Posted: 12:53 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 8, 2013
By Rebecca Martin
Breaking Bad Season 5kicked off its final four episodes ever withEpisode 13: "To’hajiilee," and as the show speeds to a close it's absolutely at the top of its game. This is what a final season is supposed to look like: riveting, action packed, and focused on the core themes and characters we care about.So, where are the characters at as the show heads to a close, and where does it look like they're going? After a short recap of the episode, I'll take stock of where the characters are at, and where they might be headed in the end. Sound good? Then read on for Wetpaint Entertainment's recap of Breaking Bad Episode 13: "To’hajiilee."Synopsis
The episode opens with Todd showing off his newest batch of meth. It's up to 76 percent pure, but there's a catch: The blue is gone, and Lydia is not pleased, because branding is very important in the meth biz. Todd's uncle proposes they just add food coloring and call it a day, but Todd is convinced he can do better, and Lydia is all for that. The tag ends on a different note: Todd receives Walter's call from the close of last week's episode, and yes, in case there was any doubt in your mind, Walt is, in fact, ordering a hit on Jesse.
Speaking of Jesse, he has an idea for Hank and Gomez: They need to go after Walt's money. They go for it, flipping Saul's bodyguard Huell by tricking him into thinking Jesse is dead, and then explaining that Huell is next on Walter's hit list. It's a lie, but it works. Huell dishes everything he knows about Walt's literal barrels of money.
Meanwhile, Walt and Todd's uncle, Jack, have a meet about Jesse's assassination. Jack is ready to do the deed, but he wants a very special price: Another few cooks from Walter, so that Todd can learn more. Walt haggles them down to a single cook — after Jesse is dead.
Of course, he has to flush Jesse out before Jack and co. can off him, and that means going over to Andrea's house. Yes, as in the Andrea that dated Jesse. The Andrea whose child Walter poisoned. Eff you, Walter White. He tells Andrea that Jesse's using again, and convinces her to give Jesse a call. It's clever, because of course Jesse will flip out if he thinks Walter is messing with Andrea and Brock. Because, again, Walt once poisoned that child.
Too bad for Walt, Hank is one step ahead, and intercepts the call. No dead Jesse yet. Not only that, but Hank has hatched a plan: Because of Huell they know Walt took his money away in a van that came back covered in dirt, and Hank is smart enough to put two and two together and realize the money is buried out in the desert. That alone isn't so helpful — as Gomez points out, there's a heck of a lot of desert in New Mexico — but Walt isn't the only one who knows how to trick his enemy.
Over at the White's carwash, our requisite humor scene comes thanks to Saul, who drops by to point out Huell is gone, but not before awkwardly interacting with Walter Jr. and an annoyed Skyler. Saul and Walter consult over what's going on with Jesse, Huell, and the general mess that is their lives as Skyler watches from the window, concerned.
As for the trick I mentioned? Here's how it goes: Jesse shoots Walt a pic of cash in a barrel, claiming to have found his stash of millions. In one of the all time great scenes of the series, Jesse then calls Walter and shouts that he's going to burn all of Walt's money as Walt rushes down the highway to stop him. We know Jesse's story is fake, but his anger is all too real. Walter gives as good as he gets, shouting back that he's always been on Jesse's side, listing all the people he's killed in part to save Jesse's life. It's one of the best scenes about their relationship ever, and they aren't even in the same room. That's impressive.
Eventually Walter gets to his money's hiding place, and realizes he's been tricked. He hides behind a rock and gives Jack and co. a call when he spots a car coming, but when he sees Hank and Gomez get out with Jesse he tells the trigger happy gang to just forget it. He sheds a single tear, aware that the gig is finally up.
He comes out from his hiding place, hands up. Hank cuffs him, much to Jesse's delight. Hank mocks Walt a bit and Jesse points out that this place actually has sentimental value: It's where he and Walt cooked for the very first time. Hank recites Walt's rights, but Walt has nothing to say to him. His only word is for Jesse: "Coward." Jesse's response? To spit in his face. Perfect. Amazing. This show is always spot on.
Hank calls Marie with the good news, and their joy is palpable. One problem: there are still three more episodes left in this series, so of course there are more complications headed our way. Just as the episode is ending, Jack's skinhead thugs pull up, guns loaded. Walt shouts desperately for Jack not to do it — it's a great acting moment from Bryan Cranston — but the wheels are already in motion. The episode ends in a firefight.Who lives? Who dies? Of course we have to wait until next week to find out.Where Our Characters Are
Walter White: "Fast and Painless"
Present: This episode is a more or less perfect reminder of how complex this character is. He's serious about killing Jesse, but he wants it to be quick and painless. He's desperate to save his money; it's the one reminder of all he achieved, but he also genuinely wants to leave it for his family. He seems to be honest when he shouts that he killed all those people to protect Jesse — talk about a messed up relationship. He calls Jesse a coward for teaming up with the DEA, but he isn't ruthless enough to want Jack and co. to take out his biggest enemy, Hank.
He's Heisenberg, but he's Walter White, too.
Future: Well, we know Walt isn't locked up by the DEA come his 52nd birthday, and I'm guessing this firefight is a large part of the reason why. Clearly, Jack and co. are determined to pull Walter back into the game, and I'll be interested to see how far he goes.
By the way, can we take a moment to appreciate how well constructed this plot is? Having Jack make Walt promise to do another cook in return for killing Jesse is a very clever move by the writers. It allows Walter's determination to stop cooking to remain genuine — assuming he does go back to it, it's only because he's been backed into a corner — but it also doesn't let Walter off the hook, since what he's paying for is the murder of a man he considers family.
Jesse Pinkman: "I Know You're a Lying Evil Scumbag"
Present: Oh, this episode. It's nice to see Jesse finally smile, even if it's a cold, vengeful smile. Now that his pure fury is a bit tempered, he's actually proving his worth quite well. It's nice to see him using his mind for something other than cooking meth.
Future: Who the heck knows? At the moment, things aren't exactly looking great, but I doubt Jesse is going to die in this firefight. That said, if Walter gets away thanks to Jack and the gang, we doubt Jesse will let him go without another fight.
Hank Schrader: "Hey Baby, I Got Him"
Present: Man, remember when Hank was something of a joke? Those days are long gone. He's more than proven that he's able to match wits with the great Heisenberg himself. That barrel of money picture is a stroke of genius. Too bad he didn't factor in the crazed gang of gunmen.Future: Don't count your chickens before they hatch, Hank. We got to see his moment of triumph this week, and I have a bad feeling that Hank reciting Walt his rights might be the closest he ever gets to actually taking him down. We, the viewers, got the emotional satisfaction of seeing Walt in cuffs. From here, who knows where things will go.Other Thoughts and Notable Scenes
- Jack on the price for killing Jesse: "Don't skimp on family, that's what I always say."
- Saul line of the week: "Don't drink and drive, but if you do, call me."
- Marie seeing the animal brain in the trash is hilarious.
- Love the detail of Saul wearing a bulletproof vest. That man really is a cockroach: He knows how to survive no matter what.
- Walt weaving down the hallway is a spectacular visual. Everything about that scene is spot on.What did you think of the episode? Let us know in the comments below!