The thing that I wanted more than anything finally happened tonight on Breaking Bad. Jesse Pinkman finally has fully opened his eyes and has realized the exact same thing that Hank discovered last week: Walter White is the devil. Right before he is about to leave and start his new life, it dawns on Jesse that the ricin he thought that he lost was never missing, it was taken, and it was taken in an attempt to deceive Jesse. Walter White poisoned a child, and with sociopathic efficiency, lied about the entire thing.
At every turn Walter has manipulated Jesse, and right before the ricin realization Jesse tells Walter that he is aware of this. In an emotional confrontation in the dessert, Jesse breaks down and tells Walt to quit jerking him around, to quit acting. He wants Walt to drop the façade and be the ruthless villain he knows that he is. Walt tries to persuade Jesse with a hug, but their awkward embrace isn’t enough to patch things up. This scene was incredible and chilling, and it wasn’t even the best thing "Confessions" had to offer.
That’s when we actually do get to see Walt in full villain mode. In an attempt to silence Hank, Walt films a confession video where he spins the whole Breaking Bad tale as if Hank was pulling the strings all along. Walt’s performance recounting the lies is possibly the most evil thing that I’ve seen Walt do. The only thing that slightly ruins it is when, in a later scene, Walt has a hard time lying to his wife about picking up a gun in a pop machine, but that’s just me being picky.
There was some great acting in Hank and Jesse’s confrontation. The two have such an interesting complicated history. They always say the enemy of my enemy is my friend, but something tells me Jesse isn’t ready to let the little beating Hank gave him go. I really believed that Hank would maybe be able to convince Jesse to turn on Walt, but it turns out he didn’t need to, that the ricin was all that was needed to finally break the two up for good. Maybe the fury Jesse feels could be enough to help him get over the fact that he’d be helping a man he despised in Hank, or maybe Jesse’s gas can idea is a better bet. I love Jesse, but man, can he be a little too full tilt sometimes. Regardless of whether he even lights a match, next week’s episode is sure to be fiery.
One thing that bugged me tonight was Walt and Walt Jr.’s conversation. It’s not just because I’m not the biggest Walt Jr. fan, but it’s because of what Walt was saying. It could be just another lie to keep his son at ease, but Walt tells Walt Jr. that his cancer is back, but not incurable. He tells him that he has the chance to beat it again. At this point, we’ve heard different accounts about how serious Walt’s cancer is, and now we know for sure tonight that we can't trust anything he says, so I’m curious to know if it is really as bad as he is telling Hank that it is.
An element of the story that I completely overlooked but found really cool was the bit about Hank’s treatment. It sure does complicate things now that Hank knows that he and Marie have spent large portions of dirty money. Now Hank could really be accused of being an accessory. I love when Vince Gilligan and his writers do this; they take seemingly minute things and make them essential to the story.
"Confessions" was a doozy. I watched with a room of people who shouted at the television when the credits rolled. That’s what good television is meant to do.
The Best of the Rest
- Todd retells the train story like a college bro boasting about how much booze he drank the night before.
- The Hank/Marie Walter/Skylar dinner scene was simultaneously tense and hilarious. If only they would have ordered that guac.
- “You can’t spark a doob in here!”
- “Seriously, Hello Kitty?
- Aaron Paul and Dean Norris keep knocking it out of the park. Bryan Cranston hasn’t had much to work with since Walt has become a full blown villain, remaining stoic and unflappable in the face of a threat. Hopefully something can still send him spiraling emotionally.