Previously, on Breaking Bad: “Rabid Dog”
The previous episode left us with a threat from Jesse to Walt, which led to Walt making a call to Todd with a “job” for him and Jack, his Uncle of Anarchy. This episode begins with us checking back in with those guys; Todd is back to cooking for Lydia. He has the purity of his meth up to 76%, but that’s still markedly below the quality Walt and Jesse were putting out. Lydia has another problem: the meth isn’t blue. Nobody really knows why the color is different, but Todd promises her he can fix it. He’s running around Lydia like a lovesick puppy; making her tea, offering her the service of his uncle, drinking from her lipstick=stained cup… wait, that last one is super creepy. At the end of this check-in with Todd, we see him receive the aforementioned call from Walt. The conversation carries beyond where we’d seen it before, and we hear Walt confirm that the “job” he has for Todd is Jesse Pinkman.
After the opening credits hit, we’re back with Jesse and Hank; they meet with Gomez, and Jesse tells them he has a plan that involves finding Walt’s money. How will they do that? Jesse says he doesn’t know where the money is, but he knows someone who may; he’s referring to Huell. In order to try and get Huell to play along, Hank concocts a fake story about intercepting a conversation between Walt and Saul about how Walt planned to “take care of” Jesse, Huell, and Kuby. To convince Huell that all of this isn’t the bullshit that it is, Hank smears meat on the floor and has Jesse lay in it, so they can take a picture of him “dead”. Huell takes one look at the picture and spills his guts about everything. He tells Hank that he doesn’t know where the money is but tells him all about how he and Kuby rented a van and moved took the money to Walt: “seven barrels worth”. Hank leaves Huell in isolation, so frightened that he wouldn’t dare talk to anyone.
Now we jump to Walt’s meeting with Jack. Walt tells him it’s just one guy, instead of the many that needed to be dealt with before. When Jack infers that the job amounts to “rat control”, Walt still–STILL–insists Jesse isn’t a rat. Many things can be said about Walt’s relationship with Jesse–and there can be multiple reasons why he’s so loyal to his former protege–but nobody can deny the existence of that loyalty. Walt asks about price, but Jack doesn’t want money; he wants Walt to cook for them. Walt reluctantly agrees to do one cook for them, but it will be after the job is done.
During the meeting, Walt mentions that he thinks he has a way to flush Jesse out of hiding. What way is that? Andrea and Brock. Walt drops by Andrea’s house and weaves a bit of a tale to get her to call Jesse. As an aside, we’ve seen that Walt doesn’t have very much luck with manipulating the people who know him well, anymore, but this is a nice throwback to the good ol’ days when he could just bumbling Clark Kent his way through a lie and have anyone believe anything. Since Andrea doesn’t know Walt hardly at all, she does his bidding and calls Jesse; Jesse doesn’t answer, of course, so she leaves a message. Having gotten everything he needed out of her, Walt excuses himself and leaves Andrea and Brock to finish their breakfast (Brock is nearly catatonic in his silence; not just with Walt, but with his mother, too. His ordeal seems to have done a real number on him).
After leaving their house, Walt gets in his car and calls Todd’s uncle; we see that he’s also sitting in a car outside of Andrea’s house. The plan is for Jesse to hear Andrea’s message about Walt being there, rush over, and get himself nabbed by Todd’s uncle. The problem with that plan? Jesse doesn’t hear the message; Hank has Jesse’s phone, and he hears the message. He doesn’t tell Jesse anything about it. Now I guess Todd’s uncle will just be sitting there waiting on nobody. What Hank does tell Jesse (and Gomez) is that he visited the the van rental place and learned they don’t have GPS on their vehicles. Are they going to give up? No, of course not. Walt doesn’t know the van didn’t have GPS, and they going to use that to their advantage.
Meanwhile, at the car wash, Skyler is trying to keep Junior busy (and away from their danger-filled home) by teaching him to run the register… complete with having to say “Have an A1 day!” While they’re doing this, danger comes to them in the form of Saul Goodman. Saul plays the stranger in front of Junior, but he and Walt go outside to talk, and he tells Walt that Huell has gone missing; he suspects Jesse has killed him, but Walt tells him there’s no way that happened. It’s a little disappointing that, between them, they don’t realize Huell has been gotten to by Hank. We’ll just chalk that up to Walt stubbornly denying that Jesse would work with Hank. Saul also tells Walt that Jesse hasn’t shown up at Andrea’s yet. Walt is really in denial about Jesse having wised up to his shit; Saul opines that maybe Jesse figured out it was a trap, but Walt just won’t accept anything that says Jesse has gone completely against him.
