Tuesday, September 03, 2013

Dog Eat Dog

Breaking Bad titles often reflect one another. Thus, the most recent episode, "Rabid Dog," is a callback to season four's "Problem Dog." That one was about Jesse's guilt over killing Gale, but if Gale was the wrong dog at the wrong place at the wrong time, Jesse has become the rabid dog of the title, actively busting into places to cause trouble.

Last episode he was about to burn down the White residence, and that's where we start this week.   Walt pulls up to a fire hydrant to watch what's going on--there's Jesse car, driven onto his lawn, with the door open.  Walt, packing a thawed gun, sneaks into the backyard and gets into the house. Are we going to have a confrontation right up front?  Is Jesse going to get clipped with four episodes left?

Walt checks out the house.  He sees and smells the gasoline, but no Jesse.  So it turns out this being the beginning of the end of Walt's place--as we know will happen--was a fake-out.

A bit later, Walt's getting help from carpet cleaners while Saul's A-team searches for Jesse.  Walt also calls Jesse and wants to talk to fix things.  So he still feels it's fixable, I guess.  But the carpet isn't.  So when Sklyer and Junior get home, ever-conniving Walt has to come up with a new lie.  Something ridiculous about gas pump nozzle failure.  We've been here before, and Skyler quietly listens to his nonsense because Junior is there.  But Junior also knows he's lying--just not what he's covering up.  Junior figures it's all because Walt is dying, and he fainted.  Anyway, they've got to leave the house so they for a while to a hotel.  Certainly can't go to Hank and Marie's.  (Junior enjoys the hotel, just like the kids in Homeland enjoyed moving to a safe spot when they were in trouble.)

In the hotel parking lot, Walt meets with Saul.  His team is still looking, but can't find Jesse (though it has been discovered Badger is a big fan of Babylon 5--yeah!). Saul brings up Old Yeller--this is another rabid dog that needs to be put down.  I like sending him to Belize better.  But Walt won't hear of it.  He still believes in a talking cure. It's true, Walt has warm feelings for Jesse that even gasoline can't dampen. In the past, Walt was Hank's blind spot that prevented him from seeing the truth. Now that Jesse is off the reservation, has he become Walt's blind spot?

Walt returns to his and Skyler's luxury room. (He even opens a min-bar soda, so money is no object.)  She sees through his lies about going out for ice.  It's a sad feeling.  She's thrown in with him, and he's been fairly open since--mostly--and here he is back to early-season lying. She finally gets the truth--mostly--from him.  That Jesse tried to burn the house down but stopped. Nothing to worry about.  Skyler isn't having it.  Like Saul, Skyler sees the way out is to get rid of him. Save your family.  Once again, Walt isn't going for it--maybe because Jesse is family to him.  But when even your wife is telling you, maybe it's time.  (I'm sounding pretty cold-blooded about Jesse, I suppose, but when anyone else gums up the works like he does, Walt has always known what to do.)

When we come back from commercial we cut back in time to Jesse about to torch the house. The mystery of why he stopped is solved when Hank steps in with a gun and tells him to stand down.  It did seem too convenient last episode that Hank, of all people, would call off surveillance of Jesse.  So Hank himself was tailing Jesse from Saul's place all the way to the White residence. Jesse walks away from the fire, but joins forces with Hank. This should be interesting. They're not natural allies, but they see how they can use each other.

Now we finally get to see Marie's storied therapist, Dave.  She's feeling murderous rage about Walt, though she won't give all the details.  But she has been searching the internet for toxins that could kill someone--hasn't found ricin yet, but that's not the only game in town, I guess.

She gets home and Hank wants to send her to a spa for a few days.  Should this episode be called Staycation?  She discovers Hank has Jesse holed up at their place.  Very smart (if crazy). It's the only safe place for him.  Marie just asks if this is bad for Walt, and it turns out that's enough. She's down with the plan.  Jesse is sleeping and Hank listens to the message Walt left.  Now we've got a plan.

At the hotel, Junior has a talk with dad, and hugs him.  Junior does love him, and dad loves him back, but Junior is right now the only one not in on the deal.  If not for him, actually, Walt would be competely open to maneuver.  But he's also a tie to his humanity.  As is Jesse, which is what's making everything harder.  He calls him one more time, hoping to set up a meet.

Later, Jesse wakes up at Hank's and meets Marie.  For a while Jesse was enemy #1, but now she's making him coffee. I believe this is the first time they've acknowledged each other in the series.

Jesse walks into the main room--where Walt has spent so much time lying as he built his empire--and there are two surprises.  Hank is setting up a camera for the big confession--Hank's a rabid dog that way--and Gomie is there.  Gomie is the bigger surprise, and is no small deal. Hank is working off the books, essentially doing some questionably legal things with a witness that the feds are currently questioning, and a guy whom Hank knows is central to a major investigation of his own.  He can trust Gomie, but Gomie is also jeopardizing his career when he goes along with Hank.  (Also, as a character, he pretty expendable.  Makes you wonder if Gomie is long for the world.)

