Last week’s episode of Breaking Bad was absolutely incredible. It’s not often that I say this, but the last few moments of the show had my skin crawling. This entire season has essentially been leading up to this episode, and wow! Honestly, it’s really hard for me to articulate just how effective this episode was.
Things start off immediately following the incident at Don Eladio’s place: Gus is still grimacing in agony due to the poison he drank and Mike is unconscious, recovering from a potentially fatal bullet wound. After Jesse drops them off at a secure, tucked-away location fraught with black market doctors and nurses, he must watch as the shadow crew helps Gus first while ignoring Mike completely.
To Jesse’s dismay, the doctor tells him that Gus pays his bills. It is interesting to note just how emotionally invested Jesse has become in Gus and Mike. He had the two of them in his car, broken down and defenseless, and he still chose to save them. Are Walt and Jesse ever going to console their differences, or is Jesse on a new path that doesn’t include his former partner at all?
Meanwhile, Skyler and Beneke are toe to toe over the whole IRS fiasco. Soon after hearing that Skyler was the source of the fund boost, he insists on returning the money. He claims that despite being able to pay off his dues, his life will still be in the toilet.
At the end of her proverbial rope, Skyler recruits the help of Saul, who in turn hires two goons to muscle Beneke into sending the checks. The scene is quite comical, resting on the shoulders of Bill Burr and a large man that goes by the name “Huell”. Things take a nasty turn for the worst when Ted tries to escape, and it only proves that his character has deep roots in “Scumball” territory.
When Walt discovers that Jesse has been cooking in the lab without him, his desperation is only exacerbated by Gus’ henchman who stoically refuses to respond to any of Walt’s inquiries. In search for answers, he knocks on Jesse’s door. In a hopeful flash of a moment, Walt produces a short smile at the sight of Jesse, only to be quickly vanquished by his oversight and blindness.
It was a reference to a very different time where Jesse and Walt needed one another to survive this tumultuous business. Instead, Jesse pushes Walt out of his home and tells him that he really doesn’t need him anymore. Walt can only stare into the blank canvas of Jesse’s face in overwhelming fear. He is so distracted by the flurry of thoughts and emotions he is invariably feeling that he doesn’t take note of Gus’ muscle crew behind him.
After they knock him out and take him to a remote desert location, he is confronted by Gus. He is none-too-pleased with Walt, who has failed to dissuade Hank from pursuing the Meth case. Gus claims that he will now have to take matters into his own hands, and should Walt interfere, he will kill his wife, son, and “Infant Daughter”. They drive off, leaving Walt to bake and heave in the hot New Mexico sun. In a mad dash of a scramble, he goes to Saul’s to find the number of the professional who can make his family disappear.
Walt has reached his breaking point, and instead of finding a viable solution, he chose an easy out. This is completely understandable, but it was truly heartbreaking to see just how vulnerable Walt has become. Saul promises to make a call into the DEA in one hour to let them know that Hank his a hit on him, and he warns Walt that he better have the half-million dollars ready by then or the Professional won’t be able to assist them in disappearing.
Walt rushes home and into his crawl space where he finds that he doesn’t have nearly enough money to pay off the Professional. When he looks up and finds Skyler, teary eyed and frightened, standing above him, he demands to know where the money is. She tells him she had to give it to Ted, and that it was I the family’s best interests.
Walt completely loses it. He first screams, and then quickly descends into maniacal laughter. The laughter becomes boisterous and uncontrollable, and Skyler recedes in horror. The phone reverbs through the home, and Marie leaves a haunting message that Hank has another hit on his life. In the background, a driving and enigmatic drum beat notes each beat of horror with gusto.
The whole sequence is so intense that I actually had trouble moving off the couch once the credits began to roll. I cannot believe that this was the cliffhanger they left us on: Walt has no money to disappear his family, Skyler still hasn’t explained exactly why she needed the money, Gus wants to kill everyone related to Walt, and Jesse might be ready to go out on his own. And the sugar coating top to it all off? Skyler and Walt still don’t know that Ted is dead.
I really don’t know what to say anymore. Just watch this show, straight up. Breaking Bad is on fire and you DO NOT want to miss next week’s episode.