After Saul leaves, Walt head back inside and tells Skyler there’s no news on Jesse. Then he receives a picture; it’s of a barrel, and it’s from Jesse. The following call Walt receives is–you guessed it–from Jesse. He turns the tables of manipulation around on Walt and lies his ass off about having “pistol-whipped” Huell into giving up information that led to the van rental, to GPS, and eventually to Walt’s money. It’s helpful that they did have just enough information to make the lie believable. Walt runs out of the car wash, jumps in his car, and speeds off down the road and out into the desert; all while staying on the phone with Jesse. While speeding to his money, he continues his phone conversation with Jesse (very unsafe, kids); they exchange angry yelling that includes Walt trying to manipulate Jesse–once again–with his cancer diagnosis. He says the money is for his kids, which leads Jesse to mention Brock and how Walt clearly doesn’t care about kids. As he nears the location of the money, Jesse drops out of the call. Walt continues yelling into his phone, his the only response he receives is the silence echoing his own words back to him. He gets out of the car, still believing Jesse to be waiting for him, even though the money hole he dug is clearly still covered. Walt slowly comes to the realization that Jesse isn’t there and only now knows where it is because he is tracking Walt’s phone. This realization hits Walt pretty hard, as he begins to collapse into a pile of “How could I be so stupid”, but that’s quickly remedied with the sight of dust rising from the road on the horizon; Jesse is on his way.
Walt quickly reassembles his phone, which he took apart to disable its GPS (too late), and calls Jack. While hiding behind a rock, Walt informs Jack that he needs him to come kill Jesse and whoever Jesse has brought with him. You see, Walt still hasn’t caught on that Jesse is with Hank. Dammit, Walt. He takes out the lottery ticket with the GPS coordinates hidden on it and feeds them to Jack; as he’s doing that, however, Jesse gets close enough for Walt to see that his SUV holds only three men: Jesse, Hank, and Gomez. Walt is seriously crestfallen. He wanted so badly to believe Jesse would never work with Hank. In case you’re keeping score, Walt’s plan to trap Jesse? Failed. Jesse’s plan to trap Walt? Worked. Now that he knows it’s his brother-in-law who now stands to be “taken care of” by Jack and his boys, Walt calls off the attack. In that moment, Jack’s crest seems to have fallen just as mightily as Walt’s did in the moment prior. Jack asks if Walt is sure; after saying he is, Walt hangs up.
Meanwhile, Hank and Gomez have now exited their vehicle and are searching just as cautiously as Walt had been; they can’t seem to figure out that Walt is hiding behind that big fucking rock that is basically the only place for Walt to be hidden. Anyway, Walt does finally come out from hiding, and Hank relishes in the opportunity to take Walt down just like any common criminal.
He tells him to drop his gun; Walt complies. He tells him to turn around and place his hands on his head; Walt complies. He cuffs him and reads him his Miranda rights; Walt has only one word to say: he looks toward Jesse and says, “Coward!”
This sees Jesse walk up to Walt and pay him the ultimate disrespect–beyond, even, the whole “turned you in to the police” thing–he spits in his face. Walt shoulder tackles Jesse into Hank’s vehicle; Hank and Gomez separate the former crimemates. This leads Hank to tell Gomez to take Jesse in Walt’s car, while Hank will take Walt in his.
After putting Walt in his backseat, Hank takes a moment to breathe in the warm desert air; you can see the satisfaction oozing from his pores, as he just has to call Marie and let her know that “I got him.” Hank and Marie share a moment of pure joy that, frankly, does seem a bit callous, when juxtaposed with the fact that Walt just got finished making the decision to allow himself to be captured and spare Hank his life.
Speaking of that, Hank hangs up the phone with Marie, turns around, and sees what Walt has just seen: Jack and his boys are pulling up. You see, Jack is not the kind of guy who lets an opportunity to kill someone go by the wayside. When he hung up the phone with Walt, you could tell he was just like, “Damn, I already put on my shooting clothes and everything.” The moment Walt gave Jack those coordinates, I knew Hank had booked his ticket to Belize. Well, I “knew” it in the sense that it seemed like a foregone conclusion. Jack and his boys pulled up, got out with their guns drawn, and proceeded to have a shouting match with Hank and Gomez about proper police procedure, as Walt sat in the back of Hank’s vehicle and screamed at Jack to not do anything. Jack is not a man who readily listens; or haven’t you learned that, Walt? If the viewer was as slow as Walt and didn’t realize Jack was this kind of man before this episode, the episode had its own built-in foreshadowing of Jack not giving a fuck what Walt says: earlier, when Todd was cooking, Jack removed his mask; when Todd told him Mr. White said to not breathe the fumes, Jack was all, “Fuck your science!”
Time stands still for what seems like a minute, while Jack and his boys come to the inevitable decision to open fire. They do open fire; Hank and Gomez return fire, and this gunfight takes place around a handcuffed Walt cowering in a backseat, and a free Jesse cowering in a front seat.
Todd participates in the gunplay, but he looks so uncomfortable firing his gun that it makes it seem weird that he was able to so easily shoot that kid.
The episode ends without us seeing the conclusion of this gunfight, but I’m going to guess that ticket to Belize is still waiting for Hank in next week’s episode. At least Gomez. We’ll see if Jesse conveniently being in the front seat of a separate vehicle results in him being able to escape and live to die another day. Some are already saying this is the best episode of Breaking Bad, yet. I don’t know if I’d go that far, but one thing cannot be denied: this final season of Breaking Bad is turning out to be the most satisfying ending to a series any fan could ever hope for.