Breaking Bad: Season 5, Episode 11

Professor Thoms viewing party poster

WARNING: Spoilers. Guacamole. Spoilers.

I have this irrational viewing tic where anytime Jesse Pinkman encounters danger on “Breaking Bad” I fear he might die. I say this is irrational because Pinkman is the show’s moral compass and because the actor who plays him – Aaron Paul – is a gem. Jesse will make it … at least until this upcoming Sunday night’s episode.

Which is more than I expected, I admit. I started bracing myself for Pinkman’s demise during the commercial break prior to the final scene in last Sunday’s episode titled “Confessions”. I just had a bad feeling. I’ve had that feeling before and was wrong – WAY WRONG. This time though I just knew, and then I learned I didn’t.

Keep this in mind while reading more thoughts about “Breaking Bad” Season 5, Episode 11 “Confessions” and the show’s final five episodes.

A) The flash forward earlier this season of Walt walking through his house means Jesse did not burn down the White’s home contrary to appearances at the end of “Confessions”. My friend Matt aka Fezekial posited either Walt Jr. is home, and thus finds out about Jesse and Walt, or Walt arrives with his gun. Perhaps Saul lied about his vehicle being bugged, I’d add, and thus Walt tails Jesse. Also: How close were Gomez and the other DEA cops to catching Jesse had Hank not called off Pinkman’s tail? Minutes?

B) Jesse knows Walt killed Mike. He also knows Walt poisoned Brock. It’s possible, if not probable, he will figure out Walt also played a role in Jane’s death. Either Walt or Jesse must die at the other’s hands, it seems. Either that or Jesse gets scooped up by the police and talks about Walt as a means to get even. One things clear: Jesse missed his chance to skip town. There will be no more escape routes. PS: I’ve considered the possibility Todd’s family kills Jesse. I don’t think that will happen though because A) Walt has handled the show’s big hits and B) it would be a brutally cold way to end their partnership and one I doubt would be dramatically pleasing.

C) I might be 1000 percent wrong here but is Gilligan setting Jesse and Hank up as unlikely allies? I mean, sure Jesse essentially told Hank to stick it where the sun don’t shine in “Confessions” but now that Jesse knows Walt tried to kill Brock all bets are off. Perhaps Hank’s pitch about both he and Jesse being screwed over by Walt will resonate at a later date. Perhaps not. (I’m more than likely wrong.)

D) Another gut feeling: I believe Walt’s assault weapon is meant for Todd’s neo-Nazi uncles. I just don’t see him using it to fight off the cops or Jesse or anyone else. Todd’s uncles showed they packed an arsenal of firearms in murdering Lydia’s drug connect. Who knows what’s next for them but I’d bet it has something to do with Walt cooking meth. Forget the notion Walt will make a clean break. It’s not happening.

E) Hank is beyond screwed. All that is left for him is Walt. Walt is the prize buck, so to speak. Hank and Jesse are the two most dangerous players left in the game because neither has anything to lose. The idea Walt’s generosity in paying for Hank’s rehabilitation would haunt Hank did not surprise. Here’s the Catch 22: Hank could have caught Walt had he known about the $177,000 but he would not have received the treatment. Which is worse at this point: Being crippled physically or crippled by Walt’s “gift”?

F) The Professor Thoms crowd hooted and hollered when Walt’s video “confession” played. Sure he played Hank but I did not see the scene as funny in the way Saul’s scenes are/were. It’s hard to imagine any of Walt’s claims standing up to scrutiny though they would buy him time to escape. The “confession” just shows how far he’s willing to go to remain “free”. Also, viewers are left to assume Skyler signed off on his “confession”. She has put all her chips on the table for Walt.

G) I didn’t fear for Saul’s life like I did Jesse’s even though Jesse held a gun to Saul’s face. The reason? Talk of a Saul Goodman spin-off. There’s also the possibility Saul’s new show could be a prequel. So that would have allowed for Jesse to shoot him in that scene. It’s hard to imagine Saul without Walt and Jesse. Or Huell. The show runners must keep Huell.

BREAKING BITS

H) Walt’s hug of Jesse: Genuine or a manipulative trick? I’d check the box for manipulative trick.

I) Aaron Paul roared to life in this episode. Fantastic job, especially during the showdown with Walt in the middle of nowhere. They are always in the middle of nowhere.

J) Kudos to Marie (Betsey Brandt) for telling Walt to “kill yourself”. Her anger in that moment rivaled Hank’s when he punched Walt in the garage.

K) It’s weird seeing Brandt’s visage on the subway next to Michael J. Fox. She will always be Marie in my mind.

L) The way I read the intro in which the camera panned onto Todd’s uncles shoes to reveal blood told me they’re not concerned about people knowing they’re killers. Hank is the least of Walt’s worries.

M) Once again thanks to Professor Thoms for hosting the viewing party.

Read more of my “Breaking Bad” reviews here.

2 thoughts on “Breaking Bad: Season 5, Episode 11”

  1. Walter White is at this point guilty of so many morally irredeemable actions that all that’s left is to watch exactly how his fall plays out. His bill has come due and its going to be great fun watching how he pays it. Yet I still have a small soft spot for him and I think its because he’s almost, but not quite entirely, soulless. I think now and again we see peeks of his vestigial sense of humanity. Such as, I hope, his embrace of Jesse; Who for better or worse is like an adopted son for Walt. So, while I could choose to believe it was calculated and to an extent it almost certainly was, I also choose to believe it was genuine, that Walt acknowledged the bond they share and for once allowed an honest-ish moment that wasn’t full of his usual BS.

    Its probably of note that Walt’s other ‘genuine moment’ came a few seasons back after he and Jesse went toe to toe, leaving Walt with a black eye. The next day Walt Jr showed up and Walt cried in front of his son and in a limited way confessed to being in the wrong for the unspecified incident. Interesting because this was again a reaction to a breakdown in the Jesse/Walt relationship.

    As both of these events served a purpose of sorts i.e. preventing Walt from having to B.S. his way out of an explanation its difficult if not impossible to say that they were genuine. Perhaps when it comes to Walt I’m just a glass 1/16 full kind of guy.

  2. I now think Walt’s hug was genuine. Yes he manipulates Jesse, almost always, but he could not off him. Time and again he says Jesse is off limits when it comes to removing him from the picture. It was one of only a few shreds of morality left in Walt’s twisted ethos, but after this latest episode it’s no holds barred.

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