‘Breaking Bad’ Episode Review: ‘Rabid Dog’

By Will Ashton

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Spoilers for Breaking Bad, obviously.

Is Jessie a target, or is he an opposing shooter?

This is the question that Walter White must, unknowingly, ask during this week’s episode. With the bang of an ending that last week’s episode was, it’s interesting that they decide to go with a more deliberately paced episode to follow. But, given how things work in Breaking Bad, it’s safe to say that this episode is going to be setting up some huge things to come.

We begin this week right where we left off last week, only from Walter’s perspective. We follow him with dictated tension as he swims his way around his own house, with his gun in hand but his target a-muck.  After scanning the house, we all learn one thing, Jessie is not there. He has left his gasoline jug there, so where could he possibly be?

As he sends Huell and Saul’s men on a quest to find Jessie, Walt does his best to hide Jessie’s trail in their house from his family. But, he learns, that is going to be well-near impossible, so he does what he always does: he lies. Drapping his clothes and car in gasoline, Walt makes up a story about a gas station malfunction to his son and wife, hoping that this will suffice. But Skylar is, of course, suspicious, and even Walter Jr. doesn’t believe his father’s lies.

Walt suggest moving out of the house, at least for the time being. Walter Jr. is quick to suggest Hank and Marie’s house, but the family ultimately decides that a hotel would be best. Outside the hotel, Saul, Kuby and Walt discuss the issue at hand. Saul, with his endless metaphors, suggest that the situation should be that of “Old Yeller.” Everyone loves Old Yeller, but, ultimately, Old Yeller had to be let down, for the greater good of the family. Walt doesn’t take this, though, and warns Saul to never, ever suggest such a thing about Jessie again. Much like he said of his brother-in-law.

When he returns to his hotel room, he is confronted by his wife, who demands that Walt tells her the truth about what is going on. Once he does, Skylar admits to Walt her feelings of guilt as to what they are doing to Hank and Marie, and, after a heated discussion, admits that, for the family’s own well-being, Jessie should be killed.

From there, it is black, but, in a dash, we are back to where we were at the end of last week’s episode. Only, this time, we’re back to seeing it from Jessie’s point-of-view. After doing some drugs to hype him up, he goes about breaking the door down and dressing the family’s floor with gasoline. But just as he is about to light the place up, Hank comes busting into the house, gun first. He tells Jessie to put down the light, or else he’ll have to shoot Jessie, which is something neither would want. Jessie then, once again, breaks down and curses Walt’s name. It is then that Hank suggest the following: they need to team up to burn down Walt.

In this episode, we get to see Marie deal more with the situation at hand. In her therapy session, she admits that she can’t eat, can’t sleep, and can’t fathom what is happening. But, through this, she is finally gaining the courage to deal with this situation.

Once she comes home, she finds that her husband has packed her bags—which, of course, are purple— and tells her that she should leave the house for the time being. She asks why. He then shows a drugged-asleep Jessie passed out on their guest bed, and tells her that he will be staying with them for the time being, as he is about to be the only evidence that they have. Marie stands her ground, though, and asks Hank if this is bad for Walt. He tells her that it is very bad for Walt. With a stern, “good,” she dictates her stand.

It is then that Hank discovers something kinda big: a voice message, on Jessie’s temporary phone, from Walt earlier in the episode. He is telling him that he wants to talk this out with him. With this, Hank finally discovers something: he may finally have what it takes to take down Walt.

With that, Jessie is finally willing to tell the D.E.A. what he knows. But, he warns them, they don’t really have any concrete evidence, other than his word against Walt’s. But he drinks from Marie’s D.E.A. coffee mug and looks up at book of Dutch on their book shelf (which, I am calling it now, is probably foreshadowing for where Jessie might be at the end of this series). Then, he confesses what he knows.

Later, on the porch, Gomez and Hank discuss what is at hand. Gomez, who apparently learned about this off-camera—something that would have been pretty nice to see, but whatever—agrees with Jessie, they don’t really have any hard evidence. But Hank disagrees, and reveals to him and Jessie the voice message that was left. Hank determines that Jessie is the way to go towards taking Walt down, with Jessie to meet Walt, wired, and getting him to confess of his crimes. Reluctantly, Jessie seems to agree. Gomez seems to worry that Jessie will be killed. But Hank, it is revealed, just doesn’t really care. So long as Walt goes down too.

Then, it comes, Jessie goes to meet Walt on a bench. He is wired, Hank and Gomez are watching. Walt is sitting down, calmly, on the bench. Jessie walks up to him, his heart racing. He notices something, another bald man, standing nearby. Then, he figures, Walt is up to double-cross him, and he is not going to take it. He runs to a pay phone, and calls Walt. On the phone, Jessie tells Walt that he thought he could take him down, but he isn’t going to take it. He warns Walt that he is going to hit him in “his real home.” What could that be? As Walt walks away, we learn that this bald man wasn’t even associated with Walt, he was just seeing his daughter. What a misunderstanding. I’m sure they’ll be laughing about that later.

An extremely pissed Hank finds Jessie and begins to cuss him out. But Jessie is not phased by it, because, as he says, he’s got a better plan. Meanwhile, we see that Walt is giving a call to Todd, asking for his uncle to do one last job. So, who will take the other down first, Jessie or Walt? We’ll have to see next week.

While this episode is ultimately not as satisfying as the others before it, simply because it is a set-up episode, it is Breaking Bad. So, of course, it’s great. But now we are four down, with four to go. Halfway done with these second half of the season. For lack of a better term, shit is about to go down. Bitch.

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