by Billie Doux
Okay. I've always felt that Walt's partnership with and protection of Jesse represented some sort of line that Walt just would not cross. Even when last week's episode appeared to include several hints that Walt was about to take Jesse out, I couldn't quite believe Walt would do it. And it turns out he hadn't.
But he has now. Walt just crossed the last line that made him even the tiniest, minisculi-est bit redeemable. He's taken out a hit on Jesse. And yes, I get why he finally did it. Jesse has become a danger to Walt and Walt's family. But it was Walt who drove him step by step to that point, wasn't it?
It felt to me like the parental guardianship role Walt has always taken with Jesse just passed to Hank. I was very unhappy when Hank said that he'd sacrifice Jesse in a second to get Walt, but then again, Hank did take Jesse to his own home. And there was that odd and rather sweet parental moment when Hank reached over and fastened Jesse's seat belt. I hope that it was Hank's anger and desperate need to take down Walt that was talking, that Hank never thought Walt would hit Jesse at the plaza, and that Hank really wouldn't be able to just sacrifice Jesse.
And maybe I feel that way because I am emotionally invested in Jesse, even more so than Hank. I want Jesse to come out of this alive and whole, and I want him to turn his life around. I spent nearly the entire episode waiting for Jesse to get killed, and that was mostly because the title of the episode, "Rabid Dog", was much like "Problem Dog", which was how Jesse referred to killing Gale. Rabid dogs are a bit harder to kill, I suppose.
The other big move this week was Skyler finally completing her transformation into Lady Macbeth and telling Walt that Jesse had to die. I honestly never thought Skyler would get to this point, and I'm deeply disappointed that she has. She should have put a stop to all of this a long time ago, back when she first found out, back when she had the power to take Walt down. Now she's committed not just to money laundering, or lying to protect Walt, but to premeditated murder.
The real tragic figure in all this is Walter Junior. He's totally innocent, and he's the only character in the story who has no idea what's going on. When he finds out, and it's inevitable that he eventually will, it could destroy him. I thought for a moment that he had figured something out when he called Walt on that ridiculous "pump malfunction" story, but no; Junior just came up with an explanation that made Walt look better. That scene out by the hotel pool with Walt just made me so sad for Junior.
This week's tiny bit of comic relief was Marie, who is so angry that she has given up wearing purple and is fantasizing about poisoning Walt. I enjoyed the scene with her shrink, where she was trying to tell him why she was so upset but couldn't tell him why she was so upset. And we finally got a scene with Jesse and Marie, on either side of a long hallway. I'm pretty sure they've never had a scene together in the entire run of the series.
Jesse has had brilliant ideas that have worked before, and now he has a brilliant idea about how to bring Walt down. Let's go, Jesse! The series is nearly over -- only four episodes to go.
-- The opening shot was of a fire hydrant, followed by Walt parking illegally in front of it. The title of the episode is "Rabid Dog". I love how they think about every shot and every scene that they do.
-- Kids on bicycles were riding past when Walt realized that Jesse was no longer at the house.
-- So much talk about poisoning. And the dirty water imagery was everywhere: the carpet cleaning, the ice bucket. Walt was sitting next to a much bigger pool than his own.
-- When Jesse hung up on Walt after the plaza scene and Walt realized he'd have to have Jesse killed, a bell started tolling.
-- This week in color: the blue tunnel of the cleaning equipment sucking gasoline out of Walt's rug. The big red gas can, and Skyler pulling up in a big red car. The hotel room was decorated in red and green and looked like a luxurious version of the ugly White house.
-- Junior always seems to wear stripes. I've always interpreted that as his unawareness of, not what side he is on, but that sides exist at all. Come to think of it, Jesse has been wearing stripes for the past few episodes, too, instead of black and skulls.
-- Hank finally told his buddy Gomez the truth and enlisted his help in filming Jesse's confession.
-- It's fun that all of these life and death messages have been left on a Hello Kitty cell phone. Very Breaking Bad, a touch of the absurd combined with the heavy and tragic.
-- Maybe Walt and Skyler should take this opportunity to install hardwood floors. (Okay, we know that they're not living in the house next year, that it's abandoned, but if I had a zillion illegal bucks, I'd be taking any opportunity to improve that dark, dank house.)
-- We've been watching Talking Bad, and this week's guests were Betsy Brandt (Marie) and RJ Mitte (Junior). Mitte was only fourteen when the series began, and he just turned 21. I had no idea he was that young. The character of Walter Junior was 15 when the series began, and I think he's still only 16 now.
Skyler: "So, um, pump malfunction?"
Saul: "I never should have let my dojo membership run out."
Kuby: "I posed as a meter reader and put a bug in the tall kid's mom's place. For three hours straight, all he talked about was something called Babylon 5."
Walt: "Jesse is upset about the boy. I just need to explain to him why that had to happen."
Saul: "Okay, but say, just for the sake of argument, the kid's not in the mood for a nuanced discussion of the virtues of child poisoning."
Saul: "We were wondering if maybe this isn't an Old Yeller type of situation."
Walt: "I'm sorry, were you spying on me?"
Skyler: "Yes. And I feel just awful about it, too."
Shrink: "So... you're angry."
Marie: "I can't sleep, I'm not eating. Last night I was online for six hours looking up untraceable poisons."
Marie: "Just answer me this one question. Is this bad for Walt?"
Hank: "Yeah. Very."
Marie: "Good. I'm staying. I'll heat up some lasagna."
Walt: "Come on. You think I came all this way to let something as silly as lung cancer take me down? Not a chance."
Hank: "No evidence, no bodies, no working lab, just the word of one nut-job meth head against Mister-Rogers-has-a-lung-tumor."
Jesse: "Yeah, no, Mr. White's gay for me. Everybody knows that."
Jesse: "Look, you two guys are just... guys, okay? Mr. White, he's the devil."
The talk in the plaza would have gone badly if it had happened, though. Walt would have suspected a wire, wouldn't he?
Three out of four fire hydrants,
Billie Doux is the founder of Doux Reviews and has been reviewing her favorite shows for quite some time. More Billie Doux.