Breaking Bad just keeps getting better as it heads towards the finale, as tonight's “Confessions” might be a top five episode.
Now, if you would have told me that this was an all-timer at the second commercial break I would have told you that you are a crazy person. The opening was focused on Todd and the white supremacist funky bunch and the interrogation scene between Hank and Jesse was a tad underwhelming; but more on that later.
The cold open was this weeks segment devoted to Todd and the leftover meth business. Not a whole lot of new information here, but it is quickly becoming clear that Todd is in a bit over his head and I wouldn't be surprised if his white supremacist uncles turn on him once they realize he can't cook like they want. Or do they even care what kind of cook they get? Do they just want to get into the meth business and just let that be that? If Lydia is still a part of their infrastructure we know that isn't going to fly. There are some interesting tidbits that raise some serious questions here, none more than why is Todd updating Walt on things? As the episode will later show, Gilligan and his team don't leave any scene in just for kicks (especially at this point) and between that call and a look Walt gives at the Mexican restaurant when Skyler says that Walt is out, I have to imagine we might not be privy to everything that is going on between Walt and Todd. I love that Gilligan and his team keep raising questions as they slowly build up the tension away from the White vs. Schrader battle, especially when that fight is red hot by the end of the episode.
Last week's cliffhanger had Hank closing the door on an interrogation room containing Jesse Pinkman and I would have never guessed at the time that the results would feel underwhelming. Hank keeps his cool as he shows his cards, but Jesse plays it safe outside a couple of jabs, "Why don't you try and beat it, out of me." Part of me thinks he wants that beating, he feels he deserves it, and it is a real testament to Aaron Paul's acting that he has been able to tell us so much without the utterance of much of anything for these first two-plus episodes. Saul shows up before things can go to far and I was left with a feeling of, “that's it?”
Walter Jr. rolls into the picture to be a pawn between Marie and Walt as she tries to invite Flynn over for some “computer help” and dinner before Walt tells his son some truth for no other means then controlling him. “There's a shadow on my lung,” is all Jr. needs to hear and Walt has him in his control for one more night and I am amazed at how often I can still be duped by Walt and his sincerity this late in the game. For a minute there I thought, maybe Walt just wants to level with his kid, keep him in the loop. He doesn't have to tell him about the drugs, but the least he can do is let his son know he might be dying again. But it is all clear by the end of that conversation that he wouldn't have uttered a word if it wasn't for the power play. Maybe it's Cranston's continued amazing performance, maybe it is, somehow, goodwill still buried deep inside for Walt, but this wouldn't be the last time the episode has me thinking he might be saying things for the right reasons. I even fell for it when he said, "This is my confession."
And boy what a dope I am. Now, the scene at the Mexican restaurant between Hank, Marie, Skyler and Walt came so out of left field that I was on the edge of my seat instantaneously. “Seriously! This is happening!” might have escaped my mouth as my brain was melting and the scene didn't disappoint. The pleading to keep the kids out of it, Hank staring at Walt with seething rage and the hilarious interruptions from the waiter, Trent, are all great build up to possibly the line of the night, Marie telling Walt, “Kill yourself,” "Maybe you should just go ahead and die then." I mean, holy cow, and she meant it. I don't know if Betsy Brandt has ever been better than that moment. Who would have thought that scene could be topped.
"This is my confession." I mean, what can I say. I had to applaud Walt, Cranston and Vince Gilligan here as a smile came across my face that they could pull this off. Walt implicates Hank as the drug kingpin, pulling every little detail throughout the series together into a perfect bow of blackmail, it really was incredible to watch. And they fooled me again. Here I thought Walt might be giving Hank an out. I thought the video would be about stop hunting me and when I die this is a promise to turn myself in after my death with a confession that explains everything and exonerates Hank in the process. Nope; I'm still in awe. The icing on the cake is that the secret that Walt was paying Hank's medical bills will put a rift in the Schrader camp while hamstringing him in the process. Just amazing work here by everyone, especially Skyler slyly operating in the background helping make all this happen just as much as Walt. Don't forget about her, she is quite the mastermind herself. And yet, the rest of the episode surrounding Jesse might have even topped this.
Aaron Paul has uttered a mere couple of sentences since the start of the season, but as I mentioned earlier he has been able to tell us so much with so little. Jesse's build up is ready to blow and as Saul and Jesse wait for Walt in the desert I thought anything was possible. This wasn't it for Jesse, but if Walt decided to rub out his biggest threat, Paul would have gone out on a hell of a moment.
Jesse has finally put it all together by the end of the episode and watching Paul bear it all as he begs for some truth from Walt is heartbreaking. I still might have even bought Walt's compassion, he often lives in the moment and isn't always thinking big picture (even though he is great at that), but everyone knows Jesse has to go. Whether it is in a grave or with Saul's special friend, there isn't a future for Jesse in Albuquerque and that is what made his retreat back to Saul's office so terrifying. I mentioned every piece matters in Gilligan's world and Jesse getting his weed lifted by Huell was the final piece of evidence he needed to pin the missing ricin incident to Walt and connect the pieces that they also poisoned Brock. Aaron Paul is incredible as he tears into Saul's office and I have never seen Bob Odenkirk so scared shitless as Saul. I thought this was it for Saul, but Jesse's rage lies elsewhere and it seems like the White household might bear the brunt of it.
A quick thought about Walt's gun in the soda machine, this is going to come back to bite him in the ass right? As that thing defrosts it will get the powder wet and it will not fire; right? I'm no gun expert, but I can't imagine that was a good hiding spot for Walter's piece. Also, an episode like this is why that ricin needed to be out of the game until we catch up to that flash-forward. There were too many opportunities for it to come into play and us knowing it can't let us just enjoy the show.
The episode was just incredible all around and if we had Jesse spill his guts like I thought he might to open the episode then we would have been robbed of all of this. Of course Gilligan and his team know better than I do and I am absolutely clueless as to where this thing is going to go next. I wouldn't want to be Walter Jr. right now, and eye for an eye would not bode well for his future.
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-Todd is rather chatty in public.
-"Whatever man, it's a good movie."
-"No, I don't chill out right now."
-"He's not getting off that easy. And neither are you if you stay with him."
-"But I'm a coward."
-Cranston, again, wow. "Tread lightly," indeed.
-Spider. The past keeps haunting Jesse.
-"Rain of caca."
-Poor Saul, always the pushover.
-Clean slate huh, take it Jesse.
-"It's really about you."
-Gomez thinks Hank hates Jesse just enough that he won't ask if something else is going on.
-"Some people are immune to good advice."
-Hello Kitty. "Seriously? It's free."
-"Swim with the dolphins." "Never figured you for a moose lover." Much needed levity from Saul.
-Jesse is freaking, out. Aaron Paul is shaking he is so freaked out.
-That better not be a, “take him out,” nod to Huell.
-How did they wait to use this cement backdrop till now.
-Holy shit. Where is Jesse going? The kids? Jr.? They made sure to let us know Walt and Skyler thought they were safe.
-GOD DAMMIT, GILLIGAN!
-Remember when everyone said the Netflix all-at-once method strategy is stupid. I COULD BE WATCHING THE REST OF THIS SEASON!