From Geek Goes Rogue TV Editor Zach W. Lorton, whose wife is on her way home from being out of town, which means he doesn’t have to wait a whole day while the internet explodes to write this review…
So, at the end of last week’s episode of Breaking Bad, we saw Walt get arrested, Jesse who orchestrated it, Hank read the Miranda Rights to Heisenberg, and a shootout take place that was cut off by the ending credits. Grrr. Tonight, we fly into an episode that I’ve been looking forward to since I saw the promo for the last 8 episodes a few weeks ago (which, by the way, I HIGHLY recommend you watch before watching the episode or reading this review). Let’s see what happens in my patent-pending, blow-by-blow, recap-commentary hybrid, hyphen-rich review of the third last episode of one of the greatest dramas to ever air on television.
0:01:17 – Recap.
0:01:49 – We see a close-up shot of water being boiled in a flask. Walt and Jesse are in the RV, doing their first cook together. Walt’s in his fashion-forward white briefs and apron combo, and he still has hair on the top of his head instead of the bottom. “The reaction has begun,” Walt proclaims to Jesse, in a rather celebratory tone.” Jesse’s response is priceless. “Uhh, yeah, I know…”
0:03:08 – Walt steps outside to breathe the desert air. As he takes off his apron, Jesse, standing behind him, winces and turns his face away, as if blinded by Walt’s pale body juxtaposed with the briefs. This bit is some much-needed relief, seeing Walt and Jesse at the beginning of their relationship, especially when in real time, we know that they are turned against each other. A little levity helps remind us of where we came from, and I’m laughing through this part.
0:03:39 – Walt grabs his cell phone and walks towards higher ground, rehearsing what he’ll tell his wife before he calls her. You gotta make it sound convincing, Walt. Remember how you can’t lie to your wife?
0:04:04 – Skyler, still pregnant, is placing a porcelain… THING in a box to be wrapped. I don’t know what exactly it is, but it looks like something Pennywise the Clown might use to scare adults. Phone rings. Nothing special is happening for dinner, so can Walt pick up a pizza? Walt smiles at the thought of getting pizza on the way home. You know, it’s the simple things in life…
0:04:50 – “What’s that sound?”
“I just sold your favorite piece — the hideous crying clown.”
Ah. THAT’S what it is. It’s in the box, the lid is closed, and it still frightens me.
0:05:05 – It’s at this point we find out that Holly will be the new baby’s name. Kind of cool to see how some things develop. Walt plans some family time, taking a little trip with Walt Jr., Skyler, and the she-who-has-not-been-officially-named. Oh yeah, Skyler bought it.
0:06:22 – In a wide shot, Walt, in the foreground, fades out of the picture. Then Jesse fades out. The the RV disappears. What. A great. Shot.
0:06:37 – Title Card. Strap in, folks.
0:08:59 – Black screen. Gunfire. Wide desert shot. The gunfire stops, and the people and vehicles involved in the firefight fade into view. Seriously, if this is the kind of filmmaking we get at the beginning of the episode, I can’t wait to watch the rest.
0:09:27 – Everyone is standing still, taking stock of the scene. We see blood dripping through someone’s jeans leg, and for a minute, I hope it’s Gomez. But a wider shot reveals that it’s Hank. His gun has been rid of all its ammo, and he glances to his left. Gomez is dead, lying on the ground, the shotgun a few feet from him. Now I feel really bad for hoping it was Gomie and not Hank that had been shot. Hank decides to go for the shotgun, and as he crawls his way over toward’s Gomez’s body, Jack approaches and puts his foot on the gun. Careful, Jack. The last guy to stand over Hank Shrader with a gun got shot in the face.
0:10:35 – Jesse’s gone, and Jack sends two of his thugs in the most obvious direction he could have escaped to go and find him. Jack’s cohort finds a badge and reports that Hank and Gomez are DEA agents. Without a word, Jack loads a chamber in his pistol and levels it at Hank’s head. Walt objects, is helped out of the car by Todd and the cohort, and is pulled out of the way. Finally, Walt reveals that Hank is his family.
“Say again?” Jack returns. I love the look on his face when he says it, too, like, “You mean this guy is your family and you got into the meth business?”
0:12:14 – Knowing that neither Hank nor Gomez was able to call in to the office to report their findings, Walt tries to bargain with Hank, telling him that he’ll walk away if he lets the whole thing blow over. Wow, I can’t imagine any scenario where Hank would be okay with that, Walter. Chemist. Genius.
