Friday, September 13, 2013

Breaking Bad - To'hajiilee Recap

The episode begins by establishing that Todd’s at it again.  He appears to be in an aboveground meth lab in the desert.  He pours out some freshly cooked meth, and it’s noticeably clear in hue.  Uncle Jack and Lydia look on, and Jack takes his mask off, breathing in the fumes, that daredevil.  The purity is up, but Lydia stresses about the absence of the trademark blue color.  Which makes me think, if it were actually a brand, what might it be called? Heisenblue? 

Cut to Todd bringing Lydia a giant mug of tea.  Eager to please, he explains to her that he knows where he went wrong with the meth, and Lydia puts her flirty face on.  Todd sidles closer.  Ew.  Lydia tolerates his arm around her as she coos to him that she would like him to “make the cook better”, and then leaves.  Todd takes the mug, and tentatively thumbs Lydia’s faded lipstick print as he watches her walk to her car.  Double Ew.  His creepy perv reverie is broken by an amazing "Blinded Me With Science" ring tone.  No surprise to us, it’s Walt requesting to set up a meeting with Jack for another ‘job’.  Todd, man of few words, says, “you got it” and hangs up the phone, and takes a gulp from Lydia’s tea.  Triple Ew.  

Meanwhile, Hank and Gomie meet under a bridge following the botched wiretap meeting in the plaza.  Gomie is frustrated with “Timmy dipshit”, but after some prompting from Hank, he listens to Jesse’s plan.  Jesse argues that he knows Walt pretty well.  And he does, because he correctly presumes that the money would be the one piece of evidence that Walt would never destroy.  Jesse doesn’t know where the money is, but he does know who might have a lead. 

Back at the Schrader household, there’s some cryptic and confusing talk between Gomie and Hank about a safe house and lawyering up before Hank plops what appears to be a brain squarely on his kitchen floor.  He drizzles it gently with the remaining blood in the Styrofoam packaging before gesturing to Jesse and saying “You’re up.” (Side note – apparently Gomie’s got some brain connections, because I have never seen a prepackaged brain before in my life.)

Hank is having quite the afternoon.  He leaves his brain-spattered kitchen and travels to a safe house. They have detained Huell there for “his own safety”.  Hank sits down and somehow manages to convince Huell that Saul has sold him down the river.  He proceeds to provide ‘proof’ to Huell that there’s a hit out on him by flashing a picture phone image of Jesse with his brains blown out.  Oh thaaaat’s what the brain was for!  Oddly enough for a gigantic bodyguard, Huell flips pretty easily, and tells them everything.   Seriously, everything.  From where they rented the truck, to how much money they moved (“seven barrels worth”) down to exactly what type of barrels they used.  After getting what he needs, Hank leaves a quite terrified and befuddled looking Huell in the safe house.  (Side note – It’s weird, but I don’t necessarily think that this loose-lipped and nervous attitude is befitting for the guy that wanted to steal all of Heisenberg’s money and run to Mexico a few episodes ago.  Just sayin’.)

Elsewhere in the ABQ, Walt meets with the Loose Cannon Gang and lets them know who his intended target is, saying that he’s not dangerous, just angry.  Uncle Jack is quite the jokester, and asks “How angry? Hulk angry?”  Jack agrees to take the job, but wants Walt to tutor young Todd in Meth Cookery 101 in exchange for the hit.  Walt eventually agrees, saying that he’ll do one cook, and only after the hit has been executed.  Walt and Jack shake on it.  Walt lets him know that he’s not too sure where Jesse is, but he knows how to “flush him out”. 

We all know what that means. Walt does his best aw-shucks act as he knocks on Andrea’s door.  She invites him in and they pass a cereal-eating Brock on the way to the kitchen.   Walt convinces Andrea to try and reach Jesse, and she’s so sweet, she does it.  She leaves him a message, and Walt is satisfied, leaving her with his number in case Jesse tries to contact her.  Outside, the hit squad waits.

At the car wash, Sklyer puts poor Junior to work ringing customers up at A1.  Junior wants to go back home, probably for breakfast, but Skyler asks that he stay a bit longer.  Saul saunters in, face still a mess, and Junior rings him up, while complimenting him on his commercials.  Despite the dire consequences of his current situation, Saul is aglow with recognition, and tells Junior to call if he ever gets a DUI.  Skyler knows something is up, and totally forgets to tell Saul to have an A1 day.

