Breaking Bad

Episode Report Card
Joe R: B+ | 319 USERS: A+
Mutually-Assured Destruction

Okay, are you ready? Because here’s where things get fucking crazy. We cut to Hank and Marie at home. They’re watching the DVD standing up. You know that thing? Where you’re so eager to watch a thing you don’t want to waste time sitting down? That. We get past the "this is my confession" part of Walt’s bedside speech, but then what follows… Walt says if you’re watching this, he’s probably dead, and he’s probably been killed by his brother-in-law Hank Schrader. Because, see, Hank has been forcing Walt to cook meth for his international drug ring that he’s been running right under the nose of the DEA. You know that thing where the bigger, more outrageous the lie, the more likely it will be believed, because who would make it up? That’s this video, writ large.

Walt manages to tie in everything, from his initial cancer diagnosis (which Hank preyed upon) to Gus Fring (Hank’s front and business partner) to the nursing-home bombing and Hector Salamanca (a bomb that Hank forced Walt to build). Certainly, a DEA officer makes more sense as a secret meth kingpin than a mild-mannered high-school teacher. He mentions the attack on Hank, which he chalks up to intra-cartel squabbling between Fring and Hank, and he says Hank forced him to pay for his medical bills. The masks of horror on Hank and Marie’s faces are tragic to the point of comedy. Walt really lays it on thick, saying he often contemplated suicide, but was afraid of what Hank would do to him. He frames last year’s stewardship of Flynn and Holly as Hank taking his kids away from him in order to keep him in line. Walt breaks down on camera as he talks about how his wife, Skyler, had no idea until recently. He even frames the recent garage beatdown as further evidence of Hank’s brutality. "I fear every day that he will kill me… or worse, hurt my family." He can only hope that, in the event of his death, the world will "finally see this man for what he really is." Just… I mean… the balls… the absolute moral bankruptcy… it’s almost hard to imagine. If Walter White weren’t the crappiest person on the planet, I might have to force out a “Well played” at this maneuver, because: honestly. There’s turning the tables and then there’s THAT.

So Hank and Marie are reeling. Marie says what I’m thinking, which is that Hank needs to bring this to the DEA immediately, to get ahead of it. It’s a big lie, and there have to be provable ways to expose it as a big lie. It can’t be this easy for a criminal to just point the finger back at the cop accusing him or else they’d all do it. But Hank knows what an irresistible story this is. The fast-rising DEA officer who’s secretly dirty. At the very least, he’d be suspected. But really, the nail in Hank’s coffin is that money that paid for his physical therapy and medical bills, which Hank never knew came from Skyler and Walt. Marie never said anything, because she thought Hank might refuse it. She comes clean now, tearfully saying that Skyler offered it and Hank needed a level of care that insurance wasn’t providing. He might not have ever walked again without it. She explains the gambling-money cover story, which would have been bad enough. But now? Now that his medical bills have been paid for with drug money? With a paper trail of $177,000 leading to Hanks front door? They’re fucked. This confession is a trump card in every way. Walt’s blocked them in. Walt won’t show it, of course. So long as Hank backs off. Which, now, it looks like he’ll have to.

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Breaking Bad




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