0:12:28 – Jack’s about to waste Hank when Walt mentions that he has money buried on that spot. Specifically, $80 million. 80 million dollars. 80. MILLION. (That’s an actual quote.) He’s offering it to Jack — ALL OF IT — if he leaves Hank alone.
Walt. WHAT are you doing? Offer him some money, not all of it!
0:13:32 – “How about it, Hank? Should I let you go?”
With all the cojones I have ever seen, Hank spits out, “My name is A.S.A.C. Shrader. You go **** yourself.”
Jack’s response is priceless. He doesn’t say a word, but merely nods his head, smiles, and his eyebrows go up like, “Yeah, dude’s got cojones.”
0:13:51 – Walt pleads for Hank to reason with Jack, but Hank’s not having it. “You want me to beg? You’re the smartest guy I ever met. And you’re too stupid to see… he made up his mind ten minutes ago.”
And my heart sinks. Seriously, I’ve got tears invading my eyeballs.
0:14:42 – Hank looks up at Jack. “Do what you’re gonna d–”
A gunshot rings out and takes the life from A.S.A.C. Hank Shrader. It’s official. I hate Walter White. Go ahead, Walt, cry. You freaking deserve it.
0:15:44 – The two thugs who walked off can’t find Jesse. Jack picks up the shovel out of the SUV, hands it to his cohort, who begins digging and in ten seconds, hits one of the barrels. Todd is looking at Walt, still handcuffed and lying on the ground. Jack’s men continue digging out the barrels of money.
0:17:17 – The barrels have been loaded into Jack’s pickup truck, the bodies of Hank and Gomez have been moved, and Hank is still on the ground, looking towards his car. He notices something on the ground underneath the car…
0:18:23 – Jack walks over to Walt and informs him that he’s leaving him one of the barrels of money. Todd grabs the keys to the handcuffs and uncuffs Walter. Standing him up, he says, “I’m sorry for your loss.” That’s one thing about Todd you can count on — he means what he says.
0:18:54 – Jack’s clearly got the upper hand here, and he starts talking to Walt like he knows it, too. He tells Walt to drive off, and that he’s lucky things didn’t go differently, mostly due to the fact that Todd has so much respect for Walter. “No hard feelings. Understand me? We square?” Begrudgingly, Walt shakes his hand, but counters: “Pinkman. You still owe me.”
“If you can find him, we’ll kill him.”
Still looking under the car, Walt answers. “Found him.”
0:20:00 – One of Jack’s thugs drags Jesse out from under the car and get him on his knees. Jack walks behind Jesse and points his pistol at the back of his head. Instead of looking at Walt, Jesse looks to the sky and notices two birds circling. Jack asks Walt if he’s ready, and Walt nods. As Jack is about to pull the trigger, Todd speaks up. “He was out here with those Feds. Right? Working with them. Shouldn’t we find out what he told them first?” Todd think it might be best if they took Jesse back to their place and work him over to find out what Jesse told the DEA, and Todd’s pretty sure he can handle it since he and Jesse have a bit of a history. Walt agrees.
0:21:29 – Jesse struggles as one of the thugs tries to carry him off, and Walt says, “Wait.” For a minute, I think he’s going to ask Jack to make it as painless as possible, so they can take care of the job right then and there. Instead, Walt does probably the worst thing he could do to Jesse: “I watched Jane die.”
Walt, you suck so bad.
0:22:39 – Dean Norris, Hank, is going to be on Talking Bad later. Well, good. I need to hear other people vent their #RageAgainstWalt.
0:26:32 – It’s 26 minutes into the episode, and we’re just now seeing the opening credits roll. Walt gets into his car, looks through the rearview mirror and collects himself. What scares me is that he might not know that Hank called Marie and told her that he’d arrested Walt. What happens when Hank doesn’t come home, Walt? What will you do then? Walt finally starts the car and drives off.
0:27:28 – The car breaks down. Walt’s out of gas. Looking under the car, he notices a leak in the fuel system, courtesy of one of the stray bullets. Darn, and me with this 10-11 million in the barrel in the backseat. Walt pulls it out and starts rolling it through the desert.
0:30:00 – Hank comes upon a small house, where an older Native American man is watching him from inside a window. He comes outside, where Walt offers to buy the pickup truck on the property. After being told that it’s not for sale, Walt pulls out a stack of bills from his jacket pocket and offers it to the man. Cut to the barrel being loaded into the back of the pickup, with the Native American gentleman sitting next to it.
