I don’t know what I expected out of this episode but it wasn’t this. Unlike the nervewracking insanity that was last week’s plot, the tension bubbled a little closer to the surface this time around — instead what we got was a lot of character driven scenes that made me lose all my faith in everybody’s moral compasses.
Walt is driving up to his own house and sees Jesse’s car in the driveway, the driver-side door still open. Yeah, this ain’t good. We should take a second to note that there are kids out front in the background, and I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s the same group who end up using Future Walt’s pool for a skating rink six months from now.
Because Walt isn’t an idiot, he decides not to enter through the front door, instead flanking the house through the bushes and slowly letting himself in at the poolside entrance. He sees the empty gallon jug on the floor and shouts for Jesse in the most “I am an angry dad” voice he can muster as he makes his way through the house with his gun drawn. Naturally, he finds nothing.
My mother, by the way, would like for me to point out that my baby nursery had literally the exact same balloon decoration that Holly’s does.
I have no idea what to do with this information. Was it intentional on the part of the design team to ensure that even Holly’s bedroom is decades out of date, just like the rest of the house? Or are they still making those freaky ass balloon things now? Nobody knows.
Coming back around to the front of the house, Walt examines Jesse’s car — he didn’t even take the key out of the ignition, because the car’s making that annoying beeping noise. There’s also a CD covered in some kind of drugs in the car, because as we know, Jesse needs a hit to calm his nerves before he does something unspeakably awful.
After the commercial break, Walt already has a cleaning crew there to deal with the gas soaked in his carpet, as well as a locksmith to fix his broken door. He tells Huell to swing by the high school and watch his son (does he think Jesse’s going to go after his family? Dude, he’s not you) and demands of the locksmith that all the locks stay the same so Skyler doesn’t find out. He then leaves Jesse a voicemail, saying, “Obviously you’ve changed your mind here and thank you for that. I know you’re angry and I want to fix this. Whatever it takes. We will talk and we will fix this.” He also tells Jesse to “sleep it off” and ends the message with “Be safe,”and oh my god Walt you are the worst fake dad ever.
Once he’s off the phone, the cleaners have some bad (and very obvious) news: there’s no way to get the gas smell out of the floor. So of course Walt has a plan for this: he strips down to his tighty whiteys again, covers the clothes he was wearing in gasoline, and disposes the gallon jug in his trash bin. No, that’s a stupid idea — he takes it out and awkwardly hides it in his neighbor’s bin. NO WAIT, he goes and throws some more gas on his carseat.
Walter White, ladies and gentlemen; the world’s greatest mastermind drug kingpin.
Later Skyler returns home, and we figure out what Walter was trying to pull. He starts weaving an elaborate, ridiculous tale about a gas station pump malfunction that leaves him drenched in gas, which he then supposedly gets all over the carpet. Naturally Skyler doesn’t believe it for a second — and oh shit, neither does Junior this time. “You fainted, didn’t you?” he accuses Walt. Oh nooooo, that’s a way better alibi, so naturally Walt runs with it. Ultimately he suggests that they go stay in a hotel while the carpets get pulled up and replaced, and everybody’s on board. There’s no way Skyler buys this, though. I mean, come on.
Cut to Saul inspecting his wounds in the mirror of his car. “I never should have let my dojo membership run out,” he says to Bill Burr. Never change, Saul.
Walt enters the back seat and the three discuss where they haven’t found Jesse, which is anywhere. He’s not even with Badger and Skinny Pete, who according to Bill Burr are also big fans of Babylon 5. Wait, didn’t Cranston have a bit part in that show? And if Saul does get that spin-off, can we have Badger and Skinny Pete talk about a nerd thing at least once every episode? I would watch the ever lovin’ crap out of that show.
Saul suggests that Jesse might not be down for a “nuanced discussion on the virtues of child poisoning “ and that maybe he needs to be permanently removed from the equation in what he calls an “Old Yeller” situation. He then explains the plot of Old Yeller in the most akward way possible, and you can’t help but remember how Walter referred to Gale in much the same way when convincing Jesse to kill him. “Problem dog,” “rabid dog” — same difference, right?
