Breaking Bad: WTF from 5.11 and Speculation for 5.12

After watching 5.11, “Confessions,” I realized why I felt kind of meh about “Buried” (recaped here). It was kind of meh, in comparison  to the smorgasboard of reveals and twists of “Confessions.”

After “Buried”  I was like


After “Confessions” I was like


Here’s a list of WTF moments from “Confessions” and speculation for 5.12, “Rabid Dog.”

1. Hank tries to make a deal with Jesse. The person I was watching with thought Hank would try to beat up Jesse (again), but I was right: Hank wanted to make a deal.

let's make a deal


I enjoy being right.



Hank breaks the news to Jesse that he knows his brother-in-law is Heisenberg.


there's the look

There’s the look 

Hank says that “obviously Walt  is the mastermind here” and he’ll make it “all go away” if Jesse will roll on Hank. This seems condescending and like Hank’s making promises he can’t keep: very much the way he tried to handle Skyler. Hank’s desperate and not good at getting people to talk to him right now.

And before Jesse can say anything, Saul rolls in, having heard about Jesse’s cash-grab on the news.

saul and jesse

Saul don’t like it when you throw money out of windows. 

But I don’t think Jesse would have said anything. He tells Walt and Saul later that that whole thing–Hank not wanting to be in the room with the other cops, etc– was weird, and he has the sense Hank’s not going to tell the rest of the DEA. And this episode proves him right.

2. Walt manipulates the shit out of Walt, Jr. 

Marie is clearly trying to sneak the kids out of the house and has called Walt, Jr. and asked him to come over. But before his son can leave, Walt takes the opportunity to tell him that he “doesn’t want to hide anything from him”

He tells Walt, Jr. that his cancer is back, which is true (I think), and then is like “I GUESS you COULD go over to your Aunt’s house now I’ve just told you about my cancer…”

cancer manipulation

You’ve been guilt-tripped!

3. Skyler, Walt, Hank and Marie have the most awkward double-date of all time. 

In response to Maria’s attempt to reach out to Walt, Jr., the couples meet up and it’s horrifically strained. But, I thought to myself, weren’t these couple dinners always awful? Now, at least, all the awfulness is out on the surface. Wouldn’t couple dinners be more fun if everyone was just honest and told
their sister’s husbands to go kill themselves?

awkward double date

 The bit with the waiter interrupting was obvious but very funny. And the background music was perfect: like canned mariachi mixed with polka. 

4. The show bluffs us out in an excellent fashion. 

Before the dinner, we see Skyer help Walt start a “video confession”. It made me think back to  Walt’s tearful attempt at a video confession back in the first episode. We think Walt is coming clean for posterity and to protect his family.

video confession


But…PSYCH! as they said in the nineties.

At the terrible couples dinner, Walt leaves a DVD for Hank, and…

5. Walt is setting Hank up as the drug-dealing “mastermind” 

The “confession”  is an artfully constructed tapestry of truth and lies, in which Walt paints Hank as the mastermind who threatened and manipulated poor, cancer-y Walt into cooking meth for him.

walt's video of lies

Walt’s video confession of LIES

It’s brilliant and evil and WTF. And the show is chiding us for being like, “awwww, Walt is finally gonna come clean and be honest and…” NOPE.

The long reaction shots are incredible.

walt and marie wtf

The DVD also reveals to Hank that Walt paid them over a hundred thousand dollars. He asks Marie for an explanation and learns, finally, that the Whites paid for his therapy. I am a dumbass, and it just now fully dawns on me how damning that is. Why would anyone believe that Hank didn’t know about his brother-in-law? That money totally looks like hush money (though I think Skyler’s intentions in initially giving the money were good — it was her idea, not Walt’s).

What I find heartbreaking about this scene is all the purple. I’ve always loved the little touch that Hank and Marie’s house is decorated in purple-colored crap. Marie’s always surrounded by purple. It’s such a humanizing, appropriate little detail–you know so much about these people by the fact that Marie clearly took over the decorating of the house and chose purple everything. I find their house’s decoration so ugly and so loveable. It kind of breaks me in this scene.


purple house of sadness

Purple house of sadness

Marie still insists, sensibly, that Hank needs to show this video to his boss, come fully clean and “get out ahead of this.” I think she’s 100% right. Instead…


6. Hank acts shifty at work, digging himself further into a hole for when this Walt things blows up. 

no, no shifty.

