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This week’s episode of Breaking Bad was finally a break for viewers. The show is known for its constant, high intensity moments, but this episode is a look at how many of the characters are affected by what is going on in the series.
We see that Jesse didn’t light Walt’s house on fire, but the first question is, “Why not?” He seemed set on doing it as a way to send a message to Walt. Walt comes home to find the house empty, and it’s soaked in gasoline. When Skyler, Walt Jr., and Holly come home, he comes up with another elaborate but convincing enough story about a “pump malfunction” at the gas station (Breaking Bad has giving me many non sequiturs to use during awkward conversations, from guacamole to pump malfunctions). This lie is convincing enough for Walt Jr., but of course not for Skyler who stopped falling for Walt’s lies months ago. The family relocates to a hotel for the night, where Skyler asks Walt for the truth about Jesse’s intentions. Walt defends Jesse, saying that he just needs to talk to him and reason with him to figure out the situation. Skyler is suggesting that Walt needs to kill Jesse. Walt says that Jesse is a person. Her response? “We’ve come this far for us. What’s one more?” This is surprising even for Skyler. She has been open about her opinions with Walt, but this is a turn in her character. There is never the expectation that she would suggest killing, especially since she was appalled to know what Walt had done thus far to keep the family safe. This shows that Skyler is starting to become more cynical, and there are no boundaries anymore when it comes to what she will suggest to do for her family.
Walt meets with Saul to see if he can track down Jesse. Saul then says that this might be an “Old Yeller situation” where, for the good of the rabid dog, he needs to be killed. Walt says to stop with the colorful metaphors, and to never suggest something like that again. Walt defends Jesse, and doesn’t want to kill him.
Marie is finally showing her true feelings as well. She visits a therapist, and she begins to open up about her situation. Marie doesn’t say much about the situation, but talks about how she feels. Notice that Marie has ditched her usual fifty shades of purple in her closet for black. What she wears is reflecting how she feels, and the show is known for doing this brilliantly through wardrobe. Her all black ensemble shows how somber she is about the situation. Marie’s character also takes an unexpected turn when she talks about wanting to poison Walt (oh, the irony!). Her therapist says that this is a bad idea, and she turns to him and says, “It just feels good to think about it.” Marie is no longer hiding her feelings, and shows that she too does have a dark side.
Jesse teams up with Hank, who finds him standing in Walt’s house about to light the house on fire, and saves Walt’s house from being destroyed. He tells Jesse that they can work together to take Walt down. Jesse agrees, and stays with Hank. He starts his confession by saying he met Walt (who he still calls Mr. White) as a student in a high school chemistry class.
Despite everything that has occurred between the two, Walt continues to defend Jesse to everyone. His genuine meeting with Jesse goes awry when they decide to meet, and Jesse sees a man who is staring in Walt’s direction. Jesse thinks this is someone who is there to kill him, and he calls Walt. After Jesse leaves, a little girl runs towards the man. It was a passerby that had nothing to do with the situation, but Jesse was convinced Walt was there to kill him after seeing the man standing facing Walt. Jesse’s promise to hurt Walt and possibly kill his family didn’t sound like any kind of front – Jesse is done playing, and refuses to let Walt manipulate him anymore. Hank is furious that Jesse blew the mission, but Jesse says that there is a better way to get back at Walt. Well, Walt isn’t playing either. At the end of the episode, Walt calls Todd and asks for his uncle’s services again. Walt has always defended Jesse, but will do anything to protect his family. This just leaves one question: who will die?