Breaking Bad

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

Out in the desert, Saul and Jesse await Walt’s arrival, and Saul, for one, anticipates a not-very-pleasant meet-up. In the foreground, a tarantula crawls around… like, we get it. Jesse’s haunted by the dirt-bike kid at all times. "It’s always the desert," Saul muses, agitated, but resigned to his awful existence. Walt drives on up and immediately checks Saul’s car for a tracking device. Not sure if that’s distrust of the cops, of Jesse or of both, and Jesse’s aware of the ambiguity of the gesture. Walt turns to Jesse and asks what Walt knows. Jesse says he knows Walt’s Heisenberg but not much else, otherwise Walt would currently be locked up. He says Hank wants Jesse to inform on Walt, spill everything he knows. Jesse also doesn’t think -- based on body language and context clues -- that Hank has told the rest of the DEA about his suspicions. So that’s it. Everything Jesse knows. Everything Walt needs out of him. He honestly could kill him right now and tie up that loose end for good, but I think that’s the one bridge that remains too far for Walt. We saw evidence of it last week. He’s not sending Hank to Belize, and he’s not sending Jesse to Belize. Though he might actually send Jesse to Belize. After asking Saul to take a walk and leave them alone, Walt floats the idea that Jesse might be better off with a chance of scenery. I mean, this money-throwing business? He’s clearly not in a good way. Maybe if they go to Saul’s guy who provides new identities, he could have a fresh start in a new city, with a new name. No past. Nothing haunting him. Clean slate. Legitimate job. Meet a girl. Start a family. "I tell ya," Walt says, so folksy your teeth could rot, "if I could trade places with you, I would. Your whole life ahead of you, with a chance to hit the reset button. In a few years, this might all feel like nothing but a bad dream."

That last part was probably gilding the lily too much, because Jesse just turns and glares at Walt. He walks away from his old mentor and finally asks him, begs him, to quit trying to manipulate him. "Stop working me." Walt feigns innocence, but Jesse knows better. "Can you just drop the whole Concerned Dad thing and tell me the truth." As he speaks, he gets more emotional. "You’re acting like me leaving town is all about me and turning over a new leaf, but it’s really about you. You need me gone because your dickhead brother-in-law is never gonna let up. Just say so! Just ask me for a favor! Just tell me you don’t give a shit about me, and it’s either this or you’ll kill me the same way you killed Mike!" Jesse’s in tears now. He asks if that’s what this isolated desert meet-up isn’t really about. In case Jesse says no, it’s a quiet, safe place to kill Jesse and bury the body. Poor Saul is watching this from about 20 paces and maybe I’m reading too much emotion into Saul, but it’s gotta be heartbreaking, right? A little? Jesse again begs Walt to level with him. Walt just slowly approaches Jesse and without saying a word, pulls him into a hug. Jesse resists, but he breaks down. He cries into Mr. White’s shoulder. He’s so spent. He has so little fight left in him. It’s not entirely clear if Jesse knows that this is just one more instance of Walt working him. Of Walt giving him what he appears to want in order to secure his loyalty. At this point, Jesse doesn’t have the energy to fight it anyway. This poor broken-down kid.

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Breaking Bad




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