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Breaking Bad “Confessions” Review (5×11)

26 Aug

627-5

“Why don’t you just kill yourself, Walt?”

Walter White is a despicable person. He’s cheated, lied, and manipulated his way to the top, and in order to keep his position, he has to do so to a greater extent. In fact, he’s not just lying now; he’s manipulating the truth. In the wonderfully directed confession scene, some of what he says is actually what has transpired. However, it’s also an absolutely brilliant act of fiction. It’s the only way to get Hank to back down, and we feel the wrenching effects of the message in Dean Norris’ face. Strangely fitting, isn’t it, that Walt exudes the most power through a TV screen? He’s become a caricature of himself, the Heisenberg persona permeating every single aspect of his life. The dinner scene beforehand shows us, however, that Hank will never forgive Walter. Unlike last week, he pushes Skyler away right off the bat. He’s only hell-bent on taking Walt down, but he has one flaw: he’s smart.

It’s a strange thing to say, I know, but consider Walt’s personality for a second. He’s cold, calculating, and manipulative in ways that Hank has never anticipated. In fact, he was able to outsmart Gus Fring, the previous cold, calculating, and manipulative mastermind. He should be able to outsmart Hank, and he does. Now, what Walt doesn’t expect, though, is unpredictability. This comes in the form of Jesse Pinkman. He has no friends, no family, and no restraints, and it’s a dangerous situation for Walt because Jesse just doesn’t care. Walt realizes this, though, but he deals with it in the same manner he would for someone like Skyler. He hugs Jesse, trying to strengthen that father-son bond he wants to believe is still existent, much like he hugged Skyler back in “Live Free or Die.” However, Jesse breaks down because he just can’t take it anymore; we can see he wants to acquiesce to Walt, but it’s much too difficult.

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Then comes the explosion. All that pent-up anger, fear, and sadness manifests itself in a beautiful, yet frightening, sequence of events in which Jesse beats up and threatens Saul, realizes Walt’s role in the ricin poisoning, and rushes to Walt’s house to douse it in gasoline. It’s an abrupt ending, but that’s kind of the point.

Grade: A

Other thoughts:

-The cold open is interesting to analyze. We have Todd exaggerating the details of the train robbery, then leaving a message for Walt. I find it interesting how in the same episode Jesse completely turns on Walt, Todd’s still sucking up to him. He’s like the former Jesse.

-I also liked the tarantula that appears later on, especially given that Todd leaves the murder part out of his story.

-I loved the shot of Walt racing to the car wash all in a panic, then composing himself outside of the door. It’s, once again, some great direction by the crew.

-Walt and Flynn’s scene is, once again, a prime example of Walt continuing to use his family to hold over Hank and Marie’s heads. Of course, the dinner scene reflects the failure of that plan.

-The dinner scene is wonderful. I love the juxtaposition of the cheery exterior, complete with Trent and his guacamole-making ways, with the tension at the table. It’s a fantastically-acted scene.

-Saul just standing in the background of Jesse and Walt’s desert scene was amazing.

-The episode really made me nervous for the characters. I’d imagine the next few episodes will once again have that “anyone can go down” mentality. It’s going to be a ride.

-I hope Walt Jr. wasn’t home at the end.

Credit to AMC and Breaking Bad for all pictures. I own nothing.

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