lure out Jesse was despicable. What a vile man. He can’t talk to Jesse to explain why he “had to poison Brock” to save them both, so he decides to use Brock and Andrea again. Whenever I start to feel some sympathy for Walt, he does crap like this, and that sets me straight on what a scum Heisenberg is. Hank doesn’t even bother to tell Jesse about Andrea’s message, “Nice try asshole.”
Hank’s got another plan. Well, it’s the same plan he used on Huell, but it worked well the first time…
Junior is learning to run the cash at the car wash, and Skyler is emphasizing the importance of reinforcing their brand by wishing every customer, “Have an A1 Day!”. Both Lydia and Skyler are all about building their brand in this episode. I wonder if this connection in their dialogue is foreshadowing of a confrontation between the two of them in the future? As we see in a moment, Walt takes off without indicating where he’s going, and if he remains out of contact for a while, Skyler may try to track him down. She knows Lydia is a former business contact of his. Will she pursue Lydia to try to find out what’s going on with Walt?
Junior is giddy with excitement at meeting his first celebrity, Saul. Walt isn’t happy to see Saul at the car wash, “Your phone broken? All 200 of them?”. Saul is rattled that Huell has gone missing, and is wearing a bullet proof vest. Saul’s caution to Walt is dead on, “The kid is not as dumb as you think.”
Inside the car wash, Walt reassures Skyler that they will have some news soon. He stands framed by the window, with the vertical blinds creating the image of prison bars. He looks at his wife and son.
Then Breaking Bad ignites a fire, and throws gasoline on it. The final 20 minutes of this episode are explosive.
Walt’s cell phone beeps and he receives a photo of an unburied barrel full of money. Jesse’s on the line, “Got my photo bitch? That barrel look familiar? ’Cause I just found six more exactly like it.” Boom!
Without a word, Walt races out of the car wash and starts speeding towards To’hajiilee reservation, where his money is buried. Jesse is playing his part in Hank’s plan perfectly, goading Walt on by threatening to destroy his money if he gets off the phone (don’t want him getting any help). He also plays on Walt’s ego, “How do you like that genius? Guess you didn’t think of everything.” All this keeps Walt from thinking things through, he’s reacting from anger and panic, and Jesse keeps pushing him off-balance. Finally he snaps, and says everything he’s done over the open phone line… poisoning Brock, killing Gus, running over (and shooting) the “gang bangers”, and killing Emilio and Krazy 8. His hubris also took over here. I can only assume that Hank or Gomez were taping this conversation (heck, they put a wire on Jesse in the last episode), and Jesse hangs up just after this confession… they have what they need. Boom!
Arriving at the location where his money is buried, Walt finds no sign of Jesse, and realises he’s been played. He removes the battery from his cell phone and runs up a hill to see if Jesse has followed him. A dust plume of an approaching vehicle shows that he has been followed, and now he has just one course open. He rushes down the hill, reassembles his phone and calls Jack to come and save him from Jesse. I notice that he makes a point of telling Jack, “If you ever want me to cook for you, you get here right now!” But it’s not just Jesse arriving.
When he sees that Jesse has Hank and Gomez with him, Walt won’t cross the line of killing Hank, so he tells Jack not to come.
Walt is hiding behind a big rock as Hank calls, “Walt! Come on out! It’s over!”, and Walt knows it. A tear even leaks from the corner of his eye. Imagine everything rushing through his mind right now. Boom!
I was so tensed up I needed a cold shower in the commercial break!
(*** Warning – this paragraph contains potential spoilers for the movie “The French Connection” ***). It is so fitting that Hank says, “Got him!” when Walt appears from behind the rock. Hank has fulfilled the quest he has been on for over a year, to be the man who “slaps the cuffs on him myself”. In Episode 404 – “Bullet Points” Hank says exactly this, and that he wants to be like “Popeye” Doyle waving to the arrested “Frog One” in the “The French Connection” (Walt points out that Doyle never actually got “Frog One” in the movie). Hank even gives the exact same wave he pantomimes in “Bullet Points” to Walt when he is on the phone with Marie.
Hank’s arrest of Walt felt surreal to me. The whole time I was watching it the thought “I can’t believe this is happening!” was repeating over and over in my mind. Jesse was a perfect mirror of my feelings during this, his expression was one of wonder also.
Once Walt emerged from his hiding spot, he seems to have put his initial remorse aside, and appears stern and then angry throughout his arrest. When Hank is reciting his rights, he is staring straight at Jesse. He calls Jesse, “Coward.” and Jesse spits in his face. They have an ineffectual little scuffle, with Walt even trying to throw ridiculous little kicks Jesse’s way, so reminiscent of some of their past scraps.
Hank’s phone call to Marie tells me he’s about to die. I know, I know, we can’t predict what the writers are going to do, but the way the “goodbye” in this conversation was drawn out, it seems to make it obvious that Hank is going to die. As soon as the conversation started getting emotional, I knew that Uncle Jack was on his way.
This whole final scene had a lot of classic western movie feel to it. Hank calling Walt out from behind the rock, and the two parties of gunfighters staring each other down. I couldn’t help but think of the “We don’t need no stinkin’ batches!” line from “The Treasure of the Sierra Madre” when Kenny asked Hank and Gomez to produce their badges. No way Hank and Gomez are going to take their hands off their guns to show their badges!
Walt is completely powerless to prevent what is going to happen. As the gunfire begins he is simply thrown to the floor of the SUV he is in. Jesse looks like he’s going to high-tail it into the desert. Things don’t look good for Hank and Gomez.
Wow. I needed another cold shower after that!
I know there is a lot of criticism of this… how did Jack and his team get there so fast? How was no one hit by gunfire in the long exchange of fire before the show faded to black? What has happened to Todd’s marksmanship? These are good questions, but I am willing to accept them for now. (Believe me, the soldier in me wants to critique the gunfight so badly!). This episode was so mind-blowingly entertaining, just for pure adrenaline value alone, that I am willing to overlook these things. Let’s see how things play out in the next episode before I look back on this and complain.
I am pretty certain that Hank is dead. Probably Gomez also. I think Jesse will escape into the desert (at least for a little bit). The possibilities for the aftermath of this are plentiful.
I can’t see Walt telling Jack, “Hang on a minute, I have to dig something up”, without losing his money to Jack. If Jack and his crew cover up what happens at this site, there is a very slim possibility that Walt’s money will be safe for him to come back to in the future. That is, if Jesse doesn’t come for it, or inform the authorities about it. We have no idea what information Hank and Gomez have recorded, although we know they have yet to communicate it to the DEA or any other authorities. Pretty safe to say Walt is penniless again.
Anyone else thinking Skyler might have stashed a bit aside for herself – just in case?
I think that Walt is about to be transferred from Hank’s custody to Jack’s. He will be cooking for Jack under threat (just as he was for Gus). If Todd is killed or injured in the gunfight this is even more likely. One delicious possibility is that Jack’s group grab Jesse as well, and both Jesse and Walt are forced to cook together.
It’s easy to lose sleep thinking about what might happen next! I think I will take a cold shower right before the next episode starts, just to get my adrenaline in check.
At the risk of being duped by Vince Gilligan yet again, I predict Hank is going to die in the gunfight with Jack.
None of my predictions came true or were disproven this week.
My score since beginning this site now stands at 6 1/2 predictions correct, 4 1/2 predictions wrong, and 4 predictions are now still pending.
Humorous Quote of the Week
“Don’t drink and drive. But, if you do, call me.” – Saul Goodman