By Will Ashton
Spoilers for Breaking Bad, obviously.
The best way to describe watching this week’s episode is to compare it to the sensation of watching a firecracker light up. First, it sizzles, then it cracks and then, BOOM!
In the beginning, we are teased with suspense and watch with some hesitation at what is about to take place. Then, it happens, we watch as Walt is mimicking his actions in the pilot episode and recording himself confessing his crimes and giving the evidence to Hank. Or, so we think, as we learn that Walt has crafted a string of lies so damning that it sets Hank farther back than he ever was before. Then, we see it happen.
Just as Jessie is about to embark on a new life, start afresh, he finally figures it out: Walt was the one that poisoned Brock. Then all hell breaks loose and KABOOM!
After each ending, the fans are left with feelings of dire anticipation and a matched sense of sad revelations. We’re desperate to find out what is going to happen next, but then we are left to realize just how close we are to the bitter end. There are only five episodes left ever for Breaking Bad. The wait comes with so much gut-wrenching eagerness and dread that it is as tormenting as the character’s lives.
Just as I was singing high praises for Dean Norris’ performance this season, here comes Aaron Paul this episode reminding everyone who’s boss. He completely dominates this episode, and it will not be a surprise for anyone if he gains his third (or fourth) Emmy at next year’s Emmys. The final minutes of this episode are filled with so much tension that you could cut it with a plastic knife. I don’t know how anyone can not watch these final moments and feel apathetic.
But, I should still say, Norris is still doing a great job here, and his scene at the Mexican restaurant with Marie, Walt and Skylar is so convicting, it makes the awkward humor thrown more tolerable. One of the biggest takeaways from this interaction was Marie’s telling words to Walt, “kill yourself.” But, like some others, I think the more telling foreshadowing could be from Hank’s uttering of “You’ve killed me,” to Marie when he discovers that Walt was the one that paid for his medical bills during all that funny business back in season 3. Does this confirm that Walt’s M16 is aimed at his brother-in-law? Will Marie really be the one that leads to her husband’s downfall?
Meanwhile, in one of the more quiet moments of the show, we begin to see that, perhaps, Skylar is having second thoughts about joining her husband’s side in crime. Among the shadows, we see her trapped in her thoughts, thinking over her life with expressions of confession and guilt. Will Skylar be turning on her husband too?
But the big question of the night was this: Will Walt kill Jessie? Does he now know too much for Walt’s own good? We see him drenching the house with gasoline, but, given the flash forward we saw a couple episodes ago, we know that his house is not going to burn to the ground. At least yet. But, with Walt grabbing his ice-covered pistol from the Coke machine, the same weapon he used to take down Mike, Jessie’s truest father figure, will his fate be matching his in due time? Walt spoke as though Jessie had all the time in the world, but his end may be nearer than Walt’s.
Overall, this episode is continuing to prove that this is a powerhouse season of acting, not just for Bryan Cranston, but from everyone. And things are only getting more heated. What is going to happen next? I can’t wait, even if it is killing me inside knowing that it is getting closer to the very, very end one-by-one.