But then, as weird as what Gomez is doing, Jesse is taking a bigger plunge.  He's telling the whole story of the series, including all the parts where he and Walt made Hank and Gomie look like idiots. He confessing to numerous felonies, including murder.  He may or may not be bringing down Walter, but now there's a record of everything he did, that can (probably--was he read his rights?) be used against him.  But Jesse just doesn't care any more.  After all, this is the guy who threw away millions of dollars, and that was before he found out about Brock.  (Still doesn't know about Jane--wonder if he ever will.)

Also, it should be noted, that no matter how much trouble Walt and others in the meth business were in, none of them ever ratted anyone out.  Jesse is the first.  It's quite a step.  But Jesse is a raw wound, who just wants to get back at Walt--he's not thinking about any code, or even self-preservation. Walt is the guy who always called him names. Walt is the guy who made him kill the relatively innocent Gale. Walt is the guy who killed his new father-figure Mike. Walt is the guy who killed Gus, who turns out to be not so bad.  Above all, Walt is the guy who poisoned, and could have killed, Brock, as a "move."

To be fair to Walt, he has his positive side. He really does care for Jesse, as we've seen. And he's saved Jesse's life several times, at great risk to his own.  For that matter, almost everything he did--even poisoning Brock--did have a higher motive that Walt at least believed was better for Jesse. (He also made Jesse rich, but we know that doesn't matter.)

So Jesse tells the whole story.  He names Lydia, who won't think twice about having him killed if she finds out (but would be too fastidious to do it herself).  He mentions the kid in the desert. He brings up all sorts of things that the DEA didn't even know about.  It may have been unsettling for Hank and Steve to hear the whole story, but it must have also been truly satisfying to finally hear all the facts that tied everything together.

Yet they feel there's no physical evidence and if it's Jesse's word against Walt's, there's no contest. So time to set up that meet that Walt wants. Jesse is resistant. I guess he still has some slight feelings of self-preservation.  Hank convinces him to wear a wire to meet Walt in an open plaza (that I drove by last time I was in ABQ).  He and Gomie will be watching him.  And if you don't do it, you'll just go to jail and take your chances--and Mr. White is better at killing people inside prison than out.

Then Hank does sort of a dick move.  He can be see as a noble crusader, sure, but this has become personal.  Gomie is worried for Jesse, but Hank says even if this junkie murderer gets killed, it just means they've got evidence to go after Walt.  Hank is just as much a rabid dog as Jesse, someone who won't let go, no matter how much harm it causes others. So Saul, Skyler and even Hank wouldn't mind to see Jesse dead--the one keeping him alive is Walt, whom Jesse sees as his main enemy.

We're at the plaza.  Hank is almost beside himself, putting on the wire and sending his young charge out into battle.  Jesse slowly walks toward Walt when he sees someone he thinks (falsely, it turns out) is in Walt's employ.  Jesse goes to a conveniently located pay phone and calls Walt, telling him the meet is off, but letting him know that he's coming for him. He's going to burn him worse than burning down his house.  End of call.

An angry Hank picks up Jesse, but Jesse doesn't care. He's figured out "another way to get him...a better way." Scary words, considering how lately Jesse has been even better at cooking up plans than Walt.  Meanwhile, Walt has had his fill. He calls Todd and it looks like he's ready to put down the rabid dog.

A fine episode all around. And it's time for the pool to start.  All the central characters from the pilot--Walt, Skyler, Junior, Jesse, Hank and Marie--are still around.  Who will be the first to go?  How many will make it to the end?

Meanwhile, we've got to wonder just what is Jesse's other way.  Can't be through his family, can it?  Skyler already knows about him, and Junior?  What could Jesse do, hook him on meth?  Anyway, that's not Jesse's style.  My guess is he's going to blow everything up and reveal to the world that Walt is Heisenberg.  We've got the clues--the house is destroyed in the future, with Heisenberg graffiti on the walls, and Walt gone into hiding.  If Jesse let's out that the master meth chef is living in ABQ--and oh yeah, he's probably got abour $100 million dollars stored somewhere--then Walt and family will have to go.  Not that Hank would like that--it also blows up all his plans and puts him in trouble as well. Perhaps it even brings Walts "confession" DVD into play.  And Lydia and Todd wouldn't take kindly to it either.

Only four hours to go, and the walls are about to fall in.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I liked that Hank has a copy of Dutch at home, a really crappy biography of Ronald Reagan.

9:33 PM, September 02, 2013  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If Walt dies, I don't think anyone knows where he buried all the money. That would be a nice irony at the end, all that money he fought for completely lost.

1:58 AM, September 03, 2013  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe Jesse is going to give away Walt's secret meth formula. That would be like giving away the secret Coca Cola formula, or Colonel Sanders' secret blend of seven herbs and spices.

8:41 PM, September 03, 2013  

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