Hi there readers, so the working title of this blog was: CURSE YOU VINCE GILLIGAN!, and I’m sure I’m not alone in that sentiment.What I’ve found I’m also not alone in is the habit of making this blog a transcription, rather than a review, which isn’t that surprising, considering as I write I want to both revel in, and share every single moment. So in an effort to share BOTH moments, and thoughts I’ll try and keep the minutia (which doesn’t really exist on BrBa) to a minimum. So without further hesitation, let’s dive in to one of the most epic episodes this season (Gonna start using a new term on this blog “epic-sode”, in fact not just on the blog… the whole internet, look out twitter).
Breaking Bad Season 5 Episode 13: To’hajiilee
The episode opens with a quality reminder as to how Walt came so far. Lydia is visiting Todd (along with his neo-nazi uncle and associate) to see how the purity level of the meth has improved. When the meth is tested it’s now 76% pure, which is a step up, however it’s not even close to Heisenberg’s original 99%, and on top of that it’s also not blue. Now color may not seem like a big deal to most people but as Lydia points out “Blue is our brand”. The best option is to use food coloring, because as Todd explains to Lydia later, he may have let one of the chemical something-or-others overheat, to which Lydia says: “So you burned it, like a cake”, which of course just serves to remind us (as I spent an entire opening of a blog explaining): “Todd’s an idiot!“, and so is his uncle’s associate if he thinks he has a chance with Lydia
After Lydia (who tried to be sweet with Todd to encourage a better cook) leaves, we see Todd’s end of Walt’s call, about needing another job from Todd’s uncle. The conversation goes further than last week’s, when Todd asks what prison, or how many guys the job would involve, Walt lets him know that it would be just one guy, not in prison, “Jesse Pinkman” At this point I must be a sap, because I’d still love for Walt to win… he’s been through SO much, but that must mean I still see something in him that deserves to win… which he must not have, ordering the hit on Jesse.
The next scene we get is with Hank and Gomez directly after Jesse made his amazing payphone threat. They decide that they can’t book him, not with Walt’s ability to get guys murdered in jail, and Jesse assures them that the number one way to get to Walt is thorugh his money. so they go back to Hank’s place to begin their master plan… A master plan that apparently involves what I *think* is cow brain and blood to dropped onto Hank’s kitchen floor… all I can say is he better clean it up before Marie gets home.
We quickly learn what the brains and blood were for. Hank has had Huell, Saul trusty bodyguard picked up, supposedly for Huell’s own protection. When Hank gets to the safe house where Huell is with Gomez, he lays out a better lie than most of Walt’s. He basically tells Huell that he knows about Walt being Heisenberg, and that Saul completely spilled the beans on Huell, after Saul saw the same picture of Jesse. Huell doesn’t believe it until he sees the picture of Jesse “dead” on Hank’s cell, and then he freaks, saying that he never thought Walt would kill Jesse. Hank tells Huell that Kuby (Saul’s other guy) is missing, and that Saul said Huell knew where the money was. At this point Huell spills even more, saying all he knows is that he put the money into barrels, gave the rented van to Walt, and that when Walt brought it back they had to wash it because “it was filthy like he gone off road”, at this point Hank and Gomez leave, telling Huell his best bet at staying alive is staying put.
Next we see Walt hitting a pretty low point, and possibly in my opinion the lowest of the series (and NO I haven’t forgotten about Jane or Brock). He speaks with Todd’s uncle Jack about eliminating Jesse. Jack says: “He’s a rat?” as a way of understanding why Walt wants Jesse dead, Walt emphatically states that Jesse isn’t a “rat”, that he’s just angry. He says that Jesse “is like family” and that he wants it to be done with “no suffering, no fear”, and Jack makes some comment about Walt not being able to do it himself. So Jack will agree to take out Jesse, the way Walt wants it done, however the price is more than Walt was expecting. It’s not so much a price, as it is an ultimatum. Jack will only have Jesse taken care of if Walt agrees to cook again, at least to make sure that Todd can bring the product up to purity. Walt reluctantly agrees, saying “One cook, after the job is done”.
Now to put my two cents in, I find this to be the lowest moment because not only is Walt having Jesse killed to save his own skin, but he’s paying for it by doing the one thing he said he’d never do again, so he’s committing one act of betrayal to Skyler and himself, and he’s killing Jesse, this scene is what I imagine Aaron Paul was tweeting about back in January. Though it could be the end scene…
Anyway, The next scene we get is Walt trying to be as sneaky as Hank, when it comes to getting a handle on things.
