Breaking Bad: 5.11 - Confessions
Third week of Breaking Bad, and the third one in a row where I've found myself sitting there, staring at the screen and thinking "Christ, I can't believe they went there already..." I mean, they have some ground to cover to reach bearded machine-gun concealin' Walt (as seen at the start of the last two runs), but still, they're tearing through the must-see moments one after the other here, not to mention throwing in unexpected treats.
So, where did they go? If you've seen the episode, you already know, and if not... last chance to avoid the spoilers.
"It wasn't my fault, he MADE me do it!"After hoping for more Jesse as I watched the first two new Breaking Bad episodes, that's exactly what we got here. The younger half of the meth partnership is still a guilt-ridden largely destroyed mess, but he knows enough to finish Walt off, which means he still gets the undivided attention of both our hero and his newfound archnemesis, Hank Schrader. Walt himself, meanwhile, is back on the Heisenbergian offensive after his brief period of "retirement".
Which explains how he ends up manipulating his son to keep the kid out of Hank's clutches, then pull off an ambitious framejob of his in-laws which is so good, it even sounds believable to those of us who know the truth. As Walt spins his twisted alternative universe version of the last few seasons, I sat there thinking, wow, that's good work. I'd have enjoyed that show just as much. Even though it's getting harder to avoid what a prick he's being, we still feel a certain flush of empathy for Walt when he manages to outmaneuver an enemy. Probably only temporarily, though - I'm sure Hank will be back with a new strategy.
The ever-exciting Walt/Hank conflict also brought us their restaurant scene, another standout moment in an episode full of them. I haven't even reached the genuine "WOW" moment of the week yet and already there's all this great stuff. The tension, the waiter with his hopeful guacamole and, most chillingly, Marie telling Walt to kill himself. Will she be taking more direct action before long? If Walt keeps up these direct attacks on Hank, I wouldn't bet against it.
The Hug Of DoomSo, we get all these scenes of smug, lying, unpleasant Walt, and it takes Jesse, his partner, to finally get under his skin and call him on the bullshit. After so many seasons of Walt telling complex lies, I don't think anyone's ever told him to just cut the crap, and it's a genuinely big moment. It ends in a doomed hug, tricking us into thinking we might get one last moment of unity between the two, or at least Jesse walking away into the sunset for now. Instead, he returns towards the end to... well, go full-on hardcore.
The moment we knew was coming hits home, as Jesse has his memory jolted by Huell jolting him, and finally puts the pieces together about Walt poisoning Brock back in season 4. Jesse doesn't disappoint, either - he flips out instantly and rushes to the White residence for a petrol-powered showdown. Walt, meanwhile, grabs a gun in the least dignified way possible and... probably runs off to hide in a basement or something, it's not made clear. So, will they bring us the final confrontation between the meth-cooking duo next week? Could Jesse die already? I'd expected them to keep that until later in the day, but honestly, with only five left, maybe it's necessary to kick us to the final stages of the story. At this point, they'd have earnt it.
Basically, I have no idea what's coming, but after all the good will they've built up, I have faith it will be pretty good. Breaking Bad is keeping the tension right on a knife-edge all the way through its final run, and to be honest, my only worry is that if they now have a comparatively quiet between-revelations episode, it'll just seem boring. Then again, they've pulled off everything else so far, so I probably shouldn't be concerned. Can't wait for next week.