“You’re full of colorful metaphors, aren’t you, Saul?” Walt says bitterly. Yes, just like his shirts! He makes it clear, however — Jesse, like family, is off limits.
We cut to Walt in the hotel, apologizing to Skyler that it took him so long to get more ice — really, dude? Fortunately for us drama fans, Skyler knows exactly what’s up. “How’s Saul?” she asks. She’s been spying on him and wants to know why there was gas all over the floor, because of course that pump story was total bullshit. Walter tells her the truth, more or less, and surprisingly her response is similar to Sauls’s: that Jesse needs to be dealt with.
Walt is completely taken aback for some reason, like this isn’t a thing he does literally all the time with other people who aren’t Jesse Pinkman. What is this, Falling Down? Walt, do you still not know you’re the bad guy? But Skyler’s adamant that Jesse is a threat. “After everything we’ve done, you can’t just talk to this person. We’ve come this far. What’s one more?”
It’s weird how Skyler’s arc has taken her into this odd reverse Lady Macbeth territory. Like, at first she was just desperately trying to keep her family together to the point of causing herself serious psychological harm, and now she’s so far in the other direction that she’s become more ruthless than Walt is, screwing courage to the sticking place and all that. I can’t say I’m not disappointed in her as a person but as a character she is utterly fascinating.
So what did happen to Jesse, anyway? We flash back to those final moments of the last episode where he’s pouring gas all over everything and watch as he’s about the light the whole sucker up when OH MAN IT’S HANK.
I really should have seen this coming but I was still pretty convinced that Jesse’s change of heart was going to be Holly-related. This is better, though. Hank is trying to talk Jesse down, saying that he doesn’t want to kill him — which I guess makes him the only person other than Walt who feels that way. “You want to burn him down? Let’s do it together,” Hank says. That works, surprisingly, and he puts Jesse in his car (he literally has to buckle him into his seat, and for a split second my dumb brain was convinced he was trying to give Jesse a hug because CAN SOMEONE PLEASE DO THAT ALREADY) and drives away. Mere seconds before Walt shows up, in fact.
Cut to still black-clad Marie and Dave, her therapist. Remember Dave? He was briefly mentioned just after Marie stole that baby tiara for Holly and we never got a chance to meet him until right now. On a side note, it literally only just occurred to me that Marie was totally trying to steal Holly from Skyler in “Buried” and oh maaaan, this show. Anyway, Marie is babbling Walt-related circles around her therapist while also telling him that she’s been spending her spare time looking up different untraceable poisons she might try to use on Walt. Unfortunately Mariesenberg has different tastes than the actual Heisenberg and wants to go with saxitotoxin over Ricin — guess that would be too neat thematically, huh?
Dave isn’t happy with Marie’s current state of mind. “There is no problem, no matter how difficult or painful or seemingly unsolveable that violence won’t make worse,” he tells her. Marie gives him a pained half-smile. “It just feels good to think about it,” she says. Man, AMC should put that exchange on t-shirts because that’s the show, right there.
She returns home to find that Hank’s packed a whole bunch of bags for her. Unlike her current choice of clothing, the bags are purple, so that’s a small comfort. When she asks, he explains that Jesse’s currently asleep in their guest room because Hank doesn’t want to put him through the DEA’s system. Makes sense, since Walt killed all ten of Hank’s last witnesses in a 2 minute window.
“Is this bad for Walt?” Marie asks.
“Yes,” Hank replies.
“Good,” says Marie. “I’ll heat up some lasagna.”
As she goes off to do that, Jesse’s phone rings — it’s the message Walt left at the beginning of the episode, the one telling Jesse to “sleep it off.” Oh, the irony!
Later, Walt is sitting alone at the hotel pool when Jr. comes up — he’s still incredibly worried about Walt’s health, because he’s the only person in the entire world who doesn’t know that his father’s a monster. Walt tries to reassure him. “You think I came all this way to let something as silly as lung cancer take me down?” I mean, personally I’m hoping that it’ll be Hank but I’ll settle for lung cancer. Jr’s not convinced and gives Walt the biggest hug and I really can’t handle this right now, oh my god Jr why aren’t you on the show more you precious angel.
