5 To Go — GGR Reviews Breaking Bad: “Rabid Dog”

From Geek Goes Rogue TV Editor Zach W. Lorton, who can’t figure out how to get the smell out of the carpet…

I hope everyone enjoyed their Labor Day weekend.  Of if you live in Canada, your weekend.  Since Sunday night may have otherwise been occupied with cookouts, gatherings, and general revelry at the fact that you didn’t have to work on Monday, I’m assuming a lot of people didn’t catch the latest episode of Breaking Bad, “Rabid Dog”.  I know I didn’t, so I had to wait until Monday night to watch it.

That meant avoiding all the reviews online.  Not an easy task when researching TV news, believe me.  But now, I get to join the ranks of websites to avoid if you’ve recorded but not watched it.  That’s right, it’s my real-time commentative review of “Rabid Dog”, in its completely biased and unapologetic glory.



0:01:11 – Recap.

0:01:48 – Walt pulls his car right in front of a yellow fire hydrant.  He sees Saul’s Cadillac parked at an odd angle in his driveway, and shakes his head in disappointment.  Walt, if you knew what Jesse was doing inside, the look on your face would be much angrier, I guarantee it.

0:02:14 – How many times during the course of this series have we seen Walt sneak into his own house??  Although this is the first time I’ve seen him do it with a gun drawn, knowing that Jesse is inside.  He takes careful steps before entering…

0:03:19 – Walt has entered his home, seen the gas can on the floor, hears no one, and as he comes in, steps in a puddle of gasoline that has collected in the carpet.  Okay, now I’m starting to feel the tension.

0:04:16 – As Walt systematically makes his way down the hallway, looking for Jesse, covering each room, there’s something inside me that wants to see him end up in a physically hilarious position.  I don’t want to see him and Jesse pummel each other again, and I kind of wish Walt’s pride in himself would uproot his dignity once more.  The gun doesn’t make Walt appear any more menacing than he would be without it.

0:05:13 – Jesse’s not in the bedroom.  It appears he’s not in the house, so Walt has gone outside looking for him.  I know this will be explained, but seriously, what happened?  The car is still in the driveway, door still opened, keys still in the ignition.  In a sloppy bit of editing, Walt sees a CD on the dashboard, then the shot cuts to him holding it as he pulls out of the car door opening.

0:05:41 – Title Card.  Seriously, WHAT WAS THAT??!?

0:08:00 – We’re treated to a VERY cool shot of gasoline being sucked through a shop vacuum tube, one of the more inventive POV shots of this series.  Walt has hired some experts to clean his home of the petrol, and he’s asking Huell to go by the high school just in case Jesse decides to go after Walt’s son.  I think it’s funny that Huell is taking the Cadillac back, since he and the car don’t seem to mix, but I’m also noticing that Walt’s breath is producing vapor.  How cold is it there?  And what time of year is it supposed to be?

0:08:55 – Walt’s calling Jesse?  Really?  You’re calling him?  What’s the play for you now?  (…Aaah, forget it, he’s not listening to me.)  Walt finishes the call, then talks with the locksmith about making sure that the new door handle will fit the same keys as before.  I have a feeling Skyler is supposed to know nothing about this.

0:10:55 – Walt’s just been told by the carpet guys that they can only do so much with the gasoline smell, and that the carpet and padding would need to be pulled out and replaced if he really wants to smell to be gone.  So we’ve cut to a crotch-level shot of Walt changing out of his pants (I swear, does Bryan Cranston think of ways to be filmed in thighty whiteys?) and pouring gasoline all over his clothes, then cut again to a shot of him with the same clothes on, and taking the gasoline can — with gas still in it, mind you — to the trash can at the curb.  No, nothing could go wrong here.  He thinks better, and walks it over to his neighbor’s trash can, dumping it in there.

0:11:59 – Nope, he’s rethinking again.  He retrieves the gas can and pours a little gasoline in the driver’s side car seat of his own car.  Ah, I think I see what’s happening.

0:12:56 – Skyler pulls in the driveway and sees something odd.  The camera follows her to the driver’s side window of Walt’s car, in which there is a box fan running, apparently trying to air out some odd smell.  Nice move, Walt.

0:13:52 – Walt’s trying to explain how the gasoline smell got into the house.  #PumpMalfunction.  After all this time, Walt, you REALLY can’t lie to your wife.  But I’m sitting back to watch the fireworks, because who knows what kind of reaction we’ll get.

