Sunday, September 29, 2013

Episode 28 - Breaking Bad Finale Livecast

As promised, the live podcast of the amazing Breaking Bad final episode.  Join your host for the gut reaction as each segment unfolds.  Obviously, spoilers abound, so tread lightly.

Sunday, September 01, 2013

Breaking Bad Recap - "Confessions" (Season 5 Episode 11)

Previously on Breaking Bad, Hank slugged Walt after realizing he was a monster, Walt advised Hank to tread lightly, Skyler threw a shit fit in the diner in front of Hank, Nervous Lydia pulled off a coup d'etat on Dec's operation, even though she didn't want to see the bloody aftermath, Jesse played Santa and was left awaiting a stare down in the interrogation room with his old buddy Agent Schrader.

Dim Bulb Todd stands outside a diner in the middle of nowhere, and rings up his old mentor Mr. White to give him the latest news re: the"difference of opinion" between him and Dec.  Back inside with his Nazi buddies, he retells the amazing Train Heist story, in great detail but for the notable exception of that little flare up with Drew Sharp he was forced to deal with in the aftermath.  When talking you can tell he has a great amount of respect for Mr. White, and also drops Jesse's name in for good measure.  After the waitress delivers the check, they get down to brass tacks - Uncle Jack asks if Todd is ready to start cooking, and run his own lab.  Todd is ready, and probably won't start a fire until at least his 5th or 6th cook, at least.   That settled, Uncle Jack and his pal hit the head, where a telling conversation ensues about the Nanny State and how everyone is just too damn careful these days.  As he laments the wussification of America, Uncle Jack casually wipes a blob of blood - likely from Dec - off his shoe.  The three amigos had toward ABQ, towing the big ass barrel of chemical behind their pickup.  This should end well.

Back in the police station, we see a hazy Jesse, then get his POV of the previous interrogation from Tweedledee and Dum, which goes by at lightning speed to indicate he didn't hear a damn thing they said.  Too bad, those guys were using some of their "A" material there.  Back to now, Hank is in the room and starts slowly, saying he can help Jesse.  Mr. Pinkman gives no response until Hank drops the bomb that he knows Walt = Heisenberg.  Offer time: tell Hank about the whole meth thing and maybe he can make this mess about the money storm go away.  I didn't hear anything about immunity for working with Heisenberg, and wait until they connect the dots about who shot Gale.   Moreover, Hank hints that given recent events, things aren't exactly copacetic between Jesse and Walt.  "I'm right, aren't I?', he says.  Jesse: "Eat me."
Hank does a nice job keeping his cool, even after Jesse suggests he beat the info out of him, alluding back to their last encounter.  He stays at it, indicating that Walt must have really screwed up the kid, which is basically correct, and suggests a parallel between his being lied to by his own bro-in-law and also betraying Jesse.  Looks like he might get him to open up, right?  Help me out Jesse, I wanna nail this bastard.  Don't you wanna talk? Jesse slowly glares at him and quietly says, "Not to you."

No time to process that, because in bursts Saul Goodman!  He clears the room like only he can, dispatching Hank and the detectives with threats of multiple civil suits, etc.  Once they're gone, he focuses on his client with a barrage of questions - why didn't he call Saul, why is he tossing his cash around, didja hear about Hank's discovery? Jesse eases the pain somewhat when he reveals that he told Hank nothing, but it's going to be a while before Saul can describe himself as "chill".

Walt's bedroom, where he is engaged in a call with Saul and implores him to do whatever he can to get Jesse sprung.  Upon hanging up, he hears Flynn come home.  Flynn wonders why Walt didn't go to work, and also remarks how late he was out last night (digging big holes).  Let the lies begin - first, Walt starts to apply make up to cover the nice shiner Hank gave him.  When he catches word that Flynn is heading over to Aunt Marie's to "fix a computer problem", he realizes he can't let that happen, and thinks quickly by removing the makeup he just applied.  Summoning the boy before he leaves, they meet in the living room where Flynn asks about the eye, which allows Walt to sit him down and start the bullshit train.  He passed out, hit the floor, and did this to his eye.  He reveals the cancer has returned, and Flynn gets more and more concerned.  This kid could use some breakfast, stat.  Walt puts on the brave face and tells him that the family will just go on, and that he is ready to face this and beat it again, and it would really be super awesome if we all just stayed positive.  Now, why don't you go on over to help Aunt Marie?  "No, I'm staying" says the boy, and Walt smiles the smile of a guy who really understands how easily he can manipulate just about anyone at this point.

Casa Schrader, where a frantic Marie wonders where the hell Flynn is.  She had a perfect ruse to get him to the house, where we can assume she would come up with more excuses to keep him there indefinitely as part of her Operation: Kid Grab plan.  Hank's home and she, assuming that this would be the day he told the office about his bro-in-law, asks how it went.  Well, it didn't Marie, since he spent the day getting diddly squat from Jesse.  Not that he tells her that.  Finally he shuts her down by telling her to stop telling him how to do his job.