0:30:57 – Car Wash World, where irony abounds as Skyler is trying to reach Walt on her cell phone. Walt Jr. is still working the register, and Marie walks in and greets him with a hug. She and Skyler head into Skyler’s office, where they sit adversarial style, Skyler behind her desk, Marie directly opposite her. It’s a very well-framed shot.
0:32:23 – Marie spills that Hank arrested Walt three hours ago. “Hank is booking Walt as we speak, and I, for one, could not be happier.” Oh, Irony, thou art surely heartless. Why must ye torture us so?
0:33:33 – Scenes like this is where the rub really happens when you talk about family relationships. Marie explains that she’s not sure who Skyler is, if she can really trust her anymore. But the fact that Skyler got the kids out of the house makes her think that there may still be hope, that whatever Walt’s hold is on Skyler, that she can still break away from it. “All I have been forcing myself to remember is that you are my sister. And so I’m here.” Skyler begins crying, and you can see that she looks… relieved? I’m not sure.
0:34:05 – Marie tells Skyler she’ll have Hank go easy on her, but only if she gives up the fake confessional DVDs that she and Walt made. Then she tells Skyler to dry her eyes and bring in Walt Jr. so she can tell him what’s going on. Skyler refuses, and Marie plays her trump card: “You tell him! Or I will.”
0:34:56 – Jesse’s lying on the floor in… something, I’m not sure. He’s been worked over pretty hard, and Todd pulls back a cloth cover over a caged ceiling. Jesse tells Todd that he’s told him everything, given him all the information he knows. He’s cowering and trying to get away from Todd in every way he can, and Todd grabs him and brings up the ladder and into a warehouse. It’s Lab Mark II. Because blue-ish still isn’t good enough. Are you thinking what I’m thinking? Todd padlocks a lead wire on a ceiling track to a chain around Jesse’s midsection, and he takes Jesse’s cuffs off.
0:37:48 – Jesse walks along the lab to a picture posted to a wall. As he gets closer, he notices the picture is a surveillance photo of Andrea and Brock. Todd comes back into the lab, yellow hazmat suit on. “Let’s cook.”
0:42:05 – “You’re completely out of your mind.” Walt Jr. is not taking the news too well. He’s heartbroken, and he takes his mom to task for keeping Walt’s drug business at secret. He’s almost more upset about the fact that his mother hid the truth from him rather than the fact that his dad is a meth kingpin, a fact he’s having a hard time swallowing. And why in the world is Marie still calling him Flynn? Walt Jr. storms off.
0:44:12 – “Flynn, could you put your seatbelt on, please?” Walt Jr. has been thinking about everything, and he decides that his mom is as bad as his father. They pull in behind the truck and find Walt throwing gear into the back of the new/old pickup, and he pleads with them both to grab whatever gear they need because they are getting the heck out of Dodge.
0:45:30 – “Walt. Why are you here?” Skyler tells Walt that Marie knows Hank had arrested him, and she demands to know where Hank is. Walt says he negotiated, which, of course, Skyler doesn’t buy. #Can’tLieToMyWife. Skyler insists on knowing where Hank is, but Walt is still trying to convince them that everything is going to be fine, to trust him. Skyler won’t let up, though. Walt finally pleads that he has $11 million in the truck, and they can start brand new lives, but they have to leave right now.
0:47:00 – Skyler adds it up. “You killed him. You killed Hank.” Here’s where it starts to unravel. Walt screams that he tried to save Hank, which is the only true thing that’s come out of his mouth since this scene started. Walt heads down the hall to get some more things, and Walt Jr. follows. From a shot in the kitchen, where both a knife block and a cordless phone are on the island in the foreground, Skyler approaches, and for a second, you hope she grabs the phone. She grabs a knife instead.
0:47:51 – Walt comes back down the hallway with another load. Walt Jr. is following, still questioning his dad, but Skyler stops him and gets between him and Walt. Walt stops and turns around, to which Skyler stands her ground. “Get out.” She’s had enough. “Don’t say one more word. Get out of here, now.” Of course, he can’t keep his mouth shut, and he approaches her to try and explain, but she swings the knife at him, gashing his hand.
