Sunday, September 02, 2012

Breaking Bad Recap - "Say My Name" (Season 5, Episode 7)

Previously on Breaking Bad, Mike played paralegal with his lawyer and told Walt both he and Jesse were quitting, while also striking a deal with another dealer named Declean, Jesse implored Walt to quit also, but Walt wasn't hearing any of it, which forced Mike to secure him to the radiator while he finalized the deal, Walt MacGuyver'ed his way out of that and stole the remaining chemical, which caused Mike to put a gun to Walt's head for like the 8th time in 3 seasons, but Walt evaded the bullet once more by letting Mike and Jess know that, in his plan, everybody wins.

Another open where we know immediately what's happening - it's just after the end of the last episode, and the crew is en route to a meeting where we will all hear Walter's master plan.  Pulling over in the middle of the desert, we see Declean and his henchmen.   Mike wearily stops the car and sighs, "Your play, Walter", and it's hard to tell how much he believes in whatever this plan is.  What is clear is that Walt will be the only one talking for the crew. After Dec (which we will call him from here on out) notices that they came bearing no product, Walt indicates that it isn't coming.  Dec asks why, and oh by the way, who the hell are you?  He addresses Mike, who remains silent, and Walt informs him how much more the stuff is worth in his hands as opposed to Dec's, but Walt needs distribution.  Dec finds this amusing, and Walt continues that if Dec gives up his cook let Walt do the cooking, he can enjoy a whopping 35% of the profits.  Dec, getting increasingly impatient, looks to Mike for answers.  Walt, getting cockier by the second, lets on how he hears that Dec's product is 70%, versus the 99.1% blue gold he can conjure up.  Better product equals premium pricing, so do the math, Dec.  Store brand generic cols vs. Classic Coke, if you will.   Dec offers to just waste Walt right here, thereby solving his problem, but Walt counters that who would want to live in a world without the best product being available.  Even Dec chuckles at this, and Walt seizes the moment by slowly reaching into his pocket and tossing out a bag of the aforementioned blue meth, then calls out Dec for using food coloring to ape Walt's product.  Dec counters that he's not giving up this deal and couldn't care less if junkies high's were a little substandard.  Walt counters with the math: better product, better yield, higher prices, more profit.  Now in full on Heisenberg mode, he lets it be known that Dec has the opportunity for the best, no, the two best (points to Jesse, who's like "Dude, leave me out of this") meth cooks in America.  Why am I so lucky to be a part of this, Dec wonders, and Walt tells him that Mike is "retiring" so the distribution job is open.  Finally, dec asks the question: who are you?  Walt, chest puffed out, replies that they all know exactly who he is, and asks them to say it.  Dec is like, what? I don't know.  Walt elaborates that he is the cook....the man who killed Gus Fring.  That raises some eyebrows, and Mike silently confirms that yes, this guy - not the cartel - did the deed.  Now, Walt spits, "Say my name".  Dec gets it now and replies "Heisenberg".  Walt: "You're goddamn right".  Titles.....

The deal is done, and Mike congratulates Walt, whie Jesse, though appreciative of the kind words, reiterates to Walt that he's done, finished, out of the cooking biz, remember?  Walt gives the condescending "we'll talk" reply, and mentions that he needs a little time to help get Jesse his $5 million cut.

Back at Vamanos Pest, which I guess is where they're having what amounts to Mike's retirement ceremony.  He offers a few parting thoughts - first, he's going to pay off his legacy cost guys, thereby freeing Walt of the burden, and second, tells Walt he will need to remove that bug from Hank''s office, and soon.  That's it, Walt asks, no thanks for the money, no "sorry I chained you to the radiator"?  "Just get the bug, Walter", and with that the two frenemies part ways.  Jesse has a little more of an emotional parting, and Mike makes it pretty clear that neither of these guys will ever see him again, as he is getting as far away as possible.  He advises Jesse to look out for himself, and offers him a handshake (which he did not offer to Walter, who see this through the blinds and is clearly not cool with it).  Prick.

We're at the Car Wash, where Skyler looks nervously out through the front door.  We see that it's closed, despite the fact that it appears to be the middle of the day.  There's a knock at the back door, and we see it's Walt.  We also see what Sky was so nervous about, as the thousand gallon tank is parked right in the middle of the bay.  Jesse beings backing in the truck, and pauses to offer an awkward "Hi, Mrs. White".  Once inside, he gets out and walks up beside her, and, looking at the writing on the side of the truck, looks at her and says "Vamanos".  "I wish" is her reply, and these two have soooo much in common right now that they really should just go out and have some drinks and vent about how much Walt is screwing up both their lives. She asks Walt what is in the tank, and he tells her twice not to worry about it.  her concerns are valid, as always, figuring that if it is somethign valuable that it's worth killing for, thus it puts her in danger.  He tells her to get back in the office and let him get it out of her hair.  Well, that helped.  Jesse watches her walk away, and they appear to exchange a quick glance before we head to commercials.  If I neglected to mention it yet, Walt = Prick.