Back in the White bedroom. Walt paces as we hear Skyler ask if he is "sure about this".  He replies that this is the only way, and we see she is manning a video camera mounted on a tripod.  As he begins to speak, we are reminded of the pilot episode where he also began to confess on video, only this time he's a lot calmer and not in his underwear.  "My name is Walter Hartwell White, I live at 308 Negra Arroyo Lane, Albuquerque, New Mexico 87104.  This is my confession......"

A crowded restaurant, where smack dab in the middle we see Walt and Skyler sitting at a table which has room for two more.  They both look like they're dreading this, particularly Skyler, as Walt grabs her hand and tells here "they're here".  Who?  Why it's the Schraders!  This should be fun.  After an awkward pause, Walt thanks them for coming.  More awkward pausing.  Walt gets ready to start when the server shows up with all his "Welcome to Garduno's" enthusiasm, which is met with stone faces and no responses. Want some table side guacamole?  Walt tells him they need more time and that gets rid of him for now.

After Hank spits out the only question he would like Walt to answer - is he here to confess - Walt starts in, focusing on the children. Leave them out of this, and hey Marie, it would be wonderful if you could not try to kidnap or lure my kids to you house, mmkay?  Hank again threatens to knock down Walt's door and arrest him, kids be damned.  While Skyler says nothing, Walt reminds Hank that he has no hard evidence to support his claims, and why tear apart the family with this?  Just then, waiter boy returns with the water, tries again to  upsell the guac, then finally gets the mood of the table and leaves.  Marie starts right in on Sky, wondering how she can sit there quietly through all this.  The kids are in danger if they stay with this man, and after all, you sent them to our house yourself, remember?  Sky gets her footing, firmly states that she took them back on her own terms and that all the issues on the table here are in the past.  Move on, people.  Marie, correctly, wonders how she can believe anything these two say anymore, and even brings up the affair with Ted.  Walt steps in to remind them again that Junior has had a rough year, and just found out that Walt's cancer is back, so why pile more crap onto his plate.  It's not right.  At this, Hank starts to lose it, though since they're in the middle of the restaurant he spits all his words through clenched teeth.  Was it right to run a meth empire?  Walt balks at this and asks what does he have to do to make Hank believe him?  Marie is all over this one: "You could kill yourself, Walt."  Boom.  The whole thing dies with him, sooooo whaddya say Walt?  Skyler: "That is not a solution".  Hank isn't down with that plan either, since it would deprive him of capturing the White Whale.  You two are not walking away from this thing, or negotiate your way out, capice?  Step up, be a man, and confess.

At this, Walt and Sky share a weary look, Walt gets up and slides a DVD case on the table toward Hank.  The Whites depart.  And they never had the damn guacamole.

We hear the intro Walt recorded earlier, and as the scene changes we are now watching what he and Skyler recorded, on the Schrader television.  Hank and Marie are standing while watching, and it's amazing that neither on of them hit the floor after the opening line.  Walt goes on to say that if you're watching this, then he is probably dead.......murdered by his brother-in-law Hank Schrader ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME!!  Oh.  My.  God.. He goes on to basically implicate Hank as Heisenberg, peppering real facts (he took Walt on a ride along) interspersed with bullshit (Hank was working with Gus, Walt was forced to be the cook due to his chemistry knowledge, Hank forced Walt to build the bomb that killed Gus, etc).  It is an amazing performance, and Marie is looking at Hank like "can you believe this shit?"  When Walt drops that he ended up paying Hank's medical bills, it begins to unravel for her, since this is the first Hank has heard of that.  The video finally ends with Walt choking back tears, and they turn it off.  Han recognizes it for what it is, a threat, and is pretty sure nobody else will ever see it.  Get out ahead of this, Marie says, it's all lies and if you show it to your boys at work you can expose them.  All Hank can focus on is the $177,000 spent on his rehab - didn't our insurance cover that?  Marie explains that it was gambling money, which she now knows is a lie, and tells him that without that money they never would have been able to get the treatment he needed.  She knew he would refuse the money if he knew the truth, and Hank sinks as he realizes this is the final nail in their coffin as far as the investigation goes.  Once the DEA knows that the dirty money payed for his rehab, he's got nothing.  Checkmate, Agent Schrader.

Desert.  Saul and Jesse are waiting, and we see a tarantula slowly crawl in the foreground.  the reminders of Drew Sharp continue.  Walt pulls up, gets out ans starts checking Saul's car (license plate: LWYRUP) for tracking devices.  Paranoid, much?  He starts right in on Jesse, quizzing him on what Hank knows.  Jesse pretty much has it sussed out and tells him that though Hank knows Walt = Heisenberg and wants Jesse to spill his guts, he hasn't told anyone else since he seemed to be acting weird and on edge.