What? Shifty? Me? Who? Huh? 


7. Jesse calls Walt on his shit. 

Saul, Walt and Jesse meet in the desert.

Walt, Jesse, Saul


Walt spins Jesse some condescending bull about how Jesse should start a new life, using Saul’s magical contact who can get new identities.


you're so full of crap

I love how you can tell exactly what Jesse’s thinking from Aaron Paul’s most fleeting expressions


Unlike Walter, Jr. (the only person left who still buys Walt’s act), Jesse finally, FINALLY confronts Walt’s  semi-convincing, smarmy, lying schtick and asks Walt to stop “working” him. If Walt wants him to get of town because Hank’s not going to let this drop, just ask. Drop the “concerned Dad act” and don’t pretend  it’s for Jesse’s “own good.”



Hee hee, Saul’s car says “LWYRUP”. 


It’s strange, because on one level Jesse’s totally right. But he’s also wrong, because Jesse sees this whole thing not just as a manipulation but as a veiled threat–he thinks Walt will kill him (like Mike), if Jesse doesn’t get out of town.

And I don’t think that’s true. I don’t think Walt would just automatically kill Jesse at this point (Walt even got pearl-clutchy at Saul last week for suggesting that they kill Hank). And it’s ironic and sad to see Jesse be like “just admit you don’t care”. Because Walt does care. He just cares in a very, very, very, very fucked up way. He wouldn’t have done half the shit he’s done to Jesse if he didn’t care about him. Walt caring about Jesse is the problem. 

As if to prove this, Walt’s only response to Jesse is to creepy-hug him, which gives me the shivers.


creepy hug

There’s a joke about “hugs, not drugs” in here but I can’t quite get it


There’s this whole bit where Saul is prepping Jesse to meet this mysterious dude who gives you new identities. But it’s bull — you know it’s not going to happen. What, that’s how Jesse’s plot on the show ends? He just walks out and moves to Alaska? Something is obviously going to go wrong.


no pot in sauls' office


And it does.  It’s very subtle. Jesse starts smoking weed in Saul’s office and is chided for it. While waiting for “mysterious relocater dude,” Jesse realizes that his weed has been stolen–pick-pocketed by Saul’s bodyguard.

For some reason, this causes the penny to drop for Jesse. He always maintained that the only way Walt could have stolen the Ricin cigarette is by having Saul’s people pickpocket it. But he eventually dropped that idea and bought Walt’s story that Gus Fring set the whole thing up.


the lightbulb moment

The lightbulb moment 


Getting something lifted like that makes him realize that his initial reaction was right all along. He freaks out and goes back to beat up Saul, getting the truth out of him.

I stopped watching the episode at this point and got into a debate with the person I was watching with: “But why does it matter that he figured out the cigarette was stolen? The kid wasn’t even poisoned with Ricin — it was lily of the valley!”

And it’s true. What happened to Jesse wasn’t really “evidence.” And the whole Ricin/poisoning thing is confusing. For backstory and debate, read “What Jesse Knows–And What We Still Don’t Know–About the Ricin Cigarette” from Vulture.

The reason I don’t want to think about the poisoning and Jesse’s “discovery” too much is:

1) I suspect — and suspect even more so after reading that Vulture article– that there are some holes in the poisoning storyline, and thusly I don’t want to think about it too closely. Maybe I’m wrong about this, and I’m happy to be proved wrong. But…The Vulture article says, “That’s not a satisfying explanation!” as a reason why there “must be more” to it, but…just because it’s not a satisfying explanation doesn’t mean it’s not the only one you’re gonna get. That’s what I have learned from TV. Sorry. I suspect overthinking this one is gonna lead to heartbreak. So I don’t want to overthink it.

2) I don’t really care, because for me, the moment of Jesse figuring it out rang emotionally very true. He didn’t actually get concrete evidence–instead, something happened that confirmed his suspicions. Suddenly, he just knew he was right.

