It’s the beginning of the end my friends. The first of Breaking Bad’s final eight episodes wasted no time in revealing Mr. White’s biggest foe yet and got our wheels spinning with another interesting peep into the future. The long awaited showdown between good and evil, brother-in-law vs brother-in-law, is upon us.
Throughout the series our once boring school teacher protagonist has climbed his way up to being king of the hill in a very video game like fashion, facing foes with increasing levels of difficulty but always coming out on top. At one point Walt was seen as a man simply entering the drug realm to provide for his family, but we have seen, as Marie put it, “facing death changes a man. It has to.”
I’m taking her out of context, but when the line was delivered back during the season three episode Mas, it was meant to reflect onto Walt’s obvious moral changes with time.
The cliffhanger the show left us with at the end of episode eight is dealt with immediately and confidentially. For those who don’t recall, we last saw Walt, Skylar, Marie and Hank gathered for a family dinner. Hank gets up to use the restroom and finds Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass—a gift which had been given to Walter White by the now slain Gale Boetticher—opens the book to the title page and finds the inscription:
To my other favorite W.W. It’s an honour working with you. Fondly G.B.
When Hank he emerges from the bathroom, he comes up with an excuse to leave the family get-together and begins sifting through all of the case’s old evidence. On the ride home Hank can barely focus on the road as Marie talks about Europe. He starts having an attack of some kind and runs onto a person’s lawn. He falls out of the car and Marie yells for the homeowner to call an ambulance.
After returning home from the hospital, Hank compares the handwriting in the book to that of Gale’s writing in his lab notes. There are clear similarities between the two writings even without the aid of a graphologist.
While I have heard some dislike for the way Hank finally comes to realize who the infamous Heisenberg truly is, it is a testament to Walt’s skills as a criminal that the only other evidence that even remotely points in his direction is a drawing of him as Heisenberg. Let’s also not eschew how great a job Walt has done of covering his tracks every time Hank was right on his trail.
In the meantime, Walt’s less astute but more heartfelt former partner Jesse Pinkman is lounging in his still under-decorated house with his two dunderheaded druggy friends. As they while away their time with debate over Star Trek, Jesse decides to head to our favorite lawyer Saul Goodman with $5 million cash in hand.
Jesse would like $2.5 million each sent to Mike Ehrmantraut’s granddaughter and to the parents of Drew Sharp (the dirt bike kid who was shot and killed by Todd after the train robbery). The transaction sends off alarms to Saul who calls Walt as soon as Jesse leaves his office to help him straighten things out.
It is another show of guilt weighing heavily on his conscience by Jesse, who has continuously been manipulated and coerced into doing things that he otherwise would never have done if not for Mr. White. Eventually, He decides to take the title paperboy a tad too literally and ends up driving through a neighborhood throwing packs of $100 bills onto people’s front doorstep.
Unfortunately for Jesse, his time within the drug world is not yet over now that Hank finally has his suspect.
Later in the episode, suddenly has to excuse himself from dinner to vomit. While on his hands and knees praying to the porcelain god, he seems to notice that his book is now missing. He then finds a GPS tracking device under the bumper of his car one night and immediately realizes he isn’t out of hot water yet.
The next day Walt pays Hank a visit to find out how he’s been doing, pretending to not know about the GPS. The two share some awkward conversation and Walt prepares to depart, but couldn’t hold his tongue any longer.
Just as he’s about to walk away, Walt stops and turns and asks Hank if he knows anything about why there would be a GPS tracking device on his car. Hank responds by closing the garage door behind him and landing a solid right hook on the unassuming Walt. He puts Walter up against the door and says, “It was you. All along it was you!” and spouts off all the things he’s done to cover his tracks.
Walter immediately plays the sympathy card, telling Hank his cancer is back. He tells Hank he’s dying and that even if he was able to get a jury to believe that he’s Heisenberg, he won’t live long enough to see the inside of a prison. After hearing him out, Hank tells Walt to bring Skyler and the kids by the house and they can talk.
While that is a novel idea, it would have been unfathomable if it were to happen. A sentiment which Walt agrees with in saying that it will never happen. The two stare at one another, in a boxing-like pre-match pose. An incredulous
Hank states: “I don’t know who you are. I don’t even know who I’m talking to.” And suddenly he receives his first glimpse of Walt’s alter-ego, who responds with “If that’s true, If you don’t know who I am …then maybe your best course would be to tread lightly.”
The episode ends with the standoff and brings the beginning of the episode full circle. The episode begins with a look into the future, featuring Walt with a full head of hair and a beard. He drives up to an condemned home and slips in through the metal fence surrounding the property with warning signs made very visible. Once inside, we begin to realize that this is the White household. The living room of the now empty house has “HEISENBERG” spray-painted on the wall.
After entering the master bedroom, he reaches into his pocket for a coin and retrieves the ricin pill from behind the outlet cover, walks back out front and heads for his car. Before he gets to the door he stops and quickly turns around to the sight of a terror-stricken woman, to whom he says, “Hello Carol” and she drops the bag she was holding to the ground.
My immediate thought process lead me to believing the ricin is for Hank, but it could very easily stir things up with Jesse is he comes to realize it was Walter who poisoned his girlfriend’s little boy in order to manipulate him.
Anyone else have some theories and prediction? Please feel free to leave them in the comments section below and thank you for reading.