‘Breaking Bad’ Episode Review: ‘Blood Money’

By Will Ashton

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Obviously, spoilers for Breaking Bad below.

The end is nigh for Breaking Bad. And so it is for Walter White.

Since the season five premiere, we’ve known things were not going to turn out well for Walter, to say the least. But the question remains not so much what is going to happen, but how. How is he going to use that M16 that is buried in the truck of his car? How is Walter going to deal with Hank find out his alias? How are Skyler, Walter Jr. and Holly doing as we watch a bearded, haired Walter going into his now-abandoned house?

And, most importantly, how is he going to use that Ricin?

All these questions and more burn inside the minds of Breaking Bad fans everywhere as they watch that opening scene. But we’ll have to find out in the next eight weeks how show creator Vince Gilligan and the gang plan to tell the tale of Walter White’s legacy.

Following this tease, we begin where we last left off. Hank now knows of Walt’s identity and, as expected, is shocked beyond words. Every step he takes out of the bathroom is full of doubt and trepidation. He enters back out of the house to hear his wife utter some very telling words to Walt, “You’re the devil.”

In his nervous state, Hank states that he has fallen under the weather, and takes himself and his wife back to the car. Marie is suggesting the family get together for another bowling night, but, of course, Hank’s mind is far elsewhere.

Now, normally, a show would decide to extend this state of uncertainty and doubt from Hank throughout the rest of the half season. And, watching Hank go over each of his files again and again in his garage/personal bar, it appears that that was going to be the case. But, once again demonstrating what makes the show so great, GIlligan and the gang get right to the bottom of things at the end of this episode, in what is easily one of the juiciest scenes the show has had in some time.

The biggest take away from this encounter is this, “If you don’t know who I am, then maybe your best course would be to tread lightly.” Which, for the record, will easily be going down as one of the most quotable lines of this series, along with “I am the one who knocks,” and “You’re goddamn right.”

Besides these scenes though, the big takeaways from this episode are these: Walt’s cancer is back, as we expected from his returned wheezing in the season five premiere, and Jessie is full of guilt for all the blood money that has been spill on his doorstep, something that isn’t very uncommon for the character.

But how long is Walt going to be able to keep his re-found illness away from his family. As we remember from before, Skyler said that all she is waiting for is “for the cancer to come back.” But now that he is out of the business for, what seems to be, good, has she truly changed her tune. That would seem to be the cause during their brief talk at the car wash about opening a new store in town, but given Lydia’s encounter at the store and Skyler’s response to the situation, it’s not easy to forget that she can still hold some vengeance in her.

But Walt told Hank point black in that final sequence that he only has about six months left to live. Now, lying to Hank is nothing new for Walt, and he is a professional lair at this point, it’s possible that he wasn’t telling the truth here. But there’s seems to be some sincerity in his voice. Does Walt truly only have six months to live? Given the circumstances that have been hinted at in six months time, that prediction may not be far off. Just not in the way that he was predicting.

The final big note to talk about here is Jessie, who doesn’t seem like he’s handling himself too well, even though he, too, is out of the business. As we watch him do everything in his power to get rid of the ill-gotten money brought to his doorstep (literally), which includes his final moments in the show through money door-to-door down the street as though he is some kind of twisted Santa Claus, Jessie’s issues are only a bigger hint that he may be the one that will be the demise of Heinsberg’s legacy.

So, with this episode, we are once again teased that all bad things are going to come to an end. And not with a whimper, but with the boom of a M16 rifle. But the question that burns the most in this lead up to the final seven episode remains not a question of how this time, but who. Specifically, who is that rifle intended for?

Side notes: I’m waiting to see Badger’s vision of Star Trek brought to life in some way, shape or form. Whether its a video, comic strip or animation, I know someone on the Internet is going to make something of it, and I can’t wait.

Also, this is my first television review ever. So, sorry for being nonobjective in pretty much every way possible.

So, with that, have an A1 day.

Update: As predicted, though I didn’t expect it this fast, somebody made an animation retelling of Badger’s Star Trek story. It’s pretty fantastic. Thanks to Vulture.

Check it out below:

http://www.vulture.com/2013/08/breaking-bad-badger-star-trek-story-animated.html

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