At a bank which we have never seen before, a woman named Dorothy has a tupperware container dropped on her desk containing, awesomely, Bacon Banana cookies.  They're delivered by none other than Lawyer Dan, who represented the legacy cost guys.  She escorts him to the safe deposit box room, and proceeds to open her half of the boxes, where Dan lets her know that he has just bought an additional one that we can see is a lot bigger than the others. Once alone, he proceeds to open each and deposit small amounts of cash inside, saving the biggest drop for the last box.  That box belongs to Kaylee, and it also contains an envelope that she is to open on her 18th birthday.  Kid will be loaded.  Finished, he meets Mike in the parking lot and they share a smile about how Kaylee's box is filled to the brim.  When Mike asks about the others, Dan tells him that they were all empty, meaning that the families are getting their shares as Mike promised them, albeit in smaller, harder to trace installments.

Mike is out in a remote field, listening to Hank via the bug, and it's mundane chatter about his having to be a fundraiser. When Gomie arrives, the talk turns to Mike, and they speka about the warrant which they will have in a matter of hours.  At hearing this, he shuts down the laptop and walks over to a deep well, where he deposits not only the laptop, but an entire weapons cache.  When he says he's out, he means it.  Cut to him parking a car at the airport, and hiding the key on a nearby beam.  Presumably, this will be his final getaway car.  He hails a cab and leaves.

Back home, he pours a cup of coffee as the cops arrive, loudly banging on the door and yelling about their warrant.  Hank is there, and mocks Mike by asking about the restraining order. As usual, Mike is one step ahead as he calmly sits in his easy chair while the DEA takes apart his house and finds not a damn thing.

Walt is working on the equipment when Jesse arrives.  He tells him to help out on one of the tanks and makes small talk about the last cook,  Jesse wants to talk, but Walt cuts him off by offering to set him up with his own lab.  He's talking very fatherly when he tells him that he deserves it.  Again, kind words and all, but not what Jesse wants to hear.  He says, again, that he just wants to get his money and get out.  Walt goes into Knute Rockne mode and discusses wasting potential, and why would you want to do that when you can be the best?  Besides, what would you be leaving this for?  Jesse doesn't have an answer, but wouldn't it be nice to get out of a job which entails sometimes killing people and potentially spending a large chunk of time in prison?  Walt then goes into full on asshole mode, dressing sown the kid about how he has nothing or no one in his life except video games and go-carts, and we can see Jesse's face begin to fall as the eyes moisten.  Walt then drops the "how soon before you start using again" bomb, which is just fucking low.  Sensing maybe he went too far, Walt backtracks and tells him he knows he's upset about Spider Boy, but hey, so is he.  Jesse doubts that, highly, and recalls the whole whistling from last episode, at which point Walt makes the point that yes, that happened, but we can;t simply stop because of it.  When recounting the others they've killed, he only mentions Gale, who happens to be the one Jesse popped alone, and affirms that if there is a hell that the two of them pretty much have their tickets punched.   Jesse just wants the money, and Walt plays the whole "blood money" card, and goes on about how "pure" jesse is.  It's all bullshit, and Jesse knows it, but Walt goes on how much more they can make if they stay together.  Jesse sticks ot his guns and leaves, while Walt yells at him, like a Dad actually, that if he leaves he GETS! NOTHING! NOTHING!!  Prick.

DEA office.  A video conference with the Head Honcho is in progress, but Hank is zoned out on survelliance photos of Mike before HH snaps him out of it.  Hank is forced to stay behind as the meeting adjourns, and HH lets Hank know how he needs to act more like a boss and less like a guy who is obsessed iwth one case, The Fring Case, which is essentially over.  There are several other cases in play, and he implores him to spend time on those as he cuts the Ehrmantraut survelliance budget to a big fat zero.  Gomie knocks and enters and the talk quickly goes back to Mike, who is not doing anything at all, not even throwing the DEA tails.  Hank can't let it go and wonders why this is the most loyal crew in history - unless someone is still paying them off.  He realizes they are all represented by the same lawyer, our pal Dan, but Gomie says that's not all that unusual in cases like this.  Hank orders them to tail Dan anyway, splitting budgetary hairs by rationalizing that it's not Mike who is being tailed.  Gomie has reservations, but goes ahead with the plan.

Walt is prepping for a cook, donning the yellow hazmat suit, when we are treated to his new assistant - Todd.  Walt is in teacher mode, as he realizes that Todd, though eager to learn, is a bit of a dim bulb.  A montage, over "Down" by the Monkees, shows the cook process in progress while Todd takes copious notes.  I get the feeling these notes won't resemble Dale's highly technical book of info, and contain more lines like "pour stuff that smells like piss into the big vat and turn that knob thingy to the left..."

The finished product awaits as morning breaks, and the cook is complete.  Todd remarks on how complicated it is, and how it will take him a few more times before he gets it.  Walt assures him that he applied himself, and that's all he can ask.  He unzips as Todd leaves, and it's clear he's got a lot of training to do before this kid approaches Pinkman-level skills.

