Breaking Bad: To'hajiilee

"The kid is not as dumb as you think."

Geez, don't destroy the fans with a killer cliffhanger or anything, huh?

After Jesse scammed Walt so brilliantly, I kept thinking Walt would figure it out -- but no. And then I thought Walt would get away from Hank and Gomez somehow -- but no. And then Walt was actually under arrest and Hank had gleefully Mirandized him, and I thought, how is Walt going to get out of this? Could Saul possibly find a way to get Walt out on bail?

So I was starting to think that Hank had actually won, right up until he called Marie with the news and he told her he loved her, and I went, "Noooooo!" They couldn't have signaled any more clearly that Hank and Gomez were toast. And a moment later, the neo-Nazi gang showed up with assault rifles. I honestly didn't think they would still come after Walt told them not to. But of course they came. They need Walt to cook for them.

If you've managed to live in this world without ever seeing Star Trek, there's this thing where crew members wearing red shirts tend to get killed, especially after beaming down to desert-like alien planets. Hank and Gomez were both wearing reddish shirts. I don't see any way they could live through this, since the Uncle Jack gang were completely ignoring Walt screaming at them to stop.

So Hank and Gomez are unlikely to survive. I'm not sure about Jesse, though. He was furthest away and was obviously contemplating a strategic withdrawal, and as we know full well, yeah bitch, Jesse is smarter than people give him credit for. The fake barrel full of money was a terrific idea. So was the photo of Jesse "dead" next to the brains and blood, although that might have been Hank's idea. (Loved Marie finding the brains in the garbage. This week's Most Obvious Symbolism, because obviously, no one thought through what might happen in the middle of nowhere when drugs and big money are involved.)

That Walt/Jesse scene during the arrest was intense. Walt called Jesse a coward, and Jesse spit on Walt. We've had five seasons of Walt and Jesse hanging in together, no matter what. And now Jesse has allied with the DEA, and Walt is paying a Nazi to kill Jesse. It was inevitable, I suppose. 'To'hajiilee' is where Walt and Jesse did their first cook. Full circle.

So -- about the opener. I didn't think Todd could get any creepier, but the way he was all over Lydia practically made me gag. He even drank from her mug right where the lipstick mark was. She was working him too, fluttering her lashes and acting all seductive, probably hoping that the sexy might make Todd try harder to bake the meth blue. Is Todd fantasizing about sleeping with Lydia, killing her, or possibly both?

Todd's days are numbered. He can't even make tea, much less master Walt's recipe for meth. I doubt that even extensive coaching from Walt will help. If the neo-Nazis manage to kill Jesse, that is, since that was Walt's price. I haven't forgotten the season opener, with future Walt acquiring guns. Is he coming back to kill Uncle Jack and the gang, perhaps?


-- The opening scene was of liquid glass meth that was not blue. In the middle of the episode, after agreeing to cook one more time, Walt started wearing a blue shirt again. And there was a shot of "blue sky" over Hank's head in his first scene.

-- Saul was wearing a bullet-proof vest. Todd put on a white bullet-proof vest. Please tell me Gomez and Hank were wearing vests. Please. Of course, that won't help if they get their heads shot off. And now I'm thinking about the brains on the floor.

-- Walt Junior was learning the car wash business, sort of like Todd learning the blue meth business. Junior was doing just a bit better than Todd. He seemed a bit star struck at meeting Saul, whose billboard is featured near the A1A Car Wash; it was visible during the Walt/Saul conversation.

And pieces:

-- That sequence with Walt driving at top speed through red lights and around trucks was very edge-of-your-seat. I kept expecting him to crash.

-- Hank was carrying the Hello Kitty cell phone. Does he still have it on him? Was Walt's confession to several murders recorded?

-- Uncle Jack is so tough that Todd suggested Jack go talk to Lydia's buyers. (In the Czech Republic?) And Jack is so tough that he took off his gas mask and breathed toxic fumes; no sissy filtered air for him. Unfortunately, he did not promptly fall over and die. He did it so he could go grab a smoke. Geez, no symbolism there.

-- Kenny, one of the Uncle Jack gang, is played by Kevin Rankin, who wore similar Nazi tatts in his role as Devil on Justified.

-- By using Andrea to set up Jesse, Walt again endangered Brock. And he didn't think twice about doing it.

-- Last week, Jesse finally got a scene with Marie. This week, Junior got a scene with Saul. It's a little like loose-end-tying.

-- What did Walt do with the lottery ticket? I don't suppose it's important now.


Kenny: "That dude who looked like Wolverine? He couldn't crack 70."

Todd: "I think I might have cooked the color right out of it."
Lydia: "You burned it. Like a cake."

Gomez: "You said it yourself. There's no GPS on the van."
Hank: "Yeah. But Walt doesn't know that."
Sigh. Such a good plan.

Walt: (to Saul) "Your phone broken? All 200 of them?"

Jesse: "Got my photo, bitch?"

