Breaking Bad – To’hajiilee

I’m going to add this episode to my list of “Breaking Bad” favorites, right along with “Face Off”,  “Half Measures” and “One Minute.  I’m also going to officially declare “Breaking Bad” the best television series of this generation.   I don’t often watch TV and find myself thinking things like “jaw-dropping” and “heart-pounding”, but that’s what this show does to a viewer.  The final season has been a real test for Vince Gilligan and company, given the loyalty and critical eye of fans, but this team of writers and producers have outdone themselves.   Someone wrote that watching each episode of Season 5 has been like experiencing the Red Wedding from “Game of Thrones” week after week and that pretty much sums it up.  My list of favorites is, more than likely, going to grow.

Todd is cooking for Lydia and the product is not living up to the her standards or the expectations of her buyers.  It’s not blue, although, as Todd tells it, if you hold it just the right way under the light it sort of looks aquamarine.  It’s also only 76% pure, not even close to the 96% that Walter and Jesse could produce.   There’s no question that Todd and, more importantly, Lydia, need Walter to come back and cook for them, but the problem is how to get him to agree.   Todd’s answers his phone – his ringtone is Thomas Dolby’s “She Blinded me With Science” – and it’s Walter asking for Uncle Jack’s services again.  They set up a meeting after Walter tells him that there’s only one target this time.

Hank and Gomey listen to Jesse’s plan to get some real, hard evidence against Walter.  He tells the agents that the one thing Walter won’t destroy is his money.  He may not know where it’s hidden, but there may be someone else who does.  Back at Hank’s house, Hank opens a package of what looks like brains, throws it on the floor and smears the blood around it.   We’re wondering, as is Jesse, just what the hell he’s doing, but more about that in a minute.  Hank and Gomey pay a visit to Huell who’s being held in “protective custody” and Hank tells him that Walter’s put out hits on everybody, including him and Kuby.  He then opens his phone and shows Huell a photo of Jesse, looking quite dead, next to that bloody mess on Hank’s floor.   Sufficiently terrified, Huell says that he doesn’t know where the money is but that he and Kuby loaded seven sturdy Home Depot barrels of it into a rental van, Walter drove off, then came back with a shovel in the back and dirt all over it.  Satisfied with the information, Hank warns Huell not to call Saul or discuss the case with the agent guarding him.

Walt meets up with Uncle Jack to discuss the hit on Jesse.  Jack makes it clear that he doesn’t want Walter’s money, just a cooking session with Todd, and Walter, after telling him that he’s no longer in the business, acquiesces – but payment will come only after Jesse is dead.  There are other terms that Walter wants – since Jesse is like family, the kill has to be clean and painless, like a shot to the head.  When Jack asks where Jesse is, Walter says that he doesn’t know but he has a way to flush him out.  Flushing him out means that Walter stops by Andrea’s house, and he shows up as Brock is eating Fruit Loops before heading off for school.  He tells Andrea that he and Jesse had a disagreement and, Jesse won’t return his calls.  He also adds that Jesse is using again and hopes that he’s alright.  Andrea calls Jesse herself and leaves a message telling him that Walter is there and is concerned about him.  He thanks her for making the call, walks out the door and tells a couple of Uncle Jack’s guy that it’s a go, as they sit in their car, outside the house.  Oh, and Hank intercepts the message on the Hello Kitty phone and mutters “Nice try, asshole.”

Skyler and Walter, Jr. are working at the car wash where she’s teaching him the importance of wishing customers “Have an A-1 day.”   Saul Goodman, still sporting a couple of shiners thanks to Jesse, is at the register and, Junior excitedly recognizes him as the lawyer from the TV commercials.  He asks Saul what happened to his face and Saul answers “This is what you call an occupational hazard.”  Then, in true 1-800-Lawyer style, tells Junior “Don’t drink and drive, but if you do, call me.”   Walter follows Saul outside and the two of them exchange a few words about the growing problem that is Jesse.  Saul tells Walter that Huell is missing as well.  Walt says that he doesn’t know where Jesse is, that maybe he didn’t get his message.  Saul sees it differently and says “Or he got it loud and clear and realizes it’s a set up.  The kid is not as dumb as you think.”   Skyler wants to know if there’s been any news and Walter tells her that there isn’t yet, but there will be soon.

Walter’s cell phone rings and there’s a picture of a barrel of money in the dirt.  Then Jesse comes on and says that he found that one and six more just like it.   Sounding more diabolical by the minute he continues on, letting Walter know that it involves 5 gallon cans of gas and a match, that he’s going to burn $10,00 a minute.  “Fire in the hole, bitch.” Walter is racing to the spot where the money was buried, pleading with Jesse not to do anything.   I couldn’t help but get a little satisfaction out of watching Walter White lose his Heisenberg bravado for a minute and beg Jesse for something for a change.   He’s desperate and uses everything he has to get Jesse to stop – “My cancer’s back and I’m not going to live lone enough to use it.  It’s for my family.”  That’s not working, so he tells Jesse that he’s sorry he poisoned Brock, to which Jesse responds “No, you’re not, but you’re gonna be.”  Then he tries by reminding Jesse of all the things he’s done for him, like killing people to save his life.  He should have just let that last remark alone but he just couldn’t help himself and had to add “but you’re too stupid to know that.”   It doesn’t matter, Jesse’s not talking anymore.