Guys, do I have a crush on RJ Mitte? I think I have a crush on RJ Mitte.
I know it would probably ruin him to meet Jesse because Walt acts way more fatherly towards him than his own son, but if we could just stage a moment where Jr gives Jesse a hug, I would be more than okay with that.
The second his actual son leaves, Walt immediately calls his fake son again. We don’t get to hear the voicemail this time, however, and are instead taken back to Jesse as he wakes up in the Schrader household. The sheets are purple because of course they are. He lingers on a picture of Skyler sitting on Santa Walt’s lap from some family Christmas party and then exits the room to see Marie standing at the end of the hallway (did anyone else think the Schrader’s hallway looks a lot like the hallway in the White’s house?). She offers him coffee. This is everything I ever wanted.
Jesse makes his way into the living room where Hank is setting up a video camera — and oh look, Gomez is here! Hi Gomez! I’m so glad Hank has a friend, guys. He tells Jesse he wants to record his statement, and naturally Jesse starts to get nervous. It’s his word against Walt’s, after all, and Walt isn’t even in the business anymore. But Hank convinces him to sit down on the couch amidst the purple pillows and purple rug and tell his side of the story, which he does.
Gomez tells Hank that he believes Jesse’s story — but the kid’s right. There’s no physical evidence. But Hank has an ace up his sleeve. Or, well, a Hello Kitty phone, which he uses to play yet another voicemail from Walt.
He wants to meet Jesse to do that whole “listen here and let me explain why I poison children” thing he’s been talking about, and Hank wants to put a wire on Jesse to finally get some hard evidence. Naturally Jesse is skeptical, but Hank firmly believes that Walt cares about Jesse and doesn’t want to hurt him. Right, Jesse says sarcastically. “Mr. White’s gay for me, everyone knows it.” Yikes, Jesse, have you been surfing the Internet lately? Because if you’re interested, I bet there’s more than a few fanfics on Ao3 that are all about what you’ve just described.
But Hank is adamant. “The way you tell it, it looks like he’s manipulating you to stick around, like he doesn’t want to lose you,” he says — and besides, he’s not asking that Jesse do this. He’s ordering Jesse to do it. And, we find out when Jesse leaves the room to pee, he really doesn’t care whether or not Jesse gets out of this alive in the first place. If Walt kills the kid, they’ll get it on tape and use that as the evidence they need. Oh, no. First Skysenberg, then Mariesenberg, and now Hanksenberg? This is too much, guys.
I’M WITH YOU, GOMEZ.
One final commercial break before the hour’s up. Hank instructs Jesse on how to behave as he tapes the wire to his chest and then lets him loose into the plaza where Walt is waiting. Jesse gets about 50 feet away and then pauses — there’s an unfamiliar, creepy white guy standing nearby, so naturally Jesse assumes that he’s about to get murdered in broad daylight and immediately runs the other direction. But then he gets an idea, and calls Walt on a payphone nearby. ”Nice try, asshole,” he says in a dark voice. I am immediately reminded of that Chris Hardwick bit about The Twilight Zone for some reason because yeah, okay, I guess they do kind of look alike.
“Next time I’m going to get you where you really live.” Great, so we’ve got Skysenberg, Hanksenberg, Marisenberg, and Heisenjesse. Walter White has ruined everybody forever.
As Jesse gets picked up by Hank and tells him that there’s a better way to catch Walt, the man himself walks away from the bench he was sitting in and right past the scary white dude, who was obviously a total stranger and not a hitman. Then Walt gets into his car and makes a phone call of his own — to Todd. FUCKING TODD. “I have another job for you and your uncle,” he says.
This is really the exact reverse opposite of a good thing, and now I am pretty convinced that Jesse will die.
- The infamous pizza-toss is a lot funnier set to Seinfeld music
- Game of Thrones starring Walter White? Yes, please
- Gosh, remember when this show wasn’t the most intense thing on the planet?