0:14:49 – …and we are not disappointed, with either Walt’s poor attempt or with Skyler’s reaction!  Yay!  Walt’s story doesn’t appear to be working on Skyler, and what’s more, she looks to Walt, Jr., who returns her gaze with a look of, “You’re not buying this crap, are you?  I mean, I’m only a teenager, and I can come up with a better story.  In fact, I have.  Just ask me.  No wait, don’t — I’ll get in trouble if I tell you about that.”  The subtext may be different, but you get the idea.

0:15:04 – “Dad?  Please, can you just tell the truth?”  God bless you, Walt, Jr.

0:15:22 – Oh, wait.  Walt, Jr. believes that Walt passed out because the gasoline fumes caused him to react in conjunction with his chemo treatments.  God bless you again, Walt, Jr., for wanting to believe the very best in your dad.  I guess you can see through him, but only to what you want to see.  Apparently we all do that.

0:16:03 – Walt says that because of wanting to look out for their health, they can’t stay there until they get new carpet installed.  Junior says that Hank and Marie have plenty of space at their house, and Walt doesn’t miss a beat.  “Hey, what about a hotel?”

0:16:25 – “I’m sorry.  It’s not my finest hour.”  Truer words, Walt.

0:16:43 – Saul Goodman is in a car, checking his wound in a sunvisor mirror, and Ladies and Gentleman, another memorable line from Saul!  “I never should have let my dojo membership run out.”  Walt climbs in the back seat, sees Saul’s face and appears surprised that Jesse could have done that to Saul.  “Yeah,” Saul counters, “but you gotta understand, deep down he loves me.”

We are getting our money’s worth out of this episode, folks.

0:17:30 – Bill Burr is recapping all the places he’s gone to in order to try and find Jesse.  I mean, laundry list.  Eventually he comes to bugging Badger’s mom’s house, and “for three hours straight, all he talked about was something called Babylon 5.”

0:18:24 – Walt is actually asking Saul what he thinks they should do once Jesse turns up, if he is still intent on destroying Walt.  This is the first time I’ve seen Walt, completely calm, blank on his next move.  It wouldn’t be so notable if he wasn’t asking for advice from Saul.  Saul suggests an “Old Yeller” scenario.  Walt gives his response in a very careful, deliberate tone: “Do not float that idea again.”

0:19:54 – Walt takes the ice bucket back into the building, gets some ice, goes up to the room, apologizes for some lame false excuse again to his wife.  Skyler’s so awesome — “How’s Saul doing?”  Hey, at least she got a nice hotel stay out of it.

0:20:53 – “Jesse Pinkman? …He came over to the house that time for dinner.  Remember?”  Yes, Walt, we all remember.  The green beans were spectacular.  Anyway, in the middle of explaining that Jesse was going to set The White House ablaze, but then didn’t, Walt admits he really doesn’t know why he didn’t go through with it.  But he still tries to explain Jesse’s issues to his wife, who actually REALLY doesn’t care, but she wants to know what he’s capable of.  “So he has never hurt anybody?”  Walt pauses for a brief moment before looking at Skyler, and half-convincingly, offers up a lie.  “No.”

0:24:50 – After discussing the ups and downs of dealing with a person that has come into their home with the intention of destroying it, even though he didn’t actually go through with it, Skyler and Walt parry and thrust with what should be done about Jesse.  Skyler obviously doesn’t know the extent of Walt’s relationship with Jesse, and Walt is surprised to hear Skyler’s tone about the situation.  But in the end, her line of reasoning is clear:  “We’ve come this far … for us.  What’s one more?”  When you threaten the family, when you come against the mama bear and her cubs, you lose every time.

0:28:55 – We flash back in time.  Jesse has just snorted something off of a CD that’s sitting on the dashboard of Saul’s Cadillac.  He grabs the gas can and begins dumping gasoline all over The White House, then he wraps up a newspaper and begins to light it.  Before he can get it lit, Hank (!!! Freaking Hank!!!) is at the door, gun drawn and leveled at Jesse.  And Jesse’s crying.  I mean, he’s hurt here, it’s filling up every fiber in his body.  Hank lets him know that he’s aware of what Walt’s been up to, but Jesse needs to put out the lighter.

0:30:14 – #HeCantKeepGettingAwayWithIt.

