The last couple weeks I've been posting a Breaking Bad sneak peek/speculation post on Sunday morning, followed immediately by my recap of the actual episode that airs in the evening. This is a GREAT way to see firsthand just how terrible I am at predicting what's going to happen each week, by the way.
This morning I theorized that Skyler and Walt may be meeting with Hank -- or possibly Jesse? -- to deal with AMC's teased 'unexpected demand.' Was I even in the flipping ballpark this time? Let's get to the recap of tonight's show and find out.
There's a cold open with Todd leaving a phone message for Walt, discussing the recent "change of management" that's come about with Lydia's meth business, before bragging to his gangbanger uncle about the great train heist. Interesting stuff, but you know what, let's just fast-forward to that restaurant scene and what happened after that, because HO. LY. SHITBALLS.
It turns out that Walt and Skyler are in fact meeting with Hank and Marie for the world's most uncomfortable taqueria meal. (How hilarious was the Office Space-esque waiter who was kind of slow on the update to key in on the palpable tension at the table? "Hi! Can I start you with some margaritas and fresh-cut guacamo --- uhhhhh, you know what, I'll be back later.") Skyler and Walt ask that their family be left alone. Hank's like, not by the hairs of my chinny-chin-chin. Marie provides what I'm certain is going to be the most shocking moment of the episode (WRONG AGAIN, SELF) when she suggests that Walt should just go ahead and kill himself. Hank growls that Walt should "Step up, be a man, and admit what you did. There is no other option."
Walt sighs, pushes back his chair, and slides a DVD towards Hank. Based on an earlier scene of him talking into a camera (as Skyler frets, "Are you sure?"), it seems Hank has to be right: Walt's only possible choice here is to suck it up and admit that he is Heisenberg.
Cut to the Schraders standing in front of their home television watching Walt's confession, as the lower jaw of every single Breaking Bad viewer in the entire world hits the carpet. Walt puts on a performance of a lifetime for the camera, describing how his wicked brother-in-law forced Walt to be his chemist for the past year, and that Hank was the true meth mastermind all along. Walt is meek and believable, even haltingly describing Gus's murder from the perspective of an innocent victim dragged into a horrific mess beyond his understanding: "I guess you'd call it … a hit?" He lies that Hank took his children away, he describes being forced to provide money for Hank's rehabilitation, he weeps crocodile tears and chokes out, “I can’t take this anymore."
Goddamn. I mean, goddamn.
Back in the interrogation room scene we closed with at the end of last week's episode, Hank tells Jesse what he knows. Jesse's taken aback, but manages to dig up some classic Pinkman reserves and tell Hank "Eat me," before Saul bursts into the room, blustering about lawsuits.
Saul brings Jesse out to the desert to meet with Walt, where Jesse stares emptily at a tarantula crawling along. It's a creepy eight-legged reminder that he'll never escape the things he's seen and done. Walt gives him a bunch of fake-warm malarkey about how Jesse should start his life over. "Maybe it's time for a change," Walt coos, in the same way he manipulated Walt Jr. into staying away from Marie because his dad's cancer is back. "I don't like to see you hurting like this."
Jesse blows the hell up, screaming that just for once, he wants Walt to tell him the truth. Tell him that if he doesn't go, Walt will kill him, just like he killed Mike. "Stop working me!" he yells, every awful moment of manipulative history between he and Mr. White echoing in his voice, and Walt slowly steps forward to embrace him. Jesse weeps brokenly (btw, ALL THE EMMYS FOR AARON PAUL. ALL OF THEM) into Walt's shoulder, but cannot respond to the hug. Jesse is mourning all the blackness Walt brought into his life, and he knows this hug isn't caring or fatherly: it's an acknowledgment of the truth of his accusations.
Jesse agrees to start his life over with the help of Saul's make-people-disappear guy. He waits on the side of the road for the pickup -- can we take a second to give major props for that amazing backdrop of concrete blocks, which feel like lonely gravestones? -- and starts patting himself looking for the dope he'd pocketed back in Saul's office. It's gone. He realizes that Saul's bodyguard, Huell of the truly odd-shaped skull, had snagged his dope back in Saul's office. From there, it dawns on him that it's not the first time Huell has picked his pockets, he'd done it before … when he took the ricin cigarette. I hate to criticize anything about this show, but it does feel like kind of a not-fully-believable jump on Jesse's part to suddenly figure out that Walt poisoned Brock, but whatever, the point is he now knows and he's fucking PISSED.
Jesse storms back to Saul's office, beats him bloody, and gets the most important confession of all: yes, Walt lied to Jesse and told him it was Gus Fring who tried to kill Brock with the ricin. (Of course, we know that Walt actually poisoned Brock with a lily of the valley plant, and the ricin cigarette is hidden behind an electrical outlet in his bedroom.)
In the final scene, Jesse -- having finally completely traded that shell-shocked pit of despair he'd been falling even deeper into for a white-hot suicidal rage -- kicks in the White's door and starts spilling gasoline all over the house. Ohhhhhh, Jesse. I guess it was too much to hope that you were really going to escape to Alaska. JUNEAU, BITCH!
What did you think of tonight's show? Did you think it was believable, the way Jesse figured out the ricin/Brock business?
Image via AMC