It nearly took a full year but Breaking Bad is back and better than ever. This past Sunday’s episode was explosive right out of the gates. We were treated to yet another flash forward that showed Walt; bearded, with hair and with a deadly edge to his persona. We as an audience have known from Season 1 that there was an endgame for Walt and it was going to be messy. But to have part of the visual to this endgame shown in the two flash forward’s (Season 5- Live Free or Die and Blood Money), just gives me the chills. Only our imagination can somewhat contemplate what is going to happen and even then it still drives us crazy.
The Flash Forawrd
After a slow intro of skaters shredding in an empty pool, we see the White’s residence as a shell of itself (much like Walt’s appearance above). Windows boarded up, graffiti tags on the house and decay everywhere. We see a familiar red car pull up to the front, Walt comes out, surveys the destruction that is his former house. Perhaps he’s surveying the destruction his actions brought to his life, his household, all in the name of family. Whatever has happened up till this point in the flash forward, it hints that actions Walt and the persona of Heisenberg are very much public knowledge……
The flash forward continues as Walt walks through his house to the bedroom. He eyes the outlet plug. It’s the plug where he hid the last of the Ricin. Who will he use it on? Hank, the cartel, Jesse? He sits and stares at himself in the mirror, as if contemplating his plans. He’s come this far, almost trying to convince himself he needs to go “that place” to finish the job. What that job is, I will not even try to pretend that I have a clue. He walks out to the car, closes the trunk and notices his neighbor is looking at him, frozen in fear and disbelief. He turns, as she has a petrified look on her face. “Hello Carol”, she drops her grocery bags.
I wracked my brain countless times to try and piece together the first flash forward in Live Free or Die. It was a puzzle I had no chance of solving. So I’ll be short and sweet with my thoughts on this latest teaser. One can only grasp from this that Walt has come back to Albuquerque to finish something. After all, he is Lambert from New Hampshire. He has changed his whole identity, he in a sense escaped the clutches of Albuquerque. So why return? He has some sort of unfinished business. Is it to finally settle his predicament or maybe, just maybe he’s here to save someone who couldn’t make it out. Either way, he’ll be equipped with an M60 and some Ricin.
The episode starts right where Gliding All Over left off. Hank just paralyzed in disbelief. He hides the book, zombie-walks outside. The symbolism of Marie saying, “he’s the devil” as Hank comes to the table is just piercing as we see Walt/Heisenberg in his facade as father and family man. Hank has to leave, he is sick to his stomach both literally and figuratively. He speeds off in a daze and nearly crashes the car as he has a panic attack.
The emotions of Hank are almost too many to count. We all knew that Hank would find out, We all knew it wouldn’t go well. But how would ASAC Schrader play this. Hank might have just had his “oh shit” moment on the crapper but he played it very well, or at least as well as he could have. He’s just opened Pandora’s Box and now has to deal with the truth. But this also gives Hank a second chance. Let’s face it, Hank and the DEA had all but dotted the i’s and crossed the t’s on the Fring’s operation at the tail end of last season. Only to have Walt, like he has done time and again, pull the rug out from under Hank’s feet. The massacre of all of Fring’s employees and their lawyer nearly devastated Hank. He’ll be playing this one close to the vest, almost as if this is his last shot. No mistakes this time.
Walt has no idea and as far as he is concerned, is about to start the car wash chapter of his life. Lydia makes an appearance at the A1 car wash, practically begging Walt to come back. She mentions something about 68%. As if that relates to her meth purity or drop off in business I’m not too sure. Whatever it is, other factors require Walt’s help. An already unstable person in Lydia is coming off really, really desperate. Walt dismisses Lydia, Skyler inquires about her. In a rare turn of the truth, Walt tells her exactly what had happened. Skylers confronts Lydia in cold blunt manner, “Leave and don’t ever come back, ever”.
Jesse is stuck. Wether that’d be in his house, life or in his own head. Badger and Skinny provide the comedic relief as always. But Pinkman has other plans. A visit to Saul reveals he feels guilty about his money and the people he has hurt in the way. Hence the title Blood Money. Jesse will see to it that little Kaylee Erhmantraut and the family of Drew Sharp(the kid who got shot at the end of Dead Freight) get there due ($2.5 million each) because Jesse feels unworthy. Walt tries to ease his mind later but to no avail. Jesse is sick to himself, he knows all too well who he is, who he’s been in business with and the bloody truth behind Walt since he left the operation. For a potential loose end, Walter stills shows an understanding and soft spot for Jesse. He is not in the least bit concerned of Jesse’s state of mind…… But maybe he would if he saw Pinkman littering the ABQ one $10K stack at a time.
I will tell you one thing, Breaking Bad isn’t afraid to be bold. I would’ve have been satisfied if the inevitable Hank/Walt confrontation happened in the middle of the season. But Vince Gilligan threw that at us in the first freaking episode. Walt notices the Whitman’s Leaves of Grass gone from the toilet area (side note, Walt’s cancer is back). One has to wonder for a man being so careful, why would he leave such an incriminating piece of the puzzle in public view, even if its the master bathroom. Walt connects the dots and his suspicion is confirmed as he finds a bug under his car. Game Set Match
Like I said before, we would’ve been fine if the episode ended there. But with only 7 episodes left, this shit is happening now. Hank is scouring through files and pictures and more files as he sees Walt drives up. Hank clears all the files away, Walter enters the garage. Both dance around the truth, speaking in vague interest in each other lives as each size one another up. Walt is about to leave, and then he gets that look, the same look he had before he chased after Mike and he killed him (Buyout). Walt pulls the bug out and confronts Hank point blank about it. Hank closes the garage, as the anger is boiling over. Hank snaps on Walt, years of frustration and days of betrayal come out at once as he punches Walt, throws him against the garage. Throwing out every accusation he’s tied Heisenberg and now Walt to. Walter denies it as if to spit it all back in Hanks face. While not confirming what was just said, Walt sure as hell doesn’t deny it. He lets Hank know that the cancer is back and IF convicted, he’s be dead before the jail cell could even close. He intimates he’s a car wash owner who is dying of cancer. IF these accusations are true, is it really worth it considering the time he has left. Hank stares back in disbelief. And then it hits him, for a man he called a friend and a brother-in-law, he states he has no idea who Walter White is anymore. A request to bring Skyler and the kids to the safety of the Schrader household is denied by Walter. As both men stare daggers into each other, Heisenberg utters his first threat. “If you really don’t know who I am, I would tread lightly”.