By Will Ashton
Spoilers for Breaking Bad, obviously.
Those who found last week’s slow burn of an episode were happy to know that this week does not follow in suit. Rather, once it gets going, it turns in the Energizer Bunny. It keeps going, and going, and going until we are painfully cut off until next week’s edition.
We start off this week’s episode looking at things from the other side of Walt’s phone conversation. Beforehand, we see Todd, along with his uncle and his friend, whom we saw at the diner not too many episodes ago, along with Lydia as they cook up a new batch. Only, there’s a problem: it’s not blue. They try to say otherwise, but Lydia states that her customers expect a certain product, and the fact that their product is not blue, despite the fact that it is at a better percent value, doesn’t cut it.
They discuss throwing in food dye and other solutions, but we know this will not make the difference. Later, Todd meets with Lydia in private, where he gives her a very awkward hand-around-the-shoulder and tells her that he can cook it again. He simply cooked it a little too long, and just needs to fix a small detail this time. After all, he tells her, he’s doing it just the way Mr. White did it.
It is around then that Todd gets that fateful call from Mr. White, who we learn is calling in a favor from his uncle to take down a target. Todd asks which jail and how many. Walt replies there’s only one, and he’s not in jail. It’s Jessie Pinkman.
What makes this episode so great, in addition to its great pacing and its continued callbacks to episodes from before, is its ability to keep everything in motion. We are down to the final four, so there’s no time for fooling around. Its sink or swim, and Breaking Bad has no intention on sinking. Unless it’s a couple of bodies.
Not only was this the episode that we finally got to hear Jessie say “bitch” once again, but it is also the one that features the moment we have all been waiting for: the one where Hank finally gets Walt. In Walt’s high speed and desperate attempt to keep his money and fortune from burning up in the desert sun from Jessie’s light, we hear Jessie and Walt finally duking it out over the problems that have plagued them these past couple months. It’s a shouting match that rivals the one that was seen back in season 4, and, should the both be alive for the next couple episodes, I hope it’s a taste of things to come.
But, let’s talk about the biggest talking point of last night’s episode: the shootout. A moment so raked with tension, anger and suspense that I may have lost a couple years of my life from it. What really sells it though is that build up to it, that arrival of the moment that Hank is finally victorious and catches his Heisenberg. It’s the happiest he’s been in months, and it is a moment which is seriously undercut by the arrival of Todd and his uncle shooting up the place.
But, of course, the big question is, what is going to happen next? We saw Gomez get shot, so he’s gone. But is Hank going to live beyond the next episode? The meat looking like brains in their trash can, is that an omen of what is going to come? Will there be blood on their door? Who else will go down? We’ll have to, desperately, wait and find out next week.