Back at the bank, and here's Lawyer Dan with another Tupperware Box O'Treats.  It's cake pops, with little faces on them.  Doris is glad, but seems a little off, and we soon see why.  As Dan is opening the first box, he turns toward the door and is greeted by a smiling Gomie along with two other agents.  Busted.  Maybe he could offer them some bacon banana cookies?

The White House, and a microwave beeps while Skyler is seated at the table, goblet of wine at her side.  Walt enters with his nuked supper (I guess she's not even cooking for him anymore) and begins to eat.  An attempt at small talk by Walt is greeted by Sky getting up and leaving, goblet in hand of course.  Smash cut to Walt sniveling in Hank's office once more, laying it on much thicker than the last time.  He asks for coffee, which is the cue to get Hank to leave and allow Walt to remove the bugs, which he does just before Hank returns.  In a very fortunate turn of events, Gomie swings by to relay the news that they've nabbed Lawyer Dan and he is willing to flip on Mike.  Bingo!  Walt hears this, and is concerned, obviously.  Prick.

At the playground, Kaylee swings to and fro while Mike does a crossword on the bench and smiles at her.  his cell rings, and it's Lawyer Dan, who lets on that there is a small situation with the money, and they need to talk, and where exactly is he?  Mike tells him he's in the park, and Dan agrees to come right over.  Mike barely has time to register concern before his phone rings again, and he groans as he answers and hears Walt.  Walt's not making a social call - he's tipping him off that the cops are on their way to get him, now.  He cuts Walt off mid rant and sees a cop car pull in just beyond his granddaughter.  Hiding behind a tree, he sees more cops arrive as he realizes he's running out of options.  In one of the most heartbreaking things this show has ever done, and that's saying a lot, we can guess that he's made the decision to bolt and leave her there.  Damn, this show.

Saul's office, where we hear him ranting about what a hack Lawyer Dan is.  Ideas?  Who's got any?  Saul says that if Mike flips, it's all over.  Jesse is adamant that Mike would not flip, but Walt mentions that the nine legacy guys will.  A phone buzzes, and Saul goes to his desk drawer which contains about ten other phones.  He finds the buzzing one and answers - it's Mike.  He lets Saul know about his airport car, which contains the bag Mike needs in order to get away.  get the bag, he implores Saul.  Jesse offers to get it, and Mike will not allow him to get further into any trouble.  Besides, as Walt prick-ily reminds him, he's out, remember?  He offers to go.

Cut to the beam where the key is hidden, and Walt's hand grabbing it.  He pops the trunk, finds Mikes bag and opens it, where he sees a pistol right on top. Hmmm.

Mike is seated on a bench near a small lake, waiting for the bag and skipping a stone.  A car approaches, and it's Walt, with the bag.  Before he hands it over to him, he demands the names of the legacy guys.  Mike scoffs and says the only option left is to leave town.  Walt invokes his family (remember them?) as his reason for staying.  Mike grabs the bag, says goodbye and begins to leave.  Walt spits out a "You're Welcome" and demands the names again, and this sets Mike off.  He blames all of the problems on Walt, and now it's Walt's turn to scoff.   Mike counters that they had a perfect setup with Gus, and if Walt had just kept his mouth shut and cooked none of this crap would have ever happened.  If he just kept his stupid pride and his ego in check, and "knew his place", they'd all be fine right now.  Said pride and ego can't allow those comments to be the final words, so Walt springs into action and returns to his car, then thinks twice and doubles back toward Mike's car.  Mike is opening his bag and just as he realizes the gun is missing, Walt shows up and the windows and shoots once, breaking the glass.  Mike winces and drives away, which Walt has trouble fathoming.  He doesn't get very far, and the car veers into some rocks and crashes.  Walt seems genuinely scared as he trots toward the crashed car, only to find the door open, Mike gone, and some bloody tracks leading toward the water.  He follows them, gun drawn, and finds Mike sitting where he was at the beginning of the scene, gun in hand.  He's bleeding from his stomach, and isn't doing very well.  Walt takes his gun, then realizes, too late, that he could have gotten the names from Lydia.  He apologizes to Mike, which is a first (and last).  Mike cuts him off with the best line of the show: "Shut the fuck up, and let me die in peace".  As we move to a wide shot, we hear a thud, and it's over.  RIP Mike.

Comments, observations, etc:

  • Fanfic writers are having a field day speculating that Jesse and Skyler should get together, and not just to talk if you know what I mean and I think you do.  I'm sure Walt would be okay with this.
  • Many were upset about how Walt found out about the lawyer flipping, but given that this is a short season, I'll allow it.  We had to have a way for Walt to be in the loop so he could warn Mike and setup the final scene.
  • The insider videos on AMC were great - Jonathan Banks was tearing up when talking about the show, his role, and filming this episode.
  • One more to go, so many potential things can happen - silencing the legacy guys via Todd's prison connections?  Lydia's fate?  When Jesse finds out about Mike?
  • What do you think?

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