Four out of four photos, bitch,

Billie Doux is the founder of Doux Reviews and has been reviewing her favorite shows for quite some time. More Billie Doux.


Josie Kafka said...

Excellent review, Billie!

One complaint, though: couldn't you have told me I should pace myself so that I don't have to suffer the pain of waiting for these last few episodes to air? This is killing me!

I feel like I have very little to say about this episode besides that--it feels so much like a "Part One."

I hope next week shows how Hank and Gomez will develop into immortal flying superpowers that can whoosh out of the desert and away from the Aryan Brotherhood. Hank can carry Jesse in the kangaroo pouch he keeps concealed under his beer belly. Gomez can carry Walter, dangling him by the ankles. The Aryans will realize their tires have been shot out, wander the desert, and die of thirst. That'll take days, and they'll be miserable.

Billie Doux said...

Josie, obviously you should have started watching a week or two ago. :)

Josie Kafka said...

That would have been much better timing.

I hate this lull time before the new season starts. I need a new show.

Could someone recommend a show for me to watch, please?

Your Modest Guru said...

Probably the craziest cliffhanger this show has had. Our heroes (and antiheroes) caught in the middle of a mexican standoff gun modern.

Todd and the Nazis' scariness comes from their mundane attitudes as opposed to past villains: Suave Crazy 8, violently insane Tuco, and Gus who was so alien and enigmatic. I'm almost positive the writers based Todd off of an old George Carlin joke about how the name Todd sounded like it would belong to a really flat, boring person.

Though clearly a sociopath, Todd himself seems to have a thing about earning the approval of others, but only one person at a time. With Walt he had a master's approval of an apprentice. With Lydia approval comes not only in the form of appreciation but possibly sex... If he can get the meth right. That scene and the way he was cast in saturated red during the gang's meeting with Walt makes me think ensnaring Walt back into the cooking business was Todd's plan as much as Jack's. I dunno, hope he gets his head blown off next.

Much as I love em, I agree that Hank and Gomez are done. Their badasses, so they might kill a few of Nazis. But the Nazis arrived totally prepared, while Hank and Gomie weren't at all prepared. We saw what they did to Declan's gang, who actually had been prepared.

Hoping Jesse speeds away from there and I hope he has Walt's beautifully genuine confession recorded elsewhere. I think he's going to play it for the one person Walt would never allow to be killed: Walt, Jr. That would destroy his family and his legacy. But Jesse will still probably be picked off by Uncle Jack's gang. I really hope that doesn't happen, though.

If Marie isn't utterly destroyed by what happens to Hank, maybe she'll team up with Jesse to make sure Walt still goes down.

I kind of want it to be Lydia and her buyers that Walt is going to go after with the machine gun.

I wasn't sure about this Saul spinoff I'm hearing about, but these last few episodes have reminded me of how much I like Saul and his minions like Huell and Kuby. And bouncing off the lore of Breaking Bad every now and then shouldn't be too hard, there's tons to go around.

I know I wrote a lot! Real excited! The last fifteen-minutes of this when Walt got the photo of the money to when the bullets started flying were so brilliant. I'm gonna miss this freaking show.

Miguel said...

What a crazy, heart-pounding episode. Those last fifteen minutes had me breathless.

As soon as Hank called Marie on the phone to say how they finally got him and how happy she was, I just knew this would be the last time they ever spoke. This totally felt like Hank's swan song. Although the breaking bad writers do have a tendency to surprise me so who knows. All I can think about is how devastated Marie will be.

Jessie really is so much smarter than Walt gives him credit for. That photo got Walt in such a tizzy he couldn't even think straight. Noticed how he raced out of the car wash without even giving skylar and junior one of his usual bullshit excuses for leaving so suddenly. He was so panicked he ran out of there without even worrying what they thought.

I got to hand it to the breaking bad writers, they know how to keep us on the edge of our seat. And kudos to AMC for revealing absolutely zero information in the previews for next week, which were just a slow motion repeat of the intitial shots fired in the desert (despite how badly the curious side of me wanted the previews to at least hint at the death tool, I'm glad the network respects enough not to).. It's gonna be a long week waiting to see how it turns out. I really don't want this show to end but I'm so glad it's going out with such a bang. This final season so far has lived up to all my wildest expectations, which is so rare when it comes to television.

Daniel said...

I just thought I'd pop in and add that one of (if not his first) Kenny's first lines in this show was "Fire in the hole!". Maybe Kevin Rankin really wanted to be Boyd in Justified.

I'm with you all the way on Saul & Co, Guru. The last few episodes have made me realize how much I really like Saul, Huell and Kuby. I felt so bad watching Hank and Gomez pull one over on poor ol' Huell. He just wants to nap, guys. Take it easy on him.

Josie, you need to watch The Booth at the End. It won't keep you busy for long, but it is worth it!

Unfortunately, I won't be able to catch Breaking Bad this weekend, so I'm going to have to wait even longer to resolve this cliffhanger. Oi.

Jess Lynde said...

