Breaking Bad Review: Confessions (S5.E11)

s-BREAKING-BAD-CONFESSIONS-large300A theme of this show that would otherwise have flown under the radar if not for the rare flash forwards like the one two seasons ago. While these quick snippets that appear before the main title theme, they offer their fair share of intrigue into the future of the show while also sometimes veering into the more capricious category.

This week’s snippet managed to be relevant to the overall story arc, but we are left wondering how it will come in to effect down the line. Todd, who has just been commissioned by Lydia to retake control of all methamphetamine cooks for post-Heisenberg operation, is standing outside a diner calling and leaving a voicemail for Walt. The way he talks it sounds as though Walt is still involved in some capacity.

Todd discusses the situation with Declan that has now been resolved says there has been a “change in management.” Afterword, we see Todd inside with  is Uncle Jack and Kenny—likely right after their shootout with Declan and his men—thoughtlessly gushing all the details of him, Walt and Jesse’s great train robbery with wait staff within earshot.

Before leaving, Uncle Jack and Kenny make sure that Todd is ready to be the lone chef before going “to hit the head.” We then bear witness to the two’s hilarious dislikes with the changes of modern America, but I digress. The last we see of this aberrant trio is of them crossing the border into New Mexico.

We can assume that Lydia isn’t quite done trying to persuade to come back into the fold, and Todd and family are just crazy enough for Walt to be unable to predict their moves should things head in that direction.

On to the more tangible portions of the story line, we see the interrogation of Jesse by his longtime nemesis Hank. Almost immediately, Hank shuts off the camera left in the room by the ADP agents and reveals to Jesse that he knows Walt is Heisenberg and tries to convince him to turn into an informant.

Jesse first seems like a good soldier ready to keep his mouth shut, responding with an: “Eat me. why don’t you try and beat it out of me? Isn’t that your thing?”

However, one curious point of the meeting is when the ever-so-clever Hank rattles out these words: “My own brother-in-law, lying to me for over a year. Using me. Maybe you understand that feeling.” Jesse definitely seems to react to the “using me” portion of that quote, but ultimately Hank is unable to get anything out of him.

Saul busts in, to Hanks chagrin, and has all the detectives thrown out and is Jesse released. Flash to Walt being informed of the whole situation at home. In the background we hear the phone ring before Walter Jr. asks for permission to go to Marie and Hank’s to help with some “computer thing.” Walt once again puts his manipulative talents on full display as he takes this opportunity to let his son know that his cancer has returned and thus stop him from leaving.

In the meantime, Marie continues to harp on Hank for not letting the rest of the office in on his recent discovery. He continues to say it’s not the right time. Over at the White household, we see Walt set himself up on the edge of the bed with a camera aimed at him.

“My name is Walter Hartwell White. I live at 308 Negra Arroyo Lane, Albuquerque, New Mexico 87104. This is my confession.”

… And cut to commercial.

When it returns we witness a very tense Skyler and Walt sitting in a busy Mexican restaurant. Hank and Marie eventually arrive raising the level of tension even higher. Just when things are about to start Trent, the waiter, interrupts with a polar opposite level of mirth that quickly brings a chuckle into the scene.

breakingbad_620x350Walt has apparently lured the two to meet by saying he would confess, instead he asks that Marie cease trying to steal his and Sklyer’s children. The two sides begin arguing about the safety of the children and what is right for them when Marie lets off a doozy:

“Why don’t you kill yourself, Walt? Just kill yourself.”

Wow. Who would have ever suspected Marie of saying something with such vitriol when this show first started? However heinous the question comes off, it does merit a viable outcome that Walt himself pointed out when first confronted by Hank. He argues that by the time he would end convicted of his crimes, he’d be dead. “What’s the point?”

Ultimately the conversation goes nowhere after that. Walt and Skyler get up to leave, but not before Walt hands Hank a disc. When Hank and Marie arrive at home the insert the disc only to be shocked by a “confession” of sorts.

I’ve already described the beginning of the tape for you. Beginning where it left off: “If you’re watching this tape, I’m probably dead. Murdered by my brother-in-law, Hank Schrader.” What follows is perhaps Walter’s most devious act as he continues the plot points of all the events that have lead us to now fall almost too  easily together to connect Hank. The genius of connecting Hank to Gus Fring and his medical bills along with familial issues.

Walt’s ability to act shines through in the best framing ever. Hank had not known about the medical bills for his recovery being covered by Walt until now. In one fell swoop, Walt has officially painted Hank into a corner and created a schism between him and Marie.

On to Walt’s next ploy, he has set up a meeting with himself, Saul and Jesse out in the middle of the desert.  Jesse tells Walt he doesn’t think Hank has much evidence and thinks it’s likely he has yet to tell anybody else what he knows about Walt. After finding out what was discussed during interrogation, Walt suggests that Jesse might be better off leaving the area and starting fresh with a brand new identity.

Finally, Jesse calls Walt out on his BS and  asks him to stop manipulating for once in his life.

“Just drop the whole concerned dad thing and tell me the truth … Just ask me for a favor. Just tell me you don’t give a shit about me, and it’s either this — it’s either this, or you’ll kill me the same way you killed Mike.”

The scene ends with an awkward hug as the mastermind once again manages to defuse the situation and stay out ahead of his partner.

Walt arrives at home and tells Skyler “It worked, and we’re fine.”

At DEA headquarters, Gomez comes into Hank’s office to question him about why he’s been using his men to tail Jesse without explanation. Hank agrees to remove them.

With Walt’s sweet embrace managing to convince Jesse of the need for change, Saul explains that once he makes the call to his guy there is no turning back. He gives the go-ahead and a meeting is set for one hour. A nervous Jesse lights up a joint and a furious Saul tells him the guy won’t take him if he’s high. Jesse puts out the joint but won’t give back the rest of his bag. Saul gets $125,000 in cash to pay his guy, as well as additional cash that Walt asked Saul to give to Jesse. Huell will be taking Jesse to the meet.

While waiting for the guy, Jesse reaches in his pocket for his weed. He realizes that Heul stole it from his pocket and he suspects that Saul the same thing happened with the ricin cigarette. Just as Saul’s guy pulls up Jesse picks up the bag of money and walks away. Jesse rushes into Saul’s office and begins to melee. And just like that another one of those opening scenes has come into play.

Jesse accuses Saul of stealing his cigarettes so that Walt could use the ricin to poison his ex-girlfriend’s son, Brock. Saul confesses his compliance to Walt’s demands. Jesse leaves and Saul immediately calls Walt with a head’s-up. Walt races to the car wash, then casually finds an excuse to go into the soda machine where he has hidden a snub-nose revolver. He then tells Skyler that he forgot to pick up a prescription. Jesse storms over to Walt’s place, kicks in the front door and begins maniacally pouring gasoline everywhere.

A frantic ending to what had once looked like the continued mastery of the mental chess game this show has become for Walt.

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