Saul, ever the double tasker, asks the “car care professionals” to really scrub the residue from Jesses drug spree / hijacking out of his Caddy’s driver seat.  He lets Walt know that Huell is MIA.  When Walt tries to wave him off, Saul admonishes him, pointing out that “the kid is not as dumb as you think”.   Walt is not convinced, saying that Jesse, “only wants me”.  Saul wonders if so, then where’s Huell?

A great shot utilizes the vertical blinds to obscure Walt’s face much like bars on a cell as he watches Saul drive away.  Just then he gets a photo text on his ancient flip phone.  It’s a barrel of money.  Walt’s jaw drops, and the phone promptly rings.  It’s Jesse.  And he sounds angry.  Hulk angry.  He bluffs and tells Walt he found six more barrels just like the one in the picture.  Walt sprints out of the car wash. 

Walt flies through the streets while he listens to Jesse rant.  Jesse warns Walt not to get off the phone for any reason, or he’ll burn the cash.  Freaking out about his precious nest egg, Walt is too panicked to think things all the way through.  Jesse’s holding the money hostage and says he is going to burn 10 G’s for every minute it takes Walt to get there.  Honestly, with that kind of money Walt’s got a lot of time to kill, but no matter.  Walt puts the petal to the metal as he shouts into the phone, increasingly furious and desperate.  At the crux of his argument he outlines (a little too neatly) all the murders he committed for Jesse’s sake, going all the way back to that two bit dealer Emilio and his snitch cousin Crazy Eight.  Jesse abruptly stops talking just as Walt arrives at the money pit location. 

Walt arrives and gets out of the car, realizing his mistake too late.  He scrambles to take the battery out of his phone, and climbs to higher ground to observe the landscape.  A puff of dry dirt in the distance indicates the approach of another car, and Walt panics and calls Uncle Jack.  He lists off the coordinates of his location, and the Loose Cannon Gang springs into action (Side note – What?  I honestly would have no idea how to use coordinates properly.  Is there an app for that?  I don’t think Nazis have smartphones.) However, Walt recognizes Hank getting out of the car and for some reason changes his mind.  He whispers to Jack not to come.  There's a pause for a long moment on Walt’s face, as tears spring to his eyes. 

(Side note - Bryan Cranston does such an exemplary job with this scene, because I have watched it several times and still don’t have a great idea of what is going through Walt’s mind.  By calling off the hit, is he still preserving the ‘family first’ motto that he so pointedly told Saul about a few episodes ago?  Did he come to the realization that he was caught on tape by the DEA, and all hope is lost?  Is he just tired of running?)

Walt quickly surrenders to the three men; wordlessly dropping his gun and following every instruction Hank gives him to the tee.  Hank seems to be relishing putting Walt through the paces, and shows him no mercy as he degrades him into walking backwards towards him before he finally cuffs him.  C’mon Hank, is that DEA procedure or are you just being a dick?  Jesse points out that this is the first place he and Walt cooked.  Hank reads Walt his rights, but Walt’s fixated on Jesse.  He addresses him as “coward” and Jesse responds by spitting an impressive loogie in Walt’s face.  They lunge at one another, but unfortunately we aren’t treated to a Jesse/Walt brawl as Gomie and Hank quickly separate them, putting Walt in Hank’s SUV and Jesse into Walt’s car.  Hank says he needs to make a call before they take off.  He calls Marie who quickly forgets all about the brains in her garbage can once Hank tells her he caught Walt.  The scene on Hank’s end of the call is tense, and Hank utters a sentence that if said in a horror movie would certainly seal his fate.  “It may be awhile before I get home.  I love you.” 

No sooner does Hank press ‘end’ on his call with Marie, than the Loose Cannon Calvary arrives.  Hank and Gomie stand at attention, while Walt sits helpless in the SUV.  Walt tries his best to yell to Jack that the hit is off, but Jack’s got his own agenda.  After a prolonged standoff, Jack’s sidekick shoots first, and then bullets rain down on the desert as both sides open fire.  The Nazis all shoot directly into the very SUV that their cash cow Walt is occupying.  Dumb.  Walt frantically wedges himself onto the floor of the SUV, and….credits. 

Three episodes left.   

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