This week we definitely got a heavy, heavy dose of be careful what you wish for. I was so exhilarated when Walt was racing out to the desert, confessing everything. I was thinking, "Yeah, bitch! They finally got you!" Yes, yes, yes!

And then it all went to crap. From the moment Walt told Uncle Jack not to come, I kept waiting for the moment the Nazis would arrive. Such unbearable agony! I was wondering if just Jesse and Gomey were going to get it, and was willing Hank to get in the damn SUV already! Then the phone call. Aah, the phone call! When the "I love yous" came, I knew that this was really it. That it was really going to happen this time. He got his man, and he wasn't going to get to savor it. No "one minute" to miraculously escape this time. Aaargh! My only hope here is that they made it so thuddingly obvious that Hank was about to die, that perhaps they will once again subvert expectations. But it feels more fitting that he should die here, and that Walt should have to watch. Sad and horrible as it is.

Even though I shouted "ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!" when it cut to black, I'm sort of glad we have a week of limbo. As long as we don't open the box, Hank could still be alive, right? I kind of want to live in denial a little bit longer.

Kevin Rankin also played Herc on Friday Night Lights, where Jesse Plemmons played Landry. Both much more appealing characters. Although I'm starting to get mildly concerned that any future FNL watches are going to be tainted by strong memories of creepy, creepy Todd. Bad, Landry. Bad!

Suzanne said...

I couldn't believe how great this episode was even though the ending has me holding my breath until next week. The episode combined all of the outrageous dark comedy I love (Walt racing out of the car wash with Jessie cursing him on the phone) with the tragedy that is inevitable. I don't see how Hank and Gommie survive this. If Skylar makes it out of this alive, I can't see how she will live with herself with Hank falling victim to Walt's insanity. Marie certainly won't forgive her.

I hate to think of Hank being dead because I was rooting for him every step of the way, but I don't think this is a show about heroes. It is really about tragic flaws leading to falls that being everyone down. Walt is pulling everyone down with him. He brings chaos to every person an dorganization he encounters.

Jess, I agree about "Lance." I hate to think of how I will view him on the next FNL rewatch, especially given the unfortunate events of Season 2.

Mark said...

If Hank does indeed die out there, I wonder if Walt's little DVD will come back to haunt Hank.


Anonymous said...

I must say that this ep was just amazing.. Breaking bad isn't my favourite show of all time but i'l admit that it's easily the greatest show i've ever seen.. I know thats a strange comment its just that i don't really connect with the characters the way i do with other shows.. But the writing and acting in this show is just 10/10 all the time.. Each time i watch a new ep its just seems like i'm witness something special.. This show deserves one hell of an ending an judging by the last few eps its definetly going to get one.. Really enjoy your reviews billie.. Keep up the good work and i look forward to your reaction to the final ever ep..

Anonymous said...

Having spent most of the last season anticipating Walt finally getting some sort of karmic retribution for all his actions, I'm not sure how to feel about a possible future outcome where his ending is redemptive that this episode potentially sets up. Maybe future Walt needs those guns to go up against Jack and free Jessie (who Jack captures and forces to cook for him after the dust clears in the shootout). It certainly would subvert all the expectations I had.

Annie said...

Similar to Anonymous, Breaking Bad is not my favorite show, but it is utterly brilliant none the less. Its not my favorite because its just a shade too dark for that, but I wouldn't want it any other way.

I found Walt racing to the desert in a panic cathartic. Then as events started to slowly unfold in the desert the tension reached unbearable levels for me. I really don't want us to lose Hank, but there's surely no way out for him now.
I really hope that DVD accusing Hank doesn't surface, you've got me worried now.

Anne said...

Jack and Kenny are such slimes. The way they both leer at Lydia is horrible; every woman is a piece of meat to them. The waitress in the previous episode was terrified of them.

Don't know if Josie Kafka is still looking for a new show (or if she even reads these comments), but season 1 of House of Cards was just brilliant and I eagerly await season 2.

Josie Kafka said...

We read all the comments, Anne. House of Cards is definitely on my list.

Josie Kafka said...

We read all the comments, Anne. House of Cards is definitely on my list.

Alex Souplopoulos said...

Has anyone else noticed how for at least the past couple of episodes, a character gets to say "Jesus!" as part of their line, five minutes into it?

Anonymous said...

Loved the "Ice Cold" symbolism on the coke vending machine while Walt was standing right next to it. Showing what kind of monster he has become over de past few seasons

Steve S. said...

Wow that was absolutely brilliant. The scene with Walt driving like a maniac with Jesse taunting him the entire way was borderline unwatchable for me -- I knew Jesse was getting payback but I knew it wouldn't be that simple. But then after Walt's phone call the scene became so intense that I totally forgot about Todd et al. And then when Hank said "I love you" that snapped me out of it and I knew the situation had to explode, but I couldn't think how. And then I saw the dust in the air and it all became clear. This really is a situation where there are no heroes and redemption is in short supply. What a show -- it astounds me how tight the writing and acting are. I need to go watch the next episode right now.