0:48:31 – A struggle ensues between Walt and Skyler as they knock into the walls, and finally over onto the floor, where Walt eventually wrestles the knife from Skyler’s hands. And Walt Jr. — I LOVE this kid — tackles his dad from behind, allowing Skyler to get free, and in a reversal of protection, gets between her and Walt. He pulls his phone out of his pocket and calls 911, telling the dispatcher that his dad has pulled a knife on his mom, and to send the police right away. Walt, realizing the turning tide, walks towards the door, but stops to grab Holly and her baby bag before walking out. Skyler follows him out to the truck, where Walt has already locked the door. He backs into Skyler’s car and forces it out of the way.
0:50:28 – Skyler, beside herself, runs down the street after Walt’s truck, screaming at him the entire way to stop. The truck turns the corner, and Skyler stops, crying silently as she sinks to her knees in the middle of the street.
0:55:16 – Walt is changing Holly on one of those koala bear changing stations in a public restroom. The cut on his hand has been wrapped with duct tape. He’s doing all the things a good father should do, talking baby talk, asking her where her belly button is. I want to knock Walt over the head with a lead pipe, or at least rip the duct tape off, but Holly rounds it out for us by looking around and calling for her mama.
0:56:35 – The White House. The police are there, going over details of Holly’s abduction. And Marie is there, too. She’s just been told that Hank is dead, and she’s not really coming to terms with it yet, as far as I can tell.
0:55:54 – The phone rings. The answering machine picks up, and Walt’s voice comes through. “Skyler, it’s me. Pick up.” The detective tells one of the other cops to start a trace on the line, and Skyler picks up. She lies and says there are no police there, and demands to know where Holly is.
0:57:46 – One of the reasons I have always liked this show is that it really delves into the heart of human depravity. How dark can an otherwise good person really get? To what depths of evil can we sink when we are pushed to the edge? I bring this up now because Walt begins to project onto Skyler. “Why can’t you do one thing I say? This is your fault. This is what comes of your disrespect. I told you, Skyler, I warned you for a solid year. You cross me, there will be consequences. What part of that didn’t you understand?”
Skyler is livid. “You took my child.”
“‘Cause you need to learn.” Yeah, Walt. A husband doing something evil in order to teach his wife a lesson, that always works out.
0:58:17 – “You know, you never believed in me. You were never grateful for anything I did for this family.” He’s laying it on thick, accusing Skyler of being unsupportive of her husband when she should have been grateful that he was doing what he could to financially provide for his family. He gets pretty vile, and in a few seconds, we see exactly the type of behaviour typical of most husbands that are physically and verbally abusive towards their wives. Walt’s true colors are finally showing, and it’s disturbing.
0:59:16 – Skyler makes a decision. “I’m sorry,” she says into the phone. Please, please, please tell me she’s playing the man, keeping him on the phone long enough for what the police need.
0:59:44 – Then, Walt makes it official. “You mark my words, Skyler. Tow the line, or you will wind up just like Hank.” As the conversation continues, you see he’s starting to cry, too. He’s still doing what he’s doing for his family, and although abducting his daughter wasn’t part of the plan, he feels like he has to keep the guise up. “You’re never gonna see Hank again. He crossed me. You think about that. Family or no, you let that sink in.”
1:01:08 – Skyler tells Walt that she just wants Holly back. He says he still has some things to do, then disconnects the call and breaks the cell phone in half. He’s weeping, mourning the end of his family. He then opens the door to the truck and reaches in to get Holly. From an exterior shot, we see that he’s parked in front of a fire station.
1:01:47 – Fire station interior. One of the firefighters signals to another that the lights on one of the engines are running. The second firefighter walks into the garage and gets in the truck to turn them off. He hears a baby making noise, and looks to see Holly, in a brand new car seat, sitting on the passenger side.
1:02:26 – Walt is sitting on the sidewalk in the same spot where Jesse was waiting for the guy to pick him up and carry out the End Game scenario. A crappy minivan pulls up, and Walt grabs his things, loads up, and gets in. The minivan drives off while a stray dog crosses the street behind them.
1:03:06 – Executive Producer Vince Gilligan.
I’m glad I decided to write this review as I was watching it. I don’t know if I would have been emotionally able to handle it all at once. Until next time.
Zach W. Lorton is a media producer and professional DJ/MC by trade, and a comedian, actor, and musician by default. His debut music project is set to begin recording in 2014, and will likely take the world by storm, possibly in the form of a Sharknado.
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