Breaking Bad says goodbye to one of TV's best characters, but opens up an even bigger mess in the process for those who survive the fallout.
The death of Mike seemed almost inevitable from the get go this week and even his granddaughter wasn't able to get what Mike wanted; a well financed future. The worst part about all of this is that this will probably be yet another secret that Jesse doesn't know, as Walt has now killed the two people closest to him in his adult life.
Mike gets killed over a hotheaded miscalculation by Walt and the funny thing is that I actually felt his apology to Mike in his final moments was sincere. Mike was about to get out of town because Hank used his detecting skills to figure out the lawyer for Gus' guys in prison was the one paying them off; and in turn was going to flip on Mike. Mike has Walt get his drop bag for him, but their standoff goes south as soon as Mike tries to get in one last jab at Walt’s pride. Walt flips, goes after Mike with his own gun, and gets one shot off before Mike drives off, crashes, and gets to his final resting place on creek bank. I just hope we don’t see Mike in a plastic barrel. Mike might be out of the picture, but the real threat to Walt and Jesse are the soon to be disgruntled inmates without a payoff. Lydia knows who they are though and it will be very interesting to see how all of this plays out next week.
All of those developments were mostly contained to the episode’s final sequences and the rest of the episode was actually fairly Walt-centric, and we got to see a lot of different sides of the man. We open with Walt at his cockiest ever and I am not going to lie and say I didn't enjoy seeing him this way. Cranston is just phenomenal in the cold open and the confidence he carries has become truly intimidating. He talks down the out-of-towers with ease and sets up quite the deal with them in the process; giving them Mike's share in exchange for the five million dollars lost in the drama above. Walt is a boss not to be messed with and the name “Heisenberg” goes a long way post Gus.
Next we get to see Walt at his worst as he tries to smooth talk Jesse into remaining part of the business. Walt is nasty, and pulls no punches, using everything in his arsenal to try and keep him around. First he tries to praise Jesse, and then he starts to bring him down. Walt references how Jesse has nothing, tells him he is going to relapse, plays to the greed Walt himself has, and then scares Jesse away from the money by reminding him of the blood on it. The scene is a nasty bit of business, but it is probably the highlight of the episode. Poor Jesse though, I now firmly hope he is the one who stops Walt and all of his madness in the end; it kills me he will probably never know the truth about Mike.
We also get to see Walt the teacher as he begins to show Todd the ropes of meth cooking. The cook is another wonderfully put together montage, and Walt takes to Todd rather keenly. Todd is earnest in his intentions to be a part of the team, and while it will take some time, I don't doubt Walt can turn Todd into a Jesse 2. I really like the bit they showed revealing how stand-up Todd can be when it comes to the money, you can bet that meant a lot of Walt. We will see where this new partnership takes them, and even more importantly how it affects Jesse.
Walt's home life isn't getting better either as Skyler is continuing to become complacent in her actions, while even further distant. She won't even put up with his shit anymore, and why should she, just getting up and walking away from Walt and his microwave dinner. Walt playing Hank with the tears to get the bug back was another funny call back in the episode and I can only imagine how pissed he is going to be when the truth comes out. It was nice to see Hank get a win with the lawyer though, but when does his brilliant detective work become too much to believe and to have not figured out Walt?
Another very good episode of Breaking Bad this week and it's a damn shame to see Mike go. Mike was neck-and-neck with Jesse as my favorite character for a while now, but his death was easy to take as it seemed almost all but inevitable. Jesse has to find out the truth, but even if he does this episode proves that even main characters can't get out clean. This silly viewer will continue to hope Jesse does.
Thoughts and Favorites:
-Love the opening shot.
-"Its grade school tee-ball vs. the New York Yankees."
-"Do you really want a world without Coca-Cola?"
-"Say my name."
-"You’re goddamn right."
-Please let Mike get out. Jesse too.
-Walt better not sell out Mike to the DEA.
-Wonderful music choice here, sounds like Mad Men.
-Lawyer Hand Cam!
-That lawyer better not screw things up either.
-Where is this news set up?
-Walt is so full of shit.
-Just walk Jesse, you don't need the money.
-Todd, eh, Walt's back to teaching.
-If Mike's granddaughter losses out on another pay off...
-Oh no, this is bad news for Mike.
-At least Walt tipped him off.
-I love Saul is offended.
-Ha, a cell phone drawer.
-This doesn't look any better for Mike.
-Walt was genuinely sorry, I think.
-Is Mike's bag where Walt gets his new identity?