Posted by: ckckred | September 10, 2013

The Breaking Bad Watch: To’hajiilee

Breaking Bad To'hajiilee

Spoilers if you haven’t checked out To’hajiilee.

The main theme of Breaking Bad is the transformation Walter White goes through from high school chemist to big scale drug lord.  Season five has explored this transition more than the show has ever before.  Walt has become more ruthless, cunning, and vile.  In “Confessions,” he even creates a fake tape framing all of his crimes on his brother-in-law.  But Vince Gilligan and co. still show that deep down in all of those layers of hatred, Walt’s still Walt.  He still cares about his wife and two children, justifying his misdeeds to only help them.  And then there’s Jesse.

Jesse has become such a large part of the heart and soul of Breaking Bad.  Back in the pilot, I originally pegged Jesse as a juvenile delinquent whose purpose was to introduce Walt to the meth business.  But Jesse has grown and our perceptions have changed about him.  He’s smarter and more complex than what we first thought.

Walt considers Jesse as close to his family as he does with Walt Jr.  The show first established that Walt and Jesse had a teacher-student relationship, but it has evolved to a more father-son one.  In the previous episode, after Jesse nearly burns down Walt’s house, Walt just wants to talk to apologize and explain to him why he poisoned Brock.  Even after Walt places a hit on Jesse, he still believes that Jesse is just confused and misguided.

This is why, in a surprising twist, Walt’s greatest enemy wasn’t Mike, Gus, or even Hank.  It’s Jesse, the part of Walt that’s always connected to the meth world.  In “To’hajiilee,” Jesse comes up with an idea to trick Walt into luring the police to his secret stash of cash, which would prove Walt guilty.  The episode could have ended with the climatic note with Hank arresting Walt, a moment that I expected since the pilot, but it ends on an even better one, with a shoot-out between the police and Walt’s men.  Breaking Bad is a show that’s unpredictable but always under control.  The suspense of the cliffhanger leaves me eager of what’s happening next.

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