Walter arrives at the spot where the money was buried but there’s no sign of Jesse.  He hollers “I’m here.  Where are you, you son of a bitch?”  Walter gets nothing back, just the realization that he’s been set up.  Walter makes his way up to the top of some nearby rocks to use as a better vantage point and spots what looks like some smoke.  Thinking it’s Jesse, Walt calls Uncle Jack and tells them that he’s found their target.  He gives Jack the coordinates from the lottery ticket and hangs up.  Just then, a black SUV pulls up and Hank, Gomey and Jesse get out.  Walter calls Uncle Jack back to stop him and his gang.  “Forget it. Don’t come. It’s off.  Do not come.”

Hank is calling Walter’s name, telling him to come out.   Walter hesitates for a second, tears in his eyes, then begins walking towards the trio, holding his gun.  He complies as Hank delivers his commands – “Drop the gun.  Walk slowly towards me. Stop. Turn around. Lace your fingers behind your head.  Walk backwards towards me.  Stop. Get on your knees.”  Hank then walks to Walter and places handcuffs on him.  Jesse, who is sunned by what he’s watching says that To’hajiilee, the Indian reservation, is the place they first cooked.   Hank reads Walter his rights but Walter is staring at Jesse.  When Hank asks Walt if he understands, Walt calls Jesse a coward.  Jesse spits in Walt’s face and Walter tries to tackle him.

After the two are separated, Hank tells Gomey to wait with Jesse until the search team arrives and he’ll take Walter to DEA headquarters.   Hank makes a phone call – to Marie. “Hey baby, I got him – dead to rights,” Hank says. “You got Walt?” she asks.  “Yeah, I got him in handcuffs as we speak. Want me to wave to him for you?”  “Oh my God, you did it,” Marie says.  “It’s going to be a little rough for the next couple of weeks, but it will get better. Baby, you okay?” Hank says.  “I’m much better now,”she answers.  “I got to go. It may be a while before I get home. I love you,” Hank tells her.  “I love you, too,” Marie says.  And they hang up.

From the backseat of the SUV, Walter spots the two pickup trucks carrying Uncle Jack and his men.  They’re going to make good on their part of the bargain, no matter what Walt tells them.   Walter shouts to Hank, to warn him, and Hank and Gomey draw their weapons.   When the pickups pull up, they’re loaded with Neo-Nazis who are loaded for bear.   Hank and Gomey tell them that they’re cops and order them to put their weapons down.  Jack wants to see badges but no one is moving.   I’m not moving – I think I even stopped breathing.  Then Uncle Jack looks to one of his men and guns begin blazing.  Hank and Gomey try to take cover behind the already bullet-riddled SUV, Walter drops to the floor and Jesse is making some kind of movements from inside of Walter’s car.   The sheer numbers and sound of the bullets is excruciating, then the screen goes dark and I uttered an expletive.  I did.   I wrote it in my notes in big letters, but I’ll let you make up your own.    Three more episodes and I’m wondering if there’s a way to get just enough Valium until then.

Harbinger: The new teaser for Breaking Bad's last eight episodes leaves plenty of questions with its abstract imagery


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7 Responses to Breaking Bad – To’hajiilee

  1. Laineylainey says:

    Great recap, Empress. You caught some things I didn’ “don’t drink and drive…” Oh and I stopped breathing during the gunfight. Shocked, I tell ya. Incredible writing, acting, the whole sh’bang. Please don’t end, Breaking Bad!!! Please?

    • Oh, Lainey, I feel your pain. 😦 As much as I hate, hate, hate to see the show end, Vince Gilligan is doing it the right way. There’s a show business saying – “Always leave them wanting more” and that’s exactly what he’s doing, before Breaking Bad gets stale or wears out its welcome. Then again, why should we be surprised – he’s delivered virtually flawless television for five years and he’s taking it out with the same perfection.

  2. windycitywondering2 says:

    So glad that I was not the only one holding my breathe during what seemed to be a never ending and never hitting the target gun battle! Every time they panned to Walter inside the SUV, I expected to see him either bleeding badly or dead. This is one of the best series without a doubt. It allows viewers to actually experience good scriptwriting, see great acting and the vision of a dynamic director. And so in “Inside the Actor’s Studio” true form – Question: What did you say when the screen went to black? I uttered the word……….WHOA.

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