After getting Saul to go stand in the corner, Walt starts to work Jesse.  He doesn't like to see him hurting like this, maybe a change is in order.  Can;t really tell if Walt is being sincere.  Jesse wonders what kind of change and Walt brings up Saul's pal who runs his own witness protection type deal.  He waxes poetic about the chance for a new start, the chance to meet a girl, start a family, and after all what is left here for you anyway?  All good points, but Jesse slowly begins to realize that him splitting benefits Walter above anyone else.  He moves away from Walt and asks that he, for once, stop working him.  Kid knows he's being played, though I'm still not sure. Jesse goes on, asking, no begging Walt to just ask him for a favor, tell him you need this.  He knows that he has to go because if he doesn't  Hank will not give up, and if he doesn't leave Walt will just kill him like he killed Mike.  Jesse starts to break down as Walt, saying nothing, walks up a hugs him.  Jesse breaks down further, but does not hug him back as we go to commercial.  Very powerful scene, and I wanted to climb into my TV and hug Jesse myself....

Back at the car wash, Walt helps a customer then nervously checks his watch as he heads into the office.  We see Skyler at her desk in the foreground with Walt shown in silhouette near the doorway.  It worked, he tells her, we're fine.  She lets out a sigh of relief.

Hank's in his office when Gomie comes in, but this ain't no social call.  He finds out that two of his guys are staking our Saul's office keeping an eye on Jesse, which is a big no-no since that is APD's problem.  Hank bitchily says he will pull the guys, then takes off for the day.  Wonder where he's going?

Saul's office, where we see that Jesse has accepted the offer to get out of Dodge.  Saul makes the call, humorously asking to fix a vacuum as some kind of code, and is told the exchange will happen in one hour.  While he gathers up some cash for Jesse to take to start his new life, Jesse pulls out his weed and torches up a joint, which sets Saul off.  After getting him to put the joint out, he demands the bag, at which Jesse scoffs and puts it in his pocket.  Hmmmm.

 Saul goes out to get a bag for the money, then comes back in with Huell, who will be escorting Jesse to the pickup spot.  Saul goes over the details once more, and Jesse asks if he gets to choose his destination.  Saul thinks he might have a say, and suggests Florida - get tan, meet the bikini team, etc.  Jesse, still full of guilt and self-hatred, suggests Alaska instead. Damn, dude, don't punish yourself that much.  As he leaves, Huell doesn;t really move out of the doorway, so as Jesse slides past him, we can subtly see him make a motion towards Jesse's jacket pocket, after which he exchanges a knowing glance with Saul.  I'm not going to lie, I did not pick this up on the first viewing, and re-watched it several times on the DVR before catching it.  It's obviously a huge thing based on what we see shortly...

Here's Jesse, waiting for his ride and a ticket to a new life.  It was remarked upon by many that he is standing in front of what looks like rows of tombstones, perhaps foreshadowing his "death" and new life.  See:

While standing there, Jesse fidgets a bit and eventually starts to look for his bag of weed.  He checks every pocket, but it's not there.  His search gets a bit more frantic before he pulls out his pack of cigarettes, and slowly the dots get connected - Huell picked his pocket to remove the ricin cigarette which somehow traces back to Mr. White poisoning Little Brock and holy shit now he knows and all hell is going to break loose.  As the van pulls up, he doesn't get in, but checks the cigarettes once more before heading back, presumably toward Saul and/or Walt.  The van pulls away, so Alaska will just have to wait.

Back at Saul's where Huell looks to be sleeping just outside the office door.  Jesse storms in, blows right past the sleeping giant, and enters the office, where he proceeds to lock the door and kick the living shit out of the lawyer.  Saul screams "CODE RED!" enough times before Huell eventually gets in, but not before Jesse gets the gun from Saul's drawer and keeps him at bay.  He lays it out to Saul, how he had Huell steal the ricing cigarette to help "that asshole Mr. White" who then poisoned Brock, etc.  Saul cops to it, but says he had no idea what was going to transpire and thought that he was helping Jesse.   Jesse takes Saul's keys, leaves, gun drawn, and Huell rushes to help Saul.  Saul's in no mood, and wonders why he pays the big lug.  He can;t call the cops, obviously, but we have a pretty good idea who he dials when he says "it's me.  We got a big problem!"

Car Wash, where Walt pulls in like his car is on fire, then casually enters to see Sky working the register.  He comes up with some nonsense story about the soda machine not latching, and heads down to "fix" it.  It's amazing that in an episode where he so convincingly lied to everyone else, he sounds like an absolute tool when telling smaller lies to his wife.  Anyway, he gets the machine open, and feels around int he back to find a .38, loaded and frozen.  He makes up another story about picking up a prescription, and leaves.

Negra Arroyo Lane, where a car come flying over the crest of the hill at a pretty good clip.  It's Jesse, and he pulls into the White's driveway with such force that he smashes into the garage.  He jumps out, pops the trunk, and pulls out a very large gas can.  Smashing through the door since nobody is home, he begins to maniacally splash the liquid throughout the house, getting more and more crazed as he goes.  Credits.

  • Holy crap.
  • The house doesn't burn, we know, but how the hell will this get resolved?  The White's can;t go back now.
  • Amazing that through three shows we only have one dead person, Dec.  I don't count his associates.