He shows up at Andrea’s as she’s trying to get Brock ready for school, he tells her that he and Jesse had an argument and he can’t get a hold of Jesse, probably because Jesse is “using again”. He gets Andrea to call Jesse and leave a message, saying that she needs to get in touch with him. After that Walt thanks her and leaves. When he gets into his car, he calls Jack’s guys sitting in a car across the street, saying that Jesse will show up, but that they need to make sure that neither the mom, nor the son see anything.
Hank of course hears that voicemail, having Jesse’s phone. He’s stepping into the house telling Jesse and Gomez that the rental place where Huell got the van sadly does NOT have GPS, so they have no way of tracking where Walt went with his cash. They all assume correctly that Walt buried it, and lament not having the GPS, however Hank mentions that Walt doesn’t know that the van didn’t have GPS.
We cut to the family business, with Skyler teaching Walt Jr. how to count change back to customers and reminding him to tell them to “Have an A1 day!”. However Skyler steps in to handle things when Saul Goodman comes in, to pay for a car wash. Skyler gives him some of the sternest stares while he’s there, but the best moment occurs when Walt walks in, sees Saul there, and immediately walks right out, it felt like a cheesy sitcom for the briefest of moments, but not in a bad way (actually I don’t think this show does anything in a bad way…).
Moments later we see Walt talking with Saul, who thinks that Jesse may have killed Huell, since he can’t get a hold of him, and Saul is feeling so insecure he’s wearing a bullet-proof vest, and honestly I don’t think it’s a bad choice.
Now if any of this episode didn’t seem like it had enough oomph everything shifts drastically. Walt gets a text from Jesse:
What follows is a car ride that could have taken place in any of the Fast and Furious films.
Walter’s driving as fast as possible all the while talking on the phone to Jesse, who says that the van had GPS, and that Jesse’s going to light up everything that Walt ever earned. Walt tries to tell Jesse that his cancer’s back and this will only hurt Walt’s family and children. At the mention of children Jesse brings up Brock, which Walter finally admits to poisoning. Jesse tells Walt that he better get out to his cash fast, because he’ll be burning ten grand a minute, until Walt arrives, and that Walt better not hang up on him.
Walt gets out there and there’s no one else, he realizes that Jesse set him up, but he still doesn’t put everything together. He assumes that Jesse’s trying to kill him, so he takes the sim card out of his phone, tries to get a good look out from some rocks. He sits down coughing, and when he sees dust on the road he runs and hides, to make a call.
He calls Jack, telling him that Jesse’s coming after him, and that Jesse has a few guys with him, on the other end of the line Jack is signaling to his guys to start getting guns and bullet proof vests on. Walt gives Jack the coordinates, and as he’s about to give more information, he sees Hank and Gomez get out of the vehicle… and he’s crushed. He never would have guessed in a million years that Jesse would betray him like this.
Hank then reads Walt his rights.
It’s QUITE ironic at this point that Walt chooses not to speak to Hank, after he asks if Walt understood his rights, but to Jesse and say only the word “Coward”. I find this ironic because Walt was the one who only moments ago was trying to coordinate a hit on someone who’s “like family”, because he couldn’t do it himself. Jesse didn’t seem to find it ironic, so much as aggravating and Jesse expresses this by stepping up to Walt and spitting in his face.
Walt then tries, even cuffed to rush Jesse, and Hank and Gomez have to separate them. Hank gets Walt into his SUV, and as Gomez is getting Jesse into Walt’s car, Hank calls Marie and tells her that he got Walt. She’s overcome with emotion and relief. Hank tells her he may be late that night, but they got him.
If Vince Gilligan were a merciful writer, he could have ended the epic-sode (see there’s my new word again) here. But no, here’s what happened next:
Now what this elaborate gif isn’t showing, is that Walt is still sitting in Hank’s SUV and is shouting repeatedly at Jack that it’s over, and to stand down, while Jesse… well Jesse can pretty much tell that there’s NO way that this all ends pretty.
Now again, this could be a great place to end the episode. However I’ve simply surrendered to the fact that Gilligan has no mercy. Instead we see the firefight start, Hank and Gomez taking cover, and Gomez possibly taking a hit, the camera quickly cutting between each party, and then this:
Now I’ve only got one hang up in this episode, but it was so good I didn’t think about it until later. When Walt was on the phone with Jack, he told him that he was on the To’hajiilee reservation west of town. Looking at any map of the Navajo nation (of which To’hajiilee is a non-contiguous portion), it;s probably a 20 minute drive at least, now even if Jack and Co. were speeding, I highly doubt that they could have gotten there as fast as they did.
Other than that, and the fact that Vince Gilligan knows no mercy, it was a fabulous epic-sode, please leave any thoughts about it in the comments below!
Also, while I try to keep all thoughts on this blog original, and won’t refer to other stuff TOO often, reddit posted this, and I thought it was just way too true to not include how I felt at this point: