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Just when I thought I was fully Team Hank, he goes and does something to remind me that his "at all cost" approach to taking down Heisenberg may be his ultimate downfall. Spoilers if you aren't caught up on Breaking Bad through tonight's "Rabid Dog" episode! Who's the rabid dog in the episode? Why, good Old Yeller himself Jesse Pinkman, who's less of a yeller as he is a snitcher and a schemer. That was the big reveal partway through the episode, as we waited anxiously to find out where Walt's loyal dog had wandered off.
Jesse didn't burn Walt's house down. That was the twist to the start of the episode, as we watched Walt attempt to de-gasify his shag carpeting. Seriously, with all the money he and Skyler are floating around in, you'd think he'd use the gas attack on his home to re-carpet the place. All the while, we're left to wonder why Jesse soaked Walt's house and then left without torching it. And why was his car and a cocaine-covered CD still parked out front? Where was Jesse?!
Surprise, Hank had him! Hank Schrader was there to stop Jesse from burning it all down in the literal sense so he could help him burn Walt's life down in a more figurative --and likely more devastating-- way. And what's Hank's big plan? To video record Jesse delivering a lengthy confession. Please, a video confession is so last episode, isn't it Hank? With no physical evidence, they'd need to come up with a bigger plan than that. And that's where I've begun to slip off the #TeamHank bandwagon. Ok, I'm still in support of Hank besting Walt somehow, and after the poll we ran I realize that I'm in the minority there, but Walt's been getting the best of Hank all series and doing despicable things in the process. I'd love to see the tables turned. But not at Jesse's expense. While discussing with Gomez the risk of putting Jesse in harm's way by using him as bait, Hank referred to Jesse as "the junkie murderer that's dribbling all over my guest bathroom floor," and said if Pinkman gets killed they'll get it all on tape.
Not cool, Hank. Ok, technically Jesse's hands are pretty bloody, and he may or may not have just recently divulged those details in his video confession, which might have made it a bit easier for Hank to dehumanize him, but using the kid as bait as a means of catching Walt isn't the right approach, and I feel like if he were thinking straight, he'd know that. Not only do I not want to see Jesse die, but I don't want to see Hank "win" that way. This isn't the first time Hank's been blinded by his determination to take Walt down at all costs. The last demonstration of this might have been his sloppy efforts to get a confession out of Skyler when they were at that diner. When it comes to Walt, he doesn't see straight, and that could prove to be his undoing. I like that Hank's not perfect, and what fun would it be if he turned into a superhero in these last few episodes. With that said, putting Jesse's life in danger with the intention of using his death as sort of a Plan B to taking Walt down sets my Team Hank status to pending. It's a redeemable infraction, I think, but I'm feeling a bit less certain about my support of Hank in the meantime.
The optimist in me hopes that this is all part of the set-up to see Hank finally figure out the right way to go about defeating Walt. I'm not giving up on him entirely. But at this point, Jesse inches toward the lead among the characters I'm cheering hardest for, with Walter Jr. slightly ahead. Given the end of tonight's episode, it seems Jesse's figured out a way to take Walt down. Or maybe he just figured out a way to not be Hank's bait. Maybe both. But will he survive long enough to make it happen? Because by episode's end, it was looking like Walt's ready to put this dog down.
We should have our full recap up by tomorrow morning. In the meantime, this was me during the end of tonight's episode...
Ok, that's probably me at some point during any given episode of Breaking Bad, come to think of it...