And to me, that very much reflects what it’s really like to be lied to and manipulated.  When you’re being lied to, something in your gut warns you it’s happening. And if you don’t want to believe it, you’ll accept a rationalization from the liar, the way Jesse accepted Walt’s convoluted story. But…Occam’s Razor usually holds, so when something comes along to poke a hole into the complex rationalization, suddenly you just know. You just know. 

I think Jesse knew all along, on some level, that Walt was lying to him. But he didn’t want to believe it. Now some time has passed, and he’s started to see through Walt a little bit, this small piece of evidence that confirmed his gut instinct was all he needed.

So…I don’t really care about the Ricin/Lily of the Valley details, as long as I’ve got the basics straight in my mind. For me, the scene, and Jesse’s confrontation of Saul, really worked, and the convoluted nature of the Ricin poisoning plot (and the “think of the children!” nature of Brock’s storyline) never appealed to me anyway.

I’m just going to go with the emotional heart of the scene (and remember that we see Walt in the “flash forward” scenes getting the Ricin from his burnt-out house). In sum: Jesse figured out Walt’s a liar, and somebody’s getting Ricin’d at some point. I can’t wait to find out who it is.


truth saul

Saul calls Walt to tell him that Jesse knows the truth


9. Waltie’s got a gun! 

Upon hearing that Jesse knows the truth, Walt gets a gun from the back of a vending machine in that car wash.


1) Do frozen guns still work?  and



2) I said earlier I didn’t think Walt would kill Jesse…at that point. I think if Jesse comes after him now, he’s capable of it.


What? No, Skyler, I didn’t get a gun from the vending machine and I’m NOT obviously lying! Even though you stood by me this episode and betrayed Hank and Marie, I’m still not going to tell you the truth! I don’t want you to think we’re in any danger ’cause we’re totally not! LALALALALALA



Jesse goes to the house with a can of gasoline and everything about it is epic.


The camera shots! The rage! The way the episode ends with Jesse Pinkman sloshing gas at the camera!

Grade: A+++++++++ My favorite part was everything. 


1. There are so many “guns that have to go off,” like the Ricin, and also, “mysterious identity relocation guy”. In the “flash forward” scenes, we see that Walt is using someone else’s ID, so I think Walt is going to the one who finally gets a new identity, before of course coming back to wreck revenge (on Jesse? On Hank? I think Jesse.)

2. I think Hank is going to go down for being a meth dealer. He’s reluctance to be honest with his colleagues, the DVD, and the money I think are going to at least temporarily put him on the hook. More to the point, I think Hank is going to be blamed for the fire at Walt’s house. I think Jesse’s going to get off the hook, causing Hank to come back later for revenge (RICIN!).

3. The title of the next episode is “Rabid Dog.” A friend on twitter said he thought this meant either Jesse or Child Killer Todd was gonna go down. I think it can’t be Jesse–not until the series finale! He’s too important! Even though Breaking Bad loves to screw with us, they’ve got too much invested in Jesse to kill him until the very end, I think. Plus, I’d put even odds on him surviving the whole deal, albiet in a very damaged way. I think perhaps Walt is going to not be able to kill Jesse in the next episode, and come to regret it — hence the coming back for the Ricin later?

Todd is a good guess as the one to “get put down” — in the teaser of “Confessions,” we saw Todd being extra aw-shucks psychopath when he left a message for Walter that “there’d been a change of management” — i.e., he and his creepy Uncle killed Declan and his entire crew. Then we saw Child Killer Todd, Creepy Uncle and Friend wax poetic about being psychos and setting up a new meth cook, so perhaps Walter is going to have something to say about that.

Child Killer Todd

Child-Killer Todd from Fright Night Lights

Or…maybe Jesse’s going to kill Todd? Jesse was not a fan of Child Killer Todd being a Child Killer.  Won’t somebody please think of the children, bitch?

Whatever happens, I’m sooooo gllaaaaad that Walt broke bad (he’s breaking bad! He’s breaking bad!)– I get that stuck in my head after every episode. 

 New episode of Breaking Bad TOMORROW AT 9/8 central on AMC, bitches! I’ll be watching on AMC’s website Monday!