0:31:00 – Hank convinces Jesse to help him take down Walt.  I guess he figures that if exposing his own family is involved in the manufacture of meth will end his career, why not get as much good ammunition as possible?  In the car, Hank reaches over Jesse and fastens him into his seat belt.  Can’t risk getting pulled over and ticketed on a seat belt violation, not yet.  They pull out of the neighborhood as Walt pulls in.  Hank lays it out for Jesse — he’ll be arrested, but if he helps Hank get the information he needs, he’ll do everything he can to make things easy for Jesse.

0:32:12 – “So … you’re angry.”  Marie’s at her therapist’s office, talking about how she can’t believe she was wrong about someone in her own family that she knew.  Of course, she’s talking either in code, or being as vague as possible, because the therapist is having to guess what exact scenario she’s talking about.

0:34:19 – After Marie refuses to give Dave (the therapist) any more information than “He screwed us, and he won,” she insists they change the subject.  So Dave asks about work: “Last week you were upset about the new parking rules.”  How much a life can change in the space of one week.

0:35:25 – Dave warns Marie how violence can’t help any issues she’s dealing with.  Marie answers honestly, “It just feels good to think about it.”

0:35:45 – SchraderHaus.  Marie’s purple suitcases are packed and sitting inside the front door.  Hank’s trying to convince Marie to get out of dodge for a few days, presumably so he can work with Jesse.  Finally, Marie pulls it out of Hank: “We have a guest.”

0:37:04 – “Just answer me this one question: is this bad for Walt?”
“Yeah.  Very.”
“Good.  I’m staying.  I’ll heat up lasagna.”

0:43:05 – Walt and Junior are having a chat by the hotel pool.  Walt tells him that he and Skyler are “going over some options.”

0:44:15 – Junior reaches over and grabs his dad in a bear hug.  This kid is killing me.  Junior heads back up to the room, and Walt says he’s not far behind.

0:44:58 – Walt dials a speed number dial on his phone.  We don’t see who he’s calling, but we can only assume it’s Jesse.  He’s waking up at SchraderHaus, offered coffee by Marie, and sits down in front of a camcorder, ready to tell Hank and Gomez about what happened.  “I first met Mr. White — Walter White — in junior year chemistry.  He was my teacher.”

0:48:17 – Hank and Gomez discuss what to do, and Hank suggests they follow up on a meeting Walt has suggested on Jesse’s voicemail.  They play the message for Jesse, who is skeptical about the possibility of talking with Walt.  Jesse appears to be done talking, but Hank wants him to wear a wire.  Still, Jesse is convinced that if he meets Walt, he’ll be killed.  Hank drops the bomb (not really a bomb, but something that Jesse can’t see despite himself) that Walt cares about Jesse, which Jesse doesn’t believe.  But Hank spells it out — Walt paid for Jesse’s rehab, killed the two meth dealers that would have shot Jesse otherwise, and made Jesse a 50/50 partner in his business.

0:52:17 – Hank finally spells it out plainly — they are not asking Jesse to wear a wire, they are TELLING him that’s what he’s going to do.  In order for Jesse to avoid getting put in lockup in the MDC, wearing a wire is the only way Jesse can get Walt.

0:57:50 – Jesse is being prepped by Hank for the meeting, getting all wired up.  Hanks tests it: “Pancho Villa, Salma Hayek.  Pancho Villa, Salma Hayek.”

0:59:00 – Jesse approaches the meet point, a seemingly scattered fray of nerves, when he sees something that strikes his gaze.  A bald man with facial hair is standing a distance away, watching the place where Walt is sitting.  Jesse freezes in his tracks, looking back and forth between the two men.  Then, he turns and walks a different direction towards a pay phone.  He calls Walt’s cell, and tells him that he’s not doing what Walt wants anymore, but that he’s coming for Walt.  “See, I decided that burning down your house is nothing.  Next time, I’m gonna get you where you really live.”  Jesse hangs up and walks away.

Walt can’t figure it out, and he begins to leave, past the man with the bald head and facial hair, who bends down to pick up a little girl running towards him and calling him Daddy.  I – LOVE – IRONY.  Jesse walks down the sidewalk and gets intercepted by Hank in the minivan, who’s pissed.  Jesse tells Hank that he thinks there’s another way — a better way — to get Walt.

1:02:27 – Walt’s back in his car, dialing his cell phone.  He coughs.  “Hey, it’s Walt.  I’m okay.  I, uh…  Todd, I think I might have another job for your uncle.”

1:03:03 – Executive Producer Vince Gilligan.


There is a part of me that wants to wait until all the final episodes have aired, and then watch all of them back to back.  Because this is killing me.  I want to see the resolution now!

This is good television.

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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